Monday, June 27, 2016

Brown Out

 Scott Brown is asking Elizabeth Warren to get a DNA test.  Does he think she is the mother of his children?  But no, this is actually a test of whether Brown is eligible to be Trump's VP choice.  A racially tinged conspiracy theory proves compatibility with the Donald.

Should Brown really care whether Warren is red?  In Trump's world, the answer is yes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Rich Get Richer

Trump's campaign is a pauper.  Hillary's cash on hand is 42 million to his paltry 1.2 million.  Counting SuperPacs the disparity is greater, 88 million to 2 million.  Trump campaign fundraising is even worse than those numbers suggest.  If Trump intends to pay himself back  the money he loaned, the campaign is actually 43 million dollars in debt.   Trump has promised to covert the loans to contributions.  Unfortunately, Trump promises are like his marriage vows, good until they are not.

Going forward the man of gold will find no silver lining.  Even paying 700 operatives Hillary is flush. Trump is flushing down with only 70 operatives.  Size matters.  Can the little Trump campaign finance a fully staffed organization.

Although both campaigns have always had a "donate button" on their website, Hillary supporters have been urged to push the button while Trump claimed to be self funding.  Hillary has developed a much larger base of small donors who can be solicited over and over again through emails, at no cost to her campaign.

Large donors are also a problem for Trump.  Although overlapping,  there are 3 classes of large donors.  First are true believers like George Soros whose donations support their philosophy of governance.  On the right, this category is muddled since all wealth donors would benefit from the lower tax rates supported by all GOP candidates.  But GOP true believers, have reason to double the depth of Trump's faith.

The second category are investors, like the Koch brothers.  Preserving and expanding favorable tax treatment nets far more money than they contribute.  The final category are access seekers.  Corporations, and entrepreneurs, want access to lobby for or against impactful future proposals.  Investments only pay off, and access is only meaningful, if the candidate wins.  Trump's high negatives in polls, and low cash total, will discourage these contributors.

Trump is hat in hand, when instead, he should be wearing it to hide that awful combover.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Conspiracy Theory

Let's plot out a thriller in which Putin gains control of America by electing his man as president.

First Putin would need to a find a well connected influence peddler and image maker, with unrestrained greed and no scruples.

A client list like that of Paul Manafort, filled with tyrants, would get Putin's attention.  Putin would be impressed that someone would represent Ferdinand Marcos as well as the dictators in the Dominican Republic, Nigeria, Kenya and Somalia.

But Putin would want proof of a total lack of empathy or conscience.  Fleecing HUD, and doubling the rent of those living in projects in New Jersey, would buff Manafort's appeal.  But for Putin, there must be blood.  By continuing to lobby for arms for his client, Savimbi, Manafort prolonged the civil war in Angola leading to more deaths, and more fees.

Although impressed, Putin would want to test him with a project near and dear to Putin's dream of empire.  Putin wanted to retain and expand influence, by having his man win the 2010 election in the Ukraine.

Manafort got Yanukovych, a rough edged politician with a thuggish past, elected.  This blocked a west leaning government committed to democracy.

Putin was sold.  Now all he needed was for Manafort to control the campaign of a presidential candidate with a major flaw, such as narcissism.  That would allow the candidate to be manipulated,   with Manafort playing the inside game, while Putin fostered a bromance with the weak minded fool.  To be continued???

Facts liberally poached from this excellent piece in slate:

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Man Bites Dog

The NRA has criticized a candidate's position on guns.  Same old, same old.  Not so fast, the criticism was that the candidate was too pro gun.  Paraphrasing Chris Cox, chief lobbyist for the NRA, Trump's position in favor of drinking and carrying fire arms at a night club defies all common sense.

I hope people enjoy my new bumper sticker: Donald Trump--Crazier than the NRA.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Rum and Guns

Wait for it, wait for it, here it comes.  We all knew that Trump would eventually blame the massacre in Orlando on the unarmed patrons, and the laws that disarmed them.  As reported in Political Wire:

Said Trump: “If we had people with the bullets going in the opposite direction — right smack between the eyes of this maniac. If some of those wonderful people had guns strapped right here, right to their waist or right to their ankle, and this son of a bitch comes out and starts shooting, and one of the people in that room happened to have it and goes boom, boom, you know what? That would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight, folks, that would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight.”

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Some of us see a risk in mixing six shooters with six packs.  Bar fights would turn deadly.  But Trump supporters should go all in.  Include a plank in the GOP platform opposing drunk driving laws.  Walk that plank Ryan.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

State of the Race

I can report that the state of the race is strong.  Trump is in a slump.  He is scarring mainstream Republicans, at a time when Hillary is consolidating Democratic support.  The latest poll has her up by 12.  Trump's attacks on Romney, even have them tied in Utah.

Propelled by extensive media coverage, Trump reached his high water mark in late May, taking a narrow lead in some polls.   According to a Harvard study, during the primary season, Trump received far more media coverage than Hillary, and twice that of any other GOP candidate.  Eighty percent of that coverage was favorable or neutral.  Only Sanders received more consistently positive coverage.  Clinton by contrast, received more negative coverage than any other candidate.  A combination of buyer's remorse, and equal time constraints, will change this going forward.  We will learn more about Trump's past in the future.

Hillary has huge advantages going forward.  Her starting lineup of surrogates include the President, the First Lady, the redoubtable Bill, and Elizabeth Warren.  She has another dozen Senators on the bench.  Trump has Ben Carson.

Claiming to be self funded, and inflating his personal wealth, has left Trump ill prepared to fill his campaign coffers.  He will be outspent at least 2 to 1.  He has no ground game, and must rely on the Republican National Committee, which may focus on the Senate and the House if his poll numbers continue to crater.

Finally, she has a winning line of attack.  Twice campaigns have challenged a candidate's suitability to be Commander-in-Chief.  Carter's attacks failed, when Reagan appeared presidential during the debates.  Johnson succeeded when Goldwater doubled down on conservatism ("Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice").  Trump's character is not going to change.   Hillary will use her financial edge to drive home the message that Trump has neither  the temperament nor the experience necessary to lead the free world.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Shame on Trump

Tragedies should unite us.  We all rallied around George W. Bush after 9/11.  But Trump has chosen to attack the sitting president.  If you parse his words carefully, he implies that Obama was involved or sympathetic to this act of terrorism.  Shame!

Time to set the record straight.  Obama is responsible for the death of Osama bin Laden as well as fatal drone strikes against 120 ISIS leaders.  He has done this while maintaining the working relationships with Muslim states, and the local Islamic community, that are so crucial in the fight against ISIS.

Now let's look at the other side of the ledger.  Shortly after the attack in Orlando the Republican Lieutenant Governor of Texas tweeted a biblical verse clearly expounding that the victims deserved to die because of their homosexuality.  Republican tolerance, of such intolerance, facilitates the all too common hate crimes against the LGBT community.

More pointedly, since 9/11 guns have been used in over 85% of terrorist killings.   Trump and his party are on bended knee before the NRA,  protecting and expanding loopholes in background checks, while supporting universal access to assault weapons.