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Donald Trump

Trump’s Gold Medal Gaffes

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Olympic games politics

Obama’s very good day in Syria

Trump’s week of gold medal gaffes

Funny business at The Clinton Foundation

Will Gary Johnson make the debates?

Jill Stein courts Sanders voters

 

Donald’s Terrible, Awful, Not-So-Good Week

SEGMENTS:

Could Gary Kroeger be the next Al Franken?

Gary channels Walter Mondale and Alan Alda (and millennials go, “Whaaaat?)

Donald Trump’s terrible, awful, not-so-good week (and Republicans go, “Whaaaat?”)

Hillary Clinton gets caught in a lie about lying (and the media goes, “Whaaaat?”)

Gary Johnson does a Town Hall (and 90% of America goes, “Whaaaat?”)

State of the Race

The Politics of Presidential Impressions

As you know, I often pontificate about politics without any professional experience, inside expertise, or anyone listening. So today I thought I’d change things up a bit by writing about a subject I actually do know something about: political comedy. Or, as it’s known in the industry, political comedy.

In my distant past, I’ve written for dozens of TV series and major bombs, including election year stints at Saturday Night Live and Fridays, a truly unmemorable sketch comedy show that ran from 1980 to who cares. So my professional bona fides clearly qualify me to make stuff up on this topic.

Starting with SNL in 1976 AD, it’s been an American tradition for sketch comedy shows to mock and humiliate presidential candidates, much to the chagrin of everyone involved but Donald Trump. And what I’ve noticed is that you can predict a lot from the impression the actors do. For instance, I can predict with fair accuracy that these debate sketches will happen every four years, except February. And that Morning Joe will show clips without either host understanding them. Read More

Dispelling the Trump Invincibility Myth

An urban myth of legendary proportions has built up around Donald Trump. The fable is that Trump defies all rules of politics and polling, so that no matter what deficiencies or giant screw ups he shows on the campaign trail, he will somehow turnout out masses of previously unidentified voters to defeat mere mortal politicians and install him in the Oval Office with ease.

I don’t buy it, and neither should you.

Sure, Trump surprised us all by vanquishing his 16 more experienced primary opponents. (Well, 15 more experience. I still don’t know what the heck Ben Carson was doing there.)

But he didn’t do it with black magic or voodoo. While all the pundits may have dismissed his chances, Trump was leading in almost every GOP primary poll since July 2015. So it wasn’t a Houdini trick that Trump won the primaries; it was our refusal to believe what was right in front of our own eyes. Read More

A Jobs Program That Costs Us Nothing

by Kevin Kelton

Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to merge two opposing problems into one solution. I think Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump could score a major policy victory by addressing jobs and untaxed offshore profits at the same time.

American companies are currently holding 2.4 trillion dollars in accumulated profits offshore to avoid what they consider onerous U.S. corporate tax rates. That’s almost $800 billion in owed taxes that we may never ever see.

To get that money back into the U.S. economy, politicians are proposing temporary preferential tax rates – called a transition tax – that they’d like to apply to those profits to coerce them back to the United States. President Obama has proposed a transition tax rate of 14%, but corporate lobbyists and their bagmen in congress are balking that it’s too high. Some want it at ten percent, some want it at six or less – rates so low that they would be seen as a giant giveaway to corporate greed. Some even propose a “tax holiday” by setting the rate at zero.

That’s not a “holiday.” That’s a full and absolute pardon.

At the same time, American companies are not hiring at as brisk a pace as we need to grow GDP and spark wage growth.

So how about we merge the two problems into one solution? What if we made creating American jobs a patriotic and profitable thing to do? Read More

Bill Maher May Have Just Won It For Trump

I like Bill Maher’s politics, but he may have just put Donald Trump in the White House. On his “Real Time” show this week, Maher noted that Bernie Sanders seems to defy normal age limitations and that “You can run again in four years” – sending that defiant message out to his predominantly liberal 4.4 million viewers, most of whom probably supported Sanders over Clinton.

Way to go, Bill! After several weeks of castigating Bernie Bros. for threatening to throw away their votes on Jill Stein or just not vote, which he knows could cost Clinton the election, he’s now given Bernie fanatics a perfect excuse to not support Hillary.

Their logic? “Sure, voting for Stein or Johnson might elect Trump. But so what if he fills a SCOTUS seat or two? In four years Bernie can run again, whup Trump’s ass, and all will be right with the universe.”

If only a tenth of Maher’s audience gloms onto that idea, that’s almost half a million lost votes right there. And I guarantee you that that message will spread on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit millions of times. That ahead of an election where just a few thousand lost votes could change the outcomes in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Colorado, and/or Iowa.

So if Jill Stein ends up exceeding expectations this year, costing Hillary the election, you have Bill Maher to thank for it. I’m sure Donald Trump is already thanking him.

Kevin Kelton is co-host of “The More Perfect Union” podcast and founder of the Facebook political discussion group, OPEN FIRE. Come join us for the best political debate in town.

Bye-Bye, Debbie Downer

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Republican Convention post-mortem

Trump’s speech

Citizen (Tim) Kaine

Debbie Downer gets dumped

Democratic Convention preview

 

The Problem Isn’t Our Candidates

by Kevin Kelton

I keep hearing the same forlorn complaint: “Why do we have such bad candidates this year? Why must we choose between the lesser of two evils?” But the truth is, our 2016 presidential candidates are not any worse than ever before.

Donald Trump, for all his personal peccadillos, is no worse on policy than Mitt Romney, who also promised anti-choice judges and a repeal of Obamacare, wanted to press immigrants to self-deport, and proposed tax cuts just as massive and just as onerous as Trump’s. And they are both just as recklessly hawkish and just as wealth-gap enabling as John McCain or George W. Bush. Take out Trump’s antipathy for trade deals (one of his few plusses), and you could line up all their policy positions in a spreadsheet and not be able to tell who belongs to which column.

Hillary Clinton, for all the GOP-inspired caricature myths about her trustworthiness and cozy relationship with Wall St., is very much in line politically and temperamentally with previous nominees Barack Obama, John Kerry, Al Gore, and Michael Dukakis. Read More

Unconventional Convention

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Emily goes to Cleveland

Who is Mike Pence and why should we care?

Warren or Kaine: Who will get Hillary’s rose?

Go Fund a Delegate

Politics, Policing, Pride, and Prejudice

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Hillary avoids indictment – what it means for her campaign

Race, Policing and Gun Violence – a painful discussion

The Kelly Thomas police beating death (video posted below)

Trump plays hardball with the party

What to expect at the GOP Convention

What happens when Bernie endorses

Bill and Loretta: too much interest, not enough conflict

by Kevin Kelton

On our weekly political podcast, “A More Perfect Union,” I got into a spirited exchange with my co-hosts about whether Bill Clinton’s private tarmac meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch created a potential conflict of interest. I argued that it didn’t. They thought I was crazy.

They were wrong; I am right. Read More