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Alan Wallach

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This is the beginning of Trump’s end

It wasn’t Trump that sucked the oxygen out of everything, it was the media.  His celebrity made them play for ratings, especially in the dog days of summer.  But now, let me pose a question.  Think of the most entertaining, attractive, funny entertainer you can think of.  Now put him or her  on TV, in the papers, all day, every day.  How long before you get sick of him or her?

The media says this never happened before.  Yes it did, but not to a politician.  I remember the early days of TV.  Milton Berle was on Tuesday night.  No one went out on Tuesday.  They didn’t want to miss him.  Restaurants closed on Tuesday.  He sucked the oxygen out of Tuesday night.  This was until the public had enough.  At some point, he made everyone sick.  Overexposure killed him.  And that was only once a week, Tuesday.  Trump in on literally all day, every day.  It won’t be long now.  There is no substance to Trump, only style.  Overexposure will kill him.  I guarantee it.  The media made him.  They are now going to kill him.  If there was even a semi-exciting other republican candidate, it would have been over long ago.  But they are so dull and uninteresting, they didn’t use any of the oxygen.

The Real Trump?

Actually, listening to the Donald lately as he gets serious, the situation is getting more obvious. He is a not-so-closet liberal up against the most unimpressive group of politicians and wannabes. The people who support him are “republicans” by birth or background but really populists that have no clue what republicans are doing to them. They are anti-politician but republican-anti-politician. They wouldn’t consider voting for a democrat because they have no clue why they vote in the first place. Trump, despite his egotism, is for single-payer health, improving education, supports planned parenthood, against our miserable foreign trade agreements, a more progressive tax system,  etc.  He’s no conservative.

 

The Disaster Called Microsoft

Since ceasing my PC consulting and changing to a Mac, I have been estranged from the Windows world. But yesterday, helping a friend with a new computer and Windows 8, I could not get over the abomination they have created. The screen was totally incomprehensible. They did steal some stuff from Apple and saw to it that even that was poorly done. I would liken it to putting a steering wheel in a car on the right side in the back seat. He asked me whether he should take advantage of the free upgrade to Windows 10. I shudder to think what that would be like if history is any indication. I told him to go back to the store for the free tutorial on Windows and to wait until the public has had a chance to debug Windows 10 before he upgrades. True to their corporate culture, Microsoft still turns out crap as they have done since the beginning of their monopolistic reign. I would suggest that the PC manufacturers get together and impose on, or even beg Apple to provide an operating system for them and put Microsoft out of its misery.

Solomon’s Dozen – Confessions of a Dirty Old Man

My new book, Solomon’s Dozen – Confessions of a Dirty Old Man should be off the press in paperback in a couple of days. I plan to release it on August 15. You can order your pre-release copy now. Solomon Nassau is an old guy who is inspired by a performance of Don Giovanni and goes on a ten year womanizing spree. His young chronocler, interviews him, curious to find out what is in store for him when he gets into his senior years. Solomon is only to happy to oblige and go over the episodes in his notebook from which the young writer selects a dozen. All the raunchy details are left in so that the reader can share in the fun.

Republican Debate – Hard to Predict

Back in 1999, when my book “The Year 2000 Hoax” came out, I was debating all the naysayers on radio, TV, in the news, all the dopes – and they were dopes – who said the world would come to an end because of the Y2K bug. When on January 1, 2000, the world didn’t explode, the naysayers were king. The networks and newspeople only wanted to interview those who got it wrong.

I mention this because you can’t tell from who’s there and who’s not there, who will get the press and the notoriety from the media. There is no way to predict the result of the republican farce they call a debate. How can a bunch of indistinguishable candidates distinguish themselves? They can’t. The media will have to do it for them and pick one or more of the republican jokes to pump up. They will for sure but only The Shadow knows.

Hillary is Waffling

Hillary’s proposal to incentivize business to have profit sharing is blatant do-nothingism.  If you want to change the tax code, increase the tax on high incomes.  I don’t mean the $500,000 income.  I mean the 5 million and up guys.  That’s where the income disparity is.  Also, if you want workers to share in productivity, do something to empower unions.  They’re the thing that help worker.  The attack on the unions which has been going on for years and ramped up since Reagan has to be reversed.

The Confederate Flag is Down

It took a long time and there was still some resistance though not as much as I thought there would be, but the paragon of racism symbols is gone. But racism isn’t gone.  Obama brought the racists out of the closet. Even the so-called respectable racists, those who pretend not to be, outed themselves.  Sure, repeal Obamacare, because it kills jobs -ha. Stop him at all costs.  It’s only political -ha.  

A Little History as I See it

Back in the 30s, Tom Watson of IBM was asked by Wall street to talk to his friend FDR and ask him to back off his planned regulations. FDR’s answer was something like, “Tom, you go back and tell your banker friends that I’m trying to save this country’s economy. And if I succeed, I will have saved them too.” Even in those days, bankers were short sighted. FDR succeeded and they benefited from the improved economy, and spent all their time hating him. Stupid, stupid.
Fast forward to the 50s. Income tax on ordinary income was in the neighborhood of 90% over a certain level. Sounds terrible, right? Wrong. We were suffering financially from WWII and then Korea so DOD needed the money. But it had a huge beneficial effect. First of all, corporate management didn’t want big salary, tax too high. So they got stock options, instead. The result was that management had to do a good job in order to make their options worth something. Golden parachutes were not very common. It did another thing. Since capital gains taxes were very low, about 20%, people with large salaries invested it in new ventures because if they didn’t, the government took most of it. They had nothing to lose and a lot to gain if their investment made it big. Essentially they were investing the government’s money in ventures that, if successful, were taxed at %20. It was a good deal. So as a result, there was incredible capital available for the corporate development of the 60’s. The whole computer and technology industry and our world technological leadership was funded by these people who didn’t want the government to take their money. Federal funding for NASA didn’t hurt either. (Gee, Federal spending!!) It was a boom time. Another factor was strong unions which kept wages up despite the dumb scream by business that we weren’t competitive.
Fast forward again. Reagan did his best to continue the destruction of union power which began with Taft-Hartley in the 50s and continued with firing the Air Traffic controllers. There has been an incessant push to destroy unions which are the only entities that keep our wages up so that people can live. Scott Walker and his ilk. Unions insist that increases in productivity are shared with labor and don’t all go the the bottom line. Unions, plus high tax on ordinary income kept the income disparity acceptable. Clinton, no favorite of mine damn him, signed the repeal of Glass-Steagall act in 1998 which set the banks free to bring our economy to it’s knees. It took only 10 years.. So what do we have now? Corporate managers raping their companies to get golden parachutes as a punishment when they resign or get fired for messing up their companies. Then nothing trickles down because they have no incentive to invest. They put their money into politics to buy elections which further encourages their short-sightedness and blatant greed and the corruption which we call lobbying, the lobbying that sees to it that we don’t interfere with their greed. We bail out the banks because we are told they are too big to fail. They take that money and pay big bonuses to themselves and then spend millions lobbying to repeal Dodd-Frank which, in a very small way, tries to keep them from doing it over again. They don’t care about you. If they did, they wouldn’t be so greedy and selfish. They wouldn’t ignore climate change and environmental travesties caused by industry. You have a Republican knife in your back and you don’t even know it. That’s the secret of their success, put a knife in the back of ordinary working people and convince them that they are helping them. The American electorate is the dumbest in the western world.
Out political system is bought and paid for. It has even driven liberals to the right because they need the money to get elected.
Listen to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren’s messages. Every word of it is true and they don’t mince words.
Frankly  There was once a time but these days, I cannot fathom how anyone votes Republican.

SCOTUS and the republicans

There it is!  The republicans could not eliminate, or put an asterisk, or whatever to remove Barack Obama from history.  He is indeed a black president with significant accomplishments and after he leaves office, he will have existed in our history.  

Regarding the fanatic Christian reaction to gay marriage ruling, I continue to ask how a gay marriage affects, in any way, the status of a man-woman marriage.  It doesn’t.  The Christian right wing fanatics just want to impose their hypocritical morality, such as it is, on the rest of us.  This is not and has never been a Christian country.  Where they get this notion is a mystery to me.  

Now that SCOTUS had affirmed Arizona’s elimination of gerrymandering, it behooves the other states to act to reverse the 2010 gerrymandering that gave republicans control of the house and threatens to keep it that way despite a  pretty sizable democratic majority at the polls.