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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Biden (and Chafee) Are out of the race

Vice President Joseph Biden’s decision not to run for the White House is a game changer. His earlier unsuccessful attempts were in 1988 and 2008.

The Democratic field had been in suspended animation even while Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders built their campaign and raised money.

However, lurking behind the two front-runners was Joe Biden. He has been sucking away 15 percent plus or minus and his approval rating was very high.

Speculation that he would wait until after the Benghazi hearings to see if Clinton would be badly damaged proved idle. He had agonized after the death of his son and did not want his family to be dragged through the grueling task of a campaign.

This is not the first time a powerful contender has agonized over running. As the New York Times reminded us, “Gov. Mario Cuomo of New York left a plane bound for New Hampshire idling on a tarmac in 1991 as he fretted over whether to run for president.”

The specter of Biden created several distractions to the entire 2015-16 race to the nomination.

First, for the Democrats it delayed the decision by many powerful check writers. Their anxiety over Hillary Clinton’s email and Benghazi problems made them nervous and Biden seemed like a potential alternative. Now they can make those commitments to either Sanders or Clinton with most analysts giving the bulk of that new revenue stream to Clinton.

Second, the consolidation of voters in coming polls will strengthen the field for the Democrats. Here in Iowa I met literally hundreds of Democrats who were very interested in Biden and hoping he would run. Now they will need to pivot to one of the other candidates. Some may actually look at former Baltimore mayor and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. Most will distribute themselves between Clinton and Sanders.

Third, the Republicans are very disappointed. I spoke to and emailed with several of my best GOP connections and they were very excited about a Democratic Party split three ways. That would weaken the front-runners and to some extent pit Clinton and Biden against each other. Now the Democrats enjoy the advantage of a small field. Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee proved unprepared to run in the first Democratic debate and Webb has already dropped out.

Biden will certainly remain a source of irritation for Clinton especially on how to deal with the Republicans. Clinton called them the enemy in the Democratic debate perhaps as a joke but she has certainly been seen as the biggest target of Republicans. Biden thinks Democrats should work across the table with the opposition. There is also irritation over whether Biden supported the raid on Osama bin Laden or not which Hillary Clinton says she fully backed.

Overall the take away is that the Democratic campaigns will now be much more aerodynamic as it were with the turbulence of Biden removed from the flight path.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Is Bobby Jindal Viable?

I follow EVERY news story on election 2016. It is an amazing year and I get up at 4 a.m. every day so I can feed my horses and then get to work trolling the headlines. Iowa farm sunrises in October are FABULOUS so being up early is a real treat.

This week Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has caught my attention.

He is nowhere in the polls and has been part of the "Happy Hour" debate group, the kids at the little table with the happy meals while the adults eat from the regular menu.

Now all of a sudden I see articles that say Jindal is rising in the polls in Iowa. I hear Iowa Christian political leaders say that Jindal is the guy with God on his side so to speak because all of the "brand" of Jindal has been about religion. I see that the Des Moines register plans to "interview" him in their board room. So there is this rising attempt to divert our attention to Jindal from Trump, Carson, Fiorina, Rubio, and Cruz who are floating at the top of the polls.

HOWEVER, if you research Jindal you will find some information that raises serious doubts about Jindal and I'd kike to share those with you.
Headline: "So Long Bobby Jindal?The Louisiana governor is running out of money, and his presidential campaign might be running out of time."

More Headlines:
"Louisiana State Treasurer John N. Kennedy suggested that Gov. Bobby Jindal should return to Louisiana from his presidential campaigning in Iowa and make plans for budget adjustments now in order to avoid draconian cuts later in the budget year." Louisiana is more broke than the federal government.

From the Times-Picayune: "Eleven out of 15 GOP candidates raised more money than Jindal in the three-month period." Money is smart. They know a losing investment when they see it.

So, is Jindal a viable candidate for 2016? 

He may rise in the polls in Iowa where of 40% or so the GOP is very religious and very conservative his God-centered campaign may do well with them. However he is only at 4% in Iowa today. 

The second state in line for presidential candidates is New Hampshire the second least religious state in the nation. In new Hampshire Jindal is at 0.0% in the latest RCP aggregate poll! He scored 0% in the Gravis, CNN/WMUS, and NBC/WSJ polls. How can anyone look at those numbers and say that Jindal is viable with a straight face!

Jindal is at 0.6 percent nationally which is a ridiculous number and he will be eliminated from the "adult" debates unless he hits 2.5% nationally which is also ridiculously low.

At some point people need to face the political grim reaper and drop out. Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee need to drop out. Pataki and James Stuart "Jim" Gilmore III need to quit the race. The day is coming closer and closer when Jindal also needs to say goodby and find some honest work.



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Donald Trump Says George W Bush was President When 9-11 Happened



The 2016 race to the White House is FABULOUS! 
Never have we had such tension, drama, excitement, odd and interesting candidates, and mud slinging with cruise missile intensity.

The latest is when Donald Trump said:
“When you talk about George Bush – I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time,” Trump said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

After the host pushed back on the charge, Trump doubled down: “He was president, OK? Blame him or don’t blame him, but he was president. The World Trade Center came down during his reign.
The best posting I’ve seen on Donald Trump’s comment that George W Bush was President when 9-11 happened is the following from the Washington Post:


Here is the brilliant and accurate Washington Post item no doubt posted by an intelligence officer:

“U.S. intelligence officials warned President Bush weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks that Osama bin Laden's terrorist network might hijack American planes.

On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. That morning’s “presidential daily brief” — the top-secret document prepared by America’s intelligence agencies — featured the now-infamous heading: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” A few weeks later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda accomplished that goal.

In a memo from the Phoenix FBI to headquarters, the agents recommended an urgent nationwide review of flight schools "for any information that supports Phoenix's suspicions" of a terrorist connection. The memo reportedly cited Osama bin Laden by name.
And the C.I.A. repeated the warnings in the briefs that followed.

Could the 9/11 attack have been stopped, had the Bush team reacted with urgency to the warnings contained in all of those daily briefs?


Sunday, October 11, 2015

High Taxes and High Prosperity

The grueling debate about taxes seems to be ignoring the historical record.

The greatest period of American prosperity which was after WWII top marginal  taxes for really rich people was:
(1951), 91.0% income above $1,766,108

(1961) 91.0% income above $3,071,492

(1976) 70.0% for income above $807,009
And the tax loopholes for the rich were very minimal so revenue could actually flow to the many important projects and functions that were the underpinning of the general prosperity.

In that period the United States built roads, bridges, a great military, fabulous education system, great universities, funded medical and science research which resulted in historic breakthroughs, and NASA went to the moon.

American companies flourished and inventions, patents, and great new products were the envy of the world. 

American workers made good wages and good products. People had pensions and most jobs came with benefits.

YOU decide what all this means.

I for one conclude that high taxes didn't hurt the rich, they were still very rich. I was going to the university in 1964-68 in New York City and believe me the brownstones and penthouses on the toniest streets in the Big Apple were FABULOUS. The Hamptons were alive with the rich and famous. I've never seen more limousines and fancy-dressed doormen. The Four Season's was always overbooked and who could afford those great meals and wines!

High taxes did not discourage investment and the creation of industries and jobs. In fact, it was the zenith of American prosperity. So why are we not looking back at that "golden age."

That was before "free trade" agreements and super sophisticated schemes for hiding corporate and private income in offshore companies and numbered accounts in Ireland and the Cayman Islands? There were few to no "hedge funds" and much less predatory manipulation of capital.

A few super rich do not a prosperous nation make. And in elections huge money was much less influential while today we see headlines in the New York Times such as, "From Only 158 Families, Half the Cash for 2016 Race." (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/11/us/politics/2016-presidential-election-super-pac-donors.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news)

And it should be clear that during these glorious years there was very little accusation that all of this was "socialism" and Republicans as well as Democrats supported this model of governance.

YOU can research income taxes at the official web site:
http://taxfoundation.org/article/us-federal-individual-income-tax-rates-history-1913-2013-nominal-and-inflation-adjusted-brackets





Saturday, October 10, 2015

Ch 5 WOI Analysis

Stay tuned to my more frequent analysis for the new channel 5 WOI TV political analyses and programs. We will be covering the debates and the interesting struggle to find a Speaker of the House.


Friday, October 09, 2015

"Moderate, Democratic Forces."

Here is our history on all of this: 

President Jimmy Carter. "Let's support the moderates in Iran now that the Shah has left."
Really?!
President Carter, WHAT moderates are those?

President W. Bush, "Iraq will be a shining example of democracy now that Saddam is gone and it will pread throughout the Middle East (to more or less paraphrase.)" President Bush, how'd that "spreading democracy" work out?

President Barack Obama, "We are supporting the democratic forces aligned against dictator Gaddafi in Libya and giving them NATO and US air cover."
President Obama, WHAT democratic forces in Libya are those?

President Barack Obama
, "Let's support, train, and arm the moderate democratic forces in Syria."
President Obama, WHAT moderate democratic forces are those?

Maybe the US needs to be pragmatic and ally itself with forces that have a realistic chance of actually winning and gaining power. In very violent countries moderate and "nice" political forces stand NO chance. Just look at the Weimar Republic in Germany.

Remember what FDR said about Somoza in Nicaragua, "He's a bastard but he's OUR bastard?"

The world is a sorry and violent place.