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Ocasio-Cortez’s DC dilemma

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One would hope that newly elected Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would be quick on her feet when it comes to dazzling her colleagues. She is complaining she can’t afford a property in DC before her $172,500pa salary kicks in 3-4 months down the line.

She could do three things:

1) ask her multi million dollar gated mansion, rent-a-cop guarded Democratic colleagues to let her stay in one of the spare rooms. Obama has an $8.5mn 8-bedroom mansion in DC. Surely she won’t cramp them too much especially with Malia at college and Sasha likely to move out soon.

2) crowd fund for the 3 months which will likely win her millions  so she can buy a place of her own.

3) or in her own words to justify everything that costs money  – “you just pay for it”

How long will it take to learn from Chuck, Nancy, Maxine, Elizabeth and so on that some pigs are more equal than others? My guess isn’t very long. First world problems for someone with third world policies.

 

Does the data show Donald in the dumpster?

Midterm

This is a simple schematic of first term presidents and the results at the ballot box of their first mid term. Since 1910, the incumbent parties have invariably lost ground. More interestingly, Democrats had control of either/both House of Reps and Senate during Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush Sr – all Republicans. Republican Presidents Taft, Harding, Hoover, Eisenhower and Trump lost the House at the midterms. Truman, Clinton and Obama suffered the same fate for the Democrats.

Trump achieved the highest number of Senate seats taken by a first term Republican president for over 100 years. George W Bush achieved rising numbers for HoR/Senate  post 9/11 but only Democrats have achieved the feat – Woodrow Wilson, FDR and JFK. Perhaps the irrelevance of the outcomes in the mid-terms is that despite the floggings Wilson, Truman, Ike, Reagan, Clinton, Bush Jr and Obama all were comfortably reelected for a second term.

Given the headwinds Trump was facing from the mainstream media, his unorthodox outbursts, twitter tirades and so forth, the electorate didn’t grant the Democrats a huge gift  they were expecting. Even worse they gave Trump a bigger authority to appoint SC justices should an opportunity arise by bumping his numbers in the Senate. Not surprising given the shocking gutter level political theatre over Justice Kavanaugh, vindicated by  victims confessing they had lied.

The Democrats should still be concerned that the $70mn spent on Beto O’Rourke came to nothing.  Beyonce also endorsed Beto. Oprah endorsed Abrams in Georgia – who is likely to lose. Taylor Swift endorsed Bredesen – who also lost. All four candidates openly supported by Obama lost. So much for celebrity power swaying electorates. It probably had a counter effect.

Even worse, in Nevada a brothel owner and reality TV star won his race despite dying last month. It is hard to work out what is the bigger tragedy. Voting for someone dead or being the competing Democrat to lose to a dead person. A Republican is to be appointed to the seat by county officials.

We shouldn’t forget that the Republicans had the highest number of sitting member retirements at a first midterm in the House of Representatives for 88 years. 25 seats had a new face. Republicans won re-election as governors in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Maryland – three of them deep blue states. Where was the mainstream media on that?

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Turnout was good (for a mid term). 48.1% voted in 2018. In the last 100 years the average has been 41%. Only in 1966, did the first midterm of LBJ exceed this level at 48.7%. So much for either party causing a red or blue wave. Less than half of eligible voters showed up on November 6th 2018. More cared, but not enough.

Felons make for an interesting outlier subset. While it is hard to know their exact voting intentions, for the Gubernatorial in Georgia, would 219,431 felons have made a difference for Abrams? She trails Kemp by just under 100,000 votes. So if 55% of felons (the Georgia midterm turnout ratio) voted, 120,687 votes were up for grabs. Were it legal for Georgian state felons to vote, she would have been wise to campaign there.

Felons

Now that the Democrats have the lower house, one wonders why they have put Nancy Pelosi in charge of the House? This is possibly to be contested. Up to fifty Democrat congressmen might oppose her for Speaker. Trump couldn’t wish for a better adversary as her litany of gaffes will undoubtedly embarrass her party. Pelosi represents pretty much everything Americans have come to despise about the Democrats.

More worryingly, Maxine Waters is being put in charge of the Financial Services Committee. At a point in the cycle where financial acumen is probably most required, this is an embarrassment, made worse by her open calls for payback.

The Democrats need fresh faces. Ones that will look for bipartisan support. If the Democrats embark upon a cocktail of revenge politics and look to push for investigation after investigation in order to impeach Trump but end up with nothing they will be seen for what they are – a party completely self-absorbed with petty vendettas. The toxic Senate debacle should have given them warning enough that voters won’t tolerate more political roadkill like that going forward.  Yet Pelosi will likely use her subpoena powers to drag everything through the gutter instead of working to improve things for Americans. Failure here will only lead the electorate to conclude they wasted two years and gift wrap 2020 for Trump.

This mid-term election was anything but a slam dunk. Put aside personal hatred of Trump, look at the data and see that Americans did not write him off as many pundits predicted. It should be more scary to realise that he is probably more Teflon-Don than he was in 2016. Second biggest mid-term turnout in history, highest net gain of seats in the Senate in 100 years for a first term GOP president, record dollars thrown at Democrat candidates backed by Trump-hating billionaires. At the end of the day folks, this is just the data talking.

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Umbrellagate – operating the mainstream media’s button flawlessly instead

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The mainstream media just doesn’t get it. Despite record low trust in the media, this umbrella incident just proves their derangement syndrome is beyond chronic. Is this really an issue?

The Sydney Morning Herald wrote a puff piece this morning reporting how worried Republicans were becoming as they were being outspent by the Democrats heading into the midterms.

They needn’t worry at all. All that paid for Dem ad dollar undone by the mainstream media who will dedicate Trump 24-hr global free airtime over his inability to find the button to close an umbrella! He certainly found the media’s button to lose their senses. One wonders if it is deliberate just to gather free media coverage?

Is it any surprise the early voting stats according to NBC look like this so far?

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As written last week, with all of the upsets in global politics, why would anyone put value in the decades of consensus thinking that midterms tend to fall to the opposition party? CM still thinks Trump wins both houses.

This Brazilian won by more than a whisker

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Known as the Brazilan Trump, Jair Bolsonaro is set to become the next Brazilian president with a 10mn vote lead. Bolsonaro has been criticized for making denigrating remarks about women, gays and blacks. Despite this, more Brazilians seemingly prefer to break away from decades of establishment corruption.

There in lies the argument. How bad does an opposition have to be to lose to a person who says these unnecessary things? Once again pocket books, jobs, feeding families and dumping crooked self serving incumbents supersedes several incidences of off coloured and unnecessary remarks.

Exactly the same issues Americans faced in the 2016 US election which the mainstream media ignored. Those living in hardship didn’t buy rosy government stats saying how great things were. They weren’t living them. Record levels on food stamps and working multiple jobs wasn’t their idea of the American dream.

Isn’t this also telling from the Brazilian President-elect?

Bolsonaro said, “The people saw the truth, despite the media. A big part of the media put me on a shaming position…Thank you all for your prayers and confidence. Lets together change Brazil’s destiny. We knew where Brazil was headed and now we know where we want to go…We couldn’t continue to flirt with communism and socialism…All pledges will be fulfilled, the  mission of rescuing Brazil will be accomplished.”

Whether he achieves this or not is besides the point. Clearly more Brazilians have had enough of the incompetence to date and are willing to give a left (right?)-field leader a chance to revive their fortunes. A Molotov cocktail to blow up the system.

In recent years Brazil’s currency has fallen 40% in value vs US$ and the GDP growth rate has averaged 0.58% from 1996 until 2018. In the last quarter reported, it was 0.2% with the previous quarter revised down 0.1% in part due to nationwide trucker strikes. 

Switch to the media in the US which thinks Trump’s umbrella event is newsworthy. They just don’t get that he gets even more press coverage this way. It has the opposite effect and only lifts the likelihood of more Americans tuning out of this Trump Derangement Syndrome and voting for him not against. Keep up the good work!

Trump mid term victory more probable than not

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Actions not words. Forget all of one’s personal opinions (hatred) of Trump and analyze the facts.  This is a picture of Obama trying to rally Democrats in Nevada this week. Despite the small audience, Obama mentioned himself 92 times in 38 minutes as opposed to talking up the candidate he was there to support. Sounded like a desperate attempt to save his own legacy. The following pictures are of Trump’s rally for Ted Cruz in Houston, Texas.

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Conventional wisdom tells us that the party in opposition tends to get the House in the mid terms. Politics is in such a funk, why would we for one second believe that consensus should be the default in November 2018? How did that work out on 2016?

Ahh yes, but the Democrats have learned from treating the prior election as a coronation for Hillary Clinton. They’ll be out in droves. No doubt they will but after the Kavanaugh debacle in the Senate and over 10,000 strong Honduran caravan surging to the US southern border (the Dems have been eerily quiet over this) it only plays to Trump’s domestic agenda. What many overlook is that ICE records indicate there are  474,000 illegal immigrants still in the queue for processing. Four hundred and seventy four thousand. Think of the costs to process that.

So to the polls? They were wildly inaccurate at the 2016 election. Largely because they are telephone polls to 1,000 people with landlines. Hardly an accurate assessment. Only old folk have landlines now don’t they?

A MSN (left leaning) online poll conducted last month showed 76% of 73,000 would lean Republican in the mid terms. How valuable are polls? Let’s be honest, a Fox poll leaning to conservatives and and a CNN poll swaying to liberals Shouldnt shock anyone. It is the anomaly that should cause us to question a mood as this MSN poll did. Are 73,000 people representative of the 250mn eligible to vote? More than 1,000 would be that is for sure.

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Once again, forget personal dislikes for Trump. If a p*ssy grabbing, racist, xenophobic, bigoted, nationalist silver back Nazi orange buffoon as he is often referred to as can get this many people to a gathering imagine if he had none of the baggage? Potentially less people because there is not as much shock value.

CM has said for ages that the mainstream media is his best ally. The constant one-eyed bias against him only gives more air time. He is a showman. The White House has become  a reality TV program. All the MSM does is feed his exposure. Sadly ratings reflect that he is winning. The media can only tell the public that Trump is the antithesis of the establishment so many times before it wears thin and people tune out.

Then again perhaps it is more telling that the average American doesn’t look to him as a spiritual leader. Or put that another way, the mid terms will be a measure of how successful he has been to date (even if blasted Russian bots meddling in the voting machines are behind it).

If he has genuinely helped put Americans on a better financial footing in their minds that is all that matters to them. Call Stormy ‘Horseface’, slag off Blasey-Ford for her amnesia and bash CNN at a rally for “fake news”. None of it matters. It appears Americans are less likely to be intimidated by thuggery (chasing Republicans out of restaurants or shooting them) of the left than to join their ranks as the #WalkAway campaign has demonstrated.

Trump is the most left field curve ball President in US history.  So unconventional in his diplomacy. He has shown that pushing back can get results. Whether smashing NATO members for failing to execute on  their own self imposed military spending targets, stopping Rocketman testing nukes or getting Juncker to sign an FTA a week after he stumbled blind drunk at a NATO summit there is some method to the madness.

In two weeks time we’ll get a result which will reflect the mood of America. The observation of CM is that the Dems are playing all the same party tricks as the 2016 election albeit at 11.

CM may be well off the reservation on this but those same vibes from Nov 2015 suggest Trump may well upset decades of history. Fake views? Allie Stuckey did a rather amusing parody of the Democrats here.

We’ll know soon enough.

Veterans running for Congress in 2018

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Army Times reports that 172 veterans are running for Congress in 2018. 104 of the 160 men are representing  the GOP. 9 of the 12 women are representing the Democrats. One male is running as an independent in CA

So 65% of the veteran men are representing the GOP. 75% of the veteran women are representing the Democrats.

Their military service spans from the 1950s to Afghanistan/Iraq and includes time spent in the active-duty ranks, reserves as well as the Coast Guard.

Mid-terms will be a vote on what to do with the scab of division

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Every time we turn on the news we’re told America has never been so divided. If we listen to the narrative it would seemingly be all President Trump’s fault. The reality would point more towards his brash, vulgar and politically incorrect style catalyzing the removal of a scab covering a festering wound that has not healed for over a decade.

The upcoming midterms will be an interesting read on the underlying mood of the country. It is likely both sides will get out in force like few midterms before it. Normally midterms garner a 40% turnout. It should be much higher in Nov 2018. .

Never has been predicting a result in the midterms been so difficult. CM thinks it swings to the Republicans. Despite that being a total stab in the dark, the recent Kavanaugh confirmation debacle raised some interesting stats according to Rasmussen Reports.

In response to SCJ Brett Kavanaugh’s statement that “This confirmation process has become a national disgrace. The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process, but you have replaced advise and consent with search and destroy.” 

56% of Likely U.S. Voters agree with his statement. Unsurprisingly 77% of Republicans thought that way. 51% affiliated with neither party and even 40% of Democrats agree with Kavanaugh.

In what was probably the most ghastly political stunt since Attorney General Loretta Lynch met Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac to discuss grandkids and golf days ahead of a testimony surrounding Hillary Clinton’s emails, America saw two victims eviscerated for political capital.

What could have happened behind closed doors, became a spectator sport. Evidence was withheld until it became expedient to use it  Now that Ford doesn’t wish to push forward with any charges only makes the whole episode stink more. She has been left as road kill and Kavanaugh will bear the scars for many years to come.

CM copped a lot of criticism from late 2015 when he suggested Trump would beat Clinton. How people scoffed and laughed, throwing White House stats in the face on how great things were. CM’s argument when going through broader stats found that the disappearing middle class was only worsening post GFC. The simple argument was that those not living the dream portrayed by rosy econometrics know best. Calling them uneducated, stupid or deplorable was never going to change their minds. They saw the current system not working for them. Nothing to do with identity. All to do with prosperity (rather lack thereof) .

Those very people, if they feel their lot has improved on balance they’ll vote for who will keep that fortune going. It is no longer a question of GOP vs Democrat.

More than any bragging by Trump about his achievements, the mid terms will weigh and measure the reality. Truth be told his constant boasting about new highs on the stock market being down to his stewardship will only backfire if markets correct.

Whatever the media’s constant attacks on the “division” of a nation should be taken in context of the shock of Trump’s election win. Good Americans on both sides of the aisle do not agree with extremists kicking others out of restaurants, calling his daughter a “feckless c*nt” and they probably don’t think too highly of extra marital affairs.

Yet looking across the street in one’s own backyard middle Americans probably know a neighbour having an extra marital affair or embarking on a third marriage. It’s nothing remotely shocking in today’s society.

The question for America is not merely about enforcing the moral high ground (what’s left of it) but sustaining prosperity. Putting food on the table without having to work 3 jobs is more important to many than whether Trump paid a porn star. Apart from it being a matter for Melania, people will be exercising a mid-term vote on whether the Trump frag grenade was worth lobbing.

It is irrelevant whether you love or hate him, his rallies are as packed at the mid-terms as they were during his election campaign. Taking away the bias, listening to how he works up a crowd is worth paying attention to. Whether taking pot shots at Dr Ford, slamming the media at the back of the room for being ‘fake news’ and getting the crowd to chant “CNN sucks” shows he may not be as stupid as made out.

The Kavanaugh confirmation brought up the ugliness of the swamp. The calculated horrorshow of partisan politics was put on full display. There were no winners in that kangaroo court. The GOP May have achieved a Phyrric victory of sorts by getting their man on the Supreme Court but there was little grace.

So in November Americans can choose to leave the scab over the gangrenous wound and go back to the status quo or vote to yank it off and keep the experiment going. Only sunlight has a chance to cauterize this mess. Yet the Democrats are fighting hard to avoid seeing the doctor.

If Americans want to send a message to show that civil unrest and public demonstrations which seek to disrupt daily lives will likely see Republicans do better. People are aware of the issues. Having it force fed through one sided media didn’t work in 2016 and is less likely to work in 2018.