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Do you remember NOW?

I love throwbacks. It is always fun to see my friends post stuff on Facebook where they have 80’s hair or sweat socks that come up to their knees. Or you’ll see an object that kids today have never seen; If you ever used one of these, you’re a senior citizen now. Lol.

Here’s a throwback for you.

Do you remember May of 1997? In that month, Major League Baseball suspended George Steinbrenner. Russia and Chechnya signed a peace agreement (that one is good for a chuckle). Tiger Woods was changing golf forever and won the Byron Nelson Classic. Tool Time star, Tim Allen got a DUI. Eddie Murphy got busted with a tranny prostitute. And Playboy Magazine published an interview with Donald Trump.

Anyone over the age of 30 can, at least, remember the time frame anyway. That was back in the days when everybody thought of Trump as a very wealthy buffoon who knew how to buy and develop real estate.

It was kind of like the way people thought of Michael Jackson. People scoffed at his sick obsession with kids, toys, drugs and a really weird life. Black Americans laughed at Jackson for trying to look so white and so feminine. Nearly all Americans cringed at his slide into such an undignified psychological sewer.

Then he died.

Suddenly folks couldn’t wait to talk about how much they loved Michael – 200 million Americans were on a first-name basis. All the things that made them gag when they thought of Michael Jackson – the person – became secondary. All the things that made him a talented entertainer, years before, became Michael Jackson – the person. In that way they all got to be a part of the story of his disgusting death by romanticizing the replacement “person”.

There are myriad explanations for such events. We could talk about group think, media influences, all manner of psychology. But I’ll boil it down for you. Americans are shallow and love to be played for chumps. This has been true, to one degree or another, for a long time. But the condition is rampant now. Thanks to our diminishing ability to reason and communicate, a symptom of our fascination with this very medium, we have become vapid, credulous followers of the loudest and the most circus-like of celebrities and politicians.

Don’t believe me?

Well, more than half of all who started reading this post have left already because they don’t have the attention span required to get through a complex thought process.

Also, our opinion of congress has been running lower than a snake’s belly for decades. And yet 95% of all incumbents get reelected every time. Does the average voter have a clue what their rep’s voting record is? No. And the candidates know this. They have always tried to capitalize on our ignorance in order to hold onto power. In the last 30 years we have just made it much easier for them to make chumps of us all.

So, while I make a lot of hay about the failures of our politics, local and national, and happily tar the scumbags in DC for you, you should always keep in mind that it is all your fault – our fault. I include in that assessment especially, all the folks who don’t vote. “Oh, I don’t vote. They’re all the same anyway…”

SHUT UP! Stupid, lazy rubes!

In his last election, McConnell won a squeaker playing up to the Tea Party vote. Then, without skipping a beat went back to DC and let Reid and Obama use him like a drunken whore. Ryan simply took the collar Pelosi had around Boehner’s neck and put it on himself. And we keep sending them back.

Then along comes the Donald.

In that ’97 interview he gave Playboy Magazine the real Donald Trump was on display for all to see. He gave Mark Bowden (author of Blackhawk Down) a weekend to talk to him and observe him. I commented before on this very interview and Bowden’s later recollection of it. But recently I came across the most accurate characterization of the interview I’ve seen.

It was written by Nancy LaTourneau, one-time family therapist, for the Washington Monthly in Dec of 2015. I bracketed a quote from Bowden with LaTourneau’s impressions.

That is essentially how Mark Bowden describes Donald Trump based on an interview he did with him for Playboy magazine back in 1996. Here are a couple of the pertinent excerpts:

Trump struck me as adolescent, hilariously ostentatious, arbitrary, unkind, profane, dishonest, loudly opinionated, and consistently wrong. He remains the most vain man I have ever met. And he was trying to make a good impression…

He has no coherent political philosophy, so comparisons with Fascist leaders miss the mark. He just reacts. Trump lives in a fantasy of perfection, with himself as its animating force…

Apart from the comical ego, the errors, and the self-serving bluster, what you get from Trump are commonplace ideas pronounced as received wisdom…The ideas that pop into his head are the same ones that occur to any teenager angry about terror attacks. They appeal to anyone who can’t be bothered to think them through—can’t be bothered to ask not just the moral questions but the all-important practical one: Will doing this make things better or worse? When you believe in your own genius, you don’t question your own flashes of inspiration.

Yep, that pretty well describes a lot of 13 year-olds I’ve met over the years.”

I vaguely remember that interview. At the time, Trump was in his second iteration of creating his brand. His most significant attribute at the time – and it remains so today – was his monstrous ego. The second was his inability to create a real life for himself. The narcissist could never absorb the world around him. All he could do was buy and sell real estate and use people.

This directly from Bowden:

“He was like one of those characters in an 18th-century comedy meant to embody a particular flavor of human folly…Time after time the stories he told me didn’t check out, from Michael Jackson’s romantic weekend at Mar-a-Lago with his then wife Lisa Marie Presley (they stayed at opposite ends of the estate) to the rug in one bedroom he said was designed by Walt Disney when he was 18 (it wasn’t) to the strength of his marriage to Maples (they would split months later).”

During and after this time Trump would continue to feed his own overblown ego by plastering his name on everything he touched. There was Trump Plaza, Trump Tower, Trump golf courses, Trump Airline. I often wondered it he would ever commission a 30-foot statue of himself and call it the Trump Trump.

But then in 2004, a breakthrough! Donald had a new market. He produced and starred in the Apprentice. People who thought “Reality” TV was real now had a hero. They believed the heavily scripted commentary was an insight into the man. The rest of us still thought him a clown. But “Reality” TV fans were smitten. Not a bad comeback.

Our intellectual decay and social immaturity wasn’t quite ready for a President Trump yet (he had dabbled a bit with the idea) but that would come.

By 2014, we were a nation where someone like Sean Hannity on the right and Rachel Maddow on the left were actually taken seriously by their audience. The Four Morons (Pelosi, McConnell, Reid and Boehner) were being elected again and again. We had elected an unaccomplished Senator with nothing but ego and emotionalism as attributes as president, watched him damage the country almost beyond repair and then elected him again. Oh yes, the nation was ready for the Donald. In mid-2015, he announced his candidacy.

From that day to this, no one has ever had an easier time getting press and supporters. All he has to do is blurt out a half-baked thought. His “Reality” TV fans, and those who can’t wait to tear him apart in the general election, do the rest. They go out and explain what he meant when he made the stupid XYZ statement. The press, especially the left wing, will give him air time any time, anywhere. They want him to get the nomination so they can wreck the Republican brand for the next 10 years.

Trump’s loyal fans like to say that he is ahead because, “He speaks the truth.”

No, he doesn’t. He pukes out inarticulate populist generalities. He knows his market. He is counting on our microscopic attention span and inability to process what grownup candidates are saying, and just blurts out something popular he saw on Twitter.  Helen McGillicutty sitting in her single-wide tweeting about how much she hates “them goddamn Muslims” hears Trump say “stop all Muslim immigration”, and she’s beside herself. Lacking the ability to reason beyond her Twitter feed, Trump’s exclamation is now “truth” because she feels the same way.

And so it is with all his poorly worded pronouncements. They lack substance, there is no coherent elucidation. But since most of the public he is reaching out to don’t know what elucidation is, he’s in like Flynn.

Let me remind the reader of a few things you might want to point out to Trump-ettes (they’re not going to read 2000+ words on anything). You might want to pass these nuggets along.

Donald J. Trump, the “conservative”, to this very day, believes a single payer system is the best medical system. When asked what he’ll do about medical care in this country he says – I’m paraphrasing here – “We’re going to have such great medical care. Believe me.” That’s it. That’s his answer. On to the next question.

Trump, the “conservative” says flatly eminent domain it a “wonderful thing”. And he was talking in the context of Kelo vs the City of New London. A rich guy or group wants your property for their own profit. The government should be able to take it from you, for a price they set, and you are supposed to leave. We’re not talking greater good here, just people who want to make money by making you move. In the honest world – the truthful world – we call that crony capitalism.

While we’re on the subject, Trump says he will deal with crony capitalism on Wall Street. HE STILL IS A CRONY CAPITALIST![1. For the truly slow, that is opposed to a free market capitalist, ya know, the people we depend on to grow a strong, honest economy.] And people want to give him the keys to the vault.

Here’s the most important thing you need to understand. Trump has a strong hold on about 30% of likely Republican primary voters. He also holds, by double digits, the lead in those who would not vote for him under any circumstances. That translates into less than a sixth of the voting population. He would have to increase his popularity in the general election by 200% in order to win. And that will not happen. Here’s why.

  1. The left wing press has been playing patty cake with him from the start. Once he has sealed the nomination, they will open fire without mercy. He will be shown to be the arrogant, dysfunctional, narcissist he has always been. The attack ads will be a lot closer to reality than the Apprentice ever was.
  2. Even if you despise BJ Bill’s enabler as much as I do, you will not be able to get around the fact that Trump will be left looking like a stammering idiot in a debate with her or Sanders. Again, he’s had it easy, so far. In a one-on-one, the press will start throwing bricks at him. He won’t be able to produce a single complex statement.

There are only two, fully evolved adults left in the Republican field, Paul and Fiorina[2. I am not a strong fan of Fiorina due to her stance on data collection, but she’d tear Clinton a new one in a debate.]  Christie isn’t bad. All are down in the poles. I believe that is part their fault for not being louder in a loud field and our fault because we lack the civic knowledge and personal responsibility to pay attention.  But I can assure you, if the present trend continues, we will have four more years of Barack Obama in the person of Clinton, Sanders or Biden (if BJ Bill’s wife is indicted.)

Many say that at least Trump would be a better president than Obama. That may be so. But you can be a remarkably shitty president and still outshine BHO. Trump is running to feed his own ego (and possibly throw a stick in the Republicans’ spokes). Let’s all stop being rubes now and pay attention.

Thomas Sowell agrees with me.

How long will it be before the mindless Trump-ettes are accusing Sowell of being a RINO and hating the poor Donald.

Matt Jordan is a travel writer, political commentator and author of 16 20 24. Get your SIGNED copy here!

Find 16 20 24 on Amazon.

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Find 16 20 24 at Books-a-Million

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Debate wrap up

I shirked my responsibilities last night. I was planning to watch the debates but had promised Lynette a night of sloth and debauchery. That’s right. It was Trivia Night at the Legion Hall. Had Herself missed it, I’d have paid for it until next Thursday. So, I set the DVR to record the debates and we headed for Gautier.

The only trick was to watch the debates today and avoid any commentary from lesser pundits than myself who were sure to be crowding the airwaves today.

That chore done, I stand ready to share my impressions.

As usual, I can say any of the people I saw along with all the ones who have quit the race would be better Chief Executives than Obama or the sorry list the Dems have on offer.

As for the specifics:

I thought the under card was an excellent debate. While still not a fan, I think Huck handled himself very well. Especially effective was his take on taxation as we know it, whereby the government gets wrong the idea of rewarding what you want and punishing what you don’t.

He is still promoting the myth that anyone who plans to fix Social Security or Medicare will do so by cutting off those already on the system. He knows this is not true and his constant lying about it cheapens his candidacy and puts the lie the his whole God-ditty-god-god blabbering out on the stump.

Fiorina did really well. I consider her to be one of the very few serious candidates. She nailed her opening and closing statements, drawing stark comparisons between herself and the criminal she aspires to face in the general election. Her weak points in elect-ability remain her strong points as a person. Although she is the best prepared of all candidates on either stage, she comes across as clearly rehearsed and refuses to increase the volume or bring in new talking points. She has an endless stream of ammunition at the ready, but it all sounds like a long commercial. How deadly she would be if she would invite controversy.

On this she could take a page from the Trump playbook. Make statements that give the media the vapors, then laugh in their faces when they speak ill of her. That combined with day-to-day Carly would rocket her to the top of the heap.

Santorum had far less Howdy Dootie and moderated his working man hero routine to the point where he didn’t sound like a socialist this time around. I actually enjoyed listening to him last night.

Overall, for the under card, I give very high marks. The three of them outdid almost all of the main event participants without breaking a sweat. I think Rand Paul made a huge tactical AND strategic error in not showing up. Instead of using the smaller venue to smash his way back into the headlines, he almost guaranteed himself a spot at the kiddie table next time, if he survives that long. I was disappointed by his absence. He did everyone and himself a disservice.

The main event didn’t disappoint. There were some good fireworks but there was enough order to let the candidates to get their brand recognized. This was better for some than others.

Trump has his best debate night so far. That isn’t exactly clearing a very high bar. His thoughts are still incomplete and meandering. But he did have a moment or two where he looked serious. Basically, he did well because he didn’t step on his own dick.

His pursuit of Cruz’s birth status is imbecilic and his pretensions that he only raises the issue because he cares about potential lawsuits is cringe worthy. It was his intention all along that the Dems pick up on the idea of lawsuits. His humor and his reaction to Nikki Haley were strong moments.

Ted Cruz had some great moments. He batted aside Trump and questions about his financial filings with flair. His tax plan is clearly the best of the bunch. I say that, not having read Carson’s. I will let you know if that view changes. He’s between a rock and a hard place on the New York culture thing, having taken huge loans from the very crony culture he criticizes. But I don’t see this as a serious problem.

Rubio was as polished as ever. He had a laser focus on his message. Sadly, that message has some serious big government underpinnings. He was disingenuous with his calling Cruz’s flat tax a VAT. It was one of those moments you’d wish the kid would be that serious and sharp about something that was being stated accurately. In every debate, he has done something like this to kill the joy of watching him perform. At these very moments he also comes across as petulant.

I think the top three (Trump, Rubio and Cruz) are safe in their present positions for now.

Lindsay Graham did an excellent job of sitting in the audience and nodding.

While he had some of the best one liners including, “You had your chance you blew it”, Christie is starting to look like the biggest big-government guy on the stage (no pun intended – heh-heh, that’s funny because he’s fat). The bromance I had for this guy in 2012 – when he should have run – is gone. He is too enamored with data collection and spends too many hours telling us how afraid we are. He sees the whole country as cowering under our beds. But he did have a good night and I suspect that will be reflected in the poles in New Hampshire.

John Kasich. Definitely a big-government Republican. He comported himself well and if the Republicans decided to go with an establishment candidate, he would be a far superior choice to Jeb. He too may see a tiny bump in Iowa and New Hampshire in the coming days.

And speaking of polls, what the hell was he doing on that stage and not Fiorina or Paul? If the polls are to be believed, we are in deep doo doo with that outcome.

Ben Carson’s performance is a bit more difficult to characterize. He is clearly trying to present himself as the new and improved Ben Carson. Did he succeed? Is he starting to look presidential? I believe his natural demeanor and his comments admonishing his fellow candidates played very well. But to what end?

He looked good last night. I just can’t decide if it means anything.

Jeb… Still looks frightened and nervous. He is still shaking his head “no” while making positive assertions. He still looks flustered at just being asked a question. WTF? He was governor of Florida, and a good one. What the hell is his problem? Is he still shell shocked that he is not the presumptive nominee? I just hope he steps aside and endorses someone while it would make a difference and doesn’t stay too long or try to hold out his endorsement thinking he is the hottest dropout in the field. Both would cause no end of empathetic embarrassment.

Iowa is just around the corner. Who do you think will be the next to drop from the race? Let us know in the comments section below.


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What the News Channels Won’t Tell You About Our New Year’s Market Crash!

Deflation is about to rear it’s ugly head.

What is with all shock being exhibited by TV “experts” about the conditions of the market these days? This is the condition the market has been in for years. Or better put, these are the days that quantitative easing (QE) by a Federal Reserve – in business to protect the interests of banks and Wall Street investors – have been artificially avoiding.

Sadly, you can only print so much funny money and spend just so much of other people’s money, before you have to stop. Now that the QE fig leaf has been brushed aside, the market is reflecting the conditions of the actual economy.

Whenever I correctly pointed out that we were not in a long recession, but a depression, the most common response was don’t be silly, look at the stock market.


The last depression was heralded by a crash in ’29. We hear folklore about people throwing themselves from office windows at the unraveling of investments. The fact is it was the later crash in ’37 that had more people by far jumping out of windows. Before and after the ’37 event, FDR’s socialist opportunism and an avalanche of totalitarian regulation and market interference prolonged and exacerbated the depression[1. Read The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes ]and please excuse the long link.  Obama has us reliving 1937 by means of the same government meddling in things economic.

Yes, an oil glut doesn’t help, but the oil glut was by no means the main trigger for this slump. It was the Fed backing away from QE (our phony, government rigged stock boondoggle) and China’s top heavy, centrally planned economy (their phony, government rigged stock boondoggle) running out of options to feed greedy market gamblers. The two economies are mutually dependent.

Next will come a period of deflation[2. With oil and a slack retail season, deflation has already started] in which cash will be king for a little while.

The business news feeds are full of prognosticators who never saw QE as a problem in itself, telling you all is well or nearly so. It is not. For my part, I am prepared to move money quickly, dump anything that doesn’t have very strong fundamentals and I am not afraid of converting weak performers into cash.

Throughout the coming months, remember who got you here: Obama, the four morons[3. In my book, 16 20 24, and often here, I refer to the four morons; Pelosi, Reid, McConnell and now Ryan.] and anyone with more than six years in federal office. Perhaps the road to recovery lies in rising up, FINALLY, and flushing out the entire leadership of both parties.

I’ll give you an easy way to start. Copy and paste this article in an email to your senators and reps. You can also call them or write your own letter. But have a little backbone and do it! Or you can continue to watch all your investments circle the toilet. Your call.

Matt Jordan is a travel writer, political commentator and author of 16 20 24. Get your SIGNED copy here!

Find 16 20 24 on Amazon.

Find 16 20 24 at Barnes & Noble

Find 16 20 24 at Books-a-Million