Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I was surrounded last night with people, from different walks of life, who are outraged about Trump's victory, and what I heard is ultimately the hope that arises from this election. The media has done a great trashing job on Trump, albeit for the wrong reasons. America is hyper-aware of race and has their eyes open about this victory. All blacks I met were solemn, and out in low numbers. One thing I said was 'it would be great if the president did the right thing and we could all sit back, but there is unity in opposition.' That is the hope that I derive from this week.

What terrified me was the free pass Hillary was getting from the media and others, stifling popular opposition to her policies. Trump is in it for himself and will go down in flames like many before him. Hillary has the whole machine behind her. The most terrifying thing about Trump on policy grounds is that he and Paul Ryan will get together on deregulation, and whatever unpredictability comes with the Donald. If they go after Social Security than the Dems will make them pay. Progressives have to make the Dem establishment pay as I wrote in July.

Liberal talking heads have misunderstood Trump's rationale for establishing relations with Russia, which is a result of Michael Flynn having his ear. Flynn also opposes the Iran deal, a more negative influence on Trump. I don't idolize the guy by any means, but Hillary's foreign policy advisers were arguably more frightening than W. Bush's.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

I have noted my superstition about blogging VP advice for 'the enemy,' and became nervous when Cory Booker appeared with Debbie Wasserman Schultz and was added to the short lists last week.  The reason: my last paragraph in my post-primary column, which didn't mention Sen. Booker: "Hillary defeated Sanders not only with extraordinarily unpopular favoritism by the DNC and cases of voter suppression, but by opposing the ‘pwogressive’ with a single candidate backed by Wall Street, the media, and party leaders, and with the electoral support of minorities.  It indeed would prove difficult to duplicate the feat against a progressive challenger in 2020 and thereafter if Trump wins."  Booker is a rare person who can hold together the establishment- minority coalition Hillary had in the 2016 primaries, but like many 'new Dems' doesn't inspire many, so his ability to win would require no competition in the 'establishment lane,' which could only be engineered if he was VP.  He has little to offer the ticket for 2016 General, makes lightweight arguments and criticizes Obama for criticizing Wall Street (even while Obama is writing legislation surrounded by their lobbyists).  Even if you had a Cory Booker - Tulsi Gabbard race with no one siphoning votes from either, Gabbard (pictured) might take enough of the woman vote to tip the balance, plus a lot of Hillary's voters will have discussed their votes at the pearly gates by then.  The only uncertain matter is whether Tulsi or Alice Coltrane will be the first Hindu woman on the currency.

Hillary and Bill did nothing about global warming in the 1990s (nor did Al) and, after defying Sandernistas by picking Tim Kaine, are getting an assist from the unrelenting sun that awaits the activists that have carpooled to Philly from across the country and camped out for this week's protests, with the region's worst heat wave in several years forecasted.  I was sitting outside at 8:15 just now and it was getting uncomfortably humid. The AC/ no AC divide will define the greater institutional divide being contested.

A point I neglected to make in that column is that despite Sanders' fear tactics about Trump's opposition to Obamacare, political insiders see no possibility of its positive aspects being overturned. That is, guaranteed insurance for pre-existing conditions at competitive rates and the expansion of Medicaid are here to stay.  While the system can and will be improved, even a Republican president and congress with all their rhetoric and fist pumping are not going to get a filibuster-proof majority for overturning those benefits, which constituents of all creeds and opinions have come to demand.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Dream: I was taking a course administered by Donald Trump in a long, wide hallway, about 50' by 30', with the doorway to the outside behind us and near another doorway to an amphitheater. Students ran the range of ages and backgrounds. When someone moved or twitched noticeably, they were shot and dragged out. Two were shot. On a placard the names of the people shot were listed. I decided to walk out but would cooperate of someone didn't want to let me leave. I made it out but we had left our shoes somewhere and I had no shoes to walk back to town. I saw a professor that I had met earlier and was familiar with her history book. She had just been told by the administrators that her office was untidy. I told her about the students being shot and she said, "Oh that was faked, no doubt."

Friday, March 4, 2016

The tag line for 2016 US Presidential could be:


Wednesday, March 2, 2016


I was offline when I saw the Philadelphia Daily News ("The People's Paper" tabloid) headline FACE IT (Trump and Hillary).  Media moguls essentially scolding their reader base, but Bernie ran in five primaries and won four of them, losing one where Hillary beat Obama by 15 points, outraising her in February by a whole lot, with a major cash in hand advantage.  Before I went online I made an infrequent visit to WalMart to look for something they didn't stock.  The store was mostly empty and the staff seemed depressed but polite and walking around the box looking for something made the headline hit home, as this Arkansas company had leaned so hard on the Clintons to railroad permanent trade relations with China so these people can stand in this box and sell junk made by command economy sweatshops.  But the more I crunched the numbers the more I realized that it's a tough fight but Bernie, his team, and his grassroots are performing exceptionally and it is not denial to say that, despite what mainstream media says, his momentum to win the whole thing is privately envied by the political class.  The media seemed to have its spin written and just changed the paragraphs about who won Colorado and Minnesota.

Trump is a businessman who thinks little of the David Duke clan but he was clearly signaling to trigger a backlash by the Republican establishment and the press and he got one. It was a calculated political move made in a year where white nationalism has been provoked internationally by the migrant crisis.  George Wallace and Hillary Clinton are/were not hardened racists but both, like Trump, use this demagoguery for their benefit at the moment it benefits them.  So does he pivot for the general election, or, as Eastern European pageant contestants would say, can he change?  Here is where I say I loathe the guy in the strongest possible terms.  El Paso has the lowest rate of rape (and crime) of any city its size or larger, and it's over 90% Mexican. & the Muslim baiting etc etc.  He is, as blue collar GOP whites who have no other anti-NAFTA choice will hopefully not have to find out, a guy who doesn't just side with the economic elites but has a particular passion for economic disparity, who retains a legal staff which enables him to rip off more construction contractors per project than any Jersey builder, notable in a state where Toll Brothers operates.

I didn't blog this ahead of time, but it kinda goes without saying that a GOP establishment that drops $150 million on Jeb Bush doesn't know where its constituents are or what hit them.  They didn't even think to back someone who could give whatever their platform is a new look and personal clean slate.  If Cruz hadn't alienated the establishment GOP, they'd realize he's the only person who can beat Trump, but then again Cruz would lose a lot of voters if he hadn't done so. The establishment can't come out and say they hate us and we deserve it.

There is overwhelming bipartisan anger over trade agreements, Citizens United, and the bailout of the financial sector. Whomever Trump faces, the general election is going to the Midwestern Rust Belt and it's going to have to deal with trade and the economy. If Hillary pulls it out, all this goes in a suggestion box she has made a career of ignoring. Donald's sincerity is what it is. That brings us to that Pwogressive...  But Trump is the first Republican to make the establishment pay for this, going, like Bernie, inside the primary structure, rather than the third party runs of the anti-NAFTA Perot and Nader.

Monday, February 8, 2016

NH preview

The main impact of Iowa on the Democratic side is that the party is digging in for a competitive race and, more importantly, the media coverage of Sanders was as infrequent as they could get away with, which has to change and has so far.  Voters nationally that haven't heard Sanders explain his positions are tuning in.  Reporters are taking dictation from Clinton propagandists in newspapers, Politico, etc, to the effect that Sanders is unelectable without noting in even the last paragraphs that head to head polls, usually unfavorable to candidates with lower name recognition, place Sanders clearly ahead of Republican rivals while Hillary is losing them.  These papers do mention in other articles Clinton's false statements about emails and some of her fundraising conflicts of interest, but rarely mention that Bill Clinton is on over a dozen captain's logs flying on a private jet with a trafficker of underage sex slaves and the slaves themselves, which perhaps they're saving for the general election.

The two Cuban exiles had a bounce from Iowa and squandered it before the week was out - Cruz, trying to win the evangelical 'lane' nationally, would I think have won the state without robocalling that Carson had dropped out, but gave his rivals a talking point against him which appears to be combining with New Hamphire's resistance to sanctimonious Iowa victors to make for low poll numbers up there.  Rubio's perf in Iowa seemed to put him much more within reach of claiming to be the figure the establishment and the victory-seeking rank and file would unite around but the debate blew the lid off the denial that he was a lightweight, as Christie and Bush began to shout that long-held belief that insiders had whispered.

I actually like what Cruz is saying about not fighting both Assad and ISUS at the same time, suggesting he thinks out his own positions instead of fronting for covert proxy wars - sometimes (!).  I oppose him for the obvious policy reasons.  He will stay in the race for a while, bankrolled by Texas oil money despite Republican insiders' hatred of him.  I believe it is possible for a conservative Cuban exile to transcend a nostalgia for the corruption of Batista-era Havana.  In Rubio's case, being a opportunist puppet of an organized crime linked casino owner (Adelson) with "some very, very curious and disturbing political bedfellows" doesn't seem to be the way to do that, and I am quite relieved by any news of his demise.  Rubio's similarities to W. Bush are also striking - a lightweight who cuts a good media figure in choreographed moments and cedes US foreign policy to the most extreme Neocons, but may actually be good on immigration.  Likewise I get relief from simple blessings like Rick Santorum dropping out - think of all the children of the world living under people like him..

Kasich seems primed for a big night, close to winning the whole thing, and Sanders' NH lead has increased in polls since Iowa. Sanders and Kasich would be a gift to the country from the Granite State - in addition to representing the left option of each party's linear spectrum, Kasich as the nominee significantly reduces the bogeyman factor compared to his GOP rivals.  Based on his past statements, it's likely he'd discourage congress from voting again to overturn Obamacare, and if they ignored him, he'd probably veto it.  His own imprint on health policy would likely follow his call for a Medicare expansion, defending Obamacare by saying "when you die.. St. Peter.. is going to ask you what you did for the poor."  He can be expected to perform better on this as president than Hillary.  Both Kasich and Hillary are Wall Street linked free traders that combine an acknowledgment of the human impact on the ozone layer with a resistance to active regulation - as the Clinton-Gore administration classified SUVs as light trucks to circumvent emissions standards.  Kasich's statements on virtually every aspect of US foreign policy have been less hawkish than Hillary's.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

I have plunged into 2016 Presidential off and on and haven't decided how much to blog it. One thing I will say the night before Iowa is that Clinton and Sanders both appear to be afraid to lose tomorrow. I read somewhere that both campaigns have their resources directed at the early primaries and Hillary especially has concentrated her organization on preventing a loss in Iowa rather than developing the national organization to soften the blow of one. So a Sanders win there would be a major psychological blow for the Clinton campaign, going a long way towards leveling the organizational playing field.

I didn't begin with a preconceived notion of whom I'd support but am impressed by Bernie's organization and his ability to mobilize an electorate behind his policy positions. I intend to support this contention in more depth, but I agree strongly with those who say Bernie has the best chance in the general election, though O'Malley would also run strong there should he, with a website full of policy papers, make a longshot surge. O'Malley's so good gov that they were trying to make a big deal out of an ongoing practice of buying Maryland government furniture - Bernie's even more of a boy scout. Hillary is complaining about Sanders' "attacks" as she would do in any case disingenuously, but the Democratic challengers are doing their party a disservice by not previewing how Hillary can't bear the scrutiny of Republican attacks - as Obama had mostly done before them. Before any of that begins she starts with more than half the country knowing her and disapproving, and the elites of the majority party are running too scared to call out how that's unacceptable in their potential standardbearer.

Part of the fear is that the free trade war hawks antagonistic to financial regulation have only a small group of puppets to parade out, because in keeping with democracy, most Democratic legislators elected in the last 20 years don't support their positions, despite their timid endorsements of HRC. Obama was uniquely not antagonistic to NAFTA out of the new Senators of his freshman class, ditto Hillary. Few, if any, leading Dems are more hawkish than Hillary on war issues. A win in Iowa would lead them to say Hillary is inevitable, a loss would send them into disarray.

The polls being as close as they are in a caucus state favors the candidate with more passionate and persuasive supporters to overcome lower name recognition and brand confidence, which would seem to favor Bernie.