My jumbled thoughts about the upcoming election

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

The colloquy yesterday between Bink and Craig got me to thinking, as they say in these parts. So below are my jumbled and disjointed thoughts about the choice we face 40 days or so from now.

I view this election as a binary election – it’s Clinton or Trump.  If that is establishment versus change, with the type of change drumpf foreshadows, I’ll take establishment any day and every day for a myriad of reasons, including her roots in and support for the middle class.

supreme1Clinton is an easy choice for me. Even putting that aside, the folks Hillary will put into the federal courts from bottom to top make the decision very easy for me as a lawyer who believes the Constitution is not embodied in one amendment (a point on which Craig and I agree).

Whether I, Craig, or anyone is in the top or bottom 1, 5, or 10 percent, or somewhere in the middle, so long as they vote for the one candidate IMHO who gives a crap about and represents any hope for the middle class I don’t care how many cars, homes, dollars, eyes or whatever they have or whether they are low, middle or high income, or are unemployed, working or living off dividends and trust funds, and I count among my friends folks who fall into all of those baskets and who support Hillary — and none are deplorable.

I reject the “change” meme in this election as illegitimate and not in the best interests of the country. Large scale change in the past 100 years or so has been a result of catastrophic events, and I don’t see that underlying cause now — eight years ago, yes, but the responses to the 2008 crash have stabilized the economy (hopefully) even if the middle class has not recovered to its pre-crash level, although I am somewhat skeptical of that. Manufacturing has been leaving the country since the 70s at least, long before Obama’s birthplace was questioned. That’s when Japan moved from trinkets and began competing with us in the steel and electronics industries. It could ship US scrap to Japan, manufacture steel products and ship them back to the US at prices below what we could produce the same products for using the same scrap without the transportation costs. It built better TVs and stereos we could afford (remember them?) and we bought them.

manufacturingChina’s inroads into our manufacturing economy have been dramatic, but we buy their crap at Walmart and everywhere else, and other countries including Honduras, Indonesia, Korea and India just to name a few have followed suit.  NAFTA didn’t do that.  I haven’t seen the US be overwhelmed by Mexican and Canadian goods, and there are competing studies that have reached conflicting results. (See this Politifact article).  Ironically, one of the major employers in our area is a Canadian company (Bombardiere) and the largest office building in our “downtown” area (I use the term advisedly) — which was effectively abandoned by Chase Bank is now Canadian owned (Olymbec). Americans provide the labor in both.

OK, to support US manufacturers and bakers I won’t eat Oreos any longer and any Fender guitar I buy will be made in the US – and I’ll pay double for it, but it will be 20% better made.  Have there been job losses as a result of emerging economic powers south of our border and across the Pacific?  You betcha.  Are Americans willing to compete with those markets?  Yes and no.  But regardless, if you think change as offered by the Cheeto Bandito (apologies to Frito Lay) will improve that, well, I’ve got a bridge to Queens to sell you.

Would bringing back the Glass-Steagall reforms help?  Probably.  Will they come back with an orange idiot repug in the white house and a repug congress?  Not in a million years.  Could Dodd-Frank be made stronger instead?  See my Glass-Steagall comment.

Will trump bring back coal?  Doubtful so long as natural gas is cheap.  Will Hillary kill coal?  With a repug congress and coal lobbying money to keep idiots like McConnell in Congress and in line?  No damn way. (Natural gas will do that if it happens).

But the most compelling reason to reject trump change (chump change is more like it) is what I can foresee 4-8 years from now.  With drumpf at the helm I cannot imagine what this country and the world will look like, but I can’t see it looking better for most Americans, or for the world as a whole for that matter.  Putin might disagree with me here.  But I can see drumpf and his brood carefully studying and analyzing moves for the US while profiting nicely and counting their money as it grows – they think a blind trust is having his 3 spawn run his companies. With Hillary at the helm I similarly can’t see where we go, but I know it will be through careful study and analysis and right or wrong, decisions based upon that. So in the end, I’ll be voting for Hillary, like I did 8 years ago, and again I’ll be doing it for what I see as the best choice for the country.

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And as the Campaigns Continue on, Both See the End

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

In Thursday’s Washington Post, Greg Sargent posted a piece with this title:  The End is Near: Clinton and Sanders Camps Signal Resolution.  It was inevitable wasn’t it?  While the ultimate outcome of the race may have seemed to be up in the air a month ago, now it seems like the outcome is all but certain and it’s time for the candidates to look toward the Fall election against … Trump.


The signs are everywhere this morning: The Clinton and Sanders camps are now signaling how the Democratic primaries might wind down without too much noise, contentiousness, disruption, and anger. Could things still get very ugly? Yes. But at this point, that’s looking less likely than the alternative.

In an interview with me, Rep. Keith Ellison, a top supporter of Bernie Sanders who is also the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, suggested the Clinton camp had some work to do in order to appeal to Sanders’s supporters. But he also carefully noted that Sanders would not do anything to imperil the party unity that will be required to defeat Donald Trump.

But Ellison added: “Every Bernie supporter knows that this Supreme Court issue is looming. We’ll have party unity….everybody has a responsibility to make sure there will never be a President Trump. Bernie has been around a long time….he’s not going to hand this country over to Donald Trump.”

Ellison’s a smart guy, and I certainly hope his words are prophetic. Bernie, of all people, should know exactly what is at stake should Trump pull off a win in November.  Hell, Citizen’s United has been one of his primary issues during the campaign.

On the Clinton side, the Post reports that a top Clinton backer, Senator Dianne Feinstein, is now calling for both camps to “work together, across our party, to have a platform that represents the views of Democrats.” And:

In 2008, after the divisive primary season concluded, Feinstein opened her Washington manse to host a secret unity meeting between Obama and Clinton. She said she would reprise that role for Clinton and Sanders. “I’d be very happy to offer that,” Feinstein said.

The other day, another top Clinton backer, Senator Sherrod Brown — who has great credibility among economic progressives — also offered in an interview with me to take part in any negotiating efforts to unite the camps. He even suggested that Clinton “should work with him on the platform,” and offered some areas of common ground they could reach on financial reform (an area of real disagreement), such as how to toughen up Dodd-Frank’s requirements for big banks’ plans to wind down in a crisis.

I have heard nothing of the sort coming from the Republican contestants or their surrogates.  Now that Cruz has picked Fiorina as his running mate there can be no doubt that he intends to continue to tear at Trump.  Tear away, I say.

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Laughing on Goat Hill

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

So I was watching Rachel Monday and her take on the Alabama Guv Robert Bentley (the hard of Dixie) having his recorded thoughts about his physical improprieties with a staff member played out on national cable news.  I’m LMAO and Mrs. P. from OH thinks it’s not funny. As a friend used to say, au contraire, Pierre.’s sketch comedy group agrees…with me.

ValSiNJReally, what’s not funny about the head of the family values party in the Heart of Dixie – my home state – having his comments about kissing, pulling his employee close, touching her breasts and how he loves it, loves it, loves it played out on a national cable political station? And having fired his Secretary of Law Enforcement who blew the whistle on the affair? And HE’S NOT GOING TO RESIGN! Really, is there anything in politics funnier?

Is Bernie’s Run About Done?

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

DEM 2016 DebateI believe that structurally Bernie is done.  Tuesday may tell the tale, Ohio in particular. Hillary has won 200 more delegates of the 1000 at stake thus far, counting only won delegates.  Add the super delegates and the numbers just can’t work for him unless he quickly and dramatically turns around his performance in states that aren’t overwhelmingly white and don’t choose delegates in coffee klatches.   He can’t string enough Kansases and Nebraskas together to do much more – those states are almost done and his sweet spot is shrinking quickly.

Join us for tonight’s Democratic debate on CNN at 8:00pm ET.