Told Ya So!

Right after Donald Trump won in 2016, I wrote a post here titled, “Suggested ‘First Things First’ for Trump.” Given that he has no idea who I am, and my being a Democrat who voted for Bernie, I had no delusions that he’d heed my advice. But still…I must say that my comments might have been prescient.

The loss of the House obviously resulted from many factors, but the consensus seems to be that the biggest one was the GOP attack on Obamacare. As a supporter of that program (indeed, of Medicare for All, funded by employer tax), I warned in November 2016 that the health care issue (from both directions) led to Bill Clinton’s loss of the House in 1994 and Obama’s in 2010. I wrote,

Do NOT go headlong into the health care issue early in your term. It’s the new Third Rail, as seen in the huge midterm election losses experienced by Bill Clinton and Obama, largely due to controversy over health care. Yes, Obamacare is beginning to run into some serious problems, but go slowly on this one. And remember, many of those who voted for you have found Obamacare to be the solution to scary situations they had found themselves in.

I also wrote,

Focus on solutions, not retributions. Resist the chants of “Lock her up!”, for instance.

Seems that these days divisiveness is the New Normal. Both parties seem to exist solely for the purpose of sabotaging each other, and the press has been egging them on. Trump, of course, loves to gives the press red meat in that regard, but can’t he be just a wee bit less outrageous in his comments?

Mind you, I’d be the first to concede that the press has been horribly unfair to Trump. Indeed, I’ve said so, more than once. And the ejection of Jim Acosta should have come long ago, as I said back in 2017. But again, Trump should have handled it more calmly, simply giving Acosta a Penalty Card, having him leave the room, rather than giving the journos a chance to cite freedom of the press and make comparisons to China. Trump should have pointed out that he didn’t eject any other liberal writers; Acosta was ejected simply because he was being a jerk.

One more of my suggestions from November 2016:

Take a balanced, practical approach to unauthorized immigration. Assure people that you don’t plan to be any more aggressive in deportation than Obama has been; the ethnic activists say even that has been far too much, but you will get much credit if you give some assurance to the actual people at risk. On the other hand, take steps to solve the jobs and fiscal problems caused by the illegal inflow. You’ve threatened to withhold federal dollars from Sanctuary Cities, who after all, are flouting federal law. I agree with that (with a “devil in the details” disclaimer), but how about going further, doing something on the same lines for E-Verify? For instance, press cities and states to require that any business seeking a license utilize E-Verify in its hiring; to not do so amounts to encouraging hiring of the unauthorized, again flouting federal law, thus providing justification for your action.

Look, most of us liberals are not happy with the caravans coming from the South (though many would not say so publicly). Indeed, blue collar Latino and black communities — ostensibly objects of great sympathy from those of us on the left — are the biggest victims of the failure by both parties to solve the (admittedly complex) problems of the undocumented. But again, Trump’s choice of language has greatly exacerbated the problem, and his failure to stand up to the more extreme positions pushed by his advisers, notably on the decision to separate parents and kids at the border, has greatly harmed him, without contributing at all to a solution. As I pointed out then, E-Verify, properly promoted and enforced, would help a ton.

I’m not saying Trump shouldn’t be Trump. But maybe a 98% Trump would help?

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42 thoughts on “Told Ya So!

  1. Norm, you’re concluding what you want to conclude.. Examples:

    1. It hasn’t been shown this year any different than any other off-year election, in wihc the incumbent party usually loses.

    2. “Trump’s choice of language has greatly exacerbated the problem.” Really? I’d wager the left would insist upon open borders no matter which Republican in office.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “the left”
      Clarification, the left politicians.
      Public polling, the majority don’t support DAPA, let alone open borders.
      FYI, a reporter for The New Yorker said we’ve 18% radical left and right who’re making all the public noise.
      What the media reverberates for the two political narratives is not where the public is.

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  2. Basically agree.

    One of the major problems for the Trump administration is that many/most of the people who voted for Trump feel that he has done WAY too little about problems they care about.

    For example, Trump’s people admitted 100,000 H1-Bs on October 1, 2017, and then admitted another 100,000 H1-Bs on October 1, 2018. That’s 200,000 more unemployed Americans, and (I suspect) 200,000 families who do not regard Trump as someone who is protecting them.

    The Trade War is similar. The smart and easy thing to do would have been to declare China a currency manipulator back in, say, June or 2017, with an across-the-board tariff of 20% taking effect in 30 days.
    Instead, we get targeted tariffs, which are famously subject to lobbying, foreign retaliation, and general political mischief. Bad move.

    Equally bad was the decision to drag the whole Trade War thing out over months and months, with the result that very few American jobs were created in time for the 2018 elections (steel being the major exception).

    Also, the wall did not get built. In fact, there is nothing at all on large parts of the border, not even K-Rail. Whether you think the wall is a good idea, not building it really makes Trump look like a phony.

    Finally, the complete failure to push e-verify and the complete refusal to put employers in jail makes Trump look like the kind of politician who folds whenever the Cheap Labor Lobby barks at him. Not in keeping with the “Art of the Deal”.

    All of this is bad news for Donald Trump, and for the GOP. Given that a global recession is likely in the next 6-12 months, it could be a real problem in 2020.

    The Democrats problem, of course, is that most of their candidates are worse than Trump. . .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Donald Trump’s political career rests entirely on provocation, insults, aggression, and division. Significantly, his “earned press” put him in headlines week after week during the campaigns.

    Thomas Jefferson had bad press. Richard Nixon, too. Bill Clinton, and Hillary were constant targets in public media. Nancy Pelosi gets bad press. One role of President is to set a moral tone for the country. Presidents deal with press criticism.

    Trump can dish it out but can’t take it. His narcissism is a major character defect which is understandable in 11 year old boys but not forgivable in a president.

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    • >”Donald Trump’s political career rests entirely on provocation, insults, aggression, and division.”

      Nonsense. His career rests upon his being the only major leader in the past half-century to promise (and attempt to keep the promise) to
      * take mercy upon the American working class decimated by third-world competition, in the form either of offshoring or of excessive immigration
      * attempt to bring back to the USA some of the 7m manufacturing jobs lost
      * indirectly, maintain American labor standards by interrupting business’ supply of imported slave-laborers
      * develop an American response to the bad actors – North Korea, Iran, and China, the latter being a severe economic, military, and geopolitical threat.

      The larger questions are
      * why it took half a century for a pro-worker, pro-US trade and immigration policy to be suggested
      * why earlier administrations of both parties bordered on quietist in the face of much of the US electronics and steel industries being shipped abroad
      * why the one leader to finally object is a crude businessman in the party of capital rather than a worker-type risen through the ranks of the party of labor.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I go with David Brooks on this point – Donald Trump is the wrong answer to the right questions.

        Trump capitalized on deep resentment regarding the way we’ve (mis-)managed globalization. To the extent that Trump recognized that profound dissatisfaction, he is ahead of Obama, Clinton, Carter, the Bush’s, Ford, and Reagan. Perhaps that’s a point of agreement for us.

        On the other hand, his family businesses have moved zero jobs back to the US. Trump said zero about USMCA in the mid-terms. I bet a nickel that Trump has no idea what improvements Lighthizer negotiated into USMCA. Trump certainly has no strategy or vision about how we should rebuild our industrial base.

        Trump’s strongest motivation is appearing at large rallies and listening to adoring supporters scream at their perceived enemies. His interest in globalization is entirely wrapped into the anger and resentment that issue delivers to him. The tariffs reflect his lifetime behavior – hit back; hit hardest; hit last.

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        • Unfortunately, he was the only one to acknowledge there is a problem. Well, Bernie Sanders also but the Ds ax’ed him. So, here we are.
          As for “the right questions”, note there is little to no motion by the politicians on acknowledging there is a problem. Because if they do, they’d then have to actually do something about it. And so they go with the Facebook playbook, deny, divert, deflect.

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          • Greed and incompetence. Look at the West burning, possibly hundreds of deaths. They cut forest thinning by 80%, and now fires are up fivefold. The Sierra Club prevails, politicians collect money, and Butte County and Malibu burn.

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    • “Thomas Jefferson had bad press.”

      One of my favorite Jefferson quotes is, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

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    • Ah. no. Trump got elected because he was the only viable candidate to even discuss the failure of US Trade Policy and the fact that globalization has cause a lot of pain in places like Ohio.
      The other candidates either ignored the question, mouthed some pro-globalization talking points, or called the American victims of our Trade Deficit “racists and deplorables”.

      That is why Donald Trump won the election.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The ideal tax to pay for Medicare for All, would be the value added tax (VAT). While many Democrats running for office are claiming to be for Medicare for All, I think many are taking that position only to get votes. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii is a real supporter of Medicare for All and she also is on the side of peace. She will probably run for President in 2020.

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  5. We are NEVER going to start solving health care in this country until the tax subsidiaries given to large ( 100+ employees –schedule C corporations) is abolished. Best estimates I’ve seen peg that subsidy at $600 billion per year. Start with that as first step to get employees weaned from getting health insurance from their employers. Probably a Mission Impossible task but if we don’t acknowledge
    that this lies at the root of health care in the US, then there is no nope.

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    • President Obama said he was going to cut health care costs in HALF. In actuality, rates doubled, deductibles are through the roof, and he lied. And it is no secret that Obama has (and has) a very high opinion of himself. Socialism fails every time.

      How about these simple steps. Competition, and publish prices! How can I comparison shop w/out knowing the cost?

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        • Dr. Matloff, Happy Thanksgiving!

          First, health care is quite complicated, especially so given our aging population. I’m no expert. But from my minimal study of economics, I’ve always suggested 1) publish pricing, and 2) increase medical school enrollment for Physician’s Assistants and General Practitioners. Pricing signals and increased Supply.

          I’ll suggest we can believe President Obama was either dishonest or unintelligent regarding the ACA. Increase sick enrollees, and reduce costs? Increase mandated medical coverage, and reduce costs?

          Or we can believe Big Government dreams blinded his intellect. I don’t buy that either. A few years after the ACA passed, an insider was caught on tape admitting they knew these negative consequences.

          Here is a list of 10 broken promises by the Heritage Foundation.

          https://www.heritage.org/health-care-reform/report/ten-broken-obamacare-promises

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          • Supplanting citizens with foreign labor is happening in all professions.
            Western/Westernized populations are in decline. As the economy (as the general public experiences it) has become more and more unstable, people have moved from having fewer kids, to having no kids, to not moving out of their parents’ house. 1/3 of adults under 35 are still living at home..
            Rather than address/fix that, Wall St/multinational corporations have decided to import population (details in UN Migration Policy Institute’s web site).

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      • Easy fix. Cap prescription costs, particularly since much of the meds were developed with public funds.
        – No good reason why companies should be able to buy patents to publicly developed.
        – No good reason why feds should be granting exclusive rights to produce generics.
        – No good reason patent office should be granting patents for meds that are no more effective than existing. Particularly for those with more side effects.
        – No good reason FDA should deprecate existing out of patent meds that are effective.
        – No good reason med should be deemed by prescription-only because industry wants jacked up price.
        – No good reason US should not be negotiating med prices as other countries do, or block citizens from buying remote, online.

        Obama brought healthcare 99% of the way. Rs big plan is complain about the 1% clocking us, big Pharma price gouge, redistributed to all in their premiums, and go for the gold: kill it.

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      • “socialism fails every time”
        Not credible, given
        – bitter resentment of public socialized benefit yet blind eye to the extensive socializing of corporate subsidies, of their monopolies, of their massive failures (aka bailouts)
        – social security, for decades, a “failure”?
        This broad brush use comes off as a temper tantrum.

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  6. Consensus on Obamacare being at the root of House losses? How so?

    My understanding is that these losses are standard, and the GOP actually lost less seats than typical. Obama, Clinton, and Bush Jr. lost far more seats. Actually, the GOP picked up 2 Senate seats, and a large chunk of the GOP doesn’t even support Trump.

    I actually believe more in the “UniParty”, that many go along to get along, and spend, spend, spend.

    Have you taken Antifa and the violent Left to task? How about Chris Wallace? Trump has helped create a roaring economy, there are peace talks with North Korea, no more missiles shot over Japan, and an amazing rebirth in manufacturing. Chris Wallace and the media treated Obama with reverence, but with President Trump they interrupt, badger, and are negative. Wallace was all negative this morning, President Trump was quite even keeled.

    Illegal immigration? President Trump shockingly offered 300% of Obama’s Amnesty offer, which the Left rejected. Trump’s rhetoric could be more nuanced, but Mexican cartel crime is rampant in both Mexico and America. Our media hides the 5,000-6,000 homicides per year committed by illegal immigrants in America.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There is a real tragedy here. For years there was a huge political opening on the right for a genuine “America First” nationalist who would reject big business Republicanism and focus on the needs of the working class. The Republican Party gatekeepers of course made sure no Republican candidate ever got near that opening, so it had to be someone with the resources to get there on his own.

    Finally Donald Trump stumbles into that opening, and despite being a world-class jackass it was enough to get him elected president! Can you imagine what a better man could have done with this opportunity? An intelligent and upright Republican running on Trump’s issues would not only have crushed Hillary, he would be in a position today to marginalize the Loony Left, and force a realignment in American politics that would have lasted for decades. Instead we have a jackass who is discrediting populism while energizing the Left. The Democrats still don’t understand what a bullet they dodged. They should be down on their knees thanking God for Donald Trump!

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    • Yes, record low unemployment, record low black, Latino, and female unemployment. Manufacturing reborn, 500,000 new jobs. China confronted. How terrible! s/

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      • https://www.nbcnews.com/business/markets/market-gains-2018-wiped-out-plunging-stocks-n938601
        The stock market slid dramatically on Tuesday …, erasing all gains for 2018.

        Oh, it’s Hillary and Bill and Barak, the liberal media, the Supreme Court, the CIA, the Miller investigation, Global Climate Change wackos, etc. etc. Only good guys are Putin, Crowned Prince of Saudi Arabia, and Kim Jong-un.

        As for immigration all he has done net is stir up mass sympathy for the millions eager to enjoy that American Dream and guarantee us a huge uptick in the numbers when he is ushered out the door.

        Chauncey Gardiner? I was being too generous. Jim Jones comes closer.

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        • A market correction was expected. Stock market still way up under President Trump.

          Wages also recently rose 3.1%. Energy production up, lots of good news. Consumer confidence way up. And the new President of Mexico has agreed to make asylum to America more logical.

          Are you referring to illegal immigration by a group that is 90% uneducated young males? Last thing we need with California having a 20% poverty rate, rampant homelessness, and automation eliminating low-skill jobs. (See automated attendants, McDonalds, HomeDepot, etc.)

          Ironic that you mention Democrat Jim Jones. A recent article reviewed his relationships with Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown, and Willie Brown.

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          • DOL says wages are up because people are working more hours, but getting paid less for the hours they are working. The rest of “good economy” is relevant to elite, but irrelevant to the general public.

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        • Companies scrambling to find workers. Several million people have come off of food stamps, some off if disability.

          I believe we’re at the lowest unemployment rate since President Reagan. On top of that, we have a massive underground economy. Especially given a minimum of 22 Million illegal immigrants (new Ivy League study), many who work off the books in construction, landscaping, etc.

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          • “Companies scrambling to find workers.”
            Yes, inept businesses with illegitimate, illegal or unrealistic terms. For instance, what you call “underground economy”, what we call illegal employers.

            “I believe we’re at the lowest unemployment rate since President Reagan.”
            Now that “employment rate” has been redefined to not include: long term unemployed, 26 year olds and under, and 55 year olds and under.

            This post of your is ludicrous political spin.

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  8. The Republicans wrote a bill this summer that included 100% EVerify and new visa rules that gave big Ag some incredible serious (immoral IMO) control over their workers, and their big donor, California’s big Ag, still kicked it to the curb.
    Status quo is the industry goal, Norm.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. http://www.fairus.org/issue/illegal-immigration/law-against-hiring-or-harboring-illegal-aliens

    “Anyone employing or contracting with an illegal alien without verifying his work authorization status is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    I’ve been saying this for ages to anyone who would listen. Change that to a federal FELONY and the problem of illegal immigration goes away overnight. No need to waste tens of billions on a moronic “wall”.
    (As was allegedly said by General Patton in the movie Patton “Fixed fortifications are monuments to the stupidity of man. If mountain ranges and oceans can be overcome, then anything built by man can be overcome.”)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The left is so far gone I don’t care what Trump does or says to them. As far as I’m concerned he is holding back too much.

    In regard to the Acosta affair, Trump should have kicked out the entire press corp from the WH and let them stand on the corner outside the WH all day every day, until Sarah decides to come out and speak to them. Being a guest in the WH is a privilege not a right.

    The caravan is an outright invasion, even the Mexicans think so. Trump says he will exercise extreme prejudice against them and it’s about time.

    I could go on and on on the state of the US, mostly I’m disgusted with the liberals.

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  11. Separation of adults from children when in custody is policy throughout the country regardless of citizenship. No one is crying about the hundreds of thousands of American children separated from their parents in state Child Protective Services. Illegal alien children are getting the best treatment in their lives.

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    • Activists claim a child should have their own legal eval for asylum. But cast it as victimization when that actually happens.
      I see no reason we should have any unaccompanied minors. As they belong a) with their parent, deported or given asylum, or b) arriving unaccompanied or without parent (guardian), send back to custody of their country.
      We have 500,000 homeless. This prioritization of the state of migrants is Wall St agenda, as stated by Bank of America CEO and Bloomberg, at any cost.

      Like

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