Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I Couldn't Resist One Last Laugh at 2016!

I know that I said in my New Years resolution that I was not going to dance to the Daft Donald's tune and focus instead on real politics. But this was too good to pass up. It's from an article pointing out that every era thinks it's the worst of times. Let's have a last laugh at 2016!

"The truth is that people in every age find reason to believe that their best times are behind them, and all that remains is decline and despair — that note of lament Cicero hit in 63 B.C.: “O tempora, o mores!” But far from uttering a generalized moan, the orator was castigating the corruption of his age as expressed in one man, Catiline, the author of a plot to seize power in Rome. The historian Sallust described Catiline as “reckless, cunning, treacherous, capable of any form of pretense or concealment. Covetous of others’ possessions, he was prodigal of his own; he was violent in his passions. He possessed a certain amount of eloquence, but little discretion. His disordered mind ever craved the monstrous, incredible, gigantic.”
Historians can be so judgmental. I’m sure Catiline just wanted to make Rome great again."

You can see the whole article at 2016: Worst. Year. Ever?  

A New Years Resolution in the Time of Trump

Farewell to 2016!

Farewell to Donald Trump and the "experts" analyzing how he "won"!  He didn't win. He lost by three million votes.

As my New Years resolution I am going to be hopeful about America in spite of Trump because he is essentially a triviality. In writing about politics these next four years, that's exactly what I am going to focus on: politics. If you want anti-Trump rants, you'll have to look elsewhere. If something he or the GOP does is truly significant, I'll take a look at it. But none of us has time for his strutting and shenanigans. My focus will be on nuts and bolts, real stuff that matters. In my next blog I'll be tackling how we get rid of the electoral college's anti-democratic grip on the outcome of elections. No more presidencies going to losers like George W. Bush or Donald Trump, please!

In saying goodbye to Donald Trumpand Campaign 2016 there is, however, an important lesson to be learned by all who care about politics. It's important because it has big implications for the future of campaigning in the technological age. Part of the lesson is set forth by Charlie Cook in the National Journal's How Analytical Models Failed Clinton. Cook first explains "analytics" (the definition is not relevant here; you can read it in his article) and then gets to the meat:

"The re­li­ance, or per­haps over­re­li­ance on ana­lyt­ics, may be one of the factors con­trib­ut­ing to Clin­ton’s sur­prise de­feat. The Clin­ton team was so con­fid­ent in its ana­lyt­ic­al mod­els that it op­ted not to con­duct track­ing polls in a num­ber of states dur­ing the last month of the cam­paign. As a con­sequence, de­teri­or­at­ing sup­port in states such as Michigan and Wis­con­sin fell be­low the radar screen, slip­page that that tra­di­tion­al track­ing polls would have cer­tainly caught."

Regarding this assessment by Cook, it's useful in a general way, but it's also doubtful that polls in the last month alone would have allowed the Clinton campaign sufficient time to correct its course. To mount a real campaign in those states, the Clinton campaign should have made an assessment of those states far earlier in 2016, and its failure to do any assessing, early or late, is dumbfounding. In fact, as I shall explain below, the Clinton campaign had six years to see the clear signs that Wisconsin had skidded off the rails. The failure to recognize this and to do timely polling produced idiot decisions by Clinton's campaign in 2016, as Cook notes:

"[T]he Clin­ton cam­paign did not go on the air with tele­vi­sion ads in Wis­con­sin un­til the weeks of Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, spend­ing in the end just $2.6 mil­lion. Su­per PACs back­ing Clin­ton didn’t air ads in Wis­con­sin un­til the last week of the cam­paign. In Michigan, aside from a tiny $16,000 buy by the cam­paign and a party com­mit­tee the week of Oct. 25, the Clin­ton cam­paign and its al­lied groups didn’t con­duct a con­cer­ted ad­vert­ising ef­fort un­til a week be­fore the elec­tion."

Charlie Cook next points out that "the Clin­ton cam­paign spent more money on tele­vi­sion advertising in Ari­zona, Geor­gia, and the Omaha, Neb­raska mar­kets than in Michigan and Wis­con­sin com­bined. It was Michigan and Wis­con­sin, along with Pennsylvania (the Clin­ton cam­paign and al­lied groups did spend $42 mil­lion on tele­vi­sion in the Key­stone State), that ef­fect­ively cost Demo­crats the pres­id­ency."

To be fair, no one watches TV political advertising. But they do notice one thing about it. They notice when it's not there! What a slap in the face to the good ol' Democrats in Wisconsin and Michigan to see months of no advertising while Clinton was wastefully courting the GOP bastions of Arizona and Texas.

And no personal appearances in Wisconsin ans Michigan by the candidate or her top surrogates! The resulting message to the voters of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania?

You...Don't...Matter! 

Oh, sure, Pennsylvania got a big Clinton campaign "show" the night before the election. A star-studded cast rallying for and with Hillary in Philadelphia. All the big-shots. All the reminders of the elitism of the Clintons. A blatant last minute bandaid. (No pun intended,)

As you readers know, I thought Clinton was a poor choice of candidate, one who couldn't win. But when she started advertising in Arizona, I assumed it was on the basis of her campaign's private polling showing she had the election in the bag. It was inconceivable to me that the Clinton campaign had no idea they were in trouble in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. So I ditched my skepticism about Hillary and told everybody—with firm assurance—that she was going to win. I mean, she wouldn't be spending time and money in Arizona if Wisconsin was at risk, right?

Hillary Clinton deceived me. Just as broadly and badly as Bill Clinton deceived people when he lied on television: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." Hillary was actually worse than a liar. She was stupid. She didn't know Wisconsin was going away, had left the Democratic ranks years earlier. She didn't know what was in plain sight. She didn't recognize what any Democratic candidate or old pol could and should have recognized.

Wisconsin. Cradle of the Progressive reforms of a century ago, including direct election of US Senators, the referendum, the recall, workers comp, and more. It was home to the dynamic reformist family, the La Follettes, who changed America. At least one descendant is still active in Wisconsin politics."La Follette Moves Closer To Run For Governor") For a hundred years Wisconsin has been consistently liberal. It has been the light of my life!

Then in 2010, far-right GOP candidate Scott Walker took the governorship, immediately stripped the public sector unions of clout, then defeated a referendum on his outrageous new law, successfully defied a recall attempt although no other governor has ever beaten a recall (How Scott Walker won the Wisconsin recall election - CBS News). He then later won re-election. All this in Wisconsin! 

The sky has fallen! The sky has fallen!

By 2014 I had found a political crony in Wisconsin. "What in hell," I asked her, "is going on in your state? What's wrong in Wisconsin?" 

Now tell me this: how come an old lady of almost 80 years like me could spot a big warning in the skies while the hip, techie, well-paid folks of Clinton's campaign (and I love techies) missed it entirely?

They didn't even need no stinkin' polling! It was blatantly obvious something tectonic had shifted in Wisconsin.

They didn't need any polling about Michigan either to spot it as a trouble zone. Why not? Because  Bernie Sanders had beaten Clinton in the Michigan primary! From that moment on, her campaign should have recognized she had a problem in Michigan. Michigan was telling her that people there were angry about jobs, trade pacts, big banks, the status quo, all things that Clinton wore like name badges at a luncheon.

I should have recognized it. (I did at the time Michigan went for Bernie but I got conned by Clinton's confident spending in Arizona in the general.) The media should have recognized the warning signs too . What the media and I were unaware of was that Clinton's people hadn't recognized the signs. Like fools, we trusted they knew what they they were doing. That they were either already taking necessary steps in these states or had inside polling which showed they were safe.

Again, it was inconceivable that they didn't know the political reality of these states. As the musical "The Music Man" so wisely tells us, "You gotta know the territory."

I suggest that a lot of techie wizards had better peel themselves away from both the polls and the analytics and get out in the field and listen to people. Learn the territory. Also know enough American history that when a seismic shift occurs you can recognize it. In short, politicos of today have gotta learn their stinkin' job!

Politics is people. Numbers are important, but behind those numbers there are people. 

Computers are tools. Computers are not a substitute for listening to people and watching how they behave in their voting. Someday when all the older folk have died off and the unemployed blue-collar folks can afford computers, maybe the computers will truly facilitate political communication of a wide enough swath. Just keep in mind that, for now, the greatly heralded communication value of "social media" is pretty much confined to the young and the hip and the hate-mongers and the twittering of Trump. Stand up from your computer now and then, hang out at the checkstand at the supermarket, chat to the guy pumping gas next to you, walk some precincts, visit with the woman who runs the dry cleaners. Take the pulse of the voters. Have respect for the people.

Listen and learn.

And have a wonderful New Year. Be kind to everyone and life will pay you back. 

For auld lang syne, my friends. For auld lang syne!


















Friday, December 23, 2016

Don't Listen to Trump? It Will Drive You Crazy!

Don't listen to what Trump says. Ignore the media focus on his blathering. No, he's not restarting a nuclear arms race. By saying he wants to expand our nuclear force, he's just doing a male cockadoodle strut for the benefit of the other boys on the planet and those in his base. Putin, who is not a boy, has said in reply, "No arms race."

Trump's modus operandi—whether deliberate and crafty or the product of neural deficiencies—is to say lots of outrageous things. Lots of it is just blowing smoke. Lots of it is just bald-faced lying. Most of it is to be forgotten when he wakes up the next day. But it works! It keeps you and the media and everybody off stride.

It's an old trick, usually used by battlers who haven't got much else to fight with. My mother taught me (a little girl of seven) how to "box" by just putting up my fists with elbows bent and then flailing away like crazy in a circular motion. The opponent can't get close enough to hit. Well, it worked.  At least in the second grade.

Confuse the enemy. Send a lot of balls zinging all over the place. Run and dodge and slither. "Serpentine, Shell! Serpentine!" as Peter Falk so memorably yelled in "The In-Laws". That's Donald Trump. An Artful Dodger. A blatherer of inexhaustable nonsense.

You'll wear yourself out chasing his spoutings. You'll ruin your holidays. You'll ruin your life.

Instead just watch what he actually does. We'll get him dead to rights on the mistakes he will make in what he does.

Like commiting the impeachable offense of taking" emoluments", i.e. payment from favor-seeking 
representatives of foreign states who stay at his hotels and from his foreign quasi-governmental  business associates wanting to cut bisiness deals. That emolument stuff is a naughty no-no prohibited by the Constitution. Keep it up, Donald, after January 19 and you are toast! Indeed, some argue he has to divest himself before January 20 of his world-wide business holdings or be in de facto violation of the emolument clause and thus liable automatically for impeachment.

Will this Republican Congress impeach him? It will be fun to watch them squirm around on that one!

Trump's so-called presidency promises to be quite an adventure, with danger and laughs galore. Enjoy the ride. Have some confidence that the good folks and our good institutions will fight him to a standstill no matter if he flails his fists like a seven-year-old.

Now I'll go back to writing the piece I promised on how YOU can get rid of the electoral college's outragous disrailment of our democracy in the future. And after that comes the piece I've planned that's a message of hope for the future, a message grounded in actual numbers.

What a great way to start the New Year, with something real to do to help fix our country and something to hold onto, a promise that good things are on the way.

Now give yourself the Christmas present of ignoring what Trump says. Keep seeing him as the desperate and frightened seven-year-old that he is.

And sometime I'll pass along to you my mother's other lesson in life and politics: "How to walk fast like an FBI agent."

Gosh, I miss her.

Merry Christmas to believers! Happy holidays to those who maybe kinda wish it were all true. May Santa come for both of you!




Saturday, December 17, 2016

Russiagate and Trump Impeachment

Article II, Section One, Clause 8:  the oath of office Donald Trump must take on January 20:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."[1]
Note well this commentary on the oath: "This clause is one of several that employ the oath concept, but it is the only clause that actually specifies the language of an oath for a constitutional officer. While the Oaths Clause in Article VI simply requires the persons specified therein to "be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution," the Presidential Oath Clause requires much more than this general oath of allegiance and fidelity. This clause enjoins the President to swear or affirm that he "will to the best of [his] Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." "Essays on Article II: Oath of Office"

Keep in mind how strongly this oath charges the president as to his duty to defend our democracy as embodied in our Constitution.
Now let's look at the strange situation of Donald Trump and this oath he will take.

We begin with this photo of the fiing cabinet that GOP burglars jimmied open when they broke into the Democratic National headquarters in 1972. Next to the filing cabinet is the computer that the Russians hacked into in 2016. Does this picture foreshadow a soon-to-be end of  Donald Trump's presidency? Is Trump headed for impeachment even before he's sworn in?



That sounds comical. Impeachable before he's even president? Nevertheless he is indeed setting the stage for his impeachment even now and may tie the knot just by taking the oath. It is actually the oath that may entrap him because violating the oath is itself an impeachable offense. But first let's look at what you can call "Russiagate" or "Watergate 2", either being appropriate.

I'm not going to recount the details that the media has already covered.  According to both the CIA and the FBI, it's clear that Russia invaded our election with the intention of tipping the election to Donald Trump and did so under Putin's direction. This Putin-directed effort began with hacking the Democratic National Committee's computers just as the Nixon Watergate scandal and Nixon's subsequent impeachment also began with a break-in at the Democratic National headquarters prior to an election.

It doesn't matter whether the Russian break-in did in fact facilitate Trump's win. One can argue it didn't since he actually won the election in four nearly-adjoining Midwestern states that gave him the necessary electoral college majority. That's not the kind of win one would look for as a result of a nationwide smear campaign by the Russians against Hillary Clinton. In fact she beat Trump nationally by aterrific three milllion in the popular vote.

But none of that matters.

Because it doesn't matter whether the Russians succeed in helping Trump or not. What matters is the break-in and interference with our election. That is a hostile act equivalent to an armed attack on our nation. It's even worse than a violent attack, i.e. we recovered from 9-11 but an attack on our most basic component of democracy, our election process, could be an attack from which we never recover. Once people believe that foreigners are manipulating our elections, they may lose faith in our elections. If that happens, this country and its democracy are done for.

The Russians have to be called to account. They have to be punished for what they did. If they are not, they may try again or some other nation may try. Or some individual will try, as did a far-right Putin fan in England: How a Putin Fan Pushed Propaganda to Americans. If we don't fight to protect our institutions, we shall lose them.

The "we" who must fight to protect our institutions definitely includes Trump. As soon as he takes the oath of office, he is obliged to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution to the best of his ability. He can't shrug off the Russian attempt because he and his chief of staff believe it to be "ridiculous". Nor can he undercut or countermand any punishment the Congress or President Obama may now set in motion unless he replaces it with one as strong or stronger.

Nor can he relieve Russia of the sanctions already on it for its past bad acts now that we know of their present bad act.

Yet Trump's choice for Secretary of State is opposed to those existing sanctions.

And this may have been Putin's precise motive in trying to tip the scales to get Trump as president. He knew he would get the Exxon Oil president as Secretary of State, a man who has cut big-time oil deals with Putin. A man who is a big friend of Putin's. A man who who will take away nasty sanctions. And how could Putin know ahead of the election that Trump would give him Exxon Oil's Number One Man as Secretary of State? My guess is that he worked that out with Trump ahead of time.

This puts Trump into a very precarious position. At the very least he is in peril of impeachment if he doesn't punish Putin's current bad acts. Or will he follow the path that Putin and Exxon Oil have picked for him, one that would remove present sanctions and thus effectively reward an attack on our country instead of punish it? This smacks of giving aid and comfort to our enemy. And let's not kid ourselves. The Putin/Russian invasion of our election process was the equivalent of Pearl Harbor—a sneak attack most deadly. Russia has declared war on us. We have been dragged into the arena of cyberwar.

There really isn't time for President Obama to do somthing meaningful. His time of power is rapidly running out. He'd only be shaking his fist at Russia from the back of a train that's pulling out of the station.

This break-in will not just disappear in the next few weeks as a concern. (God help us, if it drops off our screen so quickly.) This is going to be on Trump's plate. And rightly so. He will be the one with the power to take action. Further—and by wonderful irony—these invaders are his chums. It's only fitting that he be the one to deal with them. What better way to send the world a message of "Hands off of U.S. elections" than by having the intended beneficiary of the wrong-doing have the humiliation of being the message bearer.

But to make things abundantly clear before our people and the world, there must be a proper investigation. Even the GOP leaders in Congress have called for an investigation. We need to know the extent of this hacking plot. If Trump or his team were in collusion with the Russians, that could be a treasonous criminal offence. A candidate from 2016 might be going to jail after all, and it won't be Hillary Clinton as Trump so outrageously threatened.

And if Trump was not involved in collusion but does not act to punish Russia? As I've said, that would be an impeachable offense, violating as it does the oath he will swear on January 20.

Meantime we have to keep this issue alive. We have to call (not email) our Congressional represenatives and Senators, urging them to investigate this hacking conscientiously. We must make it known that the American people are not about to tolerate an attack by Russia on the fundamentals of our democracy.

If Trump gets impeached over this, I shall rejoice. But what is important is that he be forced to make clear that he does not welcome outside help in elections from those who would gladly destroy us. He has to show the world that he can and will defend the Constitution and therefore they had better not mess with our fundamental institutions.

And now....It's all up to you. And your friends and your family. Make those phone calls. If you don't help save this country, who will?

"What kind of government have you given us, Doctor Franklin?" the woman asked as the founding fathers left the hall where they had promulgated the Constitution. Franklin replied," A republic, madam. If you can keep it."

Can you?






Thursday, December 15, 2016

Upcoming: (1)RussiaGate & Trump Impeachment? (2) How YOU Can End Ugly Grip of Electoral College

I hope to get the RussiaGate/Trump Impeachment one done on Saturday. The one on ending the electoral college mess is possibly going up on Monday. No rest for the wicked? This may, however, be one of the most important times ever in American politics.

Here's to think about until Monday: Did you know the electoral college is actually rooted in slavery?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Why Didn't Trump Ask For an Investigation of Russia's Alleged "Rigging"?

And now comes the report by the CIA that the Russians tried to throw the election to Donald Trump.

There are a lot of unanswered questions about this situation but the biggest one is "Why has Trump failed to ask for a fuller investigation or even a CIA briefing on this?"

Instead he has screeched in a night-time Twitter, "I don't believe it!"

He says we can't trace the hacking. If he is so ignorant as to not know hacking can be traced (I'm 80 and I know it), why does he screech without checking out the possibilies? He has earlier said about Clinton's emails being hacked that "it coud be China or someone sitting on a bed somewhere." Who gives him these ideas? Has he been assured by someone that hacking by Russia can't be traced? And if he was thus assured, who did the assuring and when?

We don't know if the Russians' hacking was all their own idea or they acted in collusion with Trump. We do know, however, that it was Russian done. These things are in fact traceable, though Donald Trump says otherwise.

We don't know if the Russians actually attempted to tip the election scale in favor of Trump. But the CIA says the evidence is high. Judging by what we know of the Russian interference in Democratic House campaigns, there can be little question but they intended to affect our elections. And it certainly seems the attack on the House campaigns did indeed have an effect. How Moscow Aimed a Perfect Weapon at the U.S. Election

We don't know if Trump's appointment of a Putin "friend" to be our Secretary of State is a payback for the purported effort by the Russians to tip the election to Trump.

What we do know is that any attempt by any outside government or other outside entity to "rig" our elections is a worse attack on us than war. We can recover from a military attack; we may never recover from an attack on our elections, our most basic democratic institution.

If Russia even so much as tried this, it must be punished by sanctions at least.  And Trump, no matter his friendly feelings for Putin and Russia, must institute such punishment. If he does not, he is thereby at least an accessory after the fact, helping a cover-up and effectively colluding with Russia in an attack on this country. He will also flagrantly be defying the oath a president takes to defend this country.

For either of these "high crimes" it is the absolute duty of the Congress to impeach him.  If he went beyond this and actually colluded with the Russians prior to the acts, he has committed something akin to treason.  (See the postscript as to an act being treason even when outside of wartime and even with a country not officially an enemy.)

I would have let this matter become clearer before commenting, but things have happened since the story broke about the CIA report. After four days, much is still cloudy in this matter, but two things have become clear to me.

1.  I have already alluded to the first, i.e. any attempt by Russia to interfere in our elections must be punished. This is necessary to deter others and also to reassure our people that our elections are being guarded by sanctions falling on those who trespass into these elections.

2.  Guilt speaks with a loud and quick voice. I was for a time a criminal defense lawyer. It wasn't my job to decide whether a client was guilty or not, and I can honestly say I never did, but I did notice some things about the behavior of the accused: those who yelled loudly that they were innocent and did so before being identified as suspects, often soon faced a mountain of evidence against them.  And that was my job: to be alert to the possibility of such a mound of evidence coming at my client and me. Thus when Trump leaped in the night to Twitter that he did not believe the CIA report, he sounded an awful lot like my clients against whom a pile of evidence would be coming.

So I ask you this: why would an innocent president-elect dismiss out of hand an intelligence agency report going right to the survival of our democracy?

Wouldn't he be as anxious as anyone—even moreso than anyone—to have the matter thoroughly investigated?

One would certainly hope so.

Meantime the GOP leaders of Congress have indicated they want to do an investigation. Will they do one that is honest and thorough? Again, we don't know.

But I think they might. This is a more serious and clearer-cut matter than was Watergate at this stage. They know that. They also know that if they fail to meet this challenge, they have not only failed their fundamental sworn duty to protect this country and the Constitution but risk the GOP losing even the tiny shred of credibility it yet may have in the wake of Trump's takover of the party.

Further, I do believe that at some level these GOP leaders actually care about this country.

Maybe this ghastly Russian shadow will draw us all back into the basic understanding that we all, regardless of party, do indeed love this country.  Maybe we can actually all pull together to fix this terrible thing that may have happened.

Could some good come out of this threatening situation? Could a threat of this magnitude bring us together.

We don't know the answer to that yet either, do we? But let's see if the GOP Congress now takes up its duty and starts its investigation.

Call (not email) your Congressional representatives and senators and say you want an investigation right now and want Russia punished with sanctions.

It's your country. If you can keep it.....


_____________
P.S. For an act betraying our country to be prosecuted successfully it is not required that a perpetrator "give aid and comfort to an enemy" identifiable as such because of a state of war. Betraying one's country is a broader concept, e.g. the government employee who stole US secrets in order to give them to Israel, which of course is our ally. These acts are generally prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917. Precisely how an act to destroy an American election would be classified requires some research.




Sunday, December 4, 2016

Pelosi: World's Weakest Political Leader?

Let's start on a positive note. Please read this from the NY Times: Frank Bruni's How to Win a Senate Race. It's about Rob Portman's GOP victory in Ohio. Portman even outpolled Donald Trump, Ohio's darling. Bruni's piece looks at how someone won in this wild year by just doing the basic hard work of a campaign and using good political judgment. We can learn from anybody and should, GOP included.

Let's admit that the Democrats had better start learning from someone pretty damn fast because in just two years the Congressional elections come up and then reapportionment per the 2020 census. So far this decade the Democratic leadership in D.C. has become worse and worse at winning the Congress.

Rob Portman wasn't supposed to win the Senate seat in Ohio. Early this year the Democrats looked poised to make at least a net gain of 6 seats in the Senate, including Ohio, which would have given them a majority and thus a bulwark against repeal of Obamacare. That majority would also have blocked repeal of the environmental rules that may stave off climate change. Regaining the Senate majority could also have blocked bad appointments to the Supreme Court. An enormous amount was at stake.

Instead the Democrats won only two seats of the six, a failure almost as surprising and disappointing as Clinton losing to Trump. Instead of analyzing what the Demcrats did wrong, in his column Bruni looks at what one Republican senate candidate did right. It's nothing far out. It's just good basic campaign techniques and lots of hard work. The Democratic Party in D.C. seems to have forgotten both of these.

Nor do they seem particularly interested in remedying their failures. The re-election last week of Nancy Pelosi to the office of minority leader of the House, while having no bearing on the Senate disaster, nevertheless speaks ill for the future. It means the Democrats in D.C. haven't learned from this terrible year that their party leadership is largely worthless at the most fundamental issue in politics: winning elections. If you can't win elections, you can't win anything else. That was the first lesson in politics my UAW buddies taught me.

The media credits Pelosi's hold on the leadership post to her vaunted skill in keeping her caucus in line and getting legislation through.

"Wait!" you say. "What legislation?"

Good question. Because of the GOP's determination not to let Obama have one damned thing, no Democratic measures have moved through the House since the GOP captured it in 2010. Pelosi has therefore accomplished nothing in 6 years. Her skill as a legislator has been worthless. And this is a sad story of her own making. We got no legislation because she failed at task Number One, holding the House in 2010 or winning back the majority in the House in 2012 or 2014. Now she has failed yet again.

For six years she has accomplished nothing. No regaining the House majority and no enactment of legislation.

She did do one thing, however.  She raised money. Pelosi is the pin-up girl for the Democratic party's entanglement with fat cats.

That's her way of keeping power and her leadership role. It's the money she raises—in enormous amounts—that keeps her popular as she spreads it around among her colleagues for their re-election campaigns, thus insuring they will vote for her as minority leader. But money alone doesn't win elections, as Hillary Clinton's well-financed campaign demonstrated. A good party leader has to help win elections with more than money. Just ask Howard Dean, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, who engineered the Democrats' sweeping Congressional wins in 2006.

But Pelosi puts a different face on the situation. After the November Democratic debacle she apparently felt she needed to say something on her own behalf to minimize her failure to get a House majority yet again. Give her first prize for sheer gall for saying,  "We have won elections before and we will do it again."

Wha?

What elections is she talking about? None that she's won in getting a House majority. She hasn't won any! As I noted above. it was Howard Dean, as chair of the Democratic National Committee, who managed the enormous win of House seats by Democrats in 2006; then Obama's win carried the House candidates along to another Democratic Congressional majority in 2008. Pelosi blanked on 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016. That's 0 wins to 4 losses. If she were a football coach, she would have been canned after such a losing streak.

As for the Senate seats the Democrats should have won but didn't...... Well, let's not get too gloomy all at once.  My understanding from the media "experts"  is that the Democratic candidates were "weak".

Well, yeah. Let's leave it at that for now.
______________
P.S. Watch for my upcoming post on the easiest and fastest way to change the electoral college so that the voters get the candidate the majority chooses. It's called democracy! You can help make it happen. No more of empty land choosing our president!




Saturday, November 26, 2016

Take Heart! Elton John Won't Be Helping Trump Either!

Two days after the election I posted a piece discussing how Trump cannot carry out all the frightening nonsense he spewed in his campaign. What Can Trump REALLY Do?

Since then other writers have finally stopped beating the drums of terror and started looking at the reality of the limits on Trump and his GOP Congress. They too foresee Trump and the GOP Congress having a hard time trying to wreck Obama's legacy and mess up this country. Below is a list of recent articles you may want to read, but just the headlines alone should give you some reassurance.

As I said in my November 11 post and is reiterated in these articles by others, it's very hard to turn the ship of state. Checks and balances exist throughout our system, states have adopted many of the same laws as the feds, businesses now see the sense of environmentalism and have invested in it, market forces are supporting a switch to clean fuels, and on and on.

And what about the fear that Trump will round up and imprison vast numbers of our people? In 1968 I lit the spark that led to enactment in 1971 of a federal law which effectively bans federal mass arrest and detention in the absence of an act specifically made criminal by Congress. This law was cited by the Supreme Court in the Guantanamo cases, ordering the Feds to give the detainees the due process that is required by our Constitution.

I mention this because it shows what we can do to oppose any president doing Nazi-type things. The law was my response to the rounding up and internment of the Japanese Americans during World War II. This crime against our fellow Americans took place when I was a child, far from where it happened. Some of those detainees were subsequently my beloved journlism teacher, a best friend in college, my first candidate, and other good friends. If one young woman, enraged by a long ago offense by her government, can set off such reaction to an injustice of thirty years earlier, think what the young millennials can do now if the "knock on the door in the night" begins in our nation.

Now here's the list of reassuring headlines. Maybe you'll even read some of the articles.  Whether you do or not,  please take heart. As Yogi Bera said, "It ain't the end of the world until it's the end of the world."

 Why Trump’s Education Pick Won’t Be Able to Privatize U.S. Schools

Betsy DeVos and the Wrong Way to Fix Schools

 U.S. Companies to Trump: Don’t Abandon Global Climate Deal

Trump’s Proposals Won’t Help The White Working Class — Or The Urban Poor 

President Trump's Toughest Foe: The Bureaucracy

 U.S. Companies to Trump: Don’t Abandon Global Climate Deal 

Trump Probably Can’t Get Roe v. Wade Overturned


There is yet another constraint on Trump, one that no one has yet considered so far as I know. It's the principle of "bad managers drive away competent people." If Trump persists in appointing extremists and power-bloated billionaires, the talent these top bosses need to hire will snub them. Extremists and billionaires from the private sector generally are regarded as bad bosses. And it's very hard to get anything done in government without hiring people who know where the "on button" is. The Trump folks can't even get Elton John to sing at the inauguration!

So sit back and watch Trump and the GOP flail. Soon begins the circular firing squad?

As we wait in our front row seats, please pass the popcorn.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Senate Election Still Open! But the Democratic Party Snores!

Here's an example of how slack the current Democratic leadership has become. Why does Rachel Maddow have to be the one to tell us that the Democrats have a real shot at coming within one vote of taking the Senate majority and thereby blocking Trump's worst Supreme Court nominees and stopping Paul Ryan's plan to gut Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and our environmental laws.

It all hangs now on Louisiana, where a runoff for a U.S. Senate seat is December 10. If the Democrats pick up that seat, they will have 49 votes, including the two Independents who already routinely caucus with the Democrats. Plus GOP Senator Susan Collins will likely vote with the Democrats to block the wilder of Trump and Ryan's schemes. After all, she was brave enough to withstand the GOP and its snarling, spitting Tea Party and vote for Obamacare. That gives the Democrats 50 votes, one short of the majority. (In a tie, the GOP Vice President will vote with the GOP members.) Surely there is one more sane GOP Senator besides Collins who will vote with the Democrats to protect seniors and our national parks and forests.

Here's what you need to know to help win this seat. So stop whining about being "depressed" and
do something real against Trump!    Send donations or volunteer to make phone calls at:
Foster Campbell for the United States Senate




When the masnbc video is working you can see the Maddow interview with the rather sad bulldog-looking candidate named Campbell.  He must indeed be a bulldog to have survived a field of six contenders in order to make the runoff. Go get 'em. Foster Camopbell! last-senate-race-has-national-significance-812088387975

Thursday, November 24, 2016

On Environment, Business Steps Up to Thanksgiving Plate

A TRULY HAPPY THANKSGIVING as business steps up to the Thanksgiving plate!
Business is stepping up to the plate just as I hoped it would. 
As I suggested the day after the election, environmentalism is imbedded in the American consciousness and not to be tossed away by an ill-informed man and his chums.(http://outfrontpolitics.blogspot.com/…/what-can-trump-reall…?) Many businesses recognize that a ruined environment, racism, rotted infrastructure, sexual preference prejudice, etc., are bad for business.
Thanks to Barnie for helping teach anti-racism and to Big Bird for teaching environmentalism. And don't eat Big Bird for Thanksgiving.

I am thankful today and every day for you, my readers. Wherever you are, remember it's your world. Claim it and protect it. 

Blessings on us all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

An Open Letter to Donald Trump by a Guest Writer

This guest writer is my son Jeremy. I hope his letter resonates with you as it did with me.

Letter to Donald Trump, President Elect of the United States
Mr. Trump,
Congratulations on your victory. In two short months you will be taking on the greatest responsibility in the world. You will be responsible for the lives and futures not only of the nearly 60 million residents of the U.S. that voted for you, but also the 260 million that did not vote for you.  What that means is that you have to put the election rhetoric aside and try to govern.  If you are to successfully govern this country, it means you must lead and not just command the people whom you are trying to govern. The job you are about to take over is not one of power, it is one of responsibility. 

This country is a blend of different races, creeds, sexual orientations, and it is also composed of more women than men. You cannot govern it as if it were a collection of white heterosexual Christian males of European descent. The rhetoric you used to win the election has intensified the already widening divide in our nation and it will only get worse if you don’t stand up and do something about it. 

Millions of Americans are afraid of you and that is why you have seen protests across the country. They are afraid that you will take away their families just because some of them are undocumented. They are afraid you will take away their right to marry whom they want. They are afraid you will take away their health care. They are afraid you will allow big companies to pollute their water and air and destroy the climate. They are afraid you will mortgage their children’s futures by giving away huge tax breaks to the wealthy and businesses and increasing the national debt to the point where it cannot be paid back. They are afraid you will destroy the diplomatic relations with countries that are our allies and our trading partners by breaking the promises we made as a country to them in treaties that they rely on.  They are afraid you will ignore military leaders, policy experts, and law enforcement officials and that you will make decisions without first learning the potential consequences of your actions.  

This is not a game show. It is not a real estate transaction. Bankruptcy is not an option. There are no re-takes or editing. The consequences of your actions are real, permanent, and the results of your decisions will affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people, not just some contestants, celebrities, or investors.  Your demeanor and civility are no longer yours alone. You represent 250 years of struggle, sacrifice, patriotism, courage, and unbelievable heroism that built this country and made it what it is today.  You need to consider what has gone into making this country great. 

You need to leave your election slogan behind with the election, and come to the realization that this country is already great, and your responsibility is to try to make it better.  

Your first and most important priority is not to those who supported you in your election. Your most important priority is to those that opposed you. You must unite this country again before you can start to make things better. You can’t do that through executive order, legislation, or appointments. It will take humility, dignity, and respect for all your constituents especially those that opposed you.  You will need to recognize their point of view and really try to see their side. 

It is easy to lead those that support you, but it takes tremendous leadership to lead those who oppose you. If you want to lead the entire country, you will need to embrace your opponents and try to help them.  You may not agree with them, but they are mostly good, kind, and decent people that want the freedom to pursue happiness, raise their families, practice their own religion, and strive for a better life for themselves and a better future for their children.  

I wish you tremendous success and I will pray for you. You have the hardest job in the world. Before you move into the White House, take a look at pictures of the men who lived there before you. Look into their faces and compare them to the faces that emerged 4 or 8 years later. Time didn’t change those faces. The tremendous responsibility that you are facing is what aged those men. 

Good luck and may God guide you.  Make America better, and try to make all of America proud of you.



The Secret of the Universe Is the Electoral College

As Stephen Colbert said a week ago, "Now we know why bad things happen to good people." (Pauses a beat.) "It's the electoral college".

That's the post I'm now working on. Of all the issues this election raises and all the ideas I was pursuing, the electoral college has emerged in my judgment as the most important.

I'll be back as soon as I have mustered the materials you and others will need to change this serious impediment to democracy. Whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, the electoral college as presently conducted is a menace to your having the victory your party may have been handed by a majority of the voters.

So please be patient. I think you'll feel the wait is worth it. And, no, this is not about how to get a constitutional amendment.


Friday, November 18, 2016

Please be patient. So much, so fast!

I'm working on three new postings at the same time. So please be patient. Lots of data on why the election went as it did. (There's really only one reason in my view.) And lots of good news and lots of Trump/team errors. And how we can fix the electoral college mess without a constitutional amendment.

Actually that's four new postings I'm working on.

Patience is it's own reward. (It isn't, but that sounds nice.) So please check back soon for lots of new stuff.

Oh, there's also one on more stuff Trump can't do.  That's five new postings I'm working on!

Yikes!


Saturday, November 12, 2016

America Is Still Here

Hi, world! Thanks to all of you around the world who have been following our election and my blog. I hear how worried you have been and how dismayed and frightened some of you are now. As you know from my prior posting, I'm looking at what harms Trump can really do.You're hearing a lot of rumors and fear talk. Let's look at reality as best we can. From yesterday here's my first one of several I'm going to do on this topic: What Can Trump Really DO?

While I'm writing the next posts on the limits of Trump's power, please be assured that the real America is still here. I'm sending these items (below) to ease your concerns. First is a video from a supermarket to prove we are still one, caring people. Cindy Barry Burket shared Upworthy's post .Click through a bit of introductory material to get to a really lovely bit of life. The real Americans are still here. (Cindy is my beloved adopted daughter,)


And here's a photo taken this morning by a friend out in the forest on the northernmost edge of America, way up in Minnesota. It shows the real America is not blue and red but the colors of late and fading autumn next to a serene lake. America the land is still here.
(Except some of us are also Chicago Cubs' blue during baseball season.)

We Americans wish you all well. As a people and a nation we are still here and you are still our brothers and sisters.





Friday, November 11, 2016

What Can Trump REALLY Do?

What can Trump actually do? Nothing like what he has threatened.

By contrast we can do very effective things about the mess we face. We can make things okay. And I will be writing about some definite remedies available to us. (See where I've already begun:  Now What Do We Do?)  But first, we have to pull up our socks and think straight.

We must shut out the horror stories about what Donald Trump is "going to do".  Most of what he said he will do, he simply can't. Don't buy his campaign propaganda! He was lying in order to get attention and supporters. Plus he doesn't know what he is talking about! By contrast I am a lawyer,  a professor of legislation, an activist for decades in civil rights, and author of two definitive works on environmental legislation. I worked in government and politics for 45 years.

Believe me, Donald Trump is ignorant and inexperienced about government.  Government is a big ship and very hard to turn. I learned that when working for eight years at the executive level in California state government.

Most of the things he says he will do actually have to be done by Congress. Repeal of Obamacare? Are you telling me Congress is really going to strip 22 million constituents of their health insurance? Trump's just now pulled back from condemning  those with pre-existing conditions to again being denied coverage? But take away insurance from 22 million American? C'mon! Those 22 million are voters in Congressional districts! Here come the wheel chair parades to denounce "cruel" Congressmen.

Quite likely the Congress will come up with something other than Obamacare, and we probably won't like it. If it's bad, it will perish because it doesn't work for people.  Then we will move a step closer to the only real solution: single payer, i.e. everybody can opt for Medicare. It will be fun to watch Congress trying to carry the hot potato of replacing Obamacare. Once people have medical insurance it's hard to take it away, as the GOP Congress—and Trump—will now learn. And just watch the screams when the GOP's House Speaker Paul Ryan pushes for "privatizing" Medicare. Such moves will destroy the GOP's majority in Congress.

Repeal of our environmental laws? Those laws are there for a good reason. Among other things, they cleaned the sewage and garbage out of the rivers. Remember the Cuyahoga River catching fire from all the trash in it? The laws also cleaned up the choking smog of our major Western cities. China and India's people are dying because of pollution, and those governments are finally learning the lesson. Trump's government will too, if it comes to that.

Also remember that a lot of states now have environmental regulation. They even sue each other because pollutants from one come into the skies or waters of the other. Environmental law at the federal level is useful but actually not as nimble as state laws. I saw the environmental movement being born 50 years ago and was part of that process: the San Francisco Bay Area's "Save the Bay", the first grass-roots environmental campaign. Since then environmentalism has become part of the fabric of American life. Sesame Street teaching it to the kids, all the recycling we now do, solar panels on people's roofs and on business roofs because solar is geting cheaper and is saving people and businesses money. On and on. Environmentalism is bigtime in American life.

As for dirty energy and global warming, both the GOP Congress and Trump say they are going to get the "job-killing regulations" off the coal and oil industries. That doesn't mean a damn thing!  That's not going to bring back jobs in those industries because dirty fuels are a drag on the market. They are going to continue to go away no matter what the feds do. They are dying industries because of economics, not because of federal regulations.  E.g. Op-Ed Contributor The Coal Industry Isn’t Coming Back     Natural gas is increasingly replacing coal in producing electricity, holding the place that solar, wind and even newer technologies will fill in due course.

Now look at oil: gasoline is half  the pump price of just a few years ago.  The financial community now assigns a virtual zero value to in-ground oil, refusing to any longer consider it as an asset of a company. No banks want to lend on oil and coal projects any more.  (I don't know where the proponents of the Keystone pipeline got their money but apparently they had it in the bag before the downfall of oil prices.) After a big fight two years ago in Portland, Oregon, Shell persisted in sending its oil drilling ship up into Alaskan waters, then brought it home almost immediately because the accountants said it wasn't worth the expense in a shrinking oil market.

Trump has made a lot of threats, and over the next weeks I'll try to assess the actual possibilty of the most serious ones. The Supreme Court is, of course, the supreme worry.

But get this right now—because I know your humanitarian concern is profound—Trump cannot deport 11 million people wholesale. Or the "two or three milion criminals" he has now cut down to.) There are requirements of due process for even non-citizens and for "criminals". Supreme Court Upholds Basic Due Process Rights of Immigrants  And get this: the Catholic Church was extremely protective of the "illegal aliens" as they were called back in the 1980s when mass round-ups were attempted. The Church opened its doors as sanctuaries. The Religious Origins of the Sanctuary Movement. Do Trump and the Congress really want to take on the Catholic Church, still the largest church in America? One in five Americans is Catholic, equaling over 69 million nationwide. Celebration Guide for the Inaugural Year, Parish Religious Education Week, Nov 1-7, 2015 Not nice politics to have police and INS on TV forcing their way into churches to grab little children.

Plus keep this in mind: will the parsimonious GOP Congress give Trump billions for deportations and for his "beautiful wall"?  Really? And how will the big hotels, such as those bearing the Trump name, replace the Latino maids and laundresses, cooks and gardeners that make their existence possible? And what will mighty agribusiness do without stoop labor? And the meat-packing plants in Kansas and Nebraska that could open in the little prairie towns because they could get Latino workers to come there. The Latinos coming there saved those little towns from extinction. And what about the workers in construction and road work? How many industries does Trump think he can shaft with the okay of Congress?

It's still America, and money and business still run the show. Sometimes in the name of profit, business gets it right—as with energy conservation. Sometimes it supports a system that keeps desperate refugees at low wages, as in the fields of agriculture.  But in the 70 years I have been hearing about "wet-backs" and the "stoop labor" issue, no one has ever come up with a lasting plan for decent wages that agribusiness would accept. Or could any politician fight off the demands of our huge agribusiness. To believe agribusiness will now accept its cheap labor being deported is nonsense.

I'm just trying to point out that Trump won't have it all his way. The GOP Congress also can't have it all its way and get re-elected. Trump's supporters are in for big disappointments.

Among the promises he can't deliver on is one I actually liked. In fact, I'm going to get a tee shirt that says, "Hey, Donald! Where's my Social Security increase?"

I'll tackle more of Trump's no-go ideas soon, plus an upcoming post on how we circumvent the drat electoral college in the future. This has to stop happening. We win the popular vote and get kicked in the stomach. George W in 2000 and now Trump, even though both were rejected by a majority of voters. Give me a break!
_______________
P.S. Is it true Trump made millions on all those caps that he sold at the rallies, the ones that say "Make America Great Again"?  You think I can make millions with my Social Security tee shirt? If so, the ice cream is on me! Four scoops for everybody!




  

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Now What Do We Do?

Now what do we do?

Trump is president, the GOP still controls the Congress, and Trump will have the appointments to insure right-wing control of the Supreme Court. Our long nightmare of a campaign has become something even worse.

But we shall endure. And as we do so, we shall fix things. Yes, we can.

Some of us are old enough to have made it through five years of Nixon, eight years of Reagan, and eight years of George W grinning like Alfred E. Newman in Mad Magazine: "What, me worry?"

But we can do more than endure passively. We can organize. The Democratic party apparatus has failed us miserably. We must build anew.

We can demand a new Democratic Party constitution that takes party management out of the hands of the sold-out, ineffectual officeholders like Nancy Pelosi and What's-Her-Name Wasserman.  The new constitution will put the party's governance into the hands of a panel of Grand Old Democrats, such as retired U.S. Senators or governors or whoever, i.e. a trustworthy blue-ribbon bunch. Let them set primary debate schedules, allocate campaign funds, control who gets the lists, establish an ongoing small-dollar fund raising operation that utilizes the method Bernie used to raise millions at $27 a pop.

We can start a talent search for candidates to run for local and state offices and Congressional seats, like the "50-state strategy" Howard Dean instituted after losing the Democratic nomination in 2004.  Through his strategy in 2006 a tsunami of elected Democrats swept into Congress and the state offices. (Hey, maybe we can get Dean back!)

We can decide to stop being "too busy" for politics. Yes, everybody has a high-powered job and is a big shot with such demands on their time as you just wouldn't believe. I don't care. I've heard it all before repeatedly in recent decades, and it's just a cop-out. You don't have the time to not be involved. Because unless you get involved we are going to run out of time entirely, scorched by global warming or blown to bits by nuclear weapons.

Who's going to lead the way with this? you rightfully ask.

You are.

You have a computer. Use it. You can begin something that can grow. And you can find others who want to do something about this mess. I know various people who have started or spurred national movements. Every organization was some one person's idea. Remember Occupy Wall Street?  But let's look further back than that to a time of no computers and a setting of poverty and hardship.

In the early 1960s Cesar Chavez decided to organize the Latino farmworkers in the fields of California. I went to those fields in that era. One hundred and ten degrees and no shade, no water, no porta-potties. Children as young as five and six with their little backs bent over as they picked under the blazing sun. The adults bent over double hour after hour. (That, my friends, is how your food is supplied to you.)

Cesar was a saintly man and couldn't stand to see the people suffer. As a little boy he too had picked. So now he went to see Dolores Huerta.

"I want you to help me organize a labor union of us farm workers", Cesar said.

"I can't do that!" she replied.

Then and ever after, Cesar answered, "Si, se puede." Yes. you can.

And she did. She went house to house, hovel to hovel, and she told the laborers and their families that "We are going to be a labor union."  "No we, can't do that."  "Si, se puede," Dolores said.

And they did. And they struck against the lettuce-growers and the grape-growers and on and on. When Cesar was jailed in Salinas and the people feared for his safety, we had a candlelight vigil outside the jail and Ethel Kennedy came. Later—in 1975—I sat on the stairs outside the hearing room where the California State Legislature was approving the California Labor Relations Act.  Si, se puede. It was possible after all. She and Cesar had done it!

In 2012 I watched on TV as President Obama hung the Presidential Medal of Freedom around the neck of my friend "Dolo" Huerta, then 82 years old. Here she is in 2016, age 86. And here she is the mid-1960s  with Bobby Kenndy and Cesar.



I think of this trio today, and thus the threat of Trump and the GOP power monopoly melts into the manageable. Yes, they are a menace but we have inspiring friends. We can rise to meet these threats. We can clean up our own political home. We follow a path made by the strong ones.

Cesar said, “The greatest tragedy is not to live and die, as we all must. The greatest tragedy is for a person to live and die without knowing the satisfaction of giving life for others.”


 Robert Kennedy often quoted George Bernard Shaw: "Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not? "

 A Democratic party free of fat cats and of candidates who "get their turn"? A party of the people, for the people, and by the people.? I dream of such things and say why not?

Si, se puede.

P.S. I just noticed Grand Old Democrats can be "GOD". Oh, golly! Trump and the GOP had better watch out.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Three More Reasons We Know Clinton Is Winning

Yesterday I wrote a blog post that presented seven ways we can know Clinton is winning. But there are actually three more:

First  of the additional reasons we know Clinton is winning:
Today for the fifth time in four weeks—yes, the fifth time!—Democratic precinct workers came to my door. That is amazing. As I never tire of saying, nothing is as powerful in politcial campaigning as someone at your front door. At least here in Pennsylvania  the lauded superiority of the Clinton ground game is real! And remember that Pennsylvania is one of the key states to winning the presidency.

Second: One of my sons just reminded me:  in screening for "likely voters", pollsters automatically rule out new voters by making the litmus test whether the voter voted in the last election. Where enormous numbers of new voter registrations have occurred this year, as in the Latino communities in Florida, Nevada, and Colorado, a large number of anti-Trump voters are being automatically excluded from the polls. Analyst Nate Silver, for example, briefly refers to them as "low-propensity voters who weren’t necessarily making it through likely voter screens." Election Update: The Campaign Is Almost Over, And Here’s Where We Stand

Third:   The America I have known and loved for a long, long time has its serious evil such as racism. But it is basically a country of good people where racists and other ignorant people are outnumbered about two to one. Even though many of its people are scared now by the big changes in this country and our world, not all its people are scared of the changes nor are all the scared ones willing to take severe measures against their fellow citizens. Americans have fought to save other people from tyranny, have delivered massive relief to stricken countries, have been more philanthropically generous in their private giving than any other people on earth. And in spite of a wretched strain of racism in America, this country did enact the Civil Rights Act and decades later elected an African American president.

After all its 230-year history of sacrifice and struggle for freedom and justice and all its generosity of spirit,  I can't believe America will make Donald Trump its president.

I can't believe that. I refuse to believe it.




Saturday, November 5, 2016

Hillary Is Winning! So Stop Being Anxious!

Hillary Clinton is winning the presidency!

"Wait!" you say. "Aren't we hearing a lot about the polls tightening?"

Ignore that. The polls at this point don't mean much, especially this year. The postscript at the end has  one theory on the non-significance of these poll swings. And keep in mind that, tightening or no tightening, Clinton's still leading!

So if we ignore the polls, what can foretell Tuesday's outcome? Sure, there's the fact my Cubs won the World Series, meaning anything good can happen. But aside from that truth, there are solid, fact-based reasons we know she is winning.

Number One of Clinton-is-winning:  Moody's Analytics is usually focused on rating nations and companies as to their worth and credit-worthiness, but  it goes political every four years and has correctly predicted every presidential race since Reagan's win in 1980. Paying no attenton to polls, this is what Moody's predicts for next Tuesday (as you'll see, it's based on other factors besides an "economic forecast".)


Moody's Analytics model predicts big Clinton win - Nov. 1, 2016

In making its projection, Moody's uses economic factors that determine the public's sense of well-being. These include the currently low gas prices (everyone is aware of them because they are posted along all the streets.) Another factor is household income, which has been rising according to this week's end-of-month Department of Labor report. Currently rising home prices are the third factor, making everyone feel richer. And the unempoyment rate just fell to 4.9! A new low since 2008 and one seldom seen since Bill Clinton was president.

Moody's also uses political factors. First is the outgoing president's standing. Obama is in great shape at 55% approval, one of the highest of any retiring president ever. A second consideration is the general partisan leaning of each state. Democrats at present tend to dominate in the most populous states with the highest number of electoral college votes: California, New York, Illinois...well, you get the idea. A third consideration is called "political fatigue" which means that some states tend to switch parties every few years, but that's really getting into the weeds.

Let's move on to Number Two of  Clinton-is-winning: We know Clinton is going to win because you—the voter—tell us so. Like Moody's, the voters have never been wrong in calling the presidential race. People call it correctly even when they are voting for the other candidate! As of last week nearly 70% of voters said Clinton is going to win. Poll: Nearly 7 in 10 voters think Clinton will win election ...

There is another group in this category of "never been wrong": the school children. Famous for prediction US school foresees Hillary Clinton win ... They too have picked Clinton.

And if you can't trust these two groups with these great track records, will you trust the gamblers, the people willing to actually lay their actual money on Clinton? The gambling odds in favor of Clinton are effectivelt 4-to-1. Live Betting Odds

Number Three:  If you need more reassurance, here's a blockbuster, almost a too-good-to-be-true.  A smart pollster decided to stop asking people how they would vote and instead asked those who have already voted to tell how they had actually voted. This was done in Florida, where the state publishes the name and party of those who have done early voting. When these actual voters were interviewed, it was discovered that 28% of Florida Republicans had voted for Clinton! That is stunning! (I'll bet they were GOP women!)  Based on this, these same pollsters project Clinton will beat Trump in Florida by eight points!  TargetSmart/William & Mary survey featured on MSNBC   Keep in mind that Trump cannot win the electoral college without Florida!

Need more reassurance? Number Four is from the noted Larry Sabato and the University 0f Virginia Center for Politics. Florida is the only toss-up in his prediction, and Clinton—even without Florida— is at 293 electoral votes v. the 270 she needs to win. Trump is locked out even if he wins Florida.



 


Number Five: You can't need more reassurance! But in case you do, here's a whopper. As of last night, Princeton Election Consortium joined UVA in calling the race for Clinton. Prior to this, in mid-October its charming director, Professor Sam Wang, twittered, "It is totally over. If Trump wins more than 240 electoral votes, I will eat a bug." This evening he doubled down, saying that Hillary has a 99% chance of winning and will have at least 330 electoral votes. He didn't say anything more about eating bugs. He did, however, mention "72 quadrillion" calculations in his analytic process. (He has a hell of a computer it seems.)

Number Six depends on Governor John Kasich of Ohio. Of all the enemies he has callously made, Trump couldn't have picked a worse one than Ohio's GOP Governor John Kasich. You remember Kasich in the GOP primaries? Trump just squashed him like the bug that Professor Wang would be willing to eat. Keep in mind it's almost impossible for a Republican to win the White House without Ohio. And Ohio is Kasich's  fiefdom. In the bent politics of Ohio, Kasich can bend things any way he wants to. Just recall that a GOP official in Ohio cost Kerry the election in 2004. It just suddenly became real hard for Kerry's supporters to vote. Oddly enough, Trump is right about"rigged elections" but he picked the wrong state (Pennsylvania) and the wrong party. It could be the GOP in Ohio who rigs things against him!

But Kasich can screw Trump even without messing with the voting. He can just quietly bar the Ohio GOP from doing any get out the vote for Trump. Remember that Kasich has opposed Trump all along, even to staying away from the GOP convention in his very own state. That's real hate, baby! Plus Kasich wants the helm in rebuilding the GOP in the wake of Trump's crazy run. So his future depends on being sure Trump has none. Without a good ground effort to identify Trump supporters and get out their vote, chances are lots of them won't show up. Do you realize how many of Trump's previously non-voting supporters don't even know you have to be registered to vote? I live amongst them here in the mountains of Appalachian Pennsylvania and I can tell you that lots don't know much of anything of how voting or government work. But I love them in spite of their willful ignorance and prejudices,  and—like Michael Moore— I bitterly resent how Trump has misled and exploited them.

Now Kasich alone may even the score for them. As we said in show biz, Everyone you step on in your climb is waiting to kick you on your way down. Let's hope good ol' Kicker Kasich does the job!

Saturday's sparkling autumn morning brings more reassurance with Number Seven: Here's from today's NY Times:



Think of it like this: Would you take a trip in a car that had only a 16% chance of making it without going off the road?  Clinton is still leading in the polls in enough states to give her 270+ electoral votes. 2016 Election Forecast Updated 9 minutes ago and RCP Poll Average. In fact, no respectable pollster or analyst is putting Trump in the lead or expecting him to get there.

Please keep in mind that Trump never has led Clinton. Her range has been upper forties and his has been low to mid 40s. They bounce around in those ranges, but she's never slid under her lower fence and he's never jumped his upper one. Think of Trump's upper fence as his famous tall wall. It's the only wall he's built or ever going to build,  and it's keeping him out of the White House. Ha ha on you, Trump!

That brings us to Number Seven:  By threatening to deport millions of undocumented Latinos, Trump has awakened a sleeping tiger. Live Updates: Hispanics Surge to Polls as Race Nears the End In the West and in Florida—glory be!—Latinos are voting like crazy wherever voting's started.  It's a phenomenal increase, and it looks like they will more than cover any drop-off rate in African American voting. I'll write more about this after the election because it is a phenomenon I've waited 48 years for and worked hard for, as did others. But we failed for 48 years. Now Trump—with his amazing idiocy and threats and insults—has made it happen. He wanted to give tickets to the eleven million undocumented for a one-way ride on a government bus to Mexico, and now the citizen-relatives of those undocumented are giving Trump what we call in Spanish "La Avila".
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That's seven big fat reasons to relax, Or at least stop getting knots in your stomach. Your old mama has spoken. Thank me by trying to enjoy this momentous ride through history. We are in the front seats of the front car on a ride that's an adventure. All adventures have to have fear and risks, right? But we know it will come out okay. I'll now mention the strongest reason of all even if it's culturally a no-no to mention Him, but I have been storming at Him for way over a year with the fervor of an old Jewish Irish Catholic, using the irrefutable logic that He gave us the miracle of an African American president in this racist country and thus it makes no sense for Him to let Trump be president now and undo all of Obama's good works. His answer is a smile and the usual, "I don't make evil. Humans do. You have the power to stop Trump. Just vote early and often and help with Democratic get-out-the-vote."

He's right. He always is! It's not too late to call your local Democrats and volunteer for get out the vote work between now and election day. For what else did God and/or the Jews create the weekend?

(I say"Him" because it's easiest. Frankly, I have no idea what or whom The One is. The One takes care of that, and I do politics. By the way, did you ever realize that the story of Jesus is a political story?)

Well, like Porky Pig used to say, "That's all, folks" ....... But not quite. Tuesday has yet to come. Only two more days. You can't count today because it's half over. And you can't count Election Day itself because that's like counting December 25 as one of the days until Christmas. Nonsense! Nevertheless, the media keep saying four days! Well, if they can't even count the days correctly, why trust them enough to let them get you worried? Also the media drones on about "the undecideds". Bosh! There's no actual undecideds. That's just people ashamed to admit they are not voters. I've been through this with them in 18 presidential elections since I was age 8. At this point there are no undecideds!

Just keep saying to yourself, "That blasphemer Old Mama Dorothy and God The Father both say it will be okay. Screw the alarmists on TV! And if it isn't okay, Mama Dorothy is leading an Exodus to the mild climate ofVancouver, British Columbia, or to Ireland. Another adventure!"

And also keep chanting, "If the Cubs can win the damn Series, anything good can happen!"

You okay now? Stay okay! I love you all.

Vote early and often!
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P.S. One credible theory on the non-significance of polling wobbles: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/08/don_t_be_fooled_by_clinton_trump_polling_bounces.html