Thursday, March 17, 2016

Chiming on US primaries

Every 4 years I write something about the US election for which I get a lot of flack, in particular from the right (you know who you are). But since I am used to it and since US election does affect Venezuela, I will go ahead any way (disclaimer: already in 2008 I was with Hillary, so there; keep reading at your own risk).

To say that the primary season this time around is dismal is not saying it all. Populism of the cheapest form is assailing both parties, and in one case, for now, winning. One could make the case that the slow recovery of the 2008 crisis, the wave of economic refugees everywhere, tribal politics, etc, should not have spared the US, albeit a nation of immigrants. But in the US, at least in the case of the Republican party, they had it coming.

I lived in the US when Clinton was president, and I never liked him; though I like Hillary, being well aware of her faults. But she is a policy wonk and she understand that one cannot get everything. That Clinton cheated on her certainly helped her realize that. There is no absolute for her and that is perhaps why people perceive this as sleaze (which does not mean she is exempt from sleaze too).

I remember how the republican party vilified Clinton. Going as far as to impeach him over a peccadillo. Anyone would have lied about being found out receiving blow jobs from Monica, let's face it. He should have been impeached for bad taste rather than being a liar, which all politicians need to be. Well, with Obama it got worse, tinged with such racism and xenophobia that the mind shudders.  How can you not expect that the guy who lead the "birthing" movement and the bigot one of the fundamentalist branch would not become the "leaders" of the Republican party?

I have known long ago that Marco Rubio was not going to change anything. After all I did receive a lot of flack when I complained that Rubio decided to question evolution and grant at least equality to creationism. As a scientist this was unacceptable for me, that a well educated politician would say such thing just to court electorate was simply not acceptable. True, Rubio had been a strong advocate for freedom in Venezuela but you cannot question science, 2+2 will always give 4. If you question the most objective of discourse we have how can I trust you when you will have to discuss the mine fields of subjective policies? If you do not like science then do not mention it in your speeches. It was a sign that Rubio was a weather vane trying to please everyone. And last Tuesday he not only he failed to carry his home state, but he lost it abysmally, probably ruining his political future. Too bad, it was the type of Republican who on paper I could have voted for him, but I had given up on him before Iowa.

Trump reminds me of Chavez and Marine Le Pen in France, except that Le Pen is far more knowledgeable on polices than the first two clowns. But all are histrionic politicians and unfortunately in an age where media is ONLY seeking headlines, they have a tremendous advantage. Such politicians attract red necks, white trash, low life, uneducated, low self esteem folks. And the ones with education that tag along do so because they know that they will be cashing in big time if their man/woman makes it to the top. such leaders have a very low follow up talent, always looking toward the next show they can lead. And thus they can only be bad managers of the res publicae.

The problem here is that the last anti Trump alternative, Ted Cruz, actually scares me more than Trump. First, his way of speaking, the way he unfolds his arguments is supremely irritating for me, rings truly false. That holier than thou is just unacceptable in a politician and, believe it or not, also reminds me of Chavez if he had gone to the UCAB in Venezuela for his college degree instead of the barracks. Ted Cruz love of the constitution as his, as HIS interpretation, makes him a plain reactionary, not a conservative.

Fortunately for us I think that any one of Trump or Cruz would be defeated by Hillary because neither one is really able to go beyond the White Male electorate. The Republican party has not learnt from its 2008 and 2012 failures. And that is pathetically shown again in the looming Supreme Court battle. That the republican leader McConnell is so willing to trample the constitution just because Obama has only 10 more months to serve is not only a confession of his bigotry and personal hate towards Obama but also of his rigid stupidity and intolerance. After all, he has the mean to not only delay, and delay, the process of confirmation but after all in the end the Senate could vote no. There is a Republican majority last time I checked. No? If this is one of the main leader of the GOP, what can you expect from the rest?

Once upon a time there were Republican Senators I could have voted for like Monyham, or Weicker, or Sarbanes but today.........

Unfortunately Hillary Clinton is looking more and more like a lesser Evil, and it is not me that says it: even our friends at right wing conservative take no prisoners Babalublog are facing down the option of having to vote for Hillary. Her rival Sanders makes her even more electable. After all Sanders is dragging with him an independent populist base who wants all for free, chavista style. Never mind that he refuses to condemn Castro and that Venezuela human rights violations are inexistant. Well, to be fair, for these people Venezuela does not exist. Hillary had no problem dispatching Sanders at the Florida debate over a Castro question which I am sure was the reason not of her victory but of her lopsided victory. She got the Cuban voters, Rubio did not although he certainly deserved it more than Hillary. The unfairness of it all.

So there we are, as I type it is more than likely that Hillary Clinton will be elected US president even though her own personal messy affairs could play bad tricks on her once in office. But then again, even with that baggage she is the better option. She knows what the business government is all about; her tenure at State and on the Senate was not bad, and certainly better than her potential rivals; she can think and does not run her mouth like Trump who is always selling something, himself preferably.

The real problem in all of this comes from the degradation of the American Political system. How is it possible that last year the two front runners were relatives of two living ex-presidents? When the Republic starts indulging in dynastic politics you know that it is in trouble. And that is that.




44 comments:

  1. couldnt have said this better myself... Trump reminds me of a populous chavez (but from the right side) mostly a ego maniac... and Sanders scares me to hell, freebies with no idea where the money is coming from and just plainly saying that you will tax wall street is basically saying you had no clue how the economy works, and doesnt realize that USA is number one in finance for a reason, and wall street is a big part of that, you plan on taxing that you are asking for this advantage to be moved overseas to somewhere like hong kong or singapore. which forces USA to lose its advantage, and less money to go to freebies... at the end it never works... venezuela is great proof of this... hell even the netherlands said they are a market economy and the free stuff they get also are paid with 50% in taxes to everyone, not just the rich.

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  2. I agree with you 100 %

    firepigette

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  3. Good post. I'm voting for a third party candidate named Johnson, running on the Libertarian ticket. I don't despise Hillary. I won't lose sleep at night with her as President. She's actually closer to being a neo-con than a socialist. Her corporatism is what irritates me the most. The support for Wall Street (monetary settlements v. jail time, for instance) by both parties sickens me. Trump is a snake oil salesman. He's going to lose in a landslide.

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  4. I agree. I would add, though that the primaries in both parties have made evident that the party donors determine who the candidates are and not the voters. This is especially evident in how democratic super delegates have treated Bernie Sanders. 10% of the super delegates are registered lobbyists (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-10/rigged-democracy-%E2%80%93-nearly-10-democratic-party-superdelegates-are-lobbyists). But in the Republican Party the same is about to happen because Trump lost in Ohio http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-16/we-choose-nominee-not-voters-republican-party-split-looms.
    So in the end the US is looking more and more like Iran, where the clerics-elites predetermine the outcome of elections by ruling out the candidates they do not like.

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    1. "the US is looking more and more like Iran" is complete nonsense.
      1. The USA is not a theocracy even though Rafael Cruz wishes it were.
      2. The USA has no Revolutionary Guards.
      3. The USA has very few state-owned enterprises.

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    2. Dave Barnes, I know the US is not Iran. I am saying a democracy where voters cannot chose party candidates is not a democracy. Iran is not a democracy for sure. Neither is Venezuela, because the CNE blackballs candidates it does not like. Unfortunately the US is going down the same road.

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  5. This was the election where either party could have thrown in a charismatic outsider and won the Presidency with great ease as no one wanted another Bush, or Clinton or political lifer.
    When the primaries started before knowing many of the candidates I said anyone but Bush or Clinton. Soon Trump and Barry Sanders came onto the seen. Very quickly I was anyone but Trump (who is just a con artist) or Sanders who would destroy the country.
    In Canada I have always voted conservative, up to the Tea Party over involvement in the Republican party I always rooted for the Republicans. Now I too find my self cheering on Hillary. Republicans desperately need to do something about their selection process as to win the primary you now need to be a right wing racist near wacko. The good people have no hope of being nominated and even center leaning democrats generally result in a poorer economy.

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  6. a) Ted Cruz runs on an anti-Obama platform (not based on racism, as you say all republicans do, but on policies). Gets to D.C., and unlike most politicians he proceeds to do exactly what he promised people he would do. According to you, he's worse than Trump because you don't like the way he delivers his speeches. What he says doesn't matter at all. You only care about the way he says it.

    b) Hillary Clinton is caught in lie after lie after lie, attacked and disqualified every woman who dared to suck Bill's dick, has a pending investigation on her, blamed a terrorist attack where four people died on a YouTube video, claims that it doesn't make any difference whatsoever, yet according to you "her tenure was not bad".

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    1. I suggest you read my post again. It is not as primal as your comment is.

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    2. Yeah, my comment pointing facts is primal, but your post from a Stereotypes 101 class is not.

      Living in Venezuela through the chavista crap has lowered your political standards, Daniel.

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  7. Daniel. You have said that Trump was the leader of the birther movement. If you go back prior to his taking this position, I believe you will find Hillary and her campaign first started this movement in an attempt to thwart Obama before Trump.

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    1. Les, please don't ruin the post. Pointing out that it was Daniel's beloved Hillary who started that birther crap is racist.

      /sarcasm

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    2. And the KKK used to be Democrats. Big f'ing deal! Trump and the Republicans are the ones that went to town on the birther movement. Period.

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    3. Since when leader and starter are the same word?

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  8. Mile High Ben4:56 AM

    I'll show you how well informed and objective I am here are three Republicans that I liked and would have voted for: Moynihan (a super famous Democrat Senator from New York) Sarbanes (another Democrat senator from Maryland) and Lowell Weiker (a "registered" Republican from Connecticut that never voted Republican and who eventually changed his registration)

    Great examples! More More ...

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    1. And in those days there were plenty of southern democrat senators that crossed lines whenever they fancied. Conveniently forgot that it seems....

      Yes, I yearn for a time when pure talibanic ideology was not considered a virtue. What have your tea partiers gained besides stalemate, vitriolic invectives and now Trump? Bravo!

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  9. The walking lie vs Donald Duck. The problem with these two parties is that they both cater to too wide an audience. In Europe they would have exploded in a multitude of baby parties long ago. Might happen though eventually in the US because parties outside these two never had nor will have any credibility.

    As for Ted Cruz, another of his virtues is that he is an unconditional fan of the electric chair and other assorted instruments to mete out state (divine?) vengeance.

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  10. OMG! Daniel- you were so right- your post on US elections stirred up the soup! Well- I have voted republican, democrat and independent over the years. Last great republican was Reagan. Your scenario is spot on, the US political system has been hi-jacked, and it is truly a sad state of affairs.

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  11. My 2 cents generous contribution: Voila donc mon opinion de la politique aux USA..

    1/ Obama was fun. I don't give a flying fock about the "economy" it's doing quite well, considering Europe or Argentina and Brazil and even China. The dude is likable, much like Bill Clinton was. Or Reagan. Unlike freaking Ted Cruz (hate his guts, or Rubio, and god forbid, Hilary, can't deal with her ovaries on TV, not for 5 minutes). Cruz is a freaking politician, as bad as they come. An actor, an ego-maniac, a clown, a fake. And stupid enough to be a fanatical religious believer, a dogma endorser, that dumb.. I don't care about his college degrees, the dude is crap. Can't stand him either.

    Now Trump. He's stupid too. For sure. Make no mistake. The dude was born a millionaire, and did not develop any brains since. That's for sure. He repeats everything, zero wits, like a stupid gringo robot, spoiled goods.
    Below average intelligence, if you ask me.

    Then again, who is better as President of the USA? The other 2 clowns... ? Governors or whatever? Here, we have a checks&balances system. The actual "president" is a freaking Congress. Plus the Judicial, independent system. That's what makes the USA what it is. The exact opposite of Kleptozuela right now. Even presidents are help accountable for whatever they freaking try to do.

    So the Trumpster will do what his Generals tell him to do, what his advisers advise, and what the Congress Allows. People do no seem to get that. This ain't Zimbabwe or Vzla, it's the freaking USA. There are LAWS here. Enforced. Sooner than later. Remember Nixon, or even Clinton? OUT.

    So that's that. "Doctor Carson"?? Another clown. Brain surgeon, who gives a flying fock about that? He could be a skilled electrician or pool salvavidas for all I care. Another dumb dude, if you ask me. Another actor, with an inflated ego he tries very hard to hide. Does not work with me, his "humble", soft approach. I call BULLSHIT.

    You see, all these politicians are trained liars, including the "non-politicians". That bitch, what's her name from Hewlet Packard? -- same thing.. They all crave POWER and glory, they already have the money in their bank accounts. It's CRAP that they really care about the country, most of them, and to some extent, they really don't. They care about their massive EGOS. (in Vzla it's different, they mostly care about bank accounts -- nouveaux riches, tierruos con billete, plus the favors and the power)

    Ok I'm done with this rant. Go Trump, what the hell.

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    1. It is a shame when all people are diing is looking for lessor of evils. My biggest issue with Trump is all he does is preach hate and scammed so many people out of hard earned noney by taking 50 percent deposits on so many massive condo towers then bankrupty the business and buying it for cents on the dollar with another business he owns. So many people lost their life savings, is a con artist.

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  12. Anonymous12:07 AM

    Hillary? Are you kidding me? I can't stand Trump either. But Hillary????

    In a country of 300 million people these are our best?

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  13. Hillary and Trump are criminals. Trump boasts about the politicians he has paid off for favors. Hillary's faults go a lot deeper than Benghazi- as if that wasn't bad enough.

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    1. Of course many of us would prefer something else. But they are not running. Between Cruz Trump Sanders Clinton my choice is easy. No need to think much about it.

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    2. How about none of the above? They're all just sleazy, corrupt, lying politicians. Not much thought required to think that we can do better.

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    3. All elections should be required to have a none of the above option, and if it wins, which it would hands down, then none of the candidates can run in an election for 10 years. Should offer it in senate and house seats too.

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  14. "When the Republic starts indulging in dynastic politics you know that it is in trouble. And that is that."

    One of many things that go wrong with electoral systems. It still amazes me that people are willing to vote for evil, even if the alleged lesser of 2 evils as if there's no choice but to pick one of them. Since I was living in Venezuela in '98 witnessing Chavez's election really opened my eyes to the fact that electoral systems don't work. Further experience here in the US only confirmed that conclusion. Let's face it, democracy has failed. The fact that we are allowed to choose our dictators doesn’t make us any freer. It merely gives voters the feeling of power and the illusion of control. All the while they are being manipulated into supporting a government that implements policies detrimental to their well being.

    What better way is there to get people to follow the law and pay taxes than to convince them that these things are their will? What better way is there to get people to tolerate the government’s evils than by convincing them that the situation is temporary and that they can change the government at the next election? What better way is there to get people to respect elected officials than to convince them that they, the people, chose these scoundrels to represent them? (A mandate, it’s called.) None of these things are true, but the fraud works. Democracy is held to be the best form of government yet devised. The question is best for whom? Certainly not the people.

    It does work best for the ruling elites who can hide their evil plans behind a smiling democratic facade. The formula is to give people just enough freedom to feel free but not so much that the government loses control of them. To assure that the people will put up with their laws, antics, and taxes the ruling class must keep the citizens involved.

    Grow some intellectual honesty & moral courage, face the truth about politics. We need to replace politics with markets. Society can be ordered by institutions voluntarily joined & hired, voluntarily financed. Taxation & elections aren't substitutes for market forces like competition & voluntary interaction. Once people figure this out we'll be free. Until then carry on, slaves.

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  15. For all your logic it is crazy that you still support anything resembling socialism. While in my former nation and all around socialist have corrupted and stolen more than any right wing could dream off; you still support them in the USA. Hillary is a progressive that supports the total disregard of laws and has likely broken the law herself. Under her watch the USA lost diplomats on the line of duty. Under her watch Putin became resurgent. You should support rule of law above all. The clintons like many chavistas think they are above the law why support that?

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    1. Roberto Carlos11:19 AM

      Samer I predicted a while back that this guy is going to emigrate to the US and vote to bring exactly the government that he escaped from his own country. His positions are irrational to me but if you say that you are labeled a tea partier or brown shirt. He is what he detest in others.
      Here is a tip for reading this blog, ignore all the analysis - particularly as it relates to the US - it is worthless anyway, but then sit back and enjoy his tales about the horrors of his day to day life. It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

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    2. Samer, Roberto,

      I'd compare Hillary to another progressive namely Capriles. Daniel's POV is in line with theirs. Socialism on the rocks as opposed to straight up a la cubana. There's a difference of degree, style, & which foreign power to latch on to. That matters since the US can make Venezuela more affluent but it's not ideal. Better would be for Venezuela to reject all foreign control & independently opt for real liberty & free markets. I'm still allowed to dream, right?

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    3. For some people anything left of the tea party is communism/socialism. I cannot argue with such nuanced arguments.

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    4. You can't handle my arguments, Daniel. That's why you try to dismiss them.

      As a libertarian I'm not left or right & I'm definitely not tea party.

      Progressivism is about taxing & regulating to achieve socialist goals without nationalizing the economy, IE socialism on the rocks.

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    5. To be clear I read this blog and have read it for a very long time. Daniel your views from the ground are some of the few real views of the life my family encounters and I enjoy your analysis of Venezuela. For reference I was "adeco" with all that it means until the second election of CAP. It took me 5 years and living in the middle of the USA away from large academia to understand what makes the USA great. I know daniel that you lived here, but universities (Cuban loving spheres) are not your average America. Rule of law, capitalism and a responsible citizenship make USA successful not the government. The last 10 years I have seen this characteristics erode and I can not support anybody that has been an active part of it. I have no need to personally insult anybody and thank you for your blog.

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    6. Darren

      I was not replying to you.

      And for the record I have broken with Capriles less long ago.

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  16. Hillary becomes the lesser of the evils, and it's a damn shame, but there it is. Rubio was a good candidate, but inexperienced and with considerable baggage in his home state. We may see him again. Cruz is certainly better than Trump, but he can't beat Hillary. Only Obama can stop Hillary now, and he won't.

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  17. Anonymous10:45 PM

    Only thing that ultimately matters is that the president be a strong leader, a commander in chief. All else is just gravy. Obama has been DISASTROUS on this core. I'm not absolutely sure about Clinton. Has she got the balls to stand up to Putin, for example. Is she willing to stand up for allies and not cringe before enemies? Sex doesn't matter (see Thatcher, Golda Meir, for example, Don't see Angela Merkel) If I thought he was capable of winning I'd consider voting for Trump for this reason alone, it's that important. As it is, I agree with the article on one point. It seems we're going to get Clinton whatever happens

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  18. I see Trump has taken another line from Chavez and is advertising death threats to his family. The guy sure knows how to work the people, gotta give him that.

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  19. Anonymous10:09 AM

    Trump has the personality similar to Chavez but on policy is not similar to Chavez. Hillary has the personality of a policy wonk, but is amoral, and has been corrupted by the need to first protect Bill Clinton's political fortunes and later to collect the cash to run for president and live at the standard that they had in the White House.

    Hillary's policies are not as far left as Chavez - but would move the US in Chavez's direction. It would get the population used to the idea that the State should be all powerful so that in a few elections from now, someone like Chavez could come to power in the US.

    Trump is not ideal but would move us in the opposite direction politically as Chavez. He has not previously been involved in politics and does not know that much about politics and policy. On the other hand, he is smarter than most of his adversaries and will learn the information now that he is in politics.

    Hillary will have a hard time getting elected because she is old, has not charisma, and everyone knows she is dishonest and corrupt. Additionally, she has legal problems that should grow larger in the future due to using her office as Secretary of State to raise money for her "foundation" which they use as an auxillary bankroll. Second, she ran her email as secretary of state out of an unsecured email server that they had in a closet in an unsecured location. This was illegal because it was not just used for personal email but for government email some of which was secret or top secret. The secret and top secret information was never supposed to be removed from secure locations, should not have been emailed, was illegal to retain on the closet server. She did this to try to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests.

    One of the weird things I find is that people who have been hurt by totalitarian's such as Chavez and Maduro feel alarmed by people like Ted Cruz who is a constitutional conservative meaning he wants to reduce federal government power and increase power of the states. He would not be militarily adventurous. My own idea of what causes alarm in people is that Ted Cruz is a true believer in his cause of returning power to the people and avoiding the gradual growing federal government which inevitably leads in the future to a totalitarian state. This is what Cruz is a true believer about reversing. In other words, he is a true believer about preventing a future Chavez or Maduro being in power in the future of the US.

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    1. Hillary is the same age as Trump and gotta admit your the first person who accused him of being smart. He is a bumbling idiot who talks like an unitelligent uneducated thug putting down and making fun of everything and feeding on the unintelligent with his absured comments which anyone who understands politics and the world can understand he has no control over. Born rich and exploits loopholes to make millions off innocent investors. Cruz i can live with and would root for over Hillary but only wish Republicans would pick a candidate with rational thought that all the people would get behind.

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    2. Barbra Ann5:59 PM

      Ash I'll give you props for not using the adjective "clown". At least you are original.

      Now, how can an unitelligent(?) uneducated thug exploit and feed off the unitelligent?

      Are all investors "innocent" or only Trump investors are?

      How does one understand "the world"? I don't understand it but obviously you do. Maybe that's why you are so "i-telligent" and I am not. Please explain the world to me and give three examples.

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  20. Anonymous9:34 AM

    A Bar bar bar bar Barbar Ann
    Bar bar bar bar Barbar Ann
    (Bar bar bar bar Barbar Ann)
    Oh Barbara Ann take my hand
    (Bar bar bar bar Barbar Ann)
    Barbara Ann
    (Bar bar bar bar Barbar Ann)
    You got me rockin' and a rollin'
    Rockin' and a reelin' Barbara Ann
    Bar bar bar bar Barbar Ann
    Went to a dance looking for romance
    Saw Barbara Ann so I thought I'd take a chance
    Barbara Ann
    Bar bar bar bar Barbar Ann

    Ok, I don't know where it went from here, but guaranteed not into some n''''r hook-up, if for nothing else this problem didn't exist when the Beach Boys wrote this song.

    But Barbra Ann, your comments are great, outstanding and right to the point(s). Daniel, we have had good times and bad times (agreed and disagreed). But here, you are "pissing fuera del pote" like never before. Please accept the fact that you have not lived in the USA for about 20 years, right? Well, my friend, times have changed and sorry, you are no longer at the pulse of things, other than what you get fed by some Newspapers (left or right). They lie and hide truth, period. Well, enough said, thanks again Barbra Ann.

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    1. I am not a pundit on US politics. Writing about it is a way to let US readers what people deduct from US politics seen from outside.

      This being said I go often enough to the US, retain enough close friends there that I have still a sense of the pulse. Things do not change that fast. Expression of US values and ideals change but the fundamental does not change that fast.

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  21. pi314166:45 AM

    "Trump reminds me of Chavez and Marine Le Pen in France"

    Trump reminds me of Coluche in France

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  22. Just a short correction for the end of Daniel's article: Sen. Paul Sarbanes is the former Democratic senator from Maryland.

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