Irrational Risk

via GIPHY

There is some good research out that suggests that power actually causes physical changes to the brain.

Those who feel that they are in a powerful position lose their ability to experience empathy.  The result is that they become more willing to take risk because they don’t consider how these risks may potentially affect others.

At least one of these studies documents that CEO’s who lived through a disaster (war, famine, etc) during their childhood are far less likely to take big risks as adults.

Lord David Owen calls it “Hubris Syndrome”.

“Hubris syndrome,” as he and a co-author, Jonathan Davidson, defined it in a 2009 article published in Brain, “is a disorder of the possession of power, particularly power which has been associated with overwhelming success, held for a period of years and with minimal constraint on the leader.” Its 14 clinical features include: manifest contempt for others, loss of contact with reality, restless or reckless actions, and displays of incompetence. In May, the Royal Society of Medicine co-hosted a conference of the Daedalus Trust—an organization that Owen founded for the study and prevention of hubris.

You might be inclined to regard this as nothing new.  To some extent you’re right.  Psychopathy and hubris have been with us as long as we have had social groups.

The cautionary tale of the consequences of hubris and psychopathy, however, is a new history of WWII by Victor David Hanson.

He points out in great detail that Germany was incapable of winning WWII.  Here are some of the reasons why.

Germany never had a mass produced four engine bomber that could compete with the B-17.  They also had no aircraft carriers.  As a result, they lacked air superiority in naval battles and they could never have extended their reach across an ocean.

The Germans didn’t have much oil.  Half the world’s oil at that time came from the US.  Fuel shortages limited the number of missions the Luftwaffe could fly.

Their planes were inferior technology.  They were harder to operate which meant that their pilots required more training than the Allies.  They were more complicated to build.  Germany never figured out how to build them in high volume.  Germany didn’t build concrete runways in their forward bases like the Allies.  As a result, more of their limited supply of aircraft were damaged in take off and landings on dirt runways.

As a land-based power with a small navy, Germany depended on their Luftwaffe to make up the difference.  The disadvantages their air force faced in a long war should have been obvious.

WWII was about new mechanized mobile warfare.  The Germans introduced the blitzkrieg, but used horses to resupply their troops because of oil shortages.  The blitzkrieg depended on fast tanks.  The Russians had both a superior design and the ability to manufacture tanks in high volume.

Early on, Germany could have likely settled with the rest of the world and retained their territory gains.  Instead the Germans ignored the limitations of their air force and attempted to bomb England into submission.  Any hope of even just a European victory was lost when Germany attacked Russia in 1941.

There was good data before the war that science could produce new massively destructive weapons using the theories of Einstein and others.  The Third Reich, however, purged their universities of some of the best minds of their generation because they were Jewish.  Most of them escaped to the west where they eventually created the atomic bomb.

All of this data raises the real question of what were these people thinking?  How could they have made so many serious mistakes in the long term planning that would be required if they wanted to achieve the world domination that they claimed?

Axis leaders believed that Fascism could make up the difference by producing more fanatical soldiers with more “élan.” For a brief time at the beginning of the war, Allied countries believed this, too. (There was widespread fear, especially, of Japanese soldiers.) They soon realized that defending one’s homeland against invaders turns pretty much everyone into a fanatic.

The Axis powers fell prey to their own mythmaking: they were adept at creating narratives that made exceedingly unlikely victories seem not just plausible but inevitable.

That said, the Allies also convinced themselves that Axis leaders had successfully brainwashed their citizens.  They used that conclusion to justify unprecedented violence against civilians abroad, internment camps for Japanese citizens in the United States, and the only use of atomic weapons on civilians in history.

We face similar problems today in our country.

When countries lose track of facts and start believing their own mythology, they become vulnerable not only to delusional power-hungry leaders, but also to foolish military adventures.

We invaded Iraq because Bush II neocons thought it would be a cake walk.  There was no evidence of any connection between Saddam and the 9/11 attackers.  There was no credible evidence of a threat to the United States.  Lack of international support didn’t deter the Bush II administration either.  It turned out to be the worst foreign policy blunder in US history (at least so far).

Our current president has brought us closer to a nuclear confrontation with North Korea.  He has threatened to tear up the multi-national treaty with Iran that has suspended their nuclear weapons program.  He destabilized the situation in the Middle East with his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

At home he has created division and broken virtually every political taboo in our shared political religion.  He has set out to destroy the credibility of the media as independent arbiters of truth.  In the face of multiple investigations into misdeeds by his campaign and his administration, he has become the sole source of truth for his followers.

There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that he wasn’t interested in the job to begin with AND does not possess the temperament or the intellect to do the job that he has found himself in.  The recent interview that he gave the New York Times is shocking.  He is both delusional and incoherent.  He appears locked into an endless cycle of confrontation and misrepresentation that is the direct result of failing to deliver on his own narrative.

History tells us that this sort of “ism” does sometimes lead to violence but always ultimately collapses of its own weight.  There is already good data suggesting that Trump has suffered significant erosion in the base of those who voted for him for President.  Hopefully the next couple of elections will peacefully restore balance and confirm that there are consequences to lying to the American people.

110 Responses to “Irrational Risk”

  1. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Say what you want about Wolf’s book, the James Fallows article in the Atlantic has a great summary of the circumstance that we find ourselves in. From his own experience reporting from inside the Trump campaign for all of 2016, he confirms that he has personally seen all of the behavior that Wolf documents.

    Based on the excerpts now available, Fire and Fury presents a man in the White House who is profoundly ignorant of politics, policy, and anything resembling the substance of perhaps the world’s most demanding job. He is temperamentally unstable. Most of what he says in public is at odds with provable fact, from “biggest inaugural crowd in history” onward. Whether he is aware of it or not, much of what he asserts is a lie. His functional vocabulary is markedly smaller than it was 20 years ago; the oldest person ever to begin service in the White House, he is increasingly prone to repeat anecdotes and phrases. He is aswirl in foreign and financial complications. He has ignored countless norms of modern governance, from the expectation of financial disclosure to the importance of remaining separate from law-enforcement activities. He relies on immediate family members to an unusual degree; he has an exceptionally thin roster of experienced advisers and assistants; his White House staff operations have more in common with an episode of The Apprentice than with any real-world counterpart. He has a shallower reserve of historical or functional information than previous presidents, and a more restricted supply of ongoing information than many citizens. He views all events through the prism of whether they make him look strong and famous, and thus he is laughably susceptible to flattering treatment from the likes of Putin and Xi Jinping abroad or courtiers at home.

    And, as Wolff emphasizes, everyone around him considers him unfit for the duties of this office.

    That fact that we elected this guy is bad enough. What is unforgivable is the complicity of those who are aware of how unqualified and incapable this person is, and are doing nothing about it.

    The failure of responsibility starts with Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, but it doesn’t end with them. Every member of a bloc-voting majority shares responsibility for not acting on their version of the open secret. “Independent” Republicans like Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski share it. “Thoughtful” ones, like Ben Sasse and Jeff Flake. Those (in addition to Flake) who have nothing to lose electorally, from Bob Corker to Orrin Hatch. When they vote as a majority against strong investigations, against subpoenas, against requirements for financial disclosure, and most of all against protecting Robert Mueller and his investigation, they share complicity in the open secret.

  2. Keith says:

    You must have taken my advice a watched CNN!!!!

  3. Keith says:

    So, next flip to FOX and write the opposite story.
    I watch this one night a week.

  4. Jeff Beamsley says:

    You must have taken my advice a watched CNN!!!!

    Nope. Just read and occasionally listen to NPR. I did watch Vice News the other day. They cover lots of international news that just doesn’t get covered anyplace else, except maybe the Monitor.

  5. Jeff Beamsley says:

    So, next flip to FOX and write the opposite story.
    I watch this one night a week.

    Nope. Don’t believe in broadcast news in general and very much don’t believe in Fox. Fox IS NOT the other side of the story. It is right wing propaganda designed to appeal to a particular audience who has a particular view of the world. I’m not that audience, so I’m not interested and refuse to let it upset me.

  6. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, you were pushing the Hillary is ill narrative during the campaign. Turns out that she did have pneumonia, but doesn’t appear be be afflicted with the physical or cognitive impairments that folks like FOX were speculating about.

    Circumstances are now flipped. It is almost a year since Trump held a public press conference where he took questions.

    The last interview that he gave to the NYT (supposedly unauthorized by his staff), the Wolff book, and the slurred speech raise real questions about his mental and physical health. The fact that Sanders could only produce a video of Trump in the last press briefing rather than the man himself only made the situation worse.

    Even a short press conference where he is able to answer unscripted questions would go a long way to rebut this question of fitness for office. Why isn’t he holding one?

    Trump was also the one who ginned up a conspiracy theory regarding Obama’s birth that eventually forced Obama to release his “long form” birth certificate.

    How is this different?

    From GQ Magazine

    When a mountain of evidence exists that the most powerful person in the world might be, at the very least, impaired in some manner or another, I want to know more about it. If the White House really finds frank discussions of the president’s fitness for office to be as outrageous and offensive as it claims, there is a very easy way it could put those questions to rest. But when Trump’s public appearances these days consist of Sarah Huckabee Sanders broadcasting clips from the podium and then angrily insisting that there is nothing to worry about, it’s okay for us to keep asking.

  7. Keith says:

    I didn’t “push Hillarys health.” I merely wondered with everyone else. By quoting from the new book you are going much farther, from why you posted last night, then I or anyone else did when video has published of Hillary unable to walk or get in a car.

    Also my point above was lost on you. How you defined Fox, in response to me, is EXACTLY what CNN is. I watch one for a bit, flip the channel and hear exactly the opposite.

    GDP above 3%
    Tax cuts
    Loosening or regs
    ACA mandate removed
    I’ll take it.

    Never forget, Trump won because it was Hillary.

  8. Keith says:

    Trump did ten mins the other day if I’m not mistaken.

    Can I help you a bit. Trumps isnt and never will be “a normal President.” He will say what he wants, when he wants, how he wants. He’s done this his whole life. I wish he would twitter fight like he does. I think it’s silly. Does he like to bully? Yes, he has his whole life. I previously told you a friend of mind had a business involvement with him. But he’s now our bully!!!

    He manages by chaos. Like it or not that’s how it is. No one knows what he thinks. I read a pice somewhere, maybe the post, that is you look at what he has done you’re ok with him even if you disagree. If you listen to what he says or tweets then you’re scared to death. I’d suggest you take that advice
    Don’t review his mental health because of it. If you do then review President Obamas for the number of times he used the word “I.”

  9. Keith says:

    And if we didn’t elect trump then he’s the persons and friends memory we would be discussing.

    https://youtu.be/mPi6Wa5R5lg

    And I don’t remember how many times she said “I don’t recall.” And to refresh both of our memories she was in her mid 40’s at the time.

  10. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I didn’t “push Hillarys health.” I merely wondered with everyone else.

    Same thing going on now. Whether or not that is a fair claim based on the videos that you saw (edited) or the videos (unedited) that I saw of speech slurring doesn’t matter. There is a question about his health that he is not answering.

    If you saw him doing a 10 minute interview with someone, please post a link to it. The last interview that I’m familiar with was published in the NYT and was a train wreck.

    Also my point above was lost on you. How you defined Fox, in response to me, is EXACTLY what CNN is. I watch one for a bit, flip the channel and hear exactly the opposite.

    Not surprised. They are both corrupt.

    I really don’t care about your viewing schedule. I don’t watch any of the broadcast news channels (with the exceptions that I have already mentioned). I get my news from the NYT, WashPost, the Monitor, and NPR radio.

    GDP above 3%
    Tax cuts
    Loosening or regs
    ACA mandate removed
    I’ll take it.

    Most economists and most people polled credit Obama for the current economic growth. But in truth it was the Fed under Bernake and Yellen that did the most to create the healthy economy that we have today.

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/its-neither-obamas-nor-trumps-economy-2017-12-11

    You’ve never answered my question about why we had to cut corporate taxes to 21% when we could have done at 24% revenue neutral cut AND you haven’t yet figured out that us tax payers are going to be footing the bill for that cut.

    Loosening or regs – the last time we had a big loosening of financial regs the housing market blew up. Assuming nothing blows up before a Democrat regains the White House, all those regs are likely to go right back in.

    You don’t read very carefully. The individual mandate repeal doesn’t take hold until 2019. I predict that MUCH will occur between now and then to reverse that action.

    Never forget, Trump won because it was Hillary.

    I have long since accepted the Hillary lost. When are you going to accept that Trump won and now has to deliver on all of the promises he made? His dismal approval ratings, chaos in the White House, multiple threats of nuclear conflict, and multiple scandals here at home at least demonstrated that Hillary’s predictions of what would happen if Trump won were pretty accurate.

  11. Jeff Beamsley says:

    And if we didn’t elect trump then he’s the persons and friends memory we would be discussing.

    https://youtu.be/mPi6Wa5R5lg

    And I don’t remember how many times she said “I don’t recall.” And to refresh both of our memories she was in her mid 40’s at the time.

    Whatever the Clintons did or didn’t do has nothing to do with Trump.

    Both Clintons have been WIDELY and FREQUENTLY investigated. The ONLY crime, so far, that Bill has been indicted on was lying to a Grand Jury about a consensual affair he had with an intern. The Senate determined that this particular crime did not meet the standard for impeachment.

    They are now both private citizens. Neither will ever run for public office again. Get over it.

    The question at hand is whether or not Trump is suffering an illness or suffered an injury that is affecting his ability to perform the duties of his office.

    The second question is whether or not the Mueller investigation will turn up sufficient evidence to make a case for Trump’s impeachment.

    Unlike you, I’m willing to accept whatever the conclusion of the Mueller investigation is.

    My prediction is that a sitting President with first term approval ratings in the 30’s and heading into a mid term election where he might lose control of both the House and Senate, is at risk of being impeached. That’s because impeachment is a political decision, not a legal one. It is unlikely that Democrats will have the 67 senate votes necessary to convict. But a Democratic House majority could easily pass a bill of impeachment based on the Mueller’s findings. So any conviction would require a significant number of Republicans votes. What would Trump have to do to cause 15 or so Republicans to vote against him?

    What if he fired Mueller? Would that do it?
    What if Mueller’s report suggests that Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator with those that he is charging with obstruction of justice and his list included Sessions, DTjr., Kushner, and a bunch of lower level administration officials? Would that do it?
    What if the economy tanked? Would that do it?

    It is fun to speculate, but the reality is that Trump is in a trap. His base isn’t large enough to get him out of the job approval hole that he is in, he has alienated pretty much everyone else, and those that he hasn’t alienated are concerned that his mental capacity may be declining.

    If he loses the midterm election as predicted, he will no longer be invincible and it is unclear how he will deal with that. My prediction is that he is incapable of changing his approach, so he will just keep digging that hole deeper.

  12. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, Reports out today that Trump lawyers are going to lobby Mueller that he allow Trump to respond to his questions in print rather than in person.

    You would think that a guy who prides himself in his skill as a performer would WANT to testify in person.

    Maybe it is just a coincidence.

    Maybe it is because they are concerned that the tape of Trump’s testimony may prove just as damaging politically as the answers that he provides.

  13. Keith says:

    Forget the economists….. all of a sudden, the second Trump won, things changed. Why?

    21% who knows the right number. It’s not 35%
    Tax cuts good!!!

    The market has created trillions in wealth since the second Trump won. They can evaporate in a second but none the less this did occur. So tax. It’s and loosening regs WILL have created growth, trillion in wealth already, and GDP, up from President Obamas confessed “new normal 1.5% – 2% or whatever it was. It’s no longer that. For how long? Who knows. That will be the test.

    We both can pull numbers to make our point. President Obama took over an economy and a stock market at the very bottom. We both agree GDP was substandard. The market went up. I tripled my wealth since The bottom. Why?
    Low interest rates – no where else to put our money
    Share but back – Company earnings with nothing to speak it on.
    Low rates – company borrowing went down this more earnings.
    Our economy was better/safer then the rest.
    Etc etc etc. – add your own.

    Trump now has the batton, think continuum, and is doing things that are business friendly. Guess what THE MARKET LIKES IT!!! And so far so does GDP.

    Mental health. We’ll see.

    Middle East. I love every word that’s come from Nikki Haley’s mouth at the UN in the last several months.

    I only brought up Hillary because you had no problem with her memory or health concerns. There was more evidence about her capacity then there is Trumps.

    Since you don’t watch mainstream media at all, I do some, you can not comment as to weather its biased. NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and MSNBC one one side, FOX on the other. Also the narrative in your sources of information are just as bad. I see the writes in the above mentioned mainstream and they are mostly very progressive. Of course Trump is abnormal.

    I am interest in your level of support for Opra if she is the Dem nominee…. I remember the modes was all over Trump for saying the day he announced Opra would be a good running mate. That was PROOF Trump was off his rocker. Now that same media is applauding her. Lol.

  14. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I did find an NPR tape of the unplanned press conference at Camp David.

    Trump looked fine. He did have a stumble on his claim that he went to the best colleges, when in fact he only attended one college, but he corrected himself. He continued his normal pattern of misrepresentation and lies, but he looked fine.

    Here are couple of examples.

    TRUMP: “I guess the collusion now is dead because everyone found that, after a year of study, there’s been absolutely no collusion. There has been no collusion between us and the Russians.” — to reporters at Camp David

    Facts: There is no credible source supporting the his claim that collusion has been ruled or that collusion is the only charge that Mueller is looking at.

    TRUMP: Claimed that Wolff doesn’t know him and never interviewed him. Then later said that he did do an interview with Wolff for an article “a while ago”.

    Facts: Wolff says that he DID talk with Trump and has the notes and tapes to prove it. He admits that Trump may not have recognized it as an interview, but the conversations were not off the record.

    TRUMP: my poll numbers “have gone way up”

    Facts: Trump’s approval ratings have recovered slightly from 35% to 39% according to Gallup. At this same point in his presidency Obama’s rating was 51%, Bush II was 84%.

    TRUMP: “In some form, Mexico will pay for the wall,”

    Facts: Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has consistently said Mexico has no plans to pay for the wall. Many economists have pointed out that if Trump attempts to fund the wall through a border tax on goods cross the Mexican border, US consumers not the Mexican government will pay that cost.

  15. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Forget the economists….. all of a sudden, the second Trump won, things changed. Why?

    What makes you an expert? Things did NOT change “all of a sudden”. I already posted data that proved that the stock market slowed down after Trump took office compared to the last six months that Obama was in office. The only thing that changed was the right wing media coverage of the economy and the stock market.

    21% who knows the right number. It’s not 35%
    Tax cuts good!!!

    It never WAS 35%. Tax cuts when the economy doesn’t need a stimulus are NOT good. Tax cuts that are funded by tax increases on the middle class and the poor are not good.

    The market has created trillions in wealth since the second Trump won.

    So what? The market created even more value for investors during Obama’s watch. So what?

    80% of the wealth created in the stock market benefits the wealthy. We are investing $1.4T in debt to drive more wealth into the hands of the wealthy for little gain in economic grown .8%. Not a good bargain.

    I only brought up Hillary because you had no problem with her memory or health concerns. There was more evidence about her capacity then there is Trumps.

    I had a problem with the doctored videos that were supposedly evidence. Clinton (unlike Trump) admitted that she had pneumonia. She also sat in front of a Senate Benghazi committee for 11 hours and beat them all to a pulp.

    Since you don’t watch mainstream media at all, I do some, you can not comment as to weather its biased. NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and MSNBC one one side, FOX on the other. Also the narrative in your sources of information are just as bad. I see the writes in the above mentioned mainstream and they are mostly very progressive. Of course Trump is abnormal.

    As I’ve said before, please provide proof of your claims in print media. Until we look at something that you say supports your claim, it is simply your bias.

    I am interest in your level of support for Opra if she is the Dem nominee…. I remember the modes was all over Trump for saying the day he announced Opra would be a good running mate. That was PROOF Trump was off his rocker. Now that same media is applauding her. Lol.

    I didn’t see it, but I understand that she gave a good speech. I don’t know if she is interested in a career in politics. If so, I would suggest she run for a state or congressional office first, as Obama did. She needs to gain some experience in how government works before taking on the presidency.

  16. Keith says:

    Trump is a salesmen. He speaks like one. He’s no different then many that I deal with more to the point, what I can sound like rallying the troops. Don’t look for anything in his speech. Remember liberals take him literally, conservatives do not. So what you wrote above about what ever college he went to all that should be taken from that is “he thinks he went to a great school.” Everything else is selling. Again this is not the norm for a President but it is what it is. To make a big deal out of it is merely wasting everyone’s time.

  17. Keith says:

    What pill is Trump referring to that have gone way up? Approval? Approved of likely voters, etc. see how you fill in blanks for him? 10-12% is that way up? Who knows and WHO CARES? Only a media who knows they can risky misreprenect, factually, by not understanding just what he’s saying. See SALESMAN!!!!

  18. Keith says:

    I wonder what form the boarder wall will be funded. You are guessing. No facts there. Who knows. (He is also negotiating at all times. Who knows what form the “they paid for it” will take!! Lighten up.

  19. Keith says:

    To the stock market. You are creating your own narrative. I said from the moment Trump won, not from the day he took office. It happened immediately!

  20. Keith says:

    I can guess as well as any economist. Paul Krugmen said we’d be in recession, or would it be depressing by April or May. He has since offered his reasons why that didn’t happen. Never forget, they’re Guessing!!!

  21. Keith says:

    Print media. Try this name one, your print media, how many republican Presidental candidates have been endorsed by any of them? Has it ever happened? Relevant?

  22. Keith says:

    http://www.macrotrends.net/1358/dow-jones-industrial-average-last-10-years

    For the previous 2 years the market was flat. Zero in closely on the day Trump won. Look!!!! Something happened they day!!!

  23. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Trump is a salesmen. He speaks like one. He’s no different then many that I deal with more to the point, what I can sound like rallying the troops. Don’t look for anything in his speech. Remember liberals take him literally, conservatives do not. So what you wrote above about what ever college he went to all that should be taken from that is “he thinks he went to a great school.” Everything else is selling. Again this is not the norm for a President but it is what it is. To make a big deal out of it is merely wasting everyone’s time.

    That has been your excuse, but a lie remains a lie regardless of who says it.

    Was he being a salesman when he said that no one in his campaign had any contact with any Russians?

    Was he being a salesman when he said that he fired Comey because of the way that he handled the Clinton email scandal?

    Was he being a salesman when he denied having anything to do with crafting the misleading message that DTjr. delivered to the press after the Russian meeting story broke?

    You can make whatever excuse you want for him, but when his administration comes crashing to the ground, it won’t be because he was acting like a “salesman”.

  24. Jeff Beamsley says:

    What pill is Trump referring to that have gone way up? Approval? Approved of likely voters, etc. see how you fill in blanks for him? 10-12% is that way up? Who knows and WHO CARES? Only a media who knows they can risky misreprenect, factually, by not understanding just what he’s saying. See SALESMAN!!!!

    I tell you what. I will continue to call him a liar when he lies. If it makes you feel better to call him a salesman, feel free.

    BTW, if you are dealing with salespeople who lie, you are dealing with bad salespeople. That’s not the way business is done anymore – at least not in the industries where I’ve spent my career.

  25. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I wonder what form the boarder wall will be funded. You are guessing. No facts there. Who knows. (He is also negotiating at all times. Who knows what form the “they paid for it” will take!! Lighten up.

    We know how much it will cost. Right now the minimum number is $18B. We also know that Trump is trying to get the Democrats to trade DACA for support of an $18B spending bill for the wall that is going to be financed by debt. That means we are paying for it, not Mexico.

    Sorry not going to lighten up when he keeps lying to the American people. BTW, regarding lighten up, aren’t you the guy who refused to let go of Obama’s big lie for years?

  26. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I can guess as well as any economist. Paul Krugmen said we’d be in recession, or would it be depressing by April or May. He has since offered his reasons why that didn’t happen. Never forget, they’re Guessing!!!

    Geez, this must be contagious. I’ll bet you are a stable genius too.

    Please post something to support your claim that you can guess as well as any economist. Any idiot can make money in bull market. Congratulations.

  27. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Print media. Try this name one, your print media, how many republican Presidental candidates have been endorsed by any of them? Has it ever happened? Relevant?

    This is really your only example of bias?

    Bias is when a wealthy Trump supporter and Fox News invent a story to connect the death of a Democratic staffer to Hillary Clinton in order to deflect attention from breaking news on Russian connections to the Trump campaign. Fox News pulled the story only to have Hannity, a paid consultant for the Trump campaign, revive it.

    https://www.npr.org/2017/08/01/540783715/lawsuit-alleges-fox-news-and-trump-supporter-created-fake-news-story

    Newspaper earn the right to have an opinion by keeping their opinions out of the news and appropriately labeling all opinion pieces. Political endorsements are published on the editorial page.

    It is shocking how many times I need to repeat this and how many times you simple refuse to accept that this is how good newspapers are SUPPOSED to work.

  28. Jeff Beamsley says:

    http://www.macrotrends.net/1358/dow-jones-industrial-average-last-10-years

    For the previous 2 years the market was flat. Zero in closely on the day Trump won. Look!!!! Something happened they day!!!

    You bias is staggering. Look at your own chart. If you are any kind of student of the stock market, you will recognize beautiful examples of “w” (double bottom) patterns. A “w” pattern signals EVERYONE THAT KNOWS ANYTHING about investing that the market has successfully tested a low and is now prepared to start a new upward swing. The first important one for this discussion was November, 2011 when the market was testing 12000 as a high and 11000 as a low. It broke through the 12,000 upper limit and headed up to 18,000. Obama was in office. That was a 50% gain in market valuation. Then the market fell back to 16,000 and testing the 18,000 limit. It broke out of that pattern on July 8, 2016. At that point in time EVERYONE figured that Hillary was going to win. It has now gone from 18,000 to 24,824 on your chart. That is a 37.9% gain in market valuation. Unless something else gets in the way, it is likely to head up to something like 27,000 before investors will start taking out some profits and testing how much more is left in this market. If it does get past the 27,000 point, only then will that rally have delivered MORE value to shareholders than the previous rally.

    Trump can certainly take some credit for the last two quarters of solid growth and the short term stimulus that his tax bill has given the market. There almost certainly will be another massive wave of corporate buy-backs to prop up the market and deliver new bonuses to execs. But those buy-backs are essentially stealing from the future. If productivity gains don’t catch up with prices that have been inflated with buy-backs, the market will eventually punish those companies (looking at you GE) who failed to perform.

    As much as you would love to give him credit, Trump can’t take credit for stock rallies that started before he was in office. He is due some credit for the rally continuing, but until the rally exceeds that scope of the previous 50% gain, it won’t be regarded as extraordinary.

    I’m less concerned about the market getting to 27,000 as I am with how Trump will deal with the recession that will likely show up around 2020 (assuming he is still around to deal with it). Hopefully we’ll get a Democrat back into office by then and we can clean up some of the damage (again) that this round of deregulation is likely to cause.

    The last recession PROVED that financial markets can’t regulate themselves. Yet we seem to somehow have forgotten that lesson and are merrily taking away the consumer and market protections put in place to discourage predatory speculation, high risk investment, and market rigging. Please tell me again why removing these regulations is a good idea.

  29. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, if China decides to slow it’s bond purchasing, or even worse, start to sell some of its bonds that will likely cause a correction in the stock market.

    Is that Trump’s fault?

    Here’s what Bloomberg said regarding China’s reasons.

    The market for U.S. government bonds is becoming less attractive relative to other assets, and trade tensions with the U.S. may provide a reason to slow or stop buying American debt, the thinking of these officials goes, according to the people, who asked not to be named as they aren’t allowed to discuss the matter publicly.

    Any reduction in Chinese purchases would come just as the U.S. prepares to boost its supply of debt. The Treasury Department said in its most recent quarterly refunding announcement in November that borrowing needs will increase as the Federal Reserve reduces its balance sheet and as fiscal deficits look set to widen.

    So at least China appears to be concerned that the US just passed a bill to add $1.4T to our debt. This threat also gives them leverage in any future trade discussions. Trump says that he has a great relationship with China. If that’s true, why are they threatening to dump our bonds?

  30. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW BTW, Here’s a link here to a CNN article on the televised immigration meeting at the White House. I’m referencing this article for two reasons.

    1. I believe it is a good example of a news article that accurately describes the events without any particular political spin. IMHO it plays it right down the middle with reference to both Republican and Democratic reaction to the meeting.

    2. The big news, which was right at the top of this article, is that Trump appeared fine from a physical and cognitive perspective. He didn’t slur any words. He seemed to follow the debate. His attention or energy didn’t seem to falter during the hour that was televised.

    That said, he also clearly has no particular position on this debate which left Republicans in a quandary. They need cover from him if they are going to take a hard vote on immigration, but he was unwilling provide them any cover beyond simply saying that he would sign whatever they send to him. The article covered all of this too.

    My question is, if CNN is as biased as you claim they are, how were they able to produce an article that seemed to chart a path between the coverage coming from Fox and the coverage coming from MSNBC?

  31. Keith says:

    So Trump said today when asked by a reporter about his physical tomorrow. I think it will go well. If not the stock market won’t like it. Is it humorous or is it a sign of his huge ego and a lie?

  32. Jeff Beamsley says:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/economists-credit-trump-as-tailwind-for-u-s-growth-hiring-and-stocks-1515682893 What did you say about economist?

    article is behind a paywall, so I can’t read it.

    There was a video right below the article that sought to answer the same question.

    In summary, the economy is good. Job growth about the same as last year.

    The reasons he listed for Trump not getting credit for the economy are:

    1. The chaos in the White House distracts from the otherwise good economic news.

    2. Not much wage growth. Voters don’t feel like the economic growth is benefiting them.

    3. The American people are in a wait and see mode before they decide that Trump is having a positive effect on the economy.

    I was able to get to the article through google.

    I thought it generally well balanced. Here was the core quote.

    Still, it is early yet to evaluate Mr. Trump’s performance. He inherited an economy that had already experienced years of falling unemployment and durable if slow growth.

    “We have to be cautious about giving Trump too much credit for the economy’s strength,” said Bernard Baumohl of the Economic Outlook Group. “Job creation and business capital spending were on the rise prior to his presidency. The jury is still out how much more his actions moved the economy forward.”

    I agree. It is interesting that economists are in a wait and see mode just like voters.

    BTW, I thought that this quote was spot on too.

    Roughly three in four economists surveyed by the Journal said shareholders, not employees, would see the larger benefit from the corporate-tax cut. “We’ll still see much of the earnings go to stock buybacks, raise dividends or help finance” mergers and acquisitions, Mr. Baumohl said.

    So going forward, even though the forecast for the next two years looks good, what is going to happen to cause the American people to change their opinions?

    1. Will chaos in the White House stop? According to you this is part of Trump’s genius, so let’s agree that the chaos will continue.

    2. Will wage growth improve dramatically? Maybe, but if corporations are only using their money to prop up their stock price rather than expand capacity, maybe not.

    So my guess is that a tax bill that mainly benefits the rich and corporations will end up being a non-starter for the working man and their opinion of Trump as having their economic interests at heart won’t change.

  33. Jeff Beamsley says:

    So Trump said today when asked by a reporter about his physical tomorrow. I think it will go well. If not the stock market won’t like it. Is it humorous or is it a sign of his huge ego and a lie?

    I’ll see if I can find an audio clip to determine the tone. Could have been a joke. Could have been serious.

    Do you think calling African countries s***holes was a joke?

  34. Keith says:

    I don’t think it was a joke. I understand him however and I know what it means to him. (I think) he should have never said that. It’s terrible.

  35. Keith says:

    The video doesn’t match the article

  36. Keith says:

    I tried to copy and paste. This is all that came over.

    Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal say President Donald Trump has had generally positive effects on U.S. economic growth, hiring and the performance of the stock market during his first year in office.

    The professional forecasters also predicted 2018 would see solid growth and a continued decline in the jobless rate. One factor: the tax cuts signed into law by Mr. Trump in December, which most economists say will boost the economy for several years at least.

    MORE FROM THE SURVEY

    Most Economists Expect Next Fed Rate Rise in March
    Economists Think the U.S. Economy Is At or Near Full Employment
    More broadly, most forecasters surveyed by the Journal suggested Mr. Trump’s election deserves at least some credit for the economy’s recent strength.

    Asked to rate Mr. Trump’s policies and actions to date, a majority of economists said he had been somewhat or strongly positive for job creation, gross domestic product growth and the stock market. Most also said he had been either neutral or positive for the country’s long-term growth trajectory, while his influence on financial stability was seen as largely neutral.

    “There is definitely a sense in the business community that the president’s actions on taxes and regulations have led to a more pro-growth environment for them to operate,” said Chad Moutray, chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers.

    Still, it is early yet to evaluate Mr. Trump’s performance. He inherited an economy that had already experienced years of falling unemployment and durable if slow growth.

    Does Trump Deserve Credit for Strong Economic Numbers?
    With the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaking through the 25000 level and solid employment growth continuing, WSJ’s Gerald Seib explains how much credit President Trump should get for the strong economic showing. Photo: Getty
    “We have to be cautious about giving Trump too much credit for the economy’s strength,” said Bernard Baumohl of the Economic Outlook Group. “Job creation and business capital spending were on the rise prior to his presidency. The jury is still out how much more his actions moved the economy forward.”

    A year ago, President Barack Obama got mixed grades as he prepared to leave office after eight years. Most economists surveyed by the Journal in January 2017 saw his policies as positive for financial stability, positive or neutral for job creation, negative or neutral for GDP growth and negative for long-term potential growth.

    Explore the Full Survey

    THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    Looking forward, the economists surveyed in recent days had high hopes for 2018.

    On average, the forecasters predicted GDP would expand a healthy 2.7% this year. They saw the unemployment rate, which was 4.1% in December, falling to 3.9% by midyear and 3.8% in December. The pace of hiring was expected to slow further, with monthly nonfarm payroll gains set to average 165,000 in 2018. Monthly job gains averaged 171,000 in 2017 and 187,000 in 2016, according to the Labor Department.

    The probability of a recession in the next 12 months ticked down in January to 13%, the lowest average since September 2015. More than two-thirds of forecasters said they saw the risks to the growth outlook as tilted to the upside.

  37. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I don’t think it was a joke. I understand him however and I know what it means to him. (I think) he should have never said that. It’s terrible.

    You “understand” him?

    Then please explain what he meant by these other comments:

    From a NYT article.

    Haitians “all have AIDS”.

    If we provide visas to Nigerians, they will never “go back to their huts” in Africa.

    From his candidacy announcement speech.

    “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,”

    “They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

    Also please tell me why he particularly chose Norway as the preferred country for immigrants? Was it just a coincidence that white supremacists view Scandinavian countries as a model for racial purity?

    OR

    Is this just another example of the deliberate dog whistle politics that has been in play with Trump since he started his birther campaign?

    If he doesn’t want to be associated with neo-Nazi’s and white supremacists, stop talking like them.

  38. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Thanks for the post. I was able to get to the article through google and included some quotes from the article in my post. As far as the video is concerned, please share with me what you felt was different between the WSJ video and the WSJ article that both talked about whether Trump should get credit for the economic good news of the past year.

  39. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I understand him however and I know what it means to him.

    Since you understand him, please tell me what he meant by his tweet today where he denied saying bad things about Haitians but said nothing about his s***hole country comment.

    Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said “take them out.” Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!

    There were a lot of people at this meeting. Both Democrats and Republicans. NO ONE who was at the meeting that I’ve been able to find has come out to support the President’s version of what he said.

    A LOT of people have said it was entirely inappropriate for any elected official, much less the President to say what he did.

    What do you say about this denial?

    Salesman talk?
    Negotiations?
    How about just plain bald faced lying?

    I pick #3.

    BTW, regarding trust, it is something that you earn through your actions. Try telling the truth and taking responsibility for your own actions. Try acting like a President rather than a monarch. Then perhaps you will start earning the trust that the office deserves.

  40. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, here another that I would like you to interpret for me.

    Trump tweets

    “Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for “peanuts,” only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!”

    Here are the facts:

    1. Bush II was the one who decided to move the embassy.
    2. The Bush administration made the decision for security reasons. The cost to fortify the old building was higher than the costs to just build a new one.
    3. The US didn’t own the land on which the old building was built, just the building. It does own the land on the new site.
    4. Republicans criticized the cost to build the new embassy, but the cost was completely funded by State Department selling other holdings in England which were facilitated by consolidating all activities in the new building.
    5. Trump on the other hand has strained our relationships with both the prime minister (tweeting a fake Muslim video) and the mayor of London (twitter battle). As a result, the Parliament declined to invite him to speak. It was likely that his visit would have been met with protests as well as a cold shoulder from the government.

    So why did he lie regarding the decision to move the embassy?

    Salesman talk?
    Negotiations?
    Ignorance?
    Just another bald faced lie?

    If he canceled his trip because of being misinformed regarding the new embassy, why wouldn’t he just say so now that the press has set him straight and head back out there?

    If he is negotiating/selling, what is it that he wants Britain to do?

    IMHO, he’s just lying again.

    Rather than take the heat for his reckless statements, he is blaming the whole thing on Obama because he figures that will at least play well with his base.

    The cost is further deterioration in our relationship with Britain.

    If I’ve missed something in how this benefits our country, please tell me.

    Otherwise this is just another example of the dead bodies that are piling up in the wake of this President. Each of these incidents have a cost. It may not be clear what that cost is today, but they will all cost something and it isn’t clear what we are getting in return. A short term run up for the stock market and conservative judges don’t seem to me to offset isolating ourselves from the rest of the world’s democracies.

  41. Keith says:

    Broadly Jeff, you call “lying” sometimes for someone who just doesn’t know or is simply wrong.

    President Trump manages, and I would presumes lives, by chaos. I will not apologize for his colorful language nor will I defend him. He is who he is and no one should be surprised. By the way I’m wondering if the meaning of his commments are any different at all from what Ted Kennedy said in 1965 as he defend the impending immigration bill before him?

    I also believe he mentioned Norway because he had just met with the ambassador or president just prior.

    I also don’t understand why this is about race other then every word a republican speaks is subject to be called racist.

    Gotta go….. hopefully I’ll get to the rest and some I’ve haven’t responded to days ago this weekend.

  42. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Broadly Jeff, you call “lying” sometimes for someone who just doesn’t know or is simply wrong.

    Ignorance can be an excuse only if the person, when they discover that they misspoke, takes responsibility for that error and corrects themselves. If the person persists in stating things aren’t true even after that has been pointed out by the press, for example, then they are lying.

    Just to push that a little further, if someone in a position of responsibility, like the President, is supposed to be a source of truth for the country; which has been the case in the past – then it is also the responsibility of that person to educate themselves on the topics that they choose to talk about. That’s what all of these briefings are supposed to do. From all accounts that I have read, Trump doesn’t do this. As a result, he is willfully ignorant, which is even worse than being accidentally ignorant.

    By the way I’m wondering if the meaning of his commments are any different at all from what Ted Kennedy said in 1965 as he defend the impending immigration bill before him?

    Was Ted Kennedy EVER President?

    If not, then it is not a fair comparison.

    We have a long history of racism in this country. Democrats used to be the party that sheltered southern racists. The Democrats finally split from their southern racists in the 60’s when Johnson picked up the banner of civil rights. Nixon and the Republicans welcomed racists into their party in the late 60’s and they have remained there ever since.

    Trump speaks the language of racism and white separatism. If he is not sympathetic to that cause, he should stop talking as though he was. But whether he is a racist himself is of no consequence. What is important is if his apparent racism influences his policies.

    In the case of this immigration debate, that is absolutely the case. There is no problem setting up a merit system where people have to demonstrate that they have skills, knowledge, or other attributes that are in demand in our country, that’s what Canada does. Canada also has a preference for young people. On the surface that might seem discriminatory, but Canada has national healthcare and a robust retirement program. Retirees who want to immigrate to Canada have to prove that they have sufficient resources to take care of themselves. But Canada will take anyone who passes their merit test and the requirements are available for anyone to review.

    When Trump says that he wants to bias the program to exclude anyone who might want to immigrate here from poor black countries, that’s where racism crosses the line into actions that are unconstitutional. Doesn’t matter whether that policy sprung out of ignorance of malice aforethought, it is illegal.

  43. Keith says:

    Hi Jeff, Here’s what Ted Kennedy said in 1965 while arguing for the immigration and nationality act. Other then the choice of words what is in your opinion different about what he said and what Trump said?

    “First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same…

    Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset… Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia…

    In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think… The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.”

  44. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Hi Jeff, Here’s what Ted Kennedy said in 1965 while arguing for the immigration and nationality act. Other then the choice of words what is in your opinion different about what he said and what Trump said?

    Trump said African and Haitian people live in s***hole countries. We should keep them out of this country and figure out how to get those that are already hear out. White countries like Norway, on the other hand, are lovely – so we should try to encourage more of those people to immigrate.

  45. Keith says:

    Here is what reported was said. Since it’s not recorded there is paraphrasing possible.

    From CNN –
    The President was griping to members of Congress who were in his office to discuss a possible bipartisan immigration compromise. According to sources, he was referring to immigrants from Haiti and Africa. And just in case it escaped anyone what Haiti and Africa have in common, Trump reportedly suggested that America should bring more immigrants from countries like Norway — one of the world’s whitest, blondest, richest nations.

    Who did you suggest he said white? I am interest if he said that or that’s the included discription required in all liberal commentary of conservatives?
    So why are you repeating it as though he said that?

    In my opinion Ted Kennedys comment are absolutely racist and he WAS referring directly to color. Trump only mentioned impoverished countries. If he susitutes “S****ole countries for 3rd world would that have been better. There is NO WAY to clean up Teds. Trumps is racist because liberals made it racist. Period.

    Bush was a racist
    Romney was a racist
    The next republic will be a racist, even if they are a person of color.

  46. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Who did you suggest he said white? I am interest if he said that or that’s the included discription required in all liberal commentary of conservatives?
    So why are you repeating it as though he said that?

    I suggest that you stop digging.

    You asked me what was different between what Trump said and Kennedy said.

    Trump said s***hole. That’s the difference. Not only did he use that term multiple times to reference Africa, he then used Norway as a specific country that whose immigrants he PREFERRED to immigrants from Africa or Haiti. This was not an accident any more than any of the previous racist comments that I posted were accidents.

    Richard Spencer said on Fox News, “It’s obviously all about race, and to their credit, liberals point out the obvious”

    David Duke tweeted, the president “spoke Blunt, hard truth that makes PERFECT TRUTH! So, Mr. Prez -ACT ON IT – DON’T CAVE IN!”

    The Daily Stormer said, “This is encouraging and refreshing, as it indicates Trump is more or less on the same page as us with regards to race and immigration,”

    If Trump dislikes being called a racist, stop talking like one. Admitted racists like what they hear. Liberals haven’t forced him to say the things he says. He does it all by himself.

    The problem is that it isn’t just this. He has a long history stretching back to his days of refusing to rent to “welfare recipients”. Then he waded into the Central Park rape in 1989 of a white jogger by some black and latino kids. He wanted the death penalty for them and refused to accept the fact that they were cleared of all charges when another man confessed after there was a DNA match. Then he carried the birther torch for eight years, only abandoning it during his own campaign. He described illegal Mexican immigrants as rapists, promised to ban all Muslims, and took a long time reject David Duke’s support. He suggested a judge of Mexican heritage would be biased against him. He claimed at least some of the White Supremacists rallying in Virginia were “good people”. He called African American NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem SOB’s. He started a fight with the father of an African American basketball player who wasn’t sufficiently grateful for getting out of some trouble in China. He complained that all Haitians “have AIDS” and Nigerians with VISA’s to visit would never want to return to “their huts” in Africa.

    The best way to stop being accused of racism is to stop talking like a racist, stop acting like a racist, and start treating racism and those that practice it with revulsion.

    A side note to conservatives in the Republican Party, Obama is no longer president. The race baiting that you could get away with under the guise of political opposition is no longer acceptable. 8% of African Americans voted for Trump. His approval ratings among African Americans is down to 5%. In Alabama, African American turnout made the difference in Jones victory over Moore. Moore received only 4% of the African American vote. That vote was 29% of the total vote even though African Americans are only 27% of the population. There is every indication that African Americans and suburban women are going to keep voting in huge numbers to reject Trump and his agenda.

    The bottom line is if Trump didn’t mean what he said, why didn’t he simply clear up the misunderstanding?

    Not gonna happen because what he said is EXACTLY what he meant. And he figures it is EXACTLY what his base wants to hear.

  47. Keith says:

    Respectfully my good friend this goes down as one of your worst responses ever. You picked only things he said about minorities. And they are not racists unless you believe them to be. The dog whistle is the one YOU hear not the one that’s being blown. What did he say about all other republican candidates during the primary. is he a racist for say Bush lacked energy, for saying “little Marco, for calling out “lying Ted,” he basically called Carly and ugly women, etc etc etc. Jeff why is he racist for insulting minorities when he insults EVERYONE!!! Again, I do not approve of many of Trumps antics. I find them pathetic. Morally bankrupt in some cases. I do like the fact he is blunt. I also support many of his positions.

    You’re being very disingenuous for not calling Ted Kennedys comments racist. There was NOTHING hidden in his comments.

  48. Keith says:

    And where did the word “White” come from in your comments and those from CNN? I’m not digging you put it out there. It appears to be add by you all for effect. If I’m correct about that then what’s the reason why? Why is it necessary to add the Norway, “white people” from there?

  49. Keith says:

    Pelosi slams ‘five white guys’ negotiating immigration deal – CNN
    https://apple.news/A7OTrJ93FT5qzpvPiSQuXPw

    Is this racist?

Leave a Reply