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w.heinlein 38 posts  |  Last Activity: Jun 27, 2016 11:24 AM Member since: Oct 8, 2007
  • Reply to

    3 Cheers for Britain

    by eternal_vengence666 Jun 24, 2016 1:20 PM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jun 27, 2016 11:24 AM Flag

    Spring,
    Trump has already announced that he would use executive orders more aggressively than Obama to bypass Congress when he felt like it. And he is both crooked and a liar or perhaps worse, a b-s-er who doesn't care whether what he says is true or not. With HRC you know exactly what you're getting; with Trump you have no idea what you're getting other than the most self-important blowhard ever to run for President. That's why even uber-conservative George Will announced yesterday he's left the Republican Party and will vote for Hillary this time around. When Will was asked what Republicans should do about Trump, he replied "Make sure he doesn't get elected."
    WH

  • Reply to

    3 Cheers for Britain

    by eternal_vengence666 Jun 24, 2016 1:20 PM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jun 27, 2016 10:43 AM Flag

    I think you are right to connect the British vote with a more general rejection of political elites both in Europe and here. But it's nothing to cheer about. David Cameron wasn't much of a PM but either of his likely replacements will be far worse. Similarly, however many flaws HIllary Clinton has, can you seriously argue that Trump or Sanders would be a better President? Brexit will bring serious economic hardship to Britain and fray the painfully constructed commercial ties among the European states that have prevented a third European war for the past 70 years. There is maybe a 20-30 percent chance that the British decision will push the world toward a recession when we have (barely) recovered from the last one. (As I write this comment,the Dow has lost more than 800 points in two days and it is unclear when the bleeding will stop.) So while I concur with you about the sentiments that underlay the vote, I thoroughly disagree with you about its implications.

  • Reply to

    New Trump Ban: Only Muslims From "Terror" States

    by trueallday Jun 25, 2016 10:49 PM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jun 26, 2016 1:51 PM Flag

    How right you are! Saudi money pays for all the madrasas at which young men are radicalized. Saudis were 18 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11. Bin Laden was a Saudi that the royal family paid to stay out of Saudi Arabia. Far more than Iran, Saudi Arabia is a state sponsor of terrorism. But we will never call them on their bad behavior as long as we depend on their oil. But for the adverse environmental consequences, we should develop our own shale oil supplies and stop importing Saudi oil. However, given the massive negative impact of fossil fuel burning, the next best plan is to develop nuclear power and renewables hand in hand until we get to the point that we can tell the Saudis to drink their damn oil because we won't be buying any more of it.

  • You might think that the appropriate reaction to Britain pulling out of the EU is a yawn, a shoulder shrug, a big "So what". But you would be wrong. Brexit is the biggest monetary shock to the global economy since 2008. The British withdrawal has sent the value of the dollar soaring, following a year in which it had already increased 25% on a trade weighted basis. Since 40% of the world's trade is carried on in dollars, every dollar-denominated borrower in the world just saw his real cost of money shoot up. (If you have to buy dollars to pay your dollar-denominated debt, it suddenly costs lots more of your domestic currency to buy the same nominal amount of dollars.) US long-term interest rates dropped dramatically (even though they were already low) and it now looks like we're going to have interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future.

    This is a dicey time for central bankers. Let's hope they do better this time than they did in 2008.

  • Reply to

    The London Telegraph: "We be happy!"

    by langosta_fla Jun 24, 2016 10:02 AM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jun 24, 2016 11:51 AM Flag

    Exactly. And you can bet that a vote in favor of Scottish withdrawal from Great Britain is just around the corner.

  • Reply to

    The London Telegraph: "We be happy!"

    by langosta_fla Jun 24, 2016 10:02 AM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jun 24, 2016 11:49 AM Flag

    The fundamental issue in this election, imho, was sovereignty. The "Leave" voters saw their country's fate being determined by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. The "Remain" voters were betting that ultimately the EU would become the United States of Europe, converting the customs union into a political union as we Americans did in 1789. I think this vote proves that Europe ain't ready for political union. As I wrote here a few weeks ago, in the long run this is probably good for Britain even though, in the short run, it will inflict a lot of economic pain.

  • Reply to

    Yahoo: Trump Money Problems Telling

    by trueallday Jun 23, 2016 3:34 PM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jun 23, 2016 5:42 PM Flag

    When you consider that turkeys like Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee became multi-millionaires just by running losing national campaigns, it becomes hard to overstate the value of the free publicity that Trump is getting from being the GOP nominee. Trump may or may not be a billionaire today, but this Presidential run will almost certainly make him a billionaire tomorrow. What Trump understands perhaps better than any of his critics is the value of building a brand. These days he hardly builds anything at all; he just leases his name to builders for high fees. This Presidential run, though it will end in humiliating defeat, will only raise the value of the Trump brand. I'm not kidding. Be prepared for Trump whiskey, Trump men's suits, ties and shoes, Trump flatware, Trump monogram golf clubs, ad infinitum.

  • "If you turn elections into a three-ring circus, every now and then the dancing bear will win."

    Nancy Isenberg

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Jun 21, 2016 7:36 PM Flag

    The Sanders/Trump situation reminds me of what happened when #$%$ member David Duke ran for Governor of Louisiana as a Republican against the very ethically compromised Democrat Edwin Edwards.. Most of the state's Republicans ran away from Duke and some of them even put up billboards urging Republicans to "Vote for the #$%$ instead of the kook". Edwards, who had corruption problems that make Hillary seem like Snow White by comparison, won handily.

  • Reply to

    Tom Coburn's Dim Prognostication

    by trueallday Jun 21, 2016 5:18 PM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jun 21, 2016 5:38 PM Flag

    Paul Krugman has an interesting analogy about the current state of the GOP. Just as the Soviet Union finally became so rotten from within that it collapsed when Reagan gave it the final little tap, so too the GOP became so dysfunctional that even a two-bit con man like Trump could become its titular head without doing much more than making rude noises. If he does lead the party to its worst electoral disaster since 1964, the bigwigs (if there are any left) will have to think long and hard about the kind of party they want to build. Both major British political parties went through similar crises, first when Thatcher blew away the old mossback conservatives to take the helm of the Conservative Party and later when Tony Blair dumped Labor's old socialist leadership and made that party relevant again. The Republicans could learn from either example.

  • Reply to

    Does Donald Trump Want to be President?

    by w.heinlein Jun 21, 2016 2:35 PM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jun 21, 2016 5:22 PM Flag

    Dude,
    Congress passes the budget, not the President. The President can only spend what Congress directs him to spend and the GOP has controlled Congress for 6 of the 8 years of the Obama Presidency. As I have said many times, it is an error to give a President either praise or blame for the ups and downs of the economy; it is likewise an error to blame a President for spending what Congress directs him to spend.
    WH

  • You have to wonder. Being President is hard work. And it is particularly frustrating work because the Constitution hems in the President with divided government, checks and balances, etc. Not the kind of job to appeal to a guy like Trump who is used to being an absolute monarch in his business domain. So far the campaign has been an incredible ego trip for the guy but, more important, it has provided him with billions and billions of dollars worth of free publicity. And Trump is the kind of person who thinks (like Kim Kardashian) that there is no such thing as bad publicity. As long as you are front page news, you are getting a tremendous benefit. I would be willing to bet that interest in Trump ventures has skyrocketed since he became be the presumptive Republican nominee and that it will continue to skyrocket during and after the campaign. Look at what running for Veep did for Sarah Palin; this formerly poor scatterbrained #$%$ is now a wealthy scatterbrained #$%$ who buys her rags from Neiman-Marcus instead of J C Penney. Trump may not be worth the $10 billion he claims he's worth but after the campaign is over, he may well get to be that rich as a result of his Presidential run. The 25% of Americans who hate the Clintons will love Trump for running against her and will gamble at his casinos, buy units in his condos, and play rounds on his golf courses by way of thanking him.

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Jun 21, 2016 1:44 PM Flag

    I am a Warriors fan but I took Cleveland and the points in the final game. Curry wasn't himself after the knee injury and with Bogut on the sidelines, the Warriors had no inside presence. They still might have won if Klay Thompson could have hit a couple of open looks and/or Iguadala could shoot free throwsl.

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Jun 21, 2016 1:39 PM Flag

    That means she's winning among 69% of US citizens. I like her odds.

  • Reply to

    Hillary Clinton Ahead, Nationwide

    by trueallday Jun 20, 2016 1:32 PM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jun 20, 2016 5:37 PM Flag

    And to make matters worse, you have the cell phone problem. Historically, polls have been constructed by calling random samples of households. This worked well when every home that had a telephone also had an address associated with the phone number. Bur increasingly people have only mobile phones, for which there is no directory, and more important, which is not associated with a street address. This makes reliable polling far more difficult and introduces a mammoth selection bias if all you poll are people with land lines, who tend to be older, rural, white voters: in other words, polling that way overselects for likely GOP voters. Of course the polling companies are aware of this problem, but being aware of it and solving it are two different things. I would mistrust all polls at this point and if I had to guess which way they are skewed, it would be that the potential Trump vote is overstated.

  • I attended the NBA Finals Game 7 and was reminded as I watched this tense match-up of just how much fatigue plays a part in the marathon that is the NBA post-season. Both teams had very little gas in their tanks, but at the end, the Cavs had just a drop more. Hats off to them, they played a solid series and deserved to win. But how ridiculous is it that the Western Division champion has to run a gauntlet that includes San Antonio and OKC, among others, to get to the Finals while Cleveland, the only really good team in the East, can cruise into the finals over teams that wouldn't be in the top 8 in the West? There ought to be a better way to structure these match-ups, perhaps by seeding the teams in strict order of record without regard to which conference they play in. That would put (at the present time) a majority of Western Division teams into the post-season, but would also up the quality of play and make it a little less likely that one team can reach the Finals without in reasonable shape while the other has its tail dragging.

    That said, LeBron James showed up and Steph Curry didn't. I think there are many reasons for the latter, including an injury that was clearly more serious than Curry was letting on, but you can't deny the fact that when it counted James made his shots and Curry didn't. On the Warrior side, Draymond Green was magnificent, outplaying James overall and nearly winning the game by himself. But in the end, somebody else had to make shots and nobody else could

    So kudos to Cleveland; their long drought is over. And watch out for the Warriors next year as they will re-tool to remedy the shortcomings that left left just shy of a repeat championship.

  • Reply to

    How bad will it be in November?

    by w.heinlein Jun 16, 2016 8:46 PM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jun 17, 2016 1:12 PM Flag

    I would say that there is a small but not insignificant chance that the GOP convention will refuse to nominate Trump. It would be chaos as the Trump supporters would walk out and oppose any replacement or, worse yet, organize themselves into a 3d party. On the other hand, as he continues to alienate huge swaths of the electorate with his thoughtless and inflammatory comments, the potential for a GOP electoral disaster in November increases by the day. I don't see any happy alternative here. Of course, elections cannot only be won, they can also be lost, and Hillary Clinton could conceivably have some skeleton in her closet that would lead to her losing the election. Or, like Al Gore, she could run an inept campaign and lose an election that she should easily have won. But barring some kind of nuclear meltdown by Clinton, there seems to be little wiggle room for the GOP come November.

    Now if I were a sane Republican (increasingly an oxymoron, I understand) I wouldn't be unhappy with a Clinton Presidency. She's a defense hawk with a foreign policy outlook that differs hardly at all from that of GW Bush. And unlike Elizabeth Warren, she is not going to champion policies that will rein in Wall Street because that's where the money to fuel her campaign comes from. On the historic scale of American politics, she is somewhere to the right of Richard Nixon on most domestic issues and right there with him on foreign policy issues. And while she is standard bearer for women in politics, she is less of a feminist champion than Obama. 50 years ago, she would have been a moderate Republican. (I think it is important to remember that she began her political activism as a "Goldwater girl").Trump, on the other hard, is neither a Republican nor a Democrat. He is a Trumpocrat, which is American slang for neo-fascist.

  • Clinton carriers 40+ states , Democratic Senate, Democratic House. She appoints 1-2 Supreme Court justices that GOP can't stop. Congress overturns Citizens United and the Supremes uphold the new law. and that's just Year 1.

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Jun 16, 2016 6:27 PM Flag

    There is some truth to Trump's rant. At least 6 billion dollars in US cash, in shrink-wrapped bundles of $100 bills, went missing in Iraq during the George Bush Follies. Some of it was later discovered stashed inside a bunker in Lebanon but the great bulk of it just disappeared. There is little doubt that some of it made its way into the pockets of the US troops charged with dispensing it. If you do a Google search for "billions of dollars of cash lost in Iraq" you'll find several detailed accounts of the vanished money.

    The bigger scandal of the Iraq reconstruction effort is not the stolen billions but the wasted billions, which dwared the stolen mone by ten to one. This moenmore than $60 fillion, was poured into proects that were never finished, or else didn't work well enough to keep them rh

    As for Trump being right, well, even a blind pig finds an acorn every now and then....

  • Reply to

    Will the Fed swing and miss again?

    by w.heinlein Jun 15, 2016 3:25 PM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jun 15, 2016 8:24 PM Flag

    Short term Brexit is bad for Britain as pound will decline versus other major currencies and it will have negative economic implications from loss of trade benefits.

    Long term Brexit is good for England as the country will control its own destiny rather than having key economic decisions made by unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels.

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