Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A Big Challenge

President Trump has raised over 30 million for his re-election. The supporters donate on line every time the presidency is challenged.

The problem with the election in 2020 is that Trump already has a message and it is working in a large part of the right wing and independent voters: America First!

Such a simple message is absolutely what works in today's Twitter world. The tweet length messages are easy to respond to and force a gut feel response in voters. A feeling of support for those threatened by "foreigners" or whatever Trump has come up with. And  a feel of hate for those that are the target (blacks, minorities) or those voters who support groups Trump and his folk absolutely hate.

I would not be too focused on what the voters can be given (healthcare, education, jobs etc) but go full force in some kind of  TRUMP IS EVIL message. Never mind that Republicans are offended by coarse  language. They will never vote for a Democrat anyway. Convey in simple terms that he is a hateful asshole.

If the Democrats are running a woman, I have to say that Hillary will be the one best equipped to challenge his every act and word. It will be easy for Trump to just label her "Loser Hillary." But she could just go full force on Trump supporters this time:

If the candidate is another woman, I would get a male VP partner. The woman candidate can focus on the working classes that were ignored last time. They want simple things: jobs and healthcare. Do not offer them community college as a solution. You only have four years to help them. A raised minimum wage will work well. Their children can be offered the education. Then, with the caring candidate, you add a man VP candidate whose job is to go after Trump daily in the most clever and quick witted response and basically to be the attack dog.

I'll just offer a simple slogan: Vote for (Democrat), we care! Trump does not care about you.

Sunday, October 14, 2018


We foreigners have been coming to America for decades. We don't go on welfare for the most part. Immigrants tend to be slightly better at whatever job or career they have than the corresponding American applicants. This is because there is a hurdle to get in, other than for refugees.

Rural people and towns in the middle of the country have mostly Latino immigrants. They do the low wage jobs related to crops and the food industry.

These are all the (red) counties that went for Trump in the election. Many people before the election had no particular view of immigrants. Muslims had been singled out for 9-11, other than that, most rural people had little idea of immigrants in California or New York.

Immigrants are not on welfare. If they take your jobs, then most often they were in fact qualified for the job. We train foreign born scientists and engineers here, as Americans just want "nice" jobs or very high paying jobs. But jobs that are not in say the chemical industry.

Taking welfare now disqualifies you from moving on to citizenship. Getting arrested gets you deported. There is absolutely no basis for the Trump claim that foreigners are a danger and are second class citizens. Are they in gangs? Yes, but so are Americans in those low income areas where gangs operate. Often it takes a generation for the poorest least educated refugees to move up in society.

Reagan famously launched a libertarian era by saying that government (other than the military) is mostly bad. The military was needed, to fight communism of course

Trump has expanded on that, as well as made foreigners scapegoats. It started with:

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best; they're not sending you," Trump said. "They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

November election is coming. If you are an immigrant and can vote, it is your duty to vote the racist GOP out of office.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Healthcare and Trump

Mr Trump has not delivered on healthcare. Insurance plans are run through Medica (middle and North  US only), Bluecross, United Healthcare etc. The plans in healthcare.gov are run according to the Obamacare requirements. No pre-existing conditions rules etc.

Trump's op-ed seems to be just throwing confusion at seniors (likely to vote Republican anyway), scaring them with any change to Medicare, death panels etc etc. The death panels never killed anyone, they (or the people making decisions) were there to prevent spending needlessly on patients that were beyond help. if you are going to die, the system should make it as easy as possible to die at home, not in a hospital bed hooked up to monitors.

Trump seems to offer choice. The choice is cheap plans, essentially the same plans Medica, Bluecross, United Healtcare etc. offer in Obamacare but now with strings attached. Do you want to cover pregnancy? Contraceptives? Normal things are excluded. It is called Short Term insurance. The only plus they offer is cheaper premiums. But the legal fine print in those plans is so complicated that you may not get any healthcare at all. Most of them deny anyone with any "condition" any plan at all. You had surgery once years ago? No plan for you.

The reason any of this is brought up at all is there is a mid term election. THERE IS NO PLAN. It is all pure Trump team propaganda. The system IS rigged. It is rigged against you the consumer.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Why They Hate Government

The Trump era brought in the first president that represents the libertarian voters. (Though Reagan certainly started it.) All the talk of ”too much regulation” is aimed at these haters of the ”nanny state.”

The so called white working class has come to respect authority, people you meet face to face. Government leaders to them are just doing ”useless unproductive work.”

We have not come that far from our hunter gatherer days. In those times there were small tribes. There was a pecking order among the males, whereas experience probably ranked the women from leader to follower and novice. The elders were needed in things like childbirth. The men had to adjust to their role in the tribe. There may have been a leader you had to submit to, but the rest of the men of your generation were of equal standing. Some took roles as specialist: tool maker, shaman. If you had no special skills, strength mattered.

In today’s world all that breaks down. You take orders from your boss. Your community has leaders you may know somewhat. You vote based on how you want local taxes spent. Above that level things become less meaningful for the average person.

The concept of a national government in a country of 300 million leads to distrust of this government far away. All interactions with no personal touch are alien to our tribal heritage.

The libertarian is angered by dealing with faceless bureaucrats at any level. He starts thinking everything can be handled by the private sector, supply and demand!

In today’s high tech world the private sector gets doctors, engineers and scientists trained by partly tax money. There is no going back

Monday, September 24, 2018

Me too election

Nebraska has a woman, Jane Raybould, running for the US SENATE against another woman, a would be rancher who is actually a previous resident of the same city, Lincoln. Omaha, Kansas City and other urban areas throughout the great plains have a record number of women running for state and city level offices.

There was a lot of activity in 2017 already, but this has lead to more concrete involvement in 2018, an election year. Trump will lose a lot of support. Kavanaugh and Trump himself have drawn enough attention to themselves, so this will also be a #metoo election. Women's rights, including reproductive rights (at stake with Kavanaugh appointment) will be more strongly supported than the traditional GOP "Jesus guns and babies" that we hear from the prairie.

Trump himself is in a bit of trouble, as there is no judicial candidate after Kavanaugh that he can pick who is going to be the same level of supporter of presidential autocratic rule. "You can't charge a sitting president with a crime" is what Kavaunaugh thinking amounts to.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Draining the swamp and Trump followers

The 2016 election was about many things. The majority of the country were satisfied with more things, and even with Hillary as the establishment, Obama part 2. But the very vocal white working class thought things should change. In their minds they simply wanted jobs by whatever means. Unskilled labor was the part of the economy that was dragging and we got these guys.

The problem is that the actions Trump came up with are not helping the economy as a whole. There may be more jobs in coal mining areas (though most of it is not in mines, the Wyoming coal is just mostly scooped up). Steel jobs may have improved with Trump tariffs, but not the industries using that steel.

The problem we are facing is that these Trump voters are unwilling to change their lives in any way. The voters who voted Trump are going to be a key in elections in 2018 and 2020 no matter what happens to Trump. They will feel cheated if Trump is put aside and the party just continues some of his themes. The party never gave a damn about the white working class, they simply went along with all this just to get tax cuts for the wealthy class. Lobbyists also got something with the EPA essentially put on hold till Trump is gone.

The other part of draining the swamp, in the minds of the white working class, was to get rid of all the politicians established in DC for decades, the special interest groups guarding minorities. These things such as race and sexual minorities were not any part of Trump backers.

At this point we must point out that they are a minority. Working classes from 1900-1960 had a hard time moving up the ladder. They might move up to the middle class by becoming business owners. Education was not yet for the masses. For a while (1970s) even kids from working classes went to college and had a bit of success. The new white working class is a bit more of a failure. There is no interest, or perhaps the funds, to get a college education. Many just do not have the smarts for a college degree. But we cannot use this in politics, we cannot address them as losers.

Populism tends to run its course when the populace have had time to vent their frustrations and when things come to a halt as the result of presidential actions failing to meet everyday government tasks.

The Wall will not bring jobs for long, and it does not even solve the problem of illegals. There are millions already here. The tariffs Trump introduced will take a year or two to go to full effect. The rural voters will still not admit they made a mistake and that the Trump plan was a failure. "At least he tried, he was working for us!" they will claim.

There will maybe be one permanent effect: two more conservative judges. Draining the swamp will give Evangelicals something. Nobody else got anything. Well, corporations did. The Trump voter will have a hard time facing up to the fact that Trump stood with corporations every time against citizens. He in fact is mainly a corporation. Very little humanity in this man who is failing to connect with most of the country in a leader role. To but it bluntly, he is daily an asshole to most of us.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Recent book on Great Plains politics

The book by Peter J Longo is fair enough in covering the individuals that were selected. There is some criticism of Virginia Smith involving Reagan. She was a bit too gung ho about building dams. This worked in the Calamus reservoir, but when the people along the Niobrara were presented this idea, the power and irrigation produced was just too little compared to the loss of land. Instead, they went for federal protection and got a national scenic river. It took some convincing to push for some tourism on the river but soon enough all people in the are were on board. Virginia was not listening to the people well enough. On the matter of missiles in the extreme West end of Nebraska she did. Reagan had to put the missile silos on the Wyoming side.

There is even a mention of Nebraska pipeline protests in the conclusions. All in all it focuses on the positive aspects of politics here. I think that Senator Deb Fischer would not fit in the framework of the book. She has voted 100% with Trump, this just is not the way Nebraska people see things, such as the pipeline. Protecting land takes priority over right wing issues.

To generalize, republicans sought to bring food to those in need and other help to needy individuals in the state, as well as farm loans. Churches were employed in the Virginia Smith efforts to pass along food. All this was brought about with minimal government bureaucracy. That is, they want the money and they even want to help with surplus crops from time to time. But it all has to fit in with the "small government" thinking currently in vogue. Also, there is a self reliance at work, solving things entirely without the federal government, if possible.

Somewhat refreshing in the current hate filled Trump world.

The careers of Bob Dole and South Dakota's McGovern are discussed pretty much in terms of local politics. The presidential campaigns are not discussed.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

White rural Trump voters and "small government"

The people voting for Trump wanted something. It was maybe jobs now, not community college. Or maybe it was the "somebody is getting something I'm not" feel of middle class and poor middle class. The poor folks in cities were maybe getting something.

They got Trump:

That winning was going to be something. They wanted to cut down government, cut down regulation etc etc. They were suspicious of government spying on us.

Guess what? They got a little. A few dollars in the paycheck. Trump himself saved millions in taxes, if he pays any. They got an impression of EPA held back and coal jobs coming back a bit. It's not doing much for jobs.

But the whole thing is pretty much a front. Trump is running a public relations campaign, mostly about him as the tough guy, savior of capitalism and the white folks old world, where gay wedding cakes do not make the press.

But the BIG government is still there. The military is big government, we spend a lot on that and they spy for "homeland security" as needed. No domestic terrorism goes undetected for long.

Corporations own government. Monsanto still writes the farm bill. In fact almost nothing has changed in the way things are done. Corporations do not care about Mexico walls, Trump war with press, abortions etc etc. They run strictly on profits. Oil rigs still are as unsafe as before Deepwater Horizon. National parks are open for drilling. Despite some friction with Trump, the Koch Brothers still dictate energy policy.

Big Government is run by corporations and Trump cut their tax. You've been had. Your hourly wages went down as far as buying power. They have gone down for decades.

I’ve neglected a small group of Trump voters who actually do know where the money goes. These people do not mind the money going to corporations. ”As long as it does not go to the poor people in the city. They should get a job!” Most of them have a job. At minimum wage, some of them have to have two. No such problem in Denmark. See the video.

Meanwhile in Denmark, with 56% tax:

All those decisions were made by voters and politicians. Not corporations. But the corporations adjust.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Trump's false message

I don't know who I am writing this for, but here goes.

President Trump goes to give rallies and makes bold generalizations and follows that by "believe me!" It's not like any of the people there are to go home to check on these claims. They already believed them before he said them. There is a tendency of people in a country such as ours that has two major parties to believe that people supporting the other party, not yours, do all the bad things.

Trump claims Democrats are unpatriotic. False. They don't spend enough on defense. False, there was never a reduction on spending. Welfare ended in the Clinton era and is no longer the safety net it once was, though some is left. Trump is financing all his grandiose things, military and tax cuts, by borrowing. when the bill comes, he is no longer president.

Some of his claims are ridiculous. Foreigners do not commit all the crimes, in fact it makes no sense to commit crimes. If you are working illegally, you are more likely to be caught after a crime, then deported. Just do your job and lay low. If you have a green card and commit a serious crime, the card is taken away and you are jailed or deported.

Trump claims are also stereotypes. Blacks are lazy, Mexicans are rapists. There is no truth to any of it, though poor people do end up in desperate situations where a wealthier person would not. The stereotypes only exist for his followers to nod to and think "yeah, I though so. Tell them, Trump!"

Democrats are soft on crime. Really? And where it happens, it is not a bad thing. The liberal judges we support give shorter sentences. But maybe that is because we do not want to support the private prison industry. That industry is also making good profit on the illegals arrested, instead of being deported with no time in prison. You are paying for that. You are paying for the detained children too, more than they  would cost if they were with their parents. Other than that, drug possession and small time use (legal in many states) is not really treated well by locking up the accused for years.

These things Trump brings up are certainly there, and we even have gangs he mentions. But most of this is never going to affect life in suburbia where most of the white voters for Trump live. Even less in rural areas. The prescription opiate epidemic hit all of the middle of the country because they were legal. All you had to do was go to the nearest drug store.

Trump also likes to reward evangelicals. And his claims are not wong: Democrats support abortion rights. That may be some of the small long term effect he will have. The supreme court does not change often. The right wing judges are on Trump’s side. They want small government and side with corporations over citizens.

Perhaps the white working class voter thought it was a package deal? Guns babies and Jesus, check. American dream, check. Foreigners out, check.  Not so fast. The American dream is just a trick. You have not improved your standard of living for 50 years. Trickle down economics does not work. You are worse off than your parents, as healthcare is more expensive past the age of 50. It may cure your cancer, but you will die penniless if you make it to age 90.

Environmental damage can be undone more quickly after Trump is gone. It is all EPA and executive order, the law has not changed. There is no "clean coal". Trump simply repeats stuff he hears. Some directly from Fox and Friends. If your world is Fox News and Trump, you can be safe in your make believe world for a couple of years, but it cannot last.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Trump on shaky ground near treason

As we all know, president Trump went to Helsinki to prop up his shaky claim to the presidency. He called his first witness: Vladimir Putin.

He claims the FBI is unreliable. There is no evidence of this, as testified by the FBI agent whose phone texts had been examined for months. He said "we must stop him", referring to us voters (not the FBI). That is the task now, in the 2018 election. Unfortunately Trump supporters are still 100% behind him. Because they voted for him. They can’t admit that their abortion/tax/immigrant/etc stance put a dangerous man in the White House. It is in fact hard for anyone to come to terms that they supported the wrong guy. Losing a job might finally do it.

Trump's actions will come out within his four years, and whatever he did will be in the press before the 2020 election. It is not appropriate for a president to be a conspiracy theorist and certainly not to commit treason. My belief is that Russia owns him by immense loans channeled to him over the years. Russia has his mortgage, by several intermediaries.

People who voted for Trump and went to the rallies are pretending nothing happened. These people are still holding on to the birther era Obama conspiracies, so we know the change is slow. Plus they voted Trump so they will never admit they were wrong, that the man is an actual danger to the US. Out here there is a chance to think that all that stuff is "out in Europe" or "out in Russia" and does not affect us. But the world affairs are not that simple that you can just order China for example. The tariffs will be felt by every American by 2020.

But we will see. I'll just post a campaign ad to explain that. Good luck to all brave candidates challenging the increasingly ridiculous GOP candidates standing behind Trump. The entire Trump experience has shaken the principles of Democracy here on the prairie as well, but apparently other things are more important to Trump voters.