Tag Archives: Trump

The Inconvenient Truth About Charlottville

The cout detat continues apace as the establishment, the democrats and an increasing number of republicans continue to resist Trump.  Charlottesville and its aftermath was just what the doctor ordered, in the eyes of the left.  Their arch-enemy was in trouble no matter which way he leaned.  But I have to tell you, after reading the Opinion piece by Holman W Jenkins Jr., in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, the whole things stinks.  See The Extremist Show is Just Starting.  It seems that the Democrats control the city where the application for the Charlottville demonstration,  against the removal of a civil war statue, was made.  Why didn’t they turn it down?  Did they deliberately set the whole thing up?  

But reading on we find that the democratic city members who voted to remove the Robert E Lee status have all left office.  Two didn’t seek re-election; one did and lost; and one had to leave his teaching job under a cloud due to a “history of bigoted, anti white tweets”.  It seems, according to the article, that the removal of the statue was not a popular item.  It was only popular with a small number activists groups.  The author of the opinion piece lists some of these activist groups and their background is less than savory and full of trouble making social media or principles.  The whole event seems to be a prefect set up by a number of clever inviduals who might have staged the whole thing.  It’s just too prefect and unlikely to have happened without careful planning – on both sides.  And this is the point that the mass media don’t want to talk about.  It takes two to make a fight and both sides turned up looking for that fight.  Yes, Trump took the middle road as Obama did and as explained in “Trump follows Obama’s example of moral equivalence“.

So after reading this opinion piece was I left with sour taste.  It seems that the establishment is gearing up for hard work against President Trump.  Those on the extreme right need to watch their actions.  They may end up falling for the bait and thus damaging the very think they perceive helps their cause (even though Trump does not).  The coffee was strong but with such a sour taste I had no option but to go to the tread mill for an hour to get my frustration out.  

It was wonderful to watch the preceding Friday to listen to Scott McNealy talking sense on CNBC’s Squawk Box.  He took Andrew Ross Sorkin to town over the mass media mess.  He explained to Mr Sorkin that everyone in their right mind stands against Nazis and extremeists – Trump included – and to use the argument of the change in tone, or the sequence of speeches the president made, as an proof he was defending Nazis is stupid.  Mr Sorkin was taken aback and not able to get his point over since he was pushing the establishment’s arguments.  See the video here. Mr McNealy affirms that Trump did not say or imply that any Nazis or white supremacists are “fine people”.  Trump was referring to the likehoood that on both sides, there were some there who were going to protest peacefully and some others were going to peacefully protest the protesters.  But Trump’s words were construed since it played into the establishment’s plans.  The cout detat is gathering space.

Everything Comes in Threes: Trump/Obama, Capitalism/Socialism, and Britain/Germany

There were three articles in today’s US print editions of the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times. One highlights what the mainstream media does not want to admit about Trump; one looks at the so called lies at the heart of capitalism and communism, and the last looks at Brexit and Germany’s view of its neighbor. This blog looks at the hot topic of Trump and Obama vis a vis racism.

In “Trump Follows Obama’s Example of Moral Equivalence“, Jason Riley highlights how President Trump has repeated the same method employed by President Obama when criticism torrid and unforgivable acts by extremists. The opinion piece highlights how Obama took side swipes at racist policemen in the same dialog concerning those who killed such cops. Two examples are given – Dallas last year where 5 cops were killed and then again i. Baltimore. In both examples the killing and killers were correctly vilified, but the implied unfair and even racist references to the police and judicial system implied that the killings were justified. This is the exact same “identity policies” (Jason Riley’s words) that Trump employed this week when criticizing both sides of the Charlottesville situation.  

Clearly there were extreme right-wingers and new-Nazi’s that turned up for a fight. But someone had to stand up and return that fight. That was just as clearly the extreme left. It takes two to tango. You can’t fight yourself. And better, Trump did call out racism and Nazism, but he is standing up against the left who want to push their agenda. For example, the NAACP want to ban more souther statues related to the Confederacy. This is seen as an attack on the white’s. As such it feeds into the KKK’s plans. If the NAACP focused on the future, the KKK would have little to do.

When Obama was president he was attacked by the smaller right-leaning press for his remarks. Now Trump is also being criticized but the scale tells us that the press is, in general, more left leaning.  I dont think anyone that matters endorses the white supremacists.  Trump certainly does not.  And I assume that democrats do not endorse the extreme left that seeks to promote black supremacists.  I give Trump and Obama the benefit of the doubt.  But anyone on either side of the devide that claims to be open minded, than attacks the other side by removing statuses or saluting Hitler, is not worth talking too.

More on the Failings of the Mainstream Media

I wrote the other day about my experiences with CNN and its political coverage and leanings in, The Rise and Fall of CNN.  Interestingly there was an article in the Econoist, August 5th, titled, Media Matters – Attitudes towards the mainstream media take an unconstitutional turn.  The article reports on some survey data that shows a notable shift in the lowering and loss of trust in all number of mainstream media outlets.  The report looked at how the reporting and analysis of Trump’s actions across media firms and the degree to which the firms’ reports are trusted.  It seems we are all trusting of each other less.

And if that was it enough, there was news just the other day that the Whitehouse has launched its own media channel – or as some media outlets call it, a propaganda channel.  If Trump’s “real news” channel is propaganda, that means all media channels are proganda channels – let’s be fair and onset here.  I have not looked into this but it seems to be less a channel and more like a few videos posted periodically on a Trump-related Facebook page.  So it’s hardly a channel but the so called media are arguing over what it means.
I just wish I could find a channel that:

  • Reports what happened in the world
  • Analyses the actions from both sides of the table
  • Ends the debate by discussing what might happen next

I’ll leave it to my own mind to come to a conclusion on what I think is good or bad. I dont need left-leaning, or right-leaning pundits to “tell” me.

Trump One Step Closer to Quitting

Reference:

I believe Donald Trump will quit the Presidency of the United States. I forecasted Trump would win (see April 2016: Trump Will Eat Clinton Alive), and in that article last Spring I suggested that he would quit. He will quit due to the inability for politicians in Washington to be rational and negotiate. He will quit with acrimony and bolshiness. About the only thing that will prevent this situation from taking place is tax reform.

Let me first state that I think that Obamacare was the wrong tool for the job. It was a rushed, Ill-focused, partisan and socialist effort to undermine the best parts of America. Its namesake and his supporters suggested that the Affordible Care Act (ACA) it helps those that need most help (the uninsured), and it does (in some way) but at a system-wide cost that is unacceptable and unaffordable.

The free market is anything but that; regulation is like a strangling vine; prices remain untouched and high; big pharmaceutical remains unfettered; patient outcomes remain anathema to healthcare. This country continues to spend ever more on healthcare, more than any other developed nation per capita, and yet our outcomes and their improvement reman poor and lacking, even on a good day. Obamacare was the wrong tool for the job.

The bad news is the Republican approach to Obamacare has split its own party. Worse, the repeal and replacement was in their reach. Yet last week the chance for correction was thrown out.  

There were even votes against the Republican policy from folks like Ron Paul who didn’t want the ‘Obamacare Lite’ but who wanted a full repeal. So he withheld his support. The Freedom Caucus, apparent fiscal hawks, had a chance to budget-fence Medicaid, yet they withdrew support in the mad hope of a perfect policy sometime in the future.  

This is madness. This is political suicide. The Democrats have been handed a free ticket and Trump must be mad. This is Washington at its worst. There will likely never be a perfect policy or time enough to develop it.

Now the movement shifts to tax reform. If an overhaul is not executed Trump will feel like quitting and he may yet do so. The Republicans need to realize that they have a rare opportunity but only if they unite. If they play party politics and splinter again, change will not be forthcoming. The Democrats, not in power of any sort, will be in power in all but name.

Obama won on the promise of change and socialists alike all rammed through their left-leaning, redistributive, anti-business and anti-free market policies. We are slowly bleeding to death now under the weight of ignorance and self feeling. Our polices cannot be paid for without printing money since we are all too happy to free-ride the masses and garrote the rest. The rest who are free and employed folks who work for a living, who want to improve their lot with their own blood, sweat and tears, not from hand-outs from Uncle Sam.

Trump also won on an argument for change. Alas the Republicans have forgotten how to govern.    

Better the Trump We Think We Know

These last weeks have been exasperating. In my attempts to keep abreast of what’s is going on, I have virtually lost faith in TV and radio channels. The constant flow of information from the President, often via Twitter, is at a speed and of a form that we can hardly keep up with.   See The First Digital President.  Pundits are mostly out of date and irrelevant. Universally they suggest that President Trump’s style is outrageous and not presidential. The use of Twitter is new, but is Trumps’ combative style really that new?

I found an Opinion piece in this weekend’s US print edition of the Wall Street Journal that seems spot-on in capturing the current dynamic. The article, The Method in Trump’s Tumult, by Christopher DeMuth, a distinguished fellow at the Hudson Institute, suggests that Trump’s methods might look odd and different to those of us used to the monotonous dogma of political rhetoric subscribed to by politicians in recent years.  But really his methods are not new at all.  They are provan and well trod by previous Presidents.

“President Trump may be rediscovering a venerable method of leadership that has been forgotten in our era of ideological messaging. Rather than viewing disagreements as a problem, previous American leaders wielded it as a tool. The surrounded themselves with highly accomplished, strong minded advisers, and used vigorous debate among them to generate fully considered options for confronting the intractable problems of the day.”

Given that his political enemies suggest his methods create disarray, Mr. DeMuth’s ideas make a lot of sense since this disarray might be a means to an end – not the end itself.  His article explores multiple examples of past President’s (including Washington) and how they surrounded themselves with folks who often spoke out and at odds with each other. After reading the article one is left with the feeling that Trump’s lack of political experience and rich management flora, resulting in this behavior, is refreshing. It is, but it seems to be misunderstood and at odds with his detractors. Maybe the left-leaning press will grasp this eventually and start to analyze policy, rather than pick and snipe at Tweets.

The First Digital President: Trump and his Tweets

This article will not discuss the pros or cons of any of President Trump’s policies.

This blog will discuss the fascinating impact of a President that tweets his feelings, inclinations and possibly inferences to his policy preferences. In a nutshell we are not ready, we are not even able, to cope with the speed with which information is coming from the presidents Twitter account.

Several times a day a new Tweet is posted and literally the world is turned-over again. Before Trump came to office we would all have to wait for the press briefing. We would wait to browse the headlines of our favorite news site. We might wait for the 6 o’clock news. We might even browse the newspapers.  

But now, three or more times day, everything turns upside down. You could even subscribe to the presidents Twitter feed and join in the turmoil. Media outlets, political junkies, other nations are all on edge as every nuance and implication is explored with outdated tools and perspectives as one tweet follows another. The use of big data, reportedly a key to Obama’s first victory was a digital innovation. Trump and his Tweets is another.

We should factor in the nature of which such digital communication is being used. It would seem that the tweets themselves are not carefully, developed and totally thought through messages. Equally they are not random thoughts of a madman. Whatever they are (and some of you will assume they are rants of a mad man or deeply held beliefs and policy guidelines), the speed with which such communications protrude from the White House are breathtaking.

The entire political and press establishment are running at a hundred miles a hour 24×7. And I mean 24×7 since Trump might tweet at 2am. I actually love his energy and enthusiasm. But can our systems survive this onslaught?

I find now that watching the TV in the evening a waste of time. Channels that lean left or right are out of date. They try to analyze (if we are lucky) the day’s news yet a new tweet reverses everything. The radio channels are as out of date and as unable to keep up. Newspapers are getting to be very boring. 

The torrent and speed of new information is not yet displacing channels and reporters from the past era. But perhaps we need to rethink the system. Even the briefing room of the White House seems to be a circus. They spend their time trying to understand a tweet and are missing the real news. It really is a major challenge.

Maybe we need a new digital news system that leaves televisions and traditional media sources behind. Maybe we need a purely digital platform that can parse tweets and merge them into the panoply of policy and White House edicts. We need news reporters to report the news with a big (data) lens.  

As it stands few are able to understand let alone put a tweet into perspective. The result is the left and right spend their time arguing over trifles and nothing is actually analyzed or concluded before the next tweet arrives and the dance starts anew. It’s breathtaking, and getting boring. The problem is not with the tweets: it is just a medium. The problem is with our news reporting system of press briefings, television and media pundits: they and it are out of date and not able cope with the new medium.

Whatever your feelings concerning President Trump, you have to acknowledge he is effecting change on many levels.

Healthcare under TrumpĀ 

Healthcare’s Bipartisan Dilemma” in today’s US print edition of the Wall Street Journal  details several ideas and alternatives being discussed that might replace the ACA. Every example considers tweaks to the current system that abuses the market based approach. As with the ACA, the costs to cover sick folks is mashed together with the larger population of healthy people. The result, as with the ACA, is massive price and market distortion. In fact the very essence of risk (with respect to insurance and premium) is undermined. As such the free market is a monster.

There is a different way that should be considered yet it is not (yet) in the news. Literally, return the market to where it was: remove the entire ACA and permit risk to be priced into he market as it was.  

For those that fail to get insurance, offer a subsidized state-health insurance. This is the equivalent of the UK’s National Health Service but at a state level. Federal funds and state taxes would be used to pay for the service. This idea was floated in the run up to the ACA being signed and this represents a simple subsidized pool. It would be transparent and visible. The costs of this aspect of healthcare would be clear.

Finally another issue in healthcare needs to be addressed at the same time: costs. Additional efforts need to be enhanced to shift the reward system for healthcare, public (Medicare, Medicaid etc) and private. Rewards need to be explicit and focused on health, not piece-rate and work. Visits to the doctor and specialist are not relevant; results are. This program needs to be led by business people in Washington, not politicians.

Along with this is a revamp of regulations to help reduce the risk of insurance against negligence. This part of the industry puts too much of a burden on costs and needs to reduced.