Latest PBS Frontline Documentary:
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Latest PBS Frontline Documentary:
Now available online:
I wanted to write this at the end of January, but never could find the intersection of having both the time and motivation to do it.
This first year has been mostly a non stop ride of Trump not conforming to what would be expected of the model of President that has been in place for several generations.
Some of the notable differences:
1) He uses Twitter to share his opinions and policies on everything. This includes personal insults levied at anyone that catches his attention, whether they are regular folks, movie stars, business people, or other politicians, which includes those who work for him in his Admin like Jeff Sessions. These attacks are seen by many as “unpresidential” in particular, and immature in general.
2) He remains in “campaign mode” and never made the transition of moving towards the center. It’s standard for elected Presidents that they try to move towards a middle ground consensus area rather than remain entrenched in their highly partisan campaign rhetoric. After all, they are President of the whole country, not just those who voted for them. Trump established his 2020 re-election campaign group earlier than any modern President and his public speeches are often indistinguishable from his election campaign speeches as they still include attacks on Hillary Clinton and the Dems and recalling his surprise election victory.
3) His choice of hires for his Admin have been very controversial – placing people to be in charge of departments that they have no experience in and/or expressed disdain for in past comments. Examples:
Secretary of Education: Betsy Davos – Has a history of being an advocate of charter schools over public schools with no prior public school government experience. Couldn’t get a majority vote in the Senate for confirmation, required tiebreaker vote by Vice President Mike Pence. Recently had a disastrous 60 minutes interview showing her to be ill-prepared in solving public school problems.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Ben Carson – A neurosurgeon with no background government experience in this area. His time in office has been controversial with scaling back Housing Enforcement and recently involved in a controversy of spending $31,000 for an office dining set.
Secretary of Energy: Rick Perry – Former Governor of Texas – In the past has stated that if he were elected President, he would abolish the Department of Energy.
Secretary of the Interior: Ryan Zinke – Advocating shrinking the size of National Parks and Monument areas, opening them up to mining and oil exploration. Actions to date have elicited angry responses from many.
Acting Director for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Mick Mulvaney – The CPFB was created to protect the consumer in response to the financial crisis of 2008/2009 which led to the Great Recession. The CPFB’s purpose is to protect the consumer from predatory financial practices. Mulvaney has stated in the past he wanted to eliminate/do away with it.
Head of the Environmental Protection Agency: Scott Pruitt – Avid climate change denier.
Campaign Promise Fulfillment Status
Trump’s major tenets he said he would fulfill if elected:
1) Increased restrictions on immigration and travel ban on several countries that coincidentally have a higher percentage of Muslim citizens.
Released an immediate controversial travel ban that caused chaos as some people who were in the middle of traveling to the US were blocked from entering the country. The ban was declared unconstitutional by the US appeals court. He ended protections for undocumented children who were brought here by their parents (DACA) and have lived here most of their lives.
2) Health Plan that was superior to the ACA (Obamacare).
Revealed he had no plan, but left if up to the GOP House and Senate to make changes. This resulted in bills from the House and Senate that had a main purpose of defunding/gutting the ACA, making things worse, as opposed to improving America’s healthcare. The Bill failed in the Senate.
3) Building a southern border wall that Mexico would pay for, costing the USA nothing.
To date there is no concrete plan for Mexico to pay for the wall. Instead, Trump is demanding the US pay for it now, using DACA as a bargaining chip.
4) Tax relief for the middle class, lower corporate tax rates with more scrutiny to close Wall Street/corporate/ultra wealthy tax loop holes.
Trump touted his tax plans as having big breaks for the middle class, and said rich people like him were not going to like it at all. The actual results were quite different, with the middle class losing their permanent deductions/personal exemptions for themselves and their dependents as well as most of their State and local tax deductions. In return, they got a doubling of the standard deduction that will expire in 8 – 10 years. In reality the middle class received a delayed tax increase. Corporations and the wealthy, on the other hand, received a permanent tax reduction and the elimination of the estate tax, which only affected single individuals with inherited homes worth over 5 million or over $10 million for couples. There was also no closing of any corporate or Wall Street tax loop holes.
The tax bill is estimated to cost an additional $1.5 Trillion in national debt, which looks very bad for Republicans who had been campaigning on fiscal responsibility during Obama’s time in office. The general public was not happy with this tax bill as polling showed the majority dissatisfied. Most believe they will not see much of the benefits and it’s a give away to the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.
5) No cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid
Contrary to his promise of no cuts, Trump’s budget plan for 2018 is making cuts to all three: Medicaid being cut by $1.1 trillion, Social Security being cut by $72 billion, and Medicare being cut by $266 billion.
6) Renegotiate global country trade policies.
Trump stopped movement on the US joining the TPP as promised. In recent weeks Trump has started making unilateral decisions about charging tariffs on our global trading partners like China and Canada that threaten to trigger an all out trade war. As the US now imports most of it’s goods and services, a full scale trade war would have negative consequences for the economy.
7) Reveal Tax Returns after Audit
Trump promised to reveal his tax forms after his audit. An audit has never stopped anyone from showing their taxes before. He was the only president in modern history to not reveal at least his prior two years of tax return forms. After the election, he has decided not to reveal them ever.
8) Better Economy – Stopping Corporate Layoffs from Outsourcing
Trump campaigned on going after corporations that were outsourcing their labor and closing down plants in the US. After the tax bill passed, companies like Carrier and Amazon announced no layoffs and/or bonuses would be paid as a result of the lower tax rates. However, Carrier and Amazon announced new rounds of layoffs afterwards.
The stock market raced to all new highs for the year, which Trump proudly took credit for with multiple tweets with every new high made. Prior presidents did not go all in of market gains made, since that would mean they would also have to own it if the market started going down. Trumps talk of imposing tariffs have sparked trade war fears which has increased market volatility and declines.
Not Normal is the New Normal
From the start of the immediate execution of the travel ban the Trump Admin has been embroiled in what are literally one major controversial move or incident after the next. Some of the biggest examples:
1) Trumps adamant resistance to attack or stand up to the accusations of Russian election meddling or Russian overseas aggression.
Despite the US top intelligence agencies (CIA,FBI, NSA) reporting on their certainty of Russian election meddling, it took months before Trump stopped saying Russian interference was just a possibility rather than a certainty. He has still not directed our security agencies to ramp up their defenses against future Russian attempts to interfere with our elections. No matter how aggressive or belligerent Russia acts, he is loathe to publicly condemn or even complain about it.
2) Firing of FBI Director James Comey that was investigating possible Russian collusion with US citizens to affect election results.
In a very unexpected move, Trump fired the FBI director while the director was conducting an investigation into potential collusion between the Russians and Trump election campaign members. It’s never a good idea to attempt to try and fire the person who could be investigating them, as it looks like at attempt to be above the law and the issue with Nixon and Watergate come to mind. This resulted in a Special Counsel being created to investigate potential collusion and a spotlight many times brighter than when Comey was on the job.
3) Attack on US institutions and News Media
It’s been almost surreal the way Trump and several GOP politicians have begun attacking the FBI and DOJ since it was revealed Trump and his Admin are under investigation. He has expressed great disdain towards his appointed AG Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation, via a steady stream of insulting and belittling tweets. Jeff Sessions was the 1st GOP Senator to support Trumps election plans. Fox News pundits have assisted by talking about a “deep state” of law enforcement officials having sinister intent.
Trump has also directly attacked news outlets for generating “fake news”, which doesn’t turn out to actually be fake, just real news that is unfavorable towards Trump. No prior president has placed such an emphasis on attacking the media. Trump often says inaccurate things which prompts media correction.
These attacks serve to weaken both confidence in the government and the free press, not good for a democracy.
4) Potential Emolument Scandals
Trump and his family including son in law Jared Kushner never fully divested from their business interests upon taking up office positions, and now they are under a cloud of potential emolument violations of using their government positions to enrich their private business.
6) Revolving door Administration with record number of departures for a president at the 1 year mark
The list of Trump Administration departures due to scandals, potential scandals, falling out of favor with Trump, ethics violations, potential criminal acts, have exceeded past records and shows no sign of abating.
List of departures to date- changing weekly, if not daily:
7) Misc Scandals/Controversies Du Jour
While campaigning in 2016, Trump often joked that a Clinton victory would result in her Administration getting bogged down in constant scandals. How ironic that joke turned out to be seeing how his Admin is faring with non stop controversies/scandals. Some examples:
1) Trump saying that there were “good people on both sides” at a Neo Nazi White Nationalist protest where fights broke out and a counter protestor died. Many questioned how there can be “good people” on the side of the White Nationalist group shouting anti semitic, Nazi, and anti non-white slogans.
2) Trump’s disdain and NSFW comments about immigrants from non European, non white countries.
3) Trump’s multiple sex scandals are currently front and center in the news.
Trumps approval rating ranges from the mid 30’s to the low 40’s, the lowest of any president at this point in their term.
He has about 30% – 32% of devoted fans, with ~12% that vary in approval over time. His disapproval has ranged the mid 40’s to high 50’s. His first year has been one of the most polarizing in history.
Today’s big bombshell news was that report from the Washington Post that Trump shared classified intel with the Russians.
All the online main news agencies are leading with this….
That is…all except for FoxNews.
Let’s take a look:
Here’s ABC News:
Everyone has their focus and lead on the main news of the day….
Then we get to FOX NEWS:
Hey, good to know that Fox has its priorities right in highlighting their version of MAIN NEWS LEAD OF THE DAY….at least in their opinion. =)
Fair and Balanced—what nonsense!
Can you imagine how big their focus would be if this was done by a Dem Pres? They may as well be called American Pravda.
Fox News = Fake News
The Trump Administration has been on a legislative rampage since inauguration with numerous controversial executive orders and the first big planned legislative event was the repeal and replacement of the ACA otherwise known as Obamacare. They seemed intent on maintaining a high level of momentum and speed in executing their agenda.
All this came to a screeching halt on Friday as the much hyped Trumpcare/Ryancare Bill meant to replace Obamacare was pulled from the planned vote in an embarrassing defeat as there were not enough votes for the Bill to pass.
The implications and level of this failure are quite astounding. The GOP has voted to repeal or amend Obamacare 54 times while Obama was in office. There was never a problem getting those bills passed in the GOP controlled House during Obama’s term.
Now that the Republicans control the Presidency, House, and Senate, the failure of the House to pass a bill puts the GOP is a bright “Emperor has no clothes!” spotlight. The obvious conclusions are:
The inside story is that White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon thought he had power he didn’t have when he tried to force rebelling Republicans to get in line and vote “yes”, and their reply was basically:
As for Trump, his aura of invincibility along with his winning streak for successfully bucking the system has come to an end. All the “Business mastery” bravado and supposed “Art of the Deal” expertise have met their match at the hands of rebelling fellow Republicans.
It became all too clear that electing a person with no prior political experience or expertise to the highest office in the land comes at a cost.
Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated?? Actually, anyone with any experience or who paid ANY attention at all to the healthcare problems over the past few decades knew it was a complicated issue. You would have to be supremely arrogant or naive to think you could just walk into a problem you didn’t research or have any background knowledge in and think you would come up with an “easy” solution.
When met with this failure, does Trump own up to it and accept the loss like Paul Ryan did? Nope, he pointed the blame away from himself:
It’s beyond absurd to blame the Democrats when The Presidency, House, and Senate are controlled by Republicans and they are trying to pass a law that goes against the healthcare package the Dems created. Why would the Dems support a bill that replaces their own law with a much WORSE substitute? That’s like your boss asking you to vote to cut your pay in half, and then complaining that nobody agreed to it.
He’s also now saying he never said this bill was a top issue and that he never said he’d do it quickly- another LIE:
Does Trump have amnesia that EVERYTHING he says to the public is recorded?
Some folks will blame The Freedom Caucus – the group of Republicans that voted against the bill, but in truth, they were just keeping the GOP to their word of repealing Obamacare rather than amending it. They wanted it eliminated entirely as the GOP said they would do time and time again. The GOP was once again burned for making promises they knew they couldn’t keep.
There’s a clear obvious reason the GOP backed off fully repealing Obamacare – many of their constituents would be be impacted and lose their health insurance. That would have bad consequences for them come election time.
The GOP healthcare bill was built on arrogance and the desire to cut taxes for the wealthy rather than try to obtain low cost effective healthcare for all. They didn’t try to work with the Dems for their input or seek advice from the American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, AARP, and a host of others who are opposing this fault ridden bill.
Some of the biggest problems of the bill:
As bad as this bill was, the GOP Freedom Caucus still felt this package was “too generous” and wanted even more cuts- to the point where moderate Republicans were now refusing to vote for this.
Trump promised he would fix the health care problems, but this bill makes things far worse. Makes you wonder if he even took the time to read it.
Now he says he will just let Obamacare implode on it’s own- walking away from the problem like a quitter instead of a dedicated elected official trying to help those who elected him into office.
Why not work to repair Obamacare to solve the problems instead of trying to just slap together a toxic inferior replacement? The answer is they want tax cuts more than they want to create a true working and acceptable healthcare plan. Thanks to the numerous angry town halls of their own constituents yelling at them to come up with a REAL solution or leave Obamacare alone, they knew they’d be in big trouble if they went ahead with this “repeal/replace” charade.
Former Speaker of the House John Boehner’s speech on Obamacare now fits the Republican American Health Care Act (AHCA) like a glove:
Republicans now OWN the healthcare issue and pressure needs to be kept on them to provide a solution that works for the majority, not just their wealthy elite donors.
The results of the 2017 election with the defeat of Clinton by Trump have left many heads spinning in what can be said to be the greatest election surprise since “Brexit“.
The first two weeks into the new era of Trump make two things abundantly clear:
Here are some of the highlights to date:
Quite a ride so far for it being only the SECOND week into his term.
It’s also true that his teflon status with his base supporters remains intact, as he apparently can do no wrong to date that is seen as a negative. It makes sense, as he is following through on his campaign promises, love them or hate them.
Progressives are protesting and are left wondering along with establishment Dems and Reps how it is we wound up with such a surprise election result.
So how did we get here?
I’m a firm believer in the adage “We get the government we deserve”. The actions of everybody taken as a whole reflects the type of government we wind up with. This wasn’t a random raffle – there was a vote which came out with these results. It took a culmination of things from all sides to get here- electing someone with ZERO political experience who has made outrageous statements, disputes proven facts, pushes their own reality, and shows little if any discretion in talking to the media, government officials, and our historical global allies.
It’s easy to point the finger at others, but there is plenty of “fault” to go around. So here comes the hard facts and questions that people/groups need to look inward to answer if they don’t like the results:
According to compiled voting stats, 40% of the eligible voting population decided they had better things to do than to go cast a vote. Considering this was the most polarizing election in modern history with distinct ideologies and an aging SCOTUS up for grabs that can shape events for a generation, it’s amazing that so many decided to let others choose their fate for them. Maybe I shouldn’t say “amazing”,….it’s more like incredibly stupid.
There are some people who have somehow rationalized that they are “above” politics and decided they won’t “sully” themselves with all this corruption and fault filled candidates. What those folks fail to grasp is they will be subject to the winner REGARDLESS of whether they cast a vote or not- so it’s in their best interest to make a choice, even if it’s the lesser of four bad choices….I say FOUR because Jill Stein and Gary Johnson were far from being perfect as well.
If order for our government to function properly, we need people willing to vote and make their voices heard in electing effective leaders. Not voting makes it a no brainer than you will be ignored by whoever is elected as politicians are trained to only cater to the groups that will vote them out if displeased. They have no need to worry about the concerns of those who don’t vote.
The lower the voter turnout, the more likely it is we get more radical politicians favoring interest groups and corporations over the majority.
What’s more shocking, is that those who stand to benefit the most from voting, the young and lower income groups, have among the lowest turnout rates.
I would like to interview all the folks protesting today to see which ones didn’t vote. Those that didn’t vote should hang their heads in shame and just go home. They had a chance to make a real difference by voting but threw it away. Those who don’t vote have NO RIGHT to complain.
Republicans choose an outsider to be their front running leader- someone with no past political experience. In other words, this can be viewed as a rejection of all the establishment politicians that represent you. If you aren’t pleased with your current leadership, why do you keep voting them back into office year after year after year? Here’s a perfect example- Marco Rubio had the worst attendance record of all Senators – he was failing to to do his job and was called out on this by Trump and other Rep candidates. Rubio’s answer was that he stopped attending because he decided that being a Senator wasn’t going to solve the problems of America, a questionable statement at best. So his plan was to not run for reelection and just compete for the Rep President nomination. But when he lost, the RNC asked him to run for Senate again, and he won. Think about that – a Senator with the poorest attendance record clearly not doing his job is reelected by his constituents! So if Florida continues to be neglected by this man, Florida voters have no one to blame but themselves.
Then there are the conservatives who inexplicably vote against their own interests- like those who have received life saving treatment and surgery under the ACA, but voted for Trump anyway.
Why not start holding your elected officials accountable for serving YOUR needs? Voting for an outsider is a clear indication you believe the system is failing you, but keeping most of the same people in office means you don’t care that it’s failing and that is the definition of insanity – doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result.
What’s also disturbing is the continued silence or mental gymnastic excuses of most Congress republicans when they should be calling out when Trump crosses the line. If you don’t call it out as wrong, expect Trump style politics to become the norm.
I never realized the full extent of “progressives” being messed up and corrupted until I saw the Bernie vs Hillary primary race. What should have been a fair contest between two people with progressive ideas was marred by outright collaboration and “game fixing” by the DNC in support of Clinton. The leaked emails show CNN contributors like Donna Brazile was giving Clinton the questions she would be asked at townhall meetings in advance – a clear ethical violation. The DNC lead Debbie Wasserman Schultz was found to be engaging in behavior/actions biased in favor of Clinton winning the Dem nomination over Sanders and had to give up the post in disgrace- and guess who replaced her…..Donna Brazile!!
Oh, and what became of cheater cheater Debbie Wasserman Schultz? She was rewarded with being made the Clinton campaign chair and was also reelected- way to go Dems with being just as bad as Reps with continuing to reward/reelect bad candidates.
Progressive newspapers and online sites became hit machines attacking Sanders when the level of his popularity made him a threat to Clinton’s chances of winning. Accusations of Sanders “lying” about being involved for civil rights in the 60’s were soon dismissed after pictures of him being arrested during that time showed up, but they soon looked for other areas to attack in a one sided “Let’s take Sanders out of contention” way. To be fair, some progressive media that supported Sanders was lopsided biased against Clinton as well. So much for the case that the progressive media isn’t biased, akin to conservative media they like to attack.
It doesn’t end there – once HRC won the eventual nomination, many Sanders “progressives” bitter about the primary campaign decided that a Trump win would be better than Clinton as a lesson to Dems to play fair next time. This is so ignorant of the realities of life and common sense I don’t know what else to say. How can letting SCOTUS go hard right for a generation and having all progressive achievements rolled backwards or just eliminated be worth “dissing” Clinton and/or the establishment? Some of these folks are under the delusion that Trump is guaranteed to lose big in two years, but even if that were the case, based on Trumps speed of his agenda, the progressive damage could be irreversible by that time for at least a generation. Childish arguments that had people condemn Sanders and Warren for supporting Clinton is just that, childish and clearly losing sight of the bigger picture at stake. The Republicans won this because they showed more maturity and made the decision to vote for Trump, warts and all, to move the overall conservative agenda as opposed to letting Clinton win.
Also, so called progressive sites like TYT (The Young Turks) and Secular Talk decided it would be a “good idea” to keep bashing Clinton during the general election. What is the point of this? Common sense would say you try to get her elected, and then hold her feet to the fire to make good on her campaign promises or face being primaried from the left. Fox News and other right biased media should thank them for the nice assist.
Lastly, the “deification” of Obama needs to stop and progressives need to realize where improvements can be made as to WHY so many House and Senate seats were lost during his eight years in office. He campaigned as a progressive, but acted more like a moderate centrist once elected. There are a lot of protests over Trump’s attempts at banning Muslims, but what about Obama’s continued indiscriminate bombing over Muslim countries that are also killing many innocents as collateral damage? Why isn’t our media showing us all the dead folks overseas “accidentally” killed by our continued bombing?
Why were Obama and Clinton so gung ho about TPP when the US is getting decimated by outsourcing to these cheap labor countries? The fact that Trump ran on ending the TPP and bringing jobs back to America against Dems should be considered a huge embarrassment for any true progressive Dem. Dems nominated a candidate that gave sweetheart speeches to Goldman Sachs and was afraid to release them? Her extent of push back against the excesses/shenanigans of Wall Street when she was a Senator was just to say “Cut it out“? This is what qualifies for and is accepted as progressive??
Remember folks – under Obama’s watch, NO major bankers were criminally held accountable for the 2008/2009 crash that led to the Great Recession and the expiring “Bush Tax Cuts” were made permanent.
In my opinion, Dems are likely to lose again unless they clean up their own backyard, such as getting rid of the folks who “grandstand” as being progressive, but act differently when it counts.
Here’s a clear example- NJ Senator Corey Booker received lots of press as a progressive leader when he testified against Jeff Sessions being appointed attorney general. The Republicans had the majority numbers to prevail, so Booker’s actions were more for show than for effect. However, when he had a chance to make a true progressive difference in support of fellow Senator Bernie Sander’s bill to allow the US to accept prescription drugs from Canada to add competition to lower costs, he voted AGAINST it, showing his true colors.
For those who are happy with the election results, here’s some tough love facts/questions for you:
Do you realize that Trump campaigned on “draining the swamp” and disparaged Clinton’s and the Dems connection with Wall Street and Goldman Sachs, but has now appointed SEVERAL Goldman Sachs alumni and other “swamp insiders” to top office positions? What are your thoughts about “The Wall” he promised Mexico would pay for, and is now looking at taxing exports from Mexico, which means WE would be paying for the wall in higher food prices?
Doesn’t it concern you that he is so sensitive about the election results that he’s making continued outright lies, and he has no shame spinning everything to suit him despite what the facts actually say?
A lot of conservatives despised Obama’s use of executive orders as an overreach, but now have no problems with Trump doing the same. What about all the arguments about respecting the constitution and balance of powers?
On July 30th, The Simpsons Cartoon show released a video on YouTube depicting a commercial showing Trump going on a Twitter rant at 3 AM:
On Sept 30, exactly 2 months to the day later, Trump fulfills the comedic prediction by actually going on a Twitter rant escapade around 3 AM!!!
We are in the MATRIX……
Politics are a “fun” part of American tradition where each side tires to paint their opponent in a negative light and the back and forth attacks can cloud out the main issues worth considering in making a choice.
It also reveals that no matter what is said, some people will stick with a person/party regardless of the attacks brought against them, which is also a bad thing. It’s important to make a decision based on critical thought rather than emotion if you want both the most effective leadership in power while having them know they will be judged on their actions and past history rather than just charisma or slick advertising. Emotional voting is one main reason why we never seem to nominate the most qualified deserving candidates.
This election cycle is one that will go down in history books as having two of the most polarizing people in recent history. It has been joked that each candidate has enough flaws that they should be thankful they have each other to run against. There is a huge segment of the population that will be voting against one of the candidates more so than voting for one.
While both Clinton and Trump elicit high emotion from people, it’s still rather straight forward to break down the true pros/cons of each to make a true logical and non emotional choice.
It’s a historical moment for a woman to be nominated in a major party, but of course one’s gender shouldn’t be ranked over one’s abilities. The capacity to handle the job should be the top concern.
One big plus is she is in favor of getting big money out of politics that is destroying our political system. Most of our politicians are bought out by corporate interests, which is why things seem to be getting worse over time no matter which party wins.
Years in the political arena has given Clinton that feel of squirmy politician who adjusts according to current public sentiment. Of course, this is no different than over 90% of out current elected candidates, and is the reason why the American public is growing so exasperated.
While she has extensive experience, her choices have not always aligned with Progressives. For example, she voted in favor of the disastrous/needless Iraq War as well as US involvement in Libya and Syria, all of which has caused compounded problems and more instability in the Middle East. The irony is her choices here have been more in line with Conservative strategy, so these are issues that Conservatives have no moral high ground to attack her on, but Progressives do.
The email server controversy was a ridiculous unforced error on her part because she decided on a private server rather than use the government server. The FBI clearly called her out as being very careless. To make matters worse, she attempted to try to explain that the scathing FBI report was a good thing and showed she was honest when in fact it contradicted several statements she made in the past about sending/receiving marked and unmarked classified documents. Doing things like this only justifies the “Crooked Hillary” nickname given by Trump.
She was paid for speeches to Goldman Sachs that she is unwilling to release, indicating they must be pro corporation and embarrassing.
I left out the Benghazi controversy because I don’t hold this to be a true issue. Embassies have been attacked and/or lives lost on the watch of both Reps and Dems (Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Obama), only now we live in such a polarized environment that every tragedy is held under a microscope to find fault. Past administrations would fare no better if held under the same level of scrutiny.
Trump steps up to the plate with extensive experience in real estate and name brand recognition. As a businessman, he has direct practical experience on the state of the economy. He also ran a near flawless campaign against his Republican opponents during the primaries.
The fact that he was able to beat seasoned politicians should also be a warning to our elected officials that the American public is growing weary of the same old tired politics where much is promised and little is delivered.
One of the things that stood out about Trump is the fact that he didn’t sound “scripted” like the other seasoned politicians he faced. His answers sounded off the cuff and wasn’t afraid to call out the faults of his fellow Republicans. Now compare that to the standard political talk we hear, and it sounded refreshing.
He has stated real problems that other Republicans seem to ignore like the loss of manufacturing jobs to outsourcing- a populist stance more associated with Progressives.
He has also taken a stand against big money in politics, but not to the same level as Progressives. Big money corruption is mutually hated by base Dems and Reps.
I could clearly see Trump winning the primary race because he was willing to be more extreme than all his rivals. He moved to the far right- more so than his opponents were willing to go because they had enough experience to know that to win a general election, you have to appeal to more than just your base. His opponents failed to call out his extremist viewpoints in the beginning and it then became silent approval from which they couldn’t recover from.
The key moment in the primary was when Trump labeled the majority of illegal Mexican immigrants as drug users/pushers, criminals, and rapists. That should have been immediately called out and condemned by all candidates, but they stayed silent for the most part.
The anti illegal Mexican statement was bad enough, but he proceeded to make even more extremist statements such as:
Making statements like these may be well received as red meat to a Conservative base, but it makes it very hard to pivot towards the center in a general election to win over moderates and Independents. This is where we get to another critical problem of his campaign- he has continued making extremist statements since being nominated and hasn’t pivoted at all. There doesn’t appear to be a polished, more refined and “presidential” Trump able to appeal to a wider audience than his initial primary base. This is bad news for Republicans in general because without building a consensus vote, the odds of winning an election drop like a rock.
Some current examples of Trumps continued offensive/outrageous statements:
You simply can’t act in this manner if the main goal is be the adult in the room and build a working consensus among all groups. Worse yet, he’s now making statements of the “system being rigged” so that if he loses, the election must be illegitimate. This is a direct danger to our Republic since he is priming his group of followers to consider the election to be a fraud if he doesn’t win. This will only further fracture our political system and make the polarization that much worse. Trump is attacking the very legitimacy of our democratic process on baseless claims.
As a result of his continued bombastic statements, more and more prominent Republicans have started coming out denouncing him. These are interesting times people when members of a party are now publicly campaigning against their Prez nominee. Interesting times indeed! What they fear is the outrage against Trump will result in down ballot losses for all Republicans in general.
Lastly, he can’t claim to be “transparent” or more honest than Clinton if he refuses to disclose his tax returns. Trump claims he can’t because he is currently being audited. However Warren Buffet has given him a challenge that he is also being audited but wants Trump to join him in showing their returns.
“Brexit”, the media created cutesy lingo for the British referendum on whether to stay with or leave the European Union. I’ve heard it discussed backwards and forwards and sideways throughout the days, weeks, and months leading up to the vote that just took place.
Despite all the fear mongering and artificially induced drama by the media, I never actually considered the possibility of Britain actually leaving the EU. It seemed so absurd that there would be enough people that would want to turn the clock back with actions that will surely spawn negative unintended consequences.
Well, I was proven wrong tonight as polling states that the vote for Britain to leave is expected to be the winning consensus.
I’m not the only one caught by surprise, as the futures markets are roiling with a nice big fat after hours crash that will translate into crashed markets on the open Friday. The value of the Pound has plummeted. The majority of businesses were counting on a “stay” vote winning, and this just adds a boatload of uncertainty for both Britain and the EU going forward.
I truly believed Britons had more common sense than this. Color me wrong.
There will be lots of analysis on how this wound up happening, but it’s likely due to the same old things that breed surprise outcomes:
The irony is the first unintended consequence of this action besides crashing global markets will likely be layoffs as British companies retrench over fears that current trade agreements are now in flux.
Trump’s win in Indiana coupled with Ted Cruz dropping out of the race all but ensures Trump’s eventual clinching of the GOP’s Republican Presidential nomination, leaving all the pundits who never fathomed such a scenario in their wildest dreams stunned, and scratching their heads.
This election cycle has been a perfect case study of why you shouldn’t trust the “experts” when it comes to making assessments/predictions. We’ve seen in the 2008/2009 market crash that the vast majority of political and economic “insiders” had no idea of that approaching crisis and certainly gave no warning to investors.
This time just about all the so called political guru’s completely missed the rise of Trump and his ability to stay afloat regardless of what he says no matter how inflammatory. They are flummoxed about his ability to withstand increased scrutiny and a biased assault of press related articles against him, attempting to write him off in hopes that the polling numbers would follow, which they didn’t.
Even worse, having missed the boat on predicting the ascendancy of Trump’s campaign, they have the audacity of now writing articles on explaining how this came to pass- like anyone should pay attention to the same folks that were completely oblivious to his sustainability in the first place.
Simply psychology can explain the Trump phenomenon. People are angry at Washington and the constant failure of their elected officials to live up to their promises. In their frustration they seek someone not yet “tainted” by the system that constantly overpromises and underdelivers. They are now ready to pick an outsider over the political insiders.
Trump remains on top due to his public persona of brashness/arrogance towards the establishment. The more he is attacked, the more he fits the role as the “rebel” of politics to all his supporters, which increases his appeal. It’s very similar to the daughter who is dating a “bad boy” and the more the parents admonish and scold her to let him go, the more attractive he becomes to her.
The “experts” ask, how can Trump supporters be so oblivious to all the negative things he has said as well as his past flip flops on opinions? Why doesn’t this exposure change their mind? The answer is they have made an emotional choice based on their resentment of their elected politicians as well as his positive message on better times ahead with bringing back outsourced jobs and good times in general, and are ignoring/rejecting anything else said, period. Back to the daughter/bad boy example- how many times will she be “persuaded” with a list of rational cogent reasons why the guy she is dating is a bad match? How many times have your parents persuaded you to change your mind after you became passionate/excited about something or someone?
The “experts” asked, why did Marco Rubio fail to beat Trump at his own game of childish attacks/insults? The answer is you can’t imitate someone’s “brand” and expect to beat them with it. It’s the equivalent to the school valedictorian/nerd taking off his suit/tie, and putting on a leather jacket to try to woo the daughter away from the bad boy. All that does is make you look like a “wannabe” as well as corrupts the “brand” you stood for. Notice how Cruz and Kasich didn’t take the bait to go into the mud, and how they continued to poll higher than Rubio before he dropped out.
Now these “experts” are saying in 20-20 hindsight Rubio made a mistake in fighting Trump in the mud when they were the ones who suggested he should do it! The lesson here is to be true to yourself, or at least “appear” that way. =)
Tonight we know that not even the behind the scenes 3D Chess Level strategy of Ted Cruz or his team up with Kasich was enough to stop Trump’s growing momentum.
This election season is one for the history books – that a non political outsider could take out a field of seasoned elected professionals that were way more funded and entrenched in the system than he ever was, and ride a populist wave to the Republican nomination turns all conventional wisdom and expert analysis on its ear. We live in interesting times!
This election cycle has never been clearer in showing just how much the mainstream media works in projecting their own bias against threats to the status quo. Trump from the beginning was continually put in a negative light and written off as non serious no matter what the polls showed about his sustained popularity, and they finally had to change course once he started winning elections.
For, Bernie Sanders, the treatment has been one of largely being ignored compared to the attention given to the other major candidates running such as Clinton, Bush, Cruz, Trump, Rubio, etc..
Like Trump, many of the articles that did feature Sanders were cast in a negative light favoring Clinton over him. The Washington Post was caught running a marathon string of negative articles against Sanders – 16 of them in 16 hours.
The most recent egregious example of another so-called established and principled source, the NY Times, got caught making changes to an article they had already released that was so significant to change the tone of the article from a positive to negative/dismissive. What’s worse, they left no “editorial updates” or revisions to let people know a change had been made- just significantly changing an article that had already been released on the fly, as if they were “motivated” to make these “corrections” after the fact.
Did they not think they wouldn’t be called out on this, which certainly appears to be driven by partisan politics? The NY Times is claiming no wrongdoing, but even their public editor, Margaret Sullivan, disagrees.
And yet another stake is driven through the heart of the belief of an unbiased “Fourth Estate” that is supposed to serve the public interest.
Links to all the info: