Dear MSNBC: Political Tribalism

So while visiting my Florida Friend, I’ve been exposed to “Cable” TV again. Interesting coming back to it after a year+ of cord cutting. Scrolling between Fox, BBC, et. al. I’ve sporadically landed on MSNBC. An interesting alternate reality.

This morrning they have been exploring “Political Tribalism” and are just puzzled beyond belief that despite everything thrown at Trump Trump has been doing “his base” is sticking with him. There they are, perfectly quaffed by servant folks who make enough to live in New York City, wondering just why all their “insight” and spin is not working and will not work in the next election. The good news is they have recognized that:

a) It isn’t working and will not work. We’re not buying it.

b) Even if Trump was not perfect (or in their spin was so horrible) we saw Hillary as worse. Despite her being “more qualified” and him being “unqualified”… Clearly confusing experience at graft and corruption with experience at leadership and economic acumen.

There is a tiny bit of awareness dawning, even if tepid.

So a bit of advice:


This “Political Tribalism” is 100% the result of actions by “The Left”, often as funded by Soros (or his organizations), and as promoted by all sorts of “progressives”. You have slow walked and then herded us as far as we can go. Once we were against the wall and desperate, well, not a lot of choices. “Break it or fix it”. Hillary would not do either, just exploit it for Tribal Gain for her tribe (rather like Obama did to excess). Trump promised to “Fix it” and we figured he could do that; but if not it would break and “break it” is OK too. What can’t happen in “business as usual”. Then in response “The Left” (Socialists, Progressives, Democrats, “Liberals”) have gone hard core Tribal in refusing to accept the legal election. YOU drew the line in the sand and refused to recognize The President. Not us. BUT we have observed Trump getting jobs growth back, defending American interests, Goring The Ox of Evil Bastards overseas who just see us as a fat pigeon to roast. We’re good with that. He IS fixing it.

If you would like to understand “us”, here’s what you do. Send your maid out to buy some tee shirts with pictures of animals and motorcycles on them, along with some Levi’s (or better yet cheaper knockoffs). Have them washed a dozen times in strong detergent and a bit of bleach to they look used. Put that in a cardboard box. (That’s your “suitcase”…). Have then also pick up some $10 “crocks” knockoffs at Walmart (fly them to Atlanta if find a Walmart, if needed…). No, no socks.

Now that’s your wardrobe.

Next, have your servant buy a 1998 Ford F150 or F250 pickup truck that needs tires & paint. Crew cab if possible as your “luggage” will not survive well in the back if it rains. Put $1000 cash in your pocket and leave your credit cards at home. (Poor folks either don’t have credit cards or they are already full to the limit so useless anyway).

Take a shower using a single bar of soap. No shampoo (rub the soap on your head). No “products”. Pack 2 disposable BIC razors for any shaving needs. One manual toothbrush, and a tube of toothpaste. One pocket comb.

Now, with your $1000 budget (enforced by that being all the cash you have), load your luggage into your pickup truck, load yourself into the driver’s seat, put your spouse and a kid or friend in the truck with you if you like, and drive down to Dollywood.

Now, here’s the hard part, you must buy a ticket for everyone in the truck, and buy all the gas, tires if one wears out, meals on the way, and hotel stops out of that $1000. AND, get home again after the day in the park. This is what “we” deal with all the time. It is called “normal”.

Some suggestions:

As you reach lower cost areas outside of NYC, find a chain grocery store ( it doesn’t have to be Walmart but they are cheapest, remember your budget…) and buy a loaf of bread, package of processed mystery sandwich meat, and one or two condiments. Remember that mayo doesn’t keep well out of the fridge, so you might want to stick with mustard and ketchup. This is a very workable low cost meal plan for your drive. IF you have extra money (depending on your gas mileage) you might be able to afford a stop at a Taco Bell or Macdonalds ( look for the $1 menu ). Develop a fondness for water as your drink of choice as soda / iced tea is expensive in comparison.

Fill your truck at Truck Stops. As you have cash, not cards, you get to stand in line inside with the regular folks and put your deposit on your pump#, then pump your own gas, then go collect your change. Make small talk with folks along the way. Listen to them. They have showers you can rent if you can’t afford a hotel every night. I think you ought to be able to make it work for $1000, but maybe not. Depends on the cost of gas and hotels on any given trip. Sometimes “we” need to take turns driving through the night while the other driver sleep in the cab. Staying in a hotel is a luxury anyway, and you don’t really need it. IF you do stop in a hotel, I suggest Motel 6. Pretty good for the price. If you go for Best Western or better you will run out of money.

Some times it’s most convenient to just stop at a “Rest Area” and lay down on the bench for a nap. One person can lay out on a bench seat in the cab, but somebody gets to take the concrete. IF you have enough money, consider buying an air mattress (the cheap vinyl kind) at Walmart. Make small talk with folks in the Rest Area as they walk their dogs and / or get maps and just walk off the “bench butt”.

IF you manage your money well, you ought to be able to stop at a BBQ Joint in The South. (There’s a great one not on this route in Haines City Florida named “Sonny’s”. Send an advance man there, and then have them scout out something similar for you to try on your trip. Somewhere where the staff are all wearing old blue jeans and T-shirts, and the folks at the tables look like they change tires for a living.) The food will taste like heaven (IF your advance man did a good job – but frankly after 2 days of baloney sandwiches even the poor BBQ places taste great). I suggest ordering the pulled pork sandwich as it is cheaper than the ribs and you don’t want to get to Dollywood unable to buy your tickets.

Once at Dollywood, figure out how much you spent to get there. Set aside that much from what you have left. That’s your “Gettin’ Home Money”. Guard it jealously, as IF you get it wrong, you don’t get home. At All. Note that if one of your tires is looking very marginal, and you think it might give out on the return trip, you need to add $80 to the Gettin Home Money for a tire. Either that, or nobody eats or sleeps in a hotel on the way home after you buy the cheapest tire possible. OK, the “leftover money” is your vacation. Take out enough for tickets, and the rest is what you get to spend on food, trinkets, drinks, and sleeping accommodations (if any).

Enjoy your vacation.

Then plan and execute your return trip home.


Now, before you get all the way back to NYC, ask yourself this: As you oh so carefully budget your pennies and quarters on this trip, wearing the best cheapest clothes you can afford on typical wages; how do you feel about paying folks $150,000 a year in “Government” for doing stupid things? How do you feel about one of them saying they want you to fork over another $3000 / year so they can give it to 3rd world dictators as “aide” to buy political favor? How do you feel about being told they want your money to be given to illegal immigrants who ought not be here anyway so they can have better accommodations than you just “enjoyed”? How do you feel about being told you get no vacation at all next year as you won’t have that $1000 do do it with? Welcome to MAGA land.

See, your basic problem is your willingness to take money from “Folks like me” and give it to others that YOU think are deserving; when in fact you have no idea what “folks like me” deal with. You subconsciously think that living on a ‘mere’ $1/4 Million / year in NYC is “middle class”. It isn’t. Get out and smell the (cheap) coffee. Feel free to do whatever you want with your $Millions, but keep your sticky fingers off my $1000. I’m making every bit count, and you clearly can’t count at all.


This is not a snide hypothetical. I’ve just done a trip from California to Florida. I left town with $1000 cash. I arrived in Florida with about $550. Of that, a bit over $400 went to register my car ( I was on a “move permit” with expired plates and got to watch for / worry about police the whole way). I’ve put $100 into food and some beer for my hosts as my part of the “4th of July” party on the patio; and thanks for the spare bed.

When I left town, I did it with a loaf of bread, bottle of mustard, package of sandwich meat, and a “flat of water” next to me. I had ONE meal in a restaurant on the way. (Great little Mexican place. Ran me about $12 for some great food. “El Amigo Mexican Grill” where Hwy 11 crosses the freeway, I think it was in Mississippi … I’ll put more accurate location in comments or update here later)

For my return trip, I need to hit up the bank for another $500. I’d originally planned to do the whole thing on the $1000, but the reg was about $200 more than expected and gas prices were not as low outside California as I’d planned on. That $500 means something else needs to be cut when I get home. Oh, and I’ve got some issues with tires…

See, this is The Real World of Real Folks. You ought to visit it some time…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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25 Responses to Dear MSNBC: Political Tribalism

  1. Ian W says:

    Just up the I-4 from you with a close by Sonny’s but on the East end — always was ;-)

  2. Larry Geiger says:

    1976. Two week honeymoon from Overland Park, KS (where my honey was) through DC and back to Florida. $400.00. Wow, that one was close. Stayed at the Mt. Vernon Inn for 3 nights and camped out at Stone Mtn in Atlanta a couple of nights. All cash. No credit cards.

    Going to NC to my mom’s house we replaced the alternator on the 1977 Toyota Celica in the auto parts parking lot. Using the tool box that I always carry in the back. Coming back from NC we got to Darien, GA when the water pump gave out. Put enough water in it to get into town to the auto parts store. It was about 4:30pm. They closed at 5:00pm. They had the pump! So I installed it. Cranked her up and there was water shooting out all over the place. Suddenly realized that the pump that they had was for a slightly different Toyota that had one more bolt in the block. Oh noes!! 5 min to 5. Ran inside and bought some bolts. Found one that fit and I force threaded it into the hole in the aluminum pump body. However, that was the end of our cash. Spent all of the dinner money. Drove home, got some cash and found some food (we’d been gone for 2 weeks). That bolt was still in the pump when I sold the Toyota many years later. Boys did not starve but it was a close thing :-) On this trip we did have gas cards but no general credit card.

  3. Larry Ledwick says:

    Been there done that many times. Going out to Bonneville I have done the same drill, when I get there I stick some cash in a sock and that is my gas money home. Distance is 642 miles, takes 2 fills of the fuel tank and I would be almost on empty when I got home to Colorado.

    Lived out of the cooler all the time I was out there. My budget for food was $2.00 a day for ice, $2.90 every 2 days for a gallon of milk, $2.00 for a loaf of bread half way through the week, and $2.00 a day for a 2 liter bottle of coke and $.75 every other day for a gallon jug of water. So my food budget over all was about $5 – 6.00 a day over all.

    I have arrived home from Bonneville on several occasions with only loose change and less that $5.00 in bills in my pocket.

    One trip I went on (going to a different location) I stopped on top of Vail pass for a break at the rest area. A guy about my age came up and offered to wash the bugs off my windows for a dollar.

    I looked over at his car he had a Hmong wife and two small kids in the back seat. By his choice of clothing and his wife I was 100% certain he was a Vietnam vet. He did not ask me for a hand out he wanted to earn his money with bottle of Windex and some paper towels.

    After he finished washing the windows and I gave him his earned dollar, I asked him how long it had been since he and the kids had eaten. His answer was “it’s been a while!”, I told him to hang on and I went to the back of the car and raided my cooler and gave him my loaf of bread and some lunch meat and a handful of red licorice he could give his kids as a treat. That was my food for the next couple days but I was glad to give it to him.

    He provided for his family and retained his dignity, and the loss of a couple sandwiches were no big deal for me I had over $20 in my pocket for mad money during that trip, so I could replace it all at the next town I stopped at.

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ian W:

    I’ll likely be up that way sometime before I go. The valve cover gasket looks to be leaking (about 400 miles / quart with a wet spot that forms above the head, at the gasket about 1/2 way to the rear of the engine at first start up. It drains / drips dry over night ;-) So going to visit the Mercedes Dealer at Millennium Park (or whatever it’s called) and see what they think.

    Right now I’m getting 2 new tires on the rear. The two Bridgestones on it are showing the wear bars, but more importantly, they are shitty when wet (I’ve had even new Bridgstones that slide when wet – my mechanic loves them as “they wear like iron”) – but I’d rather have sticky and not slide and wear out sooner.

    On modest rain wet roads, floor it, it downshifts and the tachometer winds up as the car does nothing but feel fishy… Not Good in Florida. Life on the road… another $190 “surprise!”.


    I often wonder what happens to folks who can’t / don’t do stuff like that. I’ve done so many “Muldoons” over the years I’ve lost track. Cut the belt off the AC so the car still runs even though the AC is jammed up (or the belt is just 1/2 coming apart). Had a FORD Falcon split the radiator hose “a dozen miles from nowhere” – so an old T shirt, some cardboard, and a bit of fence wire made a leaky “patch”, then filler cap off so not pressurized and made it home hopping from drain ditch to irrigation canal to whatever using an old can to top up the water. Interesting decision on speed: Faster is less time to leak, but higher pump pressure… I settled on 30 to 35 MPH. My Mechanic had a fuel pump die (he was using the banana boat for transmission deliveries with my permission) and rigged up one of the window washer pumps as a temp ‘get me home’ patch – then gave me two new pumps for free ;-) My old VW was the most challenging. Bent valve push rod on one side. As it was dual carbs, I converted it to “air springs” on one side (push rods out, fuel line plugged with screw) and drove on the other 1/2 engine for a few weeks until I got parts.

    Ah the joys of old cars and road trips ;-)

    Then “they” wonder when “they” want limo service for everyone to every where or demand that we all run out and buy new cars using electricity with $22,000 battery packs prone to dying if they hit some road debris. I’ve had to put an innertube inside a tire with a slightly bent rim and a “goose egg” bubble forming on the sidewall to limp it home and wait for my next pay check to buy a tire and rim. The concept of that must puzzle “them”…

  5. philjourdan says:

    We did it in a Dodge van. That was when Cars with AC were for Rich people only. So no AC. And the engine was between the driver and the shotgun! So it was HOT inside the van. We slept under the seats as the pilot or co-pilot drove. Motels were a thing for rich people. Baloney at rest stops with day old bread (mustard and ketchup). We did stop one time at a McDonalds. The 6 of us ate for less than $5. No “big macs”. Just cheeseburgers and fries. We drank Kool-Aid.

    I did that 8 times so that we could visit relatives on the east coast after being transferred to the west coast.

    But your letter will fall on deaf ears. Read this –

    And be afraid! That is what they want.

  6. Bruce Ryan says:

    back in 1982 I needed a job, construction was dead, linked up with a group for a job in Sparks Nevada, from Seattle WA.. $200 cash, a trunk full of tools. Blow a tire in the desert way north of Reno, lucky the old spare had air. Pull into Reno and sit at blackjack, play until late and the next morning I have $400. For tires and to live on. Can you say lucky!
    The bit after the main part: The chief has finangled the first month’s payroll for his crew in advance. His first day in town he pays full price for a seat at the table. Somehow we made it through.
    post post afterbit: The motel is all framed up, ready for sheetrock and siding, Word was the plumbers union didn’t feel good about the building being built and Plumbed from out of state non union hands.
    The fire was so hot it melted the front of an RV parked about 75 feet away. ( we had all stayed in trailers on the site, most of us had left).
    entitled, the pleasures of being young and dumb

  7. H.R. says:

    Our first two trips to Florida were in an ’84 Plymouth Tourismo that did not have air conditioning. That’s one less thing to go wrong, eh? Our son was 8 and then nine years old.

    We tent camped at Fort DeSoto, just east of St. Petersburg and in view of the old bridge across Tampa Bay. Our big day out was to Busch Gardens. A family acquaintance was employed by Busch and got free tickets for us both years. The fee was $8.00/night on one of the best pieces of real estate in Pinellas County.

    We ate out at Busch Gardens – the ‘cheap’ eats places, no sit down – and McDonald’s once or twice. The rest of our meals were from Publix, as Walmart didn’t do full groceries at that time.

    It was a great time; shaded campsite on a beach, free fishing pier around the corner, and the place was lousy with kids. The kids would run as a pack all morning, break for lunch at their campsites, then go off again until dinner. The campground was surrounded by water and fenced where there was no beach. Adults were out on the beach and the water was shallow, so no real worries except for jelly fish, which the kids knew to avoid.

    Our total budget for two weeks was about $400, including gas for a thousand miles each way.
    We did have one problem. Our little Tourismo was stuffed to the gills with all the camping gear. Our son had to share the back seat with ‘stuff’. The second year at Busch Gardens, he wanted to play the Midway games, which were about 10 cents to play at the time. I gave him a dollar to teach him that they’re rigged.

    However, there was one game that required no skill and was unriggable. It was a big rectangle of small water glasses maybe 40 x 80 and there were glasses with 4 different color rims. The rest were plain, clear glass. You got 3 ping pong balls for 10 cents and got the prize according to the colored glass your ball dropped in. Pretty cool if you did the math, you knew the odds of winning a particular prize and the ball would just bounce around until it dropped. It’s a chance game but the odds are known.

    The top prize of a big honkin’ stuffed animal had only 4 glasses to hit out of the roughly 3,200 glasses and sure enough, my son hit it and chose a pony-sized plush unicorn. Didn’t see the problem coming until time to go home.

    Packed up the car until the only thing left was the unicorn. No way was our son going to leave his big prize he won all by himself. All I could come up with was to strap it to the front fender like deer hunters used to do with a deer before pickup trucks were common second vehicles. The kid was smart and knew it was all over if we hit rain on the way home.

    So he volunteered to sit on it all the way home, buckled up, and I know that it was an uncomfortable 1,000 mile ride for him, but he did it and never complained.

  8. cdquarles says:

    Where Hwy 11 crosses the freeway? Which Hwy 11 and which freeway, EM? BTW, US 11 will take you, mostly, from New Orleans to New York City, with a lot of lovely views along the way.

  9. cdquarles says:

    Interestingly enough, though on ‘fast food’ only, you can get three meals a day from 5 or 6 dollars, depending on where you are.

  10. philjourdan says:

    @H.R. – Love it! – That is what memories are made of. I bet your son never forgets that vacation!

  11. philjourdan says:

    @H.R. – Oh, and just an FYI – I worked 3 years at BGs competitor (KD). Those parks the games are not rigged. But as you correctly surmised they are mathematical. So they do not lose money on them (indeed even those big stuffed animals go for pennies on the dollar as far as cost). Those parks are tightly regulated, and any funny business (like at carnivals) would bring them a world of hurt. Unlike carnivals, they cannot pick up and leave.

  12. H.R. says:

    Once you see that our politicians are the finest that money can buy, and the buyers are just a few people and foreign governments, then you come to the realization that all the political huff, puff, and chuff is just a show to make U.S. citizens think they have some say in government.

    We are governed by the bought-and-paid-for Uniparty. The Democrats are the Left Wing of the Uniparty. The Republicans are the Right Wing of the Uniparty. The YSM is the propaganda arm of the Uniparty. The bureaucrats are the protective shield and foot soldiers of the Uniparty.

    However, there are still just barely enough patriots loyal only to the Constitution – the framework of a government designed for a free people – and the rule of law, that the Uniparty has been stopped from completely taking power of the U.S. citizenry.

    MSNBC talking heads are either stupid, complicit, and since they are not mutually incompatible, both stupid and complicit.

    E.M., there’s no point in challenging the YSM to walk in our shoes. They don’t care, not one whit. Some of them, probably most of them, have been poor like us when they started out with their part-time, fill in news gigs. The brainwashed, stupid but capable ones just kept on plugging the Uniparty narrative and were rewarded. The complicit ones are just greedy and willing to sell their souls to the Uniparty for the money, money, money.

  13. H.R. says:

    @phil: I wrote rigged, but I meant ‘stacked’ as in the 8″ wide dolls with 7″ of fuzz and you must knock down 3/3 of them. Even at our State Fair, the games must be shown to be ‘winnable’ but the odds and skill needed aren’t specified; the guys running the booth can always demonstrate that their game is winnable (they have hours of practice during slow times).

    I know the permanent amusement parks are regulated. My son used up his dollar and won only one other prize; the rubber duck float where every duck is a winner ( squirt gun? I don’t recall)and the best you can do is a small stuffed animal if you get lucky and snag the winning duck.

  14. philjourdan says:

    Yep! I worked the age and weight for a period of time (we rotated games) and even if we lost every guess (we had no special training, but you develop tells that allow you to guess more accurately), the payout still would not have equaled the cost of playing.

    But as I have related to others before, I learned a valuable lesson doing that Age and Weight. I guessed one lady at 40 (she was actually 39). She damn near killed me! I have not guessed a lady over 39 since then. I do not care if she is my grandmother! :-)

  15. H.R. says:

    @phil: I like to watch the Age/Weight guys and gals (very few gals… why?) as they bring their own personality to their patter.

    You reminded me of one guy I was watching while I was taking a sit-down break. He had just shy of a dozen people standing around trying to decide if they were going to play. There was an elderly lady with her husband and he got her to step up to guess her age. He intentionally low-balled it such that it was laughable, literally. It really produced a good laugh from the small crowd. But it also induced most of that bunch to take a turn. He made it fun.

    Saw another guy that had stopped a gaggle of young teenage girls. They were all fourteen or fifteen, maybe sixteen, so he guessed NINETEEN. At that age, girls are trying to look older and he roped in most of the rest of them with that wrong guess.

    As you say, it’s how many play, not how many win. It is fun to watch them, and sometimes it’s tough to get someone to stop. That’s interesting to watch, too.

  16. H.R. says:

    @E.M.: The YSM really doesn’t understand and cannot comprehend why they can’t peel away Trump supporters. Since they are no longer reporters or journalists in the original sense but are now political operatives, they perceive and interpret everything through the political lens of the last 50 or more years.

    I watched the last couple of rallies and noticed the big signs on either side of the lectern; “Promises Made” on one side and “Promises Kept” on the other side.

    The YSM has for years set and controlled the political narrative. They were used to telling people what to think and they were successful at it. Then Candidate Trump came along and listened to what people were thinking and feeling in their hearts – as you pointed out, things were broken – and Candidate Trump promising to fix those problems. I think the overarching feeling among Joe and Jane average was every other country, their problems, and their citizens, were being put put first, and Americans were put last.

    The obvious problems to most people were unsecured borders with inordinate amounts of illegals pouring into the country costing the taxpayers and taking jobs, high taxes, jobs shipped overseas, high taxes, interventions in other countries that cost American blood and treasure and gained nothing for the U.S., unfair trade and bad deals like the deal with Iran, the costs of Obamacare, and draining the swamp of all the crooked politicians that people were tired of. There were a few other issues I didn’t hit.

    There really wasn’t a big list of things that needed fixing, but the items on the list never got fixed by the politicians that we had been electing.

    So Candidate Trump promised to build the wall, bring back jobs from overseas, drain the swamp, defeat ISIS, repeal Obamacare, etc., etc. and most importantly, put Americans first. He wasn’t trying to fix the world’s problems, but instead fix America’s problems.

    President Trump has been going down that list of promises and checking them off: done, done, done…

    The YSM has been unable to hide the fact that he has been keeping his promises. Part of their arsenal is trying to convince their remaining audience that President Trump is a bumbling, stumbling boob who is failing at everything and anything he does will only make things worse.

    All the electorate is seeing is Promises Made and Promises Kept. The deplorables who voted for President Trump aren’t going anywhere and now President Trump is picking up more support from Democrats who are figuring out that President Trump, not the Democrats, is the one looking out for ‘the little guy.’

    “Political Tribalism” isn’t a strong play any more because people are aware that the YSM, Dems, and most Republicans are for the status quo: “Promises Made” and… “Nothing. Vote for us and keep giving us money.”

    Right now, more and more people are supporting a guy who gets things done over supporting a political party. So long as President Trump keeps checking off Promises Made on his list, he won’t lose support. The YSM can go suck a lemon because “Tribalism” isn’t the real issue.

  17. Bruce Ryan says:

    I realize Trump is not a conservative in the RNC lexicon, but what I do not understand is the level of hatred of the man by some Republicans. Its sort of a looks matters more than outcomes. Which in itself should be the inverse of how things should be run.

  18. Ian W says:

    @Bruce Ryan. I think that to some extent H.R. is right about a uniparty, but it’s more a uniform approach to things. There is a DC bubble of effete self seeking politicians who see more in common with the political class that with ‘we the people’. They have a particular etiquette and approach and are dreadfully offended by the blunt builder from Queens, in the same way that ‘old money’ dislikes the nouveau riche – and Trump’s language and approach grates with them. Those of us who have been in the military will have met the same problem with ‘civilians’ having fits of the vapors at some military humor. However, for those that E.M. wrote about in the post, Trump is talking their language and reacting their way. He understands their concerns in a way the ‘effete DC bubble’ dwellers really cannot fathom – particularly the George Will’s and Bill Kristol’s who consider the way the president behaves is far more important than outcomes. This is demonstrated by their total misunderstanding of how a negotiator works compared to their concept of presidential behavior. They believe a president should lay out his vision then move forward with it. A negotiator aims high often almost impossibly so, is prepared to walk that back or even drop the entire negotiation giving the impression of capriciousness but unsettling the other side who do not know what he wants. How many times have you seen it reported that ‘Trump is all over the place’ he said he wanted X but then he said ‘Y’ but eventually settled for “A”? The commentators not realizing that “A” may have been what Trump wanted all along but knew he wouldn’t get it if he had seemed to want it. Every jobbing tradesman will watch Trump negotiate and see immediately what he’s doing – it’s what is done all the time by people who work in small business for a living. The media just cannot keep up and are being played and the democrats are less intellectually capable than the media.

  19. gallopingcamel says:

    The trouble with MSNBC and other news media is that there is no objective measure of quality.

    Likewise with one-line news……all the sites look the same so how do you know who to trust?

    Today I signed up with NewsGuard which may be the answer. While this is early days for this organization the people running it (Brill & Crovitz) strike me as straight shooters. Steven Brill has written some impressive books such as “Tailspin” and this one:

    I hope the many wise people who comment here can tell me what they think of NewsGuard.

  20. Larry Ledwick says:

    Every jobbing tradesman will watch Trump negotiate and see immediately what he’s doing – it’s what is done all the time by people who work in small business for a living. The media just cannot keep up and are being played and the democrats are less intellectually capable than the media.

    Yep folks who have never encountered serious negotiations that involve bluff, counter bluff, initial offers that everyone knows will not be taken, understand that one of the best ways to blow up a complex deal is to talk about what you intend to accomplish. It would be the equivalent of a poker player putting all his cards on the table face up and then being perplexed that no one takes his bluffs seriously.

    See my other post on the N. Korean negotiations in the current WOOD thread.
    Obama thought he could dazzle the world with his brilliance and everyone would just fall on their knees and accept what he wanted. He never understood the political imperatives of not publicly shooting your opponent in the foot with one of his constituents. It seems strange when you look back at history and see characters like LBJ in the Democratic party that knew how to bludgeon his opponents into submission in the proverbial smoke filled rooms.

    I think that actually the historically recent effort for “transparency” in government is very much to blame for our non-functional government. The key players can no longer work out a deal and then present it to the public in its complete form. All the folks who want their candy now insist on micromanaging the deal making process and in doing so kill deals that could have been worked out by publicly staking out positions that are simply impossible for the opponent to agree to because of the needs of his constituency.

    You don’t sell cars by telling the customer they are stupid at the start of negotiations, you play to their needs and their vanities and much of that servicing of needs happens quietly behind the scenes. You also do not insist on a down payment or other key factor in the deal that you know they cannot accept. If the wife insists on a blue car, don’t try to sell the husband the red one with the sport wheels.

  21. Another Ian says:

    “President Trump Declares His Orientation to Reality…”

    A couple of tweets in there to notice

  22. A C Osborn says:

    E M, come on, it is no good you making out you are still one of the normal chaps with your stories, we all know that you are now a multi millionaire from all your Dirty Fossil Fuel Producer’s cash payments.
    Just in case any one needs it /Sarc Off.

  23. E.M.Smith says:

    cdquarles says:
    Where Hwy 11 crosses the freeway? Which Hwy 11 and which freeway, EM?

    Well, as I said in the posting:

    I’ll put more accurate location in comments or update here later

    Here’s a google map of the approach to the exit, showing the sign saying the restaurant is ahead:,-91.5783761,3a,75y,90h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sZ2WrsQ_LsiL5d3AEXW-g1A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    It is in Arkansas… Where AR-11 / sr 63 South crosses I-40 at exit 193 from I-40 eastbound.

    Looks like it is on Piety Rd. The red roof yellow bld on the left:,-91.5662574,3a,75y,90h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sLgVFPMDoxylzBl5oM9JFIA!2e0!7i3328!8i1664 decided to take Angus back to Cali instead of fly as there are some repairs I’d rather not manage remotely (including an AC conversion from R-12 to R-134a – presently using a butane/propane mix as expedient solution; and a leaking valve cover gasket along with a few other misc. bits). The dealer here wants over $100 just for the valve cover gasket as a part… and I’d rather not be DIY in the friends gated community driveway… and don’t want to have it dripping on his driveway or in his garage either… As it’s not much difference in fly vs drive costs, I’m happy to make a slow return and enjoy some vacation spots on the way.

    I’ll likely plan the return for another meal stop at El Amigo…

    Somewhere around November I can see a return to Florida via Chicago and seeing the kids ;-)

    Pretty much everything I wanted to get done for the car is done (modulo the maintenance issues found in transit) so I’m fine with having it in California for a while. By Nov / Dec it ought to be permanently domiciled in Florida. We’re shooting for about a year from now to have us based out of Florida too. We’ll see how things develop.

  24. Simon Derricutt says:

    EM – instant Silicone gasket works extremely well for me. Fixed my father-in-law’s rocker gasket when he’d crimped it in putting it back on, and of course it also holds the gasket in place so it doesn’t get crimped anyway. Also used in several places on the 1959-vintage tractor where new gaskets are difficult to get anyway. Make sure the metal surfaces have a very thin film of oil on them so they can be separated later, and clean the gasket itself off pretty well. Here, costs around 10 euros for a tube that will do a lot of seals. May be necessary to use a thin polythene sheet as a sealer for the cap of the tube if you’re going to store it for a long time after the first use, since the cap will otherwise not be airtight. The Silicone takes several hours to set in this situation (thin film), and better to leave it for a day before driving.

  25. gallopingcamel says:

    It seems you were on I-40. It was a great privilege to meet you a couple of times in Florida but now I have returned to North Carolina very close to I-40 if you ever go that far east. My phone numbers and email remain unchanged.

    In January 1998 Drudge broke the Lewinsky scandal which was dismissed as a “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” by Hillary Clinton. While this was typical Hillary BS it struck a few of us as a great idea so we set up a VRWC “Local”. Back then Chapel Hill was dominated by the “Vast Left Wing Conspiracy” at UNC so we were only able to find four members. We decided to meet every Friday morning at the Bob Evans restaurant located at the junction of I-40 and 15-501. One of the reasons for choosing this restaurant was the 50 foot American flag flying there.

    Back then we needed an “Anti-Hillary” icon who would be more female, more blond, more smart and at the opposite pole of the political spectrum so we chose Ann Coulter as our spiritual leader.

    Fast forward 20 years and there are now 20 of us. We would like to add Laura Ingraham to our pantheon of blond goddesses. The three remaining founder members are getting pretty ancient but we have been joined by a bunch of younger people so this VRWC chapter is flourishing. We want the People’s Republic of Chapel Hill to know there is opposition no matter how small our numbers.

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