Thursday, May 19, 2016

Things that scare the crap out of me today

The things that scare the crap out of me today are interrelated. A national Fox News poll shows Trump now leading Hillary Clinton. It could be an outlier — an aberration. It could also be accurate meaning that Trump's attacks on Secretary Clinton's character have been successful. While we are six months out, that would depict a troubling trend even though the electoral college calculus still seemingly favors Secretary Clinton.

The Fox headline reads “Fox News Poll: Trump tops Clinton, both seen as deeply flawed candidates.” Flawed? No candidate since Bush, I has been better prepared for the presidency than Hillary Clinton. Perhaps no candidate in history has been less qualified in experience, judgment and temperament than Donald Trump. For the LGBT community this is a settled contest. Granted that he is on the right side of where Caitlyn can pee, but Mr. Trump has promised to try to upend marriage equality. The Log Cabin is perceived as a joke by both parties. Nevertheless, their endorsement of Trump would be a disappointment.

Trump's reaction to today's Egyptair incident is very scary. With no information he spontaneously asserted that this was an act of terrorism. Even if his guess is right, he is wrong. The President of the United States does not make uninformed statements. More importantly, The President of the United States does not draw uninformed, speculative conclusions. Yesterday Republican strategist Mike Murphy said that Trump's understanding of foreign policy is the equal of a chimpanzee's. Trump seems intent on confirming Murphy's evaluation of his knowledge and skills.

Also scary is the apparent gullibility of our citizenry. Trump continues to insist that Mexico will pay for his wall that would probably never get built. Yet, the mob believes him. Trump has claimed that the Clinton Foundation is a scam. I would be astonished if Trump has even bothered to review the latest 990 filing with the IRS. None of the Clintons get a paycheck while hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to worthy causes. A valid criticism would be that the foundation does not spend enough (too much of the revenue surplus is being retained) but that's not indicative of anything deceitful. With all of the money that he claims to have made, what contributions has Mr. Trump made to charitable causes? Neither the mob nor the media ask. I doubt that we will get his tax returns.

Another bit of BS that people seem willing to believe is that the Clinton Foundation pays women less than men, implying that Sec. Clinton is a hypocrite. This is based on an analysis of the 2013 tax return. They chose the 2013 over the 2014 which is also available. The calculation is wrong, the constituency of executives is incorrect and the same inept calculations applied to 2014 don't produce the same result. Furthermore, since March of 2015 the CEO and highest paid executive of the Foundation is a woman (Donna Shalala). Neither the mob nor, apparently, the media analyze non-profit tax returns. The Clintons have used their considerable influence to garner donations to the Foundation. Good for them! None of those donations provide revenues for any of the Clinton family.

Just in passing I suspect that Rupert Murdoch knows better. His daughter-in-law is one of the Foundation's executives.

I find it astonishing that a man with four strategic bankruptcies under his belt is calling  Hillary Clinton “crooked” and the mob accepts it as a mantra. As a developer, Trump's bankruptcies hurt small business contractors while he walked away unscathed, even enriched. Trump has also encouraged the media to confuse properties that he owns with properties that are branded with his name which are in the majority. While Trump claims to be worth some $10 billion his ffinancial disclosure forms show assets of $1.4 billion and debt of $256 million. Some of those asset values are artistic. A building is worth what you can actually sell it for. I would be willing to bet that Trump's tax returns do not comport to the Personal Financial Disclosures that he has filed with the FEC.

I would note that none of the attacks on Sec. Clinton do anything to improve Donald Trump's qualifications or judgment. The purpose of negative campaigns is to diminish turnout. Which brings me to the next item that scares the living shit out of me.

This cranky Jew identifies with Bernie Sanders but enough already. Sanders is alienating his supporters from Sec. Clinton. They are probably not going to vote for Trump but we need them to show up and vote for Clinton. The more alienated they become the more likely it is that they will stay home in November. I am particularly displeased that Bernie is attacking the superdelegates. He knew the rules before he began. If his supporters feel cheated we are going to have a problem. We need these people not only for Clinton but to possibly change control of the Senate, perhaps even the House if the planets align correctly.

Between now and November it looks like I am going to be hitting the Xanax. Nothing scares the hell out of me more than a Trump presidency. 

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