Should I remain in bed, leave my country or fight against the dragon?
( see also the story by Wolfgang Hampel,
' Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say ' )
Betty MacDonald's sister Alison Bard Burnett
Betty MacDonald's mother Sydney with grandchild Alison Beck
Betty and Don MacDonald in Hollywood
Wolfgang Hampel - and Betty MacDonald fan club fans,
Betty MacDonald fan club newsletter November will be available in a few days.
I ask myself the reason why you can see all these International book covers of The Plague and I by Betty MacDonald.
Do you have any idea?
By the way you can still vote for Betty MacDonald fan club book cover contest.
Tell us, please which is your favourite one.
Deadline: December 31, 2016
You can win several new Betty MacDonald fan club items including the new updated Betty MacDonald biography by Wolfgang Hampel and Betty MacDonald fan club research team.
We are going to publish several interviews by Wolfgang Hampel never published before.
If you have troubles to find Betty MacDonald's troll listen to the interviews with Betty MacDonald's wonderful sister Alison Bard Burnett and Wolfgang Hampel.
They mention Betty MacDonald's troll several times.
By the way many Betty MacDonald fan club fans from 40 countries adore Alison Bard Burnett's golden memories very much.
You can feel that Alison Bard Burnett, her daughter Alison Beck and Wolfgang Hampel enjoyed it very much.
You might be our next Betty MacDonald fan club contest winner.
Deadline: November 30, 2016
I adore the new Betty MacDonald story by Wolfgang Hampel.
It's really very funny although the situation is very serious and depressing too.
My family, friends and I are still not able to believe this result.
It's like a nightmare came true.
Although I can understand Betty MacDonald' s strong feelings on her egg-shaped cloud in this story I hope that Barbara Streisand, other artists and great personalities won't leave the country.
They have to fight against these very cheap populists now.
By the way we have these populists all over the world.
The political situation in many countries is getting more and more difficult because of them.
The populists try to make the people believe that their methods are very successful for example Brexit, building walls and other silly acitivities.
But it doesn't work!
I have to laugh looking at this picture with 'Pussy' and Lady Liberty.
I doubt very much he will be the most powerful leader in the world.
I hope this nightmare will end sooner or later.
I'd prefer sooner.
His transition team descends into chaos as nobody wants to join administration. ( see article below )
You asked what Betty MacDonald would have said after the election result?
Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel sent his brilliant thoughts.
Thank you so much dear Wolfgang!
Hi Libi, nice to meet you. Can you feel it?
I'll be the most powerful leader in the world.
Betty MacDonald: Nothing more to say
Copyright 2016 by Wolfgang Hampel
All rights reserved
Betty MacDonald was sitting on her egg-shaped cloud and listened to a rather strange guy.
He said to his friends: So sorry to keep you waiting. Very complicated business! Very complicated!
Betty said: Obviously much too complicated for you old toupee!
Besides him ( by the way the First Lady's place ) his 10 year old son was bored to death and listened to this 'exciting' victory speech.
The old man could be his great-grandfather.
The boy was very tired and thought: I don't know what this old guy is talking about. Come on and finish it, please. I'd like to go to bed.
Dear 'great-grandfather' continued and praised the Democratic candidate.
He congratulated her and her family for a very strong campaign although he wanted to put her in jail.
He always called her the most corrupt person ever and repeated it over and over again in the fashion of a Tibetan prayer wheel.
She is so corrupt. She is so corrupt. Do you know how corrupt she is?
Betty MacDonald couldn't believe it when he said: She has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.
Afterwards old toupee praised his parents, wife, children, siblings and friends.
He asked the same question like a parrot all the time:
Where are you? Where are you? Where are you?
I know you are here!
Betty MacDonald answered: No Pussy they are not! They left the country.
They immigrated to Canada because they are very much afraid of the future in the U.S.A. with you as their leader like the majority of all so-called more or less normal citizens.
By the way keep your finger far away from the pussies and the Red Button, please.
I'm going to fly with my egg-shaped cloud to Canada within a minute too.
Away - away - there is nothing more to say!
I can understand the reason why Betty MacDonald, Barbara Streisand, other artists and several of my friends want to leave the United States of America.
I totally agree with these comments:
Daniel Mount wrote a great article about Betty MacDonald and her garden.
We hope you'll enjoy it very much.
I adore Mount Rainier and Betty MacDonald's outstanding descriptions
Can you remember in which book you can find it?
If so let us know, please and you might be the next Betty MacDonald fan club contest winner.
I hope we'll be able to read Wolfgang Hampel's new very well researched stories about Betty MacDonald, Robert Eugene Heskett, Donald Chauncey MacDonald, Darsie Bard, Sydney Bard, Gammy, Alison Bard Burnett, Darsie Beck, Mary Bard Jensen, Clyde Reynolds Jensen, Sydney Cleveland Bard, Mary Alice Bard, Dorothea DeDe Goldsmith, Madge Baldwin, Don Woodfin, Mike Gordon, Ma and Pa Kettle, Nancy and Plum, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and others - very soon.
It' s such a pleasure to read them.
Let's go to magical Betty MacDonald's Vashon Island.
Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund and Betty MacDonald fan club research team share their recent Betty MacDonald fan club research results.
Congratulations! They found the most interesting and important info for Wolfgang Hampel's oustanding Betty MacDonald biography.
I enjoy Bradley Craft's story very much.
Don't miss our Betty MacDonald fan club contests, please.
You can win a never published before Alison Bard Burnett interview by Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel.
This CD is a golden treasure because Betty MacDonald's very witty sister Alison Bard Burnett shares unique stories about Betty MacDonald, Mary Bard Jensen, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Nancy and Plum.
Do you have any books by Betty MacDonald and Mary Bard Jensen with funny or interesting dedications?
If so would you be so kind to share them?
Our next Betty MacDonald fan club project is a collection of these unique dedications.
If you share your dedication from your Betty MacDonald - and Mary Bard Jensen collection you might be the winner of our new Betty MacDonald fan club items.
Thank you so much in advance for your support.
Thank you so much for sending us your favourite Betty MacDonald quote.
More info are coming soon.
Wolfgang Hampel's Betty MacDonald and Ma and Pa Kettle biography and Betty MacDonald interviews have fans in 40 countries. I'm one of their many devoted fans.
Many Betty MacDonald - and Wolfgang Hampel fans are very interested in a Wolfgang Hampel CD and DVD with his very funny poems and stories.
Linde Lund is delighted that Wolfgang Hampel presented one of her favourite songs with his outstanding voice.
Thank you so much dear Wolfgang Hampel!
You made her day!
We are going to publish new Betty MacDonald essays on Betty MacDonald's gardens and nature in Washington State.
Tell us the names of this mysterious couple please and you can win a very new Betty MacDonald documentary.
Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli is beloved all over the World.
We are so happy that our 'Casanova' is back.
Another rare episode (from March 21 1952) of the short-lived comedy soap opera, "The Egg and I," based on best selling book by Betty MacDonald which also became a popular film.
The series premiered on September 3, 1951, the same day as "Search for Tomorrow," and ended on August 1, 1952.
Although it did well in the ratings, it had difficulty attracting a steady sponsor. This episode features Betty Lynn (later known for her work on "The Andy Griffith Show") as Betty MacDonald, John Craven as Bob MacDonald, Doris Rich as Ma Kettle, and Frank Twedell as Pa Kettle.
Betty MacDonald fan club exhibition will be fascinating with the international book editions and letters by Betty MacDonald.
I can't wait to see the new Betty MacDonald documentary.
Letizia Mancino is reading from her delightful book ' The cat in Goethe's bed '.
I hope beloved Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mr. Tigerli will be there too.
We'd like to meet our beloved darling.
Wishing you a great Wednesday and in case you have grey, wet and very depressing November weather which fits to the very difficult situation right now, let's singing in the rain!
That was the life motto of our beloved Betty MacDonald and it's the best one ever.
Wolfgang Hampel - LinkFang ( German )
Betty MacDonald fan club
Betty MacDonald forum
Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English )
Wolfgang Hampel - Wikipedia ( English ) - The Egg and I
Wolfgang Hampel - Academic ( German )
Wolfgang Hampel - cyclopaedia.net ( German )
Wolfgang Hampel - DBpedia ( English / German )
Wolfgang Hampel - people check ( English )
Wolfgang Hampel - Memim ( English )
Vashon Island - Wikipedia ( German )
Wolfgang Hampel - Monica Sone - Wikipedia ( English )
Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( English )
Wolfgang Hampel - Ma and Pa Kettle - Wikipedia ( French )
Wolfgang Hampel - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - Wikipedia ( English)
Wolfgang Hampel in Florida State University
Betty MacDonald fan club founder Wolfgang Hampel
Betty MacDonald fan club interviews on CD/DVD
Betty MacDonald fan club items
Betty MacDonald fan club items - comments
Betty MacDonald fan club - The Stove and I
Betty MacDonald fan club groups
Betty MacDonald fan club organizer Linde Lund
Heide Rose and Betty MacDonald
Betty MacDonald fan club fan Greta Larson
Trump Transition Team Descends Into Chaos As Nobody Wants To Join Administration
Donald Trump’s transition team continued its descent into chaos on Tuesday after behind-the-scenes drama and a recent staff shakeup has reportedly stalled the entire process.
According to a report by The Huffington Post, Republicans and Democrats in Washington are now worried that the incoming administration will be “woefully ill-prepared” once Trump takes office in January. These concerns are bolstered by the fact that Trump transition officials were missing in action from a series of important meetings this week.
The disarray has left agencies virtually frozen, unable to communicate with the people tasked with replacing them and their staff. Trump transition team officials were a no-show at the Pentagon, the Washington Examiner reported. Same goes for the Department of Energy, responsible for keeping the nation’s nuclear weapons safe, where officials had expected members of the Trump transition team on Monday. Ditto for the Department of Transportation. Over at the Justice Department, officials also are still waiting to hear from the Trump team.The transition turmoil comes after unpopular New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was demoted from his role leading the process and replaced by Vice President-Elect Mike Pence. As of late afternoon on Tuesday, the transition remained on hold because Pence still hadn’t signed off on a memorandum that would allow Trump’s team to communicate with the Obama administration on how to hand over key functions of the government.
According to HuffPo, though, it goes well beyond the failure to sign a piece of paper. It also doesn’t help that many Republicans aren’t willing to assume critical roles on Trump’s team.
More from the report:
The transition dysfunction extends beyond failure to promptly execute a memorandum of understanding. According to several sources close to the Trump transition team and inside the Obama administration, the president elect and his staff have had difficulty finding able-minded Republicans willing to take on critical posts. One Democratic source, who like others would only discuss sensitive talks on condition of anonymity, said transition officials had been informally asking Obama political appointees to recommend Republicans to take over their jobs.That’s right – Trump is so desperate to have people join his team that he’s seeking the Obama administration’s help in filling roles.
While it’s true that presidential transitions aren’t always flawlessly managed, Trump seems to be bungling his in a way that may be unprecedented. Those who voted for Trump last week may have wanted to “shake things up” in Washington, but it’s likely this wasn’t what they had in mind.
If the new president-elect can’t competently run a transition team and staff his government, why should any of us believe he’ll be able to lead the free world?
Donald Trump ditches his press pool again, spurring sharp criticism
For the second time in a week, president-elect Donald Trump has abandoned precedent and traveled without the "press pool," a small group of journalists assigned to cover his movements.His surprise trip on Tuesday evening was met by sharp criticism from some journalists.
Trump's press secretary Hope Hicks told journalists around 6:15 p.m. that there was a "lid" for the night -- a term of art meaning that no more news or travel was expected until Wednesday. Trump has been at Trump Tower for several days and has not been seen in public.
Later in the evening, however, Trump took his family to a nearby restaurant, the 21 Club, for dinner. The "pool" would have been ready to travel with him, but they were not notified. A Bloomberg staffer dining at the restaurant spotted Trump and tweeted a picture, sending journalists scrambling to catch up.
While Trump and his aides may delight in irritating journalists, the behavior breaks with well-established norms governing a president's relationship with the press corps. Those same norms are also applicable to the president-elect.
While presidents often agitate for more privacy and freedom, and occasionally slip the press, the "pool" of journalists is a fixture of Secret Service motorcades.
The reporters and camera crews view themselves as a "conduit to the American people, so that everybody in the nation knows where he is," NBC's Hallie Jackson said on MSNBC.
Jackson quickly made a reservation at the 21 Club so that she could verify Trump was there. She said he was seated in the main dining room with his family.
To be clear, journalists aren't seeking a seat at the dinner table with Trump. Normally the "pool" waits in a separate room or in a vehicle.
Former Bush administration press secretary Ari Fleischer wrote on Twitter that Trump's aides should have told the press corps where the president-elect was going, following normal protocol.
"A press van would normally be included in the motorcade," he wrote.
So what went wrong? Hicks told journalists that she did not know about Trump's travel plans. She reiterated what she said last week after Trump traveled to Washington, D.C. without a "pool" -- that the normal set-up will be put in place soon.
Related: Trump team promises press pool, but concerns remain
In an emergency, the "pool" quickly relays information, helping the president and his aides inform and reassure Americans. On a day-to-day basis, the "pool" keeps track of the president's whereabouts and how he spends his time -- useful information for the voters who elected him and the Americans who did not.
CNN's Sara Murray told Anderson Cooper on Tuesday night that this "appears to be yet another misunderstanding of exactly how much gravity his new title as president-elect holds. If something, God forbid, were to happen to him, that's a matter not only of public record but also a matter of national security, given that he is next in line to take the White House."
Last week the White House Correspondents Association called the president-elect's travel without journalists "unacceptable."
He replied, “Well, Stein, but—” I interrupted him and said, “You’re lucky it’s illegal for me to punch you in the face.” Then, after telling him to have sex with himself—but with a much cruder term—I turned and walked away.
A certain kind of liberal makes me sick. These people traffic in false equivalencies, always pretending that both nominees are the same, justifying their apathy and not voting or preening about their narcissistic purity as they cast their ballot for a person they know cannot win. I have no problem with anyone who voted for Trump, because they wanted a Trump presidency. I have an enormous problem with anyone who voted for Trump or Stein or Johnson—or who didn’t vote at all—and who now expresses horror about the outcome of this election. If you don’t like the consequences of your own actions, shut the hell up.
Let me explain this as clearly as I can: In reporting on Trump and his campaign, my job has never been to promote or oppose his election. I believed the media was letting him slide toward Election Day without conducting the normal examination performed on all presidential candidates, while instead wasting time on idiotic spectacles like Trump’s appearance on The Dr. Oz Show. So I dug in, working full-time from July up to election eve, without weekends off, missing family events. In exchange, my family and I received multiple death threats and endured many online attacks. Yet we stayed committed to my work so that the public could have as much information as possible before they cast their ballot on who should the leader of the free world.
That was the only job for everyone else: vote. They wouldn’t have to miss parents’ day at their kids’ schools; they wouldn’t have to skip weekend events; they wouldn’t have to neglect their spouses. All they had to do was recognize that governance is not a game, and that their choices matter. Again, if they supported Trump or truly didn’t care who won after acquiring a real understanding of both candidates’ positions—rather than spouting some self-indulgent, bumper-sticker logic—I have no complaints. If they opposed Trump while refusing to do what they could to keep him out of office—that is, vote for the only other candidate who could win—then they need to go perform sex with themselves. And I mean that in much cruder terms.
The problem this election season has been that liberal Democrats—just like too many Republicans—have been consumed by provably false conspiracy theories. They have trafficked in them on Facebook and Twitter, they have read only websites that confirm what they want to believe, and they have, in the past few months, unknowingly gulped down Russian propaganda with delight. In other words, just like the conservatives they belittle, they have been inside a media bubble that blocked them from reality. So before proceeding, let’s address a few fantasies about this campaign:
1. The Myth of the All-Powerful Democratic National CommitteeEasily the most ridiculous argument this year was that the DNC was some sort of monolith that orchestrated the nomination of Hillary Clinton against the will of “the people.” This was immensely popular with the Bernie-or-Busters, those who declared themselves unwilling to vote for Clinton under any circumstances because the Democratic primary had been rigged (and how many of these people laughed when Trump started moaning about election rigging?). The notion that the fix was in was stupid, as were the people who believed it.
Start with this: The DNC, just like the Republican National Committee, is an impotent organization with very little power. It is composed of the chair and vice chair of the Democratic parties of each state, along with over 200 members elected by Democrats. What it does is fundraise, organize the Democratic National Convention and put together the party platform. It handles some organizational activity but tries to hold down its expenditures during the primaries; it has no authority to coordinate spending with any candidate until the party’s nominee is selected. This was why then-President Richard Nixon reacted with incredulity when he heard that some of his people had ordered a break-in at the DNC offices at the Watergate; he couldn’t figure out what information anyone would want out of such a toothless organization.
The first big criticism this year was that the DNC had sponsored “only” six debates between Clinton and Bernie Sanders in some sort of conspiracy to impede the Vermont senator. This rage was built on ignorance: The DNC at first announced it would sponsor six debates in 2016, just as it had in 2008 and 2004. (In 2012, Barack Obama was running for re-election. Plus, while the DNC announced it would sponsor six debates in 2008, only five took place.) Debates cost money, and the more spent on debates, the less available for the nominee in the general election. Plus, there is a reasonable belief among political experts that allowing the nominees to tear each other down over and over undermines their chances in the general election, which is exactly what happened with the Republicans in 2012.
Still, in the face of rage by Sanders supporters, the number of DNC-sponsored debates went up to nine—more than have been held in almost 30 years. Plans for a 10th one, scheduled for May 24, were abandoned after it became mathematically impossible for Sanders to win the nomination.
Notice that these were only DNC-sponsored debates. There were also 13 forums, sponsored by other organizations. So that’s 22 debates and forums, of which 14 were only for two candidates, Clinton and Sanders. Compare that with 2008: there were 17 debates and forums with between six and eight candidates; only six with two candidates, less than half the number in 2016. This was a big deal why?
The next conspiracy theory embraced by Bernie-or-Busters was that the DNC-sponsored debates were all held on nights no one would watch. Two took place on a Saturday, two on Sunday, three on a Thursday, one on a Tuesday and one on a Wednesday. In 2008, the DNC scheduled two on a Monday (one was canceled), and one each on a Sunday, Wednesday, Tuesday and Thursday. Not including any of the 2016 forums, there were 72 million viewers for the DNC-sponsored debates, almost the same amount—75 million viewers—as there were for every debate in 2008, including those sponsored by other organizations. And those Saturday debates, which Sanders fans howled no one would watch, were the third- and fifth-most watched debates (one of them was 3 percent away from being the fourth-most watched).
In other words, the argument that the DNC rigged the debates is, by any rational analysis, garbage. For those who still believe it, hats made of tin foil are available on Amazon.
Next, the infamous hack of DNC emails that “proved” the organization had its thumb on the scale for Clinton. Perhaps nothing has been more frustrating for people in the politics business to address, because the conspiracy is based on ignorance.
Almost every email that set off the “rigged” accusations was from May 2016. (One was in late April; I’ll address that below.) Even in the most ridiculous of dream worlds, Sanders could not have possibly won the nomination after May 3—at that point, he needed 984 more pledged delegates, but there were only 933 available in the remaining contests. And political pros could tell by the delegate math that the race was over on April 19, since a victory would require him to win almost every single delegate after that, something no rational person could believe.
Sanders voters proclaimed that superdelegates, elected officials and party regulars who controlled thousands of votes, could flip their support and instead vote for the candidate with the fewest votes. In other words, they wanted the party to overthrow the will of the majority of voters. That Sanders fans were wishing for an establishment overthrow of the electorate more common in banana republics or dictatorships is obscene. (One side note: Sanders supporters also made a big deal out of the fact that many of the superdelegates had expressed support for Clinton early in the campaign. They did the same thing in 2008, then switched to Obama when he won the most pledged delegates. Same thing would have happened with Sanders if he had persuaded more people to vote for him.)
This is important because it shows Sanders supporters were tricked into believing a false narrative. Once only one candidate can win the nomination, of course the DNC gets to work on that person’s behalf. Of course emails from that time would reflect support for the person who would clearly be the nominee. And given that their jobs are to elect Democrats, of course DNC officials were annoyed that Sanders would not tell his followers he could not possibly be the nominee. Battling for the sake of battling gave his supporters a false belief that they could still win—something that added to their increasingly embittered feelings.
According to a Western European intelligence source, Russian hackers, using a series of go-betweens, transmitted the DNC emails to WikiLeaks with the intent of having them released on the verge of the Democratic Convention in hopes of sowing chaos. And that’s what happened—just a couple of days before Democrats gathered in Philadelphia, the emails came out, and suddenly the media was loaded with stories about trauma in the party. Crews of Russian propagandists—working through an array of Twitter accounts and websites, started spreading the story that the DNC had stolen the election from Sanders. (An analysis provided to Newsweek by independent internet and computer specialists using a series of algorithms show that this kind of propaganda, using the same words, went from Russian disinformation sources to comment sections on more than 200 sites catering to liberals, conservatives, white supremacists, nutritionists and an amazing assortment of other interest groups.) The fact that the dates of the most controversial emails—May 3, May 4, May 5, May 9, May 16, May 17, May 18, May 21—were after it was impossible for Sanders to win was almost never mentioned, and was certainly ignored by the propagandists trying to sell the “primaries were rigged” narrative. (Yes, one of them said something inappropriate about his religious beliefs. So a guy inside the DNC was a jerk; that didn’t change the outcome.) Two other emails—one from April 24 and May 1—were statements of fact. In the first, responding to Sanders saying he would push for a contested convention (even though he would not have the delegates to do so), a DNC official wrote, “So much for a traditional presumptive nominee.” Yeah, no kidding. The second stated that Sanders didn’t know what the DNC’s job actually was—which he didn’t, apparently because he had not ever been a Democrat before his run.
Bottom line: The “scandalous” DNC emails were hacked by people working with the Kremlin, then misrepresented online by Russian propagandists to gullible fools who never checked the dates of the documents. And the media, which in the flurry of breathless stories about the emails would occasionally mention that they were all dated after any rational person knew the nomination was Clinton’s, fed into the misinformation.
In the real world, here is what happened: Clinton got 16.9 million votes in the primaries, compared with 13.2 million for Sanders. The rules were never changed to stop him, even though Sanders supporters started calling for them to be changed as his losses piled up.
2. The Myth That Sanders Would Have Won Against TrumpIt is impossible to say what would have happened under a fictional scenario, but Sanders supporters often dangle polls from early summer showing he would have performed better than Clinton against Trump. They ignored the fact that Sanders had not yet faced a real campaign against him. Clinton was in the delicate position of dealing with a large portion of voters who treated Sanders more like the Messiah than just another candidate. She was playing the long game—attacking Sanders strongly enough to win, but gently enough to avoid alienating his supporters. Given her overwhelming support from communities of color—for example, about 70 percent of African-American voters cast their ballot for her—Clinton had a firewall that would be difficult for Sanders to breach.
When Sanders promoted free college tuition—a primary part of his platform that attracted young people—that didn’t mean much for almost half of all Democrats, who don’t attend—or even plan to attend—plan to attend a secondary school. In fact, Sanders was basically telling the working poor and middle class who never planned to go beyond high school that college students—the people with even greater opportunities in life—were at the top of his priority list.
So what would have happened when Sanders hit a real opponent, someone who did not care about alienating the young college voters in his base? I have seen the opposition book assembled by Republicans for Sanders, and it was brutal. The Republicans would have torn him apart. And while Sanders supporters might delude themselves into believing that they could have defended him against all of this, there is a name for politicians who play defense all the time: losers.
Here are a few tastes of what was in store for Sanders, straight out of the Republican playbook: He thinks rape is A-OK. In 1972, when he was 31, Sanders wrote a fictitious essay in which he described a woman enjoying being raped by three men. Yes, there is an explanation for it—a long, complicated one, just like the one that would make clear why the Clinton emails story was nonsense. And we all know how well that worked out.
Then there’s the fact that Sanders was on unemployment until his mid-30s, and that he stole electricity from a neighbor after failing to pay his bills, and that he co-sponsored a bill to ship Vermont’s nuclear waste to a poor Hispanic community in Texas, where it could be dumped. You can just see the words “environmental racist” on Republican billboards. And if you can’t, I already did. They were in the Republican opposition research book as a proposal on how to frame the nuclear waste issue.
Also on the list: Sanders violated campaign finance laws, criticized Clinton for supporting the 1994 crime bill that he voted for, and he voted against the Amber Alert system. His pitch for universal health care would have been used against him too, since it was tried in his home state of Vermont and collapsed due to excessive costs. Worst of all, the Republicans also had video of Sanders at a 1985 rally thrown by the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua where half a million people chanted, “Here, there, everywhere/the Yankee will die,’’ while President Daniel Ortega condemned “state terrorism” by America. Sanders said, on camera, supporting the Sandinistas was “patriotic.”
The Republicans had at least four other damning Sanders videos (I don’t know what they showed), and the opposition research folder was almost 2-feet thick. (The section calling him a communist with connections to Castro alone would have cost him Florida.) In other words, the belief that Sanders would have walked into the White House based on polls taken before anyone really attacked him is a delusion built on a scaffolding of political ignorance.
Could Sanders still have won? Well, Trump won, so anything is possible. But Sanders supporters puffing up their chests as they arrogantly declare Trump would have definitely lost against their candidate deserve to be ignored.
Which leads back to the main point: Awash in false conspiracy theories and petulant immaturity, liberals put Trump in the White House. Trump won slightly fewer votes than Romney did in 2012—60.5 million compared with 60.9 million. On the other hand, almost 5 million Obama voters either stayed home or cast their votes for someone else. More than twice as many millennials—a group heavily invested in the “Sanders was cheated out of the nomination” fantasy—voted third-party. The laughably unqualified Jill Stein of the Green Party got 1.3 million votes; those voters almost certainly opposed Trump; if just the Stein voters in Michigan had cast their ballot for Clinton, she probably would have won the state. And there is no telling how many disaffected Sanders voters cast their ballot for Trump.
Of course, there will still be those voters who snarl, “She didn’t earn my vote,” as if somehow their narcissism should override all other considerations in the election. That, however, is not what an election is about. Voters are charged with choosing the best person to lead the country, not the one who appeals the most to their egos.
If you voted for Trump because you supported him, congratulations on your candidate’s victory. But if you didn’t vote for the only person who could defeat him and are now protesting a Trump presidency, may I suggest you shut up and go home. Adults now need to start fixing the damage you have done.
Continue reading the main story
Trump's Cabinet Is Going to Be as Bonkers as You Thought
Donald Trump is going to be president, and he's about to make his first hires. Who will join the Trump Cabinet™? Over the course of the campaign, the former celebrity mogul dropped a number of hints, and he flirted with the idea of unveiling his Cabinet, reality TV-style, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. (It didn't happen.) Since Trump won the election on Tuesday, his aides have started to fill in the gaps. Trump hasn't talked much about what he's looking for in a Cabinet secretary, but he has promised that his picks will have "great ability" and will not be "politically correct."
Here's a look at who might make Trump's A-list:
Treasury: "We don't have our best and our brightest negotiating for us—we have a bunch of losers, we have a bunch of political hacks, we have diplomats," Trump said in an interview on Morning Joe last summer, when asked who he would name as treasury secretary. "I know the smartest guys on Wall Street. I know our best negotiators. I know the overrated guys, the underrated guys, the guys that nobody ever heard of that are killers, that are great. We gotta use those people…Guys like [former General Electric CEO] Jack Welch. I like guys like [private equity giant] Henry Kravis. I'd love to bring my friend Carl Icahn. I mean, we have people that are great."
Welch has said he's not interested. Kravis said, "I love my job and can't imagine leaving it." Icahn announced on Twitter last August that he would accept the job if asked to serve, after initially saying no deal. Then he reversed himself again. So he's presumably out of the running. Currently, Trump is reportedly leaning toward ex-Goldman Sachs banker and Avatar financier Steve Mnuchin. He was chair of housing lender OneWest, which, according to the New York Times, "was involved in a string of lawsuits over questionable foreclosures, and settled several cases for millions of dollars." Last year, Variety reported that Mnuchin and other partners lost $80 million in Relativity Media, a movie studio that went bust. The magazine added that "disgruntled Relativity investors privately are questioning how a bank Mnuchin once headed—OneWest Bank of Pasadena—was allowed by Relativity to drain $50 million from the studio just weeks prior to the July 30 insolvency filing." Mnuchin was finance chair of Trump's presidential campaign.
Attorney General: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is leading Trump's White House transition team, was the most discussed name prior to the verdict in the Bridgegate case. "I think he'd make a great attorney general, he's a very talented guy," Trump told Boston talk radio host Howie Carr in March. Trump's oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., said in February, "I think there would certainly be something within the Justice Department" for Christie if he weren't chosen as vice president. When Trump passed over Christie for VP, he reportedly sought to smooth things over by floating the top spot at the Justice Department. "If he asks me, and I can do it, I will do it," Christie said in July. But the lingering stain of Bridgegate may put him out of the running for this gig. Lately, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has emerged as a favorite for AG, according to MSNBC.
Giuliani has his own bit of baggage, which will likely come up in any confirmation hearing. As mayor of New York, he brought his taxpayer-funded security detail with him on trysts with the woman he was having an affair with. (They are now married.) His police commissioner, Bernie Kerik, who was named George W. Bush's homeland security director on Giuliani's recommendation, later served prison time for tax fraud.
Homeland Security: The New York Times and the New York Daily News reported during the campaign that Giuliani, one of Trump's most fervent surrogates, is a contender for the post. When Fox's Bill O'Reilly raised Giuliani as a possible homeland security pick during an interview in May, Trump replied, "I think it would be good." (Trump has also floated Giuliani for another role, telling Fox & Friends he was "thinking about setting up a commission, perhaps headed by Rudy Giuliani, to take a very serious look at" terrorism.) But if Giuliani goes to the Justice Department, that might create an opening for Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, a big-time Trump backer who once compared Black Lives Matter to ISIS. In May, Ebony called Clarke "a black cop with a dangerous mentality," noting that his "conservative political views, particularly on law enforcement, have made him a darling of the right-wing media, but his critics have called him a 'shill.'" Christie was also reportedly under consideration.
Health and Human Services: In the May O'Reilly interview, Trump praised the host's suggestion that Ben Carson run the federal department that oversees the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Carson, for his part, has said he was promised a job "in an advisory capacity" in the Trump administration, but he has not specified which. Carson's ability to lead a large organization was called into question during his presidential bid, when his campaign was routinely racked by internal chaos. In September, he said Trump should apologize for leading the birther movement in order to remove "hate and rancor" from the political process—and there's no telling if that ticked off Trump.
Education: Maybe Carson could run two departments? At a debate in March, after the pediatric neurosurgeon had dropped out, Trump remarked, "I am going to have Ben very much involved in education, something which really is an expertise of his." However, Trump has said the Department of Education would be "largely eliminated" in his administration. This might be a part-time gig.
State: Conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt has lobbied hard for superhawk John Bolton, who served as ambassador to the United Nations under the George W. Bush administration. Trump left the door open during the campaign. "I watched him yesterday, actually, and he was very good in defending me in some of my views, and very, very strong, and I've always liked John Bolton," Trump told Hewitt in a radio interview. And when Trump was asked in August 2015 to name his "go-to" foreign policy advisers, he gave two names: Bolton and retired Colonel Jack Jacobs. (Jacobs subsequently said he had never advised Trump.) Citing Bolton was odd, since Trump has boasted (inaccurately) that he was a critic of the Iraq War, and Bolton was a cheerleader for the war. As a senior State Department official prior to the 2003 Iraq invasion, Bolton pushed the false claim that Saddam Hussein was actively developing a nuclear weapons program. (He also supported a conspiracy theorist named Laurie Mylroie who contended that Saddam was behind the 9/11 attacks.) And he insists that the Iraq invasion was the right move. In May, he said, "I still think the decision to overthrow Saddam was correct."
Politico and MSNBC have floated another name for the top foreign policy post: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. A finalist to be Trump's vice president, Gingrich has talked publicly about crafting his own role in a Trump administration. After Mike Pence was picked for the veep spot, Gingrich commented, "I said I want to be the senior planner for the entire federal government, and I want a letter from you that says Newt Gingrich is authorized to go to any program in any department, examine it, and report directly to the president." In other words, he wants to be—in Game of Thrones parlance—the Hand of the King. Maybe that's because Gingrich, with his decades of outlandish remarks, controversies, and scandals, might not want to go through what could be a bruising confirmation process.
Energy: Reuters reported in July that Trump was considering nominating fracking billionaire Harold Hamm to run the Energy Department. Trump made no effort to deny that report, and he bragged about his friendship with Hamm at a press conference a few days later. "These other companies, they go out and spend millions of dollars looking for oil," Trump said. "That guy takes a straw, puts it in the ground, and oil pours out of it. That's the kind of a guy we want telling us about energy." This week, Hamm called on Trump to slash regulations on oil and gas drilling, claiming the government is impeding energy production (even though the United States is producing oil and gas at record levels). At the Republican convention, Hamm declared, "Climate change isn't our biggest problem. It's Islamic terrorism." Last year, according to Bloomberg, Hamm told the University of Oklahoma dean he wanted the school to fire scientists who were exploring connections between oil and gas activity and the state's tremendous increase in earthquakes.
Defense: Trump tweeted in July about the possibility of naming Lt. General (Ret.) Michael Flynn, a top campaign surrogate who is the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, to run the Pentagon.
But because Flynn is less than seven years removed from active duty, he would need a waiver from Congress in order to take the job. He is also in the running to be Trump's national security adviser, a non-Cabinet position that does not require Senate confirmation. Flynn was forced out of his job as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014 after a tumultuous stint at the Pentagon, and he later wrote a book describing Islam as a "cancer." As the top national security guy in the White House, Flynn would be in a position to exact revenge on the military bureaucracy that pushed him out.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), one of Trump's closest advisers during the campaign, and Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr. of California, who endorsed Trump early, have also been mentioned for the top Pentagon job.
Agriculture: Biofuels baron Bruce Rastetter, a member of Trump's agriculture advisory council and a big-time Republican donor, has been rumored to be on the shortlist, in part because of his close relationship with Christie. That'd be a Christmas gift for the ethanol lobby. Politico reported this week that the list of candidates for the job also includes Texas Agriculture Secretary Sid Miller, who famously called Hillary Clinton a "cunt" on Twitter during the presidential race. Miller, who was embroiled in an ethics scandal back in Texas for using taxpayer dollars to compete in a rodeo, has aggressively pushed junk food in public schools and went so far as to grant "amnesty" to a cupcake.
Veterans Affairs: At a speech in Virginia in July, Trump floated Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) as a possible head of the scandal-plagued agency. "He certainly is someone a lot of people respect," Trump said of Miller, who chairs the House Veterans Affairs Committee. According to a list of possible cabinet appointees obtained by BuzzFeed, he remains under consideration.
Interior: Politico reported in September that Lucas Oil founder Forrest Lucas is the front-runner to head the federal agency that oversees national parks and Indian affairs.* Lucas, a major Republican donor, has in recent years thrown his money behind efforts to block state legislation designed to crack down on abusive puppy mills. Picking an oil-industry executive to manage public lands—and one of the department that's most aggressively fighting climate change—would send a clear signal about Trump's priorities.
The dark horse, though, is Donald Trump Jr., who told Petersen's Hunting that he would make a good interior secretary because he likes to hunt. "I can make a difference," he said, "and I could do something to preserve the great traditions of the outdoors that are so vital to this country, and would be so vital to our youth, that have been shunned by the media and stigmatized in so many ways."
In 2015, Trump suggested that Sarah Palin would make an effective Cabinet secretary. Palin has said she would like to run the Department of Energy, but according to Politico, Interior might be her best bet. If so, get ready to hear the phrase "Drill, Baby, Drill" again. Interior is the department where Trump is most likely to hire a woman. Former Rep. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin are also under consideration, according to BuzzFeed.
Commerce: Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), the first member of Congress to endorse Trump, has said Trump hinted at a job offer before winning the election. "He has said to me many times, 'Chris, I know you were the first, I will always remember what you've done for me,'" Collins said in July, adding that his Republican colleagues had begun calling him "Mr. Secretary." Collins told the Buffalo News that he would only accept "a Cabinet-level position," and more specifically, that he would like to be secretary of commerce.
Trump has also tossed out names of other people he'd liked to give a job in his administration:
Ivanka Trump: Other than Palin, Trump's oldest daughter, Ivanka, is the only woman he's suggested as a possible Cabinet pick. "I can tell you everybody would say, 'Put Ivanka in, put Ivanka in,' you know that, right?" he told radio host Michael Savage. Yet Trump also said he would put his children in charge of his company if he became president. And not even Ivanka can do both.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage. "I don't know that he would want that but he is a very talented guy, he is also a great person, a tremendous person and if he were available I would certainly find something for Paul because he's done a great job up here…He's not only popular, he's done an unbelievable job, so I would certainly say that he would be a candidate," Trump said of the openly racist Maine Republican.
Sen. Tom Cotton: Trump has also floated an unspecified cabinet job for the first-term Republican senator from Arkansas. "I've gotten very good, you know, very good statements from Sen. Cotton, whose parents I know and met," Trump said in the summer. "I think that he is a very talented guy. He's also a very popular, he's a very popular person. So…[he is] high on the list for something at least. That I can tell you."
David Pecker: The New York Post speculated that the National Enquirer boss, whose paper endorsed Trump, was expecting to earn an ambassadorship for his efforts. In November, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Enquirer had paid a woman who claimed to have had an affair with Trump $150,000 for the rights to her story but never published her account. Pecker, a longtime Trump friend, has called those rumors "ridiculous."
Correction: This post originally misidentified the EPA as part of the Interior Department.
Art by: Library of Congress; Palin: Charles Dharapak/AP Photo; Carson: Dennis Van Tine/AP Photo; Don Jr: J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo; Rudy: Evan Vucci/AP Photo; Newt:Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP Photo; Christie: David Goldman//AP Photo; Bolton: Alonzo Adams/AP Photo; Trump: Evan Vucci/AP Photo.
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