The Democratic Party Isn’t Dead But Desperately Needs New Medicine

(Author’s note:  America needs a two-party system, with equal power and participation for both parties. Though this non-partisan article portrays a negative view of the Democrat Party’s current state, it presents the factual disarray with a roadmap for positive change to regain the party’s historical national leadership.)

The last few political years have not been good for Democrats, and Hillary Clinton’s loss in the presidential election is only the latest symptom of a rudderless ship making little or no progress.

FullFinalRepublicans now control the Senate and the House of Representatives. Only 17 states have Democrat governors. Only 13 state legislatures have Democrat majorities.

Although Democratic President Barrack Obama held the presidency for eight years, his personal popularity and a highly favorable media treatment couldn’t stop a slow-but-steady Democrat descent that began long before Obama’s wins. The president had strong support from minorities and young voters. But that support was his alone, and could not transfer to the remainder of the party. Though the hapless leadership of Debbie Wasserman Schultz was part of the Democrat problems, electing a new DNC chair will provide only a tiny uptick.

THE GOOD NEWS FOR DEMOCRATS: THE PARTY CAN STILL CHANGE AND REGAIN MOMENTUM.

The keyword is “change.” The party needs different strategies and different leadership voices.

Democrat leaders need to reposition two or three of their loudest and most embarrassing voices to the ‘back row’ of the caucus. Though people like Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Maxine Waters may be effective lawmakers, they are unappealing to the electorate at large. Ms. Pelosi is 76 years old. Mr. Schumer is 66. Ms. Waters is 78. Pelosi has a net worth of more than $70-million. Waters’ net worth is around $5-million, and Schumer is also wealthy, at a bit under $1-million. How can such wealthy senior citizens relate to a Democratic constituency of youth and mainstream workers struggling to pay bills every month?

Strategically, the Democrats have limited their leadership to bashing Donald Trump, just as they bashed Bush 43 and every other Republican they could vilify through identity politics. Though these tactics may energize marginal social media hate-mongers, this strategy turns off moderates and mainstream voters in both parties.

THE PRESCRIPTION

A much stronger way to strengthen Democrat positioning is to get out in front of Donald Trump’s agenda.

  • Stop screaming about Trump’s wall, and come up with a better plan to enforce our borders. You can include e-verify, state-of-the-art electronic detection, drones, increased manpower, and programs to punish employers who hire immigrants without specific licensing. (This can be far more effective than Trump’s wall since it can also be designed to track the estimated 40 percent of illegal immigrants who overstay their visas.
  • Instead of trying to block the inevitable repeal of Obamacare, promote a Democrat program for “Obamacare II.” Write a plan that keeps the framework and theoretically fixes all of the problems. Include a single payer option that will have lower drug prices, that the party negotiates with the pharmaceutical companies. (Remember, Democrats. You don’t have to implement anything. You only have to promote it. Even if it never comes to pass, this program will raise the party’s positive visibility.)
  • Enhance Medicare, and eliminate Republican plans for a voucher system by the following strategies:
    • Fund and implement an FBI task force to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse, thereby lowering Medicare costs.
    • Sponsor and enforce “tort reform” to lower costs for malpractice insurance for hospitals and individual doctors.
    • Implement means testing so that high-income people only qualify for Medicare for catastrophic illness or injury. Negotiate lower drug prices, and lower costs for high-priced diagnostic equipment.

By promoting effective programs that are more attractive than Trump’s, the party can reclaim middle-class voters and begin winning local races all over the country.

And one more thing. Plan strategies to be promoted on a micro-target basis. Don’t fool yourselves into believing that nationwide poll numbers indicate uniform support. The overwhelming population numbers in California, and New York, along with Washington DC influence can make bad ideas seem supportable. Microtargeting can optimize support in Omaha, Madison, and Jacksonville while maintaining the support of the large Democratic masses on the coasts.

 

Hillary’s Surrogates and Endorsements

nine-thumbs4Since the stunning election surprise of Trump’s victory, we have heard countless experts, pundits, historians, and politicians explaining how Trump won. They point to strategic mistakes, failure to understand the anger of the electorate, polling errors and many other aspects of electoral politics. Nevertheless, they seem to overlook one of the most important differences in the two campaigns: the surrogates and endorsers.

Hillary Clinton had the highest quality and deepest bench of surrogates that we have ever seen. Her campaign could call on the President of the United States, the First Lady, the Vice President, Former President Clinton, Senators Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. She had active “A List” celebrities like JZ, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Barbra Streisand and others who performed on her behalf, and countless others who publically endorsed her.

To better understand what happened, ask yourself: “If I wanted to win the heart of someone, would I send a close friend to romance him or her?” “If I thought that someone didn’t like me, would I bring someone who overshadows me on a date?” “If I was trying to win a new job, would I send someone famous to the interview instead of going myself?” “Would I bring entertainers to a date or interview, hoping that their celebrity would become mine?”

FullFinal-TVTW071016Obviously, the point is that celebrity surrogates or endorsements are ineffective in improving a candidate’s popularity. They may seem attractive, but they just do not work.

Hillary’s “enthusiasm numbers” remained steady and low during the entire campaign. Speeches by the President repeated thousands of times the throughout the country had no effect. While Democrats touted the Clinton “ground game,” voter enthusiasm—much higher for Trump—brought more people to the polls. The rest is history.

Insights from Inside the Bunker August 6, 2016

Why Do Voters Remain Loyal to Political Parties?

Though political parties have fallen somewhat out of favor, the majority of voters in every election identify themselves as either Democrat or Republican. Neither party has close to 50 percent of registered voters, but the two parties together account for 59 percent who say, “I’m a Democrat” or “I’m a Republican.”

A much smaller number of these voters have the time or inclination to understand and evaluate election issues. There are no reliable statistics to measure this group, but it’s fair wood-desk-top-Finalto estimate it at about 10 percent. Another estimated 20 percent have limited understanding. They hear the general themes from advertising or occasional news clips but don’t evaluate issues before choosing a candidate. Members of this group often believe that promises and claims of politicians are composed only of partial truths and seldom translate into actions.The remaining group, estimated at nearly half of party loyalists, have virtually no knowledge of political issues. Nevertheless, these voters automatically cast ballots for their parties.

Regardless of their knowledge or political engagement, many party members defend their party as though the party is a religion. Most can recite at least one positive headline about their party, such as these examples:

“My party favors working families.”
“My party defends the Constitution.”
“My party is for women’s rights.”
“My party is for law and order.”
“My party fights for social justice.”
“My party provides jobs by growing the economy.”

Most can recite a negative headline about the other party, such as:

“The other party raises taxes so they can spend more.”
“The other party ships jobs overseas.”
“The other party strangles small business with regulation.”
“The other party is composed of angry old white men.”
“The other party gives away middle-class tax dollars to buy votes from minorities.”
“The other party wants to control women.”

FullFinal-TVTW071016To strengthen that belief, voters of either party often “make stuff up,” fabricating wild statistics, suppositions, negative snippets, and vague fears. At times, members of each party sound desperate, in supporting their party’s supposed high-ground. Under scrutiny, however, most of these support statements or attacks offer questionable statements with little value for choosing a candidate. Nevertheless, individuals on social media repeat them, quote them out of context, create graphics and fictional information to support and enhance them.

Why are so many voters wedded so strongly to a political party? As compared to religions which usually offer spirituality and community, the parties themselves offer virtually nothing to their members. Religious organizations accept donations to help the sick, poor and downtrodden. In contrast, political parties solicit donations and use the funds to strengthen the power of their leaders.

Every four years at the national conventions, a group within each party writes a so-called “platform,” a series of principles which candidates claim to support. Most of these principles—often called platform “planks”– are vague and not actionable. Many require Congress to consider laws that would never pass through the legislative process. Candidates, however, usually follow pragmatic strategic paths and therefore ignore much of the platform. In the end, the platform is only a “feel-good” document, soon forgotten.

Logically, most people would vote for a candidate that would be best in running the government and making their lives better. But a huge number of voters automatically vote for a candidate only because he or she is a Democrat or a Republican.

Apparent experts—sociologists, behaviorists, and journalists—offer a variety of explanations for this extreme party loyalty. One theory is that young people register and select a party affiliation around age 18 and then hear only their party’s views forever after. Others choose the same party as their friends and family members. In fact, many political choices are passed down through multiple generations. Though young people may no longer know why a great grandparent chose to become a Republican or Democrat, the original choice can remain as a family tradition. Democrat ward heelers in New York City helped settle immigrants entering from Ellis Island. Their support caused tens of thousands of people to register as Democrats, and initiated Democrat majorities that remain strong five generations later.

Why should we care about politicians who win due to people who vote only by party?

Blind loyalty to either of the two parties permits a few very powerful people to make decisions that affect the lives of every American. When poor or middle-class voters vote by party, instead of by candidate qualifications, they surrender their rights to a handful of established politicians who may not care about anything other than personal power and wealth. People who want their country to prosper and improve life for themselves and their families should vote carefully from knowledge. Blindly supporting parties that do nothing for them keeps potentially more effective candidates out of power and lowers opportunities for all Americans.

 

Clinton Campaigns Against Sexism

With less than 100 days remaining before Election Day, both candidates—Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—have been struggling to find more effective strategies. Both candidates worry about polling that indicates a majority of voters reject both of them. Looking at demographics, Hillary Clinton has decided to court young women voters, many of whom were previously Bernie Sanders enthusiasts.

To begin targeting this group, the Clinton campaign scheduled a rally at Columbia University, for women only. And to create a different feel for the event, she invited Rachel RachelMaddow of MSNBC to act as emcee. The theme of the evening event was “The Fight Against Sexism.” Discussing the subject from armchairs, instead of the usual speaker’s podium, the program included three Columbia women who related their personal stories.

Following opening remarks by Clinton and Maddow, the three young women entered the stage and prepared for discussions led by Maddow.

Maddow: “We’re pleased to take this opportunity to expose the ugly underbelly of blatant sexism, as practiced on a typical American campus. Though we’ll hear from each of these young women, we will omit their names to maintain their privacy.”

“Beginning with Woman Number One: Please tell us how sexism has affected your life on campus.”

Woman Number One: “When I arrived here as a freshman, I heard sexist language from the very first male I encountered. He said, ‘Hey girl! You’re looking good. What’s yourPlacard-Two name?’ I couldn’t believe my ears! Did he call me GIRL? And did he comment on my appearance?”

Maddow: “OMG! I’m so sorry you had to experience that sexist behavior. I’m sure Secretary Clinton will be fighting for you! How about you, Woman Number Two?

Woman Number Two: “I’ve experienced terrible sexist remarks while dating. One guy asked me whether I took responsibility for birth control, within five minutes of meeting me. After one or two hours, he got what he wanted from me, but his language and his aggressive sexist assumptions were still repulsive.”

Maddow: “Incredible! So sad that you had to hear those words. I know you’d be happier in a women’s safe place on campus. Let’s hear from Woman Number Three.”

Woman Number Three: “I was enjoying dinner with a man who couldn’t contain himself. PlacardOneHe continually talked about unspeakably perverse acts he wanted us to perform. I was beside myself with disgust. I reported him to the University Provost, but she said that they could do nothing to stop him. Because he’s my husband. Some excuse!”

Maddow: “Wow! I’m personally so offended I can hardly speak. Thank heavens we have THE FUTURE FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT fighting for us. Secretary Clinton, please tell us how you plan to address blatant sexism.

CLINTON: “Thank you ladies, and especially you, Rachel. We have lots of work to do, and I can’t wait to take the oath on January 20. Until then, let me be clear. Sexism is wrong! We cannot and will not tolerate it! EVER AGAIN!

When I am President, my highest priority will be to protect young women from enduring the incredible sexism that still exists in 2016. I will ask Congress to pass laws that will govern this behavior on every college campus in America. Campuses must build and maintain safe spaces for women every 500 feet. If a male attempts entry, he will be subject to expulsion and a 90-day prison sentence.

Every college campus will provide free birth control products of requested brand and type to every enrolled woman. Women may also request partners to provide birth control. And any man refusing that request will be subject to a $500 fine.

College administrators must investigate complaints of sexist language and punish male perpetrators within 24 hours, or they will automatically lose all federal grant money!”

Former President Clinton and Campaign Chairman John Podesta listened to the program from backstage and whispered their comments:
Podesta: “Can she legally do those things, Mr. President?”
Clinton: “Of course not. But these cute little bimbos are too dumb to get it!”

Secretary Clinton had prepared additional remarks but stopped speaking when a group of fifty or more young women entered the room, carrying signs and chanting: “Women’s Honor Matters!” Signs included that wording, along with ‘Rich Chicks Matter,’ and ‘All Men Must Beg Forgiveness.’”

 

New Trump Businesses Aim to Excite Millennials

Apparently concerned with negative poll numbers, Republican Presidential candidate FullFinalDonald Trump has been working on a bold new strategy. To address deficits with millennials he has been preparing a campaign to capture Bernie Sanders voters. This new campaign has been in preparation mode for weeks, but the Trump camp has maintained a tight embargo on details. A handful of friendly advisors and reporters have had partial briefings, but until now few have seen the entire picture.

Trump recently explained that his new strategy involves extensive behind-the-scenes planning among his top business managers and attorneys. It involves the creation of new companies and new businesses.

“We know that Mr. Trump will win if he captures 45 percent of the Bernie vote,” reported campaign chief Paul Manafort. “We’ve analyzed voter attraction to Senator Sanders and identified three driving factors. Initially, the most compelling factor was a rejection of Hillary Clinton. The second was ‘Social Justice,’ the idea of the government providing free things like healthcare and college tuition. The third was a rejection of the current political system. Mr. Trump already represents an alternative to Clinton and rejection of the current system. So his newly created strategy will concentrate on free services, especially attractive to Millennials.”

This week, in the most detailed briefing yet, Trump explained that the traditional political speeches and advertising don’t work well because both candidates are working on what he termed the “negative side of the ledger.” His new strategy will not include further attacks. It will instead be an offer of the things Millennials want most.

Though Trump did not confirm actual details of what he will offer, the most prominent pieces are based on three initiatives.
The first initiative is to reopen and expand Trump University, offering free tuition to all students. The new version of Trump U. will begin with three
campuses. One will be in Colorado, one will be in Maryland, and one will Trump-Universitybe in California. The university will purchase campuses of unsuccessful colleges in other states, refurbish them to Trump standards, and offer free tuition.

The second initiative will be a new company called Trump Adult Entertainment. This business will provide free admission to campus theaters, exclusive to students with a Trump University ID card. The company will present new performances Trump-Poster-1every week, with some designated for males, some for females, and some for each part of the LGBT community.

The third initiative will be free campus clinics, with licensed doctors specializing in conditions requiring medical marijuana. The clinics will also provide pharmacies to provide cannabis-based prescriptions.

“With these three businesses, we will offer students the things that they most value, according to polling,” Trump proclaimed.

WeedFollowing Trump’s statement, Manafort spoke confidentially to a few reporters to answer questions about the credibility of the new offerings. “Will he really do this?” “Who will provide the funding?” “Will the voters believe him?”

Manafort answered, “Everything depends on the outcome of the election. If Trump doesn’t win, voters will still remember his ideas, which will become a national crusade. If he wins, no one knows what he’ll do on this and a hundred other things. Of course, voters will believe him. They believe he’ll build a 2,000-mile wall and get Mexico to pay for it. If they buy that, they’ll buy anything!”

Insights from Inside the Bunker July 30, 2016

Handicapping the Polls

Polls, polls, polls! In our hearts, we know they’re probably bogus, but we still pay attention to them. News media and pundits transform polls into news stories. Then campaign spokespeople cherry-pick numbers that are supposed to portend positive futures for their candidates. But what do the polls tell us?

Polls typically focus on numbers indicating the widest margins. For example, polls show both Clinton and Trump distrusted by more than fifty percent of voter respondents. That data appears to offer hope to both sides since one candidate will win despite the negative numbers. For those of us with emotional investment for or against a candidate, we hope that they forecast the future, but only if they lean our way.

The best way for any of us to truly understand polls is to clear our minds of everything we hear, and forecast results based on history and common sense.

Start with history.

  • Bill Clinton, seen by many as the most popular President since Ronald Reagan, never won 50 percent of the vote. In 1996, his most successful Presidential election, Clinton won 49.23 percent of the vote, indicating that 50.77 percent of the voters voted for someone else.
  • Barrack Obama an incumbent President in 2012, won only 51.06 percent of the vote.
  • Because 2008 was an historic election, with enthusiasm for the first African American president, voting patterns were slightly different but began returning to their historical patterns in 2012. In 2008, Obama won 95 percent of black voters, with black voter participation rate at it’s highest ever. That resounding victory, however, gave the President a plurality of only 53 percent of the vote. Though black participation was a bit lower in 2012, 95 percent of black voters still voted for Obama. Without them, Obama would have lost.

The lesson from history, therefore, is that candidates win elections on very small margins, despite polls predicting “landslide” pluralities.

What else do we know with reliable accuracy?

Despite both campaigns claiming that they are winning, most states that vote strongly for either party will vote for the same party again and again. That fact gives us the well-known model of red (Republican) states and blue (Democrat) states. Though campaigns must maintain a presence in all states, each party cedes states other than their traditional “color” and works on those states in their traditional base. That fact can take 45—48 states out of consideration, leaving three to five so-called swing or battleground states that elect the winner.

ElectoralMap

Note: As in every election cycle, experts disagree on whether some states are the Swing States. This map, therefore, shows more purple states than the probable number.

Pollsters and news media typically report results based on the entire US-wide voting public. Pundits can then select statistical nuggets that supposedly favor their candidates. For example, Democrats will say, “Trump has a problem with young female voters.” Maybe he does, but the poll proves very little. Presumably, young women in California strongly reject Trump. But the California population is so large that it statistically overshadows the other states. Do young women compose a nationwide bloc so homogeneous that voters in swing states like Michigan and Ohio are in lockstep with their California counterparts?

FullFinal-TVTW071016Of the 50 states, there are usually four or five that become swing states, AKA battleground states, because people who are most likely to vote seem to be equally split between the two major parties. Though some states will no longer be swing states in the current cycle, other states will be “up for grabs.” Swing states usually include Ohio and Florida, though some pundits claim that Florida may no longer be evenly split. Other swing states for this cycle seem to be Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Colorado. The candidate who wins three or four of these will probably win the election.

Polling in the swing states may be meaningful, but most people in these states have already chosen their candidates. Nationwide, 28 percent of likely voters are registered Republicans, 31 percent are Democrats, and 39 percent are Independents. Though Independents are the largest group, many aren’t truly Independent. They are people who don’t like either party but repeatedly vote for one party’s candidates. Others pay little attention to politics and vote according to advice from friends or family. A few vote whimsically, according to irrelevant issues such as gender, ethnicity, race, good-looks, or “the kind of guy or women I’d like to have a beer with.” Few of these voters care about any election issues.

Filtering through these factors, it becomes obvious that each race will depend on a very small group of voters in swing states, many of whom know little about issues or candidates. Broad polls can’t measure this group.

How important are the conventions to winning swing voters? About 25-million people DiceOnFeltwatched the first night of the Democratic National Convention, a very high audience size. Most, however, were committed Democrats. Many others watched hoping for extensive clashes between the Sanders and Clinton camps. Relatively few watched to learn about Hillary Clinton. Like the Republican convention, the DNC offered very little new information about the issues, strengths, and weaknesses of the candidates. For TV watchers in the battleground states, please accept our condolences. You are about to suffer through a blizzard of political commercials: as many as campaigns can purchase for $2-Billion.

Bottom line: The polls we see are as dependable as a roll of the dice.

 

Hillary Trains Tim Kaine
Fresh from his nomination for vice president, Senator Tim Kaine met with his new boss, Hillary Clinton. Hillary wanted to ensure that Kaine understood his new role. And the VP Kaine2nominee learned that the campaign trail could be rockier than he had anticipated. Here’s a peek at their post-convention conversation.

Hillary: “Tim, do you now why I chose you as my running mate?”

Kaine: “Of course. We’re compatible on the issues, and I’m capable of being President if you were unable to serve.”

Hillary: “That’s not exactly accurate. I chose you because you were the only viable candidate who is too dull to overshadow me. Lizzie is much more lively and articulate. And her only bad mark is imagining that she was born in a teepee. Compared to someone with my baggage she’s as clean as Mother Theresa. So she was out.”

“My other possible choices included two cool minority guys—one Latino, the other African American. Both make me look as white and old as yesterday’s cottage cheese. Then there was Tom Vilsack. Somehow his name sounds like a Slovakian porn star. So you were the last man standing. And you bring with you the greatest gift of all. You’re as bland and forgettable as Al Gore was to Bill. Congratulations, on being my best choice!”

Kaine: “Thank you, Hillary. As always, I live to grovel.”

Hillary: “Now let’s talk about ensuring that we always agree on the issues.”

Kaine: “Great. Does the campaign staff have documents listing your positions on all issues?”

SunHillary: “Of course not! Don’t be ridiculous! I sometimes have as many as five positions, depending on which audience I address. You’ll have to adapt your remarks to mine.”

Kaine: “How do I do that?”

Hillary: “Follow my rules. First, use a lot of extra words to confuse listeners on what you said. Second, never be too specific. Third, begin every position with a bland statement that everyone can accept: something like ‘Secretary Clinton has always fought for middle-class Americans.’”

Kaine: “What if I disagree with something you say?”

Hillary: “Here’s a gift for you, Tim. Put this gold chain on.”

Kaine: “Thanks, Hillary. How thoughtful! I love it!”

FullFinalHillary: “OK. Now try to take it off.”

Kaine: “YEOWWW!!!  ARGHH!” (moan) “What just happened?!! Was I tasered?”

Hillary: “That’s what will happen if you try to remove it before November 8. And I can activate it from my smartphone if you ever disagree with me. Shall I demonstrate it again?”

Kaine: “No! No! Please! I’ll never disagree!”

Hillary: “Great! By the way, Bill has worn a similar taser-chain since 1998, but not around his neck. Hah! I LOVE technology.”

 

Pense Gets Trumped

While Tim Kaine met with Hillary Clinton, Mike Pense, Republican Vice Presidential Candidate, was in Trump Towers to meet with Donald Trump.

PenceTrump: “Congratulations, Number 10!”

Pence: “Number 10? As in Number 10 Downing Street in London?”

Trump: “No. Number 10 as in your being the first to accept my offer of VP running-mate after nine others said ‘No Thanks.’ No worries, though. They were all losers. Of course, you might be in a tough spot if we lose. You could be persona non grata at any future GOP events. Your political career could be in ashes. But I’ll take care of you. Maybe you could run one of my golf courses in Dubai.”

Pence: “I’d rather not think about that. Right now, let’s concentrate on winning the election. Does the campaign have a complete list of the important things you’ve been saying?”

Trump: “There might be a list, but you won’t need it. Besides, some of the things I’ve said were months ago, and don’t count anymore.”

Pense: “How do we decide what to say?”

Trump: That’s easy! Just say anything that comes to mind. Even if it seems crazy. No
matter what it is, a lot of people on social media will repeat it, enhance it, and believe it. SaySomethingWhen the press challenges it, you explain it as though they’re five-year-olds, and they won’t know how to handle it. Then you restate it ambiguously, and it will become a major news story that attracts new voters. Go ahead, Mike. You try it.”

Pense: “OK. Uh, Hillary is a liar!”

Trump: “That’s not good enough, Mike. It’s too simple. Besides, a lot of people already believe it, so there’s no news story. Try again, more outrageous this time.”

Pense: “OK. How’s this? Bill Clinton had an affair with Gorbachev’s wife Raisa  in 1995 and nearly restarted the Cold War. Then, when the press questions me, I can say this: I read about it in a story translated from Pravda.  It was left on the Congressional trolley by Harry Reid. And I can call for a Senate hearing on Harry Reid’s ties to Russia.”

Trump: “Not bad, Mike. I might even use that.

“But for your next lesson, work with the phrase, ‘No, no, no! What Mr. Trump meant was—, and fill in a confusing version of the latest negative story. Practice that with my ban on Muslims.”

“One more thing: How do you spell Pravda?”

Insights from Inside the Bunker July 23, 2016

The Elephant in the Political Room

Despite the festive convention celebrations of both major parties, an “elephant in the room” continues to be ignored by virtually all politicians. That elephant is the ballooning Dual-Color-Elephantnational debt. One party treats it like the weather: “It’s natural—not man-made.” The other party treats it like a future problem, enabling them to “kick the can down the road,” to use a favorite Washington metaphor.

Though managing the debt appears to be nearly impossible for politicians, Congress and the next President can do it if they act like managers of a business. Here are three steps that any intelligent business executive would take.

1. Freeze all new hiring and ban replacement of people who retire or leave their jobs. This regulation would apply to every part of the government except organizations responsible for protecting the homeland and the military. Note: It could not apply to the military because single-term recruits leave after four years of service and must be replaced by new inductees.
2. Create a detailed budget, with every departmental budget reduced by one percent. Note: The US has not had a detailed budget submitted to Congress since 2009. Instead, the same old budget remains, with overall increases negotiated every year.
3. Change IRS rules, eliminating 501(c)(3) tax exemptions. This change would require non-profit organizations to pay taxes on all donations. All new taxes received by eliminating exemptions would become part of retiring the debt.

Along with these changes, there are a few more strategies that would help. For example, the US government could sell off more than 2,000 buildings that are no longer in use. Maintaining them—taxes, upkeep, insurance reserves and building security— wastes nearly $3-billion a year. If they could sell them, they might net another few billion.

FullFinal-TVTW071016Why should we pay attention to this boring subject? If America can’t curtail the growing debt, the interest alone will soon become so steep that the government will be unable to function. The vast debt size—more than $19-trillion—is impossible to pay down with tax increases. And the political fantasy of seizing billions of dollars from the wealthiest Americans would only pay for a tiny portion of one-year’s interest one time.

The US Treasury and Federal Reserve will have only one choice: to print and distribute trillions of dollars of new inflated currency. That will make the value of every middle-class dollar worth less and undercut the lifestyle of all Americans. All personal investment and retirement planning will erode. And the debt problem isn’t a forecast for the vague long-term future. The “future is now!” Inflation has already begun, and will accelerate if and when the economy improves.

 

TV Networks Fear Huge Losses

Leaks from highly placed government sources have caused grave concerns among TV news networks. According to rumors, the White House and Congress are negotiating a deal in which all tax exemptions for non-profit organizations will end. This move will terminate or sharply reduce donations to Political Action Committees. Under the current system, donors can contribute tax-free funds that organizations use to purchase TV advertising for political candidates. If only half of those donations could no longer be tax-free, that TV advertising revenue would disappear.

Led by CNN and Fox News, network executives met clandestinely to assess the potential financial damage to themselves. Following is a confidential record of the meeting,

Participating Networks: Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC.

MSNBC: “Where the hell are ABC, CBS, and NBC? We thought this meeting would include all networks.”

CNN: “Those three hypocrites are all supported by the Clinton Foundation, with funds running through a series of shell companies. Their sole purpose has been to support the Clintons.”

MSNBC: “Isn’t that illegal?”

Fox News: “As Bubba said to his zipper, ‘it’s only a problem if you’re caught.’”

CNN: “We three have got to keep earning those advertising dollars. What can we do?”

Fox News: ”We can always push for more advertising from drug companies, gold bullion pedlers, insurance vendors and shyster law firms.”

MSNBC: “Oh please! We get at least a thousand complaints about that stuff every day. If we crank it up, viewer’s heads may start to explode.

CNN: “We only had 22 primary debates. Maybe we can push the parties for more as we approach the general election.

Fox News: “That’s a non-starter. The campaigns won’t have money for more.

MSNBC: “Maybe we’re approaching this the wrong way. Why don’t we create a strategy that gets the Administration to back off?”

CNN: “Good thinking! What can we do to blackmail the White House, without going to jail or getting shot by a Secret Service Agent?”

TV-Screen-and-TitleFox News: “How about this? We can create an animated cartoon depicting a reality show, called: ‘Keeping Up With the Obamas!’”

MSNBC: “We can show the White House the first cut. When they panic, we can suggest a deal to keep ‘Citizens United’ and all other PACs in business.”

Fox News: “Hmmm…What can we script that will scare the hell out of them?”

MSNBC: “How about showing the President making some deals that the Republicans criticize.”

FoxNews: “Maybe we can have him making a deal with the Iranian mullahs, and then show the mullahs rolling on the floor laughing at him.”

CNN: “Or learning from MIT professor Gruber, that Obamacare is a fraud. Or maybe meeting an ISIS terrorist, with a huge knife, who says, ‘Do you really think we’re the JV team?’”

Fox News: “He’s already embarrassed about those things. We’ve got to be more original. Let’s depict him naked in a hot tub with Monica Lewinsky, smoking a cigar.”

MSNBC: “Great! Then Michele comes in and catches them!”

CNN: “OMG! Let’s do it. Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Fox News: “And pray that this was only a satirical fantasy!”

 

Hillary Strikes Back

Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton was frantic. She had watched every minute of the Republican National Convention and couldn’t contain her fury. She called a 6:00 AM meeting with her closest campaign advisors: Chief of Staff John Podesta, deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin, foreign policy advisor Jake Sullivan, and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Glassy-eyed, the candidate screamed every word, as though she was facing a hostile audience.

“LIES, LIES, LIES! It’s a vast right-wing conspiracy! We can’t let those jack-booted Republican thugs get away with those lies!”

“That story about the email server is a LIE! I never did that. Maybe it was you, Bill. Or maybe it was Huma. I NEVER DID ANY OF THAT! I always thought a server was someone who worked in a restaurant. It was probably Cheryl Mills. Not me! I don’t understand technical things!”

FullFinal“And they blamed me for Benghazi! BENGHAZI? I never heard of the place. And I wasn’t asleep during the attack. I was taking a bubble bath. Barrack was asleep. It’s not my fault. And I thought it was all about a terrible video. I read about it on Twitter. I didn’t lie! I NEVER LIE!”

“And how DARE they blame me for Iran, and Syria, and ISIS. That was all on Barrack. I didn’t know anything about that. Barrack and whatsername, Susan Rice. The National Security Advisor. They did all of those things. NOT ME! I was racking up airline miles like Barrack ordered. I’m a MILLION MILER! How could I have time to run foreign affairs?”

“I’m innocent. And very tired. I need a nap,” the candidate whispered. With that, a slumping Hillary Clinton quietly left the conference room.

Hillary’s advisors looked at each other, with jaws dropping. No one spoke for a minute. Chief of staff Podesta turned to former President Clinton, and said, “She’s finally gone full-tilt. We can’t let anyone know about this. We can’t let her in front of a microphone at the Convention, he continued. “We’ve got to implement Plan B.”

“I HATE Plan B!” whined the former President.

“It’s the only way back to the White House,” countered Podesta.

Billary“Alright,” surrendered Clinton. “I’ll be her stand-in. I’ve been practicing. I have the voice down pat. And I had the wig re-fitted to her hair-do. I can handle the make-up pretty well. Just don’t let those damn TV cameras get too close.

“I know I can pull this off. In fact, I look pretty GOOD as a woman. Imagine a Hillary that makes sense,” he laughed.

“But I’ve got two conditions. One is that I get to pick my own transgender bathroom, no matter what Barrack says. And the other condition is my wardrobe. Get me some good looking dresses and pants suits. I can’t stand her style. Think of it as a presidential body makeover!”

Insights from Inside the Bunker July 9, 2016

In-Memoriam

Clinton’s Meeting with Lynch: The Inside Story

Following up on the questions whirling around the role of Bill Clinton in his wife’s campaign, we dug more deeply into the former President’s now infamous tarmac meeting, with Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Bypassing the conventional sources reporting through the media, we contacted a reliable friend on contract with the NSA and struck gold. Without warrants or any other authorization, we learned that voyeuristic tech people in the agency listen to conversations between celebrities and other newsmakers. The material they record seldom goes to anyone outside of the agency, but they sometimes give a tip to gossip sheets, pointing them toward a story. But in this case, on a promise of strict anonymity, our contact provided us with a transcript of a key conversation, held the evening following the alleged chance tarmac encounter between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Clinton. Here’s the transcript:

Loretta: “Hi, Sweetheart, how’s my Billy Boy?

Heart2Bill: “Lovin,’ locked, and loaded for you, Sweet Loretta! Missing you already. But at least we had those 37 minutes of heaven on your airplane. Once your husband lost consciousness from that Rohypnol, and you locked him in that rear cabin, we had an experience I’ll never forget.”

Loretta: (sighs) “It was wonderful! And we fooled everyone, didn’t we? You’re the Master of Misdirection! Politicians, pundits, and the media are killing themselves. They’re yakking about “bad optics,” harm to Hillary’s campaign, secret deals, and other nonsense, not realizing that we set the whole thing up as cover for our love affair!”

Bill: “Yup! The media people are so dumb; they think I want Hillary to win. Why would I want that? Full-strength Secret Service instead of my two running buddies watching my back? Press, paparazzi, and Hillary’s friends dogging every step when you and I want some lovin’ time? No thanks!”

Loretta: “Ooooh, Sweet Lips! I can’t wait for the next time!

Bill: “Stop! Baby, you’re killin’ me! Hey, what are you wearing right now? Send me a selfie!

Loretta: OK. Here it is!

Bill: “OH MY GOD! You’re so beautiful! WHOOPS! Gotta go. The wicked witch is calling, to bitch about the tarmac meeting. Again. And Again! I’ll call you Baby!”

Loretta: “Bye-bye, Sweetcakes.”

 

Do Gay Muslim Women Support Hillary?
With America still mourning the tragic shooting in Orlando, followed by the terrorist attacks in Istanbul, Bangladesh, and Bagdad, the world saw a new kind of attack in Los Angeles, a few nights ago.

At a rally for Hillary Clinton, more than one thousand members of the Beverly Hills “Democratic Women Fighting Poverty,” had paid $500 a seat at the Microsoft Theater. Music to create an exciting atmosphere was supposed to be “I am Woman,” by Helen Reddy. Instead, the shocked audience heard a Billy Joel classic, as the smiling candidate strode onto the stage:

Honesty

The crowd of women booed loudly. They hadn’t come to the rally for honesty. They had come for Hillary. Meanwhile, the Republican undercover operator who had pre-set the musical recordings quietly exited the building.

As the crowd quieted, a new diversion appeared. A large group of black-clad women filed quickly into the auditorium, carrying super-soaker guns, loaded with red-dyed water. 3SoakersWith military precision, they ran up pre-assigned aisles, constantly shooting the red water from their super-soaker guns, shouting “get down on the floor.” Frightened audience members screamed and obeyed the order, hoping to survive.

The assailants, all dressed identically, wore burqas with niqab face covering that only exposed their eyes. A few carried signs reading “Gay Muslim Women for Equality.”

Others chanted, “BERNIE AKBAR!”

Seeing what appeared to be a bloodbath, CNN reporters, and camera crews ran from the auditorium to report on what they saw as a bloody slaughter. They later learned that the dyed water was harmless, but their story had already spread throughout the media. Twitter was on fire with clashing opinions about the “slaughter.”

signHow had such a large group of invaders gotten through the layers of building security? Security people explained that they were afraid to challenge the women, for fear of being called anti-Muslim, gay-bashers or misogynists. Therefore they allowed them to move forward.

Eventually, police captured all of the attackers and transported them to a nearby precinct to be booked. However, all arrested women refused to remove their face masks, citing religious grounds. Police, therefore, recorded 53 identical photos of black hoods with only eyes exposed. They noted each woman’s unpronounceable Arabic name and released all of them on their own recognizance.

Learning about the event, President Obama was furious. How could he call these invaders “terrorists?” He couldn’t insult their Muslim faith, nor could he speak ill of LGBT people or women. After a few hours of debate with his communications people, he made a Presidential decision. Speaking before the entire nation, he called for laws against Super-Soakers, blaming Republicans in advance, for holding up this important legislation.

 

What’s Behind the Burqa and Niqab?

New-NiqabA few days after the Super Soaker attack, Ellen Degeneres interviewed a representative from the group of Gay Muslim Women on her show.

Ellen: “Aliyah, thank you for coming. We feel that American women want to know more about you and your group. And there’s more than a little interest in the Burqa and Niqab you all wear.”

Aliyah: “Thank you, Ellen. What would you like to know about?”

Ellen: “How did your group of Gay Muslim Women get together?”

Aliyah: “You must understand customs of our home country. Women are almost non-persons. The men in our families can make deals for us and force us to marry anyone they choose. That’s what happened to all of the women in our group. But the men lose interest after a few weeks and spend their time plotting in the souk, or blowing themselves up as suicide bombers. Eventually, none of our members had husbands. And we were damaged goods. No one wanted us, so we secretly married each other.”

Ellen: “Why did you disrupt Hillary Clinton’s rally event?”

Aliyah: “We don’t like her. We like Bernie. He’s a cute little guy, and too old to hurt anyone.”

Ellen: Do you like Donald Trump?

Aliyah: He’s dangerous. Like our dead husbands were. But there’s one thing we all like. He builds things. For girls who have always lived in dirty old tents, that’s a big deal.”

Ellen: Let’s talk about the way you dress. Why do you all wear burqas and naqibs?

FullFinalAliyah: Oh that is the best part of our lifestyle. When we still had husbands, we could go to a festival, and the men would get stupid smoking hashish. Even though it’s not allowed in our religion, the men love to party. After a while, they can’t tell one girl from another because we look alike, wearing our burqas and naqibs. They never talk to us, so they don’t know our voices. That means we can go home with someone else’s husband and trade back in the morning.”

Ellen: “Are there other advantages?”

Aliyah: “Of course! We use the burqa and naqib as recruiting tools to attract American women. Once you dress in this way, you can save so much money! No more need for beauty products, hair products, and different outfits. But best of all, you don’t worry about your looks. Even if you’re a three on the 1-10 scale, a real bow-wow, you begin wearing our clothing, and ZAP! You’re a ten!”

Ellen: “Would you recommend your clothing style to women leaders like Hillary? Could she become a ten?”

Aliyah: “She talks too much. Maybe a hard seven.”

Which Candidate Would You Trust to Care for Your Goldfish?

Hillary3Despite the billions of words spewing from every political camp, it’s all pretty simple. To use an old song title (apologies to Billy Joel), it’s “a matter of trust.” Voters hear all of the claims by candidates, pundits, and media; know that most of them are lies, distortions, or empty promises; and decide to trust and vote for one.

When polled about which candidate values are most important, many people select “leadership.” But leadership can’t survive without trust. President Obama provides a perfect example. When we voted for him in 2008, he seemed to be the most compelling speaker and natural leader since JFK. He maintained that high public standing until he lied to us about Obamacare. The Washington Post awarded him four “Pinocchios,” the dubious award for the most mendacious lies. And they identified his lie as “the worst of the year.” This incident caused people to “fact check” the President, and a few more statements couldn’t pass muster. Polls indicate that more than half of the country stopped trusting him. And without trust, he couldn’t effectively lead the country.

Incredibly, the GOP and Dems are both likely to nominate candidates that have already earned many more Pinocchios than the President. A public majority will never trust either of them. Few voters will believe that Clinton or Trump can lead the military to defeat ISIS; protect the Homeland from terrorists; manage the illegal immigration problem; resolve the healthcare mess, or halt the growth of the National Debt. Any of the new President’s proposals can be easily swatted down by Congress because neither candidate will have full public support if elected as President.

Recently a friend of mine was so frustrated with politicians, that he said, “I wouldn’t trust that one to care for my goldfish.” To be fair, we could ask that question about any candidate, and predict a series of responses.

Question: “Would you trust Hillary Clinton to care for your goldfish?”
Democrats: “Secretary Clinton is fighting for all of us, including oppressed goldfishes.”
Republicans: “Absolutely not. She was responsible for protecting goldfishes in Lybia. Then she lied and said a terrible video caused their deaths.”
Independents: “Maybe I’d trust her to care for my goldfish, but I’d have to have a Nanny-Cam watching her.”
Media headline: “GOP claims of Hillary killing goldfish proved false.”

Of course, the real question is, “Why does there have to be a question?” The reason voters question her is that she has frequently lied to the public. Most recently, she has changed her story several times, regarding using an illegal private email server to handle classified material. Though she boasts of enduring eleven hours of congressional testimony and evading admission of guilt over Benghazi, there was clear evidence that she emailed her daughter that the event was a terrorist attack, while publicly claiming that it was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video. On another occasion, the former Secretary of State invented an exciting story of arriving in Bosnia and undergoing sniper fire. Media video of the event showed that her story was entirely fictitious. And the preceding examples represent only a small sample.

Does Clinton’s low trust value indicate that her probable opponent is more trustworthy? AbsolutelyTrump2 not. Nevertheless, Trump tells different kinds of lies, in different ways.

He’s 100 percent entertainer and constantly spews random train-of-thought remarks that are free of fact or substance. When later confronted with his own words, he responds in either of two ways. He often claims “I never said that.” When a video shows him using the exact words he has just repudiated, he insists he never said that, or claims that someone has distorted his meaning.

Alternatively, he will later repeat-and-deny the remark in other venues. The Washington Post reportedly gave him four Pinnochios for the same remark, each of eleven times he repeated it.

We need to ask ourselves, “How did we get here.” The two parties originally offered a total of twenty-three candidates. Our strange system of state primaries and caucuses—combined with the need for hundreds of millions of dollars to sustain campaigns—winnowed the GOP and DEMs down to a total of seven. And the two parties will almost surely bring us down to the two most ethically flawed of the group—Clinton vs. Trump.

Are we nearing a point where American voters revolt and demand reform of the process? Let’s hope so. We desperately need leadership. It’s ‘a matter of trust.’

My book “The Victory that Wasn’t” offers a fictional alternate history with a different kind of Military, and better outcomes for all Americans. It’s available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/1GUL8oX

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