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2016: What Did We Learn?

Wow! 2016. What a Year, Huh?

It was the year of Brexit. It was the year of Hurricane Matthew (you’re welcome). We lost a lot of cool celebrities. But we also got rid of Castro. Finally!  2016 was the year I billed Mexico for my garden wall. It seemed like the smart move at the time. They didn’t find it funny.  There was also some kind of election thingy, wasn’t there?

I Celebrate My Wrong-ness!

I am late getting back to you on one of my 2016 predictions. I have just spent several days in WordPress/Plugin hell trying to create a membership program for this site. I hope to create a talent incubator for political writers. And it will be for left, right, young, old, gay, straight, Lithuanian, Latvian…

It would be about time we had some talent here. Until that happens, you still have sweet, lovable me.

If you are a frequent visitor here, you will have read my warnings about the Federal Reserve’s December 2016 rate hike. I will state for the record, I was anticipating from ½ to full point increase.

With Trump’s victory (the Fed sees him as a problem) I expected the Fed to go big. I warned people here to keep a sharp eye on their retirement accounts because a big rate increase would throw cold water on the stock market.

When I am wrong, I say I’m wrong. The Fed only bumped their rates to big banks by ¼ point. The Wall Street nose-dive I worried about did not occur. If the Fed is going to do anything in relation to Trump, they will wait until next year to see if he actually intends to “drain the swamp.”

If he really does enact the agenda he ran on, expect the Fed to punish him with draconian rate hikes. This won’t necessarily be a bad thing in the long-term, but it will be very painful for all of us at the outset. For the record, the Fed IS the very slime at the bottom of the entire Beltway “swamp”.

But There Was a Glimmer of Right-ness.

Poor Stuart Varney.   From Late November until his last vacation, he was having on-camera, autoerotic spasms waiting to see the Dow at 20,000 before Christmas. Every guest who came on his show was asked to make a prediction on the possibility. He could taste 20,000!

Sadly, and predictably, it didn’t happen. And there is the tiny space in which I was right. While ¼ point was not enough to completely knock the wind out of Wall Street, the market has been quite flat since the very day of the announcement.

So much for all the talk of a “Trump” rally. What we saw was a run up to the Fed’s rate announcement followed by a slightly dampened market.

Poor Varney will have to sit alone in his room, doing god-knows-what, dreaming about the big moment. [1.I’m kidding, of course. I am a devoted Varney fan and watch his show almost every day.]

One last Street Politics prediction: As I said in a previous post, I predicted in 2013 that we’d see the National Debt at $20 trillion by the end of 2016. Ooooooh! So close! I lost a bottle of Johnny Walker Black by a mere whisker of $50 billion.

In case you think that was a wide margin to miss by, the debt as of 12:45 PM on New Year’s Eve, 2016 stood at $19,949,833,450. I missed by less than 1%! From two and a half years ago!

Political Lessons

If ever there was a year in which we could have had our eyes open to how things really work, it was 2016. This was the year in which cult-like devotion out-performed any concept of quality statesmanship. The mob stole the show.

2016 laid naked our political and intellectual immaturity. It gave us a chance to really evaluate how far we’ve regressed as citizens and voters. After a primary offering several very good candidates, we left ourselves with a choice between a petulant, impulsive teenage girl and Hillary.

You would think the LEAST observant among the talking head class would have volumes of lessons. You’d expect the old, stale views would be abandoned in the hopes of quality elections in the future.

But it seems they’ve learned nothing of lasting value…or even of short-term significance.

I watched an interview on this subject led by Chris Stirewalt, one of my favorite commentators. I expected at least some hope that 2016 didn’t circle the toilet in vain. I was, for the most part, disappointed.

Stirewalt interviewed two journalists who had provided their “lessons learned”, three each, for discussion. Josh Kraushaar, political writer for the National Journal put up this list:

  • The Obama coalition is on life support
  • Data is only as good as the analyst
  • Clinton campaign lost because it got overconfident

All those statements are basically true. But, come on! Have we not come out of every election since JFK with at least the first and third item touted by every pundit?

Of course the Obama coalition is on life support! He’s a lame duck. His party lost. The Obama coalition was officially flat-line on 8 Nov 16. It will never be heard from again. Sadly, we can’t say the same for BHO. He’ll be holding court every day, opining negatively about the Trump administration. He was a weak and feckless president, even more so than Carter. He’ll crave validation wherever he can find it.

Kraushaar’s second point, “Data is only as good as the analyst”??? WTF? Is that a major lesson we learned in this election. I thought we learned that when Mondale and Reagan were neck and neck – and then Reagan took 49 states. Josh, please!

And data doesn’t win elections. Even your understanding of data doesn’t win elections. That point is a virtual corollary to a complaint I heard a Clinton staffer make. “We had such a good ground game in every state! And yet we lost!”

(REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

You can have a phone bank that calls every phone in America. You can offer every single voter (and in Hilary’s case lot’s of illegal aliens) a ride to the polls. You can have every statistician in the country analyzing your data. If you have a candidate that absolutely no one likes, who is under investigation by the FBI, you lose the election.

 

The only reason this one was so close is Donald Trump was only marginally less distasteful, to a frustrated 60% of the electorate, than Clinton!

Then it was Daniel Halper’s turn. He is the New York Times Washington Bureau Chief. This was his list of political profundity:

  • Don’t learn too many lessons from past elections
  • Conventional wisdom is often wrong
  • Ideology is insignificant

Well, bust my buttons! Is there something the other 310 million of us missed? Is this new?

Don’t learn too much from past elections is right! Other than 2010, how many times since Bush 41 have we heard that the GOP is the walking dead? “They’re on the wrong side of history,” we were told. The reason talking heads say we can’t learn from past elections is because Halper’s second and third points are correct.

But the same talking head class spends every election season reinvigorating the same wrongheadedness framed in these lists. Conventional wisdom, remaining stagnant since Reagan, is why I wrote Street Politics: It Ain’t your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! The people are bone weary of canned, handled, poll-tested campaigns.  And they already reject “conventional wisdom”.

That’s why the Donald was able to enter the election and say, “I’m going to build a wall” or blurt out something that was trending on his beloved Twitter feed, and people went wild! “He speaks the truth,” was a refrain we heard constantly. [emphasis mine]

His continued dependence on Twitter and recent shallow stunts are why he didn’t earn my vote and has yet to earn my trust.

Photo Credit: torbakhopper Flickr via Compfight cc

I did said as early as 2013 that there was a dire need for a genuine, in your face candidate. Carly Fiorina could have been that. Certainly Rand Paul could have been. But they opted for caution. And yes, I will stipulate that since June of 2015 the press decided there were only two candidates in the race, Trump and Clinton and covered the two accordingly. ALL other candidates were ignored unless one of the prime darlings was attacking them.

And ideology is indeed insignificant. It is dead. When you see ideology being touted, you are being lied to. The Democrat party, the party of the “little guy,” has completely whored itself out to Wall Street and Hollywood money, while scut-mouthing the same rich people. Most of the GOP wouldn’t know a conservative idea if it fell out of the sky, landed on their faces and wiggled. (I stole that line from Dan Aykroyd in The Great Outdoors)

This is the inevitable result of an entrenched two-party system. When loyalty to party is everything and principles are nothing. Hell, even the “Christian Right” gleefully cast aside it’s core principles in favor of a candidate who, if he ever had a genuinely conservative thought, was only a conservative for 1 ½ years before he ran for president. So much for ideology.

It was Stirewalt who finally evoked anything other than cynicism on my part during this interview. First, he stated the only valid (if not self-evident) lesson of the 2016 campaign. “In 2012, people voted for Obama because they wanted to. In 2016 people didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton because they didn’t want to.” Wow! These guys are smart!

In the wrap-up, Stirewalt said, “Tell me the name of another journalist who distinguished themselves in 2016.”

It was at that point my head exploded, splattering the walls of my living room with pieces of my superior brain. “Me!” I shouted. “I was touting the real lessons we needed to heed since early two thousand and goddamn fifteen!”

They didn’t hear me. They never do.

Matt Jordan is host of streetpolitics.us and author of 16 20 24: A Path to Consistent Conservative Victory,  on Kindle as: Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore!

Kindle Version, STREET POLITICS: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! 50% of all author proceeds go to fighting Multiple Sclerosis!!

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Beware the Ides of December and Your 401K. Merry Christmas!

Your First Dose of Christmas Cheer From Street Politics!

For weeks, on social networks, we’ve been seeing people who don’t know any better celebrating the recent stock market rally. They and talking heads on TV, who should know better, have been calling this the Trump rally. Concurrently, Barry Obama has been saying the rally is a further sign of the market “boom” he is handing off to Trump. It’s going to be an interesting December.

The market we see today is NONE OF THE ABOVE! As I’ve said here and on various sites over the last two years, there is no fundamental support for what the market is doing. It is a scam. And it is going to start winding down in about a week.

We’d Be Here With or Without Trump.

That the market is above 19,000 has absolutely nothing to do with the election of Donald J. Trump. He is just enjoying the happy illusion while it lasts. He has as much to do with the Dow right now as I do with how the Cowboys are doing this season. Which is to say we can both only watch and shake our heads.

31146825175_09053b7576_bThe market has nothing to do with a healthy economy. We do not have a healthy economy. None of the developed nations have healthy economies right. The U.S. and China are merely the healthiest horses in the glue factory. The stock market and the wider economy have been divorced since the Fed started the “Quantitative Easing” program years ago.

Long after they should have ended it they decided to just stop using the term and continued to loan big banks money at ruinously low rates. With this money the big banks would buy stocks in bulk. The buys would trigger computer buys on Wall Street. This would get the attention of the retail investor who would follow along. All of this would drive up the value of the stock whether there was fundamental support or not.

Then they would do it again.

Yellen Feels Like Scrooge After the Dreams…Without the Kind Heart.

But when Fed Chair, Janet Yellen raises rates next week I am predicting we will see a repeat of last December. There will be a sharp cooling off period through Christmas and into January. I expect the increase to be at least ½ point.

14373734290_d6a5a77c7b_b
Janet Yellen discussing the bane of our economic liberties.

In the early part of 2017, the market will simmer a bit in anticipation of the next quarterly meeting. But I don’t expect any real rallies again until we’ve unwound of all the damage the Fed has done.

Yellen was absolutely floating above the ground when she hinted at the increase. She has been dying to end this nonsense since she took the chairmanship but as had to carry Obama through his last two years. Now the she doesn’t have to worry about carrying Clinton, she can start moving the market back to some sense of normalcy.

Today They Credit Him, Tomorrow They’ll Curse Him.

This will be a painful transition. The reason for Yellen’s relief is, knowing how gullible the American people are, any side effects of her actions will be blamed on Trump. Her modulation of rate increases can be held over Trump’s head to dampen any desire to actually scale down the size of government. I never believed Trump ever really intended to drain the swamp in a real way. But if he gets it in his head to actually do so, he will suffer the Federal Reserve’s wrath.

Anyway, as the market flushes out all the crap the Fed has dumped on it, we may start to see a Wall Street that actually reflects our present, TRUE economic state. The picture won’t be pretty, but it shouldn’t come as a great shock.

Matt Jordan is host of streetpolitics.us and author of 16 20 24: A Path to Consistent Conservative Victory,  on Kindle as: Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore!

Kindle Version, STREET POLITICS: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! 50% of all author proceeds go to fighting Multiple Sclerosis!!

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Trump Snarks Media and Fumbles on Flag Burning

Dull-witted Snark as Political Argument

Sometimes, an argument is presented so poorly, so devoid of maturity and reason that language fails the respondent. Such is the case with much of what people call “political discussions” on social media.

Almost half our population is now witlessly enthralled with monosyllabic populism. And whether right or left, that populism comes packaged in witless barbs which get pumped through the web by people who think they sound smart employing them.

Some people blame Trump and Clinton. I don’t. Our low-caliber discourse isn’t their invention. They just recognized a market for it. And yes, that means they see Americans as stupid and catered to that stupidity.

And they recognized our flaw in their own success. Trump struggled throughout the campaign forming complete sentences. He rarely if ever expressed a fully-formed philosophical or political thought. And he got the nomination! Hillary is the most corrupt and inept politician of our time. And she was nominated!

Both of them could look at themselves or each other and correctly conclude the American voter doesn’t want or need substance. Then with a glance at Twitter or Facebook, they would have that summation validated.

And so we have President-elect Twitter Girl.

I had expressed vague hope during the presidential campaign that Donald Trump’s tweeting was just a rope-the-dope ploy.  He was appealing to the lowest common denominator of his active supporters and would suddenly explode into adulthood.  Sadly, except for a short period just prior to Election Day when Trump was on the prompter and on message, he is still a petulant teenager.  He cannot control his urge to prove he can be really, really snarky.

If the man was not the President-elect, I wouldn’t give a damn what he said to anyone – ever. I never did before.  But he is.  The problem with his immature mini-rants on Twitter is two-fold.

First, it shows that he still relates to his job based on his Twitter feed.  I don’t know if you’ve seen some of the political threads lately.  If not, trust me, there are few Mensa members filtering through to Trump’s cell phone.  And it is there he finds information, such as it is, and inspiration.  We have an incoming president with a severe maturity problem!

In one of his recent Tweets he said, “I thought that @CNN would get better after they failed so badly in their support of Hillary Clinton however, since election, they are worse!”  What?  Effing what?  He also retweeted a fellow teenager’s tweet about a reporter named Zeleny. http://theweek.com/speedreads/664356/donald-trumps-latest-twitter-tempest-targets-cnn-reporter

This is the kind of immaturity that gives people serious pause.  There was a huge contingent that had to hold their noses to vote for Trump to begin with.  There are members of his party who are only giving tacit support at this point. They are watching repeats of the Rosie O’Donnell cat fight all over again.  And it is truly disturbing.

The second problem with this inability to disengage from the twittersphere is the way such impulsiveness telegraphs plausible intent.

Combine Trump’s meanderings about the press, including “and we’re going to fix that, believe me,” with his tweet about flag burning.  Now we have a supposed “conservative” who seems to be ready to fundamentally alter our first amendment rights.  And for over a year, Trumps loyal fan club has been (correctly) excoriating universities for doing just that.

Here’s that tweet: “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag — if they do, there must be consequences — perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”

The President-elect said there MUST BE consequences for flag burning.

No American over the age of six can deny that burning or doing anything to a flag as a protest isn’t anything other than exercising the right to free expression.  Leave aside your dislike for it, I’ll get to that.  But it is speech.

Now if you burn someone else’s flag, that’s theft and destruction of property. You could even make a case for destruction of evidence. But with Hillary as precedent, you probably couldn’t make that stick. But if the combined penalty for all this were say, a year in jail, hmmm… A judge could do a lot of damage with that.

But we can’t have a man in Trump’s position threatening to abridge liberties because people are picking on him. We can’t have him threatening protestors because all the cool kids on Twitter are saying flag burners should be punished.

Our Luxury, Trump’s Burden.

On the issue of flag burning or desecration, my heart is with those who hate the burner. It is a rare protest where such actions aren’t more than an immature urge to shock and an effort to get cameras pointed at the man with the lighter. And the National Ensign does represent something important to many Americans.

Everyday I see a derivation of heartbreak and the flag on Facebook. We see the soldier, in tears, carrying his buddy’s flag-draped coffin or the widow receiving the folded flag. You can’t look at that and not be moved.

flag burning

But sadness and disdain do not an argument make when you are talking about the U.S. Constitution. Can you call the flag burner an asshole? Sure. Do you owe him that least personal respect? Absolutely not! But you can’t lay a finger on him and neither can the government.

If the flag is his property, he can do anything to it he wishes and you don’t have the authority to stop him.

The argument about how it insults soldiers is a dicey one. I often see people saying because it is an insult to soldiers it should be prosecuted…or at least an ass-kicking is in order (Oh, wouldn’t it be lovely). But like my brothers and sisters in uniform, I put 23 years in the Navy protecting a list of rights enshrined in the Constitution, including that guy’s right to be a complete asshole.

So thanks for the thought, but speaking for my fellow warriors, we’ll get over it. Don’t go kicking anyone’s ass on our behalf.  THAT would be the insult to our service.

And that is the only valid way Trump should see this. But he doesn’t seem capable of separating the distasteful from the legally punishable. It’s the same with his view of the media. He sees an anti-Trump or pro-sanctuary city or pro-TTP editorial line as a personal attack that he says he wants to punish.

Well, I am anti-TPP and anti-Illegal alien. And I am often disgusted by the specious arguments made in their favor. But making such arguments is not criminal activity. If Trump sees it that way and senses we are ignorant enough to go along, what will he take upon himself to do?

We need to be very careful here. We need to watch this man very closely. What he’ll do to one, out of animus, he would do to you or a cause you espouse.  

Photo credit: Sacrifice by Arbyreed, via Flickr

Matt Jordan is a travel writer and author of Street Politics:  It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore!  and 16 20 24.

Kindle Version, STREET POLITICS: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! 50% of all author proceeds go to fighting Multiple Sclerosis!!

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Traumatized? You Have a 12-Step Program! :-P'''

There is little that Nick Kristof and I might agree on. In his latest piece, A 12-Step Program for Responding to President-Elect Trump, New York Times, Nov 17, 2016, he only makes one statement that I have always talked about and lately have been harping about.

His Step 8 is encourages his readers to get out of the echo chamber. That’s good advice for the whole country. I echoed that in a wider article here. Having friends that don’t think like you does truly make you smarter.

My agreement with Kristof pretty much ends there. He proceeds in the rest of the piece to demonstrate that he and his cohort have learned nothing from the past election. The other 12 steps are a creepy recitation of I-will’s and I-should’s that read like a laundry list of why the left will give up even more seats in the next midterm election.

For example, when trying to appeal to the center or center-left worker in the rust belt, that’s the place that handed the Democrats the biggest throbbing this year, you won’t win a single vote saying you joined the Council on American-Islamic Relations or the Southern Poverty Law Center. One is an Islamic group that simply cannot bring itself to condemn acts of terrorism, including beheadings of innocent people.

The other is a socialist waste of time. The only people associated with the SPLC to pull themselves out of poverty are the ones who left, learned life isn’t fair and socialism doesn’t work, and then made something of themselves.

Americans are fed up with being beaten over the head with racist labels and economic guilt.

Kristof goes on to list one insult after another in his condescending analysis of the average Trump voter. I have been very hard on those voters and I have been brutal with Trump.

The difference is I don’t throw around terms like racism and misogyny and speak in condescending terms, and then say but we must be kind to “them” and avoid conflict. This article is intended to create conflict by over-compensating for a feeling of inferiority on Kristof’s part.  Read Manipulism, by Mikkel Claire Nissen.

Kristof’s little lefty cry for compassion was really just another failed manifesto listing the same emotionalist “grievances” that cost the Democratic Party positions from town council seats to the White House. Trump was sooooooo easy to beat. But the rank and file Dems watched, lips obediently sealed, while the party’s most equal of equals carted out the most flawed candidate in our history.

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The opening paragraph says it all. A week after the election and we are still talking about people traumatized by the results. In his article, Kristof hopes to help “around the margins”. I have news for you, anyone truly traumatized by an election is in desperate need of help with their already damaged psyche – and not around the margins!

Step one in Kristof’s self-help program should start with first admitting the “traumatized” are just self-absorbed, little drama queens seeking constant validation, and go from there.

Matt Jordan if host of Street Politics and author of 16 20 24: A Path to Consistent Conservative Victory.

Kindle Version, STREET POLITICS: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! 50% of all author proceeds go to fighting Multiple Sclerosis!!

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Ha-ha-ha! [gasp, gasp] Ha-ha-ha-ha II

A Smack in December; a Punch in the Face in ’17.

It might be mused that Steve Bannon will be a good foil as Special Assistant to the president. But he lacks an important quality. He doesn’t come across as a bootlicker.

Trump, so far, has demonstrated that he makes decisions based on how many people kiss his ass. If Bannon doesn’t learn to like the taste of shoe leather his influence will be muted.

Stephen Bannon

Bannon

Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, File via the Daily Wire

This will all be tested as the Fed unwinds the funny money to Wall Street policies in the coming months. When it happens, battle lines will be drawn.

On one side will be Priebus, McConnell, Ryan, Pelosi and Schumer. They will be stroking and kissing every inch of Trumps fragile ego. Their pleas will be for Trump to sign bailouts for the banks, insurance companies, colleges, etc.

Likely opposing will be Steve Bannon. If Trump doesn’t grow bored and/or embarrassed by the mindless adulation, Bannon’s argument and our future will circle the toilet. It should come as no surprise, as Trump already plans massive government giveaways in his first hundred days anyway.

About that whole “electoral” thing.

A few weeks back, when Trump’s position was looking especially wobbly, I saw A LOT of chatter about how we need to get rid of the electoral college. This was all coming from the right. So much for conservatives who claim to understand the Constitution.

This morning a former Attorney General, Eric Holder, said in no uncertain terms it should be ended. That this particular AG should take such a stance is no surprise.

Holder is coconspirator on the Fast and Furious con Obama ran on us, resulting in the death of Jonathan Terry, ATF.  Holder understands the Constitution, but finds it inconvenient to the agenda of the radical Left.

But Trump people ought to see the company they keep on this issue. The idea behind the Electoral College (EC) is to prevent mob rule. It is part of what makes us a republic, not a fad-obsessed democracy.

The Electoral College and the states’ power to ratify amendments are the two remaining powers the federal government hasn’t stolen from us. When we vote for president, we vote as a state.

The (sound) thinking on this is that we, as citizens of our state, vote for our personal and local interests tempered by our national view. Without the EC, we are left to the whim of voters in California and New York. Without it, states with sparse populations will never be a concern for presidential politics again.

An Interesting Paradox.

Some Trump supporters, according to CBS’s Leslie Stahl, are insulting and intimidating Muslims and Latinos and making them feel unwelcome. CBS downplayed Trumps admonishment to his supporters to stop. He repeated it emphatically.

Funny, I have not heard from Barry or Hillary that Democrats, actually looting and burning property and beating innocent people in far greater numbers, should stop. Not a peep. You see, Clinton and her cult think it is okay to loot and burn and beat people in her holy name.

And why are they looting and burning? Well, what else? Racism, the easiest charge to level without evidence. And of course there is Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia…[1. Isn’t it cute how the “tolerant snowflakes” label everyone who disagrees, disapproves or just plain doesn’t give a shit about something, as FEARFUL of that thing? Anything shy of completely embracing their naval gazing is a phobia.  And what is with this xenophobia?  I watch the entire election cycle and didn’t see one xeno.  To be honest, I don’t think they exist.  They’re like unicorns.  And who is afraid of unicorns?  I suppose pretending that everyone is afraid of you makes you feel like a super hero.  That’s pretty important with the trophy-for-everyone crowd.]

But isn’t Trump going to kill all the black people? Isn’t he going to make our babies suffocate from his pollution (if the dingos don’t get ‘em first)? He’s personally going to pour train cars full of chemicals into the rivers so we all DIE!

Relax.

First, the pipeline isn’t going to cause air pollution. Your world will look in 20 years very much like it does now. No one (except the Democrat city officials in Flint Michigan) will try to pollute your drinking water.

And unless you already have dogshit like the KKK or the Aryan Brotherhood tearing up your community, you’re likely not going to. Certainly there will be no one, including Trump, from DC who will turn them loose on you.

People who say things like that know they are full of it when they are saying it. It is much like the people who say Trump is a genius, or even rather bright. They know it ain’t so. But they say it anyway.

Now, if you do have sewage like the KKK in your neighborhood, you and your friends need to gut it up and put them out. Talk to your sheriff, especially if he’s elected. He’ll get the message.

The average white supremacist group isn’t that hard to put aside. They’re sort of like MS-13 without the entrepreneurial spirit, or the Nation of Islam without the snappy bow ties. And they are not Einsteins.

So, worry about what is about to happen to the economy. That is not an imaginary worry. Before the next Administration remodels the Oval office and puts the Gold T on the portico, the Fed is going to yank the rug out from under Trump. Look for that in the second quarter of this fiscal year.

That’s when the train goes of the rails!

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Ha-ha-ha! [gasp, gasp] Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Do you remember Charlie Brown in the classroom, when he says something embarrassing and as his classmates laugh, he is surrounded by the words Ha-ha-ha in giant letters across the screen?

I imagine intellectually honest Trump supporters, who are paying attention, have been feeling like CB for the last few days. “Trump tells it like it is,” we read on Facebook until our eyes bled. “He’s not a typical politician. If he says it, he’ll do it.”

But, uh-oh! He’s looking more and more like a typical politician every day.

I can’t believe I am writing this. I have been dying to get away from politics for weeks. I have woodworking and travel articles burning holes in my brain. I am supposed to be making improvements to this website as I write this.

But I did say I’d account for every I-told-you-so I happened across. And they are flying out of DC and Trump Tower almost faster than I can keep up with them.

First, as I said here, there is not going to be a wall. We are already, only six days into the transition, talking about maybe a fence and some natural barriers, but not a WALL really.

Which is fine. A wall is an ineffective way to end illegal immigration. Enforcing existing law, without a single change (which includes ending “sanctuary cities”) will sharply curtail the flow into the US. If you want someone to leave, make staying unworkable.

But, yeah. No wall. Sorry.

Don’t cry for me Arizonaaaaaaa…

We hear much ballyhoo about Trump not winning the popular vote.  This has not been established.  As Arizona reported, the margin shifted in his favor,  only Michigan remains.  If he carries Michigan, he will get a big popular bump. More on that in my next installment. 

On Election Day plus one, I told you a deal would be made to protect Clinton from prosecution. At E+6 we go from, “Yeah, you’d be in jail,” to, “I don’t want to hurt these people. These are good people.”

Awwwwww, c’mon!!! Pull the other one, it plays jingle bells!

Set aside that you don’t decide to prosecute what are very serious crimes to avoid hurt feelings. Obama, in protecting himself, protected Clinton. And we have likely already seen the payoff.

This morning we hear that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has said the pipeline can go through what protestors are calling “sacred land” in Montana.

Suddenly, one of Obama’s sacred cows has been cast aside. That which he maintained through his entire presidency and could have left office with it still intact, is tossed aside without comment.

Update:  It looks like Trump didn’t even get this.  In the last week the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has joined the mindless chorus saying that whatever “tribes” claim as sacred land is sacred land and cannot be touched.  Right!  The Corps is now operating like the FBI and the IRS; as goon for the governing class. They are getting through executive authoritarianism what they can’t get in the free market or real legislation.

If that’s all Trump got for the deal – he could have done it himself in two months – he is not the dealmaker he claims to be. I’ll let you in on a little secret: He’s not.

At any rate, Hillary now leaves unscathed. She and BJ Bill are now free to use the slush fund to broker political influence all over the world. And they will. We need not weep for them.

For those who are closing their eyes and shaking their heads head violently in disagreement, I’ll be back here in a few months to sadden you.

hillary

From the Land of You’ve-Got-To-Be-Kidding

I enjoyed seeing all those memes floating around with photos and lists of the dream cabinet Trump was going to pick. Lots of iron jaws and rock-ribbed conservatives, right?

Well.

I don’t recall Reince Priebus on a single list. And who is his very first pick? Tah Dah! It’s RP, himself! “Trump hates the establishment.” “The establishment is going to be sorry when Trump gets to DC.”

Rience Preibus
Reince Priebus

Oops. The ultimate establishment guy is now White House Chief of Staff.

I’m quite certain the Trump cult will counter all this with imaginary “reasons” for Trump’s pick. But they know, deep down, this is not what they voted for.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore Flickr via Compfight cc

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Ryan’s Hedge; Obama’s Deal

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Ryan First

Paul Ryan’s speech today was encouraging and may be helpful. But there was a line in there I had to think about.  He said Trump was the only one to hear the voices and that is what made him successful.  This just isn’t the truth.  Since 2010, Ryan and the rest of the GOP leadership has heard the voices, saw what the people, especially what their constituencies wanted, then cynically pretended to respond, only to ignore the voices after the last three elections.

When he ascended to the Speaker’s chair, the people were clearly looking for someone to send a complete healthcare bill to the White House (let him, the president, try to make an argument against it) and cut and balance the budget NOW.  What does he do a full year and a half before an election?  He takes the seat and then says we better wait a year or two to fight those battles.  And THAT COWARDICE is what made Trump successful. Conservatives felt they had no one left to turn to.

If Ryan does what he said he’d do in the near future, Trump may have some success as a president.  But if Ryan reverts to form; he will stymie the White House and may cause a real rift in the party, not a primary “rift”.

Barack Obama’s Pickle

When the president-elect meets the president on Thursday, you can be sure one distasteful item on the agenda will be Let’s Make a Deal. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear BHO had already sent out some surrogates to do a little bootlicking in advance.

Here’s why.  Obama can’t pardon Hillary.  There are still people screaming for more oversight and a special prosecutor.  But as Obama is fully aware, you can’t let a Clinton skate on corruption or malfeasance unless you have your own get-out-of-jail-free card.  Don’t believe me? Google Jim Guy Tucker, Google McDougal (Hah-hah.  That’s funny because it rhymes.)  They ran interference to take the heat off the Clintons.  So did a lot of people who ended up unemployed pariah over the years. And Barry O is up to his eyeballs in his communications with Clinton’s illegal server.  So, he will be offering to support Trump on XYZ if Trump gives assurances that BHO is not to be pursued for using the server and lying about it.  He will also want to pardon Clinton with no interference form the new administration. Obama will not allow himself to be the last man standing.  Smart.

If Trump refuses, Hillary’s legal problems have only just gotten started.

That’s a Wrap

It’s been a long three weeks and a very long 24 hours.  My brain is fried.  One more post tomorrow, then I will likely take a day or two off from the political jazz.  When I return, it may be on the subjects of travel or gardening.   Who knows?

Good night, all.  And remember, for two hundred and forty years, this country has successfully turned over governments every four to eight years without violence.  No other country in history can say that.  So while parties and players may win or loose, every time we do this, the country wins.

I am proud of every single person who voted last night.
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Darrell Castle: Dull to the Dull-Witted.

We live in a world where the two leading candidates are a shallow criminal and an inarticulate populist. Neither is what they claim to be, but a credulous electorate is turning hand stands trying to believe them. Why? Because everybody else is doing it.  In such a world, Darrell Castle will appear dry and dull, like a book on your grandmother’s shelf you have no interest in. The sad fact is, such a book might be worth a look, may teach you a mind-blowing life lesson. But it’s dusty. It has no sexy picture on the front. It has no blurbs. Hell, it doesn’t even have a dust jacket. Boring!

Darrell Castle is running on the Constitution ticket. He is an intelligent, articulate, well-spoken lawyer. He has been a part of that party since it’s founding in the early 90’s.   Castle has been inaccurately portrayed as an isolationist. This is nonsense. He is a non-interventionalist to be sure. What clear-minded American isn’t. History from 1898 until the present day teaches us what a mess can be made by interfering in foreign affairs, especially with the military. We should endeavor to befriend all nations, trade with everyone and be prepared to defend our interests. Those interests shouldn’t include a sudden need to overthrow long-siting dictators or help for religious uprisings just because we can.

Scott Bradley, Castle’s running mate, strikes you as one of those earnest, hard-working people you see at town council meetings and other community events. That’s because he is exactly that. While pursuing his PhD and becoming a major player in the tech industry, Bradley has also involved himself the community and politics in a variety of ways. Wouldn’t it be nice to see someone like that in the White House? Bradley is also a veteran of the Utah National Guard.

If you are an Original Intent voter, if you are unabashedly conservative and want to dump Agenda 21 and the UN, this is the only ticket that can deliver what you want in a candidate. If you believe Trump will even consider any of these things, you are either hopelessly duped or you don’t understand the terms conservative or Constitution. Trump’s barely intelligible conservative claims are all less than three years old. Many are less than a year old.

Castle served in Vietnam as a Marine officer and trained under Oliver North for a time. He is an accomplished lawyer and has established law firms throughout the South and Midwest. In other words, he is not only intelligent, he knows how to make payroll by delivering a real service. That is something totally alien to Hillary Clinton. She knows only graft, spin and outright lying.

Note: That’s a ticket with two military vets on it. I wish I had a nickel for every guy I’ve heard say they believe only people who have worn the uniform should be president. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a woman say it, but I am sure there are women who believe it. This comes most often from conservative vets. Well, guys, here’s your chance. Donald Trump spent his youth in a protected cocoon. Hillary has shown herself to be utterly disdainful of the military. So let’s see how many of those guys weren’t just blowing words out of your ass.

One last point, Castle infuses a lot of his political thinking with his Christianity. Trump pretends to by mangling scripture and just blurting out vague inanities about the Bible. It’s empty pandering, but people love it.  I have no connection to the spirit world and I do find it funny that someone who represents the constitution party pours so much religion into the mix. The Constitution stands mute on Christianity and only mentions religion as something the government is not to touch. Still, arguments about religion and matters of state are a debate I would gladly have with an honorable president versus a Trump or a Clinton.

What I am saying is that secular conservatives, like myself, who know that the religious freedom protections work both ways should not count Castle out just because he is a religious man. It becomes a single-issue or identity politics problem is you let it interfere with your thinking.

He’s is not a felon and he’s, for damn sure, not a clown.

“The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”  George Orwell

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McMullin was Under My Radar!

I will get to Evan McMullin in just a bit.  In the meantime…

I haven’t had a chance to comment on the latest happenings.  I have been doing battle with a fire-proof tree stump.  It is day 15 since I set fire to it for the first time.  I pre-treated twice with potassium nitrate, let it soak for weeks.  Then I doused it twice with  kerosene and built a fire around it.  The core burned out in a couple of days, but the perimeter and exposed roots won’t catch for love or money.  Grrr.

Anywho, I have been watching the sordid, pathetic election play out.  And I have more suggestions to the seven remaining responsible voters left out there. But I’ll start with a quick round-up.

The media sat on video since last year showing Trump talking smack about his prowess with women.  The world is pretending to not only be shocked by the content (few actually are) but are also pretending to be surprised.  Please!  Donald Trump let his ghost writers put similar stories in the books they wrote for him.  NO ONE is really shocked or surprised!

I will say that I reject out-of-hand the woman who is claiming her 15 minutes of fame in the last two days.  Her story sounds like complete crap.  Her delivery and structure is contrived.  “I don;t want to use this word but I’ll use it…octopus.”  Or “He was invading my space.”  These are complete contrivances.  The stories about his kissing attacks and telling a woman they were going to have an affair, “but you just don;t know it yet,” sound remarkably like a dumb thing Trump would say.  It is strange how in all the cases, the women just had to come out and tell their stories in mid-October before an election.  Why not last June?  Why not this year before he got the nomination?  The fact is their stories are either complete falsehoods or they were instructed by the media to sit on their accusations until Hillary needed them.  So even if some of these allegations are true, we are under no obligation to pity or worry for these women.  Their trauma and outrage seems to be in direct proportion to the proximity of election day and their need to help BJ Bill’s wife.  My heart bleeds not.

As I said they will…

Watch now, as I predicted MANY times here and in the book, as the press takes talking points and “leaks” from Clinton and obediently broadcasts them.  One after another, every day or two about Trump.  I’m not defending the  man.  I am sniggering behind my hand that so many of you bought his pretense of conservatism.  But the attacks will not be based on any concern for the country or the truth.  They will all be part of the concerted effort to get the felon elected.

In the case of the Democrat felon, there has never been a time, even under FDR, when the press has more dutifully carried a candidate, much less someone so utterly unworthy.  You will not hear, in any detail, about emails where she and her minions conspired to disobey a subpoena.  Remarks in emails that would have banner headlines and 24 hr/day coverage if a Republican made them are getting NO play in most of the media.  If these spoon-fed goons weren’t carrying water for Hillary, the election would be over already.  You see, there are a LOT of lemmings out there who think the New York Times and ABC News, etc. are independent news organizations.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Finally, we are hearing Trump trying to form a simple and valid argument about BJ Bill’s wife and her efforts to enable BJ Bill to earn that nickname.  Over the weekend I listened to Robert Riech recounting Hillary’s decision to appear on 60 Minutes during the New Hampshire primaries in ’92.  The guy still speaks in breathless awe about how brave she was to do that and how she was being so LOYAL to Bill.  Again, PLEASE!  Hillary was every bit the soulless cypher then as she is today.  Reich knows this.  His pretense of ignorance is embarrassing.  It shows how far people will go to maintain the illusions they helped foster so many years ago.  Hillary didn’t give a damn who Clinton played with or what he did to them.  She only cared about winning elections and acquiring power.  She happily destroyed any woman who had consensual affairs with him and any of the women he assaulted.

Sadly, as is always the case, Trump can barely form the sentences to forward this argument.  So it is left to the right-wing media to apologize and explain it for him.

So, there we are; all caught up.

A few weeks back, I started hearing the name McMullin.  I made a mental note to check him out and never did.  Tells you a lot about my memory.  A mind like a steel sieve.

I finally heard him speak and watched his running mate on TV today.  They are not on the ballot in all 50 states, but you’ll have the option of writing them in on election day if you so desire.

Every day I come across people who watch the news and shake their heads at the disgusting display by the major parties.  I always tell them they have other choices.  The response to that is almost uniform:  No, that won’t work.  Everybody is going to vote to Trump or Clinton anyway. Since I don’t want one, so I’ll vote for the other.

This is iron-clad proof of how cowed the two-party system has the average American voter.  The average voter doesn’t want either candidate.  But the average voter assumes – sadly, they seem to be correct –  that all the other average voters will line up like sheep and vote major party.  If so few of you want to do that, why do it?  We do not HAVE to have Trump or Clinton!  So why vote for Trump or Clinton?  When the conversation goes that far, the same people say, well if I vote for (X) then Clinton will get in.  The mental enslavement is mind-blowing!  If all the people who poll saying neither candidate should be president thought for themselves and chose from the remaining slate, there would be no Trump or Clinton in the White House.  We only fear everybody else not breaking ranks because we are afraid to break ranks and cast a responsible vote.  And so of we go, over the cliff, together, each wishing all the others had done what you were too timid to do.

Which brings me to Evan McMullin.

As candidates go, McMullin is a young, cool-headed, thinking man’s candidate.  He is a mildly hawkish, fiscally conservative with an open mind to ideas.  He has CIA and Wall Street experience.  This indicates he has the ability to take input and make decisions.  This is a characteristic Trump is woefully lacking.  His resume also indicates he can think tactically and strategically.  If you are a moderate leaning right with a no-nonsense approach to how you use your vote, and you don’t vote for McMullin, you are throwing your vote away.

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