Trump’s Swamp Fever

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One of Trump’s closing arguments was his promise to “drain the swamp”.

Less than a week after winning the election in dramatic fashion and preparing to move into the White House, he appears to have caught a serious case of swamp fever.

He may have been infected from the whole set of Washington insiders that he has invited to help him plan the transition.

He may have caught it from President Obama himself. After what he described as very cordial meeting for which he appeared genuinely grateful, he described Obama as a very good man.

That wall that he promised to build on day one? Newt Gingrich admitted that Trump probably can’t get Mexico to pay for the wall, but that it was a “great campaign device”.

Instead of appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama, in an exclusive interview with the WSJ, Trump said, “It’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought, because I want to solve health care, jobs, border control, tax reform.”

Instead of making the repeal of Obamacare his first priority, instead he is talking about a series of amendments to improve it.

Oh and that Iran nuclear deal, one of the worst deals in the history of the world? He kinda likes it. He’s going to talk with the Iranians about a couple of his concerns, but he isn’t going to tear it up.

Moving or embassy to Jerusalem (a big issue for Sheldon Adelson)? Trump’s campaign said that any move would come only after there was a consensus by all parties. The Palestinians have been and are seriously opposed to the move.

That waterboarding stuff? Mike Rodgers representing the Trump campaign said it was just “campaign talk”.

Instead of supporting Paul Ryan’s call to privatize Medicare and Social Security, Trump has been curiously quiet.

Those mass deportations? They are history too. Instead Trump has said he is only going to deport those illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes. This is pretty much what the Obama administration has been doing for the past 8 years.

Those nasty late night tweets? Even they appear to have moderated. After sharply criticizing the #notmypresident demonstrations, he quickly released another tweet celebrating their passion and their right to express their opinion.

What happened to this guy?

Who kidnapped Donald Trump and replaced him with a thoughtful moderate?

Here’s my take.

We already know that he is not an ideologue and his main principle appears to be his own self-interest.

What we may be discovering is that he is more of a narcissistic Zelig chameleon than anyone thought.

We also may be discovering that he understands that he has to start working now to win the midterm elections in two years. Those who didn’t vote for him are just waiting for his first misstep to turn the next two years into an Occupy Washington protest.

We are now 7 years into this economic expansion cycle. We are starting to see some inflation and finally a little wage growth. We are well overdue for a recession.

The best thing that Trump could do to protect his Congressional majorities in 2018 is pump a lot of money into the economy as quickly as possible in the form of infrastructure improvements. We know from Obama’s attempts to do the same thing on a MUCH smaller scale that it takes a while to get this going. Obama may have warned Trump about how long it will take to get anything done in Washington. We also know that big spending bills provide plenty of opportunities for back seat driving and second guessing. The last thing Trump needs is a fight over this. The best way to get spending bill passed quickly is to make sure that the Democrats are on board too. He may need their help to overcome the fiscal conservatives and small government ideologues that still dominate his party.

By narrowing his focus to jobs, securing the boarder, amending Obamacare, and passing his tax plan; he can gain enough good will with the public to gain a little momentum. If he can find a way to work with the Democrats rather than poking them in the eye, he can continue to keep the Republican establishment off balance. Perhaps Obama also warned him that the Republicans in Washington are not his friends.

Since he doesn’t have the votes to over override a Senate veto, he would be wise to take small steps that will make it through the Senate. Otherwise, he runs the risk of the Democrats running out the clock on his first two years in much the same way that Republicans tied up Obama.

If he can find a way to get government working again by pivoting to the center, while still retaining the support of his base, he may prove to be a better politician than anyone imagined. If so, it may turn out that swamp fever isn’t so bad after all. If, however, this is really honeymoon fever, and the old combative Trump returns, it could be a bumpy two years.

 

16 Responses to “Trump’s Swamp Fever”

  1. Keith says:

    All things I predicted….

    Here’s the story how ever if your in the mood for reflection.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/11/12/new-york-times-publisher-vows-to-rededicate-itself-to-reporting-honestly.html

  2. Keith says:

    He’s a democrat after all

  3. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Fox News twisting a NYT statement to suit their own purposes. Not a surprise.

    The NYT did not apologize. They simply said they were going to continue to do the things that they always do. The only thing that has changed is that the election is over. As a result, the role of the paper to inform the public about the candidates is over. They return to their NORMAL responsibilities of newspapers who adhere to the journalistic code of ethics.

    That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you. It is also to hold power to account, impartially and unflinchingly.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/13/us/elections/to-our-readers-from-the-publisher-and-executive-editor.html?_r=0

    What is happening, however, is that those who disagree with Trump’s stated positions are organizing at a grass roots level to oppose him in whatever ways possible.

    Trump is going to have a very difficult needle to thread.

    His best hope is to make friends with the Democrats who have expressed interest in working with him.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/donald-trump-senate-democrats-231256

    If he keeps his focus on those things that are possible (infrastructure, closing the “carried interest” loophole, and perhaps some action on Chinese currency manipulation), he can portray himself a centrist.

    What he has also setup is an internal battle between Preibus and Bannon. Priebus will win if we see bipartisan deals getting done. Bannon will win if we see a whole slew of executive orders regarding immigration, special prosecutors, and attacks on the press.

  4. Keith says:

    I will respond later. You’ve gone come rely off the reservation. Trumps job is not to appease democrats just as Obama didn’t come to DC to appease Republicans.

    I have lots to say and some might surprise you.

  5. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I’m not surprised that you might have a lot to say.

    I didn’t say that it was Trump’s job to appease Democrats (more about Obama in a minute).

    Trump got elected to shake things up and get government working again.

    In practical terms, he needs to crank up the economy and put more people back to work. That’s what he got elected to do. If he fails at that, regardless of what else he does do on taxes or immigration or terrorism, he will lose his house majority in 2018 and likely be a one term president if he survives that long.

    He ran against the leaders of his own party. They are not his friends. They are going to take every opportunity to bend him to their will. The Democrats aren’t very happy with him either, but they are in the minority. Chuck Shumer understands that if he can help Trump CONTINUE to act in ways that go against establishment Republican orthodoxy, that makes Democrats look better and Republicans look worse. Trump only cares about what makes HIM look better.

    As a result, if he is smart, he will play the Republicans and Democrats off each other in order to get HIS agenda passed.

    Obama DID promise the country a different sort of politics. The problem was Republicans weren’t interested. He did attempt to appease them, which is why the ACA took so long to negotiate. If he knew then what he knows now, I suspect he would have taken a VERY different path. He would have jammed financial reform and additional stimulus down the throats of the Republican minority right along with the ACA and not worried about the consequences. That’s what Johnson would have done as well as threatening any in his own party with retribution if they chose to oppose him. But that was never Obama’s style.

    We’ll soon see what Trump’s style is, in particular how he will respond to those who opposed him, but now claim to be his friends.

  6. Jeff Beamsley says:

    And so it starts. 🙂

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/16/us/politics/trump-transition.html?_r=0

    Until Trump has some success, his inexperience is going to be obvious. You were a big critic of Obama as inexperienced.

    You planning to hold Trump to the same standard?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/us/politics/donald-trump-transition.html?action=click&contentCollection=Politics&module=RelatedCoverage&region=EndOfArticle&pgtype=article

    BTW, the fact that Kellyanne Conway appears to have opted out of a White House role says volumes. As I’ve said before, she is the big winner in this remarkable election. She took a Trump campaign that appeared to be in free fall as a result of the “lewd” tape and got it back on the rails just in time to catch a “break” with the second Comey letter and beat Clinton at the wire. The fact that Trump managed to stay on message for the last month probably her doing and probably what won him the election.

    She continues to impress with her political savvy. She knows that governing is going to be much harder than campaigning. She got her win. She can pretty much write her own ticket for the next couple of years as a result. By opting out of the White House, she abdicates any responsibility for what happens next. She did her job. Now it’s time for Trump to prove he can govern.

  7. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, weren’t you also the guy criticizing Obama for slow economic growth? Curious if you are now going to congratulate him for the following accomplishments.

    1. 3.6% growth rate

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-atlantafed-idUSKBN13C2FB?il=0

    2. Lowest unemployment applications in 43 years

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/applications-us-unemployment-aid-fall-43-year-low-43603051

    3. The deficit this year has been estimated at $590B. The GDP will come is right around $18T. That means that any growth rate greater than 590/18000 = 3.3% means that we are effectively reducing our national debt as a percentage of GDP. Since 3.6% > 3.3%, Obama for three years in a row, has grown the economy faster than the debt.

    You planning to congratulate him on that too?

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Trump may offer the National Security Post to retired General Michael Flynn.

    General Flynn would bring to the White House a belief that the problem in the Middle East for the United States is ultimately with the Islamic faith itself. He has criticized the religion as being nothing more than a “political ideology,” has made a point of using the phrase “radical Islamist terrorism” as often as possible, and once posted a video on his Twitter account that included the phrase “Fear of Muslims is rational.” He has also claimed that Islamic law, known as Shariah, is spreading in the United States, without providing evidence.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/18/us/politics/donald-trump-administration.html?_r=0

    He’s also trying to find a place for his son-in-law Jared Kushner. The problem is that there are laws on the books prohibiting the President from appointing close relatives.

    Those laws were passed during the Johnson administration because of the strong dislike that Johnson had for Bobby Kennedy.

  9. Keith says:

    Jeff,
    A few more replies to come. This isn’t complete so don’t reply to this as my complete thoughts are yet to come. You might be surprised where I end.

    Part #1- President Elect Donald Trump. Who would have thought that? As I mentioned at the time I had lots to say and that what I say might surprise you. In the two weeks since the election my thoughts have somewhat narrowed. So here goes my current thoughts.

    In 2008 & 2012 you indicated the country would never again give the right power and that it had become a regional party. You sited many things to support this. President Obama did indeed decimate republicans at a national level. Many, including myself, thought at the time he had ushered in a new map. Maybe he had. 2006 saw the Dems sweep the republicans in the midterms, and in 2008 the public gave the dems all three branches.
    Since 2008 and probably starting sooner, the republicans were steadily defeating the dems essentially everywhere else except in the national election for President in 2012. Today since your proclamation of the republicans as a regional power the republicans own virtually everything.
    34 Governors, 66 of 99 state legislators, the House of Reps, the Senate, the White House, and soon the supreme court. (Never sure about the last one.) If god forbid a few of the older Justices retire then a conservative majority will remain intact for another 30 – 40 years. The make of the Dems in the House of Representatives as example of this republican nationwide movement is all one needs to see. 1/3 of the 2017 house dems will be from 3 states. If that isn’t regional representation then I don’t know what is. In 2018 the Dems will be defending 10 seats in the senate held in Red States. Truly if one looks honestly at the will of the electorate it will clearly understand which party is the regional party. Every analysis you’ve made is incorrect. I don’t know this for a fact but the overwhelming positions the Republican party holds across the nation may be the most dominate in over 150 years…

    What insightful is at the national level the Republican party didn’t do this. It was done in spite of them. Donald Trump did it. If they had run another “Republican” they more than likely would have lost. No, the credit belongs to Mr Trump.

    I was thinking of you many times on election night and into the morning. One by one I watched news anchors from NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, and contributors to those networks presentation from the New York Times, Washington post and other “mainstream news outlets,” absolutely meltdown, or at best struggle to speak coherently and without too much reflecting their disgust and distain to what they were reporting and commenting on. Jeff, the media is bias and they didn’t even try and hide it this election cycle. Nearly everything was reported on from Hillary’s or the democrats position. Everything reported on Trump was negative and also as the loser. If election night wasn’t proof enough for you then I don’t know what else you can be shown.

  10. Jeff Beamsley says:

    One of the jobs of responsible media in our democracy is to report on the qualifications of the candidates for office. Trump is fundamentally unqualified by any objective measure. He is a citizen, and that is the only constitutional qualification. But he has never held any elected or appointed government office at any level. His only qualifications are his claim to be a successful businessman, but he refused to provide sufficient proof to support that claim. BECAUSE he failed to produce that proof, it is AGAIN the responsibility of media in our democracy to find out what they can to either support or deny his claim that he is successful. Little of what has been found so far supports his claims. He made NUMEROUS other claims during his campaign regarding a wide range of other issues. It is AGAIN the responsibility of ethical media to fact check those claims and help inform the voting public. What they discovered is that very little of what Trump said was actually true.

    This raises a couple of interesting questions.

    1. If one candidate lies 10 times on 10 different subjects and another candidate lies 1 time about 1 subject, are the media biased for reporting on those 10 lies 10 times as compared to the one lie once?
    2. If one candidate continues to lie on a particular subject after the media has pointed out that it is a lie, is the media biased to continue to report that this candidate continues to tell the same lie?
    3. If only 10% of what a candidate says is in fact truthful, is the media biased for negative reporting 90% of the time?
    4. If one candidate is unqualified and is running against another candidate that is qualified, is the media biased because they point out the lack of qualification in the one candidate?

    It is not biased to tell the truth.

    Where the media WAS biased was in their willingness to treat this as a personality contest rather than an issues campaign. That was a disservice to the country, even though voters did not seem to care about very many of the issues.

    What the media missed was the fact that a significant number of voters in a very close election DIDN’T CARE who the media said was better qualified. Those voters also DIDN’T CARE about who was telling the truth. What they DID care about was changing the way that politics works in this country. So they voted for the person they felt could best bring about that change. They were in effect giving a big middle finger to a media that they felt had ignored them and a political establishment that they feel had ignored them. They were mad as hell and were not going to take it anymore.

    The danger is that this anger could turn against Trump as easily as it has supported him. Just like Obama, he has promised hope that things will change. I don’t know how much patience his base will have as the reality of governing in this country takes hold.

    I will dig into this in a little more detail in another post, but there is great danger is unleashing a “deal-based” philosophy on a “law-based” country. As a country, we abhor corruption and even the appearance of influence peddling. Trump won in part because he successfully painted Clinton as corrupt. Yet his stated approach to making America great again is negotiation. The ONLY thing he has to negotiate with as President is favoritism or threats of punishment. But he can’t use them in any overt way, or else he will run into laws that require federal contracts to be awarded to the lowest bidder. He can’t carry through with a promise to flow more defense contracts to United Technologies in return for keeping some jobs in Indiana. If he does, United Technologies competitors are going to go to court. He can’t punish Ford for moving jobs to Mexico by canceling federal contracts that they won fair and square, or else Ford is going to go to court. Trump may feel that he can make some great deals, but Trump himself says that there is always a loser. It will only be a matter of time until those who voted for Trump decide that THEY are the losers. When that happens, Trump will have little to fall back on to save his administration.

    Finally, I was wrong in predicting that the demographics that propelled Obama in the White House would keep that institution in Democratic hands for the foreseeable future. Clinton did win the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College. She did not get the support from minorities and young people in the key states that she needed to win. We won’t know whether this is because of her negatives or the general failing of the Democratic Party to convince voters that they deserved another 4 years or just the fact that Obama was a special candidate for those segments of voters. Demographics are still moving in the right direction for Democrats and a Trump White House will only strengthen the Democratic brand in the 2018 Congressional election.

  11. keith says:

    The media cried out loud on election night. Surely you didn’t miss this. How can bias NOT be part of their years long and ongoing coverage when they were/are so obviously emotionally invested? Forget lies and everything else. This is what’s at issue. EVERy word on most if not ALL mainstream media is reported on not solely as news but news from a liberal perspective… There is NO denying that after it was so clearly exposed on election night.

    So he’s the bomb shell for you. Just as after 2006 and then 2008 you believed the republican party had been blown to oblivion, never to return to anything but a regional subplot, most everyone would now say that of the dems. I completely a totally disagree. The dems are in the worst position of any of the two parties in how many years, 100? See the stats I posted above. The republicans run virtually everything and the dems almost nothing. I’m here to say we are possible only 6 years from the dems flipping the switch and certainly not more the 10 years… Just won’t happen, though it could. The Dems leadership became so far left is wasn’t recognizable. remember months ago I wanted you to join me in creating “America’s party?” THE SAME WILL HAPPEN TO THE REPUBS. IT ALWAYS DOES. Where you were in error is believing that Obama’s appeal was a turning away from conservative ideas and rejecting them. No, they just went the other way. A far greater case can be made that we as a people have almost completely rejected liberal ideas. Fed, State and local levels are so completely overwhelming republican that one might suggest there isn’t a second party outside of NY, IL & Cali

    Jeff I have soooooo many friends who are not political who are both rep & Dem. they agree on most everything. Only when dems push through Obamacare, which was very understandable to most, then Gay Marraige, which no one hardly gives a rip about regardless what stats you provide it just isn’t important, then Black lives matter, the war on business and the banks lead my Elizabeth and finally LBGT, they just keep adding letters. Jeff, the great American populas are hard working an decent people who while caring about everyone are really tired of those things being front and center. In other words ENOUGH ALREADY!!!! enter MR Trump. Trump if left alone will grow GDP this will be good. then the pendulum will swing the other way and the republicans will shoot themselves in the foot as they always do…You see the job of president is a continuum. I really like and was impressed how President Obama said it in his first comments after the election. “it’s like a relay race, you take the baton and do the best job with it as long as you have it. then, you give it to the next guy to do his best.” (Paraphrasing)

    Trumps difficulty will come from something what today we don’t know about, it mostly always does.

    The media had one major problem and still does. trump will do NOTHING according to the script they believe should be followed. It’s interesting to hear them discuss what they think he’s doing and why isn’t he doing such and such. Well because, I his mind “politicians” have broke the system and are by and large failures. It will be interesting to watch the rest of the world react to him…

    Cheer my friend, stay positive and watch what Trump actually does not what you think he’s going to do.

  12. Jeff Beamsley says:

    The media cried out loud on election night. Surely you didn’t miss this. How can bias NOT be part of their years long and ongoing coverage when they were/are so obviously emotionally invested? Forget lies and everything else. This is what’s at issue. EVERy word on most if not ALL mainstream media is reported on not solely as news but news from a liberal perspective… There is NO denying that after it was so clearly exposed on election night

    Bias is an old and inaccurate story that statistics and actions simply don’t support.

    This is worth a little more in depth response, but here’s a quick overview.

    1. You can divide the media in three parts. There are those that were partisan for Clinton. There were those that were partisan for Trump. There were those that were in the middle. I don’t believe that you have a complaint about the media that was biased for Trump. If you are willing to accept bias FOR Trump, you have to also be willing to accept bias FOR Clinton. So, I’m going to restate your complaint that the media that otherwise claims to follow the code of journalistic ethics, had in fact abandoned that code in an effort to oppose Trump.
    2. If it were true that the “unbiased” media were in fact attempting to sway the election for Clinton, we should have been able to see evidence of that. The evidence from exit polling suggests that the vast majority of voters who were late deciders broke for Trump. What did the media do during the last month of the campaign when Clinton’s big polling lead evaporated? They were publishing WAY more negative stories about Clinton than they were about Trump. Those stories included the daily wikileaks revelations and the FBI investigations. In the words of one media critic, the Russians delivered the media explosive material. The media weaponized it and then handed it to voters and asked them to decide what to do with it.
    3. You misinterpret what the media’s job is regarding candidates.
    Ethical media have an obligation to inform the public regarding both the qualifications, positions, and past history of both candidates. For example, Trump refused to release his tax returns, so it became the responsibility of the media to find out as much as they could about Trump’s past financial dealings in an attempt to provide better information to voters. Newspapers who take an ethical approach to the news earn the right to have an opinion. Just because the NYT and the WashPost endorsed Clinton doesn’t mean that their news reports was biased against Trump.

    So he’s the bomb shell for you. Just as after 2006 and then 2008 you believed the republican party had been blown to oblivion, never to return to anything but a regional subplot, most everyone would now say that of the dems. I completely a totally disagree. The dems are in the worst position of any of the two parties in how many years, 100? See the stats I posted above. The republicans run virtually everything and the dems almost nothing. I’m here to say we are possible only 6 years from the dems flipping the switch and certainly not more the 10 years… Just won’t happen, though it could. The Dems leadership became so far left is wasn’t recognizable. remember months ago I wanted you to join me in creating “America’s party?” THE SAME WILL HAPPEN TO THE REPUBS. IT ALWAYS DOES. Where you were in error is believing that Obama’s appeal was a turning away from conservative ideas and rejecting them. No, they just went the other way. A far greater case can be made that we as a people have almost completely rejected liberal ideas. Fed, State and local levels are so completely overwhelming republican that one might suggest there isn’t a second party outside of NY, IL & Cali

    Here’s a bomb shell for you. Millions MORE people voted against Trump than voted for him. Neither he nor the Republican Party has any mandate to implement anything other than maybe jobs. They enter office in a much weaker position than Obama in either 2008 or 2012 with regard to popular support.

    I’ve already admitted that I was surprised at the Republican victory, but it was actually an outsider victory that may ultimately further damage the Republican Party. This was just as much of a repudiation of traditional Republican beliefs (smaller government, fiscal responsibility, and free trade) as it was a rejection of business as usual.

    It is also true that there are more Republican run states that Democratic run states, but in terms of population, it is again much closer with 42% of the population in states with Democratic governors. It is also quite likely in the 2018 elections that Democrats will pick up governorships in Michigan, New Jersey, Florida, Maine, Nevada, and New Mexico. The Dems are defending only on seat in PA that was narrowly won by Trump. If 2018 is the same wipeout for Trump that it was for Obama, Dems would go from 16 governors to 22 and would control states that account for more than 50% of the population.

    As far as your “case” suggesting that the election results represented a rejection of liberal values, the exit polling, as I’ve previously posted, disagrees with you. Clinton failed to get the votes that Obama did in PA, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin and lost in the electoral college. But if you count third party votes, there were far MORE votes for liberal policies than conservative ones in those states. The problem was that those votes were split among a couple of candidates which give Trump and opportunity to squeak out a victory.

    Trump if left alone will grow GDP this will be good.

    Trump’s economic problem is that he has inherited an economy that is doing well. There isn’t a lot of upside left before we start to crank up inflation. It’s going to be difficult for him to deliver on his promises of 4%+ growth and also reduce the work force by restricting immigration. What is much more likely, because it is the pattern with most Republican presidents, is that the economy will do worse.

    As I’ve said before, his challenge is going to be keeping his majority focused on the economy. They are going to want to take a run at Obamacare, Medicare, and Social Security. He will be taking a long walk off a short plank if he wastes his political capital on that.

    Trumps difficulty will come from something what today we don’t know about, it mostly always does.

    If you are talking about his taxes, his conflicts of interest, and his relations with Russia – then I completely agree with you.

    The media had one major problem and still does. trump will do NOTHING according to the script they believe should be followed. It’s interesting to hear them discuss what they think he’s doing and why isn’t he doing such and such. Well because, I his mind “politicians” have broke the system and are by and large failures. It will be interesting to watch the rest of the world react to him…

    You are off base again. This has nothing to do with a script.

    Trump is in a position of incredible power. He doesn’t appear to be interested in taking the advice of his security agencies who are trying to give him the information that he needs to make informed decisions. So instead he makes a phone call to Taiwan and potentially sets in motion a series of actions in China that result in China taking some aggressive action against Taiwan. Isn’t that something that the press should report on?

    He promises to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. If he carries through with that plan, it could ignite a new set of Palestinian uprisings because it signals that the US no longer backs a two state solution. The Israeli Army responds with overwhelming force. Iranian backed forces start rocket attacks from Lebanon. The Israeli army invades Lebanon to stop the rocket attacks. Syria and Russia get involved. Iran restarts its nuclear weapons development. Israel bombs Iran. Russia air defenses shoot down Israeli planes. Shouldn’t the press inform people of what the potential repercussions are of discarding the two-state solution?

    He promises that we are going to be closer friends with Russia. He relaxes the sanctions that Russia received because of their annexation of part of Crimea. That encourages Russia to move on Latvia. Latvia is a NATO state and has Italian, German, and Canadian forces stationed there. Shouldn’t the press let voters know what the consequences would be if Russia attempted to annex Latvia? Isn’t it appropriate for the press to question Trump on how we would respond if a NATO country like Latvia was attacked?

    Cheer my friend, stay positive and watch what Trump actually does not what you think he’s going to do.

    I’m willing to keep an open mind, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to ignore actions that suggest shallow thinking or dangerous directions. I’m not impressed with his cabinet appointments. I’m deeply concerned that he hasn’t taken positive steps to resolve his conflicts of interest. I’m amazed that he feels that he can continue to pick petty battles on Twitter. That is a waste of his time and IMHO demeans the office.

    As I’ve said before, he needs to keep his eye on the prize and deliver on his economic promises including reform rather than just repeal of Obamacare. If he is smart, he will demand that a replacement plan be put in place before the existing plan is repealed. That will tie up those who want to repeal Obamacare in knots for at least a year, which will give him an opportunity to get his economic agenda passed.

    Let’s just track this and see how it plays out. I believe he will fumble the Obamacare issue right out of the box because he doesn’t understand how government works. That fumble will become the recurring theme in what will be a short and very troubled presidency.

  13. Keith says:

    With regard to the media you’ve completely missed my point. (As you have with everything else I’ve written) so I going to just stay on the media until you understand what I’m saying.

    Repeating. The main stream media, everyone except FOX, cried out loud on election night. So let’s stay at that point first. This is true and ONE ONE will deny that. So that’s the foundation of my point. Nothing else. Since that was so clearly obvious the next statement is true also. Every word of their coverage from the beginning of time until now is presented thought that leans. From a liberal perspective. The presentation is NOT from a fair minded perspective or even a neutral perspective. Rather a biased perspective. Example. It wouldn’t be reported that Trump is winning and how he seemed to be doing it. Rather it would be reported that Hillary needs to do so and so to win. Much like a home town newspaper would cover the local football team. Not that the opponent was great how they will go about beating the home team but how the home team can improve to beat the better opponent or what they can do to beat them. It’s constantly presenting the upcoming game from the local teams perspective. So as you can see with out even trying the basis is inherent in the reporting with out being plangent and in many cases with out even willingly doing it. FOX is tha same way!! Surely you see this. So 24 hours a day all, or mostly all, Albers stories and broadcasts are presented in a way that clearly is from the liberal perspective as though they are the home team. On election night it was sooooo obbovious even you couldn’t have missed it. I’m going to stop there and make sure you’re on board so far. Are you? So you get this point?

  14. Jeff Beamsley says:

    With regard to the media you’ve completely missed my point. (As you have with everything else I’ve written) so I going to just stay on the media until you understand what I’m saying.

    I haven’t missed the point. I simply disagree.

    Repeating. The main stream media, everyone except FOX, cried out loud on election night. So let’s stay at that point first. This is true and ONE ONE will deny that. So that’s the foundation of my point. Nothing else.

    There were only three polling organizations who called the election for Trump. The first was FiveThirtyEight.com. The second was the USC/L.A. Times poll. The third was Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP.

    http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-usc-latimes-poll-20161108-story.html

    Even Fox News was predicting a Clinton victory.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/11/07/fox-news-electoral-scorecard-map-shifts-again-in-trumps-favor-as-clinton-holds-edge.html

    So your foundational point is inaccurate. Trump’s victory surprised EVERYONE except the three sources that I mentioned.

    You appear to be conflating surprise with bias.

    The fact that news organizations reported on the fact that all but three of the reputable polling sources were wrong about the election outcome is not bias. It is news.

    Since that was so clearly obvious the next statement is true also. Every word of their coverage from the beginning of time until now is presented thought that leans. From a liberal perspective.

    This is that old saw again that everyone in the mainstream media has a liberal bias except for Fox. The only one it is “obvious” to is you and those who share your particular point of view. You shouldn’t be surprised that there are many people just like you who believe just as strongly as you do that all the media has a conservative bias. The reality is much more nuanced and you are unwilling to accept that nuance.

    In order to interpret that nuance, you have to first identify what bias means.

    Fox IS biased because they allow their opinion to influence their presentation of the news. They are biased in the same way that MSNBC has a liberal bias. They are biased in the same way the virtually EVERY broadcast and online site is biased – they cater to a particular audience and report their stories in a way that will keep that audience either tuned in or online. They are biased in the same way that all of the fake news sites on facebook are biased. The creators of those stories are only interested in how they can get more clicks for their story because clicks mean money. At this point in time, the majority of the fake news creators create stories for a conservative audience. That’s because conservatives seem to be more willing to believe made-up news that supports their particular point of view. This is not a new business model. Grocery store rags like the National Enquirer have been making money off of batboy stories for generations. But it is an example of how people suffering from confirmation bias can be manipulated into believing things BECAUSE they believe all sources that print things that they DON’T agree with must be biased.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/12/07/why-conservatives-might-be-more-likely-to-fall-for-fake-news/?utm_term=.d2bcb269808d

    The NYT and WashPost are not biased because they don’t allow their opinion (which is liberal) to influence their news coverage. The same is true about NPR. The Christian Science Monitor and the major fact checking sites don’t have a political opinion. Their interest is just telling the truth.

    When the WashPost writes a story about why conservatives might be more vulnerable to fake news, you may think that this is biased. But when you look at the data, it supports their claim. Also we have conservatives with guns taking action based on fake news. Why aren’t we seeing liberals doing the same thing if it is the liberal media that is the dominant biased source?

    The facts simply don’t support your position.

    The presentation is NOT from a fair minded perspective or even a neutral perspective. Rather a biased perspective. Example. It wouldn’t be reported that Trump is winning and how he seemed to be doing it. Rather it would be reported that Hillary needs to do so and so to win. Much like a home town newspaper would cover the local football team. Not that the opponent was great how they will go about beating the home team but how the home team can improve to beat the better opponent or what they can do to beat them. It’s constantly presenting the upcoming game from the local teams perspective. So as you can see with out even trying the basis is inherent in the reporting with out being plangent and in many cases with out even willingly doing it. FOX is tha same way!! Surely you see this. So 24 hours a day all, or mostly all, Albers stories and broadcasts are presented in a way that clearly is from the liberal perspective as though they are the home team. On election night it was sooooo obbovious even you couldn’t have missed it. I’m going to stop there and make sure you’re on board so far. Are you? So you get this point?

    I get your point and I agree that all of the broadcast sites with perhaps the exception of PBS ARE biased. Some have a liberal bias. Some have a conservative bias. They are ALL biased. If that’s all that you wanted to say, then you aren’t really saying much.

    If, on the other hand, you are attempting to include the handful of print and unbiased fact check sites in your larger generalization, I disagree for the reasons that I’ve already posted.

    What you are experiencing and have since we began this conversation on media bias is your own confirmation bias. You remember the stories that you disagree with. You ignore the stories that support your point of view. You have a belief about the liberal media bias and look through that own lens to create this conspiracy theory about media. It doesn’t matter that both facts and actions don’t support your position. This is a belief, a religion, and as we’ve discovered you can’t argue religion.

  15. Keith says:

    http://bloom.bg/2ijDmno

    You think the economy is doing great?

  16. Jeff Beamsley says:

    We have certainly grown faster in the past, but there are a number of people who suggest that this may be the best that we can do right now.

    While today’s economy is a mixed bag by historical standards, one thing is clear: Obama has left Trump a 2016 economy in a better state, by many measures, than when he was first elected president in 2008 in the middle of the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

    From the article that you just posted.

    Here’s a somewhat different view from CNN.

    Even though the U.S. has recovered at a modest pace, it’s got one of the strongest economies in the developed world.

    This article though really gets at the heart of things. The historically slow economic recovery is due to the baby boomer retirement. The baby boomer bulge led to the robust economic growth through the 70’s because there was a large workforce.

    The baby boomer retirement combined with smaller family size has reduced the size of the workforce and reduced economic output.

    The aging and retirement of the boomers also put downward pressure on America’s interest rates, the economists say. Interest rates that stay low for a long time are a problem in that they indicate an economy in which growth is slow and there is little willingness to invest. Low interest rates also leave central bankers with little capacity to stimulate growth in the future by cutting interest rates.

    The retirement of the baby boomers has meant that what economists call capital — machines, factories, roads and buildings — has become relatively abundant compared to labor. That has depressed the return investors receive for investing in capital, and led to our era of lower investment. And that in turn led to a fall in the interest rate. In line with their model, the real interest rate in the United States rose through the 1960s and 1970s, peaked around 1980s, and has gradually declined since then, the economists say.

    and

    In the last decade, the effect of these trends has become even more pronounced, they say, as more boomers have retired and effects of the IT boom have faded. And their model suggests that low interest rates, low economic growth and low investment are here to stay, since America’s working population is not set to grow much in coming decades. Other countries in Europe and East Asia, are undergoing similar transitions, with rapidly aging populations, too.

    The conclusion is fairly obvious. There isn’t a lot of upside in the economy. That doesn’t meant that there aren’t a lot of people who would like a better job. The problem is that many of those looking for jobs aren’t qualified for the jobs that are out there.

    Trump may be able to stimulate the economy with a big investment in infrastructure, but the Fed warns that this is not the right time to do that. They are concerned that stimulating the economy now will cause a lot of inflation and will make it more difficult to stimulate the economy in the future when the inevitable recession occurs.

    Speaking on Capitol Hill Thursday, Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen warned lawmakers that as they consider such spending, they should keep an eye on the national debt. Yellen also said that while the economy needed a big boost with fiscal stimulus after the financial crisis, that’s not the case now.

    “The economy is operating relatively close to full employment at this point,” she said, “so in contrast to where the economy was after the financial crisis when a large demand boost was needed to lower unemployment, we’re no longer in that state.”

    Yellen cautioned lawmakers that if they spend a lot on infrastructure and run up the debt, and then down the road the economy gets into trouble, “there is not a lot of fiscal space should a shock to the economy occur, an adverse shock, that should require fiscal stimulus.”

    So we get back to the basic issue. What happens if Trump is unable to deliver the jobs and economic growth that he has promised? He claims that he is the smartest person in the room, but it appears that there are other smart people who suggest that we don’t have enough workers to grow for any sustained period of time at 4%. Not only don’t we have enough workers, the industrialized world doesn’t have enough workers. Until the Baby Boomers die off, we’re stuck with slow economic growth, unless we can find new young workers elsewhere.

    That’s why I’ve been saying that our attitude toward immigrants is going to change. We need more and younger workers to drive our consumer economy. We need people who are going to be staring new families, buying houses, and starting new businesses. I’m pretty sure that Trump is not going to be the guy who will make it easier to get into this country.

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