I’m surprised it took three weeks, but President Trump is this week’s winner. As is often the case, he was provoked but carried things way too far. I am referring to his comments about France and President Macron.
Macron’s comments were so outrageous that any president would respond. He called for Europe to create their own military to defend itself “with respect to China, Russia and even the United States”. Over the last century we have spent hundreds of billions (or more) to protect Europe from the Kaiser, Hitler, the Soviet Union and now Putin’s Russia. We have paid an even more precious cost in the death of several hundred thousand men and women. Europe doesn’t pay its fair share of the NATO cost. Now they want their own military and, even worse, consider us a potential enemy.
Trump rightfully lashed out against Macron’s provocation. He was criticized by CNN, apparently on the theory that everything he does or says is wrong. Trump then went way too far as he often does. He went after Macron and France, even making reference to France’s surrender in World War Two.
We all know that Trump is outspoken. The problem is that he has no off switch. What we saw on display this week is the same man who attacked a war widow and tried to tie one of his political rival’s father to the Kennedy assassination. You would think he would have a little self-control but he sure isn’t showing it.
Congress is working on a bill that would prohibit President Trump from firing Robert Mueller. It has support from both parties. Jeff Flake says he will vote against all judicial nominees until the bill is passed.
They may have good intentions but it is a bad idea. The President should have the right to fire any political appointee in the executive branch. If they could prevent one president from firing one person, they could tell a new president that he can’t fire anyone, even if they belong to the other party. That may sound far-fetched but it actually happened. Congress passed a law forcing Andrew Johnson to keep Lincoln’s cabinet even though they were conspiring against him. This is what led to his impeachment.
The law is also unnecessary. There are indications that the Mueller team is wrapping up their investigation. Besides, Trump has to know that firing Mueller would effectively end his presidency.
We are a government of laws, not men. The Constitution is the law of the land. We should honor it and not try to weasel our way around it like when the Obama administration argued that not buying insurance was interstate commerce.
Amazon’s quest to find a second headquarters has come to an end. It will be split between New York City and Northern Virginia adding 25,000 jobs in each location. The New York deal was put together by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Most places would jump for joy to land such a deal. Instead, Cuomo and de Blasio have come under fire for the subsidies they gave Amazon. The far left opposes the idea of any subsidy to business, especially one headed by a billionaire.
Some of the comments are quite interesting. One thought more jobs would be created by forgiving student loans. That would certainly increase short term spending but have little or no long-term impact. Others didn’t want any company that wasn’t in line with their ideology. One person objected to having high-paying jobs since that would increase housing prices and presumably add to the number of homeless. My favorite quote was from a union leader who thought Amazon should pay New York for the privilege of locating there.
I don’t know if New York gave Amazon too good a deal, but that’s not really the point. This will create a building boom in a part of Queens that has seen better days. Companies that deal with Amazon will locate nearby. Businesses will open to cater to the employees.
In 1980 New York was the second most populous state. Texas and Florida have passed it. A recent survey had California nosing them out as the worst state in the country in which to do business. This does not bode well for their economic future. If those who only care about hurting businesses, and the rich that own them, the state will begin to look more and more like Detroit.
There were several candidates this week. The winner was Glenn Devlin, a Houston juvenile court judge. He lost in Tuesday’s election. The following day a number of juveniles appeared before him. He asked them if they planned to kill anyone. When they said no, he let them go and bitterly remarked “This is obviously what the voters wanted”.
There is no place in the justice system for judges who throw temper tantrums rather than follow the oath they took. I applaud the citizens of Houston for getting rid of him.
Today we should remember all veterans who served. I would like to focus on those who fought in World War 1.
It is hard for us to understand what it was like back then. I once read that at the start of the war two-thirds of Americans had never traveled outside the county in which they were born. Now they were going across an ocean to fight in what was then called the World War. It was particularly brutal with trench warfare and poison gas. Many never came home. Others were never the same mentally and/or physically. Some saw a bigger world with more possibilities than they had imagined. One such man was a farmer named Harry Truman.
Those left behind were very patriotic. Sometimes that led to attacks against German-Americans. I have some letters my grandmother wrote. She was willing to lose her brothers and wished she could go as well. She turned a bedroom into a shrine with American flags and pictures of her brothers.
Everything changed a century ago today. An armistice was declared. Our soldiers were returning home. It marked the emergence of America on the world stage.
Now they are gone. The last surviving soldier died in 2011. We have seen a lot of wars since then. Hopefully the memory of their service will live on.
There was a time when some men seem to assume that women were poor helpless creatures. I find it hard to believe anyone still thinks that way today. Sadly, some do. We are hearing women making this assumption about other women. Hillary Clinton talked about women who voted Republican because they are afraid to stand up to the men in her life.
The latest proponent of this idea is a woman named Michelle Ruiz. Her aim was on white women. She complained about them voting Republican. She accused them of voting against their interest. Evidently the only thing women should be interested in is free contraceptives and easy access to abortion.
She had several interesting theories. One was that they don’t care about anyone else because of their white privilege. She thought that they may be doing whatever their husbands do. My favorite is that they were brainwashed by Fox News.
Presumably Democrats want to retake the White House in two years. That means they need to attract more voters. Insulting them is a strange way to go about it.
Now that the election is over, I thought I’d offer my analysis of the election and where I went right and wrong with my predictions. A poker analogy best explains what happened. Democrats were dealt a bad hand in the Senate and Republicans in the House. Each side played their hand poorly.
Winning the Senate was always a long shot for the Democrats. They had few opportunities to pick up seats and were vulnerable in a number of states. They made several mistakes. Their main message to those in states President Trump won was to vote against Republicans out of anger and hate. Then they pressured vulnerable Democrats to vote against Cavanaugh. Finally, they diverted funds from states they might have won in a futile effort to elect a leftist in Texas.
Many Republicans that were in trouble came from the suburbs. Their best chance was to keep the focus local. Democrats main strategy was to make it a referendum on Trump. Even though it would cost him the House, he put his ego ahead of election success. He still had a powerful message with the economy and tax cuts. Instead, he put immigration front and center. One ad was so hateful that even Fox News quit running it. The first rule of good salesmanship is to know your customer. He totally ignored the customer and aimed his message at those that come to his rally. Most of them don’t live in vulnerable districts.
I did a good job predicting the Senate and a poor job with the House. The basic reason is I factored in the way Democrats played their hand but missed the impact of Trump’s lousy play.
There is a lot to say about what may be next but that will have to wait for another day.
I have been having some computer problems today. Last time I predicted the Republicans would lose sixteen seats. I have updated my analysis from Alabama through Nebraska and have them losing seventeen. I am confident that if I finished it, I would have the Republicans keeping the House by a very narrow margin.
We will know soon whether I am right or wrong. There are a couple of areas where I think others are incorrect in their analysis. We hear a lot of talk of this being a referendum on President Trump. That has been the reason Democrats talk about a blue wave. Given Trump’s ego, of course he thinks it is all about him.
The late Tip O’Neill used to say that all politics is local. It is fairly common to have a senator or congressman of the opposite party from which they generally vote. For example, West Virginia loves Joe Manchin even though it is a heavily Republican state. It is a mistake to look at 2016 and believe that will predict winners in 2018.
People also look too closely at the polls. I think there are a number of issues that can make them inaccurate. I only used them if one candidate was ahead by a wide margin. Most of my analysis is done by looking at the district and the candidates.
I’ll be back to explain why I was right (or wrong).
Given the idiotic comments we are hearing from both parties, I have decided to create a regular feature. I can’t promise I’ll do it every week.
Comparing anyone to Hitler is a good way to make the list. Jane Fonda drew a parallel between Trump and Hitler criticizing the press. Apparently using the term “fake news” means that concentration camps are on the way. I don’t know how she thinks such comments will get Democrats to the polls. Perhaps all she cares about is a little free publicity.
This is my last chance to offer my opinion on how the senate election will turn out. I have given this a lot of thought but that’s no guarantee I’m right. Like many others, I predicted Hillary Clinton would win in 2016.
Let’s start with the states in which Republicans may be vulnerable:
Arizona – This is an incredibly tight race with most of the experts still calling it a tossup. The polls are tight although a recent one gave Republic Martha McSally a 6-point lead. I think she will edge out Krysten Sinema. Her military record will resonate with the voters better than Sinema’s leftist past.
Nevada – Dean Heller is the only Republican running in a state Hillary Clinton won. Most polls favor his opponent, Jacky Rosen. They don’t include votes that the Libertarian Party might siphon away from Heller. I predict Rosen wins.
Tennessee – This once looked close but Republican Marsha Blackburn is leading by a comfortable margin.
Texas – Democrats poured millions into hoping that Beto O’Rourke would knock off Ted Cruz. They should have spent their money elsewhere. It may be close but Cruz will be on top.
The Democrats are vulnerable in a number of states.
Florida – I don’t know why this race hasn’t generated more attention. It’s very tight and has a two-term governor vs. a three-term senator. I favor Republican Rick Scott to unseat Bill Nelson for two reasons. He has significantly outspent Nelson and a governor has more opportunities to get close to the people than a senator. Let’s hope we don’t have to hear any more about hanging chad.
Indiana – The polls have been all over the place. Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly is taking on businessman Mike Braun. I will give to Donnelly. Braun has little political experience and nobody would describe him as charismatic.
Missouri – Incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill is taking on Attorney General Josh Hawley. She isn’t popular enough to keep her seat.
Montana – There had some excitement when it was reported that the Libertarian candidate dropped out and endorsed the Republican. He says it isn’t so. Incumbent Joe Tester should win by a comfortable margin.
North Dakota – All the experts say incumbent Heidi Heitkamp will be defeated. I see no reason to argue with them.
West Virginia – Republicans once had big hopes but Joe Manchin is just too popular.
In summary, I have Republicans losing Nevada and picking up Florida, Missouri and North Dakota. Right or wrong, I will be commenting on the results.