Monday, November 26, 2018

Week of 11/26/2018

What America Needs To Overcome Trump In 2020
So the 2018 Midterm Fraud is over with... more or less... with a handful of recounts and runoffs to go.  And, of course, now the great eternal trauma that is politics is spinning towards the 2020 Presidential Scam.  Because, as you know and as I remind people, we are in perpetual war mode when it comes to politics.  Every election cycle is just another battle in the overall war for power and control.
Now you’re not going to hear too much about the 2019 election con-game, because that’s primarily for state and local positions of power.  But that’s not to say that people should dismiss them.  People are learning the hard way that state legislatures draw up the political maps, and with 2020 being a map-drawing year, gerrymandering is a serious issue that people need to pay attention to.  Who you send to the state legislatures next year will help decide who gets elected to Congress.  It is that simple.  So pay attention next year and vote next year, because that election is still just as important as any other.
Having said that... let’s talk about 2020 for a bit.
The only reason why I’m talking about it now rather than in 2020 is because this is when the wannabes are getting ready to make their announcements.  The early bird in this case does not necessarily get the worm, but they do get the attention and the name recognition if they’re out early.
It is a foregone conclusion that the narcissistic President Donald Trump will be running for re-election.  His narcissism will not allow him to entertain any kind of idea that he should be limited to one term, so the only reason why he would be barred from running again would be if he’s either impeached and removed from office (not likely given the current and future makeup of Congress) or if he knew in advance that the economy was on the brink of irreversible collapse and that he would be blamed for it.  Remember that this is the narcissist that has said that being a “president-for-life” would be a good thing.
So if the theory is true is that Narcissist Trump is only supported by a minority of Americans that are also fanatically active voters, then the solution is simple... find a competent challenger for the 2020 Scam.  Someone that the voters will show up at the voting booth to vote for.
It is a lot harder than it sounds.
Understand that I’ve been an active political observer and voter since the 1980’s.  I have seen all kinds of wannabe candidates come and go.  I remember H. Ross Perot.  Hell, I even voted for H. Ross Perot in 1992.  And then he gave me reason to regret it.  So I know what kind of people have a better chance of getting elected than others.
The absolute worst thing that the Democratic Party, or for that matter any political party or group, can do is to presume that anyone they put up could beat Narcissist Trump.  If you go to the November election in 2020 with that in your heads, then I guarantee you that You. Will. Lose.
Understand that you – and by extension the rest of the nation – is facing more than just a self-promoting narcissistic clown act with a fake Jersey tan.  You are also dealing with a cult following of extremists the likes of which have not been in power in over three-quarters-of-a-century, as well as an entrenched political party that is sociopathic in nature and will not give up that power without a fight.  And, as a reminder, they are active voters.  They will fight for and vote for Narcissist Trump no matter how bad he is.  Narcissist Trump could lead American into nuclear annihilation tomorrow, and it would not matter to his “core” supporters.  They will still vote for him and still sing his praises.
The rest of the great unwashed are cowards and idiots when it comes to voting.  If they don’t have a candidate that they really like, that they really want, that they feel they will win, then they will not show up to vote.  Period.  They won’t vote for Narcissist Trump, but they also will not vote for anyone else that they feel is just as bad.  They won’t “haggle” or “negotiate” or “settle”.  They just will not vote.  They will stay home.  This has been demonstrated over and over and over again.
That is the challenge when facing Narcissist Trump.  It is not just a matter of finding “someone better”, but also someone that will get people to vote for them.
So here is a short list of the potential wannabes that really need to stay home for 2020 if they want to get Narcissist Trump out of the White House.
First and foremost, the biggest group that need to stay home are...
Hillary Clinton and the other “Entitled” Wannabes – I have said this before and I will say it again: the presidency is not an entitlement program.  It is not a matter of “paying your dues and waiting your turn”.
Historical fact: only one “entitlement” candidate for the White House has ever won in the past century.  Only one.  And that was then-Vice President George H.W. Bush.  Every other candidate before and after him have lost.  Every time.
Former Vice-President Walter Mondale thought he was “entitled”.  He failed miserably.  Then-Vice-President Al Gore thought he was “entitled”.  He failed to beat Bush Junior.  Former Senator John Kerry thought he was “entitled”.  He failed miserably even worse than Mondale.  The late Senator John McCain thought he was “entitled”.  He failed.  Hillary Clinton sure as hell operates as though she is “owed” the White House, and she got primaried-out to Barack Obama in 2008 and got beat by Narcissist Trump in 2016!
And the odds of winning are even worse when you’re running against someone already in the job!  So what the hell makes Hillary think that a Clinton vs Trump rematch would change the outcome?  If anything, history has shown that she would lose even worse.  So the best thing that Mrs. Clinton can do for the nation would be to shut up, sit down, and stay home.
But, of course, she won’t do that.  Her own ego would not allow that.
She’s not the only one that needs to bench themselves, though.
The “Failing-Up” Wannabes – Picture this: you have a candidate that is dynamic, energetic, gets the voters optimistic and fired up and really, really, want to vote.  Unfortunately, that candidate loses in their race for Congress by someone who was supported by Narcissist Trump.
So... what do you do?  Why, you have that candidate challenge Narcissist Trump for 2020!
Listen, I have nothing against Congressman Beto O’Roarke of Texas.  Sounds like he’s a great guy.  But he just got his butt kicked by #Cheat2Win Ted Cruz for the Senate.  Do you really think that he’d have a chance against Narcissist Trump with that kind of mark against him?  He couldn’t beat a lying, cheating hypocrite, and #Cheat2win Ted Cruz is a lightweight compared to Narcissist Trump!  O’Roarke would have had a much better chance if either he didn’t run for the Senate or if he had won that race.  As such, his loss poisons him this time around.  He needs a few more wins under his belt before he thinks about running for the White House.
The same goes for some of the other people who sounded good but couldn’t seal the deal this past election.  The last person that “failed-up” into the White House was Richard Nixon, and it took three major assassinations before that for it to be a possibility.  Narcissist Trump may be bad, but he is not yet catastrophic enough for such a situation to happen again.
Speaking of which, can we please stop the asinine talk about how “monumental” losing in those races was?  It does not matter if your candidate lost to the GOP by a thousand votes or even one; it is still a loss.  You are dealing with simplistic people who see things as winners and losers, not “close calls” or “narrow margins”.  A loss is a loss.  Period.  And voters don’t like voting for losers.  That’s why they usually stay home when they feel they don’t have a “winner” on their side.  Again, history has proven this to be true.
Here's one more group that need to sit 2020 out...
The “Celebrity” Wannabes – This includes TV celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but also the “political celebrities” like Senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren.  You know, the people that are recognized for whatever reason, but don’t really have anything to offer other than they’re not Narcissist Trump.
Listen, I have respect for Senator Warren that goes back to when she was the one “in charge” in name only of the TARP bailout ten years ago.  She stuck it to the people that just wanted her job to be quietly rubber-stamping whatever Big Banking wanted.  And I like that she’s still fighting the good fight against Big Banking and Big Corporate and Big Healthcare and the rest of the “Big” groups.  But there is a difference between doing that and being president.  She has to sell more than that to the nation.
Just being a “name” doesn’t make you a challenger to Narcissist Trump.  I know that it is easy to presume that Narcissist Trump is just a “celebrity” himself.  After all, he sold himself as a character on a “Reality TV” program that can turn everything he touches into gold.  But the truth is that he was selling himself as a “leader” long before he announced his candidacy.  His Fox News appearances criticizing President Barack Obama, bringing up the Birther issue, these all laid the groundwork to his eventual bid.  His name was being bantered about for years before he made it official, and then, when he did, he offered more than just his “brand”.  He was ready with a book and a slogan and ideas that may not have been his, but he certainly knew how to latch onto them and make them his.  Narcissist Trump is – above everything else – a salesman, and he was selling himself long before he was running for the White House.
These are all the people that should be sitting out for 2020, but let’s get brutally honest here... you know a lot of them will do it anyway.  They’re going to waste time and money to see if they can challenge Narcissist Trump, and they will fail.
The problem will come when the Democrats decide to put one of those people in as a nominee.  If they do, you can guarantee that Narcissist Trump will be re-elected.
And the GOP knows this.  They’re counting on the Democrats to put up someone like Senators Warren or Booker or even Hillary.  They want the “celebrity” challengers and the people who think that it is “their turn” to be president, as if the office of the President of the United States was just a loyalty perk for a political party.  They want the Democrats to do this, because they know that Narcissist Trump will win if they do.
The office of the President of the United States of America is not some loyalty perk or just a “gig” for celebrities to do like they’re a judge on “Dancing with the Stars”.  It is a position of leadership.  As such, it helps to actually have a leader.
The way to defeat the Narcissist Trump is to have someone that is better than him that can actually lead that the voters will want to support, not “hope” they’ll support.  2020 may still be two years away, but the time to step up and sell yourself as that person that can defeat Narcissist Trump is now. 
Hell, it may already be too late.  And that’s sad.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Week of 11/19/2018

Amazon’s Seductive Game Played America’s Suckers
Here is a story, sad but true. 
Let’s see if it sounds familiar to you.
A lonely boy meets a beautiful girl.  That lonely boy falls hard for the beautiful girl.  The beautiful girl knows he has fallen for her, and, while there is nothing expressly said, it is carefully implied, or at least suggested, that there could be “something” between them.
So the lonely boy begins a careful dance to woo over the beautiful girl.  There is time spent, gifts purchased, meals bought, attention given, fantasies woven of the two of them together.  There is always the lure of “something better” just over the horizon.  The payoff that the lonely boy believes will end his time alone.
But then the truth is revealed.  The beautiful girl really doesn’t feel the same way for the lonely boy as he does for her.  In truth, she really finds him somewhat pathetic.  But she gave him attention and strung him along because of the things he would give her.  He wasn’t even the only lonely boy in her life.  There were several that she strung along just like him.  Sad and lonely guys who would give her anything on the suggestion or the hint that she could be theirs.  And sometimes they would know this, but they still played the game because they would each believe that they were truly the one for her.
And then the lonely boy learns the ultimate truth.  It’s not that he had to “compete” against all these other lonely guys just like him.  There was no competition; because she was already in a relationship with someone else.  Someone who may have thought her little game was amusing, but still knew that, at the end of the day, she’d only be with him.
I know this story all-to-well, because I was always that lonely boy.  And now, decades later as a lonely guy, nothing has really changed aside from the fact that I can no longer play those games where I always leave a little sadder and a lot poorer.
But having that experience, I cannot help but feel angry when it is played on others, especially for amusement or even for profit.  Brutally Honest supporters can recall when I showed my anger and outrage over the game when it was played on a TV series called “Average Joe”.  It was a horrible tease that took three seasons for the beautiful girl to finally choose the lonely boy, and she had to be nudged by others into doing it.
We’ve seen it in movies like “Dangerous Liaisons” and the “Cruel Intentions” series.  Yes, the tease was so good, they made it into a film series.
And now we’ve seen it nationwide.
The “beautiful girl” in this instance is the mega-company known as Amazon.  Its owner is so rich, he can afford to play pissing games with the narcissistic President of the United States and not bat an eyelash, and that’s even before you remember that he also is the owner of the Washington Post newspaper.
And the “lonely boys” in this story?  Well those are all of the politicians in the various municipalities all across the nation that were vying to be Amazon’s much-desired second corporate headquarters.  A high-priced move that would supposedly bring in high-paying jobs.  They each believed that Amazon would choose them over all the others.  This would set them apart from all the others. This is their “Mega Millions” dream.  Their “Powerball” fantasy.  They would never have to worry about budget shortfalls or poverty ever again, or so they pathetically believed.
The seduction game was nothing short of retching.  Various cities and states offering Amazon the world for this “honor”.  Tax breaks, tax credits, free parking, an exclusive airport lounge, a private transit line, one city in Georgia even promised to change their name to “Amazon” if they were chosen.  No, I am not making that up.  Over two hundred municipalities were Amazon’s potential suitors, and they each promised everything they could possibly have and even stuff that they couldn’t afford to give.
And then came the reveal.  After months and months of teasing and seducing, Amazon chose not one but two locations.  HQ2 would be in New York City.  HQ3 would be in a suburb of Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac from Washington DC.  Nashville would get a smaller logistics site for 5000 jobs.  Everyone else: too bad, so sad, thanks for playing.
Of course, we wouldn’t know just what was being promised in all our names until after the big reveal.  Each municipality was under non-disclosure agreements to prevent other cities from trying to out-bid the other.  Amazon played the seduction game like a webcam queen.
And, when you really think about it, their big reveal was really a joke on the rest of the nation.  New York is oversaturated with billion-dollar corporations.  Adding Amazon HQ2 to that city is like putting a slice of cheese on the world’s largest cheeseburger.  And HQ3 in Arlington?  Yeah, the same neighborhood as another business that CEO Jeff Bezos owns... the Washington Post.  Gee, what a “coincidence”.
But I’m not really going to criticize Amazon for this.  Because the game is not just about the tease but those that went along with it.
In hindsight, I always look back at all my years and on all of the money that I spent on those fruitless pursuits that never could be.  I think back to all the things that I could have done with the money that I was spending for a dream that never could come true.  I would always ask myself “Was it worth it?”  If it led to that fruitful relationship, then, yes.  But when the result is always no, then of course I would have to say that it really wasn’t worth it.
And that’s what I want the taxpayers in all those other municipalities to do as well.  Think for a minute about what your elected grifters and shysters were promising in your names to Amazon.  Think about what they were ready to give away just for the “honor” of being HQ2 or HQ3.
I have yet to find a community that isn’t struggling for revenue.  Infrastructure is collapsing everywhere.  Teachers are underpaid and overworked.  Police are overburdened and underpaid.  Municipalities all rely on tax money for their revenue.  The streets cannot be fixed, the traffic lights and street lights cannot be maintained, schools cannot get new materials without that tax money.  And here were over two-hundred municipalities that were ready to give tax breaks and tax credits to one of the wealthiest of corporations.
I wasn’t exaggerating when I made references to Mega Millions and Powerball.  This is like spending the mortgage money on either of those lotteries on the delusional conviction that you will win the jackpot.  It’s only worth it if you win; even though, statistically, you won’t.
So you have Amazon, a huge multi-billion-dollar corporation, coming into your community, which is strapped for tax revenue... and you promise them that you won’t get a dime in taxes from them?
Oh, I know... they were lured by those high-paying jobs!  All of those high-paid tech jobs that would need to be filled by the community that is currently barely getting by on mediocre pay and being nickel-and-dimed by Big Healthcare and Big Pharma and the rest of Big Corporate.  You presume that those jobs will be filled by people in *your* community!
The idea that Billy, your local IT guy who fixes five-year-old computers when he isn’t selling second-hand iPhones, would somehow be getting one of those high-paying tech jobs is yet another one of those delusional fantasies.  Amazon wouldn’t be giving those high-paying jobs to the local people.  Amazon would be bringing in those high-paid people.  People that would already have the education and the experience that they need.  And those salaries would also be tax-free thanks to those sweetheart deals.
So you have a whole bunch of people who have a lot of money suddenly going into your little “city”, seeing what you have and what you don’t have, and they are saying “We need better homes than what you have here.  We need better schools than what you have here.  Your roads are crap.  Your traffic is crap.  We want someplace better than Walmart to shop.  We need more cops to keep us safe.  Your restaurants are too small for us.  And we don’t care where the money comes to pay for these things just as long as it isn’t from us.” 
This kind of transition goes by another name: gentrification.  You’re not bringing up the community.  You’re replacing them.
Still worth it?
And then there is something else that all of those municipalities should keep in mind.  Thanks to those hidden bids, Amazon now knows more about all of those communities than they did previously.  They know the population base, where the communities are by general income, what kind of schools are in your community, what kind of services you offer, and what kind of leadership your community actually has.  They know how desperate you are.  Some of that information could be collected elsewhere, true, but some of it wouldn’t.  Now Amazon has it all, to use as they see fit.
Let’s get brutally honest here... this whole seduction from Amazon was one of the biggest teases in the world.  It dwarfs the bid for the Olympics, which, I can tell you from two decades ago, is a nightmare.  But at least you didn’t have every podunk little community that fancies itself as a “city” thinking they could get the Olympics.  Not so with Amazon.
And the thing is... just how much was your community willing to whore out to get it?  That’s the most dangerous part of this seductive game; that your elected officials were willing to give up the very things that your community needs to keep going just for that “honor”.
I did some stupid things when I was trying to win that “beautiful girl”.  I spent money and time on women that only really wanted the former and didn’t care about the latter.  But at least it was only that.  What your elected officials were willing to give to Amazon in your name is a whole lot worse, and you really need to evaluate that before the next elections.