“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Mr. President

Trump stuns media detractors with 'extraordinary' speech but Washington Post, others still go to war

President Donald Trump continues to shock the media -- this time in incredibly positive ways. Tuesday night his speech to a joint session of Congress caused many in the media to sing his praises describing it as “extraordinary” and “presidential.”

The most amazing moment of the night came when Trump honored Carryn Owens, the widow of slain Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens. Her reaction will be the lasting image of the speech as she put her hands together and looked to heaven, crying. It’s a picture that should be on every newspaper front page Wednesday. The bipartisan applause went on and on, with Trump finally noting, off script, “And Ryan is looking down right now, you know that, and he is very happy because I think he just broke a record.”

It was heart-wrenching.

Richard Engel, NBC’s chief foreign correspondent, has been extremely critical of Trump. But he was positive about that emotional moment and defended the now-controversial raid. “Standing ovation for fallen seal from yemen raid.  Im told the raid did gather useful intel, had been in works before trump took office.”

That moment resonated across party lines. CNN replayed the entire clip with its epic applause for the family and the fallen hero. Anchor Anderson Cooper called it a “truly extraordinary moment.” Even CNN commentator and massive Trump opponent Van Jones was moved. “He became president of the United States in that moment. Period,” said a somber and serious Jones. “That was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics. Period,” he added.

Longtime critic New York Times White House correspondent Glenn Thrush gave the speech reluctant credit: “‏For any other president this would be a boring, laundry list speech. For Trump - amazing, responsible, detailed, uniting, presidential!”

That was a common reaction for most outlets not called The Washington Post
Time Washington bureau chief Michael Scherer gave it similar praise. “This speech is the best sign yet that Donald Trump can learn how to use the power of his office.”

The Washington Post was having none of it. Its staff comments read more like The Huffington Post, with several prominent writers attacking Trump and his speech. Post editorial writer Jackson Diehl called the immigration section a “xenophobic rant." National political reporter Robert Costa continued the negative theme
“That's what makes the speech somewhat jarring. A bleak, populist Bannon vision laced with elements of Ivanka-ism on social policy.”

Staff writer Joe Heim showed his colors (black, white and red) and linked Trump to the Nazis, commenting about a science-fiction program where the Nazis won WWII: “I didn't even know the Man in the High Castle was on cable.” Either that was an astonishingly biased comment or boss Jeff Bezos simply has news staff embedding ads in their Twitter accounts now, since the program is produced by Amazon, which Bezos also owns.

Little-known political reporter Abby D. Phillip snarked about the congressional response. “Unknown member of Congress to Trump: ‘I thought it was Reagan-esque.’ Trump getting lots of ‘You knocked it out of the park’ from members.’”
Post media reporter Erik Wemple‏ joked about Trump quitting Twitter and mocked Fox for saying it was a highlight of the presidency: “On Fox News, Shep Smith says this is the highlight of Trump presidency so far. Right, way better than, say, the Nordstrom tweet.”

Oddly, one exception was liberal Chris Cillizza‏, who writes for the Washington Post’s The Fix. He went from tweeting a GIF of Obama, saying, “Missing this guy tonight....” to a reluctant admission that Trump had done well. “Trump is never going to be a brilliant orator but this speech is the best I have seen him [give].”
Despite the Post's reaction, Trump only slammed the media once. Thin-skinned CNN media critic Brian Stelter‏ was quick to note it, retweeting Mic’s post, “There it is -- Trump's only scripted mention of media tonight.”

Trump was complaining (correctly) about how news organizations often ignore or downplay crimes by illegal immigrants. “We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests,” he told members of Congress.

That complaint resulted in some of his strongest criticism from others in the press. Engel called out the president for his “his anti-immigration agenda, same one gaining strength in Europe.”

More openly liberal media were harsher still. Fusion writer Katie McDonough called Trump honoring people whose family had been killed by illegal immigrants “sick.” Salon political writer Simon Maloy bashed the president’s plan to publicize such crimes, saying: “a government office dedicated to publicizing ‘immigrant crime’ is despicable.” Note Malloy left out the word “illegal” out of his assessment, a common media misdirection.

Conservatives were, of course, upbeat about the speech, even though parts weren’t especially conservative. New York Post columnist Salena Zito summed it up:

“.@POTUS 'Seize the moment' speech was solid, strong aspirational.”
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins praised the speech. “President Trump left no doubt that his confidence in the American people is far greater than his confidence in Washington.”

The evening didn’t start out that well for Trump.

Chief content officer for IJR Benny Johnson commented how Democrats had rejected shaking hands with the president. “I covered 5 Obama State of the Union speeches. Always, there was GOP members there to shake his hand. Dems shunning Trump is NOT normal,” he wrote. Johnson added, “about one fifth of Dem members did not even stand up, much less applaud.” At one point, only MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough was seen clapping on the Democratic side of aisle. (He’s a former Republican congressman.) West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin was also a periodic exception.

Conservative commentator and columnist Ann Coulter accurately reflected the right’s response to that rude behavior: “I love that Democrats won't applaud for Trump's call to put Americans first.”

CNN’s chief political correspondent Dana Bash told viewers that many Democrat women would be wearing white tonight -- “white [is] the color of the suffragette movement.” How times change. Just a few months ago, Philadelphia Inquirer fashion critic Elizabeth Wellington said just the opposite about white. She attacked Melania Trump for giving the terrifying message, “that in the G.O.P. white is always right.”

CNN’s Jones, famous for claiming the election was a “whitelash” had begun the evening on a very negative note, which made his later comments more significant. “You still have a lot of people who are afraid.” Fellow CNN liberal Sally Kohn reacted during the speech similarly. “Congratulations, Mr. Trump, kids all across America going to bed tonight terrified their families will be ripped apart by your deportations!” she tweeted.

Journalists were predictably critical even before the speech started. Senior Fortune writer Mathew Ingram mocked Trump practicing his speech: “Greatness, blah, blah, blah, big league, blah, blah, blah, winning.” Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan reflected the typical left-wing view: “Not my phrase but one worth recalling now: 'Scrutinize, don't normalize.'”

NBC/MSNBC political reporter (Is there a difference?) Benjy Sarlin‏ produced a list of five items to “drink at” including: “1. Electoral vote reference. 2. Shot at HRC/Obama. 3. ‘So true.’ 4. ‘Fake news.’ 5. ‘Carnage’/’Death’/’Hell.’”

Few people will notice how the Democrats' response speech started with a major flub. Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear began: “I’m a proud Democrat, but first and foremost, I’m a proud Republican, and Democrat, and mostly, American.” NBC Nightly News senior editor Bradd Jaffy caught the weird phrasing and explained. “[It] Was a flubbed line. His prepared remarks were: ‘I’m a proud Democrat, but first and foremost, I’m a proud American.’”
Few cared. Few watched. All eyes and ears were for Trump.


  1. The Democrats looked to be a fart of fools.

    1. All moderate Democrats have left the party. What is left is a fart of fools.

  2. What was the deal with those fat ass long faced democratic women in white sack cloth, stuffed with ashes, looking like klansmen on a bad hair day?

    1. Failed Congressional candidates in mourning for themselves ?

      That's all I can come up with, lacking as it is.

    2. Maybe they're upset THEY can't have The Donald, that Melania has him all wrapped up in her long arms ?

      Don't put it past them.

    3. What was the deal with those fat ass long faced democratic women in white sack cloth, stuffed with ashes, looking like klansmen on a bad hair day?

      Women suffrage. Next up, Oprah for President. Yeah, she will set things right!

  3. In case you missed it -

    Democrat giving response to Trump speech calls himself a Republican
    By Max Jaeger March 1, 2017 | 1:57am | Updated

    The Democrat giving the response to President Trump’s congressional address Tuesday seemed to have forgotten what party he was representing — when he inexplicably called himself a Republican during his address.

    “I’m a proud Democrat, but first and foremost, I’m a proud Republican, and Democrat, and mostly, American,” former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said via telecast from a diner in his home state.

    It was not clear why Beshear called himself a “proud Republican,” but the small group of supporters surrounding him did not seem to balk as he flip-flopped affiliations.

    Beshear did two terms as Kentucky governor and one as lieutenant governor, in addition to four years as the state’s attorney general and six in the its legislature — all as a Democrat.


    1. Guy's just another fart fool.

    2. Why did the Dems call on a retired minor league political player to give the rebuttal ?

      Why not Pelosi ?

      Why not Schumer ?

    3. Democrats are dying a slow tortured death on TV. The ultimate reality show..

  4. Steve Bashear should be embarrassed. No, I'll be embarrassed for him. Few Cared, Few Watched. True that.

  5. Video: Dems haul Beshear out of retirement for Trump speech response

    No one else wanted to bite the bullet, eh?

    CBS reporter Mark Knoller called former Kentucky governor Steve Beshear an “elder statesman” of the Democratic Party, but there are two problems with that description. One is that Beshear has rarely been a “statesman” at all in national politics, and got roundly eclipsed by the progressive movement within his party over the last several years.

    The second? Well, the Democratic Party has no lack of “elder statesmen,” so to speak. Clearly, none of them wanted to take on the thankless task of being an afterthought to a presidential address in front of a joint session of Congress. Beshear gamely gave it a go, but …


    At times, it seemed as though Beshear expected to follow a much different speech than the one Trump gave last night. “This isn’t a game,” Beshear scolded when discussing Trump’s call to repeal Obamacare, “it’s life and death to people.” Trump had just called on Congress to make sure that no one got lost in the transition, though, which made it appear that Beshear had anticipated some campaign-trail bravado.

    For such an “elder statesman,” Beshear took up a lot of time at the beginning of his speech introducing himself to the audience, and also the Democratic Party. In the New York Times transcript, it takes eight paragraphs for Beshear to address anything Trump has said. That took almost two and half minutes of a nine-minute speech. It’s not difficult to imagine that viewers had tuned Beshear out by that point in time, either literally or figuratively. Most of the speech was a rehash of the 2016 general election campaign, an effort in which Beshear was largely excluded by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.

    Why not pick someone with more national name recognition, someone who wouldn’t have to spend more than a quarter of his speech introducing himself to the audience? Where was Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren? The cameras caught them in the audience, so they were certainly available. How about Tom Perez or Keith Ellison? Democrats seem to have belatedly realized — after their leadership elections, of course — that the American electorate doesn’t care much for strident hard-progressive politicians from the coastal-elite enclaves, and went looking for someone who could speak to Middle America.

    And the only choice they had was an “elder statesman” who retired more than a year ago as his state chose someone from the opposite party to replace him. That speaks volumes, even if Beshear’s response speech didn’t.

  6. Replies
    1. EVEN if there is a correction at this point? The DOW will be well into Trump BUMP territory and Obama's economy is now vanquished.

      Watch for additional cuts to governmental spending that will make the progressive left/democrats head explode like the moment when Martians in the documentary "Mars Attacks" finally listen to Slim Whitman"


    3. It's looking more and more like a 'mania'. I read just yesterday that the majority of the new money coming into the market this last little while has been from the individual investors who were sitting on their money since '08/09. Not a good sign in my view.

    4. The mom and pops are generally the last to the party and they have a tendency to get burned. We shall see how long the rally goes but I'm guessing that there isn't a lot of upside room for the markets to run (most valuation methods show the US equity market to be over-valued) and if it starts down the question will be how low will it go. But, hey, WiO tells us it has run up so far it won't fall to 'Obama levels' much less lower. What basket are you putting your eggs in?

    5. I have lot's of baskets, Ash. I'm an Index 500 kind of guy, but I also have real estate (they don't make it anymore:-). Also, I have always believed cash is king, and still do. You cannot buy groceries with a stock certificate or a gold nugget.

    6. I'm 12% in bonds, 60% in cash, 10% options, 18% stocks.

    7. On pullbacks, I go into options but don't stay very long, in and out usually in a week or two.

    8. If I like a stock for a hold, I will do long dated, deep in the money options, a stock replacement strategy.

      I buy opportunistically on pullbacks and when ( and if) they move up, I usually take profits and go back in with shorter dated options.

    9. The past 12 months have been very nice.

    10. I am investing in machines that replace workers.


    11. I'm land rich, cash poor as always, no stocks, no bonds (what are they ?) only option I've got is do some more street building, which is what I'm working on currently.

    12. My goal now is to die broke, having passed what I have along to the younger folks before I go.

    13. (They all seem cool with this plan.)

  7. From James Freeman, WSJ:

    Tuesday was a rough night for the resistance, and not just because Donald Trump gave the finest speech of his career. The movement also suffered grievous self-inflicted wounds in its continuing campaign to destroy the nation’s 45th president. Democratic donors are no doubt beginning to ask themselves why they signed on for another era of Nancy Pelosi’s leadership of their party in the House.

    Mrs. Pelosi led Democratic women in wearing white, recalling the suffragette movement. This could have been a patriotic gesture of unity—similar to the President’s reference to Black History Month in the opening lines of his speech—allowing all Americans to appreciate how far human liberty has advanced in this great nation while recognizing challenges that remain. But instead it was a gimmick, used by Democrats to suggest that Mr. Trump is a threat to our most basic freedoms.

    Mrs. Pelosi and her colleagues obviously decided before the event that they would provide television cameras with reaction shots expressing their disapproval or even contempt for the President. He caught them off guard by delivering a big-hearted, moving and gracious address, but they seemed unable to react in real time. The pantsuit caucus and their equally grumpy male Democratic colleagues continued to sit, frown and offer tepid applause or none at all even for lines that would be objectionable to no one outside of ISIS.

    Perhaps the most compelling moment in the history of presidential addresses—with the nation seeing a grieving widow as her heroic husband was being honored—also was not sufficient to inspire the anti-Trumpers to alter their communications strategy. Then Democrats fled the chamber immediately at the conclusion of Mr. Trump’s remarks like Jets fans in the third quarter. Even after it was over, Ms. Pelosi still didn’t understand what had just happened and continued to fire off negative remarks across various media.

    Tuesday was in many ways a mirror image of the start of the previous presidency. Whereas Mr. Obama gave Republicans not the slightest incentive to try to cooperate, Mr. Trump just made it extremely difficult for Democrats in swing districts to keep pretending he’s Hitler.

    One could argue that the Trump resistance is making encouraging progress in refining its message given that members of the movement began his presidency by fashioning headgear named after genitalia. But the campaign to de-legitimize Mr. Trump can’t afford too many nights like Tuesday. And it will be interesting to watch which Democrats running in 2018 think they can afford to stand next to Mrs. Pelosi.

  8. .

    Didn't see the speech last night but from all accounts it was successful. Trump was pictured as being more conciliatory and, dare I say it, more Presidential.

    I did skim through a copy of the speech itself. Trump laid out his policies and priorities but again there were few details and specifics.

    IMO, that was the reason the stock market rose. A presidential Trump promising to cut taxes and reduce regulations. Sounds damn good if you are in the market.

    I am riding that wave at the moment and using house money doing it. As soon as I see the specifics of Trump's plan start to filter out, I will be cutting way back on the stocks. Maybe another couple weeks, maybe a month. When Wall Street sees the other actions and things they have to give up to get that tax cut or the wall or anything else Trump has promised, reality will step in.

    Good speech; however, many of the inconsistencies remain. This one was a beaut.

    Trump, as he often does, berates the foreign wars that have cost this country $6 trillion (a questionable claim), money that could have been used for infrastructure spending for our failing roads, bridges and dams. His solution, allocate an ADDITIONAL $54 billion for non-productive instruments of war that could have instead been spent for infrastructure spending for out failing roads, bridges and dams.

    You can only smile.



    1. We need to grow the percent of our defense spending up from the miserable rate we are at now to something approaching older levels.

      O'bozo disarmed us.


  9. But, hey, WiO tells us it has run up so far it won't fall to 'Obama levels' much less lower. What basket are you putting your eggs in?

    Easter Baskets Ash...

    Lots and Lots of Chocolate Filled EASTER BASKETS

    Obama who?

  10. I'm putting my money in futures.
    Three teenage futures :)

    1. Yeah, I tried telling my kids they were my future as well...

      ...good luck with that :p

    2. Ha!
      I try to keep my goals attainable.

      No pregnancies before marriage.

      Pursue happiness everyday.

      Retire before I die.

    3. I recall writing a letter to my dad from Hawaii back when I was in high school.

      Over there driving cars in from the docks for Aloha Motors in Honolulu.

      I say:

      No pregnancies, dad.

      This pleased by dad no end.

      He wrote back in great big letters:


      And there weren't either.

  11. Beshear is ahead of the pack:

    He's Transpolitical.

    1. Beshear WAS Transpolitical.

      Everything to everybody, he was.

      Until.....he got voted out of office by The Trump Wave.

      Now's he nothin', really, politically speaking.

  12. Interesting comments on article about 2 747 runs between LAX and SFO:

    Japanese guy recalls local flights in Japan with 600 passengers...

    Stoatwblr dmo580 • 20 hours ago
    It's still not as packed as they can get.

    El Al managed 2 flights exceeding 1000 PAX during the Operation Solomon evacuation (1225+ on one that was officially carrying 1088) in 1991 and several airlines running Hajj flights into Mecca used to routinely carry 700+ on much longer flight legs than japanese domestic flights.

    Hajime Sano Stoatwblr • 2 hours ago

    That is mind-boggling to imagine so many people crammed into a B747 on such a long flight. The longest Japanese domestic flight is around 90 minutes, I believe. My relatives find it hard to picture a lower-48 flight taking 5-6 hours.

    dmo580 Stoatwblr • 19 hours ago

    IIRC the 600 pax 744Ds were done with 34" pitch, so I imagine if you start cramming 31" or 30" seats you can get to 700? I assume the 1200 was just people packed like sardines and lying on each other and stuff too?

    mikeschwab dmo580 • an hour ago
    They raised the seat arms and sat 2X the usual number of people.

  13. Rosie for Prez, Oprah for First Black Female VP!

    Rosie O’Donnell on Trump: “He’s a very sad and mentally ill man.”

    “He’s going down and so will all of his administration. The charge is treason.”

    1. Treason: the crime of betraying one's country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government.

      She should pick another charge, that one won't work.

  14. Slim has slimmed down some -


    Carlos Slim Is $16 Billion Poorer But a Whole Lot More Popular
    Mexico’s richest man is being mentioned as a presidential candidate.

    by Blake Schmidt and Andrea Navarro

  15. Trump references self 60 percent less than Obama in first joint session speech


    In his first presidential speech to a joint session of Congress in 2009, Barack Obama referenced himself roughly 84 times (that number is approximate). By contrast, President Trump made only 53 such references in his address to the joint session on Tuesday night.

    In 2010, Obama actually referenced himself approximately 117 times per Vocativ's count.

    Trump, who's often accused of being self-absorbed, used his remarks to the joint session of Congress convened Tuesday to focus significant time on promoting national unity.

    Vanity Fair published an article in November 2015 entitled, "Is Donald Trump Actually a Narcissist? Therapists weight in!"

    Yet in his remarks Tuesday night, President Trump used the word "we" more than 100 times.

    Latest Videos

    Wife of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens applauded for more than 2 minutes during Trump speech
    Washington Examiner

    Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

  16. .

    We need to grow the percent of our defense spending up from the miserable rate we are at now to something approaching older levels.

    What can we say about a country that outspends the next 8 to 10 countries combined in military expenditures and yet we are constantly being told that those countries are catching up, that we are about to lose our edge?

    I can see three possible explanations...

    1. Our forward strategy is wanting and has been for a long time. And our procurement policies, procedures, and practices are FUBAR.

    2. The Russian Bear and the Inscrutable Chinese are just whiz bang better than us and we should loosen our immigration policies with those countries so that we can get some of their best and brightest before they just roll right over us.

    3. The MIC and their enablers and minions in Congress have been blowing it up our asses since Ike warned us about.

    I would say 1 and 3 are highly probable.

    Yet, sheeple, like you Bob, stand ready to salute and feed the beast.


    1. You want our air boys to fly around in planes with scavenged parts.

      Shame on you.

      May you always fly on planes with one wing....

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. .

      Short-sighted. my boy.

      Guns or butter.

      In the long term, you can't maintain an adequate military unless you can afford it. Every dollar spent on the military is a dollar pulled out of the economy. There is no accelerator factor associated with a bullet or a tank as there is with a mold or a die.

      Worse is the loss to the country with the reduction in basic R&D when it is cut in favor of applied research for the military.

      Then there are the hidden costs of poor infrastructure, increased fuel usage, the resultant repairs to vehicles from poor roads, the loss of time to traffic jams. Heck, about 15 miles from me they evacuated an entire neighborhood and an entire county is rationaing water because of sinkhole that opened up do to a break in a leaky water main. At this point they haven't been able to tell those people in that neighborhood when they will be allowed back in.

      Rusting bridges, roads that are falling apart, increased water bills tied to leaks in failing water systems, airports and rail systems that appear third world to some countries.


      Guns or butter, my boy, guns or butter.

    4. Every dollar spent on the military is a dollar pulled out of the economy.

      Capitalism is the basis of Western Democracy, dude.

      MIC is the basis of Capitalism.

      Peace Through Strength

      Get with the program, dude.


    5. More Guns, More Butter, Less Crime Too !!!

      The rallying cry of all True Patriots !

    6. Now all you have to do is figure out whether I'm being serious, or not.

    7. .

      Bob, even if your were serious you wouldn't be serious.


  17. $ 158,000,000 loser:

    Snapchat paid its third cofounder $158 million in cash to disappear


    "We will gladly do it," Cemex President Rogelio Zambrano told the newspaper, when asked if the company would provide a cement estimate for the controversial project, potentially worth billions of dollars.


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Report from Sweden -

    Where females fear to tread: KATIE HOPKINS reports from Sweden, the Scandi-lib paradise where terrified women have vanished from the streets and a conspiracy of silence and self-censorship on immigration buries the truth

    By Katie Hopkins for MailOnline
    PUBLISHED: 01:48 GMT, 1 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:54 GMT, 1 March 2017

    I didn't come to Sweden for the riots. Or because of Trump. In fact, I was supposed to be here in December — before airline strikes stood in my way.

    I came because I was asked. Repeatedly.

    Swedish women reaching out by email, by letter, to quietly show me what has become of their country.

    Katie Hopkins speaking to people at the scene outside Kista Police Station in Stockholm-picture

    Rinkeby is one of a few no-go zones in the city of Stockholm, Sweden. This is home to many of Sweden's migrant population and is where police clashed with rioters last week

    Rinkeby is one of a few no-go zones in the city of Stockholm, Sweden. This is home to many of Sweden's migrant population and is where police clashed with rioters last week

    Dads writing that they were worried for their daughters, tweeting that Sweden is not the place people imagine it to be, that young girls are scared to go out at night.

    A news feed filled with reports of the rape and assault of Sweden’s young women, some inexplicably streamed live on Facebook by the gang as they attacked....

    Read more:

  20. Venezuela down to last $10B....DRUDGE

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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