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Reconciling Trump’s Incompetency With Economic Success
May 7th, 2018 by Admin Mugsy

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During the 1980 presidential race, GOP candidate Ronald Reagan attacked President Carter for allowing the National Debt to “skyrocket” from just $700 Billion to $900 Billion, a nearly 25% increase in the National Debt in just four years, implying “stunning fiscal irresponsibility” on Carter’s behalf. of course, what Reagan innocently forgot to mention was that all those loans to pay for the Vietnam War started to come due in 1976 (the year before Carter took office) and drove up the Debt, not because of any “fiscal irresponsibility” on Carter’s behalf. Then Reagan went on to become president, slashed taxes on the wealthy, and TRIPLED the National Debt in just eight years. But Republicans adored Reagan… and still do to this day… for producing a “fantastic” economy (actually, the Reagan economy was less successful Bill Clinton’s. And Carter did FAR better in his four years than Reagan did in his first four.) Reagan traded the short-term gain of tax cuts to rescue a struggling economy in the 80’s for a 300% increase in the National Debt that we’ll be paying off for generations. Short-term gain in exchange for delayed long-term pain. Republicans have a well-documented history (something I document here weekly) of ignoring the future consequences of decisions they make today in exchange for short-term gain.

I remember a few years back listening to a debate over whether or not “nuclear energy” should be included in any discussion of “Green Energy”. The short-term gainers argued that “anything that helps us get off fossil fuels that doesn’t produce CO2” should be considered “Green Energy”. One man pointed out that “If the ancient Egyptians had nuclear reactors and used them to power their cities 5-10 thousand years ago, we would STILL be stuck having to store their nuclear waste today.” That’s an amazing thought. Short-term gain in exchange for long-term pain.

We see this repeatedly among Republicans. “Damn the consequences! Full speed ahead… into Iraq… or exploding the Deficit with tax cuts that aren’t paid for… or rolling back regulations of coal mining (and not just “pollution” regulations either. West Virginia’s GOP Senate primary is being led by none other than Bill Blankenship, owner of the “Massey Energy Coal Mine” who went to prison after ordering supervisors to ignore coal mine safety regulations, resulting in the deaths of 29 coal miners in 2010. (But hey, they all had jobs!). Cutting taxes without regard for the Debt (until a Democrat becomes president)? That’s GOP-101.

Republicans hate “government regulations” the way children hate being told to eat their peas. Those “regulations”… like those mine safety regulations Blankenship ignored… were put in place for a reason. Rolling back regulations might help a few companies save a few bucks today and perhaps create a few more jobs… until one of the reasons those regulations were enacted in the first place comes back to bite them in the ass and ends up costing people a lot of money (or worse.) The consequences of many decisions might not be felt for years, but they always come. How many people predicted we’d still be at war in the Middle-East FIFTEEN YEARS after the invasion of Iraq (which was sold on the promise of an “Arab Spring” where the successful Democratization of Iraq would spread throughout the Middle-East as “dictatorships fall like dominoes?”)

So last week, unemployment fell to an amazing 3.9%… technically “full employment” (ie: if you don’t have a job, you probably don’t need one)… a low not seen since Bill Clinton’s second term. Add to that, the “meteoric” rise in the Stock Market after Trump was elected (the DOW closed at a record high of 26,616.71 on January 26th of this year… an increase of 25.5% since Obama left office. All very good news for the economy, and both are indexes I used to judge the strength/weakness of the economy under both Obama & Bush. And this far into Trump’s second year, he does deserve the majority of the credit for these good numbers (as much as it pains me to say it) because a year of unpopular economic decisions would just as easily have driven those numbers back up.
 

Unemployment rate since Bush's final year

 

Trump nearly derailed his own economy when he threatened to impose blanket indiscriminate tariffs on imported steel & aluminum without regard for country of origin, which threatened to spark a global trade war, first resulting in the DOW losing over a thousand points in one week, then losing a thousand points in one day the following Monday. So current numbers ARE a reflection of current policies.

Under Obama during the 2016 campaign, when unemployment fell from 4.9% to 4.6% on November 1st… three points in just one month… Trump called the numbers “fake” and an attempt by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to help Hillary Clinton. Now the numbers are totally accurate and proof his economic policies are working.

At the risk of sounding like a partisan pessimist unwilling to admit “success” under a Republican president, I’m seeing the same trends we saw under George W. Bush when he slashed interest rates NINE TIMES in 2001 (and don’t blame 9/11. Only TWO of those cuts came after 9/11) to get the economy moving again in his first term (if you have been paying attention this week, the last time unemployment fell to 3.9% was December of 2000JUST as the Republican candidates started talking down the economy as they started their run for president (again, trading short-term gain without regard for the consequences.) Interest rates near zero have left the Federal Reserve with no place to go but up… which we have been putting off ever since. When exploding gasoline prices (thanks to deregulated Commodity Traders) sucked TRILLIONS out of the economy by 2008, “cutting interest rates to kickstart the economy” was no longer an option. Global economic disaster ensued, forcing newly elected President Obama to borrow hundreds of Billions for his “Stimulus”.

Trump’s MASSIVE corporate tax cuts… permanent for the rich but temporary for everyone else… spurred enormous investment in the stock market (almost without regard for profits) because it meant corporations were going to be able to keep more of their profits. Many stocks are likely over-inflated, not justified by their sales figures, which makes them ripe for a crash. Trump is creating a bubble that will make The Crash of 2008 look like “The Good Old Days”. We can’t cut taxes to zero and still fund the government, so the days of goosing investment in the Stock Market with the promise of additional tax cuts are over. Once again, there’s no place for them to go but up. The flood of investors pouring money into stocks to take advantage of larger profit margins seemed to push the DOW to new record highs week-after-week for months. Those record highs stopped with that January 26th record close mentioned above. The DOW has not hit another record high since. By last Wednesday, the DOW was down more than 10% off that record high just three months earlier (though gaining a nice 300+ point bounce Friday thanks to the good jobs numbers for April.) And much of this has to do with an increase in Consumer spending thanks to those (temporary) tax cuts (that will blow a hole in the Deficit for the next guy to worry about.) Yes, those tax cuts for the Poor & Middle Class will come to an end over the next few years, but the Republican philosophy is that in a few years, with the economy growing, consumers won’t need those tax cuts anymore (but then watch how hard Republicans fight a few years from now to keep those tax cuts on the grounds ending them will hurt the economy. This is EXACTLY what Republicans did regarding “The Bush Tax Cuts” that were set to end under Obama.)

Okay, we’ve spurred the economy with tax cuts and deregulation. Now what? How do we keep the momentum going? Trust me. They got nothin’.

Tax cuts alone don’t drive economic growth. And thanks to Trump’s massive tax cut blowing a hole in the Deficit, they are going to HAVE TO raise interest rates (already a growing concern) to fund the government. That will suck Billions out of the economy, slow growth, and cause another Recession. Then Trump’s low-end tax cuts will expire, making the problem even worse (which as I note above, will be the excuse for extending those tax cuts even longer) and make an already bad problem even worse.

Gas prices are also on the rise. Republicans LOVE “Big Oil” and want unrestricted drilling EVERYWHERE. “Wanna drill for oil in the middle of a National Park? Go for it! So with all this additional drilling, why are oil/gas prices going up? The national average price of gasoline is now $0.55/gal higher today than when Obama left office. Oil… $52.42/barrel when Obama left office… is racing towards $70/barrel today. Why? Because the GOP’s love of “Big Oil” isn’t out of a desire to see cheap gas, it’s out of a desire to make oil company executives rich. Enjoy the “good times” while you can, folks!

There are plenty of movie & TV examples of “good intentions gone wrong”. But one of my favorites was a 2002 episode of “The Outer Limits” called “The New Breed” (44 minutes) about a brilliant scientist with a massive ego who invented microscopic “nanobots” that could repair damaged cells on a molecular level to cure everything. At first, the nanobots are a huge success. But then they start misinterpreting normal flaws as “mistakes” that need to be “fixed” (one example: giving the doctor “gills” because he kept testing to see how long he could hold his breath under water.) By the end, the brilliant scientist was begging for death.

And that’s how I feel every time I hear Republicans promising the moon today if we just jeopardize our future. “Too many regulations!” “Fighting Climate Change is costing us jobs!” “Corporations will regulate themselves if they wish to stay in business!” “Ice Cream & candy for dinner! We’ll worry about the tummy ache and cavities tomorrow!” They’ve done it time & time again.

A month ago, I wrote about my concern regarding a possible increasing willingness to overlook Trump’s crimes & disastrous policies should his economic policies turn out to be successful. How much is your soul worth? In exchange for short term economic growth, Reagan’s policies exploded the Debt, made “deregulation” a GOP mantra, and unleashed the Military Industrial Complex. Trump whined bitterly of the Mueller/Russia investigation last week, saying, “The country is running so smoothly”, suggesting the investigation into his campaign’s frequent and unresolved contacts with a hostile foreign power… (“meddling” that even Trump himself now concedes happened)… is just sour grapes by “losers” trying to derail his presidency before his “success” costs them the next election.

The cause for alarm here is that Trump is implementing every economic “trick” in the book… (tax cuts, “deregulation”, low interest rates) usually reserved for emergencies… all at once to goose the economy. The danger is that if things go bad, you’re left with no way to counter the damage and rescue the economy.

It drives me crazy that people can’t see that he’s a conman. PT Barnum in a cheap suit. Trump is (or was before the election) broke, pretending to be a billionaire. His entire shtick has been coning people into believing he must know what he’s talking about because he’s a billionaire. “Trump University”, “Trump Airways”, “Trump Vodka” (not wine but Russian vodka), “Trump Mail-Order Steaks” (I always wondered just how much money someone who made million dollar real estate deals thought he’d make selling steaks by mail?), presidential candidate, and now he’s selling the snake oil of “Trickle-Down” voodoo economics all over again.

And (for now), people are buying it. Lord help us all.
 


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Is This the Beginning of the Trump Economy? DOW loses over 1,000 points to start 2018.
Feb 4th, 2018 by Admin Mugsy

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(UPDATE: Monday, DOW falls an additional 1,175 points… the largest one day drop in history.)
(UPDATE #2: DOW falls another 1,032 points on Thursday.)

Like the old saying goes: “Facts can be stubborn things.” Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered it’s worst week (day?) in two years (I’m having some trouble confirming that statistic, but the 666 point drop on Friday may have been the biggest one-day drop since Bush-43’s final year in office.)

Now, there is no denying that the DOW set numerous records in Trump’s first year… which was easier to do when you START with a strong economy and the DOW already near it’s record high. Under Obama, the DOW grew nearly as quickly his first year in office (see corner thumbnail graph) as it has under Trump, but it wasn’t “setting records” because Bush left him an economy in free fall, needing to gain nearly 6,000 points just to get back up to where it was before the crash. So in very blunt terms, Trump had a 6,000 point “head start” on growing the Stock Market.

In reaction to a good jobs report for January (190K jobs created, first hourly wage increase in eight years), investors panicked… believing either (GOP version) the economy is doing SO good the Fed will be forced to raise interest rates next month to stave off inflation (which is nonsense because we’ve had periods of lower unemployment and higher job growth without needing to raise interest rates), or (MY interpretation) the jobs report confirmed what they already KNOW: that the Fed MUST raise interest rates next month… and will do so at the first opportunity… to fill the budget shortfall Trump’s massive tax cut for corporations and billionaires will create, which caused the DOW to plunge nearly 666 points… it’s worst one day drop since January 2016 (and the less said about that number, the better.)

And that “good jobs report” is terribly misleading: 1) Note the “jobs expansion” is now in its EIGHTH year (so this isn’t a new phenomena thanks to Trump) and Congress has YET to pass a new budget, so we are STILL operating under Obama’s final December 2016 budget.

2) The reported “first hourly wage increase in eight years” was a whopping NINE CENTS and due almost entirely to 18 states raising the Minimum Wage. Unless you have a healthy 401k or other investment in the Stock Market, the average person is actually seeing very little benefit from the rise in the Stock Market.
 

Job Growth by Presidental Budget
Job growth by president
(Trump’s first year in purple, but he has yet to pass a budget.)

 

That region in purple… a straightline continuation of the seven years before it… is what Trump has been taking bows for. As you can see from in the region in green, the last budget of the preceding president continues to impact the economy long after they are gone, and passing your own budget can set the trajectory of the remainder of your presidency. (That little spike at the start of Obama’s first budget is “The Stimulus”.)
 

Don’t be fooled. Trump deserves little (if ANY) significant credit for the good Jobs Report that came out last week (other than he has yet to do any “significant” damage.) And whether or not the economy “takes off like a rocket” as promised as a result of his policies (which are taking effect only now this year) is left to be seen. We won’t know for sure until well after he passes his first budget… and right now, that doesn’t look to be any time soon.

And because of Trump’s massive corporate tax cut, they are going to have to cut spending somewhere. And you KNOW the first place Republicans are going to look. They can’t look to the wealthy & corporations whom they just gave a massive tax cut to, and Republicans will NEVER cut the Military Budget (in fact, Trump wants to INCREASE IT… MASSIVELY… along with Billions to start his ridiculous border wall), so they are going where they always go… Medicare, Social Security and programs for the poor.

But not right away. Republicans still believe Trump’s massive tax cut will increase tax revenue due to all the “economic growth” they are certain it will create. Bush senior called this “Voodoo Economics”, and he was right. Both Reagan, Bush-41 and Bush-43 all tried it, exploding the deficit and massively increasing the National Debt. Reagan and Bush-41 both tried to mitigate the damage by raising taxes 11 times and by hiring tens of thousands of additional government employees. Bush-43 however gulped down the Kool-Aid, steadfastly refused to do either, and nearly tossed the entire planet into another Great Depression.

And now Trump and Republicans with an almost evangelical belief in “Trickledown Economics” are looking to do it again. (And this budget-timebomb is set to go off on the Democrats watch after retaking Congress in the midterms.)

Congress will be meeting again this week in yet another attempt to finally pass a budget. Don’t hold your breath. Nothing has changed and they are no closer to passing a budget now than they were when they kicked the can down the road two weeks ago. We have been operating under Obama’s final budget… passed in December 2016… Trump’s entire time in office. And for all of 2017, corporations have been operating under Obama’s tax rates and Obama’s “Job Killing” healthcare mandate. Trump simultaneously brags of the economy we’ve seen so far despite those “obstacles to growth” while claiming those same obstacles were “destroying jobs.” Clearly they weren’t. Extending the Obama budget may not be the worst thing to happen to Trump. Look how well it has served him so far. Unfortunately we can’t run on the same budget forever. New legislation needs funding. Old projects expire and no longer do. Eventually, Trump is going to have to remove the training wheels and peddle his own damn bike.

I noted in both of my last two Op/Ed’s that the federal government will HAVE to borrow Hundreds of Billions… pushing the Deficit into the stratosphere… to pay for Trump’s massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. And the only way to encourage people/nations to lend us money to fund the federal government is to raise interest rates… which sucks Billions out of the economy as more & more people tie up their money in savings instead of spending it. This creates a deadly feedback loop… last seen during the economic collapse of 2008… where less money being spent means corporations need fewer workers and start laying off people, who now have no spare cash, slowing the economy still further. It’s Keynesian Economics 101 and why “Trickle-down Economics” doesn’t work.

Republicans insisted that Trump’s tax cuts will “turbocharge the economy” (here in Houston, we already have one Republican woman running for Congress using that exact phrase in her ads) as lower tax rates encourage corporations hiding “Trillions” overseas in tax shelters to bring that money home (because what company wouldn’t prefer to pay a low 25% corporate tax rate vs leaving the money overseas in a tax-free tax shelter? Right? #SMH)

I’m being factious, of course.

So last Monday (Jan 29th), The DOW plunged 177 points. On the 30th, it fell an additional 362. A slight rebound of 72 & 37 points on Wednesday & Thursday, only to lose a whopping 665.75 points on Friday (possibly the largest one-day loss since December 2008… Bush’s final full month in office.) And Update: An additional 1,175 points today/Monday.

And right now, there is NO reason for investors to believe the Fed ISN’T going to raise Interest Rates in March. They sure as heck didn’t take to the airwaves Friday to reassure investors that they were worried for nothing and they are unlikely to raise rates next month.

They didn’t say that because they CAN’T. hey KNOW Trump’s tax cuts are going to break the bank and they will HAVE to find a way to pay for it. That means a rate hike… whether the economy needs it or not.
 


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Predictions for 2018: Fasten Your Seatbelts
Jan 1st, 2018 by Admin Mugsy

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In the cinematic classic “All About Eve”, Betty Davis tells a room full of partiers to “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” Meaning they should prepare for trouble as she comes to realize she’s been played the fool. I stopped wondering early on when Trump supporters would come around and realize they’d been “played” by this irrational, egomaniacal blowhard braggart who’ll say absolutely anything just to win, when they continued to make excuses for him over & over again no matter how easily disproven his assertions were (starting day-one with actual photographs of the crowd size attending his inauguration), continuing to believe this side-show carnival barker as long as he continues to put a “respectable” face on “bigotry”, “hate” and (as with George W. Bush) being “dumb” as something to be proud of. While Mugsy’s Rap Sheet began in 2003 shortly after Bush’s invasion of Iraq and people were just starting to realize they had been duped and there were no “Weapons of Mass Destruction”… just as I predicted, I didn’t start my annual “Predictions” tradition until December 2007 on the old “BI30 Archive” blog (which no longer exists) making predictions for 2008. Ten years later, I have wracked up quite the track record. My success rate over 10 years averages out to 59.5%. Personally, I think anyone who’s predictions are right nearly 60% of the time should be taken seriously (big smile.)

2017 was a challenge having nothing but Trump’s performance on the campaign trail to judge how he might perform once in the Oval Office. But one character-trait was already obvious and has only cemented over time: Trump is a giant toddler, impulsive, easily offended, asserts things as “true” simply because he believes them to be true (whether they are or not), and can’t resist touching the hot stove no matter how many times you tell him “No”. And like any spoiled rich kid (or child of a powerful monarch) whom no one dares say “No” to, he stumbles his way through any endeavor, takes credit for the achievements of others (2017 economy under Obama’s final budget/tax-rates, and Iraqi soldiers achievement in pushing back ISIS), blames his failures on whomever he deems is “out to get him” that particular day (repeated failure to pass ANY major policy initiative promised on the campaign trail… from the “repeal & replace of ObamaCare” that he said would be incredibly easy, only to eventually concede reforming health care was “Harder than ‘anybody’ thought”, to his promise to get Mexico to pay for a massive Border Wall), and then declares himself to be the greatest to do whatever it is he thinks he’s done (even when he’s dead last). I worry my head will fall off my shoulders in 2018 from all the shaking in disbelief.

As usual, we begin by looking back at the predictions of others for comparison sake. You can’t be impressed by my success rate if you don’t know how bad everyone else seems to be at it. And as usual, I remind you that I’m no psychic. I make no claim of amazing mental powers other than my ability to spot political trends and understanding of human behavior.

I’m not going to bother reviewing any famous “psychics” this year. Their act is to simply make dozens (sometimes hundreds) of vague predictions, and when one appears to have come true, they crow like roosters at sunrise until people “praise” them for their “amazing psychic ability.” It has become quite old and a waste of time. Looking back at past years reviews, their track record is somewhere between zero & 1 percent.

No, I enjoy reviewing & critiquing my fellow political pundits… especially self-righteous Conservatives whose predictions always seem to align with their own agenda. “Democrats bad! Conservatives good! Argh!” (wave outstretched arms for effect.) It can really get quite absurd. Why anyone listens to these people is beyond me. Like the saying goes, “Always certain. Rarely right.” Remind you of anyone?
 

The Competition

Fortune Magazine does predictions every year, mostly economic, but will also predict political actions that might affect the economy. If it’s any indication, their Predictions for 2017 included “AOL Will Get Cool Again” (spoiler alert: It didn’t.) So now that you have some idea just how unrealistic their predicting can be…

Fortune’s first political prediction right off the bat: “The U.S. Gets a Giant New Infrastructure Bill”. Yeah, that didn’t happen. Republicans LOVE to promise “infrastructure”… as long as they don’t have to pay for it. Despite controlling BOTH houses of Congress and the White House, Republicans didn’t even mention “infrastructure” in the massive budget they passed last week with enormous tax cuts for corporations and the Top 1%… which will make paying for that “infrastructure” Trump promised next to impossible.

Fortune made only four “political” predictions, and the remaining three were (arguably) all correct… though predicting a GOP-controlled congress with Republican president will cut taxes is a bit like predicting Trump will poop-tweet something stupid at 6am. Ditto for predicting a roll-back of many Climate-Change regulations, continued anti-immigrant rhetoric, and “tax-reform” where they give corporations a huge tax cut (that “will pay for itself with all the corporate revenue it encourages to return from overseas”… dream on.) Barrel of fish? Meet “shotgun”.

Our next contestant is CNN, pitting thirteen in-house advisors against each other to answer the same eight questions… only three of which are political in nature: “location of Trump’s first overseas visit”, “status of the DOW”, and “Trump’s approval rating.” Trump waited until May to make his first overseas trip, visiting nine cities (in five countries) in nine days:
 

Trump's 1st overseas trip.

 

Four (of the 13) analysts get partial credit for saying “Israel” (though technically the first stop was… oddly enough… Saudi Arabia) which was stop #2 on day two of his first ever overseas trip. Honorable Mention to the last pundit (Jeff Yang) for the most honest prediction: “Depends on where he wants to build his next hotel.” Maybe he was the only one to get that question right?

While only two pundits predicted the DOW to lose ground, no one predicted the DOW to close up over 24,000 as corporations poured Billions into buying back their own stock (something that used to be illegal before Reagan) to artificially pump up the price ahead of the massive GOP tax cut for those same corporations and their wealthy owners/investors (allowing them to pocket more of those dividends.) The reason this was once illegal is because stock price used to reflect the health of a company. If a company was successful, it was a safe investment. But now that stock value no longer has anything to do with their success as a company, buying stock is quite-literally legalized gambling. Watch the 2015 movie “The Big Short” for a primer on how over-inflated stock & real-estate values created the 2008 Wall Street bubble that resulted in global economic devastation. (Again, props to Yang for wondering if the DOW will be measured in rubles.)

Trump’s approval rating by the end of the year? Six of the 13 were reasonably close to predict the mid-30’s to 40%. Five said it would be over 50% (one thinking 60%), and radio host Dean Obeidallah being the only one to correctly guess Trump would end his first year with “the lowest approval rating in history.” Such polls only started with Eisenhower in 1953, but Trump did end the year with the all-time lowest approval rating at just 39.3% (the second lowest was Ronald Reagan ten points higher at 49%.) Trump himself believes (of course) that he ends his first year with nearly the exact same approval rating President Obama had at the end of his first year (Trump: 46%, Obama: 47%). Problem is, Trump is citing a single very pro-Republican Rasmussen poll for his figures. Obama’s 12-poll average by December 2009 was 49.9%… more than 10-1/2 points higher than Trump’s… which I’m certain Trump consoles himself by believing that’s “Fake News!”

And again, props to Yang for wondering if Trump’s poll numbers could be negative.

ABC’s “ThisWeek” asked its Roundtable to make some predictions for 2017:
 


Some Predictions for 2017 (1:20)

 

Question: Biggest promise Trump delivers on and biggest promise broken? They did fairly well. While “ObamaCare” wasn’t repealed, it was kneecapped. No Wall. No “Muslim Ban”. Trump tried repeatedly at the latter, and while the Supreme Court eventually ruled a “watered down” version was legal, the appeals courts are still challenging it. So the year ends with no absurd “Muslim Ban”.

And last but not least, my favorite each year, the folks over at Fox “news” Sunday.

This is my favorite part of the prediction game, looking back at how absurdly wrong Conservative pundits get it year after year. The more Conservative they are, the more smug they are when making their predictions. Fortunately for them, #FnS spends no time whatsoever to look back at how they did the previous year, for if they did, several might think twice before daring to make any on-camera predictions year-after-year.
 


Fox “news” Sunday pundits predictions for 2017 (8:49)

 

Laura Ingraham predicts Trump nominates “a judicial Conservative well-liked by the rank & file GOP and is approved by Congress”, but doesn’t cite Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch is eventually approved… but ONLY after the GOP changes the rules, passes “The Nuclear Option”, and approves him with a simple majority (final vote 54-45 thanks to two Democratic defectors.)

Julie Pace only predicts “2017 will be unpredictable.” There, she was right.

NRO’s Mike Needham, a man working had to inherit the mantle of “Worst predictor since Bill Kristol”, said matter of factly, “Obamacare WILL be repealed; HHS Sec Tom Price will do a great job” (he was forced to resign); and the result will be “better, more affordable healthcare.” GOP never came up with a replacement. Their only change was to abolish the “tax mandate” which will result in higher premiums and 18 Million low-income Americans losing coverage.

Juan Williams predicted President Obama to stay heavily in the public eye and become a DC “powerbroker”. Instead, Obama totally eschewed public life altogether, coming out only to partake in a BBC interview last week where he was asked questions by Prince Harry. Obama urging “people in leadership positions not to use social media in a way that fosters division” is probably his strongest rebuke of Trump his entire first year… and even here, never mentions Trump by name.

I’ll let you watch the rest of the video and judge for yourselves the accuracy of their predictions (note: Needham then goes on to describe Obama’s final year… with monthly job gains pushing 200K, unemployment down to 4.6% and GDP of 3.5%… as “anemic” and expected continued job growth under Trump and a GDP of “3%” as “roaring back.”
 

Now, a look back. How did I do predicting 2017? Pretty damn good if I do say so myself. Though if I had stopped after 10, I would have scored a personal best. Oh, well. My first four predictions were so spot-on, you’d be forgiven for thinking I cheated and wrote them last week (I assure you, I didn’t.)

  1. Right: “President Obama’s final budget will still be in effect until October (Republicans actually didn’t pass a new budget until December), so it is unlikely the economy will turn South in Trump’s first year.” – Trump of course is not only taking full credit for his first year economy, but it ALL happened under Obama’s final budget, Obama’s tax rates, and with “job-killingObamaCare in full effect. Trump not only took credit for the economy, he simultaneously criticized Obama’s policies as “hurting job growth” (despite unemployment now down to 4.1%), justifying his massive tax cut for corporations and the Top 1% at the expense of anyone earning less than $75K/year.
  2.  

  3. Right: Trump’s Russian ties will continue to haunt him in 2017, but with a GOP controlled Congress, nothing will ever come of it. – The Mueller investigation continues. Startling revelations emerged of Don Jr, Jared Kushner (Trump’s wunderkind go-to guy for every boring job) and Trump’s own campaign manager Paul Manafort, actually meeting with a Russian lawyer promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, IN Trump Tower… two floors below Trump’s office, and still he insists (16 times in his last interview of the year) that no collusion ever took place between his campaign and the Russians. Four people working for the Trump campaign have been indicted. Two have plead guilty (Papadopoulos and Mike Flynn), and just the other day we learned Papadopoulos bragged to an Australian diplomat that the Russians “had thousands of emails on Hillary Clinton”… before news broke that the DNC has been hacked.
  4.  

  5. Right: At least one of Trump’s incompetent appointees will have their appointment questioned and perhaps even be forced to resign due some inexplicable cock-up that embarrasses the incoming Trump Administration. – Enter Mike Flynn, who was fired after serving a mere 24 days as National Security Advisor. The excuse given was that he “lied to the FBI” (about his overseas business interests)… EIGHTEEN DAYS AFTER acting Attorney General Sally Yates TOLD the Trump Administration Flynn had lied to the FBI and was therefore a blackmail/security risk.
     
    Here is the final list of Trump Administration staffers who either were fired, forced to resign, or were “reassigned” (grab your magnifying glass.)
     
    Trump Admin 2017 Departures

     
    Trump promised to “Drain the swamp”, but so far, the only people leaving are people HE hired.
  6.  

  7. Right: Trump will hold a record low number of Press Conferences, preferring instead to use Twitter. No huge surprise here. Trump held exactly ONE Press Conference his entire first year in office.
  8.  

  9. Wrong: Trump will deploy between 100,000 and 300,000 troops back into Iraq & Afghanistan. – Happily, this didn’t turn out to be the case (at least, as far as we know.) Instead, he deployed an additional 3,900 “advisors” into Iraq, Afghanistan & Syria to push back against ISIS. Growing anger against ISIS in those countries for targeting their fellow Muslims (something I had predicted for 2016) has made them quite unpopular, and huge defeats at the hands of the Iraqi army has hurt ISIS recruiting, decimating their numbers (unlike 2015 & 2016, I did not attempt to predict the size of ISIS by the end of 2017, but I did not see the Muslim backlash against ISIS growing so intense in just one year, so I probably would have gotten it wrong if I had.)
  10.  
    Right: – I predict at least five such deadly mass casualty [ISIS inspired] attacks across the world. 2017 was a busy year for ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks around the world:
     

    • New Years day: Istanbul nightclub – 39 killed.
    • March: Car runs over pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London. – 4 killed.
    • May: Ariana Grande concert in Manchester – 22 killed
    • June: Eight people are killed when a van strikes pedestrians on London Bridge.
    • April: St. Petersburg underground is the target of a suicide bomber – 15 killed
    • April: Uzbek asylum seeker kills seven people when he rams a lorry into a crowded shopping street in Stockholm
    • April: At least 27 people die in an explosion inside a church in the city of Tanta, Egypt. Another blast kills at least 16 in front of a church in the coastal city of Alexandria, Egypt.
    • August: a van rams into crowds on the Ramblas in Barcelona killing 15.
    • October: eight people are killed when a terrorist in a rental truck speeds down a popular cycle lane in lower Manhattan on October 31.
    • November 24: more than 300 are killed by gunmen in a mosque during prayer in the city of Bir al-Abed, the main city in northern Sinai.

     
    In all, there were 1,128 terrorist attacks (mostly in Muslim countries) in 2017. Is it any wonder Muslim refugees were desperate to come here seeking to escape the rampaging warzone their countries have become?
     

  11. Right: The election of an openly bigoted xenophobe like Trump will worsen [acts of open racism] three-fold. – “Three-fold” is a rather arbitrary figure, but the open protesting of neo-Nazis protesting the removal of Confederate monuments earlier in the year (even resulting in one death as one neo-Nazi plowed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters) was seen in numbers not seen since the 1930’s. And Trump, afraid to offend his white supremacist followers, declared (just minutes after that young girl was run down & killed) that there were “very good people on both sides” of the protest, and that “both sides” shared in the blame for what happened.
  12.  

  13. Right: There will be NO significant border wall construction in 2017. – Shocker, I know. Anyone who actually believed construction would begin on Trump’s ridiculous pointless border wall (and that Mexico would pay for it) are what Turnip-Trucks were invented for. In fact, two weeks before his inauguration, Trump was already walking back the “Mexico will pay for it” claim, and proposed asking Congress to pay for it now with the promise he’ll find a way to get Mexico for it later. Seriously.
  14.  

  15. Right: At least one nation will say Trump is not welcome in their country. – The mayor of London said Trump is not welcome there after retweeting a video by a Far Right British anti-Muslim hate-group falsely claiming to be that of Muslims attacking a disabled Dutch boy, and the British Parliament demanded PM Theresa May dis-invite Trump from a scheduled state visit. Trump is as welcome in Europe as a skunk at a garden party. Trump was also met with protests in Germany during his visit to Hamburg, And during the G7 Economic Summit, the “most fit president in history” who ridiculed Hillary Clinton’s stamina, ended up following the other world leaders in a golf cart as they strolled the streets of Taormina, Sicily, and protests in France against Trump erupted when he snubbed the Paris Climate Accords… a treaty that was signed by EVERY other nation in the world… even Syria & Iran who both failed to initially sign but later came back to sign the treaty. Even China… the country Trump claimed made up the “Global Warming ‘Hoax'” to gain economic advantage as everyone but them agreed to the restrictions… agreed to the restrictions. Russia too signed the accord. Only Trump/U.S. did not.
  16.  

  17. Wrong: We will gradually see less & less of Trump over time [as he comes to hate the job he won but never actually wanted.] – In at least one way, I could have rated this True, with Trump holding a record low ONE Press Conference and spending a full THIRD of his entire presidency on vacation… which I’m certain is likely a record… even after ridiculing Obama on the campaign trail for all the time he spent golfing. But Trump, a total narcissist, lives to be in front of the cameras. Instead of press conferences and giving interviews, Trump hit the “campaign trail” and gave speeches to his throngs of adoring fans.
  18.  

  19. Wrong: Calls for investigations into all of Trump’s conflicts of interest will grow. – I believe the only reason this didn’t gain more traction is because the subject was overwhelmed by the non-stop controversies that seem to emanate from this White House day after day.
  20.  

  21. Wrong: Every building with Trump’s name on it will become an instant terrorist target the moment he’s sworn in, and the cost of protecting those buildings will become a serious matter. Again, also wrong, and again, for the same reason. Just too much other breaking news sucking all the oxygen out of the room. Many have expressed concern over the cost of defending Trump’s multitude of properties, but surprisingly, there have been no reports of attempts to attack Trump hotels/offices around the world. (Note: There HAS been concern relating to the cost of securing all of Trump’s properties while he visits them on “vacation”.)
  22.  

  23. Wrong: Expect at least one American company to file an “unfair trade practices” lawsuit against Trump. I expected businesses and foreign governments seeking to curry favor with Trump by choosing to do business with Trump (booking stays in his hotels vs a competitor, etc) would result in many of his competitors crying foul. But Trump’s global unpopularity has made that less of an issue than expected.
  24.  

  25. Wrong: The promise to “greatly expand the use of coal” and “completion of the Keystone XL Pipeline” will be met with a resounding thud as both projects prove to no longer be cost effective. – I’m going to rate this one wrong, even though the demand for coal did not rise significantly (7.8% in 2017) and is expected to rise only an additional 1% in 2018. Keystone XL output has likewise been slightly depressed as oil prices remained too low to make it economically viable. But oil prices closed at just under $67/barrel… up from $52.42/barrel when Obama left office. (National avg price/gal of gas also up 44cents since Obama left office.)
  26.  

  27. Wrong: I expect Trump’s relationship with Russia to become strained as he grows increasingly erratic. Generally, Trump’s relationship with Putin/Russia is about the same as it was when he took office. In fact, Russia & Israel are the only two places where Trump’s approval rating is higher than Obama’s (see: “skunk” above.)
  28.  

  29. Right: Trump will not be able to amass enough Republican votes (and zero Democratic votes) to repeal “ObamaCare”. Regardless of what they say now, Trump absolutely did NOT “repeal ‘ObamaCare’.” The GOP tax bill did severely harm it and threatens to undermine the program (which will cost taxpayers Billions as 18 Million lose their healthcare), but the program itself, with its requirement insurance companies accept people with preexisting conditions and limit rate increases… are all still there.
  30.  

  31. Wrong: Russia will test their new found relationship with the new administration to see just how much they can get away with. – I really thought Putin would thumb his nose at Trump and ramp up their support of Assad given the opportunity, and possibly become more aggressive annexing neighboring (former Soviet block) countries now that Trump was in office, but they already seem to have everything they want.
  32.  

  33. Right: Don’t be surprised if focus on many of Trump’s campaign promises are overshadowed by catastrophes that develop in his first year. – And by “catastrophes”, I mean problems of his own making. The daily scandals flowing out of this White House (Trump promised to “Drain the swamp”, but so far, just about everyone “drained” from Washington are Trump appointees. Fully ONE-THIRD of Trump’s original staff resigned, fired, or was reassigned) became almost daily news. No one is asking “Where’s the wall” because just about everyone knew it was total bullshit the day he promised it.
  34.  

  35. Right: Trump’s proposed “ten-fold” expansion of our nuclear arsenal? I see just enough Republicans to side with Democrats to stop any such proposed increase in our nuclear stockpiles. No expansion. – Just dumb to begin with. Completely unnecessary and a total waste of money. Plus no one saw it as “a pressing need” that demanded we follow through on it.
  36.  

  37. Wrong: 2017 will be declared “the hottest year on record”. – Damn! This was supposed to be a “gimme”! But 2017 “only” scored in the Top 5.

 
Ten right, nine wrong for an average of 53%. I can live with that, considering how little I had to go on for what to expect what life would be like under Donald Trump.
 

So how about my predictions for 2018? Predicting Trump is like predicting a toddler’s next move. If I could do that, I’d be making a fortune writing books on child rearing. But if you want to know what Trump will do in any situation, you’ll probably do best guessing what an undisciplined child that no one says “No” to, would do in that same situation.
 

  1. We’ve already seen the price of oil (as noted above) rise 20% in just Trump’s first year in office. Completion on the “Keystone XL” and increased coal production were supposed to reduce energy costs as we made ourselves more self sufficient, but the market had other ideas. Investors in the KXL need oil prices close to $75/barrel again to make the project cost efficient, and angering OPEC with his “anti-Muslim” rhetoric certainly doesn’t help matters any. So expect the price of oil to continue to rise in 2018 and the resulting increase in gas prices to start depressing the economy (as well as a number of other factors I will go into below.)
  2.  

  3. The Mueller investigation will continue to cause trouble for the Trump Administration as more & more revelations emerge. And as the controversy deepens and Trump becomes more worried, expect to see him spending more time trying to befriend Democrats as he grows concerned of a GOP rout come the November mid-terms that could lead to impeachment hearings by mid-2019.
  4.  

  5. And as I just hinted at above, rising trouble for Trump at home (more on that below) will make a Democratic rout in November seem inevitable. Expect Democrats to retake the Senate and possibly even the House come November. We already saw major election upsets in Virginia & Alabama. Expect that trend to continue into the 2018 mid-terms.
  6.  

  7. As the price of oil continues to rise (and the price of gas with it), sucking more and more money out of the economy, expect an economic slowdown by years end. Not only will rising gas prices suck billions out of the economy just as it did leading up to the 2008 crash, but expect interest rates to continue to rise (already raised three times in 2017) as the Fed finds it must lure investors to pay for the $1.5 Trillion dollar deficit Trump’s budget will create thanks to his irresponsible tax cuts (“deficits” only matter to Republicans when a Democrat is in office), the cost of doing business will also rise. Rising prices and less money in the system (because of more people putting their money in the bank to take advantage of rising rates), means a slowing economy. Trump took credit for the economy under Obama’s final budget & tax rates, but 2018 belongs to Trump. The economy, the unemployment rate, the deficit, wherever it goes from here, there’ll be no one to blame but himself.
  8.  
    (Note: Kind of a prediction for 2019, but I can already see Republicans are setting Democrats up for a fall. As the economy slows and controversy sweeps Democrats into power, the slowdown will continue into 2019, and many of the causes… like Trump’s massive tax cut for corporations… they just can’t be undone with a massive 19.5% corporate tax hike during a slumping economy headed for Recession. Republicans will be sure to point to Democrats and blame them for the economic timebomb they left them. But that’s a prediction for 2019.)
     

  9. And when the deficit starts to explode, Republicans will use it as an excuse to cut entitlements and programs for the poor.
  10.  

  11. And as such, unemployment will be up by years end. It is currently 4.1%. I would not be surprised to see unemployment close to 6% by years end if the economic slowdown I predict comes to pass.
  12.  

  13. The Wall? Yeah, that’s still going nowhere. Congress isn’t going to pay for it… especially in light of the rapidly increasing deficit thanks to the massive irresponsible tax cut Republican’s passed. There will be no significant progress on any “border wall” in 2018. There will be too much other stuff for Republicans to worry about in the coming year.
  14.  

  15. Trump’s approval rating? Already in the toilet (as noted earlier), with a slowing economy, major promises that continue to go unkept, increased “scandal” stemming from the Mueller investigation, I would not be surprised if Trump’s approval rating is below 30% by years end. Presidential approval ratings tracks with the Economy, and Trump is already in the low 30’s in a good economy.
  16.  

  17. And on that note, I question whether Mueller acts in time for the mid-terms. Much in the way former FBI Director James Comey was paranoid about possibly being accused of “shielding” Hillary Clinton if he hadn’t disclosed they were reopening the investigation into her missing emails after it was discovered disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner had been sharing emails with his wife, Huma Abadeen. I have some concern Mueller might consider waiting until after the 2018 mid-terms to announce anything significant regarding the case against Trump. I’m going to predict that does NOT happen, Mueller releases some controversial findings before the mid-term election, but will wait so long he will be criticized for “waiting too long” to have a greater impact on the election.
  18.  

  19. Republican Party also used info obtained from Russian hackers to target down-ballot races. As controversy over GOP misconduct grows, Dem chances in the mid-terms improve.
  20.  

  21. And Trump, Master of Distraction that he is, will find ways to distract the public from the growing controversy swirling around his Russia ties during the campaign. “Russia-Gate” will continue to dog Trump throughout 2018, but I have my concerns over just how desperate he’ll become to distract from the controversy. A year ago (before he took office), I might have worried he might start a war with North Korea just to escape scrutiny over his Russia ties or business dealings, but he didn’t send hundreds of thousands of troops into Afghanistan like I expected, so maybe he’s more adverse to military conflict than I first suspected. There’s always a chance his incompetent bungling could provoke an attack, but I don’t see him initiating one just to distract from his problems at home.
  22.  

  23. And speaking of Trump’s “business dealings”, I would be surprised if one of the revelations to come out of the Mueller investigation is Trump’s business ties to the Russian Mob. We already have significant (if not incontrovertible) proof Trump did business with the Russian Mob in his real estate dealings, and Russian money launders permeate his campaign like stench on a cowpie, but Mueller will make it official in 2018 as it is revealed they uncovered evidence of Russian Mob money finding its way into the “Trump 2016” campaign.
  24.  

  25. And as Mueller’s reports grow more & more damning of the Trump Campaign’s links to Russia, Republicans will grow increasingly desperate to discredit him. Possibly with Republicans launching an investigation of their own… into Mueller to accuse him of being on a “partisan witch hunt”. Republican will continue to try to discredit Mueller and the FBI in much the same way they try to discredit legitimate investigative news as “fake news” so that no matter the findings, they can simply dismiss them as coming from an unreliable source no matter how airtight the evidence (ala “The OJ Trial”.)
  26.  

  27. Will Bernie declare he’s running for prez again after mid-terms? I suspect he will. He is already (in 2017) traveling the country, giving speeches, and energizing crowds in key election states like Iowa.
  28.  

  29. North Korea. Despite a flurry of activity in mid/late 2017, I think Toddler Trump grew weary of his new toy and stopped paying as much attention to Kim Jong Un… who in turn is talking less about Trump. While I do worry that growing provocative rhetoric between these two powerful spoiled children that no one says “No” to could lead to one one of them doing something stupid, I’m going to predict cooler heads prevail and we see no significant conflict between the U.S. and North Korea in 2018.
  30.  

  31. I predict Michael Flynn will testify in open court about what Trump knew about Russian involvement/support of his campaign.
  32.  

  33. Trump’s history of incessant Tweeting will come back to haunt him as past tweeted statements will be used to contradict assertions he makes to defend himself in Russia investigation (and trying to discredit witnesses.)
  34.  

  35. Democratic leaders (but maybe not Congressional candidates themselves) will (stupidly) do their best to downplay the possibility of “impeachment” in the lead up to the 2018 mid-term election. This is exactly what they did in 2004, and despite American’s realizing they were lied to about “Weapons of Mass Destruction” as a pretext for launching an unnecessary war of aggression against Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein, and that war still raging more than a year later, Democrats were afraid that if voters thought they’d spend all their time impeaching the president, they wouldn’t be focused on their jobs. The result? Republicans retained control of both the House and Senate, leading up to the economic downturn that led to the crash of 2008.
  36.  

  37. Puerto Rico will still be far from recovered from the devastation of the 2017 hurricane season before suffering additional damage in the 2018 season.
  38.  

  39. The war in Afghanistan will still be going on by years end. The first recruits who weren’t even born yet on 9/11 will be signing up to join the military and preparing to be sent overseas to fight a war older than they are.

 

And that’s my list of predictions for 2018. Sorry for all the doom & gloom. But at least I don’t foresee a war with North Korea. That’s something, right?
 


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If GOP Tax Bill Passes, here is how it will tank the economy
Dec 4th, 2017 by Admin Mugsy

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There are two famous quotes I keep returning to again & again:
 

“Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.” – Edmund Burke, Irish Statesman (1729-1797)

and

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over, and expecting a different result each time.”
 – Author Rita Mae Brown (not Einstein) as quoted by the AA/NA sobriety guides (1983)

 

Every tax policy analyst who has looked at the Republican tax plan agrees that (if passed) it will create a huge hole in the Deficit and “add as much as $1.4 Trillion to the National Debt” (I believe they mean “Deficit”, not “Debt”)… which I can assure you is WILDLY understating what this bill would do to the Deficit, National Debt, and the economy as a whole.

I find myself actually stunned (well, not really) Republicans… self-proclaimed “Deficit Hawks” when Obama was president… would so blatantly try to sell us “Voodoo Economics” again with a straight face. They aren’t even being coy about it. They talk about Trump’s massive tax cut for the wealthy “supercharging” our economy as though it’s never been tried before. It appears Republicans now meet the definition of “insane”… doing the same thing over & over again, expecting a different result. Ronald Reagan slashed the top tax rate on the rich to “just 50%”… a rate we are wildly below today and Trump would have us more than slash in half (but assures us it wouldn’t benefit him personally)… and by the end of Reagan’s first budget (the end of his second year), unemployment had SOARED to 10.8%… despite November/December holiday shopping and seasonal hiring boosting the economy. The Federal budget for the coming year is passed every December. We are still coasting on Obama’s last budget (and Trump is taking credit for it.)

Senate Republicans passed their version of the next Federal Budget & Tax Reform last week by the skin of their teeth, just 51 to 49. Despite having a 52/48 majority in the Senate, every single Democrat and one Republican (Bob Corker R-TN) voted against the bill. Earlier in the year, Republicans in the House passed their own version of the budget and now Republicans have until Friday to pass a reconciled budget in time to avoid a government shutdown. We’ve already seen that this White House can’t organize a two-car parade, so if you believe House & Senate Republicans will come together to agree upon a budget & tax bill by Friday (Dec 8), you haven’t been paying attention the last 11 months. And they have no intention of trying to attract Democratic votes to help them pass their bill. During ABC’s ThisWeek yesterday, Mitch McConnell complained “There wasn’t a single Democrat who thought this tax bill was a good deal.” But Donald Trump thinks it is and if you’re a Republican, you trust the judgement of Donald J. Trump more than the entire Democratic Party (hell, they’d rather elect a suspected child-molester… Roy Moore… than a Democrat.) Let’s see how far that kind of judgement gets them.

Three separate Tax Policy institutes… Center, Left, and Right, have looked at the GOP Tax Bill and even the most Conservative estimate says it’ll blow a half-Trillion dollar hole in the annual Deficit…
 

Estimates of GOP Tax bill

 

…EVEN IF you factor in growth (that we’re unlikely to see), causing the National Debt… you know, that thing Republicans screamed about for eight years under Obama… to EXPLODE.

One of the things I most remember most about Mike Pence before he became VP was what a Teabagger tool he was as the self-appointed head of the Senate “Tea Party Caucus”. And in 2010, he declared that he’d rather shutdown the government and default on our Debt than raise the Debt Ceiling and accrue more debt:
 


Pence: “I say: Shut it down!”

 

And now they are trying to sell us “Voodoo Economics” once again (a term coined by then-presidential candidate George HW Bush in 1980 to describe his opponent, Ronald Reagan’s claim that massively cutting taxes on the rich will create so much economic growth the resulting tax revenue will offset the losses.) It didn’t of course. As I pointed out above, by the time Reagan’s first budget was over, unemployment nearly hit 11%, and before he left office, the National Debt had TRIPLED. Reagan tried to offset the losses by raising taxes TWELVE TIMES throughout the remainder of his presidency to stop the bleeding, but they never repealed that tax cut on the people who had all the money, so the Debt continued to grow.

In fact, the last time we balanced the budget and massively grew the economy was when Bill Clinton RAISED taxes on the wealthy to 39.5%, bringing in enough tax revenue to start paying off the debt and grow the economy. Bush-43 reversed that by cutting taxes again, turned that surplus into a $1.4 Trillion Deficit and triggering a Global economic collapse. Obama reversed course again with his own tax hike, cutting the Deficit by almost 2/3rds and spurred economic growth that we continue to enjoy to this day. Now, Trump is looking to repeat the mistakes of Reagan/Bush-41/Bush-43… except on steroids.

Reagan won reelection by massively increasing the size of government, rehiring hundreds of thousands of Federal employees nearly back to pre-Reagan levels, and spending like a drunken sailor, helping to bring the unemployment rate back down in time for the 1984 election:
 

Federal Hiring 1981-1982
Federal Hiring 1981-1982
(*in 1000’s)

 

That’s right, The Gipper was hailed as a hero for fixing a problem his own policies caused (by using a method he himself would have called “Communism” if a Democrat had done it.) And now Republicans want to do it again (because they’ve bought into the myth his policies were a huge success.)

Republicans have been all over the airwaves the past few weeks trying to sell us Voodoo Economics yet again. I don’t know if they themselves are in deep denial about what Reagan’s policies actually did, or perhaps they honestly don’t remember because they were either too young at the time or have simply bought into the myth after being spoon fed it by Conservatives for years. Right-Wing pundit Dan Castellanos argued yesterday that Trump’s tax plan would be like “rocket fuel for the economy”… a phrase Trump himself used. It is no longer clear if the pundits are quoting Trump or Trump is quoting the pundits. Either way, we have a vicious feedback loop not seen since Dick Cheney cited reporters who claimed Saddam had WMD’s… whose source for that claim was Dick Cheney himself. Conservative politicians/pundits are everywhere declaring with a perfectly straight face that “all the analysts are wrong”, that THEY know better than the experts and Trump’s massive tax cut for the rich will pay for itself in economic growth. “Voodoo Economics-101”.

So here is what’s going to happen if the GOP passes Trump’s massive tax cut for the rich:

First off, we won’t see any real effect on the economy until at least next May… after most Americans pay their taxes in April. The Poor & Middle Class typically file their taxes quickly… even early. And the increase in their taxes (mostly due to losing a number of exemptions/deductions) means less money going into the economy. Meanwhile, the wealthy (who pay most of the taxes because they have most of the money), typically have much more complicated taxes and will file extensions to give them longer to file and more time to pay. And in that gap between when “Regular People” pay their taxes and the wealthy do, the government must still operate with no money coming in. So they must borrow it, causing the Deficit to go up. But the only way to attract investment is to raise interest rates slowing the economy down even further. Vicious Feedback Loop part 2, the economy starts to sink like a stone. The Deficit & Debt explode, and the only way out of it is massive government hiring ala Reagan (maybe by building Trump’s Border Wall on the taxpayers dime.) All because they don’t want Rich people to pay their fair share in taxes.

Many years ago, I bought into the “Flat Tax” nonsense because the idea “everyone paying the same percentage” sounded fair to me. It wasn’t until years later that I realized the wealthy actually use FAR more “government” than the Poor & Middle Class do. Republicans would have you believe it’s the other way around, with all the poor people living on welfare and sucking up government resources. But the fact is, CORPORATE WELFARE dwarfs the amount of money spent on the poor. The wealthy also rely on the police more to protect their businesses/wealth, file complex lawsuits as part of doing business, need the government to make trade deals, and worst offenders of all, government contractors (particularly those in the Defense Industry.) The wealthy use FAR more government services than they pay for.

But the most obvious flaw with a “Flat Tax” is that you can’t make up BILLIONS in lost tax revenue from the Rich (via reducing the wealthy’s tax rate from 35% to just 15%) by raising taxes on the Poor (from 0% to 15%.)

And that is almost exactly what Republicans are trying to sell us now with this proposed massive tax cut on the rich. That somehow, we can cut HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS in tax revenue from the wealthy and make up for it in taxes paid by the Middle Class due to all the extra hiring corporations will do to meet the demand of all that economic growth.

Republicans argue that slashing the top tax rate will encourage all those wealthy tax cheats hiding their money overseas to finally bring that money home, resulting in a “three Trillion dollar boost to the economy.” I wonder if these people actually believe that. Do they ACTUALLY believe that millionaires/billionaires hiding “three trillion dollars” overseas are going to bring all that money home just to spend it??? Seriously?

So, what exactly would spur all this “economic growth” if we simply make the rich richer? “More money in people’s pocket” they say. Except the only people with “more money” in their pocket under Trump’s Tax Plan are people who ALREADY have a lot of money and yet aren’t spending it. If you give $10 to someone with no money, they’ll spend it right away. Give $10 to a wealthy person and they’ll just stick it in their pocket. If they needed anything, they would have bought it already.

No, what they’ll do with that savings is buy back their own stock to make themselves even richer (we are ALREADY seeing this in recent record Stock Market gains in anticipation of the cut.) They’ll continue to hide it in off-shore tax havens because ZERO percent is still better than 20%. And EVEN IF they spend it here, how many houses, cars & big screen TV’s can a person possibly buy to boost the economy? They think business owners will hire more people with all that extra money in their pocket. Why? Out of the goodness of their heart? DEMAND forces companies to hire more employees to meet that demand. If the demand isn’t there, why on Earth would anyone hire additional employees they don’t need? (I remember President George HW Bush pathetically begging corporations to “just hire one extra person and it’ll pull us out of the Recession (and save his presidency).” Of course, they didn’t. You can’t make corporations do something when they don’t need to. And if THAT is your plan to grow the economy… relying on the benevolence of corporations… we’re screwed.) The Unemployment Rate is ALREADY just 4.1% (a continued steady decline since President Obama passed his “Stimulus” in late 2009.) How much more growth do they think we can muster to offset those losses in tax revenue?

George HW Bush was right when he called it “Voodoo Economics”. You can’t make up for MASSIVE cuts in tax revenue through “growth”. The wealthy won’t spend more of their wealth just because we let them keep more of it. If they spent their money, they wouldn’t be wealthy in the first place, now would they?

Hang tight this week. Republicans are desperate to give Trump his one & only major legislative accomplishment of his first year in office. And huge tax cuts for rich people is the one thing they’ve always been able to agree upon.
 


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Evidence Emerges Russia Meddled in #Brexit As Well (just as I speculated last April)
Nov 27th, 2017 by Admin Mugsy

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I think I started hating Conspiracy Theorists during the OJ Trial. I was home sick that Summer for months with nothing to do except watch the trial live on TV. I watched more of the trial than Judge Ito (literally, one week he had to be excused due to a conflict of interests.) It drove me nuts as the evidence mounted, OJ’s lawyers defense kept changing (sans the consistent yet nonsensical “He was framed by the LAPD!” defense), and despite the overwhelming evidence against him, a huge portion of the population simply dismissed all the evidence on the grounds his accusers could not be trusted. And no matter how absurd the manner in which the “frameup” would of had to have taken place (planting evidence with an eyedropper, “flying DNA”, all without even knowing if OJ had an airtight alibi at the time), there was just no convincing them that just because you don’t trust the accuser, sometimes the accusations are true.

Then came the 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists. No matter how much rational evidence there is, they concoct absurd explanations for why it isn’t true. I think my “favorite” absurd claim is the “holographic planes” argument to argue “NO planes actually hit the Towers.” Don’t ask me to explain the “logic” behind that one because I can’t. But the basis for their disbelief remains the same: “You can’t trust the government!” If you believe our own government was behind 9/11, then you MUST also believe Osama bin Laden and alQaeda were framed and the incompetent Bush Administration pulled off the conspiracy of the century after only eight months in office (never to achieve such masterful misdirection again.) And if there’s one time they could have used such a brilliant air-tight frame-up, it would have been against Iraq. They would have “found” those WMD’s they insisted were there instead of being exposed as bumbling incompetents who lied us into an unnecessary war, nearly costing them the 2004 election.

Some conspiracy theories make me angry beyond words. The claim “Sandy Hook was a ‘false flag’ operation” and “no children were actually killed” theory (because it’s impossible for them to believe ANY gun owner could be so mentally deranged as to murder twenty first graders and six teachers) makes my blood boil. These people have even called the parents of these dead children at home to threaten them if they don’t stop “lying” about what happened. Something so horrific was “clearly” a ruse to push anti-gun legislation… a massive and incredibly complex conspiracy… all for nothing because all it took was 40 Republican lawmakers beholden to the NRA to refuse to pass any new anti-gun legislation. You’d think conspirators THAT clever would have also planned for such a contingency.

And if you listen to conspiracy theorists, the REAL conspiracy is all the people working to convince you the simplest/sanest explanation is the true “conspiracy”, and all evidence can be ignored no matter how solid it is. Trump can admit ON TAPE of committing sexual assault and all it takes is for him to say “I was lying!” for them to trust him again. Roy Moore and his supporters ask “Why now?” are all these accusers suddenly appearing after all these years? (Why? Because first one person speaks up, then others discover they weren’t the only one and start coming forward too.) Clearly, it’s “a conspiracy to stop him from getting elected to the Senate!” (Ironically, the worst witness against Moore is Moore himself, who admitted to Sean Hannity that he never asked out a girl “without getting the mother’s approval first”, then admitting the first time he met his future wife was when she was just 15 during a “school recital”. And STILL they call his accusers liars.) But these same conspiracy theorists are quick to believe Sen. Al Franken’s accusers. They impeached Bill Clinton because they trusted his accusers more than him to the point of getting him to testify under oath about his sexual misconduct (at which point he lied.) How many Republicans ran to his defense asking “why now?” (And yes, I know some Democrats did the same thing. Lesson learned.)

And the one that irks me most of all is the “this is the same government that told us Iraq had WMD’s!” argument for why you can’t trust anything that anyone “official” says. Can’t trust the government. Can’t trust “the lying Media” (one phrase I pray I never hear again after Trump leaves office is “Fake News”. A simplistic catch-all excuse to dismiss anything they don’t like.) Well, *I* remember Ambassador Joe Wilson and his wife Valery Plame being destroyed by the Bush Administration for daring to report there was no way in Hell Saddam bought/transported “20,000 tons of Yellowcake uranium from Niger.” *I* remember VP Dick Cheney repeatedly flying down to CIA headquarters in Langley to put pressure on them to say “Saddam had WMD’s” when the evidence just wasn’t there. Apparently, today’s conspiracy theorists DID trust the government back then, and have resolved never to make that mistake again. Yet, that is EXACTLY what they are doing, making the SAME mistake again, ignoring solid evidence in favor of absurd conspiracy theories (frequently spread by Trump himself.)

Ridiculous.

So, “conspiracies”. The claim Russia meddled in our election isn’t a conspiracy theory. Believing they DIDN’T despite all the evidence on the grounds it either comes from untrustworthy sources, or an elaborate fabrication being spread by someone they hate even more… Hillary Clinton and the DNC. THAT is a conspiracy theory.

Well, last April I noted (in my extensive… and still being updated… list of Trump Administration officials and family members who were in contact with Russian officials during the presidential campaign) my suspicion that Russian meddling in the politics of their enemies was likely not limited to just the United States but that they were probably involved in #Brexit too (“Update 12a”.) We know they meddled in the French election (Update 11) and I suspect they also played a part in the recent split of the province of Caledonia from the rest of Spain.

So it should come as no surprise that that Yes, we now have evidence the Russians DID play a part in promoting #Brexit last June (if you don’t know, #Brexit was a vote in the UK on whether or not to split from the European Union.) The “pro-Brexit” side were virulently anti-Muslim, anti-European, anti-immigrant nativists with a desire to “close the borders” to Middle-Eastern immigrants (sound familiar?)

BuzzFeed reported Friday they found evidence of 45 fake Twitter accounts belonging to Russian bots that did nothing but spread Russian propaganda. During the French elections, the site would push pro-LePen/anti-Macron propaganda in French, then anti-Angela Merkel propaganda in German during her reelection campaign, then instantly switch to English to push pro-Brexit propaganda during the Brexit vote. “20 of the accounts also tweeted about Trump” during the U.S. election.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Russia would want to break up the EU, throw every Western nation into chaos (getting Trump elected certainly achieved that here), and promote anti-Muslim/pro-Russia/anti-NATO leaders like Trump, LePen (the French Nazi) and the Far-Right anti-immigrant “AfD” Party in Germany who won seats in the German parliament for the first time EVER. Russia is the big winner in the decision for the UK to split from the EU. Putin has been staunchly anti-Muslim for decades. His bloody & brutal war against Chechen Muslims predates 9/11 (1994); and the Russian government has been working hard to elect people who oppose NATO, as well as the sanctions placed on Russia by the EU/US ever since they invaded Ukraine in 2014.
 

Impact of EU sanctions on Russia

 

…so is it any surprise they are going to such lengths to actively promote candidates who oppose NATO and oppose sanctions on Russia… or in the case of #Brexit… splitting off England from the EU? And it’s so easy! All it takes is a few hackers in a troll farm targeting voters on social networks with “fake news” reported on “RT (“Russia Today”) and “Sputnik”, or spending a few bucks to buy ads on Facebook & Twitter to promote one candidate over another, influence public opinion just enough to sway 1%-2% of the vote in an extremely close election The rewards VASTLY outweigh the expense/effort. And even if you get caught, you can use THE SAME PROPAGANDA MACHINE to convince just enough people that the “rumors” of Russian meddling are just “sour grapes”… propaganda spread by the losers to explain away their loss (sound familiar Part Deux?)

Of course, as I write this, I know there are also 100 Million “conspiracy theorists” out there ready to accuse me of promoting my own “conspiracy theory” because I “refuse to accept” that the hateful racist oligarchs are more in touch with popular sentiment than their opponents. Only difference is, I have facts & evidence on my side, and they have Nazi’s and Holographic Jumbo Jets on theirs.
 


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Predictions for 2017: It’s the end of the world as we know it.
Dec 31st, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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Okay. Maybe not the “The Apocalypse”. The election of a new president already provides lots of fodder for those making predictions. Literally EVERYTHING becomes an open question, but the $#!+storm awaiting us as a political novice with the impulse control of a toddler takes control of the most powerful office on the planet is difficult to quantify. No one (outside of the Trump campaign and his most ardent believers) thought he was going to win. But in the end, the Clinton campaign was a victim of its own success. They made Clinton’s victory seem SO inevitable, and Trump’s presidency SO unthinkable, that millions of Democrats didn’t even bother to vote, allowing a reality TV show star riding a wave of xenophobia to ascend to the presidency. And his choices to lead his Administration raise serious concern. Trump’s case for why he should be president was that… as a corporate CEO… he knows how to pick “the best people” to create an incredibly effective government. But instead, he has been awarding top-level cabinet-level positions to friends, lobbyists and far right ideologues the way other presidents awarded ambassadorships… not based on qualifications, but purely on their fealty to Trump himself.

We start off year nine of my prognostications as we do every year by looking back at the predictions of others. Always good for a laugh, I find myself wondering why anyone takes these people seriously with such miserable track records. Typically, most “psychics” make dozens… even hundreds… of incredibly vague predictions, then declare success when one of their predictions is twisted and massaged to where they can claim they accurately predicted some obscure global event. Some place no time-frame on their predictions, so they are never “wrong”, their predictions simply “haven’t come true yet.” I don’t do that. I don’t make “vague” predictions (the “Two moons will join as one” crap) and only make predictions for the coming year. If something I predict doesn’t happen within the next 12 months, that prediction is ruled “wrong”.

The Huffington Post declared “16 Shocking Predictions for 2016” written by clinical psychologist Dr. Carmen Harra. What a psychologist is doing making “psychic predictions” is anyone’s guess, but of her 16 predictions, I found none of them particularly “shocking”, and only one prediction… the election of a female South American president (Dilma Rousseff of Brazil)… appears to have come true. Even her “gimme” predictions (like “more extreme weather”) I’d classify as “wrong” because there were no widespread devastating weather catastrophes in 2016.

As many of you know, I live blog the top three political talk shows every Sunday: Fox “news” Sunday, “Meet the Press” and ABC’s ThisWeek. Typically, their final show of the year includes predictions for the coming year. I always find the predictions of Conservatives on Fox the most fascinating. It really is a window into their dark fantasy world. Simply put, Democrats will always usher in economic chaos, and Republican policies are always a resounding success:
 

Fox “news” Sunday’s Predictions for 2016 (8:57)

 

Some highlights:

  • “Common sense will prevail [within the GOP] and Trump won’t win the nomination”. – Oops. I guess it didn’t.
  •  

  • Economy will be down. “Recession.” – The U.S. economy continued to grow, growing at a remarkable 3.5% in the third quarter of this year.
  •  
    The political predictions end about halfway in, but I posted the full clip because it highlights just how routinely wrong the extremely partisan frequent guest panelist Mike Needham (of National Review Online) is. In previous years, “Bloody” Bill Kristol (of The Weekly Standard) was the Fox panelist that never got a single thing right before swapping places with George Will (a fixture on ABC’s ThisWeek for decades but became buttsore when they handed hosting duties over to Stephanopoulos). Like all Republicans, Needham is extremely sure of himself despite rarely ever being right on anything, and allows his partisanship to get in the way when making his predictions. Nothing connected to a Democrat ever turns out good. Nothing linked to a Republican ever turns out bad. I’m not sure Needham is EVER right on anything. But he tells Republicans what they like to hear, so he’s repeatedly asked back to give his opinions.

    Mike Needham:

  • “Low interest rates [are] maintaining the facade of Keynesian monetary policy.” – In Mike’s world, “Trickle-down” Reaganomics was a huge success while Keynesian “trickle up from the poor” economics is fantasy. Mike predicted that the Obama economy was being artificially propped up by low interest rates and once rates started to rise, the economy would start to implode. Interest rates are rising while Trump takes credit for the surge in the Stock Market.
  • Disagrees that Chicago (Hillary’s hometown) Cubs will win World Series. Instead picks the NY (Trump’s hometown) Mets. – While the Mets did okay in 2016, they came in sixteen games behind the World Series champion Cubs in the National League.
  • Picked “Batman vs Superman” to be the next big Hollywood blockbuster. – “Batman vs Superman” turned out to be a flop of epic proportions. Needham also predicted (noted Hollywood Liberal) Ben Affleck would go down as “the worst Batman in history.” To the contrary.

Give it up, Mike.
 

ABC’s ThisWeek predictions for 2016 (6:18)

 

Less drama (and fewer predictions) over on ABC’s ThisWeek. Everyone seemed to agree Trump had a better than average chance of winning the GOP nomination, with two of them even accurately picking “Tim Kaine” to be Hillary’s running mate.

Now let’s look back at my predictions from last year to give you some idea of just how seriously you should take me. Compared to “celebrity psychics”, even on my worst years, I totally crush them. The difference is that I freely admit that I’m no psychic. I’m just very good at spotting political trends and knowing how people think. So let’s take a look at my “Predictions for 2016”:

  • wrong – “Will we see another “France-style” terrorist attack in 2016? I don’t think so.” 2015 saw the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris (including a suicide bomber detonating just outside the National soccer stadium), so it seemed unlikely anyone would be able to pull off a similar attack in 2016. But unfortunately, last June, suicide bombers killed 41 in a siege of the Istanbul International Airport in Turkey, and France’s Bastille Day celebrations came to a tragic end when lone disturbed ISIS Sympathizer killed 84 and mowed down hundreds more using a large truck. Germany also saw a less deadly but no less tragic mass murder using a large truck driven by another ISIS sympathizer.
  •  

  • wrong – The establishment of “Safe Zones” inside of Syria & Iraq to counter the flood of refugees into other countries that were becoming increasingly unwelcome. Seriously, I am quite disgusted that six years later, we are still talking about the Syrian civil war. Unfortunately, the rest of the world found it easier to do nothing than to try and safeguard the civilian populations living in the region. The massacre in Syria has been a sticking point with me ever since I (incorrectly) predicted in 2011 massive international intervention to stop Assad from massacring his own people. But instead, Russia sided with their good friend King Assad, labeled the rebels “terrorists”, and made it impossible for anyone to intervene without risking a war with Russia. And instead, four years later, we’ve elected a president that sides with Russia on every controversy, and the city of Aleppo was pretty much obliterated and recaptured by Assad’s forces. Even more disturbing is the number of Trump supporters who believe photos like “Aleppo Boy” were “staged”. I’m not sure what has to die inside a person to look at that photo, call it a fake, and take the side of Syria & Russia.
  •  

  • right – ISIS will still be about the same size as it is today… roughly 30,000 fighters. – While it is difficult (if not impossible) to get an accurate reading on the number of people fighting on the ground in the region of Syria & Northern Iraq, most analysts seem to agree that “ISIS is shrinking”, not growing, preferring instead to try to inspire weak-willed outcasts feeling ostracized by society to commit “lone wolf” attacks in other countries and then take credit for those attacks. It is difficult to inspire Muslim sympathizers to the ISIS cause when the majority of their targets are fellow Muslims (see the Turkey airport attack above.) I fear Trump’s “take no prisoners” scorched Earth plans for dealing with ISIS will do more to create sympathizers and grow ISIS than actually serve to defeat it.
  •  

  • wrong – Russia WILL focus more on attacking ISIS and less on helping Assad destroy the Syrian rebels – I was wrong about Russia suddenly growing a conscience and pulling back in it’s support of helping Assad crush him political opponents, though I was correct that they would not JOIN forces with the U.S. in alliance to destroy who they claim is a common enemy: ISIS. Poor naive Donald Trump has bought Russia’s line of bull that the Syrian civil war is all about fighting terrorism. Russia has only become more bold in its international meddling in 2016 as Putin sees an opportunity to regain its Soviet-era dominance in the world as America’s influence wanes as we begin our 15th year of war.
  •  

  • right – Iran is likely to increase military aid to Assad as Russian support for the war wanes. – Iran “reportedly felt blindsided by the terms of the [Syrian] truce brokered in Turkey between Russia and the rebels.” Iran’s involvement in Syria has deepened as they disapprove of Russia focusing more on seizing more control in the region.
  •  

  • right – The Syrian conflict [will] still be raging throughout the year, eventually culminating in a treaty between Assad & the rebels. – The Syrian Civil War is only now being declared “coming to an end” here in the final days of 2016 as Russia brokers yet-another cease fire treaty. After years of conflict, it has become clear that we have are now incapable of bringing wars to an end.
  •  

  • wrong – We will see a MILD economic decline as the Republican controlled Congress stifles the economy to help the GOP presidential candidate. I’m actually quite stunned the GOP didn’t do more to cripple the economy to help the GOP nominee win the election. But then, I didn’t expect the GOP to be so unhappy with their candidate. In the end, they weren’t exactly enthusiastic about helping Donald Trump become the leader of their Party (and if you ask me, they are terrified of being branded “The Party of Trump”.) Instead, the Obama economy continued to grow at a remarkable rate.
  •  

  • right – Gitmo to still be in operation by the end of President Obama’s presidency, [though] steps will finally be in place to close it permanently before he leaves office. – Yes on both counts. Our POW camp at Guantánamo Bay is indeed still in operation (though currently down to just 59 detainees that will reportedly be down to just 41 by the time Obama leaves office. In February, he did send his Guantánamo Closing Plan to Congress, but no action was taken. And Trump has vowed… not only to keep it open… but to even EXPAND it, so our giant “middle-finger” to all our principles will continue to operate for the foreseeable future.
  •  

  • wrong – GOP will retain control of the House following the election but lose the Senate. – This did indeed become the conventional thinking in the final days of the election, and there’s no way of knowing if Russian meddling had any impact on the outcome, but Democrats did pick up two seats… three seats short of control of the Senate (under a Republican White House.)
  •  

  • right – The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio will be relatively uneventful. – No terrorist attacks, and despite concerns of rampant local crime, polluted water, and unfinished facilities, the Rio Olympics pretty much went off without a hitch.
  •  

  • right – Trump will be the GOP nominee. – I’m surprised (well, maybe not) that so many people believed Republicans would come to their senses and pull back from the brink before allowing this cartoonish man-child to come within earshot of the presidency, but I was one of the few that knew better. Before the first primary of 2016, I knew from the 2012 nomination of Mitt Romney, “wealth = good” among low-information Republican voters. Bush & Cheney ran as “businessmen” in 2000 promising a “CEO presidency”, and it was an absolute disaster. But that didn’t stop them from nominating Mitt Romney in 2012 (regardless of how he made his money.) Just as in 2012, Republicans didn’t like the GOP front-runner (Romney) and constantly kept looking for someone to take the nomination away from him. But as each new front-runner crashed & burned, Romney kept floating back up to the top of the bowl. The same thing with Trump in 2016. There were a couple of brief scares when Ben Carson and Ted Cruz became the front runners momentarily, but they always came back to Trump as his rivals crashed & burned.

    I also predicted that Trump will plan to delegate most of his responsibilities as he has no interest in actually doing the job, which he & his son both confirmed last May.

  •  

  • wrong – Expect Trump to name his running mate early if he finds himself struggling to win the nomination. – This didn’t happen… with Trump. But it bears mentioning that this is EXACTLY what Ted Cruz did all the way back in April. Also of note, I included the caveat that “if [Trump] gets locked in a battle with the Democratic nominee, his ego will rope him in until the election in November” seeing his candidacy through to the bitter end, win or lose. And I was absolutely right on that. All the polls were predicting an easy win for Clinton, and even Trump himself was surprised when all of the “must win” races started falling his way, yet he stayed in to the very end with most expecting him to challenge the result if he lost… completely unwilling to believe this country might choose Hillary over him.
  •  

  • right – Hillary to win the Democratic nomination. – Probably my most painful prediction as a Bernie supporter, but this is what separates me from Republicans who shape their predictions to fit their personal ideology. And this is why their record of predicting things is so miserable. They are SO sure their beliefs are right, the possibility they could be wrong never crosses their minds.
  •  

  • wrong* – the Democratic nominee will win the election in November. – It is difficult to know if Russian meddling in our election may have altered the outcome, but I’m not aware of even one legitimate poll that predicted a Trump victory. The entire Trump candidacy was one embarrassment after another, from making racist & sexist remarks during his campaign, the embarrassing Convention with guest speakers like Scott Baio, culminating in the “Access Hollywood” (“grab them by the [meow]” tape.) And despite needing to sweep nearly every single swing state to win, that’s exactly what happened… an achievement suspicious in itself. But I didn’t factor possible election fraud into my prediction.
  •  

  • right – As ISIS begins to feel the pressure of increased international focus on defeating them, they will in turn focus more on inspiring outside sympathizers to commit “lone wolf” terrorist attacks in their respective countries. I predicted at least three such attacks in the coming year. – Indeed, this was the case, with terrorist attacks by ISIS sympathizers in Istanbul, Turkey, Nice, France, and the Christmas Market attack in Berlin, Germany.

8 right, 7 wrong. 53%. Not bad. I’ve done worse. That keeps my lifetime average well over 50%. I was one of the few to predict the presidential race to come down to Clinton vs Trump when must people were predicting a “Hillary vs Jeb” contest. I’m pretty proud of that.

And now…

My Predictions for 2017:

With a totally new administration full of billionaires, ideologues and sycophants with no track record of public service whatsoever, the possibilities are endless as what to expect from the coming year. As “president-elect Trump” rejects the need for a “Presidential Baily Briefing” (on the grounds the information is “repetitive”), I’m frequently reminded of how President Bush in 2001 repeatedly dismissed his own PDB’s while our intelligence agencies were desperately (“Lights were flashing red”) trying to get him to pay attention to the threat of alQaeda until it was too late with the attacks of 9/11 just eight months into office. Now Trump is doing the same while ISIS attacks seem to be growing in magnitude & frequency. Predicting the first year of any new administration is one big crap shoot, but I know how Trump and his ilk think.

  1. Trump is already taking credit for a rise in the Stock Market since his election while Obama is still president, but once he takes office, if the economy does not continue to improve, he’ll stop taking credit and start blaming Obama (remember how Republicans berated Obama the first couple of years for “blaming Bush” for the deep hole we were still digging our way out of?) Trump will be handed an economy that’s 180 degrees from what Obama inherited (soaring stock market, unemployment falls to just 4.6%), and President Obama’s final budget will still be in effect until October, so it is unlikely the economy will turn South in Trump’s first year unless he does something extremely provocative to spook the global financial (or oil) market. We’ll have to wait & see if Trump becomes a “don’t rock the boat” president, or (more likely) an impulsive hothead that doesn’t consider the consequences before acting (which is the defining characteristic of Republicans.)
  2.  
    Trump’s coziness with the Russians continues to disturb me. His first campaign spokesman, Paul Manafort, was forced to resign when it was discovered that he had been paid millions lobbying for pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarchs… not because of his Russia connection, but because he worked as a lobbyist at a time when Trump was still trying to act as though he disapproved of lobbyists and the Russian annexing of Ukraine was unpopular with most Americans. Yet, despite being fired, Manafort continued to live in Trump Tower (along with another fired Trump staffer, former campaign manager Cory Lewandowski.) This tells me Trump doesn’t learn from his mistakes, he just tucks them away until after the heat blows over.

    His eventual choice for Secretary of State, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, wasn’t even on the original lists of nominees. The person that appeared to have to best chance was Mitt Romney… who called Russia “our #1 Geo-political enemy” when he ran in 2012. Then suddenly, Romney was out and Tillerson… a man who was awarded the “Russian Medal of Friendship”…. was in.

    His daughter Ivanka was even caught palling around with Putin’s girlfriend in Croatia.

  3. Trump’s Russian ties will continue to haunt him in 2017, but with a GOP controlled Congress, nothing will ever come of it. Every move that involves Russia will draw additional scrutiny. Investigative reporters may start to report on concerns of Russian influence on the Trump White House, but President-elect Trump has been working hard to delegitimatize the Media as “Fake News” so that… should they report anything critical of his administration, he can simply dismiss it as “fake news”.
  4.  
    George Bush appointed a single unqualified mega-donor sycophant to his Administration (Michael “Heckuva job, Brownie” Brown)… an Arabian horse judge… to be in charge of FEMA, and we all know how that turned out. Trump’s cabinet is FULL of unqualified “Brownies”. He has been gifting crucial administration posts the way other presidents once awarded “ambassadorships” to friends & big donors. This is particularly disturbing when one of the key arguments Trump and his supporters gave to justify electing a “CEO President” with NO political experience to the presidency was that he’d appoint only “the best people” to manage his administration. Among some of Trump’s other “So good, you won’t believe it” appointees so far:

    Former opponent Dr. Ben Carson… NOT as Surgeon General which might make SOME sense… but as the head of “Housing & Urban Development” (which Carson himself justified due to having “once lived in Public Housing”. By that standard, I should be piloting 747’s because I once flew in one.)

    Co-founder of the WWE (“World Wrestling Entertainment”) Linda McMahon to head the SBA (“Small Business Administration”.) I think we know how she got the job:

     
    Trump in Wrestlemania
     
    Trump wrestles McMahon

    (Remember all the Republicans who whined Bill Clinton was destroying the dignity of the Oval Office?)

    The former Attorney General from the Oklahoma oil-patch, climate change denier Scott Pruitt to head the EPA. Pruitt repeatedly sued the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” and “Clean Water Rule” while OK-AG, and even tried to pass off a letter written by oil company lobbyists critical of the EPA as his own. And now he will be in charge of the organization.

    While not yet appointed at this time, Trump is reportedly considering billionaire eccentric “Peter Thiel” to head the FDA. Like Ben Carson who believes he’s qualified to run HUD because he once lived in public housing, it is reported that Theil once ate food and took medicine.

    Trump appointed Steve Bannon the head of alt-Right website “Brietbart.com”… probably the only “news” outlet to endorse Trump… to be his Chief Strategist. While Team-Trump is working overtime to delegitimize the legitimate news as “fake news”, Brietbart is the very definition of “fake news”.

    Former Texas Governor and “Dancing with the Stars” reject Rick “Oops” Perry… who famously forgot that the Dept of Energy was the third government agency he would close as president… was appointed Trump’s Secretary of Energy. He will be replacing nuclear physicist Ernie Moniz.

    …to be continued.
     

  5. With so many incompetents put in charge of so many prominent offices within the Trump Administration, the chances of another “Brownie”-like disaster in the next few years increases exponentially. I predict at least one of Trump’s incompetent appointees will have their appointment questioned and perhaps even be forced to resign due some inexplicable cock-up that embarrasses the incoming Trump Administration.
  6.  

  7. Trump detests having to answer questions. He considers having to explain himself an indignity and the Press exists solely to try & discredit him. This is why he adores Twitter where he can simply ignore any question he doesn’t like. Trump will hold a record low number of Press Conferences, preferring instead to use Twitter to communicate with the American people. He, his staff, and his supporters will herald this as “a new era in unprecedented access to the Commander-in-Chief” that supposedly makes him more “accessible” by the American people, when the truth is it will quite the opposite: a new era of secrecy in presidential administrations that closely controls just how much access the fourth-estate has to it. (August 10 edition of “60 Minutes”, former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon praises Trump’s use of Twitter as “circumventing Big Media and speaking directly to the people.”)
  8.  
    In these final days of 2016, we keep seeing situations where the incoming Trump Administration is publicly disagreeing with… not just the outgoing Obama Administration, but U.S. foreign policy of the past 30 years when it comes to Israel and the pursuit of a “two state solution” to bring peace between the Israeli’s and the Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is a neo-con, and his continued illegal building of settlements in occupied territory threatens to jeopardize any hope of peace in the Middle East. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the recent construction of new Israeli settlements as provocative and not in the interests of achieving peace in the Middle East. Netanyahu… who never liked the Obama Administration and vocally condemned it for agreeing to lift sanctions on Iran… basically told the U.S. to mind its own business. Trump… breaking with decades of “one president at a time” tradition (an unwritten rule where the incoming administration doesn’t publicly contradict the outgoing administration, instead declaring “the U.S. speaks with one voice”), Trump again publicly criticized the outgoing Obama Administration, taking the side of Israel and declaring “things will be different” come “January 20th.”

  9. Taking the side Israel so publicly, there is NO way the U.S. can be seen as an honest broker in any possible future peace negotiations between Israel & Palestine. Trump’s chosen Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is a pro-settlement bankruptcy lawyer with no relevant experience other than the fact he is president of the US fundraising arm for Bet El, a settlement built on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank. Both Trump & Friedman have taken the unimaginably provocative position of calling to move the capital of Israel to the disputed city of Jerusalem… nothing short of spitting in the eye of a billion Muslims. Indeed, Osama bin Laden even cited the “Israeli occupation” and part of alQaeda’s justification for 9/11 and their war with the West. Trump has just made his job of achieving an end to the wars in the Middle East infinitely more difficult. Couple that with his pledge to “quickly, easily & completely” defeat ISIS, I have great difficultly in seeing how he can “defeat ISIS” and end the war in Afghanistan without doing something monumentally insane like declaring war on the entire Middle East and conquering it using nuclear weapons. No matter how nuts he may be, there are still enough sane people left in Congress to stop him from starting World War III. As such, I have little doubt that as Commander-in-Chief, Trump will still deploy between 100,000 and 300,000 troops back into Iraq & Afghanistan (and possibly Syria) by the end of the year, greatly expending the war rather than helping to resolve the conflict and bring America’s longest war to an end (cooler heads will prevail among his generals not to introduce nuclear weapons into this war, but reports will emerge that it was discussed).
  10.  

  11. In 2015, increased pressure on ISIS resulted in various domestic terrorist attacks overseas, and (as I correctly predicted) there were at least three more such incidents of domestic terrorism around the world as that pressure continued to grow. If Trump does indeed greatly expand the war in the Middle East, coupled with openly taking Israel’s side in promoting illegal settlements, expend the number of incidents of domestic terrorism committed in the name of ISIS to grow. I predict at least five such deadly mass casulty attacks across the world in the coming year.
  12.  

  13. The election of the first black president allowed a stunning number of closeted racists to feel liberated, coming out as openly racist, cloaking their racism as nothing more than “political differences”. The election of an openly bigoted xenophobe like Trump will worsen this three-fold as Trump-supporters feel they now have carte-blanc to be openly bigoted against Mexican’s and Muslims as well.
  14.  

  15. Which reminds us of Trump’s promise to “build a border wall along the U.S./Mexico border and make Mexico pay for it”, and deport… not just 11 million “illegal immigrants”, but in many cases their American-born children as well. There will be NO significant border wall construction in 2017 as the issue falls by the way-side. However, the Trump Administration may try to claim plans for a border wall are “in the works”. And rather than Mexico paying 100% of the cost, to save face, the Trump Administration will rely on some creative accounting to try and claim Mexico will be paying for it when they are in fact not.
    UPDATE: 1/6/2017 – Not even president yet, “Trump asks Congress, not Mexico, to pay for border wall.
  16.  

  17. During the primaries, a number of countries were so appalled by Donald’s Trump’s “racist & sexists remarks”, they went as far as to say the GOP candidate was “not welcome” in their country. Scotland declared Trump “unwelcome” in that country the day after the election and urged him not to visit. In January of 2016, the British Parliament had already discussed banning Trump from the UK. And in October (just before the election), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau banned Trump from entering Canada until he apologized for his offensive remarks about Muslims & Mexicans. I predict that in the coming year, at least one nation will say Trump is not welcome in their country.
  18.  

  19. As I’ve been pointing out since the day he declared his candidacy in 2015, Trump only wanted to prove he could win the presidency if he wanted it, but has no interest in actually doing the job. Early on, he will appear to be doing his job, but gradually over time, we will see less & less of him as he tries to delegate more & more of his job over to others in his administration, setting up a Constitutional crisis.
  20.  

  21. Calls for investigations into all of Trump’s conflicts of interest will grow along with demands that he fully divest himself of his empire (which he’ll never do) as it becomes clear foreign countries are trying to curry favor with the American president though his investments. Trump’s massive ego will never permit him to sell off his empire. All those skyscrapers with his name on them feed his massive ego. If it becomes a serious enough problem for him, he’d resign his presidency before selling off his empire.
  22.  

  23. Speaking of which, every building with Trump’s name on it will become an instant terrorist target the moment he’s sworn in, and the cost of protecting those buildings will become a serious matter.
  24.  

  25. Beyond foreigners trying to get on the good side of America’s president by renting out his hotels & casinos and possibly giving him favorable treatment when his companies seek construction permits in foreign countries, simply being president gives Trump an unfair advantage over his American competitors that will open him up to all sorts of lawsuits. Expect at least one American company to file an “unfair trade practices” lawsuit against Trump.
  26.  

  27. Trump’s Climate-Change-Denying policies of promising to “greatly expend the use of coal” and “complete the Keystone XL Pipeline” will be met with a resounding thud as both projects prove to no longer be cost effective in the modern era. There just aren’t that many workers looking to get started in the lucrative business of digging coal (yes, that’s snark) in the 21st century, and for the mining/conversion of tarsands to “oil” to be cost effective, oil needs to be up over $70/barrel again. George W. Bush destroyed the global economy and brought the United States to the brink of economic collapse by pushing the price of oil from $30/barrel to nearly $150/barrel in six years. Oil prices are (at this writing) just above $50/barrel after having been much lower in recent years, and some analysts fear that if Trump greatly expands the war in the Middle East, the price of oil could shoot back up to over $100/barrel which would make both energy sources financially viable again. But if that happened, it would absolutely crush the U.S. economy. As friendly as the Trump Administration clearly will be with Big Oil, I have my doubts that even THEY could be THAT fiscally irresponsible.
  28.  

  29. Russia may find themselves wondering if they made a mistake by cozening up to Trump (and possibly aiding his election) as they quickly learn how erratic and vindictive he can be. Early in the primaries, Ted Cruz leaped into second place when he refused to criticize GOP front-runner Donald Trump like all of the other candidates. Just before the start of the 2016 primaries, Cruz even tweeted: “@realDonaldTrump is terrific. #DealWithIt” Then the race began, and as soon as Cruz became a threat, the bromance was over. By the Convention in July, the two were already the worst of enemies. I expect Trump’s relationship with Russia to become strained as he grows increasingly erratic.
  30.  

  31. As much as Trump and his supporters may want it, he will not be able to amass enough Republican votes (and zero Democratic votes) to repeal “ObamaCare” without having a replacement program ready to go first. Republicans will try (repeatedly) throughout the year to immediately end the program despite having no alternative, but Democrats need only three Republican Senators to stop any repeal from reaching the president’s desk. And while Republicans honestly believe Americans want to see the entire program scrapped, they are in for a rude awakening if 20 million Americans are suddenly faced with the potential loss of their insurance. Trump says he won’t allow insurance companies to deny patients with “preexisting conditions” from getting coverage again, but there is NO way to do that without the “mandate” they so deplore. And in eight years, no Republican has been able to devise a system that covers everyone that doesn’t include a mandate. So, no ObamaCare repeal. They will try. They will get close. They may even pass a bill severely limiting it, but no full repeal of the law.
  32.  

  33. Early on, Russia will test their new found relationship with the new administration to see just how much they can get away with and what reaction (if any) they get. Democrats in Congress will demand action. Republicans will not. And the public will be evenly split, ensuring nothing gets done.
  34.  

  35. Trump didn’t remember half of the promises he made during the campaign. He had completely forgotten he promised to stop the export of over 1,000 jobs at an Indiana “Carrier” plant until he heard a plant worker on TV state that he had personally promised them he’d save their jobs. He also forgot HOW he said he’d save them (by threatening to charge “Carrier” a reimportation tax.) Likewise his ridiculous threat to “lock her [Hillary] up” was quickly dismissed following his victory, the deportation of “11 Million illegal immigrants” quickly became only “a few million with criminal records” (illegal immigrants with criminal records are already deported upon capture), and his “border wall” was scaled down to “a fence in some locations.” Trump has a very short memory when it comes to his promises, so don’t be surprised if focus on many of his campaign promises are overshadowed by new catastrophes that develop in his first year.
  36.  

  37. In the final week of 2016, Trump startled the world by suggesting that we need to start expanding our nuclear arsenal again… reversing more than 30 years of American nuclear policy. Will Trump start a new Nuclear Arms Race? That takes money. Sadly, I don’t see enough sane Republicans in Congress willing to say “No” to Toddler-Trump and reject the possibility of attracting a few thousand defense industry jobs to their states, but I DO see just enough to side with Democrats to stop any such proposed increase in our nuclear stockpiles. No expansion.
  38.  

  39. And rounding on for an even 20, 2017 will be declared “the hottest year on record”.

 

Wow, that’s one incredibly dark miserable year I foresee. But Toddler-Trump is just too immature, too erratic and too impulsive to see things becoming anything other than a total mess in 2017.


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Will Trump Resolve His Business Conflicts Before His Inauguration? Doubtful.
Nov 28th, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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“I don’t care about hotel occupancy” President-elect Trump told Leslie Stahl of “60 Minutes” a few weeks ago. “It’s peanuts compared to what we’re doing.” That was the second time Trump tried to dismiss questions about possible conflicts of interest stemming from refusing to sell of his business holdings while president. The first time was during the very first GOP debate hosted by Fox “news”, where he was asked if he would liquidate his business and put his holdings in a blind trust to ensure there would be no conflict of interests. The problem is, despite repeatedly dismissing the importance of his business to him, it is becoming quite clear that he has no interest in liquidating his empire. And that’s because it IS important to him. All the more reason why he must sell it all off… which he’ll never do.

Incredibly, during that debate, Trump clearly didn’t understand what a “blind trust” is, saying:
 

“I’ll turn everything over to Ivanka & my kids. Is that a conflict of interests? I don’t know.”

 

YES! Yes you idiot! Of COURSE that’s a conflict of interests! How does a corporate mogul, worth just over $3-Billion dollars (not ten) who ran on his “business prowess” NOT know what a “conflict of interest” is??? The issue isn’t WHO controls your money (though even if you thought that, how do you conclude that putting your business in the hands of your own family, and profiting off those interests, to be a “blind trust”?), it’s whether you know WHERE your money’s invested! If you still know where the money is, it’s not “blind” at all! As long as there is a danger of you setting national policy according to what personally profits YOU (or your family) OR if there’s a danger someone might try to curry favor with you by appealing to your business interests, THAT (by definition) is a “conflict of interests.”

And regarding his Net Worth: All thru the campaign, Trump insisted he was worth “Ten Billion dollars”, yet repeatedly refused to release his taxes to prove it. And as a Bloomberg investigation revealed [ibid], while Trump has ASSETS in excess of $3-billion, he is actually deep in debt, with roughly $170-Million in liquid assets (cash, stocks, etc), yet owing “over $630-Million” to creditors (nearly double what he owed the year before.) According to “Fox Business” last month, Trump’s credit score (on a scale of 1 to 100) is a whopping NINETEEN (19). Anyone so deep in debt is a ripe target for financial manipulation (and therefore a threat to the interests of the United States.)

The good news (for him) is that he can easily solve BOTH problems by simply selling off his business empire. Eliminate any CoI’s, while simultaneously paying off his massive debt.

For example: the head of the Federal Reserve is not permitted to put his/her money in ANY kind of “interest bearing” bank account. And that is because they set Federal Interest rates, and we can’t have the Chairman of the Federal Reserve setting interest rates according to what might personally benefit them. I’m not even sure they can invest their savings in the stock market because raising/lowering interest rates tends to influence the stock market too. So, because of this, the Chairman of the Fed is well paid to compensate them for not being allowed to invest their money.

The same philosophy applies to members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, and all other government officials. But not to the president or vice president.

Just last Wednesday, in an statement eerily reminiscent of Richard Nixon’s “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal” comment, Trump cited a legal loophole exempting the President & Vice President from “conflict of interest laws”, stating “the president can’t have a conflict of interest.” “In theory I could run my business perfectly and then run the country perfectly” without running afoul of the law. This isn’t exactly true.

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitution created “The Emoluments Clause” forbidding the president, “without the Consent of the Congress, [to] accept… any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign [head of] State.” And the Founders reasoning for this is clear: they didn’t want the president of the United States feeling obligated towards anyone for fear of him putting his own interests ahead of those of the country. Personally, I think the “foreign” dignitary loophole is a problem too. Is there any question Trump might be willing to push for a government project that benefits his personal friends? That “one trillion dollars” he claims to be willing to spend on “infrastructure”? Who gets those contracts when when you have a president who made his fortune in “construction”? His personal friends in the construction industry? And if a member of Congress doesn’t want a highway redirected past one of Trump’s hotels, who gets a phone call the next day telling him to “rethink” his opposition?

Of course, with a GOP Congress, they’ll never complain about a Republican president accepting anything others might consider a potential conflict of interests. As long as they remain in charge, he can enjoy whatever conflicts he wants. “Myself, my staff, and our entire delegation stayed in your wonderful hotel Mr. President. Now, let’s talk about that golf course you want to build in our country while we discuss that Trade Deal.”

Even SELLING his assets at this point is a potential conflict of interests if he knows WHO he’s selling to, because the buyer may overpay whatever the asset is worth to gain his favor. Trump would need a third party to liquidate every business he owns in every country he has assets in to ensure no one can manipulate him by holding his business interests hostage.

Just over a week ago, the president-elect met with three business partners from India in his office in Trump Tower. He is currently in development to build a luxury hotel in Pune, India with them. What kind of power does this give Trump’s business partners over the Indian government if they know the man in the White House is a personal friend of theirs?

The day after winning the presidency, Turkish President Erdogan called Donald Trump to congratulate him on his victory. During that call, Trump reportedly discussed a Turkish business partner of his that is licensing the Trump name to build a luxury hotel in Istanbul. So now Erdogan knows he can please the President of the United States by doing favors for someone in the president’s debt (literally).

The Donald keeps insisting that members of his family be present during high level meetings. Completely unacceptable, yet understandable once you realize what extraordinary trust issues Trump has, trusting no one but his own children to look after him (and his business interests.) And the one person he trusts most to look out for him most of all is his daughter Ivanka. So when the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the first foreign leader to personally meet with the President-Elect a few weeks ago in New York, Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner… neither of whom with any security clearance… were in attendance. The problem is, (besides the whole “security” thing) Ivanka also serves as vice president for development and acquisitions at the Trump Organization, and owns her own jewelry line, Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, which sells to a global market that includes Japan. This could conceivably give Trump’s business interests and those of his kids an unfair advantage competing in global markets.

When Argentine President Mauricio Macri called to congratulate Trump on his election victory, one Argentinian reporter claims Trump asked for help with permits for an office tower that bears his name being built in that country. Both Macri, Trump, and their mutual staffs all deny the subject ever came up during the call (natch), which would be an extraordinary and unprecedented conflict of interests if he did.

Before he announced he was running for president, Trump was furious over a plan to construct a series of off-shore wind turbines spoiling the view of his golf course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, taking the Swedish company contracted to construct the turbines to court to stall if not stop the project entirely. But in June, the Swedish company announced its plan to proceed with the project anyway. So four days after winning the election, Trump contacted British MP Nigel Farage… a fellow far-Right xenophobe that campaigned with Trump… and “urged him and his fellow members of the European Parliament” to “oppose [all] off-shore wind farms.” Two other far-Right British corporate executives in attendance vowed to “[campaign] against wind farms in England, Scotland, and Wales.” So now, Trump’s business interests are dictating clean energy policy in other countries because it interferes with his corporate interests.

Not even president yet, Trump is already using the power of his office for personal financial gain. Cenk Uygur, host of “The Young Turks” Progressive Talk Show, was a guest on ABC’s ThisWeek yesterday and made the astute observation, “He [Trump] wasn’t worth ten-billion dollars coming into office, but he’ll be worth ten-billion dollars when he leaves.” What is to come once he’s sworn in and the reigns of power are turned over to him? Donald Trump MUST liquidate his business empire NOW. He minimalized it’s importance throughout the campaign (but only so he might downplay the need to divest himself from it), so there should be no problem giving it up. Right?

Except with that massive ego of his, giving up all those building & casinos bearing his name hoisted high in the skies over major cities around the globe is something he’ll never willingly give up without a fight… which is exactly what he’ll get.
 


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Mugsy’s Electoral Predictions (2016 edition)
Nov 7th, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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Tomorrow/Tuesday is Election Day, and I predicted last December before the primaries even began that it would come down to Hillary vs Trump and that Hillary would win. I started telling people last month that “Hillary has a 99.9% chance of winning.” Famed election wiz Nate Silver said during ABC’s ThisWeek yesterday that “all these polls predicting 90%-95% chance of victory for Clinton are assuming that all these races where the Clinton lead is within the 3 point margin of error will all fall her way.” No. Some of us are just real good at spotting trends, and so far, I’m 2 for 2 with one to go. Are the races close in some states? Yes. But is it likely they will ALL fall the same way? Because that’s what we are talking about here. In order for Trump to win, he quite literally must run the table on nearly every single toss-up state PLUS flip one large (or two small) previously blue states. That’s a long shot even my Uncle Louie wouldn’t bet on.

There are currently twelve states where the polls are still considered “too close to call”: Florida (29), Ohio (18), Michigan (16), Pennsylvania (20), New Hampshire (4), North Carolina (15), Georgia (16), Colorado (9), Nevada (6), New Mexico (5), Arizona (11) and Iowa (6). (RCP includes Maine as a toss-up. Fox reports NM & ME as solidly blue, but includes VA as a toss-up.) Maine & Virginia both went Blue in 2012, and Hillary currently leads in Maine by 5.5 points. Virginia (Kaine’s home state) currently shows her up by over 4-points and having never trailed Trump since polling began a full year ago. So the number is not 14. Not 13. It’s 12… or is it?
 

Fox: 13 toss-up states.
Fox: 13 toss-up states

 

Real Clear Politics says 13+1 states are “too close to call”:
RCP's 14 toss-up states

 

Here is my own analysis of the remaining toss up states and how I predict this election to pan out:

First, let’s weed out the “sure things”. Most polls seem to agree Trump has a lock on 164 Electoral votes. Hillary’s lock is “over 200”, but that number is a range. One of them needs 270 to win. Those “toss up” states that really aren’t “toss ups” at all. People who say that are in a perpetual game of C.Y.A., unwilling to offend either side or are worried about looking partisan (and yes, I said “either” side because there are only two parties left in this race. If you are still entertaining fantasies of Johnson or Stein pulling out a surprise victory, check yourself in at the nearest mental facility. I’m serious. You’re delusional.)

Arizona: It’s close. Very close. But it’s going to land Red. Trump has led there almost consistently since August. The only time in the last 80+ years they went Blue was in Bill Clinton’s RE-election for a second term, and Hillary is not Bill. Plus Trump’s support spiked recently when the (now retracted) claim the Justice Dept was reopening the investigation into Hillary’s emails, “confirming” what most Conservatives in the Deep Red state already believed about her. And even if Comey himself were arrested & charged with trying to influence the election based on false claims, it would neither be enough to shake the distrust Republicans there already have of her, nor can it take back all those EARLY VOTES already cast during that period when Trump’s poll numbers spiked.

So color AZ red, taking Trump to 175.

New Mexico: It’s close, but Trump has NEVER led there. Color NM Blue. Plus 5 for Hillary for “over 205”.

Colorado: Tied once (briefly) but Trump has never led there. Color CO Blue. Plus 9 for Hillary for “over 214”.

Iowa: Trump took the lead there back in September and has led ever since. This would be a solid flip for Trump (and he needs two.) Color IA Red. Taking Trump to 181.

Michigan: Close, but this shouldn’t even be in question. Hillary has never trailed there and still leads by 5. Color MI Blue, giving Hillary another 16 for “over 221”.

Georgia: Other than a mild flirtation with Clinton last August, while close, has been consistently Red… not just for Trump but last went Blue in 1992 (unintentional rhyme.) Color GA red, taking The Donald to 197.

Florida: The quintessential “swing” state. Every four years, the “Sunshine State” drives us mad as we all try to guess which way a state that is literally shaped like a flaccid wind-sock will fall. There’s a reason people call Florida, “God’s waiting room” with all the elderly (mostly white) retirees filling that state, a key Republican demographic. Typically, the large anti-Castro Cuban population tends to vote Conservative, but with each passing year, that population grows ever smaller. Meanwhile, younger Cuban Americans are very supportive of President Obama’s decision to reestablish relations with Cuba such that people can now visit the country and see long-lost relatives, and lifting an embargo that clearly wasn’t working (serving only to keep the poor citizenry impoverished.) Hispanics make up over 23% of the state’s population, and Donald Trump is on the proverbial “Shit List” of most of them. Another 17% is African-American… another large anti-Trump demographic. So that’s 40% of the state’s population where Trump is as popular as a leper at a hot-tub party. 56% of the state’s population is white… not solidly Conservative, but enough to negate the anti-Trump minority vote.

So Florida comes down to a small percentage of white voters and groups listed as “other” that tend to be evenly split ideologically. Trump only outpolled Clinton briefly last September. Other than that, she has led fairly consistently and continues to do so today. So this state falls in the Blue column taking Hillary to “over 250”.

Nevada: Hillary has led there almost consistently except for the month of September when Trump led by two. A last second spike has Trump up over Hillary again, but only by 2%… not enough to make up for her huge lead during Early Voting there. So I think we can color this one Blue for Hillary, taking her to “over 259”.

And as I said earlier, Maine is not truly in question. Plus 3 for Hillary for “over 262”.

So that leaves just FOUR states that could easily go either way.

Pennsylvania has 20 electoral votes. The race may be painfully close there, but Trump has NEVER led the state and hasn’t been close to even tying Clinton since June. The reason PA is close is because the two largest cities… Pittsburgh on one end of the state and Philadelphia on the other… are deep blue, with Oklahoma everywhere in between. This gives Republicans false hope every election of turning the state red, but this won’t be that year. If Hillary takes PA, that’s 270+. Pennsylvania is game over for Trump if he loses there. So if you’re looking for one state to watch election night, PA is it. I knew the 2008 race was over the moment John McCain lost PA, but it took the pundits hoping against hope for hours that he would miraculously flip states he had no chance of winning all night long. His chances of winning were over very early that night but no one dared admit it.

If PA goes red, that takes Trump to 217.

New Hampshire: Not sure what’s going on here. Solidly blue up until last Wednesday. The biggest question is how many votes did Hillary bank during Early Voting there and who turns out on Election Day? If it comes down to “Ground Game”. Trump has none. The Clinton campaign is a well oiled machine with sophisticated GOTV efforts. The race there is close enough that I expect a Clinton comeback to take those 4 Electoral Votes, taking her to “over 266” (not including PA.)

If Hillary loses NH, Trump goes to 221.

Ohio: The Buckeye State has been flip-flopping like a fish on dry dock since mid-September. Ohio is over 75% white. 37% are college educated whites whom tend to vote Blue. 33% are non-college whites that tend to vote Red (draw your own conclusions from that). Ohio went Blue in 2008 & 2012, and while Kerry “lost” Ohio is 2004, it took a LOT of GOP election shenanigans (fewer voting machines & long lines in the rain in poor Blue districts, and plenty of voting machines & shorter lines [if any] in wealthier red districts) for Kerry to end up “losing” Ohio by (IIRC) only around 12,000 votes. So Ohio has tended to fall Blue the past 20 years. Their 18 Electoral Votes would take Hillary to “over 280” and the presidency.

But if Trump takes Ohio too, that’s 239.

North Carolina: All over the place for the past two months. Hillary spiked and Trump plunged when Trump was caught on tape joking about committing sexual assault and flailing wildly at his accusers, but the candidates switched places quickly when Comey revealed the FBI might be reopening the investigation into Hillary’s emails. The race there is that close. Only question is: How many Early Votes was Hillary able to bank before the polls switched back? If Hillary takes NC, that’s 277 and the presidency

If Trump takes NC too, he gets to 255.

If any ONE of those four states falls for Hillary (sans New Hampshire), the election is over (and nearly over with NH.)

If ALL FOUR of these truly “Swing” states fall Trump’s way… a longshot at best… plus me being right on all the close states he’s likely to win (3), he’s STILL 15 EV’s short. So what state or states did I give Hillary that Trump must steal away? (keep in mind, we only need to flip 7.5 Electoral Votes, not all 15.)

Colorado, Michigan and Florida by themselves would be enough to put Trump over the top if they defy trends and end up going Red.

Stealing away any combination of NM, NV, IA, and NH would also give Trump the win (if he sweeps those four “too close to call” states plus takes the three I said he’s likely to win.)

Easy prediction: Johnson, Stein & McMullin won’t win a single state. Of the three, McMullin has the best shot of stealing away a state (Utah), but Trump leads by ten there, so that’s not going to happen. Johnson & Stein can only hope to break the “5% threshold” for their Parties. Johnson might get that far. Stein won’t.

People who want Trump to be president “because of his record as a successful businessman” need look no further than how badly he has run his presidential campaign to know he would have been a total failure as a president (and yes, I’m already talking in the past tense. That’s how sure I am of his impending loss.) His biggest test was running his campaign. Huge failure. No ground game. Few offices. Few (No?) surrogates outside his own family hosting a rally without Pence or Trump himself in attendance (while Hillary has Bernie, Warren and both Obama’s hosting rallies without her in addition to her daughter and husband.)

To semi-quote Right-Wing Congressman Peter King in 2004: “It’s all over but the counting” (although he added sinisterly: “And we’ll take care of the counting.”)

There will be no unity on Wednesday (Hell, I doubt Trump will even make the obligatory call to congratulate Hillary Tuesday night, opting instead to claim the race was somehow stolen and issue a call to challenge the results for weeks that will go largely ignored.) Fighting will begin in earnest on Wednesday and the bickering will resume. If you were eager for this race to be over and the fighting to cease with the election results, you’re in for four very long, painful years.

Will either candidate break 50%? I have my doubts. Remember what I said last week: A few years ago, Newt Gingrich admitted that much of the animosity towards Bill Clinton was because he won the presidency with less than 50% of the vote, bringing into question (in their minds) his legitimacy as president (of course, if Poppy Bush had won with the same percentage and by the same margin, it would have been heralded as a great victory and even a mandate.) So if Hillary also wins with less than 50%… look out.

It’ll be the “Three I’s” for the next four years: Investigation, Indictment, Impeachment no matter WHO wins. If you were anxious for this all to be over by Tuesday night, think again.

My final prediction: 319 Hilary, 219 Trump. And watch Pennsylvania. If it falls for Hillary early, Trump’s only path to victory is to win every other swing state in the East including Florida, plus both New Mexico and Nevada, or Colorado. Nine or 10 of the remaining 12 swing states? As my Uncle Louie would say: Fughedabowdit.
 


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The Most Frightening Thing This Election is that One Of Them Will Win
Oct 31st, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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Happy Halloween. And with the latest round of “scandals” ping-ponging between the candidates each week (Trump’s sexual misconduct, now Hillary’s emails), the more I dread what’s in store for us over the next four years (notice I did NOT say “four to eight” years.) Last February, despite being an enthusiastic Bernie supporter, I conceded that if the choice came down to Hillary vs Trump (just as I predicted) I would support Hillary (in the end, I didn’t, writing in Bernie) because the danger of a Trump presidency was just too great to ignore. It didn’t really matter much anyway (at the time) because the chances of Hillary winning Texas were about as low as the chances the Chicago Cubs would win the World Series. In the 2000 election, I voted for Nader… not because I preferred Nader over Gore but because a vote for Gore here in Texas was a wasted vote, but helping the Green Party reach 5% so they’d be eligible for Federal funding in 2004 was an actual attainable goal.

Last week was the start of Early Voting here in Texas, and despite waiting until the third day, there was still a line with 15-minute wait. Turnout is high because recent polls moved Texas into the “Leans Red” column, suggesting there is a chance Hillary could actually win the Lone Star state. Trump supporters desperate to make sure that doesn’t happen flocked to the polls, as did Clinton supporters motivated by the possibility it could.

And me? Never have I agonized so much over a presidential vote. A vote for Trump was still unthinkable, and Libertarian Gary Johnson… well, let’s just say I think a president should be smarter than the people I went to High School with.

That left just Clinton and Stein. If it looked like Hillary could not win without winning the second most populous state in the country… second only to California in number of Electoral votes… then I wouldn’t have hesitated for a moment before casting my vote for Hillary. And if the chances of her winning Texas were as unlikely as Gore winning Bush’s home state in 2000, I would have voted for Stein… not because I support “Tofu Palin” (a great label I saw online that sums her up perfectly) but to help The Green Party hit that 5% threshold. But Stein currently stands at 2% here in Texas, making her reaching 5% just as unlikely as Hillary winning here (possible, but unlikely.)

So I ended up writing in “Bernie Sanders”… not because I harbored any delusions he might actually win, but as a protest vote. “You screwed over Bernie, now I’m screwing over you. If Hillary is to win, it’ll be without Texas. It’ll be close enough to make you sweat. Think about that the next time you consider taking sides to help a deeply flawed duplicitous fraud that’s just one scandal away from losing an election, to defeat their Democratic rivals.” A candidate SO unpopular they may end up winning only because her opponent is more despised than she is.

So, what can we expect for the next four years?
 

If it’s President Hillary…

The investigations & accusations against the 1992 Democratic nominee Bill Clinton began from almost the day he announced his candidacy in 1991. Those accusations of sexual misconduct with “Gennifer Flowers” and “Paula Jones”? Those stories broke before he became president and dogged him for years. “Trooper-Gate”… which alleged an actual crime of using state resources (local police) to shuttle then-Governor Clinton’s mistresses home after having an affair at the Governors’ mansion… actually broke before he was elected president.

After Bill Clinton was elected president, the “investigations” continued… helping the GOP retake control of the House for the first time in over 40 years. And those investigations kicked into high gear with Republicans now in control of both Houses of Congress. They appointed a Special Prosecutor (“Ken Starr”) to investigate everything from “Whitewater” to “Socks The Cat’s Fan Club Mailing List (“who’s paying for those stamps?”) Their goal was to ensure he did not win reelection… and once that failed… impeachment.

We are already seeing history repeat itself. The GOP has known Hillary would make another run for the presidency since the day she conceded in 2008. And the attack of a consulate in BenghaziTM… clearly a question more suited to focus on the military and decisions of the Secretary of Defense… was tied to Secretary of State Clinton instead since Consulates/Embassies are part of the State Department. And despite the fact the Secretary of State does not have the power to scramble/scuttle fighter jet missions, and it was the GOP themselves that voted to deny additional spending on Embassy security, they still carried out NINE investigations (at the tax-payers expense) clearly with the intention of crippling her presidential ambitions before they had even begun. And if you think these endless investigations will cease once she is elected, you were either too young or not yet born to remember the early 1990’s.

Republicans will follow Gingrich’s playbook from Bill Clinton’s first term. They’ll do everything they can to cripple her first two years as president in order to regain/maintain control of Congress in 2018, then work overtime investigating her to ensure she’s a one term president (if you thought the GOP controlled Congress was a do nothing Congress under Obama… just you wait. Ted Cruz… who actually clerked for the late Chief Justice Rehnquist… has already threatened to deny the appointment of the replacement for Justice Scalia… ensuring not only gridlock in Congress, but on the High Court as well for at least the next year.) And if by some miracle she wins reelection, they will then make sure she is impeached before the end of her second term.

Gingrich himself once explained that because Bill Clinton won the ’92 election with “less than 50% of the vote” (thanks to Ross Perot), they deemed his presidency as “illegitimate”, ergo they were somehow justified in trying to bring down his presidency.

Presently, neither Clinton nor Trump have more than 45% of the vote. Investigations of her began LONG before she ever became the official Democratic nominee, and they are beyond motivated to make sure nothing she wants ever gets passed and that she is a one-term president.

If you thought partisanship, infighting, petty bickering and GOP obstruction were bad under President Obama, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
 

If it’s President Trump…

Both parties in this case have been quite clear: “Donald Trump is unfit for the office of president and Congress will unite to keep him in check. The man is an idiot. A loose canon that thinks he can unilaterally do anything he wants as president and doesn’t understand the mechanics of government. His plan for a Gestapo-like “Deportation Force” that will comb through cities to physically extract & deport 25 million undocumented immigrants (AND their children), his Rube-Goldberg like plan to “ban Muslims” from entering the United States, and his “quick & easyguaranteed solution to bring “peace” to the Middle East that absolutely does not, pinky-swear, involve using nuclear weapons and 500,000 ground troops.

However, as I pointed out almost from the day he declared his candidacy, “Trump is chasing the presidency the way a dog chases a car. The pursuit is exciting, but he really has no interest in catching it, and wouldn’t know what to do with it if he did.” It’s all a game to him. He just wants to win so he can give the middle finger to everyone who told him he can’t win. However, if he DOES win, he has no interest in actually doing the mundane every day chores. He only wants to do “the fun stuff”… like calling in military airstrikes or nominating a Supreme Court nominee. He’s not interested in signing bills or drafting budgets.

And in fact, in an interview with New York Times Magazine, a Kasich adviser reported that Donald Trump Jr… who was placed in charge of the VP search for his father… told them that his father’s VP would likely be in charge of “domestic and foreign policy.” Domestic AND Foreign policy? So WTF is left? “Making America great again” was Junior’s reply.

Oh dear Lord.

Every day, Trump demonstrates just how little he understands about how government works. Bills don’t become law if they are signed by the Vice president. The Vice president doesn’t have the executive authority to be Commander-in-Chief. When another world leader calls The Oval Office, they are not looking to speak with the Vice president of the United States.

So, will the defacto president for the next four years be a man NO ONE voted for, hand picked by Donald J Trump? What would Congress’ reaction be to that? It wouldn’t be Trump himself calling the shots, setting policy that Congress might feel the need to obstruct. It could be Mike Pence… a far-Right Teabagger idiot that served in the Senate and has plenty of friends in Washington, but legally has no authority to make policy or sign bills.

Someone needs to inform Donald Trump that the President of the United States isn’t a dictator (and that “ObamaCare” isn’t an insurance program. But I digress.) It’s the greatest flaw in the argument of Republicans who say they want “a CEO president” to “run the country like a business”. A Democracy isn’t a dictatorship. Trump admires dictators like Putin & Kim Jong Un because they appear to “get things done”. But that’s only because they don’t have a Congress to answer to. I wonder if Donald Trump believes Congress will just roll over and give him everything he wants because in his delusional mind, everybody supports everything he wants to do.

He actually said during a rally in Toledo last week (just as news broke that the email investigation may be reopened): “We should just cancel the election and give it to Trump.” Because in his mind, he’s winning by a mile, the polls are all wrong, everyone agrees with him on everything (including how crooked Clinton is), and he’s going to win in a landslide.

So whether it’s Hillary and four years of unprecedented GOP obstructionism, endless investigations, and threats of impeachment, four years of Trump expecting Congress to just roll over and give him everything he wants out of some delusional belief that he is so beloved (much like I’m sure Putin & Jung Un do) the vast majority of the American people are behind him when in fact Congress is prepared to stop him at all costs, or perhaps it’s Pence… the far-right Teabagger VP with no legal authority to run the country actually setting foreign & domestic policy because the ACTUAL president refuses to do his job… it doesn’t matter WHO is elected next week, the next four years are going to be an unholy mess.
 

Suddenly, this doesn’t sound so bad:


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CNN Poll: 51 Percent of Hillary Vote is Just Anti-Trump. What happens if Romney goes indie?
May 9th, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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According to a new CNN poll, 51% of Clinton supporters say they are simply “voting against Trump” not “for” her. That’s a serious concern if the “anti-Trump” vote is given another Republican option in November. Now that Trump is the lone GOP candidate left standing, famed Neo-Conservative columnist Bill Kristol (son of Irving Kristol, the founder of the Neo-Conservative movement) is said to be actively courting 2008 “also ran” slash 2012’s loser “Mitt Romney” to run as an “Independent” in 2016. What effect (if any?) might a Romney third-party bid have on Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning in November given that roughly half of her support is simply the “anti-Trump” vote? The Clinton Campaign has coasted into first place on three memes: “She’s the natural successor to Obama” (despite being more hawkish on military affairs), she’d be “the first female president” (a test both Fiorina & Palin pass), and an unsupported belief that she’s “more electable” than her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders. Yes, there are a lot of people who genuinely like Hillary Clinton and want her to be president of the United States, but is that demographic a reliable majority? One big enough to ensure victory should another GOP candidate get into the race? She doesn’t even have 100% of Democrats. If she loses half of the support she already has to another candidate, she could be in serious trouble. She was already polling poorly against other Trump rivals like Gov. Kasich. If yet another multimillionaire “1-percenter” like Mitt “King of Bain” Romney enters the race, does that make the need for a Sanders candidacy all the more critical before it’s too late?

ThinkProgress reported last week that now that Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee, many Republicans say they will “vote for Hillary”. But this is based on the assumption that Hillary will be the Democratic nominee AND the ONLY alternative to Trump. MSNBC over the weekend (no video yet available) hosted a parade of Republicans saying they are both “never Trump AND never Hillary”. For many Republicans though, she’s just enough of a hawk, like-minded on “Free Trade” and squishy on “fracking” and “the Keystone XL pipeline” that they’d be willing to endure her as president for the next four years until they can pick a better nominee in 2020.

The Twitter hashtag “#ImWithHer” is now trending among Republicans, along with the co-hashtag “#ImNotNuts” (referring to committing electoral suicide by electing Trump.)

According to a joint CNN/ORC poll released last week, asked of 890 registered voters (MoE +/- 3.5%):

1) “Clinton or Trump (assuming they are the nominees?)”

54% Clinton
41% Trump

2) (Asked of Clinton voters) “Is your vote for Hillary “more a vote to express support for Hillary Clinton OR more to express opposition to Donald Trump?”:

48% “for” Hillary
51% against Trump

More than half of Hillary’s support is simply an “anti-Trump” vote. That’s pretty damning and raises great concern should another Conservative like Romney enter the race.
 

Despite publicly lambasting Trump two months ago as “a phony, a fraud” making “worthless promises”, the very next day, Romney declared that he would not seek the Republican nomination for a third time. However, now that Trump’s candidacy is essentially a done deal, Bill Kristol of the Conservative magazine “The Weekly Standard” is reportedly trying to convince Romney to run as an Independent (Mitt only promised not to seek “the Republican nomination.”)

So I tweeted out the following question to pollster Nate Silver’s @fivethirtyeight:
 

Anyone polling what might happen to #Hillary if #Romney runs as an indy? How would #Bernie #Sanders fair against 2 1%’ers?

 

What happens if an alternative to Trump and Clinton enters the race? Bernie would NEVER run as an Independent and challenge Hillary for the presidency. He has too much integrity for that, so stop asking. Despite being a lifelong “Independent”, Bernie changed his affiliation to “Democrat” because “I do not wish to be a spoiler” (it’s also too late for him to switch his Party affiliation now and get on the ballot on all 50 states. And doing so would paint him as a “sore loser”, not only unpopular with voters, but many states actually have “sore loser laws” to prevent that very thing from happening.) There are presently no polls that include Romney, so one can only surmise based on existing data how he might do. But it has been a long recognized fact that Trump & Clinton have consistently scored as the two least trustworthy candidates in the race since polling on this issue began in February:
 

Trump, Clinton 2 least trusted candidates

 

Polling wizard Nate Silver of “threefiftyeight.org” found that “Clinton & Trump are also the two most disliked frontrunners in polling history:
 

Presidential candidates favorability

 

Trump & Clinton both fall off the charts (Trump far moreso than Clinton). But I couldn’t help but notice where Romney last polled in 2012. A good 10 to 12 points higher than where Hillary Clinton stands today.

Romney’s weaknesses were already exposed in 2012. It was his time at “Bain Capital” that made “vulture capitalism” part of the American lexicon in 2012. We already know what states he’ll win thanks to the 2012 election, but if you don’t think he’d do even better this time around vs someone as disliked/mistrusted as Clinton, you’re only fooling yourselves.

Here are the states Romney & Obama won in 2012:
 

2012 Electoral map

 

206 Electoral votes. A flip of 64 electoral votes would have allowed him to reach the 270 he needed. BUT in a THREE way race, all Romney needs is a minimum of 180 electoral votes (538 split three ways) to win, and “206” is ALREADY well beyond that should those same states vote for him again. In fact, Romney could lose an additional 26 electoral votes to Trump or Clinton and still win (number of states Romney won in 2012 with fewer than 26 electoral votes? Twenty-three.)

The question then becomes: Do Trump and Romney end up splitting the GOP vote, making a Hillary victory even more likely? Not necessarily, because as pointed out above, more than half of Hillary’s support is simply the “anti-Trump” vote. Hillary is not Obama. There is no guarantee someone with her “unfavorable” numbers could count on winning the same close races Obama won in 2012. If given a Conservative alternative, Clinton stands to lose millions of Conservative voters to Romney. Romney already gets the “Never Trump and Never Hillary” vote, plus he would siphon away millions of Trump voters who question his fitness & temperament to be President of the United States.

What voters need is a clear choice between candidates. Someone who keeps all of Clinton’s Democratic supporters, but also wins the “Never-Trump/Never-Hillary” crowd, AND draws away a number of Trump voters that question his temperament but like the idea of his “self funded campaign” not beholden to any Special Interests, opposes devastating “free trade” agreements, has criticized Wall Street, opposed the invasion of Iraq, and talks about forcing the Saudi’s to start paying for their own defense… all Trump positions Sanders shares without the hateful racist rhetoric. Add to that his “honest & trustworthy” reputation, critic of Democrats and even the Obama Administration, and (like it or not) his history of defending hunters & legal gun ownership, all make him the stronger general election candidate (both in a three-way race that includes Mitt Romney as well as a two-way race against Trump.) Bernie, whose entire campaign has been fighting the obscene wealth and destructive power of the “1-percent” vs two destructive “1-percenters” like Trump & Romney? Or must voters choose between three “1-perenters”? Could voters have a clearer choice?

Knowing this, there is a possibility Romney… if he decides to run… may wait until after Hillary has locked up the Democratic nomination before announcing his plan to run to ensure Clinton… the weaker General Election candidate… is his opponent (with hopes to siphon away disaffected Sanders supporters.) Please note my fellow Bernie fans: “Write-ins” don’t win national campaigns. They just don’t. So stop praying for that particular miracle. Given three choices, a majority of voters in this country aren’t going to go through the process of writing in Sanders when they have three other candidates to chose from.

If the greatest argument for voting for Clinton is simply that’s she’s “not Trump”, then we need a candidate whose platform is tailor made to run against two multimillionaire 1%’ers like Trump & Romney that made their millions profiting off the backs of the little guy. And try to imagine what becomes of Democrats chances of… not only retaining control of the White House but retaking either House of Congress should yet another Clinton scandal hit the news, an existing investigation catches fire, or those transcripts she has been fighting to conceal are revealed just in time for the election? Sanders needs to win the Primaries and be the Democratic nominee before it’s too late and the “anti-Trump” vote keeping Clinton afloat finds its way to a more desirable target.
 

And lest we forget:

Hillary's _incredibly_weak_ excuse for refusing to release the transcripts of her Wall Street speeches (May 3, 2016)
from Mugsy RapSheet on Vimeo.


 

Last month, Clinton released a single 15 minute clip on the subject of “women in the workplace” from one of many hour-long speeches. Ergo, WE NOW KNOW that her refusal to release the speeches has NOTHING to do with “fairness”. Because if they made her look good, she would have released them MONTHS ago just as she did with that single 15-minute clip. When first asked why she wouldn’t release the transcripts during one of the early Democratic debates, her excuse was that she would “when everyone else released theirs.” Sanders gave no speeches. Trump is the only other candidate and there is no evidence he gave any private speeches to Wall Street either. Her latest excuse is she’s now waiting on others to “release their tax returns”. Seriously, is this what you want in as your Party’s nominee?

 


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Claims Hillary Has Better Chance of Winning Not Only False, but now moot amid GOP chaos
Mar 21st, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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For months now, many Clinton supporters have been citing Hillary’s chances of defeating Trump in the General election in November as their reason for voting for her. They just don’t believe that an admitted “Democratic Socialist” can win the election. As far as I’m aware, there has never been an official poll taken of Clinton supporters asking them why they support her over Sanders, but in searching the Internet, the Top 3 reasons always seem to be: “She has the best chance of winning“, “First woman president“, and “most experienced“. Well, all the polls (below) show Reason #1 is flat out wrong. Reason #2 applied just as well to Carly Fiorina, so that’s not really a very good (nor honest) reason, and Reason #3 is a matter for debate (that I’ve already covered in past posts.) But it’s that first reason, “a better chance of winning”… not only is it not true, but as recent chaos within the GOP has made painfully obvious, if THAT is your primary reason for picking Clinton over Sanders, that is no longer a concern. If Trump goes into the RNC Convention with a clear majority of votes yet is somehow denied the nomination, he is very likely to split off and run as an Independent. That much we knew. BUT, the GOP “Establishment” is so distraught by the idea of Donald Trump being their standard bearer that there are now threats by Republicans to leave the GOP to form a third party and pick their own candidate to run against Trump, splitting the Conservative vote. The GOP is in chaos and there are now two very likely scenarios in which the GOP vote is split in half, making “best chance of winning” the weakest reason of all for choosing Hillary over Bernie.

First, those polls I mentioned. Clinton & Sanders vs Trump:
 

Sanders beats Trump by more than Clinton:
Clinton and Sanders vs Trump
(Clinton doesn’t even break 50%.)
 


If Cruz is the nominee, Hillary looses, while Sanders crushes him:
Clinton and Sanders vs Cruz
 

Why is this the case? There are a few reasons: One, Republicans DESPISE Hillary Clinton. If she is the Democratic nominee, Republican voters will turn out en masse to defeat her. Two, despite what you may think about Bernie’s record on gun control, it makes him much more electable in the General than Clinton.

For Donald Trump to win the nomination outright, he needs to win just over 53% of the remaining (1049) GOP delegates. For Ted Cruz to win the nomination outright, he would need 77.5% of the remaining GOP delegates to win (based on 1,049 delegates remaining out of number needed for each candidate to reach the 50% threshold.) Rubio has dropped out, while Kasich’s only hope is to be awarded the nomination like a prize via “brokered convention”, which almost guarantees a third party run.

If Trump is the nominee, the GOP “Establishment” will never support him. Clinton could still defeat Trump (as the above polls show), but it’s by no means the sure thing many Clinton supporters seem to believe it to be. Ted Cruz is so despised by everyone that has ever worked with him that not even his fellow Senator from Texas has endorsed him for president. That’s pretty bad. Cruz is an apocalyptic “End Times” teabagging nut, and the majority of voters know it. If Cruz steals the nomination from Trump and “The Donald” doesn’t go “3rd Party”, a good many Trump supporters will support Sanders. “Free Trade”. It’s one of the few issues where Sanders & Trump overlap. And those who liked Trump’s portrayal of a “self-funded, can’t be bought, beholden to no one” campaign will likewise be drawn to Sanders. Rubio supporters will also never vote for Cruz or Trump. But Marco lambasted Clinton, so his supporters won’t be defecting to her either, but they could go for Sanders.

As mentioned in the opening, not only could Trump go “3rd Party” if denied the nomination, if Trump IS the GOP nominee, a number of establishment Republicans are discussing whether THEY may form a 3rd Party believing that the GOP no longer represents THEM. And who do they have in mind to run against Trump and the Democratic nominee? One floated name, former Senator Tom Coburn, who retired from the Senate to be treated for Cancer (and has emphatically said he doesn’t want the job), and everybody’s favorite tree-stump Rick “Oops” Perry, a man who was doing great in 2012 until he opened his mouth. Perry then donned glasses trying to make himself look smart (which should tell you just how bright he really is) and returned in 2015 to try again, but this time he was fooling no one and dropped out of the race when he failed to break 2%.

So even if you (falsely) believed Sanders was “unelectable”, that is no longer a valid concern as the GOP is likely to split their own vote come November. You should actually be more concerned if the GOP doesn’t split and they rally behind Ted Cruz (see above poll) or even John Kasich (see Sanders vs Kasich here.)
 


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Cruz Comfortably Beats Trump in Iowa. Dems still too close to call. Suspicious Clinton bounce repealed.
Feb 2nd, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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Going into the wee hours of the morning, I was watching Hillary Clinton’s delegate lead shrink all night, when around 9pm CST, with 18% of precincts left to go, leading by only 11 delegates, the Clinton campaign declared victory despite all the pollsters saying it was “too close to call.” Her lead continued to shrink with every update. By the time the number of precincts was down to just 10% remaining, her lead had shrunk to just THREE delegates when she decided to make her (pseudo) “victory” speech. Then suddenly, with an additional 1% of precincts, her lead suddenly jumped to a whopping ELEVEN delegates. That lead held for another 20 minutes when it suddenly plunged back down to just 3. The explanation? According to Chuck Todd: “A reporting error” was to blame that was caught & corrected. Hmmm. Those kind of “innocent mistakes” make me extremely uncomfortable.

With 2% of precincts still remaining as of midnight (around 1,600+ precincts), the Sanders campaign reported “90 Precincts presently had no DNC staff” (on site?), meaning no one available to count votes. Uncomfortable #2. The DNC rebuked the Sanders claim, though saying only the staff is “available” but not “on site” to tally those votes. Sounds to me like the Sanders’ campaign was right.

Most under-reported story of the night? How badly 5th place Rand Paul beat 6th place Jeb Bush (by roughly 3,200 votes.)

What does a second place finish mean for Trump? Consider his entire campaign has been one big ego trip, so coming in second was a wake-up call for him. He should win New Hampshire easily, but I doubt he’ll be taking future races for granted.

Final tally with “99% of precincts reporting” (not including those unstaffed 90 precincts and with recounts and “reporting errors” yet to be reviewed)… Hillary: 696 – Sanders: 693 – O’Malley: 8. Shortly after midnight, O’Malley officially dropped out. (note: by 12:50am, Bernies’ delegate count had fallen by one vote? Uncomfortable #3.) You can see my final hour Live-blog updates here.

MORNING UPDATE: Went to bed after 1AM. Super-Delegate count for Hillary & Bernie was 20 each. Was tied all night long. Woke up to see total is now Hillary-29/Bernie-21.
 
Rubio’s subtle hat-tip to the “Project for A New American Century”? (more here):

Rubio's nod to PNAC?

 
Ted Cruz flanked by the despicable Steve King and Cruz’s wacko-bird father (who held this exact pose for several minutes, staring straight ahead without blinking.)
The despicable threesome.

 


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