CNN anchors - the network that hired Trump supporter Corey Lewandowski - finally have had enough of Trump. So they got Dear Leader's wrath -
Then Robert Gates dared to write negative things about both candidates. Robert Gates served in the Reagan and Bush 43 administrations. And served in the Obama administration.
Gates called Trump "beyond repair". Dear Leader on cue lashed out -
"He's a mess, okay, he's a mess," Trump said of Gates. "Look what he gave us, look at the mess of all these people that have been there for so many years. Look what we have, look at the Middle East.
"We're in worse shape than we were 15 years ago by a factor of 10," Trump said. "Much more importantly, the lives that we lost, because we're dealing with incompetent people, we're dealing with stupid people. We're dealing with people like Robert Gates that don't have a clue and then when they leave office, they criticize everybody.
"I don't like critics, I like people that get it done and get it done right," Trump said.
Trump doesn't like critics? That's all he does.
The message is clear. Don't criticize a dictator.
Forget that every foreign country - friend or foe will get the Kim Jong-un treatment - but so will every Democrat, every Republican, every member of the press and every ordinary American that dares to say something that his ego/insecurities can't handle.
September 19, 2016
A presidential race isn't a continuum, it is a series of historical milestones. Namely primaries, post primaries, conventions and debates. The chart above shows (a) that voters had dismissed Trump this spring, (b) voters were split after both candidates had won their primaries, (c) a return to HRC before the convention when Trump was under old management, (d) both candidates receiving a convention bump and (e) a return to tightening before the debates with Trump under new management.
They also show that HRC's polling has a floor of 44% and a ceiling of 50%. While Trump has a floor of -40% and a ceiling of 46%. The last chance to see new floors and ceilings is after each debate.
The next chart is the RCP's electoral college without swing states. Not including swing states - essentially an educated guess - Clinton has 293 electoral votes. I think some reds might swing blue and some blues might swing red; but the only state that is blue that is likely to turn red is North Carolina (Obama won it in 2008 and Romney won it in 2012).
That would reduce HRC to 278 (293 minus 15). It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidency. So it seems to me that this race - if held today - will be won or lost in Colorado.
But the race isn't today. It is in the next 40 some days.
The debates will be the last time to gauge the predictability of the race. And it doesn't look like the third party candidates will have the necessary polling (they need 15%) to compete. Meaning you would expect their polling to drop.
Trump needs to win the debates to win the election. He has to equal or raise his ceiling. While Clinton has to equal or not lower her floor. That and the realities of the electoral college are the two moving parts to consider.
September 17, 2016
Taxes are in a word - contextual.
Ronald Reagan's tax cuts did kickstart the economy in the 1980's. But they also increased the national debt. To his credit, Reagan agreed to many tax increases over his presidency to manage the increase of national debt. Either way, without Volker's monetary policy to tame hyperinflation, and Reagan's tax cuts, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
Under Bush 41, taxes were increased for the same reasons as Reagan. But Bush paid a high political price.
Clinton 42, really didn't do anything. The deficits turned into surpluses for the same reason the high tax rates under Eisenhower didn't impact some of the greatest economic growth ever.
The latter was due to the GI bill (which increased the amount of educated workers), the interstate highway, a wave of house building (FHA/VA)/new appliances, and the population growth from the baby boom. The former came from the largest productivity gains in the century from the internet, supply chain optimization, world-wide trade, better distribution of investment and the ubiquity of best-in-class computer software that could be run in any country.
In both cases, regardless of the tax rate, tax revenues rose and there was tremendous economic growth.
Bush 43 had two tax cuts. They didn't increase economic growth. And thus - along with two wars - led to large increases in the national debt from the surpluses of the 1990s.
For the last 16 years, productivity and educated workers, haven't increased. Under a Democratic president and a Republican Congress, the national debt growth rate has slowed. For the last 8 years, all that has happened in Washington, is a debt tourniquet was applied.
Liberals point to tax increases in California and other high tech states to try and prove that higher taxes lead to balanced budgets/surpluses. As Warren Buffett has said "no one ever didn't invest in American companies because of tax rates". California and other high tech states continue to receive the lion share of investment, and resulting profits. So it is no wonder that raising state taxes - in high tech/high investment states - leads to better state balance sheets.
Republicans, on the other hand, are still stuck on the advocacy of tax reduction from Reagan. Except Reagan's cuts were as relative to the times as Obama's policies. These kind of one-time moves are needed in difficult times under the limitations of capitalism.
Republicans know lowering taxes will increase deficits. But the problem is they say they are for reducing the deficit. Lowering taxes and lowering the national deficit are mutually exclusive unless military spending is drastically reduced. And no politician is going to say that.
Liberals make their arguments from looking too narrow. And conservatives make their arguments from un-contextualizing the 1980s.
Both parties plans fail due to cognitive dissonance and cherry picking their arguments.
In the meantime, without productivity gains that don't seem on the horizon, only infrastructure spending, can increase economic growth. Not higher or lower taxes. And an admission that we need a "debt bridge" - at 1.7% of this writing - to pay for it.
September 16, 2016
It might not be enough that Hillary Clinton is a vote against the dangers of Donald Trump.
Having her husband Bill - who might help with the older vote - doesn't resonate with voters under 35 years old, which is HRC's biggest problem. Younger voters are more apt to vote for the two third party candidates. Or more likely to not vote at all.
Here is the immutable fact: Bill Clinton is no longer the leader of the Democratic Party. It is Barack Obama.
Not just because he has a 58% approval rating. Not just because medium wages are rising. But Obama is the 55-year old version of Bernie Sanders. Not only has my generation and demographics - been pro-Obama - so are our children.
Said another way, the Obama coalition is critical. While HRC has educated whites, African Americans, Mexican and Muslim Americans; Obama won both elections by mobilizing the young vote.
HRC you have no choice now. The picture above is your campaign picture. You are the hand picked successor of the current President.
This picture shows not only the linkage, but it also shows (a) the best traits of Obama (intellect combined with a man who is devoted to love; his wife. family and every American he has comforted over the last 8 years), (b) an anti-partisan meme of political foes becoming united and (c) your humility being embraced by someone who is better than you.
Caption - "Not with her, but her with him".
Embrace it or our country is screwed. This is not about you nor your husband. It is about you being a weak candidate needing all the help you need, so you can beat a dangerous candidate.
September 15, 2016
A few things to get out of the way first.
Hillary Clinton's Health. I am not a fan of the Clintons. Although I will be voting for HRC as the only meaningful anti-Trump candidate. But I have developed a key ear for racism and sexism. Say what you want about HRC, but you can't outwork her; whether that is campaigning or knowing policy in-and-out. As someone who tends to overwork, I can tell you that I have often put business before sickness. The mainstream video coverage - on 9/11 no less - was irresponsible. This is where I see sexism. Frail older lady vs fat old man. Somehow getting dehydrated with walking pneumonia, is more risky than a 70 year old man with a 50 inch gut who still eats fast food???
Good information from one of my favorite writers. David Brooks sees the two parties splitting between college graduates and non-college graduates. The Democrats winning the former and the GOP the latter. So everything in the future of the GOP comes down to this - forming a coalition of non-college graduates of every race and color.
Obama's approval rating. It now stands at 58%. Part of that is Obama himself. And part of that - what I have been blogging about for a year, given the 2016 presidential candidates available - is more Americans are now appreciating our 44th president and he would win a hypothetical 3rd-term landslide election victory.
Now to "Deplorable-Gate". I think it makes more sense as a strategy than the media thinks. For two reasons.
The % of Trump voters being deplorable maybe or maybe not exactly 50%. But 65% of Trump's voters think Obama is a Muslim. With similar percentages stating Mexican Americans are bad and essentially wanting Muslim Americans to wear an Islamic "Star of David".
Anyways I think the strategy makes a lot of sense.
September 14, 2016
During NBC's Commander-in-Chief Forum, Donald Trump said things that would disqualify other presidential candidates.
I am probably missing other crazy stuff he said.
But Trump's saturation of daily crazy statements reminds me of quantum physics. In quantum physics, particles are really waves until they are observed. Or more technically observation is known as "collapsing the wave"
But what happens when there are an ocean of particles? You don't see any particles. All you see is an overwhelming wave.
By using such terminology, there is no time to collapse Trump's wave into particles. There is no time to dwell on each crazy statement because the next crazy statement hits the rocks, and simply erases the vestiges of yesterday's wave.
The media can't collapse Trump's wave particles. And either can I.
But I do know this. If you can't remember every crazy statement, that is completely human and natural. But if, on the other hand, you can't see Trump's words from this campaign and from his whole life experience, you are not seeing the dangers of a Trump ocean.
September 9, 2016
President Obama called out the Philippines for its extrajudicial killings during his Asian trip this week. Even though the US and the Philippines have a strategic relationship, it has been a long-standing practice for US presidents to speak out about human rights abuses nonetheless.
The president of the Philippines, in turn made a remark that was so ugly about Obama, I can't repeat it.
How did Obama handle it? He said the president of the Philippines "is a colorful guy". And then cancelled his visit there. Again showing Obama speaks softly and carries a big stick. Immediately afterwards the Philippine political and military elite denounced its president's remarks. In the big picture, status quo was maintained to the benefit of both nations.
You have to ask yourself how Trump would react in the same situation?
September 7, 2016
If you are concerned about deportations, and you think Trump has something to fix, you would be wrong.
President Obama has been the deportation president. Far more than President Bush.
Something also is happening with Mexicans trying to enter the US. There are now fewer Mexicans entering the border since 1970. Mexican immigration actually peaked during the Reagan and Clinton administrations.
Putting aside Trump xenophobia, and looking at the numbers, there are two trends that are undeniable.
Trump wants to build a wall. A great and beautiful wall. The numbers show that to be illogical.
In fairness, Trump also wants to bring jobs back to the US from Mexico. Well try telling that to US corporations. NAFTA - specifically cheaper means of production - is their economic engine.
The abolition of NAFTA thus would depress corporate earnings that are already under pressure. And that would lead to depressing the stock market and the "people's" 401K plans.
September 6, 2016
I have been calling on the GOP to not only court the African American vote, but to develop thoughtful policies to address African American inner city problems. Such outreach and policy construction can't happen on the fly. It needs to start after the election.
The other problem is Trump being the wrong messenger.
September 4, 2016
John Lewis - a early civil rights leader and long-term congressman - has published a three part illustrated book called "March".
John Lewis has always been one of my heroes. He was beaten to the edge of his death on the "March" to Selma. These books are becoming required reading in colleges of America.
He remains optimistic that "change" continues to happen and 2016 is just a bump in the road. Furthermore he believes that non-violent protest - whether it is for gun control or civil rights - is required to maintain the trajectory of meaningful change.
On the Steve Colbert show - which has a history of surfing the crowd - I saw something that inspired me and gave me hope that white America has changed. Instead of white people beating him in 1963, he was uplifted by a crowd of white Americans from every age demographic in 2016.
It wasn't a gimmick or political correctness. Rather it was a true outpouring of love for a great American.
It provided this writer with hope in the midst of my own doubting of the affects of Trump's divisive candidacy. I shed a tear. And I hope the reader will find it just as inspiring as I did.
September 2, 2016