Days of Change

Donald J. Trump, Socialist

November 30, 2016
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Socialism is defined by government controlling the means of production. Donald Trump praised a “deal” with Carrier that sought to control their production by use of the government.

The good news today is that instead of 2,000 people losing jobs in Indiana by moving production to Mexico, 1,000 people will not be laid off in February. The bad news is that 1,000 other people will lose their jobs, the people who have those jobs probably won’t see overtime anymore and Donald Trump is morally flexible on the concept of a free market.

When Obama was elected, I figured the bright spot was that he would put in tariffs to keep cheap foreign goods from coming in. I guess not. It’s a short term fix, but it was the best one could expect from a Democrat. Instead, we have a populist who wants to be liked. His supporters love this, too. Many were never big on the free market. The ones who are should be ashamed.

When you offer incentives for jobs, you are buying jobs. Lowering tax rates is one thing. If you do it across the board or for start-ups, you are trying to encourage economic activity. When you play the New York State game of demanding jobs for grants, you end up spending tax money for corporate welfare and often not even getting any jobs.

You either believe in free trade or you don’t. When you act like a job exists to fund a person’s life instead of a contract for work, or when you make a shady deal no one knows the specifics of, you don’t believe in free trade.

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Polarization

November 29, 2016
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I was looking through my Amazon Prime and saw one of the “free” streaming shows was the 1990’s sitcom “Hearts Afire.” It was heavy-handed and overly talky, much like Linda Bloodworth-Thomason’s other show, “Designing Women.” However, it reminded me of a time in the early 1990’s when people could argue in good faith and not worry about the other side trying to destroy civilization or let people die.

Some of the good feelings were due to the fact that no one was getting everything they wanted. Bill Clinton won the presidency, but Ross Perot was the man who was responsible for Bush’s defeat. In 1994, Newt Gingrich led a Republican win of Congress, which actually brought positive change for a while.

Not surprisingly, I blame George Soros for bringing polarization into American politics. Almost 20 years ago, a group called Move On wanted Congress to censure Bill Clinton and “move on” without Impeachment hearings. It was a compromise where he would still get a slap on the wrist, but not go through a process that would damage his legacy. It didn’t work, and Clinton remained president anyway.

Then the 2000 Election happened.

Much like the 2016 election, the media speculated that George W. Bush would win the popular vote, but wouldn’t get enough states for the Electoral vote. They ended up dead wrong. The defeat was bitter for Democrats because it was the first time the Republicans had the White House and the Congress (at least most of the first term) in more than a generation. Plus, it was really close. This time, the third party candidate, Ralph Nader, lost the election for the Democrats.

This is where Soros came in. His money turned Move On from a grass roots organization to an AstroTurf arm of globalism. The Electoral College makes it difficult to buy a president, so Soros and Move On dumped money into statewide elections, thinking they could choose who counted and certified votes. Worse than that, Soros funded Media Matters, whose sole purpose is to counter anything even slightly conservative in the media, along with the specific war on Fox News.

Unfortunately, the right has also gotten in on the act. Because Democrats like government, almost anything Bill Clinton did was a positive. Conservatives want smaller, and possibly more efficient, government. The problem is that shrinking government is hard and often involves a lot of legal hurdles because of the complicated system used to enact them. So conservatives have been disappointed since at least the late 80’s.

For me, the fact that Republicans run two branches, but the president is legislatively incompetent, means that I am on two sides. Side one thinks everything Trump does is wrong. The other ascribes God-like wisdom to every action. Someday, I hope people start using their brains again.


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Purity Test

November 28, 2016
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The Trumpster fire continues.

So, there are 3 scenarios being proposed for the reason why Mitt Romney was floated as Secretary of State while most of the Trump train oppose it.

  1. Trump legitimately considered Mitt Romney a contender for the job, but has trouble making the final decision (a la Mike Pence / Chris Christie)
  2. Trump wanted Romney for SOS, but his supporters’ angry reaction forced him to scrap it (like his flip-flops on abortion or immigration)
  3. Trump is orchestrating some screw job on the media and using Mitt Romney as a stooge. This is highly unlikely, but the most desired reality for Trumpers.

For the most part, it doesn’t really matter which scenario is true. It’s kind of like Schrodinger’s cat, all the possibilities are true. In this case, when Trump decides what reality sounds best, he will eventually convince himself that was the plan all along.

Earlier, Nikki Haley was chosen for the Ambassador to the UN. Initially, Trump lovers were upset at a disloyal Cruz supporter being brought into the Trump administration. Most were fortunate enough to brainwash themselves into believing her appointment was a boon to her Trump supporting Lieutenant Governor and that the UN would be ignored in a Trump administration anyway. Big Brother is always right.

I’m willing to give Donald Trump a chance as president, but most of the dumb things I hear right now are from Trump die-hards, and I have a hard time finding their grasp on reality. I am enjoying the alternating purity tests, followed by the internal justification used when Trump fails the test. It’s like Republican Obots.


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Flukes R Us

November 27, 2016
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Donald Trump’s victory was a fluke.

In 2008, Barack Obama beat John McCain hard. Obama won by over 5% of the vote with 69.5 million ballots casts and had a nearly 200 Electoral Vote margin. The popular theory is that McCain ran a bad campaign. What really killed him was that his own baggage was added to the baggage of George W. Bush’s unpopularity and the fact no one knew what an Obama was.

For his part, Bush’s victory was a kind of Phoenix rising from the ashes. Last minute October surprises coupled with the media calling Florida before the Panhandle polls closed nearly lost the state and the election. Bush would go on to win reelection with an additional 12 million voters supporting him. Obama lost 3.5 million voters between 2008 and 2012. Hillary Clinton is within 1.3 million votes of Obama’s 2012 total.

There are 5 states this year where the popular vote margin between Trump and Clinton was less than 1.5%. Not only is that below the margin of error, it is below the precision an opinion poll could have. The mistake most media outlets made was to ignore the margin or error and give states to Clinton with 2-3% leads.

At the same time, Trump and Kellyanne Conway should refrain from breaking their arms trying to pat themselves on the back. They only knew that they could win. The people who “knew” that Trump winning was a certainty were prognosticators who deluded themselves with confirmation bias. Congratulations, you were accidentally correct.

It might have been a happy accident, but a new Trump administration is going to have to do some work. Obama proved that you can do things with a single party with enough blind devotion and a majority. However, Trump’s Republican colleagues are not nearly as obedient. Even if they won’t openly defy him, they can tie his agenda in legislative knots. Trump makes big deals, but for every chain of Trump hotels, there’s a failed airline or that $900 million debt.

Is it better to be lucky or good? Right now, lucky is winning.


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The Obama Touch Continues

November 26, 2016
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Remember how President Obama would go to a manufacturing plant to tout his economic successes, only to have it close months later? So, months after opening up trade with Cuba, Castro is dead.


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Blackest Night

November 25, 2016
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Catalog sales go back over a century. Main street predates the shopping mall. Before Wal-Mart, there was the department store. Right now, we are witnessing another change in the way people acquire goods.

Black Friday is a somewhat arbitrary point in the year where revenue exceeds expenses for retail. People once decided to start shopping for Christmas gifts just after Thanksgiving, but now they shop because today is the day stores offer big discounts to get shoppers in the door. That also means they save up for some impulse buys until this weekend, including Cyber Monday and tomorrow’s also-ran, Small Business Saturday.

Most people at work know That Guy, the one who brags about how they braved the crowds for an impossibly good deal on some loss-leader that was marked up to begin with. Most of us instead buy what we want when we can, opting not to run around, get pushed around and ultimately not get the thing we wanted anyway.

That makes online shopping much more fun. You look at some websites, make a decision, and click the button.Then some UPS guys delivers it in early December, three weeks before the worst shipping days of the year. Stores like Wal-Mart are now offering deals online this weekend, trying to beat the brick and mortar competition.

Personally, I like stores and actually getting something when I spend my money. However, I find clothes and electronics hard to get at stores, especially now that Radio Shack is gone. Shopping online is the new department store. It’s still hard to get many kinds of food, though. Maybe next year.


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Giving Thanks for Another Chance

November 24, 2016
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If there’s one way to describe this presidential election, it is too close for comfort. In the end, two things kept Hillary Clinton out of the White House. First, the media’s confidence about her winning the election led to the second thing, people who would have voted Democrat in a close election were so fatigued by scandal, they decided to vote third-party (or for Trump) as a protest to her shady dealings. Basically, this election really was like Brexit.

Even though there was some good fortune involved in Trump’s win, this does not mean that he should give Democrats a place at the table or work with them. When Obama took office, he quickly passed what he could with three RINOs in the Senate until the short period when there were 60 Democrats. That’s how we got Obamacare. When the Republicans regained Congress, Obama turned to Executive Orders and regulation. The Republicans are now in the same position. Even if they acted the same way, most of what happens will only be to reverse all the stuff Obama already did.

Thank God we have a chance to make America less bad again. Once we get there, maybe we can work on the great part.


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Congratulations, Dr. Carson

November 23, 2016
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Ben Carson will be the new head of HUD.

It’s like an administration run by talk radio hosts.


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Clean Slate

November 22, 2016
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Over a year ago, I wrote about Donald Trump as an Obama-style blank slate. Other candidates had to defend their political records, which involved compromise, because that’s how politics works. Donald Trump had only his personal history. Even though it was filled with Democratic party entanglements, somehow that was irrelevant. Much like Obama, he won on the ability to squirm out of actual political experience. Unlike Obama, he doesn’t have much of the party behind him.

The Trump cabinet is being filled with media figures and low-level government mavericks. This is the advantage of not having a team of people in mind ahead of time. In practice, the swamp will be drained by thousands of Obama administration staff walking out the doors on January 20. Trump’s job is to not refill the swamp with whatever makes the swamp swampy.

The federal government is a massive complicated machine. The people with the biggest will have the most power. I suspect Trump and Stephen Bannon will end up having to filter their sloganeering through Mike Pence, who is now the most important man in the world. Not bad for a guy who was poised to lose the Indiana gubernatorial election.


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Whup-Ass Has an Expiration Date

November 21, 2016
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The story today is that Donald Trump had a meeting with several media figures n condition of non-disclosure. He then proceeded to berate them for negative stories. Unlike the NDAs he makes other people sign, these media figures weren’t going to be bullied if they didn’t get anything out of the deal.

At a certain point, the GOP decided that the moral high ground was better than fighting against an all-powerful media empire. Reagan helped to slow that evil empire by eliminating “equal time” rules that allowed conservatives to flourish on talk radio. By 1994, Republicans were able to get control of the Congress for the first time in decades. Two years later, Fox News came along and dominated cable ratings.

It’s not surprising that the entertainment industry, like the Hamilton cast and the American Music Awards, is using their monopoly to beat up on the coming Trump administration. In exchange, they are being beaten up by an emboldened social media contingent that wants to make America, you know.

Speaking truth to power is fine, but once Trump is in power, being a shill for power is much less rebellious. Opening up a can of whup-ass on every Trump criticism, valid or not eventually loses all context. Those undecided people who put Trump over the edge may regret their decision in the wake of a bunch of sore winners. You can’t be the victim fighting back forever.


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