Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Signs & Portents...

Just a couple of issues to discuss while we are waiting for another "October Surprise" to drop and/or the Vice Presidential debates tonight (whichever comes first...)

Campaign signs and portents:
It came up last week in the comments here about the lack of outward signs of a pending Presidential Election. I travelled to Texas this weekend, and while driving around my parents' neighborhood in suburban Dallas I observed something very strange. I did not see one presidential campaign sign, bumper sticker or button in sight. Not one. Weird.

Further to that, my cousin has been taking a driving holiday for the last six weeks from Dallas across the Southwest and up the west coast Highway 1 through California, Oregon and all the way to Seattle. Without being prompted, she told me that she has not seen one campaign sign or bumper sticker during her entire trip. In a quick discussion on this topic with a work friend today, he said that in his neighborhood in New Jersey, there are surprisingly lots of Trump signs, but only one Clinton sign.

So the first thing is that many people are noticing this. The only conclusion is that it appears that no one wants to admit openingly who they will vote for. And I have to say, this is the first time in my voting life that I have ever known this to happen. Is this happening or not happening in your neighborhoods too?

Baseball signs and portents:
Is anyone else concerned that if the Chicago Cubs win the World Series, it will be a sign of the impending Apocolypes? I mean, they haven't won the World Series since 1908. And they choose this year to have the best record they've ever had and they might actually win? That's got to be a sign of impending doom, right? Nostradamus must have written an obsure quatrain predicted this or at least Revelations must say something about "there will be two leaders unworthy to lead in the land of milk and honey, and the final sign will be when the child of the northern brown hairy beast wins the series of bat-tles, this will be the final sign and will unleash the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse." It has to be there somewhere. Well, I rooting for the Texas Rangers just to be safe.

A non-political event with other signs and portents:
It was just announce last week hailing the miracle of the birth in Mexico a genetically modified baby with 3 parents. You can read the article to understand the science of itLINK The primary mother carried a gene that was passed on to her two children who died in childhood. Through the miracle of science and genetic modification, a healthy baby was born. That's wonderful for the parents and has been hailed a a life-saving breakthrough. I am not sure what I think of this. I understand the intent, but like all amazing scientific leaps, it comes with a cautious downside. How far will go this go? We will end up have a super-race of genetically modified humans and an underclass of "naturally born" children like in the movie "Gattica"? Not to mention the legal ramifications of having three "natural" parents and the potential custody battles not unsimilar to using a surrogate.

And finally, just to get you in the mood for the Vice-President debate tonight, here is one of Tryanmax's wonderful posters just in time for....

I figure since neither of these two have yet been revealed to be too controversial yet, it wouldn't be too horrible to watch. So if you are interested, come by and post your play-by-play comments...


AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I drive all of the city and I see a handful of signs for local politicians or ballot issues for school taxes, but I almost never see a sign for either candidate or a bumper sticker. It's really strange.

On the Cubs, I have faith that divine intervention will prevent the Cubs from winning. God is no fool.

The Mexican thing is going to require some careful reworking of certain jokes.

Perfect poster! Who f** cares indeed!

Kit said...

No, it's not the apocalypse. God wants us to suffer, bringing about the apocalypse would end the suffering.

Kit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kit said...

The baby w/ 3 parents thing deeply disturbs me. That being said, I wish only the best for the child.

ArgentGale said...

Similar to Andrew (except from rural NW GA) I've seen two, maybe three Trump signs and one Hillary bumper sticker outside the county party headquarters. The rest has just been local politicians. If there was ever an indicator of just how badly both parties chose this year this is it...

- Daniel

tryanmax said...

I don't see nearly as many campaign signs as normal, but I've still seen more than enough to prevent making an estimate. That said, Nebraska is hardly a battleground. One can comfortably display GOP support without fear of reprisal and the outspoken Democrats get off on imagining they've created a stir.

tryanmax said...

A thought just occurred to me. This is the initial story regarding Donald Trump's taxes:

Donald J. Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns. Tax experts hired by The New York Times to analyze Mr. Trump’s 1995 records said that tax rules would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his loss to cancel out more than $50 million a year in taxable income over 18 years. --NYT Oct 1, edited for repetition

It's the speculative analysis--that Trump may not have had to pay taxes for 18 years--that the Clinton campaign and its surrogates have been running with the last several days. But, true to form, they've factualized and demagogued it, so their narrative is that Trump has really done this and it's shady. In their zeal, they may have stepped squarely into a cow patty and don't yet realize it.

I expect one of two follow-up maneuvers on Trump's part.

1) Trump releases tax forms that show he did wind up paying taxes within that 18 year time frame, probably toward the end, having had time to recover from his losses.

OR, more simply

2) Trump releases taxes from the last couple years showing he has paid taxes. This would, of course, be meaningless since the 18-year period in question ended in 2010 (15 forward, 3 back). The same public that doesn't understand NOL deductions won't know the difference.

Actually, it's the same gambit, either way. Trump has allowed the claim that he doesn't pay taxes to take hold. The details of that claim have been rendered irrelevant by the very people making the claim. Now, all he has to do to destroy that claim is provide evidence that he has paid taxes. Any. Ever.

To the public, that will render the counterclaim false. Any retorts that it "isn't good enough" will sound like whining. Personally, I would wager that Trump drops his most recent taxes because a) they're irrelevant to the 1995 taxes and b) people regard the most recent as "the best." Clinton demanding older tax returns will appear silly and make her look like a malcontent.

One additional angle: Clinton has really dug in on the taxes thing. She won't let it go. This alone is a mistake on her part. As long as Trump withholds his taxes, he steers Clinton's message. Further, if my guesses are correct, Trump holds the power to solidify her reputation as a liar in stark, clear terms. He also commands the timing.

And it's a pretty safe bet that Trump's tax bill is a figure that boggles the average American's mind, which will just obliterate the idea that he doesn't pay his "fair share."

But that's just a guess.

BevfromNYC said...

Tryanmax - The tax smear is just the tip of the iceberg for smears coming - Yesterday, the NY AG demanded that Trump stop raising money for his foundation in the state because he hasn't registered with the state. Funny that Trump has had his foundation for years and AG Schneiderman (advisor to Clinton) jsut happened to notice on Oct 3, 2016 that the foundation has not registered with the state.

And then just this morning, it is reported that Trump gave Gov. of Florida 10x the maximum donations through 10 different Trump entities. Hmmmmm, the Dems are just discovering this...yeah, right.

tryanmax said...

Bev, the public generally doesn't care that Democrats cynically sit on this information. They only care about the "scandal" itself. But no one has ever tried to pile on to this degree that I can recall. As they say, the dose makes the poison. Let's see who gets sick.

It's also worth noting that we've reached the double-bait, which again, I'm disappointed in myself for not seeing sooner. Basically, Trump has consistently responded to his opponents attacks, which is generally regarded as "politics as usual," but Clinton has successfully branded as "easy to bait." By use of this characterization, she has encouraged her surrogates to actively attempt to bait Trump. This is completely predictable behavior on the media's part.

Trump had ample opportunity to stop responding to "bait" and didn't. Some say it's against Trump's nature to change, despite the myriad changes he's made, especially "the softening." If Trump can decide what to change and what not to change, then he is baiting the baiters.

BevfromNYC said...

"...God wants us to suffer, bringing about the apocalypse would end the suffering."

Kit - It's not that simple. God just wants us to learn a lesson. Don't take for granted that just because anyone can run for President, not everyone should BE President. And to drive that message home, we have THE worst two candidates in the history of the world that WE actually got to chose to run! They weren't foisted on us like some 3rd World communist dicator. We...chose....them.

God tried to warn us by using NYC'ers as an example. That's why we are saddled with Bill DeBlasio until 1/1/2018. But NOOOOOOOO! we didn't get the message, did we?

BevfromNYC said...

Tryanmax - First off, a round of raucous applause for the poster!

And yeah, the baiting the baiting baiter is getting old. And I a really disappointed that Assange didn't slam-dunk some really juicy emails. But, I have decided whichever wins, we will be having impeachment hearings for the next four years. Though it might be Lynch and Comey who get beheaded first.

So, maybe the VP is more important than we are considering?

BevfromNYC said...

Daniel and Andrew - I would have thought that in very Red Texas (despite the "Make Texas Blue" crowds' delusions), voters wouldn't be afraid to post yard signs. All I saw were "I Support The Blue/Blue Lives Matter"-ish signs in honor of the 4 dead cops and a few local city council candidates. No one wants to risk their car, I guess.

The yard sign/bumper sticker thing is so fascinating.

tryanmax said...

I believe fears of vandalism are very real.

TJ said...

I work in an office complex that has two buildings facing each other. The office upstairs in my building houses the County GOP headquarters, so there are Trump/Pence signs everywhere, plus the down ticket candidates as well. Last week someone in the other building put a Clinton/Kaine sign in their upstairs window on the side that faces our building. It was gone the next day. My boss and his partner own the buildings, so I don't know if that had anything to do with it being gone or if someone across the way was playing a joke.

As to the rest of the area, it's just like everywhere else - not too many signs around except for local politicians.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I'm going to disagree. So far, I think your analysis of the election has been spot on and brilliant. At this point though, I think you're giving too much credit.

I think Hillary and Trump are both going on instinct at this point and any strategy is long since dead. Hillary's instinct is to repeat the campaign slogans as if she were chanting to Cthulhu: "He hates women... he hates blacks... he's rich... he's dangerous... (repeat)."

Then her supporters are doing what they always do, which is projecting their emotional issues/defects on him and whining at any microphone they can find: "He fat shamed me!" "He raped me!" "He wants to bring back slavery!" "He has more money than I do!" "Ha ha, he's ugly!"

Then the opportunists who want jobs from Hillary -- failed military bureaucrats, Congress critters, and state department types -- smear him with the Russia lies, the "you won't believe what happened at the briefing" lies, the "diplomats are scared" lies, and the "all the experts agree" crap. The "think tanks" add in their fake studies at this point too.

Then the journalists coordinate all of this into one on large attack.

They do this every election, but this time they are way overdoing it because they are worried they will lose and because I think the left has lost any sense of proportion. Essentially, everything is now worse than Hitler, so everything breeds hate and desperation.

On the other hand, Trump's instinct is to deny everything and lie about it.

So that's what we are seeing.

BevfromNYC said...

Am I the only who thinks that having foreign diplomats and world leaders spouting that they are terrified of a Trump presidency as a good reason to vote for him?

tryanmax said...

Andrew, maybe the double-bait is a bit much. I admit it's a stretch. I still count it as a choice to not stop taking bait.

On the taxes, however, I'm committed to the notion that Trump knows he's steering Hillary's message and he's not going to give that up a moment too soon. The reason being, this is such a predictable demand from Democrats that the strategy could have been worked out prior to Trump even announcing his candidacy.

tryanmax said...

As for Hillary, I agree, she's running on instincts and her instincts are terrible.

tryanmax said...

Not sure what to say about that debate. It was certainly lively. Kaine didn't miss a chance to interrupt Pence and the moderator didn't miss many. Kaine came off as an ass, Pence seemed very measured. The moderator seemed not in control. A lot of how that debate went depends on which Trump quotes you believe are real.

tryanmax said...

Also, Clinton was virtually ignored in that debate.

Jersey McJones said...

The October surprise will be the retaking of Mosul and Aleppo, respectively, and therefore a mortal blow to the ISIS-types in the region.


AndrewPrice said...

Wow. A real comment. No swear words. Nothing truly obnoxious. I'm impressed, JMJ. Clearly, you've been practicing.

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