Aug 26, 2016

I'm Rich, I'm Really, Really Very Rich. Believe me!

Dear Donald,

Show the world that you are not a loser. Release your tax returns and show them how fabulously wealthy you really are!

Aug 14, 2016

Finally, Many Voices, Including News Media, Are Now Indentifying Donald Trump as a Bullshit Artist. He Always Was, but Better Late than Never...

One year ago, I thought Ted Cruz would make a fine Republican presidential nominee, one who would be so conservative and repugnant that he would lose the general election. Then I noticed that Trump would be even worse and he became my favorite to deliver another defeat to the GOP. My only hesitation was that Cruz's loss would be owned by the Republican party whereas Trump's, perhaps, not so much. Already there are many Republican leaders and other notables who have declared they are not supporting their party's nominee. This has not happened to such scale in the last half a century that a major American party is so fractured. Of course, this spells defeat.

The only positive thing for the GOPers is that they can claim they were fooled by an outsider, not "a true conservative" who captured the party's flag. The general public may also buy this, as Trump has not been directly involved with a political party or has any experience with public office, or serving any interest other than his own. Today, we hear that the Republican National Committee may cut funding to its own nominee! [source: Politico ]  This may work for some Republicans seeking re-election this November and for the party in 2020.

The person who routinely makes ridiculous statements is a ridiculous person

And, then there's the man at the center of this circus, Donald Trump, whose bullshit now has hit the fan. The stench is permeating everywhere, but at least more and more people, including the news media, have begun to acknowledge this. Trump was always an asshole, who cared more about his ego, and has had a masturbatory relationship with publicity, any publicity--good or bad. It was obvious, the garishly decorated holdings, his name plastered anywhere and everywhere, his egomania, and his lack of intellect, all there. His only great skill was the shameless and relentless self-promotion. Yes, it's a craft to be a bullshit artist and Donald has it!

But, it reveals something about so many others who fell for this bullshit. So many investors, buyers, hopeful entrepreneurs, average people believed his b.s. A person who came from money and left a long trail of bankruptcies, defrauding of investors, and stupid investment choices, and who would have made more money, of what daddy had given him, had he invested in the market's index fund instead of going into business. Trump who was put on an allowance after his casinos and other holdings failed, and whose main income was his TV show and licensing of his brand, which, of course, was built on a b.s. This article in The New Yorker explains how the Trump image was built.

Trump's ghost writer, Tim Schwartz, of The Art of the Deal broke his confidentiality clause to reveal the background of how this best-seller came to be, especially Trump's character. Schwartz now says that he can't remain silent, because of the high stakes of this election. Schwartz spent 18 close months with Trump ahead of the book’s publication. He now claims he’s not the book’s co-writer, but a ghostwriter who penned “every word” ― with minimal input from Trump. Howard Kaminsky, the former head of Random House, which published the book, backed up Schwartz’s claim, the New Yorker reports. [source].  This ABC News Schwartz interview should be viewed as well.

On the numbers side, Clinton has about 90% chance of winning, 90 days before the election, which is a bit too early to say for certain what will happen in November, but if after Labor Day, the numbers stay as they are today, Clinton can win the election even if she lost Florida and Ohio! It's possible that she may greatly exceed Obama's Electoral College victory of 365 to 173. This is what a Clinton landslide would look like according to Fivethirtyeight. I don't know if Trump will lose this badly, but if the difference climbs to double digits, Congress can turn Democratic again. The question is whether Republicans will be energized to vote. On the Democrats side, there's lots more unity and excitement. In addition--and this is always crucial in elections--the Dems have a better ground organization and they'll win the voter turnout game.

Aug 7, 2016

Does the GOP Own Trumpism? It Helped Create it...

On occasion there may be a con artist, a demagogue, who captures a major political party and when the majority of the members oppose this person. This is not, and has not been the case with the Republicans. They created Trump, the tea parties, and now they own all of them. They own the rhetoric and the public policies they've been proposing. They allowed and often encouraged the infestation of the angry mobs, the racists, and the know-nothings. They reaped big political gains. Parties do better when they have excited people turning out to vote, and they do resort to negative attacks of their opponents, but there's a line that should not be crossed.

A country's political system rests on legitimacy and the institutions that makes it work. Since the 1990s, the Republicans--the official party and its leaders not just random conservatives--along with the Faux News machine, have been attacking the legitimacy of such institutions and the legitimacy of the Democratic presidential nominees. Both Hillary and Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama (you know, that Muslim Kenyan) have been attacked as not legitimate. This goes much deeper than political disagreements about ideas and policies; it erodes the institutions we supposedly so proud of. It's very irresponsible to undermine a system that you rely upon to get things done.

Leadership matters! People get clues from and get accustomed to a certain decorum, so clueless people are likely to copy and extrapolate the behavior of leaders. Inflammatory rhetoric has dire consequences. Juvenile behavior, inappropriate expressions, ad hominem attacks, bullying, racism, misogynistic behavior, and other crass behavior become appropriate in the eyes of said people. I hoped we're better than this. Someone like Trump should not be getting more support than a tiny fraction of the American society--the lunatic fringe.

But interestingly, though not surprising,  Republicans behave as they've been "trained" since Reagan and the emergence of Faux News. Over these years, Republicans have believed, in great numbers, crazy things that defy reality and logic. They've been trained to hate government, not to trust science (and the scientific method, which incidentally don't understand), to accept conspiracies, and anything else in between. A year ago, Trump was leading the "birther movement" and contrary to reality, I bet you many Republicans still believe Obama is a Muslim born overseas!

It's also interesting to see that this hard core of conservative Republicans is often not where the rest of the country is. Take for example: This group is less affected by the Khan controversy. Only 14 percent of that group reports being less likely to vote for Trump because of his criticism of the Khans. Forty-nine percent are unmoved by it, and 28 percent are actually more likely to vote for Trump now. Independents are split, with 31 percent who say they’re less likely to vote for Trump, and 45 percent who say it doesn’t affect their vote.  And, of course, there's Ben Carson who thinks the Khan's should apologize to Trump.

The above is not true, but it's fun to pay back in kind..

By the way, a 51 percent majority of registered voters agree with the Khans that Trump has “sacrificed nothing and no one” in defense of the U.S., including 30 percent of Republican voters and nearly half of independents. Trump himself exhibited his arrogance again by saying his sacrifices center on creating jobs and building things. Did he forget how he sacrificed by serving in the armed forces? (He didn't; he got 5 deferments during the Vietnam war). 

Did you seen Trump's economics team? It's a list of billionaires, one economist, and 40% of them are named "Steve."  Also, Michael Morell, who ran the CIA under both D & R administrations just announced he's supporting Hillary, while saying Trump is a threat to our national security. Increasingly, there's consensus in the foreign policy and national security world that Trump is unfit to be president of the US, and that Hillary is the one candidate to be trusted with such matters. After all, how can you trust a man with small hands and short sausage fingers?...