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Tuesday, May 10, 2016


The Real Reason The GOP Establishment Loathes Donald Trump

It’s the economy, stupid.

 05/10/2016 05:03 am ET | Updated 3 hours ago
  • Zach CarterSenior Political Economy Reporter, The Huffington Post


“He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)told CNN in December. “He doesn’t represent my party.” Mitt Romney and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have issued similar critiques using slightly more circumspect language.
The truth, of course, is that Republicans have been perfectly comfortable pandering to bigotry for decades. Romney touted Trump’s endorsement during the 2012 campaign, when Trump was the highest-profile birther in the world. Romney’s immigration plan was called “self-deportation” — an effort to make life so miserable for undocumented immigrants that they would choose to leave the country. As a matter of policy, it may be even nastier than Trump’s call for mass deportations. Ryan has a history of blaming poverty on the laziness of people who live in — ahem — “inner cities.” Using identification requirements to prevent poor people and minorities from voting is a core GOP policy.
So maybe bigotry isn’t the thing. Maybe the Republican establishment is really mad about something else.
The GOP establishment doesn’t like Social Security or Medicare or the minimum wage or anything else that benefits the poor instead of the wealthy. It likes tax cuts for the rich and corporate deregulation and other policies that boost the incomes of shareholders — who are overwhelmingly well-to-do. On Monday Trump appeared on CNN and took away their best weapon in the fight to win that agenda.
“People said I want to go and buy debt and default on debt, and I mean, these people are crazy. This is the United States government,” Trump said. “First of all, you never have to default, because you print the money. I hate to tell you. So there’s never a default.”
That statement is an attack on Paul Ryan’s entire career in Congress. It’s an attack on John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the (failed) bipartisan austerity campaign launched by conservative private equity billionaire Peter J. Peterson. It says, essentially, that people shouldn’t worry so much about the national debt. And the national debt has been the primary cudgel that Republicans (and many moderate Democrats) have deployed to bully the public into accepting economic policies that help the rich and hurt everybody else.
Ryan spent years warning that the United States was heading for a “debt crisis” that would put the country in the same position as Greece. The only way to fix things, he argued, was to cut Medicare and Social Security benefits. It would be great if old people could keep getting their benefits forever — but golly, if they did, bond vigilantes and foreign powers would just take even more from vulnerable Americans. We have no choice but to stop being so generous to old people who are poor.
The Ryan/establishment position was never really about deficits or debt. At the same time he was calling to slash entitlements that help the poor and middle class, Ryan was also working (successfully) to kill a so-called “Grand Bargain” between Boehner and Obama that would have raised taxes and cut government spending. Ryan’s objection? The deal would have raised taxes on the wealthy. If what you really care about is a debt crisis, then you just want to trim the deficit. It doesn’t really matter if the deficit is reduced by slashing spending or raising taxes.
The national debt, in other words, allowed Republicans to pretend that they really, truly cared about the poor and middle classes, while pursuing policies that curbed their benefits and boosted returns for the wealthy.
And the establishment GOP fiscal story was always bunk. Greece has been forced into catastrophe, not because it had too much debt, but because it did not have control over its currency. The European Central Bank controls Greek currency — the Euro — and has used this power to dictate horrible and undemocratic Greek policies on government spending and taxation. If Greece had power over its currency, then — as Trump suggested Monday — it always could have printed money to get out of its debt jam.
Under conventional economic theories, printing money to pay off debts could spark inflation. Every new dollar you print, the argument goes, dilutes the value of existing dollars. This pays off your debt, but it also dilutes the paychecks and purchasing power of ordinary Americans.
But inflation is just one kind of economic problem, one that the Fed has always been pretty good at defeating stateside. It is not a total economic collapse and the loss of political sovereignty, which we have seen in Greece, and which Ryan and the GOP establishment have invoked as an inevitable result of rejecting conservative economic policies. And for millions of Americans, moderate inflation would be a much better result than slashing social services or entitlements, especially if the Fed could slay the inflation beast quickly.
It’s not even clear that severe inflation would, in fact, result from printing more money. The Federal Reserve has printed a lot of money since 2008, and the country hasn’t seen much inflation. As a result, an alternative theory about the real cause of inflation has dominated much of the post-crisis academic debate.
But no prominent Republican had ever questioned the GOP establishment’s economic narrative until Trump’s CNN appearance on Monday. And the GOP establishment desperately wants to maintain Ryan’s narrative. Undercutting it would demonstrate that decades of Republican messaging and policy were totally wrong. Pretty sad that it takes a callous bigot to make the party squirm about that record.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S. 
   Trump is what I call a Neo-Nat'l Socialist , not a neo-NAZI there is a big difference, NAZIS hate JEWS specifically and centrally and Trump doesn't nor has ever, in fact Trump is being backed by uber wealthy Jews like Carl Icahn and others, as well as a pretty significant following among right wing middle class and working class Jews. Why? Sadly, these groups are just as prone to Trumps message of National inclusion for certain groups, such as most of the older  White European immigrant groups like Jews, Irish, Italians , Greeks, English, Swedes, Germans, Russians etc.  His "others" are those groups that are mostly brown or black like African-Americans, Mexicans ( which includes all Latinos) and some Asians. Then there is his social message that he wants a return to, which includes some more traditional views about women and gays , but isn't radically based in right wing religious ideology like CRUZ's message was. In fact, Donald's message isn't religious at all it's Nationalist and focused on trade  and economics as the article above points to. My guess is this fall Trump is going to run to Hillary's LEFT on some of these issues since Hillary Clinton is a Neo-Liberal economically which aligns her with the Corporatist Neo-Liberal Conservatives in the GOP and she's also a Neo-Con on Foreign Policy which also aligns her with the Neo-Cons in the GOP. So it's no surprise that we see the GOP being torn asunder between these two candidates since Trump to some degree is going to run on parts of Bernie Sanders platform and couple it with the strident racism,  White Nationalism, Xenophobia and Misogyny of the Social right wing of the GOP. When he uses the term he's NOT PC that's his way of telling all these factions he's with them. It's a hellish mix that worked well for the old Nat'l Socialists and Fascists parties of the 1930's and might work again here this fall. 
   Sadly, for backers of Bernie Sanders the choices  this fall are going to be pretty sobering given what I've just detailed above. Voting for Clinton is going to be stomach churning for many of us if we do it, precisely because so many of her positions are just dead wrong and worse , but then there are other considerations like the Supreme Ct. even there is she going to put on a Judge that will over turn Citizens United? I doubt it, since it now under pins Corp. Power in this country going forward , so it's not just all about  Abortion anymore or Gay rights or even Voting rights the basic notion of who has power ( Democracy or not) in this society is up for grabs and I don't think Hillary is on the 99% side or ever was. That said is Trump? Absolutely NOT, he's an Oligarch and for Plutocracy that's a given so if he gets elected expect a Scalia type judge placed in his now empty seat and that alone sends chills down my back considering the awful damage a hard right court has already wreaked on America. Sorry , but for Sanders voters there are not going to be any good choices among the two major party candidates this fall. 

Monday, May 09, 2016


                                      Bernie Sander live in AC today 10 am Convention hall

   I attended the Bernie Sanders rally  in Convention hall early this morning with over 3K other people. The crowd loved every minute of it. Bernie was right on message with his now classic stump speech. I wish Bernie well on June 7th , but I concur with popular opinion that he's not likely to get the nod as the Democratic party nominee for President this fall.  That said Sanders has done all Americans  a service this year by hammering home certain messages that we both believe  need to be addressed if this country is to move forward and not backward like it has been moving most of the last 40 yrs. This might be Bernie's last Hurrah as a politician , but it's by no means the last we'll hear of his message.

Saturday, May 07, 2016


              Kelly Slater’s Perfect                       Artificial Wave Could                       Change Everything                         About  Surfing

                               Even the pros are obsessed with this “freak of technology.”

05/07/2016 01:54 pm

This week, after Slater invited a group of professional surfers to try out what he has dubbed “a freak of technology,” it became clear the sport may never be the same.
As wave after flawless wave rolled in, the surfers, including Carissa Moore, Nat Young, Stephanie Gilmore and Kanoa Igarashi, got some of the longest rides and most consistently perfect barrels we’ve ever seen.
While the company has yet to disclose the pool’s location, Reddit users managed to find it using Google Earth satellite imagery. They located the pool in Lemoore, California — about 100 miles from the coast.
In the past, artificial waves haven’t met surfers’ expectations. They didn’t barrel — take the shape of a hollow tube — and weren’t fast enough for surfers to get air. Slater’s waves, however, live up to the real thing, not just mimicking the ocean, but seemingly improving it.
This ride by Stephanie Gilmore is a prime example of just how clean and glassy each wave is.
At most ocean breaks, that would be the wave of the day — nay, the month. In Slater’s wave pool, it’s just one of many.All of the surfers who tested the water had nothing but praise for the pool. And every one of them had an infectious post-surf smile plastered on their faceYoung said it was “probably the longest barrel of my life“ and longboarder Robert “Wingnut” Weaver obsessed over the technical perfection of the wave.You don’t appreciate how much energy is involved moving around out there until you’re in the pond,” Weaver said. “The way it sucks out, the way it dredges, the way it moves back and forth — it’s mind-blowing.”
From a business perspective, artificial waves make all the sense in the world. Wave pools could bring surfing to the most landlocked of places, expanding the sport from exclusive coastlines to every corner of the globe. The technology could even be agateway for surfing in the Olympics, since consistently perfect waves would provide a predictable and fair playing field.
But not all surfers are convinced that Slater’s waves are an improvement. Some worry that by opening itself to the mass market, surfing could become even more crowded than it already is. And for many surfers, removing the connection to nature is nothing short of sacrilege.
Slater himself has called the sport a spiritual experience. “Surfing is my religion, if I have one,” he once told CNN. “The barrel is really the ultimate ride for any surfer. It’s the eye of the storm. Some guys say it’s like being in the womb.”
He said he sees the artificial waves as a supplement to the natural ones.
I know people have fears that man-made waves could change or ruin our culture in some way,” Slater told Surfer Magazine. “But it’s not meant to replace anything. I’ve always said this is a supplement to surfing in the ocean, and something for fun.”
Fun, indeed. Now if only Slater would let the rest of us in on his “freak of technology.”


    Kelly Slater without a doubt the greatest surfer of his generation and maybe of all time, a living legend has  helped create something that nobody has ever done, the perfect artificially created surfing wave. It's   a scientific and artistic achievement of the 1st order!! It's invention could herald the entry of surfing  into the Olympics giving it a consistent playing field to allow surfers to  compete on like a skateboard park or ski slope. It will also create a class of surf parks that will probably be used as elite practice areas for professional surfers to hone their skills. I doubt though they will be very useful or effective as mass wave pools. Too many surfers would easily disrupt and destroy the effect and turn these pools into just another artificial version of Malibu or Rincon on a really over crowded day. So, I doubt many will ever be built in this century anyway. With the on coming sea level rise though as our natural beaches and surf breaks disappear these parks might replace some of those lost venues. Who knows? Anyway. congrats again Kelly on your achievement.

Thursday, May 05, 2016


If today’s general election polling holds true,
Hillary Clinton will easily defeat Donald Trump.

Maps are based on current general election polling and 2012 general election results.
Current national and battleground state polls have Mr. Trump trailing Mrs. Clinton by about 10 percentage points should they face off in the general election.
If those numbers hold, Mrs. Clinton would take all of the states that President Obama won in 2012, as well as North Carolina (which he won in 2008), putting her far over the 270 electoral votes needed to win.
Mrs. Clinton currently fares worse than Mr. Obama only in New York, a state that she would win easily according to current polling.

This is how the map would look if Mr.
Trump improved on his polling margin
by five percentage points in each state.

He would win Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, but he would still lose the election.

Mr. Trump could win if he improves on his
polling margin by 10 percentage points.

In that scenario, Mr. Trump would win five additional battleground states that Mitt Romney lost in 2012, a big swing in the electoral map that would leave him with roughly 30 electoral votes to spare.
Closing large polling gaps in the time remaining is rare but certainly not unprecedented.
In 1980, Jimmy Carter led Ronald Reagan in many polls this time of year. He went on to lose by 10 points.

The election is 6 mos. out, a lot can happen between now and then. Given that I'd have to say that all things considered at this moment in time with Hillary Clinton the probable (D) candidate and Trump already the (R) candidate it's Hillary's election to lose. Both candidates however have the highest negatives ever seen in polling at this juncture in a Presidential campaign and that gives me pause. Such a situation means that significant minorities in both parties and in particular Independents DO NOT like these characters. So, it comes down to which one can get out his or her's base on election day and to that end again I think Hillary has the edge, maybe.

Monday, May 02, 2016



05.02.16 1:00 AM ET

Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump? The Winner Is…the Oligarchy

The real winners in election 2016 are going to be the new-economy oligarchs who are among Clinton’s biggest donors.
This presidential election may have been driven by populist fever in both parties, but at the end, the campaign has left the nation’s oligarchs in better position than ever. As Bernie Sanders now marches to his own inevitable defeat, leaving the real winners those oligarchs—notably in tech, media, urban real estate and on Wall Street—who are among Hillary Clinton’s most reliable supporters.
With either Ted Cruz, or , more likely, Donald Trump, as the GOP nominee, the emerging post-industrial ruling class will have little to no reason to even consider breaking with the Democrats. It’s already clear that companies such as Facebook consider it their duty to stop Trump, and there is a growing tendency among social media firms, including Twitter, to censor unpopular right-wing views.
Clinton, by outlasting Sanders, has done the oligarchs’ dirty work for them. As Greg Ferenstein, who has been surveying Internet billionaires in the Bay Area, notes, the tech elite—much like media and Wall Street—have no sympathy for Sanders’s social democracy. After all, it’s much harder to become a mega-billionaire if tax rates for the wealthy soar; much better to show your commitment to things like gender equality, gay rights, climate change from the comfort of San Francisco or Manhattan luxury apartments or soaking in the hot tub in Malibu, Boulder, the Hamptons, or Los Altos hills.
Clinton occasionally apes Sanders’s revolutionary rhetoric in decrying Wall Street and inequality, but this is hard to take too seriously. She and her husband, notes TheGuardian, take advantage of the same Delaware tax shelters favored by the ultra rich, including Donald Trump.
Clinton angrily denounced the use of tax shelters revealed in the Panama Papers as “outrageous.” Yet the papers revealed that many key supporters of the Clinton Foundation—including Canadian mining magnate Frank Giusta and financier Sandy Weill—have all indulged in the much-dissed practice of hiding money overseas.
For decades, the Clintons have built their family political enterprise on contributions from the global ultra-rich; between their campaigns and the foundations, the couple has raised, according to The Washington Post, a cool $3 billion, at least a small portion of it coming from Donald Trump. The outrageous foundation fundraising, not to mention her famous Wall Street 20-minute-for-$250,000 speeches, should dissuade anyone from believing Clinton stands as a traditional populist.
A look at Clinton’s finances should tell us all we need to know. When Sanders attacked her for her Wall Street backers, she made a point of saying she had gotten more support from the teacher’s unions (who are arguably less heinous). Her campaign has now received more money (barely) from individuals in the securities and investment industry than in unionized teachers; the finance sector has forked over $21 million to the former Secretary the State, making it the largest source of her donations.
And this gap will likely grow as financiers reject Cruz, whose right-wing gold standard views can’t be popular on Wall Street, and Trump, who is totally unpredictable, something big money people generally do not like. With Jeb Bush out of the race, Clinton has emerged as the clear favorite of the financial moguls, with the exception of outliers like Carl Icahn, who have lined up behind Trump.
Clinton’s biggest individual backers also include a lot of entertainment and media figures. NBC Universal, News Corporation, Turner Broadcasting and Thomson Reuters are amongmore than a dozen media organizations that have made charitable contributions to the Clinton Foundation in recent years, the foundation’s records show.
Overall, four of her top 10 supporters in terms of contributions come from entertainment: Haim Saban, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams—while seven of the top 20 come from the world of hedge funds and investment banks. In April she raised a cool $15 million at two parties, one in San Francisco, the other in Los Angeles, hosted by George and Amal Clooney.
Clinton’s support base parallels the very changes in wealth accumulation that I spelled out recently in the Beast. Over the last three decades, an increasing share of billionaires have come from finance, tech and media. Oil, agribusiness and manufacturing may be backing the GOP, but these are all losing their market share of the nation’s billionaires.
Of course many younger people in entertainment have preferred Sanders by a huge margin, but some of their pop heroines—Lena Dunham, Demi Lovato, Katy Petty—have dutifully performed for Clinton, reflecting her stranglehold over the Hollywood establishment.
But the most important players in Clinton’s new gentry come from the tech world. Bill Clinton opened this spigot up in 1992, impressing such longtime Republicans as Hewlett Packard’s John Young and then-Apple President John Sculley enough to get their endorsements.
President Obama has deepened these ties, raising $2.4 million for his 2008 campaign and nearly $3.5 million dollars in his 2012 campaign. Tech companies, notably Google, have enjoyed extraordinary influence under Obama, particularly on crucial regulatory issues on telecommunication.
As in entertainment, many rank and file tech workers prefer Sanders, but Clinton has almost universal support among their bosses. Virtually all the leading tech titans—Google’s Eric Schmidt , Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, venture capitalist John Doerr, Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs, Box CEO Aaron Levie, and Tesla founder Elon Musk and’s Marc Benioff—have embraced Clinton.
What does all this money mean? Rather than act an avatar of change, like Sanders or even the unpredictable Trump, Clinton will likely govern as the emissary of our new economic elite. She seems certain to side, more than even President Obama, with patrons such as Google and Apple. For all her hawkish image, Clinton has not sided with the FBI or many senators in both parties in trying to rein in the tech firms’ reluctance to help in the investigation of the San Bernardino Islamist shooters.
The new oligarchy also does not have to worry much about too much financial scrutiny under a Hillary regime. After all, Bill Clinton pushed financial deregulation as much as any free-market Republican, and it was under him that Wall Street began to get chummier with the progressives. The late-in-the-day reforms on executive pay recently advanced by the Obama Administration will likely be subject to some delay or obfuscation. Capital gains rates—arguably among the biggest drivers of inequality and particularly tech fortunes—and tax shelters will likely remain untouched.
Clinton’s progressivism will be strongest on issues around gender, race and sexual orientation—that conveniently don’t threaten the financial interests of oligarchy. Green politics also works fine with many moguls, both in Silicon Valley and Wall Street, assubsidies and incentives for renewable fuels have provided pathways to even greater wealth.
Progressive reforms on immigration—likely imposed by executive order—will further help the tech oligarchs, who increasingly depend on H-1B visa holders, while filling the tap with a reliable supply of cheap service workers. As long as cheap technocoolies are included in reforms, Hillary, who has studiously avoided the H-1B issue, will seek to please both the oligarchs and the minority advocacy groups.
Less well served, one can assume, will be the very middle- and working-class voters who have tended toward both Trump and Sanders. Indeed they will find themselves with little protections against the “gig” economy, notably Uber, which has already gained close ties to the party by hiring top Obama aides, including former campaign manager David Plouffe. Cab drivers and hotel workers who may see their jobs threatened by the “gig” tech firms should not expect as much help from a Clinton Administration as they might have gotten from Sanders.
Even worse off will be those who work in energy development. Clinton has already crowedabout wiping out coal jobs, perhaps sensing that places like West Virginia, Wyoming, and Montana appear permanently lost to the Democrats.
The confluence of power that underpins Clinton’s campaign should worry Americans of all political persuasions. The merging of the White House with fund-raising mania of Clintons threatens the integrity of all our institutions. Marrying media and money power should be particularly troubling. As the progressive site Common Dreams asks : “You May Hate Donald Trump. But Do You Want Facebook to Rig the Election Against Him?”
Of course, it is conceivable that Trump or Cruz could still pull an upset, but given their horrific negatives, even worse than Hillary’s, this seems unlikely. Instead next January will likely see a melding of influence, money and power not seen in the past century, as Clinton consolidates both near unanimous support of our emergent ruling class, and the media that they largely control. Rather than a right or left wing upheaval, this election will end up less a celebration of populism than the ultimate triumph of oligarchy.
Joel Kotkin is Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and executive director of The Center for Opportunity Urbanism. His new book is The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us (Agate:2016).