Here’s What Happened When Airline CEOs Met With the President Today

The President met today in the State Dining Room with CEOs of Delta, United, Southwest, and others along with several airports. Jared Kushner and economic advisor Gary Cohn were present as well.

Here’s the pool report on the meeting.

This is how the President opened after shaking hands:

POTUS congratulated airlines at succeeding “despite the bad equipment that the airport gives you, in many cases”

“I have a pilot who’s a real expert,” POTUS said, noting that his pilot has said airlines are often provided with “the wrong stuff.”

“Let’s order the right equipment. Probably the wrong equipment cost more.” POTUS said.

“We want the traveling public to have the greatest customer service and with an absolute minimum of delays.”

He suggested that the government should be focused on our “obsolete plane system, we have obsolete airports” implying that the “six trillion dollars” the government spent in the Middle East and “got nothing” could have been put to better use.

The head of LAX airport said her airport was 7th largest in the world. The President declared, “We’ll make it number one,” but was informed another U.S. airport — Atlanta — is already largest. He “remarked that he loves the state of Georgia.”

Southwest Airlines led off the discussion of air traffic control modernization.

“I hear we’re spending billions and billions of dollars, it’s a system that’s totally out of whack.” POTUS said of the air traffic control system.

POTUS inquired as to why airline corporations had allowed the government to invest in a faulty system. Southwest informed POTUS that the airlines are not “in control” of those decisions.

POTUS said that the system could potentially work better if FAA was run by a pilot because it is not currently, as a meeting attendee confirmed for him.

The pool reporter was then excused from the meeting. The executive order on immigration wasn’t mentioned and though the major US airline’s desire for government protectionism against Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar wasn’t on the official agenda, the President shared his thoughts:

“I know you’re under pressure from a lot of foreign elements and foreign carriers,” he said. “I’ve been hearing that a little bit. At the same time, we want to make life good for them also. They come with big investments. In many cases investments are made by their governments, but they are still big investments.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. So do you think that the stock market boost to airline stocks after this POTUS meet, will last (or improve) for a while?

  2. And here we go with the comments bashing Trump without keeping an open mind…..

    While Trump sounds like a doofus in this meeting, he’s: a) listening to the problems of a major economic engine of the county b) appears to be welcoming foreign airline investment, c) wants to improve infrastructure.

    I guess if you didn’t vote for him, he should just allow free plane travel for all with planes having only business class sets. SMH….

  3. Actually, while he doesn’t sound like he knows a lot of what’s going on he offers what could be construed as a really nuanced and sophisticated theory of political accountability and change (I rate this p=.2). He is incredulous that the airlines put up with FAA waste that leads to terrible air traffic control throughput. Southwest begs off, but they don’t control that. Really? With all the money airlines spend lobbying, with House Transportation Committee Chairman Shuster in their pocket?

    There’s a Straussian read of Trump that’s much more sophisticated than he appears. This dovetails my theory that appointing the wife of the Senate Majority Leader — the man with the single most power in Washington besides the President himself — as Secretary of Transportation is a stroke of Machiavellian genius, giving him a hostage..

  4. All that matters to me is that it appears he’s telling them that the ME3 are not going anywhere and neither is Norwegian so suck it up…. don’t like the man, but as long as the US3 have to actually put out a decent product to earn business, that makes me happy.

  5. Trump also repeated his campaign claim that USA airports are the worst in the world. Trump is not the only person who thinks this — including probably a fair number of your readers. It is dead wrong. Our airports are, on average, quite decent, and we don’t need to ramp up spending on them. They do fine with their revenue sources, especially the passenger facility charges they are allowed to collect on each ticket. Like if you have a flight from JFK, does anyone really think the problem is JFK’s infrastructure? Nonsense: the problem is with the infrastructure that’s needed to get you TO JFK.

    Obviously, some USA airports are better than others, but that’s more a result of how these airports are managed, than it is on inadequate funding.

    Whether we need to spend more money on ATC, I don’t know. It sure seems like we should be able to get more aircraft into the air faster with better technology, but that’s above my pay grade.

  6. @iahphx — saying USA airports suck does not imply advocacy of increased spending.

    USA airports are lacking many features available at foreign airports:
    – international-to-international transit without full-on immigration clearance (like NRT)
    – check-in (including baggage check-in) at ticket counters in the city (like HKG)
    – at-gate security screening so you never worry about missing your flight (like SIN)
    – “airport express” trains; hell, some of our biggest airports (LAX, LGA, IAD) have no train at all

  7. @Scott — I think you’re reading into Trump’s statement about the ME3 what you want to believe.

    I think we’re going to see a “compromise” on this issue — a compromise that gives Doug Parker exactly what he said he wants. Which is to take away the Fifth Freedom rights of the ME3.

    That makes everyone happy, or at least happy enough. The US airlines and their employees don’t have to compete against limitless Middle East subsidies on European routes. Boeing gets to continue to sell the ME3 as many airplanes as the shiekhs can afford. The ME3 give up loss making routes from the USA to Europe that don’t really expand the glory of Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi anyway.

    Mind you, I think this is still wrong, but it’s the obvious compromise.

  8. @Jason — None of the things you mention seem very practical or fiscally worthwhile. We don’t have int’l transit areas because we’ve decided as a nation that we don’t want them. 99% of Americans don’t wan’t to drop off their bags somewhere in the city. I’m also sure the vast majority of us are fine with centralized TSA screenings (we just want them to be efficient!). Trains are a matter of local airport administration. Should IAD have a better one? Sure. But that’s mismanagement, not money.

  9. “Keeping an open mind”??? Really? In three weeks the guy has created more chaos, and done more damage to our democracy and unity and moral integrity and standing on the world stage than any other president in history. And this meeting was just another example of how absolutely clueless and tactless he is. Maybe he should let Bannon attend meetings for him so he can have more time to focus on his Twitter account.

  10. “We want the traveling public to have the greatest customer service and with an absolute minimum of delays.”
    OK. great goal. And this will be paid for how? Raising ticket prices? Government hand outs?

    “The head of LAX airport said her airport was 7th largest in the world. The President declared, ‘We’ll make it number one,’ ”
    What difference does the size of the airport matter? Shouldn’t the idea be to make it better? More profitable? Safer?

  11. @Larry — So how do you really feel about Trump? 🙂

    I didn’t vote for the man, and there are many things I dislike about him, but he is the President of the United States and so far I don’t see any storm troopers about to break down my door. The derangement shown by his opponents is more troubling to me (and most citizens) than the man himself. In other words, if you want to preach tolerance, show tolerance, even to those you disagree with.

  12. I generally agree with iahphx on his assessments regarding the need for city check in and centralized screening. These are minor issues in the scheme of things. I do believe, however, that transport to and from major US airports needs some further examination (although not in NYC, which works, or LAX – because where would it go?).

    The upshot, though, is that we’re likely not going to see any major Federal infrastructure investments in blue states under this congress or administration, and possibly not in the major cities, either (the majority of which voted overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates). Houston, Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, and the war zone of Chicago – the places that actually need the infrastructure in the form of new runways or equivalent – are going to be given short shrift. We’re much more likely to see the Mitch McConnell International Airport terminal in Kentucky, or a huge investment in Akron’s capacity.

  13. @iahphx, to misquote a phrase, “They came for the Mexicans and I did not speak out – because I was not a Mexican. They came for the Muslims and I did not speak out – because I was not a Muslim. Then they came for the media and I did not speak out – because I was not a member of the media. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me”
    I get that you think you are not yet personally negatively effected by this administration “I don’t see any storm troopers about to break down my door”, however, they have already disrupted and destroyed the lives of many and they are only 3 weeks into their term. Don’t be so sure that at some point over the next four years, they won’t find a reason to send the storm troopers to your door, but by that time, there may not be anybody left to help you because all opposition, being “deranged”, will have already been removed.
    And calling people deranged probably is not the best example of showing tolerance.

  14. The head of LAX airport said her airport was 7th largest in the world. The President declared, “We’ll make it number one,” but was informed another U.S. airport — Atlanta — is already largest. He “remarked that he loves the state of Georgia.”

    The nonsensical absurdity of Trump in a nutshell. Just a ridiculous exchange.

  15. I like iahphx’s statements, for the most part. Let’s get mismanagement out of the way, starting at the FAA level. Let’s fix ATC so that it’s 1)safer, 2)more efficient, and 3)high availability. Then let’s get local airports any management help they need to manage current incomes/resources. If airports and local governments are working together then we’ll get public works projects, like trains, done. And let’s get govt helping airports improve; we need airport authorities that can and do make decisions to improve the airport experience since most of our airports were built well before current security and traffic patterns were even imagined.

    I didn’t vote for Trump (or for Clinton for that matter). I think he’s incredibly immoral as a person. But he’s the POTUS now and I need him to succeed. And as a businessman he has a head for business. His statement to LAX to become #1 was a silly thing to say but it sums him up as a businessman…you’re currently #7 and you should work to be #1. I appreciate that he was asking airline leaders what they thought the problems were, he wasn’t there dictating to them what they needed to do. Hopefully Mr Trump will surround himself with people who can make the right decisions for their business units (govt depts).

  16. Our airports are the worst in the world, country’s infrastructure is falling apart, we are unsafe because of these damn immigrants, economy is stagnant because of the heavy handed regulations being applied to the fuel/car/banking industries and global warming is a hoax invented by the Chinese. I am the smartest man alive and I alone can fix things by tearing down the legislation that was painstakingly debated and put in place over a period of decades. While we are there, let us get rid of the useless other two branches of the Govt. and muzzle the press. Have no fear, the messiah is here!

  17. Good metaphor about the stormtroopers. Deutschland Uber Alles. I mean America First.

    Don’t worry- the move to totalitarianism and bigotry and blind intolerance and will affect us all sooner or later. It already does. That’s how such a despicable human being managed to get elected.

    He promised to build a wall (that nobody was asking for) and now he says we will all pay for it with tariffs on Mexican goods and lost jobs from a trade war. He promised a Muslim ban and that’s what we got (except he didn’t realize he was elected president not King or Czar and cannot rule by decree).

    So I am sure our president has no interest in and patience for such banalities as infrastructure investments and the size of your airport (or your crowd or hand size). He has neither the attention span nor the business acumen to address any serious issues.

    Yes, you are right, pointing out the obvious must make me (not the Emperor) deranged.

  18. “They came for…”

    Well, so far no one has come for anyone. There are no reasonable leaks of plans for anyone to come for anyone. The only violence happening so far is the smashing, looting, arson, and beatings done by “anti-fascist” (sic) anarchists rioting against Trump.

    Even the very reasonable plan to PAUSE for 90 days, not “ban” but pause, immigration from failed states with active terrorist activity, is put on indefinite hold by some minor left wing judge who is a fan of BLM.

    “Storm Troopers at anyone’s door” in the US is a silly paranoid fantasy. Well, Waco under Janet Reno was an exception, but one that’s very rare, and quite some time ago.

    ISIS controlled areas, and Syria in particular, are another matter, which is why we need to be very careful who we let in from places like that. But if ‘farnorthtrader’ hears a knock at the door, it will probably be either a Fed EX delivery, or one of those ubiquitous Solar salespeople. 😉

  19. @ Larry –You may not want a Wall (I don’t want one), but it’s probably better than what we’ve had the last 30 years. Which is basically no limitation on illegal immigration. A Wall is also way better than a sanctuary city, which strikes me as a whole lot like the views is Charleston, SC in 1860.

    Similarly, you may not like the fact that Somali visa holders can’t enter the country for the next 90 days, but I don’t think our nation’s freedoms are at stake from this temporary ban. And, again, reasonable people can disagree on the subject. Just ask the folks at Ohio State University who, 2 months ago, had a Somali refugee go on a terrorist rampage.

    In ability to see that “the other side” isn’t necessarily dumb and stupid is something our country sure could use more of these days. And just about every “educated person” — including me — has underestimated Trump. Maybe we aren’t as smart as we think we are.

  20. The lack of to/from transportation is our national embarrassment. It can take literally hours to get to JFK from Manhattan at the wrong time of day and more than one to get to LGA which you can practically reach with a well-hit baseball from the east side….

    The rest of the infrastructure stuff is mostly “nice to have”.

    So why is the other “need to have”? Because it makes doing business hard and it makes traffic awful. And it makes leisure travel a bear which hurts tourism. And it’s really, really hard and expensive to fix.

    As noted, it would be very, very hard to fix at LAX. It’s actually really close to impossible to fix at LGA and Cuomo’s plan is nothing short of stupid. (No, really, it’s stupid.) At JFK, it’s doable with enough money and will to build a dedicated line into Manhattan instead of the Rube Goldberg nonsense that currently exists and, well, makes people think, “Eh, sitting on the Van Wyck for an hour isn’t >that< bad."

    Our airports were once pretty awful, then they got mostly rebuilt. That was mostly private money (with some public support) in the way, well, this kind of stuff ideally works.

    The "utility" is things like transportation to-from which doesn't have a constituency with the airlines. Comments above about ATC are correct. That *does* have a constituency and hasn't been properly upgraded in decades. I have no real clue why it's been allowed to be terrible, but doesn't actually seem like a hard problem. There aren't actually that many planes in the air; your laptop could probably keep track of all of them without incident if it had the right software and the right sensors were in place.

    Trump is weird. If he wants to make his mark on America for generations, he should build overpriced trains to and from airports. They'd be called the Trump Trains. They'd literally be used when his son was having grandchildren. They'd be remembered long after getting a new Shake Shack in the Tom Bradley Terminal was long forgotten. Figure out how to do it as efficiently as possible to minimize disruption, but to maximize the number of people you need to put to work. That's political magic.

  21. @Mark — Agreed. Personally, I don’t want to spend one more dollar at JFK until the Van Wyck and Belt Parkway become functional. I’m inconvenienced a few times a year. What about the people who have to live their daily lives with this road infrastructure? It’s crazy. We obviously can’t afford to fix everything. We should focus on the things that are really terrible. Our airports, overall, are in no way terrible.

  22. @Larry “He promised to build a wall (that nobody was asking for)”…

    Well, the wall was one of the two main things Trump campaigned for. If “nobody” was asking for that, how did he get at least 48% of the nationwide popular vote? For your information, he doesn’t need to get a new law authorizing a wall, because the Secure Fence Act was passed in 2006, And guess who voted for it? both Hillary and Schumer: (google:U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 109th Congress – 2nd Session} The vote in the Senate was 80/19/1. If you just turn on your TV newscast, any station at all, you will see that some @300 miles of the wall was in fact built, it just wasn’t finished, mostly due to lack of funding. All Trump is proposing is the finish the wall that current law already calls for.

  23. @farnorthtrader Thank you – and for those that think “first they came…..” has to be taken literally perhaps some lessons from history or even some contemporary countries where the press is silenced or censored and the consequences of this are worth a look.
    In any case, the “temporary” ban assumes that the vetting of refugees that was done (often over 2 years) by our government agencies was done correctly and somehow this would magically be changed in 90 days – I don’t think so!

  24. Mr. Trump sees the world in very black and white terms: “Wrong equipment”, “obsolete airports”, etc. There is no nuance, there is only the best and the worst. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t read books.

  25. @Estelle what with the MSM Press being @98% ‘Democrat operatives with a byline’, and 90% of US Government Civil Service workers being Democrats, just how do you think we are going to suddenly turn into Cuba or China, much less Nazi Germany?

  26. It was actually just a tad above 46% not 48% but it would truly be an “alternative fact” to state that all or most of those think that the “wall” with Mexico is a high priority and something worth expending considerable political and fiscal capital on or anything more than a slogan to work up the beer guzzling crowds at the Narcissist in Chief rallies. Most of my conservative acquaintances either claim (like those on this board) that they did not vote for him but refuse to call him out for his outrageous behavior and bullying against women, minorities, the constitution, the judiciary, the CIA, the Dishonest Media, Australia, and anyone who refuses to sell his daughter’s handbags– or they admit that they did vote for him in spite of most of his policies and not because of them. And anyone who looks at the actual facts and not the alternative universe of Trump and Spicer and Bannon knows that illegal immigration from Mexico is a really insignificant and declining issue, and that refugees are not terrorists and that the idiotic ban makes us less safe. All the experts in world affairs and terrorism say the same: we need to build bridges not walls and we need allies within the moderate Muslim community and a random ban like this makes infinitely less safe. I think we can all agree on at least that much: that we don’t want ourselves or anyone else to be subjected to terrorist attacks. Problem is that all the president does is foment fear and hysteria and misinformation to try to make people feel that his policies will make them more safe when in fact the opposite is true.

    Anyone with the slightest bit of historical knowledge or world context would realize that protectionism and nationalism and ethnocentrism and all the actions and rhetoric associated with them have proven to be a complete failure over and over and over. This does not protect your economy or your country only weakens it. It has led many countries into economic decline or war.

  27. Given that we’re starting to talk about the “temporary” “ban”, I’ll add the obvious – not one terrorist attack that has resulted in any American deaths has occurred in this country due to an immigrant from one of those seven countries. So regardless whether you believe that it’s OK in theory, you should be horrified that it has been done with such incompetence that it didn’t even focus on the threat.

    Second, whatever faults of the Mainstream Media, Robert Hanson, it is the only thing that seems to be separating us now from a President and an administration that is incapable of speaking without lying. Their demise is what threatens us more than Trump himself, so stop bullying them, and call out the nonsense that in three weeks is considered “normal” from a US administration.

    Finally, on topic – I would argue that the JFK air train works just fine. It takes 1:15 maximum to get from the airport to Manhattan, sometimes as little as 50 mins. Leisure travelers are happy to use it, as is every single one of my friends traveling for business OR leisure. Anyone who wants more privacy or comfort can sit in and pay for a car. Is a costly high speed train really that important to the vast majority of New Yorkers who will NEVER use it?

    I also take the train to LGA (40 minutes door to door from Manhattan) and to EWR (from Penn Station – a breeze at just under an hour). Really, there are more pressing infrastructure needs.

  28. @Robert F “Mr. Trump sees the world in very black and white terms: “Wrong equipment”, “obsolete airports”, etc. There is no nuance, there is only the best and the worst. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t read books.”

    Have you ever been inside a Trump hotel? What you call black and while, he calls demanding excellence vs settling for mediocrity. As for reading books, he not only reads them, did you know he actually writes them? Bestsellers in fact. You might want to go to Amazon and look up “The Art of the Deal”.

    I find it funny how many nobodies feel “special” by going to a (sorry Gary) obscure travel blog and making inane comments about famous people who will never even learn their name, much less care what they posted.

  29. I had a friend who stayed at a Trump hotel in New York with no hot water, which the hotel failed to tell him upon check in. After asking for a discount on his $525 room (after day three), they took $10 off. When he asked for more, they refused, and advised him if he didn’t pay for his first three nights then and there, they were going to ask him to leave. He paid, and left in search of hospitality.

    Trump doesn’t demand excellence. Just look at his cabinet nominees.

  30. @John “whatever faults of the Mainstream Media, Robert Hanson, it is the only thing that seems to be separating us now from a President and an administration that is incapable of speaking without lying”

    I’d pay more attention to your comments if they were more even handed. What “lie” has DJT ever told that equals:

    Clinton: “Recalling Hillary Clinton’s claim of ‘landing under sniper fire’ in Bosnia.”
    If you Google that title, you can see the video of her and her entourage calmly strolling off the plane, surrounded by multitudes of press and dignitaries. But no sniper fire….

    Clinton: “The attack on Bengazi was over a video”. In fact it was an al-Qaeda attack planned and carried out to celebrate the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. She had the gall to tell this lie to the families of those who died in that attack. She told this lie because the Obama Administration was trying to keep up the fiction that Islamist terrorism had been defeated by the death of bin Laden, and there was an election coming up.

    Clinton: “I did not send classified emails to a private server.” A claim the FBI declared was absolutely false, even though they chose not to prosecute. Most likely because Obama sent emails to that same server, and if they had indicted her, they would have had to indict him too.

    And possibly the biggest whopper of all:

    Obama: “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, if you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan.” Check out this YouTube video: “Obama Montage: If you like your doctor you can keep your Doctor”.

    Yes, Trump exaggerates for dramatic effect, which he needs to do to get the Never-Trump MSM to cover him. But so far, nothing he’s said has come even slightly close to the Clinton and Obama Big Lies…..

  31. Larry= Nancy P., And John is maybe Chuck?
    Our president is creating jobs, and working very hard, and you acquaintances acting as nazz’s,
    beating, injuring and killing any one who’s not agree – you’re resisting!. Great job! I thing it’s better get back to work and build infrastructure for airports , than resist and destroy.

  32. “I had a friend who stayed at a Trump hotel in New York with no hot water…for 3 days…paying $525 a night”

    That “friend” is either a ‘darn’ liar, or a fool. Who would pay $525 a night, and stay 3 nights, with no hot water?

  33. @John — You may not think that these refugees are risky, but the facts show otherwise. It was only 2 months ago that a Somali refugee went on a religious-fueled rampage at Ohio State University.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/11/28/somali-immigrant-identified-attacker-ohio-state/94563226/

    So you want to claim that was just one guy? Well, two months earlier, another Somalian did the same thing in Minnesota.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/440159/st-cloud-terrorist-attack-somali-immigration-madness

    Now reasonable people can disagree with whether Trump’s actions were proportionate to the risk. I’m personally undecided on this. But to maintain that there’s no problem here and that Trump’s actions are just crazy bigoted racism doesn’t seem like a very good argument to me.

  34. My “friend” is no liar, because I am the one who told him to complain, and went with him to do so. A fool, for sure, but he won’t make that mistake twice.

    As for any of the lies that you suggest are equal, that’s a judgment call. I happen to think none of the ones you mention are as nefarious as Trump’s, but you and I will never agree on that.

    I think we CAN agree that the MSM covered pretty much all of those “lies” which you list, ad nauseum. So why are you so angry with them?

    For someone who didn’t vote for Trump, you sure seem to agree with him.

  35. My hunch that Trump will be more receptive to the big US airlines than Obama was with their fight against the ME3 seems confirmed by OTHER comments he made at today’s meeting that are now being reported. Like this one:

    “A lot of that competition is subsidized by governments, big league,” Trump said at a White House meeting Thursday with the nation’s largest airlines, air freight companies and airports. “I’ve heard that complaint from different people in this room. Probably about one hour after I got elected, I was inundated with calls from your industry and many other industries, because it’s a very unfair situation.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-08/u-s-airline-chiefs-set-to-talk-jobs-traffic-control-with-trump

    I still think the most likely outcome is the elimination of their Fifth Freedom rights (which should be a no-brainer from ANY American President), but a tougher response wouldn’t surprise me.

  36. ” I happen to think none of the ones you mention are as nefarious as Trump’s, but you and I will never agree on that.” I guess not, especially since you haven’t mentioned even one. I guess it’s just easier to say “Trumps lies” than to actually list several of them.

    I’m well aware of Trumps exaggerations, like saying 3 million illegal aliens voted. No one has done any actual research on that, so who knows. But I’d bet you $100 to $1 that the number was not zero, since there is an automatic voter registration that is done when getting a California drivers license, if you just check “I am a citizen”, with no one checking citizenship status. We know for sure there was voter fraud in Detroit, since a recount could not be held there because the number of votes being so far off of the number of people who supposedly voted in a number of precincts. .

    But a lie comparable to “if you like your health plan you can keep it”? When he know full well that the program being enacted had requirements that not a single pre-existing health plan could meet. I can’t begin to imagine what that might be.

  37. Came here to see if the political experts were spewing their spin. Was not disappointed but both sides suck. It’s going to be a very long four years even off there are changes to the airline industry.

    Less of these posts Gary. I appreciate you are trying to keep us in the loop with the POTUS and aviation but let’s chalk this one up in the failure column. Get plenty of this back and forth on Facebook and all news sites. Sad. Just want my travel info sans political comedy and or tragedy.

  38. Trumps analysis of the threat of terrorism fails to realize that terrorists are not created by geography. They are created by ideology.

  39. @iahphx – You said “if you want to preach tolerance, show tolerance, even to those you disagree with.” Nonsense. I will give Trump, McConnell, Ryan, etc. the same tolerance they showed Barack Obama. N O N E. I am so sick of the people that pulled the birther crap, read TRUMP et al., and so many others, McConnell claiming the goal of the party was to make Obama a one term president, Ryan and Boehner shutting down the government twice when they could not get their way, etc., saying shit like “give him a chance” or “we should all stand behind the president”. The republican party went to war against the USA eight years ago. They should be treated the same way they treated others. You know, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

  40. @ Robert Hanson – Trump’s birther lie was more insidious than anything else that I have heard. Again, we will never agree on this.

    @ iahphx -I never claimed that Trump was a bigot, and I prefer not to ascribe motives to someone’s decisions about which I have no evidence. I would argue that the risk of Somali terrorism is minimal, and completely disproportionate to the reaction. The facts indicate the risk from Somalis is minimal (and significantly less than white shooters at schools). Now, the risk from Saudis? Based on the evidence, much more.

  41. And, Robert Hanson, there is plenty of evidence that there was no significant voter fraud. It’s not a “who knows?” question. Just ask every Republican running every other state.

  42. As I was saying…

    From todays news:

    “Grand Prairie Woman Gets Eight Years for Illegally Voting in Dallas County Elections”

    And yes, she was an illegal.

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