Thursday, January 28, 2016

Is Trump in race for us or himself?

If Donald Trump wanted soft serve questions teed up constantly by a slavishly adoring MSM he should have run as a Democrat. Then he too would get front-runner Hillary Clinton's inane, choreographed what's-your-favor-color queries such as Monday's “Which of our previous presidents have inspired you most and why? [Moderator: Pick one].” Her smirking response: “Sorry President Obama, sorry Bill —Abraham Lincoln.” Given that she worked under Obama as Secretary of State and is married to Bill, it is doubly ironic that a Democrat known to the public as a habitual liar would chose a Republican known as “Honest Abe.”

But, Mr. Trump didn't. Instead, he is running as a poll-leading Republican. Now he is in a petulant, foot-stamping Obama-like spat with a natural ally, conservative Fox News. The network has made the perfectly reasonable decision to once again include Megyn Kelly as a moderator for Thursday's debate in Iowa. However, in this, irony is not the sole property of Democrats. Today's debate-ducking Donald (in a 2011 conversation with the self-same Megyn Kelly) derided other Republicans as lacking courage for avoiding debates. Mr. Trump has soured on Ms. Kelly and therefore is boycotting the event.

Mr. Trump has appropriated Ronald Reagan's 1980 slogan “Make America Great Again,” but he's not invoking Reagan's selfless team spirit of “win one for the Gipper.” No doubt that Mr. Trump loves America, but like all creatures of ego, he loves himself infinitely more. By not debating in Iowa—evaluating actions, not words—he sends the clear message that the voters' right to vet all the candidates via the political process doesn't really matter. Like Hillary, Mr. Trump is really in the race for the personal win. It's the presidency as a prize.

For more than 7 years America has limped along under a dictatorial and mercurial personality. The last thing America needs in 2017 is another rule-breaking Svengali regardless of the little 'R' by his name or the little 'D' by hers.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog

Thursday, January 21, 2016

W-a-l-m-a-r-t does not spell welfare

Apparently the liberal MSM and politicians confuse the name Walmart with the concept of welfare. The first is a publicly-traded retailer with stockholders that expect the company to remain profitable. The second is a government-sponsored entitlement program for the needy. The two are examples of entirely different economic animals: the first provides purpose, the semblance of independence and potential upward mobility, the second guarantees Socialistic stagnation and the status quo.

In 2013, the D.C. minimum hourly wage was $8.25. At the time, the city council tried to shakedown the world's largest company (in 2014, by revenue as well as the biggest private employer) with the "Large Retailer Accountability Act." The bill targeted only non-union retailers with stores in the district larger than 75,000 feet and with corporate sales of $1 billion plus. When Walmart balked and almost bolted, the bill was rejected by then-Mayor Vincent Gray. It would have required them (and a limited number of other companies unique for their size such as Target, Home Depot and Macy's) to pay employees a 50 percent premium over the city’s minimum wage or $12.50.

Although mandated wage hikes sound good in theory, in the real world of economics that politicians wholly disregard, they are job-killers. These district-running Democrats grouse about low-wage jobs and a “living wage” in order to perpetually keep their voter bases stirred up ensuring their own re-elections. This is their draconian justification to use the heavy hands of government to throw destructive monkey wrenches (these arbitrary, Orwellian regulations) that, in practice, promote more unemployment under the guise of promising its opposite. In this, they completely ignore the history that such positions were designed as “starter” jobs: to give the young their first employment experiences. They were never intended to be the stuff of careers—or the economic basis upon which to raise a family.

Independent of the above situation, Walmart did initiate paying its hourly employees more, a $9.00 per hour wage in April of 2015.  (Reported Wednesday: a scheduled, second round of pay increases to $10.00 will begin next month.)  Perhaps a questionable business decision given the fact that employee wage increases have directly led to diminished profits; by October the stock had dropped 10%. This logically has caused an economic contraction, compelling Walmart to downsize worldwide including 154 stores in the U.S.among them two in D.C. This actuality has current D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser “blood mad” because of the five stores promised—on a handshake—only three were built apparently in the better areas of town. The two slated for poorer regions have been abandoned.

Politician Bowser can stew and take it personally, but it is only business. Unlike government which never has a bottom line—and seems not to care one whit for economic consequences (read: 19 trillion in U.S. deficit spending and counting)—such is not the case for any business or any rational person managing a household budget. Yet, liberals' knee-jerk reaction is always the same: the politics of victimization. In this case, demonize the “evil” capitalist entity, publicly proclaim it a “racist” enterprise which “scammed” D.C.'s poor out of an economic oasis in a dilapidated urban sprawl. A circumstance the MSM neglects to mention, caused by Democrats' anti-capitalist policies and gross mismanagement of many of America's prominent cities.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog

Monday, January 18, 2016

Hollywood sees only color of money

Prestige is nice, but in Hollywood cash is always king. That's not awards, but box office profits. Based purely on economics, the movie-going public and film-making investment, the truth of tolerance is clear. Three of the five top-grossing actors are black: Samuel Jackson (#2: 4.6 B), Morgan Freeman (#4: 4.3 B) and Eddie Murphy (#5: 3.8 B). Further, all are Oscar-nominated with Morgan Freeman winning a prized 2005 statuette. So lack of exposure or popularity of African-American actors can't be the reason for a current lack of nominations. It is disingenuous to broadly assume because most Academy Award voters are white and male that that superficiality correctly indicates a deep-seeded racial bias. By the numbers, the charge of sexism might have legs, but artistic judgments (that award ceremonies are based upon) are inherently subjective. Therefore, no firm conclusions can fairly be drawn. Perhaps liberals would advocate a cultural diversity system for Hollywood similar to that of college admissions?

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog

Friday, January 15, 2016

Angry voters' choice: new face or Clinton devil?

Americans will take a lot, but they will not tolerate the continuing destruction of their nation by elites in both parties who believe they are untouchable. – Monica Crowley

In the final analysis (while I affirm Ms. Crowley's optimistic tone) maybe so, maybe not. Indeed, it's scary when such monumental world-shaping choices are seemingly left to the whims of fate. Recall 2012, despite obvious foreign and domestic policy disasters, Mr. Obama—an utterly failed, ultra-Constitutional, pathologically liar of a 1984-style despot—was re-elected. At the time, the combination of a not-quite so conservative Republican candidate Mitt Romney (who would never take the gentlemanly gloves off to fight for the presidency) coupled with 4 years of MSM propaganda Obama-covering slop force-fed to the American electorate resulted in millions of Republicans staying home. Mercifully, may that not be the case this time.

Mr. Trump (and to a lesser extent the more steady and viable Ted Cruz) is channeling the very apparent “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore” sentiments of the unhinged UBS news anchor Howard Beale (a fictional character played to Oscar glory by Peter Finch in 1976’s Network). And the political powers-that-be on both sides of the aisle better take heed: it is not the first time a long-shot political neophyte has upset the Establishment, causing a populist phenomenon that landed an unexpected person in the White House.

As past is prologue, the man that surprisingly wound up vice president, the famously gaff-prone Joe Biden, made an off-the-cuff remark on January 31, 2007 that inadvertently encapsulated the overall political mood of the country:

“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man.”

Only in Mr. Biden's wholly devoted and feverish mind has Mr. Obama been “the first” in anything. Further, despite bizarre and back-handed praise, Mr. Obama's on the job performance has been the opposite of “storybook” unless one considers the novels of prolific horror novelist Stephen King. In any case, the man with the curious habits of publicly groping women not his spouse—and swimming pool skinny dipping in front of female Secret Service agents—can attest to the cleanliness part: he's been providing slavish metaphorical tongue-baths to his boss for the last 7 years.

Upon reflection, Mr. Obama was elected as a protest to then unpopular George W. Bush and, by extension, the dynastic Bush family name (hence younger brother Jeb's current failure to gain political traction despite deep pockets and spending 50 million). To parallel, while Donald Trump may very well ride the anti-Obama, anti-incumbency fervor to the presidency in 2017, I'm willing to bet that America will not take another chance, this time on an untested Republican wild card. In any case, to his credit, The Donald gives as much guff as he gets. (It is therefore some comfort that at least one Republican candidate will fight to “make America great again.”) He'll need to in the face-off between the tag team that is Hillary Clinton and her devoted Goliath propagandist creature, the MSM.

I don’t know if the scribe of “The Art of the Deal” will get the Republican nomination, but from day-one Hillary's coronation as her party's nominee was certain. Therefore, the musing of numerous conservative experts make for good TV fodder and fill many newspaper column inches, but do any of them seriously believe for a moment—hand to Bible—that an unapologetic Socialist like Bernie Sanders will get the nomination? Despite a topsy-turvy political cycle, a recent Fox poll put that probability at 17%. To the detriment of the country, Mrs. Clinton is—and remains—the only Democratic game in town. So, Bill's checkered past as a Lothario doesn't matter. She need to do little more than show up, grin, and bear the slings and arrows that have been coming her way for 25 years. (That's old hat: what else has she accomplished over all this time?)
  Mrs. Clinton understands her enviable position: a 50/50 probability to the Oval Office. Those are way better odds than any other candidate on the political landscape—and there will be no political upstart à la Obama to derail things this time around.

The slight monkey wrenches in the latest Clintonian White House political calculation (that Hill and Bill are all about) are two-fold. The most obvious is the brash personality and plain-speaking style of Donald Trump. In her favor is the fact that she will be gifted the nomination he (or someone else) will have to fight very hard for. The fact that she is part of Washington’s elitist beltway bubble is counterbalanced (she hopes) by the superficial triviality of her gender à la Joe Biden's view of “firsts.” She has nothing else to run on, but doesn't need to. She's been given a complete pass for every equivocation, every outright lie and every sleazy corruption scandal thus far. Once again in this, history will repeat itself.

The FBI will likely do its Hillary-gate investigations in good faith. Then, the decisions pass to Mr. Obama and his Justice Department. The threat of federal indictment—Hillary's own personal sword of Damocles—will be a petty torment likely enjoyed by Mr. Obama. Especially given the report that there is no personal love lost between them. However, as everything with Democrats is party first, last and always, he will not derail her progress in favor of a last minute highly dicey John Kerry run or a laughable Biden one. To do so invites the probability of a Republican that will undo an America-damaging legacy he is so proud of. Therefore, Mr. Obama will content himself by making Mrs. Clinton sweat for a while under the bright lights of potential prosecution. It won't work: the ongoing shadow of scandal is just par for the course for any politician with the Clinton surname.

Complicating matters on the other side of the aisle is Paul Ryan-led Republicans who foolishly continued to fund things they promised to fight like Obamacare. The repeal bill was a hollow victory: necessary, but ultimately little more than symbolic. However, the act of appropriating actual money is not symbolic, it is very real—indicating that Mr. Ryan and his cronies are not “change,” but more of the same ilk of go-along-get-along politicians that have further alienated the public. In this same vein is funding Planned Parenthood and Obama's executive amnesty for illegal aliens. Indeed, 7 years of Republican coddling—and an outrageous lack of political backbone—are just as likely to make the electorate understandably skittish of new Republican leaders as they are of old Democratic ones.

Playing devil's advocate for a moment, if elected will Mr. Trump simply be a Republican version of Mr. Obama: another arrogant, inflexible, petulant blowhard? Or will it be the equally entitled, greedy, immoral “queen of mean” that is Mrs. Clinton’s reputation? If Trump loses he goes back to his business empire; Mrs. Clinton to her ill-gotten, influence-bartering “Clinton Cash” fortune. The real sword of Damocles hangs not over their heads, but ours (as we are not similarly bankrolled.)

I suspect that fate will turn on the small issues of steadfastness, trustworthiness and mostly likability. That will leave galvanizing Mr. Trump and polarizing Mrs. Clinton too extreme to successfully navigate the political turbulence. That leaves many worthy Republicans particularly Ted Cruz as perhaps our best option in 2017.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog

Monday, January 11, 2016

WaPo's Spoiled Reporting, Overt Bias

Actual one-day headlines from the primary “news” pages of this Monday's Washington Post, Section A: 'Cuban-Mexican tension is a hurdle for Cruz, Rubio;' 'Rubio and cousin share blood ties but not political ones: He's a Democrat;' 'Rubio's strategic gloom' and 'Some Republican positions do not reflect the party I know.' By contrast, there are zero articles critical of Democrats despite 7 years of the ongoing, ruinous Obama Administration.

Like a Sesame Street grid let's figure out what all these news-masquerading scribbles have in common: all are biased, propagandist smears of Republicans. The specific political reason for targeting the Latin candidates is based on the legitimate fear that Hispanic voters will vote along superficial ethnicity lines, splitting this minority voting bloc vital to Democrat prospects for the White House in 2017. (This is the same calculation that women will automatically vote for Hillary foolishly because of her gender.)

Naturally, The Post trumpets stentorian the week old fish idea that electing presidential front-runner Hillary is somehow special or groundbreaking despite her scandal-laden history and widespread reputation as a liar. In truth, Mrs. Clinton is 25 years beyond her freshness date. Furthermore, The Post is no legitimate supporter of women because it will have no similar praise for conservative star Carly Fiorina.

It seems The Post has completely forgotten its original, non-partisan reporting purpose. Today, it contents itself as a creature of the Democratic Party: to ignore or downplay corruption and repeatedly change the subject from progressives' numerous dirty deeds by unfairly attacking Republicans.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog

Friday, January 8, 2016

Lies, scandal sink relentless Clintons?

With all the 2017 pre-race enthusiasm of a yapping greyhound at the dog track Wesley Pruden is lured by the Pavlovian rabbit—the endlessly wafting pungent hamburger stink that is the many scandals of Bill and Hillary Clinton. The corruption is so evident—so clearly seen—so obvious to everyone. No matter: after 25 years in the spotlight, often at the pinnacle of American political power, the fix is in. Hillary will be the Democrat's presidential nominee. Given that fact she will not be criminally indicted due to her personal, unsecured server holding American secrets likely stolen by hostile, foreign governments. Indeed, history has repeatedly demonstrated that Slick Willie and wife will never be “caught” no matter how many columns Mr. Pruden scribbles.

From the beginning Hillary has been the only game in town. So further 2008-style unraveling doesn't matter as there is no viable alternative on the Democratic side. Likewise, Mr. Pruden can wax philosophical about Bernie “90% tax rate” Sanders's candidacy, but America has not yet gone so far over the cliff to nominate an outspoken Socialist for president. Furthermore, he can also muse in vain about another last minute Joe Biden candidacy or an independent run by Jim Webb, but it will come to naught.

Clinton 2.0 is a clear and present danger to the continued viability of our already Obama-mangled republic, but that tragic option is as certain as gravity. What will finally spare us Hillary's incompetent ministrations is her lack of likability. Despite her paper thin resume of impressive job titles (and nothing else), when 'liar,' 'dishonest' and 'untrustworthy' are the most popular words to describe madame it will not get her elected. Despite mindless Democratic lemmings lining up to vote for her, the rest of the country will finally show the Clinton sideshow the exit door carrying their many years of baggage with them.

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog

Monday, January 4, 2016

Star Bill Cosby's shameful fall

The reality is that all individuals are fallible. Even those that rise to the status of cultural icons like Bill Cosby. Like all actors, his job depended on being a convincing pretender and player of roles. Mr. Cosby's most famous depiction was Dr. Cliff Huxtable, “America's Dad” in the classic '80s sitcom “The Cosby Show.”

Ultimately, Mr. Cosby should not be faulted for not measuring up to that fictional persona. Yet, the consequences of his personal choices and alleged predatory sexual misbehavior are his own.

Sympathy should be extended to Mr. Cosby's dutiful, no doubt long-suffering and embarrassed wife as well as the dozens of targeted, drugged women of Mr. Cosby's 40 years of forced sexual escapades. However, this longtime pitchman for jello isn't so sweet. He had the world on a string and despite that couldn't temper his inner demons.

Mr. Cosby's likely criminal actions are not reflective of the rest of the black community. The symbol of his public disgrace is emblematic of the flip-side of Langston Hughes's poem “Harlem” (“What happens to a dream deferred”): long sought-after success finally achieved can cause deep-seeded moral collapse.

Due to his money and celebrity, Mr. Cosby mistakenly believed the same rules of decency wouldn't apply. His perp walk and criminal charges prove differently. His narrative should be a warning to anyone regardless of their station that the law applies to everyone. 

Twitter: @DavidHunterblog