Trump didn’t win the election. Clinton lost it

Nevada is the only state that provides an option “None of these candidates”. Clinton won the state by 26,434 votes. None of these candidates won 28,824 n Nevada.

Trump and Clinton were the two most unpopular candidates in American history.

In the states other than Nevada, the options for voters to express their dissatisfaction were to write in an unregistered candidate, or not to vote at all. In both Florida and North Carolina the protest votes cast exceeded the difference between the candidates.

The presidential election usually draws far more votes than those cast for the congressional candidates. In 2008, less than a third of Senate races had 98 percent as many ballots cast as were cast for one of the presidential candidates. In 2012, about half of Senate contests did. This year? Nearly two-thirds of the Senate contests were within 2 percent of the number of presidential ballots cast.

Why was Clinton so unpopular? It seems she was unable to conceal her belief that a politician should have a private and a public position on policy. From her leaked emails, it is evident that she believes in telling the voters her public position, and then implementing her private views. To make matters worse, she was prepared to share these views with people who paid her to do so.

The distrust was earned.

More at:
HRC Paid Speeches
Hundreds of thousands of Americans cast a ballot without voting for a presidential candidate
Podesta emails
WikiLeaks releases what appear to be Clinton’s paid Wall Street speeches

Tramping on democracy

Donald Trump, the president elect, recently made racist comments about a federal judge presiding over a federal lawsuit against Trump. He challenged the judge’s independence because of the judge’s name is of Mexican origin. The judge is American, not Mexican, making Trump’s charge nonsense, but the episode establishes that Trump understands the concept of conflict of interest.

Trump has substantial business interests, which could benefit from decisions that he makes as the President of the USA.

He has promised to separate himself from his business interests by putting his family in charge of the business. Most professionals would not consider this to be adequate separation. But even then, the family remain politically involved at the deepest level. Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner, is completely involved in the selection of the cabinet.

Chris Christie, the presumptive Attorney General, was recently fired from Trump’s transition team on Kushner’s insistence. Christie was the federal prosecutor who jailed Kushner’s father.

This is the epitome of nepotism and conflict of interest.

Trump is tramping in the pillars of democracy.

More at:
Abbreviated pundit roundup: Trump can’t avoid his massive conflicts of interest
An ethical double standard for Trump?
Democrats’ bill to force Donald Trump to divest business empire
Donald Trump and the Lawsuit Presidency
Donald Trump: A list of potential conflicts of interest
Donald Trump’s Business Dealings Test a Constitutional Limit
Donald Trump Very Recently Implied That Chris Christie Should Be Indicted
Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest
Dynasty
Firings and Discord Put Trump Transition Team in a State of Disarray
Four Ways Donald Trump Might Try to Hire Family in the White House
Government Ethics Office Says Trump Should Divest Himself Of His Businesses
How did ‘less than stellar’ high school student Jared Kushner get into Harvard?
How Donald Trump should handle conflicts of interest
Senate Democrats Would Like To Remind You That Donald Trump Still Hasn’t Released His Tax Returns
Top Three Issues that Could Lead to Trump Impeachment if Issues Aren’t Addressed
The tower of silence
Trump drops ‘no new deals’ pledge
Trump hands over business empire to sons
Trump Says Judge’s Mexican Heritage Presents ‘Absolute Conflict’
Trump’s Businesses Could Be Tripped Up By A 2012 Insider Trading Law
Trump’s Indonesian Business Partner Is Knee-Deep in Dirty Politics
United States Office of Government Ethics
What conflicts of interest could Donald Trump have as president?
What is the Emoluments Clause?
Would Donald Trump’s business abroad compromise his ability to lead?

Trump Towers, a few years ago

“Kids we need to need to plan.”

“What’s up?”

“It’s about depreciation.”

You love depreciation!

“I do, but at some point it’s going to catch up with us.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well you know how the tax code allows us to keep two separate sets of books, one for the banks and another for the IRS?”

“You’ve said that before, but I’ve never really understood how it works.”

“Well the banks value our properties at their current worth, and the IRS looks at the value of the properties at cost minus depreciation. That difference means that we can borrow against the full value of the properties, and write-off the interest and the depreciation against income for tax purposes. If we keep buying properties and writing off the depreciation plus the interest, we don’t pay tax on the difference in the values, until we sell them.”

“Well that’s simple then. Don’t sell them!”

“It also happens when I die!”

“What happens then?”

“The IRS takes all the depreciation written off over the years as income.”

“How much does it come to?”

“A lot!”

“So we’ll just sell a few of the properties to pay the taxes.”

“After you pay off the mortgages, there still won’t be enough cash.”

“So what do we do?”

“We need to change the tax code, especially the part that covers estate duty.”

“The politicians will never agree to that! Not even the Republicans.”

“There are a number of politicians who are very concerned about the complexity of the tax code. The person at the head of that queue is Paul Ryan. Even The Economist says that the tax code needs reform. We just need to make sure that the estate duty is done away with, or at least significantly reduced.”

“And how are you going to convince them to do that?”

“I’m going to become the next President!”

More at:
26 U.S. Code § 6103 – Confidentiality and disclosure of returns and return information
Donald Trump’s Deep Love Of Tax Depreciation – An Affair To Remember
Donald Trump’s Possible $0 Tax Bill – That’s Why People Do Commercial Real Estate Development
Fixing the Broken Tax Code
Fixing the tax sieve
How Donald Trump Uses the Tax Code in Ways You Can’t
Ok, so where are the tax returns
Simpler, fairer, possible
Trump and his empire may benefit if GOP secures tax reform as his returns stay hidden from the country
Trump owes us his tax returns now more than ever
Wallace Global Fund
What is Depreciation, and Why Was it Mentioned in Sunday Night’s Debate?

Guessing who is the most unpredictable is not a good idea

The fear that nuclear capability will get into terrorist hands is real.

While the worlds has focussed on Iran, North Korea has proven it’s nuclear skill, and is now developing credible submarine capabilities to deliver their warheads to America’s mainland.

Diplomacy does not work in the absence of sane dialogue.

Relying on the dysfunctional United Nations is not an option. Neither is a preemptive strike. Making the submarine threat disappear has been suggested.

None of the options are good. Finding the right solution will take wisdom.

Good luck with that.

More at:
Evil genius
North Korea Developing Ballistic-Missile Submarine, Seoul Says
Pentagon Warns North Korea Over Its Latest Threat to Test a Long-Range Missile

Is Donald Trump America’s Jacob Zuma?

20161126 MAC315Abraham Lincoln believed that you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. But in a democracy, it’s only necessary to fool them long enough to get elected.

Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest as a president would disqualify him from standing for congress. It’s paradoxical that the law applying to lesser positions does not apply to the world’s most powerful job.

That’s a mistake.

More at:
An ethical double standard for Trump?
Donald Trump – America’s African President
How South Africa Could Prepare the U.S. for President Trump
How corruption and bad policies are strangling South Africa
Trump’s conflicts of interest are without precedent in American presidential history