I watched for the first time the Cubs during the NLCS since 1984.
What I will always remember about the game, were the fans, especially in the 9th inning.
There was a mixture of clapping, tension, praying and emotion from great grandparents to their children, their children and their children.
I was so happy for them and my parents. I was happy for my son who never stopped being a Cub fan. He remembered a call I made from England in 2003. Basically I said "now son, you know what it is like to be a Cub fan".
I also think America got to see how much this means to millions of Cub fans. My son heard reports from other cities of grown men and women crying. It was not just a Chicago or baseball event. It was a genuine national event.
There is no doubt that HRC is a calculating and private person. And I know that she "cheered" the Yankees out of political expediency.
But for once, I think we saw the real HRC. The girl from the northern suburbs of Chicago. The picture above was real. Almost childlike. Unlike myself - who in 2003 logged onto the internet and read about the Bartman Game 6 and was sarcastic - HRC logged onto the internet and found real joy and surprise. The kind you can't fake.
To HRC and Cub fans. I am rooting you on for the next two weeks.
October 24, 2016
Seventy years ago, my father brought forth on this continent, a new child, conceived in greatness, and dedicated to the proposition that all men - an especially women - are created relatively inferior.
We are engaged in the best civil war ever - not even close - testing whether myself Donald Trump, or any Trump so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.
We are met on frankly an overrated battle-field of some war.
I have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who have accused me of doing things that are lies so that I can sue them on the off chance I lose.
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in my superior sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this less than prime real estate ground. Rather immigrants, living and dead, who have ruined this country, far outweigh my rambling words to add or detract.
The world will always note, and long remember what I say here, but it can never forget what my accusers have done to me.
It is for me still living, rather, to be dedicated to the unfinished work which I have single-handedly fought thus far so exaggeratedly advanced.
It is rather for me to be dedicated to the great task remaining before me-- that the blacks, the Muslims, the lying women, the rigged media and rigged election -- that I highly resolve that these nasty people shall not be ruined in vain -- that this alternative reality nation, under me, shall have a new birth of law and order -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall perish because it's broke.
October 22, 2016
October 23, 2016
For most of the 20th century, and up until 2016, our country has tried and succeeding in painting ourselves with two American philosophical colors. Red and Blue.
Red is conservative. For state's rights. Against the federal government. And for the most part white and southern/heartland based. Free trade and promoting a strong worldwide aggressive military strategy.
Blue is liberal. For federal progressive programs. Safety nets. The colored poor. And it has increased its footprint from the Northeast/Midwest to more northern Southern states, the Southwest and the West coast.
But the emergence of Trump - or better said the people who were out there already for a "Trump" - don't fit into neat two colors and state borders.
Every state is rather a mixture of the following new constituencies -
So what makes a state red - in 2016 - is a matter of how many 3's, 4's and 6's there are in the state. And what makes a state blue is how many 1's, 2's and 7's there are in a state.
The rub is that 5's, 6's and 7's have more in common with 3's and 4's. And the question now is two fold. One is will these similar economic interests transcend race and and age going forward? And how will 5's vote/not vote in two weeks and beyond.
A coalition of 3's, 4's, 5's, 6's and 7's are the majority. Will the GOP recognize the opportunity to build such a coalition? It is a winning formula. But it would be a complete reset for the party. And because, the needs of the 5's and 7s are more socialism, can the GOP reset so far?
Millennials are also the wild card. They have been raised by federal and parental socialism. They also don't respond well to racial tribalism. Again the GOP may have to have a reset that is a bridge too far.
The Democratic party - which has grown over the last twenty years - gets to enjoy a coalition of everyone from 1's and 2s to 7's. And probably 5's. How long can that really last?
When does the current balkanism turn into multiple political parties?
I said that regardless of Game 5, the Cubs still have to face Kershaw in Game 6 at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are in exactly the same position they were in 2003 - up 3-2 with two games to finish their opponent off at home. They blew it in 2003 without the best pitcher in baseball in Game 6.
Assuming a loss in Game 6, the Cubs face the exact same position in 2003. Like 2003, Cub fans will attend Wrigley Field with a sense of foreboding.
It will also be cold in both games - it was very hot in Games 3 through 5 - and the Cubs left too many baserunners on base, while swinging for the fences.
So in order for the Cubs to advance to the World Series, they have to fight off Kershaw, the weather and their obsessively-cursed fans. They need to play small ball - a total switch - in order to have a chance to win.
In fairness, Theo Epstein has built a team to perennially compete for the World Series title. With a playoff system that seldom rewards the best regular season team, such a program is the only way to be a World Series winner. The more perennial appearances, the better the chances.
Simply put - if this is the Cubs year - they have to throw out any sense of advantage and understand that progress is measured by getting through their last historical challenge. That means trying to win in Game 6 and more likely fight their way through Game 7 unlike the 2003 Cubs.
If I was a betting man, I don't think they can do it. As the son of living parents and dead grandparents, I will be cheering them on. While I am not a Cub fanatic - and can't pretend to be - I understand how important this is to better fans that number in the millions.
October 21, 2016
Winner. Chris Wallace and Fox News. Chris Wallace did a great job last night. And that was a big win for Fox News. With Roger Ailes out, and Shepard Smith announcing his sexuality, Fox News has never been a better position to become a well-respected news organization. Chris Wallace, Shepard Smith and Megyn Kelly are in the middle of an editorial war between themselves and their opinion commentators. If they win, Fox News wins.
Winner. HRC/Discipline/Gender Focus. Hillary Clinton had the most to lose last night. She was facing a man with nothing to lose. She kept her discipline and composure for 90 minutes. She knows this election is about winning the better gender's vote and the men that respect them. So she hit that point time and time again. She also kept baiting Trump. Getting under his skin. Waiting for the Trump discipline to erode - when it always erodes - after the first 30 minutes.
Winner. Chicago Cubs. Big win for the Cubs in LA. 2-2 now. Now the Cubs know they will return to Chicago for Game 6 and/or Game 7, regardless of tonight's result.
Loser. Donald Trump. Lazy journalists and liberals will say Trump lost because of his statements on accepting/not accepting the election results. That is not why he lost the debate. He lost the debate the same way he has lost the other two debates. Someone gets him primed to be low key and on message and he sticks to it for the first 30 minutes. And then he gets increasingly worse for the next hour. It's not the parsing of words of accepting/not accepting the election result that were troubling. Rather, it was that all of his advisors and members of his party - even his running mate - told him to simply answer the question with a simple "yes" and move on. I could go on and on - "greatness" from god knows where, will "render" independent forecasts of Trump's plan ballooning the national debt from 87 to 125% of annual GDP "mute"- but Trump did nothing in the debate to change voters minds. It was his best debate performance. But that is a matter of such low expectations as to not be relevant. Short some terrible national surprise - market crash, large act of terrorism or war breaking out - the 2016 election is over.
Loser. The American People. I am not talking about the most irritating presidential campaign of my life time. The real losers of this election, and many others before it, are the millions of Americans that think either of these two candidates or parties can change the reality of their lot in life. FACT. Capitalism is darwinistic and that means there are winners and losers. FACT. Without world wide trade, consumers couldn't afford to buy goods and corporations can't grow and would shrink by only selling to Americans. FACT. Economies grow from productivity and immigration. Immigration is too hot of a topic for the masses looking for manna from heaven. But smart immigration - like foreign students being required to become US citizens if they matriculate from American universities - means more job creators, more income tax revenue and more people to buy things. FACT. It is either entitlement reform or raising taxes or both. Status quo isn't going to work. FACT. Spending more on the military than all the other nations combined, is both an advantage (we only spend the same 2% of GDP that other countries do, but because our GDP is so large, we have an inherent financial advantage) and a disadvantage. $650 billion in federal military spending is untouchable. FACT. You don't like what is happening to you? Voting/blaming are for people who sit in bars and talk about the good old days. Taking risk and/or retraining for the 21st Century? That is for people that are willing to look at reality. Trump isn't going to fix you. HRC isn't going to fix you.
Loser. Me So Far On The Cubs. I have taken a lot of calls all this year from friends wanting to talk about the Cubs. I have not been a Cub fanatic since 1984. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't be happy for Cub fans - die hards including my father and mother who's parents suffered as Cub fans too - if they were to do the impossible. Having said that, the Cubs proved me wrong last night. Mark me down as a loser on 10/19/16. But that doesn't change the challenges I see ahead for them. 1. Once the Cubs started hitting last night - in the LA warmth - they started an ancient Cub habit of swinging for the fences. That backfires when you go back to Chicago playing in the cold. 2. Clayton Kershaw will pitch Game 6 at Wrigley. Mark that down as a Cub loss. 3. Which means, regardless of whether the Cubs beat the Dodgers tonight, a loss to Kershaw in Game 6, sets up Game 7 in Wrigley with tremendous pressure on the Cubs. So I still think the Cubs will not advance. But perhaps my logic will be eclipsed by prayers and 108 years of luck evening out. If so, I will be happy to call myself a loser. And I will accept the results :)
October 20, 2016
Twelve days ago, here were some of the reasons why I thought the Cubs wouldn't win a World Series and wouldn't even get to the World Series.
Cub batters hit just .219 this season with two outs and runners in scoring position, and Chicago led all of baseball in runners left on base. The Cubs’ “clutch” rating is 25th out of 30 major-league teams.
The Cubs went 22-23 in one-run games this season. That accounts for only about a quarter of the team’s outings, but in the playoffs — when the Cubs will be facing some of the best pitching and best hitting the league has to offer — there’s an increased likelihood a one-run game could make or break the entire postseason run.
The Dodgers and Nationals — Chicago’s two potential NLCS foes — struck out more opposing batters over the course of the season than any other team in baseball. Collectively, the Cubs struggled against so-called “power” pitchers.
All of these analytics were baked into the playoffs before they started. So no one should be surprised that the Cubs are down 2-1 in the NLCS with the next two games in Los Angeles.
And when I say analytics, I am talking about the Cubs hitting and not their pitching. When you can't hit in October, it is doubly destructive to a team. You need hits to get runs. When you don't get them - remember the Cubs would have be down 3-0 if not for a pinch hit grand slam in game 1 - it puts pressure on pitchers to throw a shutout. And that pressure gets too large to carry.
Having said all of that, this Cubs have been hitting worse than the-before-playoff analytics would suggest.
Lets talk about the post-season hitting stats of the Cubs.
The Mendoza line (hitting below this number gets you a ticket to the minor league) is batting .200. The Cubs are batting just over .100 in the post season.
Jason Hayward - the $180 million man who stuck out pitifully last night as a pinch hitter - is hitting .105. And that gives him bragging rights over Anthony Rizzo .077, Addison Russell .042, and too many players to mention that are hitting .000.
Now lets throw out the numbers and let me say what I see on the field. Not just this year, but last year.
So again Cub fans, you are not going to win in the post season. Numbers and viewing them should make a negative outcome totally predictable.
October 19, 2016
The US - despite ISIS-Is-Winning Rhetoric - is now poised to liberate Mosul from ISIS imminently.
Popular Mobilization Units, or PMUs are fighting alongside the Iraqi military and are made up of mostly Shiites but also Sunnis, Christians and other ethnic and religious groups. These forces have been moving toward Mosul and preparing for this battle -- to take place from the air and on the ground -- for more than 15 months.
Four-page leaflets have told residents that Iraqi-led forces, supported by the US-led coalition against ISIS, were making advances on the city and that no one should panic.
As you can see from the map above, the US, Iraq and the PMUs, have been liberating major Iraq cities since April of 2015. Mosul was always next. And the fight to retake Mosul will begin shortly.
While it is true that Syria is a mess - only the history books will tell whether US intervention would have been successful (doubtful) or made the situation worse (more likely) - Trump's statement that the US strategy of leaving Iraq with advisors, which was what the US voted for, is indeed working.
Expect HRC to use this information to her advantage in next week's foreign policy debate.
It is an October Surprise that shouldn't be. The Obama administration had to pick their battles. They have focused on defeating ISIS in Iraq for the last 18 months. And the fall or falling of ISIS in Mosul will happen before the election. And certainly by the end of the President's second term.
October 16, 2016
Friday's Access Hollywood's hot mic caught Trump saying he likes to kiss women and grope. By Sunday he called this simply "locker room" talk. But the sheer amount of women coming forward and saying he kissed them and groped - without consent - turned a verbal story into a consistent pattern of behavior.
The bigger story is getting buried within the continuing accumulation of women coming forward. The press is counting, instead of putting the story in a bigger picture.
Kissing and groping is indeed sexual assault. But it is really a part of a bigger problem. Trump doesn't kiss and grope so much out of sexual desire, than he does it as a sign of power that he can control people with immunity.
Trump's desires have never been about how to improve American lives. Rather his desires are to control people. His desire to become president is the greatest control expansion story he has left.
It is not so much about women - although it has been - than controlling the justice department, having the means to get back at people through the justice department and the IRS, controlling immigrants and anyone who isn't white.
While Trump has supporters that don't care about his words and deeds, they are more voters that do care.
The juxtaposition of Michelle Obama's speech and President Obama's speech this week - which Republican Joe Scarborough remarked "he has never seen two great orators in the same family before" - with Trump's views on women, immigration and race, were striking.
Michelle Obama having descended from slaves and her husband a product of immigration, tells the other story of America. Hardly unique. And all that is right about this country's path to perfect our union.
Protecting the rights of women. A nation of immigrants. People's names being less important than their actions as opposed to other countries with rigid social structures. Civil rights. The best - not just the privileged - having access to the best universities.
While it can been quite dispirited to know that Trump has a sizable minority of support, it is uplifting that a greater amount of people revere the first African American first family and are going to vote for a women.
President Obama often repeats the words of MLK by saying "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”. And that is what is going to happen this November. And there is nothing Trump's sizable minority can do to bend time backward.
October 15, 2016
I received my 15 minutes of fame with a blog called "Serial Job Killer" that was published in Thomas Friedman's "That Used To Be Us".
Google "John Jazwiec Thomas Friedman".
Now I would like to show, by the numbers, why many Americans are looking for a savior in vain.
America still manufacturers stuff, and after the 2008 economic crisis, manufacturing output has not only recovered but is back to growing as it has for the last 20 years.
Increased manufacturing output has not led to an increase in manufacturing jobs. That is due to productivity which helps an economy to grow. While services has led to a growth in jobs reflecting little to no productivity growth.
Manufacturing productivity has made consumables cheaper to every American. While college costs have been driven higher. So has health care. But college costs are the largest problem.
There is a large disconnect between rising college costs and the good paying jobs that come from a college education.
The labor participation rate is shrinking. But since World War II, male labor participation has shrunk due to an increase in female labor participation. You want to know why white males are mad? You want to know why a Trump candidacy - which is selling a return to the good old times by going backwards - is appealing?
Why are Millennials doing so poorly today vs. baby boomers? It is the baby boomer's fault. While we worked summer jobs (I worked full time year-round from undergraduate to graduate school), we have not made our children work summer jobs. That is why Millennials are not inspired by this election.
The wage gap requires both spouses to work. While that isn't helpful to raising children, it has been the only way to grow household income. It's no wonder that male workers feel like the economy is letting them down. Again, appeals to the "Mad Men" characteristics and views of Trump resonate.
The "problem" is we live in a capitalistic economy. The private sector can't be tamed by a president or the Congress. The laws of supply and demand, the laws of productivity, the laws of equal opportunity and the laws of the cost/benefit to a college education, are part and parcel of living in a thriving capitalistic country.
The "power" isn't changed by an election. The "power" is understanding these numbers and pivoting - if applicable - accordingly.
October 12, 2016
Liberals and conservatives are attacking Paul Ryan for not un-endorsing and giving up on Trump respectively.
The liberal rant goes something like this - How can Ryan not drop his support for Trump after Trump has repeatedly said inappropriate things that are un-presidential?
The conservative rant - although more muted, due to so many conservative papers and conservative politicians/past politicians dropping Trump - goes something like this - How can the Speaker of the House not fully support the duly nominated candidate?
Paul Ryan is extremely smart. He is the future of the party. And he has successfully accomplished a high wire act since Trump was nominated.
Paul Ryan is doing what the GOP did in 1996. Bob Dole was going to lose. Dole continued the race. And the GOP focused on down ballot elections and told GOP candidates to focus only on their elections. Thus, they fought for a later day, and that proved right.
Ryan has inserted himself into a vacuum that is dangerous for the party. No other Republican seems willing to look at the bigger picture. Ryan knows that if the GOP loses the House, there will be no ballast to balance a more liberal policy program under Clinton.
So I would say to liberals and conservatives - lay off of Paul Ryan. He is the only grown up in the room.
October 11, 2016
Trump temporarily stopped the bleeding. He made the points that Republicans have been waiting for him to make against HRC. HRC didn't get a grade. For the most part, she simply conceded Trump's arguments as untruthful (13 times according to fact checkers) and crazy. In other words, HRC's only role in the debate, was to give Trump the rope, and see if he would hang himself. He didn't.
But in the grand scheme of things, Trump lost the debate.
Yes the bleeding stopped. His base is secured again. But his issues with women and college educated men became even worse after the debate. Why?
Because all anyone is going to remember about the second debate is what happens in all debates. What were the parodies?
Last night the parody would be Trump physically being in HRC personal space. He stalked the stage like some kind of predator. In one instance, while HRC was speaking to the person who asked the question, Trump was no more than a few feet right behind her and a mile away from his chair.
That's what people will remember. Just like they only remembered that Trump interrupted in the first debate. I call this the "Onion Rule". Or you can say the SNL rule. The parody is what is most remembered. Why? Because people are wired to see first physically then verbally; not to keep a rational score card in their heads.
Trump didn't win back women who dumped him after Friday. Nor swing voters. There is likely to be more tapes and October surprises about Trump.
The RNC needed Trump to stop the bleeding so it could focus on downstream elections. Having a presidential nominee that is running but will not win, is better than the alternative.
October 10, 2016