Daily Check-In 8/17/2017

Thursday, Thursday.  I’ll try to make this shorter today, as I just finished up an article about Fox & Friends – 10 Minutes Is Enough

Donald Trump took to Twitter this morning and… Does this sentence ever end well?  If I make this a multiple choice question, can you guess at this point?

Donald Trump took to Twitter this morning and…

  1. Talked about how beautiful the statues to Traitors to the United States are.
  2. Directly compared Robert E. Lee and George Washington.
  3. Attacked the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee for not standing by him as he defended Nazis in public.
  4. Advised our military leaders to perform war crimes and crimes against humanity, based on a debunked story.
  5. Engaged in secessionist rhetoric with his base, hoping to scare anyone looking to remove him from office.
  6. ALL OF THE ABOVE

Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Having a hard time with today’s question?  I’ll give you a hint.  It’s Donald Fucking Trump.

That’s rigth, 6.  All of the above.

After studying Trump for the last couple years, when Orange Julius goes off like this, shit’s about to hit the fan.

What could that be?

First, Congressman Steve Cohen promises to introduce Articles of Impeachment.  He doesn’t say what charges specifically, but at this point, there’s enough to go around.

Steve Bannon had  this interview where he proposed a trade war with China, smeared Trump on North Korea, proposed raising taxes on the rich, and about some of the infighting.  Here’s a summary on Axios.

Speaking of Bannon, over the last few days, a couple rumors have been floating around about Bannon’s connections to Gamergate, World of Warcraft, and Russia.  I need to find more details on it, but the short version is that Bannon and the Alt-Right stoke the hate that occurred in Gamergate, especially the Anti-Feminism, Anti-Women stuff, to a bunch of men that have been getting real good at doing some low-level coding to mine in WoW and other games.  With a little bit of proper encouragement, these men were pushed to some hacker forums on the dark web, where they were likely frequenting anyway, and urged a few of them to take on work outside of gaming, making malware and other stuff.  Eventually, they were radicalized, and started working with state-sponsored hacking groups like Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear.

Speaking of Fancy Bear, they’re still at work.  Remember when Diaper Donny released his mails to the world showing that he wasn’t colluding with the Russians when the email chain said flat out he was?  Well, around that time, the White House started pushing a story about the “Real Collusion Story” between HRC and Ukraine?  The White House started talking about this on July 10.  Fox News picked it up on July 12, referencing a website from some group called Cyber Berkut.  Who are they?  Fancy Bear.  That site went up on July 12, claiming to have emails between HRC and Ukraine.

Yesterday, Chuck Todd and Shepard Smith both reached out to any and all Republicans they could, looking for anyone to defend Donald Trump.  No one agreed to come on their shows.

Newt Gingrich said that there are no very fine people that are Nazis on Fox News.

The Dow Jones fell 150 points today over fears that as long as Trump is in office, Republicans won’t get their tax cuts.

Republicans across the country are doing the slow dance away from Donald Trump, but not fast enough or hard enough.  When more than a couple openly ask for him to step down, call it a game for Donald Trump.

That’s it for today’s update, unless something big happens between 18:20 and 22:00.  I’m going to work on a couple of the GTKYG series, starting with the Federal System, The Branches, Impeachment, and Pardons.  I’ve got a feeling they’re going to be in the news quite a bit coming up.

Daily Check-In 8/14/2017

New week, next on the mechanical bull.

The big news of the day is Trump's utter clusterfuck of how he handled Charlottesville. While everyone else and their mother distanced themselves from racist domestic terrorists, Trump managed to spend three days avoiding any negative comments about the Alt-Right, read a weak-kneed response that he didn't want to read that didn't really condemn anything, and ended the day floating the idea of pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was recently convicted for violating court orders multiple times in his extremely racist persecution of hispanics in Arizona.

Condemning Nazis is a political gimme. It's the Empty Net Goal of politics. You say "Nazi bad, violence bad, America good" and call it a day. What Trump did was turn around, fire it at his own goalie, cross check him away from the rebound, shoot it in, then tomahawk slash everyone on his team.

Almost like Donald Trump is an actual, honest to goodness racist.

John Schindler released This Article going in depth about the ties between Russia and the Neo-Nazis. Very interesting.

It took Trump three days to release a half-hearted rebuke against Neo-Nazis, but about an hour to attack Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck, for stepping down from Trump's business group in defiance of Trump's inaction on Charlottesville. Ken is black. He also attacked the media and Democrats for the violence.

WaPo released this story About Staff Members Looking to Work With Russia. This shows intent from the Russians, as well as some staff being cautious. Keep in mind, these were emails released by the Trump Campaign. They'll try to spin it as if this is all there is. Interesting note is the date of some of these emails, April 27. The same day of the Mayflower Meeting with Trump, Sessions, Kushner, and Ambassador Kislyak, this particular staffer talks about how Putin wants to meet face to face with Trump. A little too particular for my taste.

Trump interrupted his vacation by returning to the White House for half a day in the middle of a renovation. Reddit was theorizing why. One weird one could be that he was in town for an interview with Mueller's team, or even testifying in front of a grand jury. I don't think it's likely, but Bill Clinton did so over a secured line from the Oval Office. Weirder things have happened.

North Korea was quiet today, but expect something later this week.

Anti-hate protests are heating up across the country. Stay safe out there.

The CEO for Under Armour, Kevin Plank, just joined Kenneth Frazier and Elon Musk in leaving Trump's manufacturing council. Let's see how long until Trump attacks the white guy.

Trump's approval ratings are slipping. Gallup has him at 34-61% approval vs disapproval. That is 34%, polled before Charlottesville and his cowardly response. This is record low territory in a good economy, low gas prices, no disasters, and no military action. Expect to see more Republicans distance themselves from him. If that rating hits 25%, the pressure to remove him will be smothering.

Mueller wants to interview people in the West Wing, including Reince Preibus. That could explain some of the noise.

Jared Kushner could be tied up in a bribery case in Israel. The billionaire he was working with was arrested today. Part of that includes money laundering via real estate.

Fuck, just Read this.

The last few items was basically a live blogging of Rachel Maddow. I highly recommend watching her program. She does what I attempt to do here, but she's much better at it.

That better be it for tonight.

Racism And Politics Today

Eventually, I will write the stories I had planned to write, but life has a funny way of preventing that.

Warning: This article will contain strong language. Sensitive subjects will be covered, viewer discretion is advised.

This weekend, a rally was held in Charlottesville, VA, originally to protest the removal of a monument to Robert E. Lee, the general in charge of the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

Was this rally attended by historians who objected to the statue’s removal under historical grounds? No.

Was this rally attended by the descendants of the statue sculptors? No.

Was the rally attended by the local chapter of the Robert E. Lee reenactment club? No.

Was it attended by neo-nazis, alt-right white supremacists, the white lives matter, all lives matter, and the KKK? Well, yes, actually it was.

A bunch of white racist assholes, bitching about how they’re being discriminated against, all the while chanting “blood and soil”, “White Power”, and a bunch of other disgusting crap that I refuse to type right now.

And they all voted Republican in the last election.

The Republican Party. The Party of Lincoln. The political party founded on the abolitionist principles of ending slavery, and fighting against racism, has officially become the Party of Trump and Racists.

How, for the love of fuck, did this happen? What does it mean that racism is acceptable in the White House today? And how do we fix this?

First, how did this happen? Back in the 1850’s, the Whig Party was falling apart. Out of its ashes, the anti-slavery wing of the Whig Party formed the Republican Party. They won the Presidency in 1860 when Lincoln defeated the current Vice President John C. Breckinridge and Stephen Douglas. South Carolina seceded shortly thereafter. The Civil War started.

The Republicans were the left wing party. They were the liberals and radicals. The Democrats were the conservative and reactionary party. The pro-slavery, pro-racism party.

Funny thing is, as times change, so do people and politics. Even the parties themselves undergo major changes. The largest change came in 1964, when Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat from Texas, signed the Civil Rights Act, which guaranteed equal treatment under the law for blacks. This pissed off the south, who had long fought against treating blacks like, well, people. Jim Crow, lynchings, segregation, these were all “traditions” deeply held by the descendants of Dixie.

How did the South respond to a Democratic president signing a law that treated black people like equals? They left the Democratic Party for the Republicans.  Classic “Blue Dog” Democrats like Strom Thurmond left for the Republican Party in retaliation to such an egregious political move like giving black children the same access to a quality education as their white counterparts had.

But, didn’t LBJ win reelection in 1964?  Yes, he did.  He was wildly popular at this time, having served as VP to John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963.  But, by 1968, thing got weird.  George Wallace ran on a pro-segregation policy, and managed to carry 5 states and 46 electoral college votes, all in the Deep South.  Following that, the only times any of the Deep South states voted for a Democrat in a presidential election was either for Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter, both Southerners themselves.

Over the next couple generations, the party identities changed.  The Democrats quickly became the party of the minorities, while the Republicans would become, ever increasingly, the party for disenfranchised white people.  Or, at least disenfranchised in their own minds.  Evangelicals that would claim Christian Persecution because it became socially acceptable to acknowledge that other religions exist, and white racists would claim that because minorities were getting rights, they were losing theirs.

The GOP’s embrace of racial hate accelerated in 2016, with Donald Trump becoming the nominee, and later President.  He didn’t just implicitly accept the support of white supremacists, he explicitly embraced it.

I mentioned in 2016 GOP Primary on how Trump won the primary election partly on his adoption of the Alt-Right/Neo-Nazi/KKK/White Supremacists. I didn’t mention how Jeff Sessions, his Attorney General, reached notoriety in Alabama by pursuing “voter fraud” cases against black people in his home state, going out of his way to disenfranchise thousands of voters and wants to extend mandatory sentencing for drug crimes in African-American communities.  I didn’t mention Steven Miller or Seb Gorka, members of Trump’s White House, who both have extensive ties to the White Supremacist community.  Or Steve Bannon, Trump’s Chief Strategist, former CEO of Breitbart who basically wrote the Muslim Travel Ban that Trump signed as an Executive Order a week into his presidency.

So now, we’re in a fucked up situation.  The President of the United States is either a sniveling coward who’s afraid of upsetting his political base of racists and crazies and refuses to do something useful for this country, or he’s a racist who enjoys seeing blacks, Muslims, Mexicans, and any other non-white people suffer.  Or both.

Trump is a racist who employs racists.  His history of racism goes back a long way.  This article from the NYT goes into great detail about his past, when him and his father would actively turn away black people from renting apartments from them.  Later, he was sued by the Federal Government TWICE for violating racial discrimination laws in housing.  He would order black employees off the casino floors when him, his wife, or a “whale” would visit.  He maintained a campaign against the Central Park 5 for almost 30 years, said a judge couldn’t rule fairly against him because the judge was of Mexican descent, attacked Barack Obama with the Birtherism craziness for over 5 years, and attacked a pair of Muslim Gold Star parents.  HuffPo has a better list here.  And this Mother Fucker is President.

Anyone who thinks that this racist prick is becoming less of a racist hasn’t paid attention.  There have been about a couple dozen incidents of terrorism around the world since he became President.  A handful of them were perpetrated by Muslims, or other minorities.  Most of them were carried out by white people, specifically targeting other races.  How many did Trump speak about, or acknowledge?

None of them.  No message of condoning the violence, or how we need to reach out to each other.  On most of them, radio silence.

With the Minnesota Mosque Bombing last week, the White House did the unthinkable.  And that’s by 2017 standards.  Seb Gorka, Trump’s Deputy Assistant, claimed that the attack may be a fake attack staged by Liberals.  I shit you not.  This is coming from the White House as an official stance.

Then, a couple days later, Charlottesville.  A rally on Friday night with a bunch of racist white assholes carrying Tiki Torches chanting about “blood and soil”, that turned a little violent.  Then, the shit hit the fan on Saturday when the Racist Rally was met by counter protestors.  That got very violent, very quick.  Several people were injured, and as of this writing, one person died when a racist from Ohio, James Field, drove his Dodge faux muscle car into a crowd of protestors. He killed Heather Heyer, a 32 year old woman, simply there to speak out against hate.

Does the President condemn the racists for their actions? Does he call it what it is, an act of terrorism? Does he call the grieving parents to offer his condolences?

Fuck no.

Donald Trump comes up with one of the most cowardly responses ever, and dog-whistles against violence “on all sides.”  What a crock of shit.

Sorry, I’m starting to get a little upset.  More so than I usually do.  I hate racism, and the people who knowingly and willingly practice it.  I’m glad I moved out of Pennsyltucky, so I don’t have to deal with that shit as much.  I still hear the occasional relative drop the n-word now and then, but for the most part, I chalk it up to them being old, and they’ll die soon.

Now, where do we go from here?  How do we combat the racism in our politics and our culture?  Where do we go, what do we do, with a racist as President?

First, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room.  Racism does exist, and most people have some level of prejudice based off of how someone looks and what culture they grew up in.  Let’s recognize that Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.  It’s what we do with it that matters.

Second, realize that there’s a difference in levels of racism, and the self-appointed racism police needs to recognize this.  There is a world of difference between blowing up a church frequented by blacks or Muslims, and not having a black actor nominated for an Oscar.  The hypersensitivity of racism pushed a lot of otherwise non-racists, or low-level racists, into the waiting arms of the white supremacist movement.

Hate speech is protected speech, but there are limits.  Speech used to incite a riot or violence is not protected.

Next, name and shame.  I support doxxing the fuckers at that rally.  Each and every one of them gathered, in public, in full view of their neighbors, their family, and the Internet.  Find them and expose them.  Bigotry dies in daylight, and making these people accountable for their actions is the first step to ending it.

Finally, it’s time to take down the monuments, the statues, and the symbols these people rally around.  The monuments to soldiers who led an insurrection against their country.  The statues of the generals fighting for “states rights” to own people and treat them as glorified farm equipment and cattle, and the symbols of defeated armies.  Don’t be quiet anymore.  Let the person waving the “Stars and Bars” know that sure, they can cry about General Lee all they want, but you’ll assume that they’re a racist asshole who wants to fuck his own sister or cousin.  Have a swastika tattoo?  My guess is you did time in prison and were afraid of getting raped by a big black dick.

I’m ending this article on incest and big black dicks, cause,…. why the fuck not?

Daily Check-In 8/7/2017

It’s Monday.  I wonder what could possibly go wrong this week.

First off, get ready for something big to hit this week.  Why?  Donald Trump went on yet another tweetstorm where he decried all of the media as “Fake News.”  It wasn’t all CAPS like his rants that occurred before the Jared Kushner bombshells and the details of the Comey leaks, but Trump did list every news organization that has wronged him at some point recently.  ABC, WaPo, NYT, CNN, CBS, NBC.  I’m half surprised he didn’t mention the CBN or QVC.

Also in his tweetstorm, Trump attacked Senator Blumenthal for some comments he made about Trump.  Trump attacked Blumenthal’s military service when he served during Vietnam, and was once misquoted as “in” and not “during.”  This from a man who received 5 draft deferments in college.  4 were for being and college, and the last was a medical deferment for bone spurs in his feet.  Funny, he had the courage to play multiple varsity sports in college through the “agony” of bone spurs, but couldn’t serve his country when they called.  At least Blumenthal was in the Marine Reserves.

On the propaganda front, TrumpTV hired Kayleigh McEnany from CNN to host his attempt at state run media.  If anyone ever claims to be the “Real source of truth”, question everything they say.  This is a classic tool used by propagandists to discredit and defame the sources of news coming against them, in an attempt to manipulate the perception of events.  On top of that, she’s also landed a job with the Republican National Committee.  This is some straight up Communist Party shit right here.

There’s an interesting development in the Bot War.  Looks like the Russian Bot Net is setting its sights on members of the Republican Party.  Within the last couple days, tweets with #ResignPaulRyan, #TrumpTV, #Magnitsky, #Fake and #ConfessYourUnpopularOpinion have skyrocketed in use, and almost completely from twitter users identified as Russian Bots.  It’s interesting that Trump’s team has turned their attention towards his own party.  A twitter fight, Trump’s ravings, combined with a propaganda initiative, almost sounds like they’re getting ready for something.  What is that something?

Several stories and op-eds were released today, talking about how the Russian Investigation is heating up, Mueller’s team gets closer every day, and how it’s only a matter of time before the fecal matter hits the spinning mechanical air cooling device.  On top of these pieces, the Washington Post released a large story about how Trump is personally profiting off of the Trump Hotel at the old Post Office Building at 1100 Pennsylvania Ave in Washington, D.C.  The reporters spent six months studying the hotel, and found some very interesting back-scratching going on, like fundraisers thrown for the chairman of the congressional committee that holds the lease to the hotel and Putin’s favorite congressman, Dana Rohrbacher.

The Rumor Mill’s firing on all cylinders today.  The inside staffers were talking about some unusual activity in the White House, there was a considerable amount of chatter about Russian Bots, and then there’s Claude and Louise.

As always, take everything from them with a grain of salt, but Claude reports that his source with the NYAG says that Schneiderman has impaneled a grand jury against Trump Organization for Enterprise Corruption charges.  Enterprise Corruption is the state version of RICO in New York.  RICO, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, is the mob breaker.  These are the statutes that allow the state or federal government to charge the heads of an organization with benefiting from the crimes committed by those under their employ, even if they didn’t do the crime themselves.  This has been used to take down several mob families and gangs.  Claude pointed out how unusually fast the state process was moving.

For Louise, she released a story today about how Rex Tillerson is about to go up shit creek without a paddle.  New York is looking at him for his “Wayne Tracker” emails.  Short version:  While CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson ran a second email account under the name of Wayne Tracker that he used to harass climate scientists who were hurtin ExxonMobil.  These mails, which were not originally identified as belonging to Rex, and were not handed over when originally subpoenaed.  When they were handed over, many were missing.  According to Louise’s article, New York is looking at him for criminal fraud charges.

Remember, State charges cannot be pardoned by the President of the United States.

The Changing Narrative

Sometimes, the hardest part of writing this site isn't getting started, but deciding what to write.

At this stage, I have about a hundred articles I'd like to write. Almost all of these will be written eventually, but that will take some time, and will need a system. Voter rolls, propaganda, and a post about why I especially hate Corey Lewandowski are incoming, but today, I want to talk about the changing narrative of the news.

One of the reasons I started this site was to explain what's going on and what's changing as time goes on. It's easy to get lost in the cacophony of the everyday news, and lose track of how we got where we are. But it is hard to keep up with the changing narrative.

That's what I'd to talk about today – the changing narrative in the news, and where I think it's headed.

Earlier this weekend, Fox News ran an article asking "Who cares if the Trump Campaign did anything illegal?" That's quite a turnaround from "There was no collusion" even a couple months ago.

Rumors about the Trump Campaign working with the Russians to sway, or possibly steal the election started back late in 2016. There were some weird moments here and there, but nothing concrete. Personally, I think the weirdest was the time he read Russian propaganda at a campaign rally. This should have been a much bigger story than it was, but it wasn't even the Disaster-du-jour. This, and other tell-tale signs of Russian interference were lost by the MSM.

After the election, the talk about the Russians died down somewhat in the MSM while they chased after the Trump Transition Team. Meanwhile, the Rumor Mill was up and running. More and more details came out regarding connections and meetings. Then, 2 big things happened; increased sanctions on Russia and the Steele Dossier.

The sanctions definitely pulled the attention of the MSM. Tightening banking restrictions on the Oligarchs and expelling diplomats is something they could get their minds around and prove. The Steele Dossier, that was a little harder to fathom. When Buzzfeed released the story broke in January, the Rumor Mill dug deep into it.

In January, as Trump took office, the MSM was still giving him a chance, while the Rumor Mill was picking up steam, getting info that the FBI was investigating the campaign. The Right Wing Media (RWM) claimed this was the Democrats being sore losers.

When details about Michael Flynn came out, the MSM was still behind on ball on collusion, but was catching up to the Rumor Mill. For their part, they were already talking about Counterintelligence Investigations and FISA warrants. The RWM claimed the actions against Flynn were a witch hunt.

If I had to pick one moment that changed the discussion across the board and changed the narrative, it was March 4 when Donald Trump claimed that Obama had tapped his phones in a crazy early morning tweet. This spurred the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee to hold a hearing with FBI Director Jim Comey to dig into these claims. This backfired spectacularly. Not only did Comey not confirm Trump's accusations of illegal wiretapping, but Jim Comey, then Director of the FBI, had confirmed that an investigation had been ongoing into the Trump Campaign's activities and connections with the Russian Government. Hole. Lee. Shit. The MSM dug into the collusion argument. The Rumor Mill was already taking about grand juries being impaneled. The RWM decried this as bubkus.

The next change in the narrative came after Devin Nunes' Midnight Ride. I'll go into detail about that later, but two talking points came out of this: Unmasking and FISA 702. The MSM continued digging into more meetings between Trump's campaign and the Russians. The Rumor Mill doubled down on grand juries and more details. The RWM talked about Susan Rice "illegally" ordering unmasking.

Jim Comey was fired in Mid-May. The word of the day now became Obstruction of Justice. As details leaked, it became obvious that something was rotten in Denmark. When Robert Mueller was named as the Special Counselor a week later, things seemed to settle down, for a moment. Everyone, including the RWM, agreed with the Mueller announcement.

That was, until, news came out that Jared Kushner met with the Russians in Trump Tower, and that the FBI was interested. From late May to early June, the MSM narrative changed from "was there collusion?" to "how much?" The Rumor Mill was a few weeks ahead, talking about details of meetings that were forthcoming and how New York was advancing with their RICO investigation into Trump. The RWM, for the first time, stopped denying that collusion took place and started asking "is collusion illegal?"

More and more details have come out since, but once everyone lawyered up, things got interesting. I also noticed a pattern in Trump's tweets and the stories coming from the RWM. If Trump tweeted "FAKE NEWS" in all caps, and mentioned a news outlet by name, expect that organization to release a bombshell soon. The more vicious the attack, the worse the news would be for Trump. It's almost like he's rage tweeting after they reached out to him for comment.

There's been one exception to this has been "the big one" that the Rumor Mill claims is being delayed on purpose, by request from Robert Mueller.

Following Don Jr.'s email release, the MSM narrative changed from questioning whether there was collusion to now accepting, beyond a shadow of a doubt that something illicit happened. Even the RWM can no longer deny that something stinks.

In a span of 6 months, we went from "there was no collusion" to "so what if he broke the law?" Just 6 months.

So, where do we go from here?

The MSM will continue to follow the breadcrumbs and lead to more, worse details, leading all the way to an argument about the definition of treason. Plus, New York has something to say.

The RWM will continue swinging wild, calling for Robert Mueller's firing, hoping that will end the investigation. (Spoiler: it won't.)

The Rumor Mill is pulling on some dark threads. They're digging in to the specifics of how the election was stolen, and how much Vice President Pence knew, and when. There are rumblings that New York and California are investigating money laundering, embezzlement, and human trafficking. As always, I advise taking all of this with a grain of salt.

2016 GOP Primary

One question that I've been asked time and time again, is "how in the ever loving fuck did Donald J. Trump become President of the United States of America?"

The short answer is, it's complicated.

The not-as-short answer is he somehow won the nomination of the Republican Party, then somehow won the general election, with a little help from his friends.

This article will cover the first part of that statement, the Republican Party Nomination Process.

Heads up, the language may be a little harsher than normal.

First, a little background. The U.S. is essentially a two party system, the Democratic and Republican parties. The Democrats are the left wing, liberal party while the Republicans are the right wing, conservative party. One thing that this country does differently that everyone else is associating red with conservative and blue with liberal. This is flipped in Europe. So, a "blue state" is more liberal.

The Republican Party was founded in the 1850's a liberal and radical party of abolitionists. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. He was also a liberal. The parties flip sides every generation or two. The current sides were drawn in the 1960's when the Democrats signed the Civil Rights Act into law, causing the Southern (racist) part of the party to join the Republicans.

The Republicans are also called the GOP, or Grand Old Party. Kind of ironic since the Democrats were founded a solid 30 years before them.

The primary system is different from state to state, but consists of each state choosing a nominee by assigning delegates to vote at the party convention where the person is officially nominated.

Sounds simple? Well, we're Americans. We find new and interesting ways of fucking shit up.

The presidential campaign race unofficially began some time in 2012, after Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney, and news pundits had nothing else to talk about for a few years. A lot of names would be tossed around, built up, and torn down over the next couple years. People would launch focus groups and exploratory committees, create PAC's and Super PAC's, and beg for money.

Running for any office is expensive. Federal office is more expensive. The Presidency is obscenely expensive. In 2016, both Trump and HRC spent or had spent on their behalf over a billion dollars each.

Winning the election requires name recognition, being able to stand out from the crowd.

Winning an election requires a media presence. It requires knowing how to use the camera and web to your advantage.

As much as I'd love to attribute Donald Trump's GOP win to unlawful shenanigans, I can't. First, I haven't seen or heard of any evidence. Second, the rational explanation fits the facts better.

There are four major reasons how Donald Trump won the GOP Primary.

  1. He took advantage of the 24 hour news cycle to increase name recognition.
  2. He stood out in a crowded race.
  3. He was willing to reach depths no one else tried.
  4. He took advantage of a broken system.

THE 24 HOUR NEWS CYCLE

There used to be a time when a single news story in politics would last a long time, and details were fleshed out carefully by reporters who dug deep to find a story. Every night, a handful of men would read the news to an entire nation, for a half hour every night. These stoic arbiters of truth would discuss the top stories from the nation, and around the world, as the populace watched.

Then Cable News happened.

People could now get their news at anytime of the day or night, not just at dinner time. As news broke around the world, here was CNN.

A funny thing happened after CNN came about. It wasn't exactly a new thing, but if you only have to fill 30 minutes a night, it's easy to hide.

The Slow News Day.

Some days, nothing happens. There are no stories to break, no major events taking place, nobody famous dies or has a baby. No one goes to war, or gets arrested for accepting bribes.

In the era of Cronkite and Murrow, if nothing happened, they could fill the half hour with an expert interview, in-depth analysis, or an editorial speech.

CNN, on the other hand, has a big problem on a slow news day. They have to pull out all the stops for each and every minuscule issue. But if nothing happened that day, too bad.

To complicate matters, CNN originally was commercial free. At some point in the mid-80's, they figured out that they could make money from running commercials. Over time, they became dependent on the commercial revenue. They went from reporting the news to making money by reporting the news. It's a slight difference, but their unofficial business model switched to selling commercial space.

This business model became very successful. So successful, that others joined the fray. MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox News, Fox Business, Current, OAN, and many more. The playground was getting pretty crowded. All of these places, plus the internet, made things…interesting.

Two ways evolved for these places to grab viewers. Either by delivering the best, most thoughtful and researched stories, or screaming at each other and playing to the customer base. The latter seems to have won.

This created a vacuum where even the slightest transgression, like wearing a tan suit or ordering dijon mustard on a burger, could generate dozens, or even hundreds of hours of coverage.

The end effect is that by 2015, the news channels had essentially scared off most people, or solidified them to only watching the news their "side" supports, like politics was a sport. It created the false equivalency fallacy.

Enter Donald Trump.

A man without shame. Loud, brash, obnoxious, ignorant, without a filter for his mouth. A man who's very existence is an insult to politicians and public servants.

Donald Trump would take advantage of the 24 hour news cycle by being himself. Cable news wanted viewers, and Trump's fuckup-du-jour would bring eyes to the channel.

STANDING OUT IN A CROWDED RACE

The 2016 Democratic Primary election became more of a coronation than a race when Joe Biden decided not to run. HRC faced some competition from Bernie Sanders, but not enough to defeat her.

The GOP Primary, on the other hand, was a crowded cluster of 17 men and women. Okay, 16 men and 1 woman. This article lists all of the candidates that ran, tried to run, thought about running, or toyed with running at least once.

Why so many? Obama.

The United States tends to swing back and forth between the two main parties. Since Truman left office in 1953, the only time that the presidency stayed with the same party for more than two terms, and that was from Regan to Bush Sr. in 1988. The odds were in their favor. Whoever won, would be short-tracked to the White House.

Seventeen candidates.

Fifteen white guys, one woman in Carly Fiorina, and Bobby Jindal.

Nine governors, five senators, one CEO of a Fortune 500 company, one neurosurgeon …

And a Reality TV show host.

Here's who Trump went up against, and what they were known for.

Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana
Carly Fiorina, CEO of HP
Rick Perry, Governor of Texas
Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin
George Pataki, Governor of New York
Lindsey Graham, Senator of South Carolina
Mike Huckabee, Governor of Arkansas
Rand Paul, Senator of Kentucky
Rick Santorum, Senator of Pennsylvania
Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey
Jim Gilmore, Governor of Virginia
Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida
Ben Carson, Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery
Marco Rubio, Senator of Florida
Ted Cruz, Senator of Texas
John Kasich, Governor of Ohio

This list is in order of how they performed, from worst to second place.

Trump stood out from this crowd not by being the best candidate, or the best person to serve as President. He stood out by being wholly and woefully unqualified, unquestionably ignorant, obtuse on policies and facts, and belligerent to his opponents.

REACHING NEW CAMPAIGN DEPTHS

Donald Trump had less money, experience, knowledge, skill, and patience than all of his opponents. What did he have that his opponents didn't?

A complete lack of shame, and no compunction about playing dirty.

Someone in Trump's camp knew that Donald would not win a traditional campaign against qualified politicians. Ever.

The only he could win was by changing the game. Fighting dirty, appealing to the undesirable elements of the party, and going to new places to wage this battle.

Name calling isn't new in an politics, but there's usually a little bit of respect between the candidates. Going back to the founding of this country when Thomas Jefferson called John Adams a hermaphrodite, they still respected each other. Donald Trump doesn't respect anyone. He either looks down on a man, or admires their strength. I said man because I honestly do not believe he is capable of viewing women as anything other than objects to control and acquire. (I'll have more on his messed up psyche later.)

Donald Trump needs positive affirmation. It's a fatal flaw in people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and this desire to be loved outweighs social norms like not attacking a candidate's spouse in a debate, or claiming that Ted Cruz's father helped kill JFK. He cares more for that little heart at the bottom of his tweet than he does about the feelings of those he attacks.

Soon, the crowds ate this shtick up. His twitter followers, human and boy alike, pounded that like button like it dispensed free meth. (Of course, the Russian Bot Army doesn't show up till late June, early July.)

Donald Trump's platform of "Make America Great Again" also reached a new low. Donald didn't just accept the fringe, he actively embraced it and courted it. He went after the conspiracy theorists, the racists, the dominionists, the autocrats, and anyone else against the "Deep State." His team went to Twitter, 4Chan, and Reddit to recruit fans to create memes to spread, and jumpstarted support throughout the country.

How did this play on the air? Pundits talked about Donald Trump's disaster-du-jour. People paying attention were completely and totally disgusted by his behavior.

People not paying attention to the news heard his name.

TAKING ADVANTAGE OF A BROKEN SYSTEM

Now, it's time to vote. The Primary system in the U.S. is… broken to say the least. Instead of all states voting at the same time, they're staggered over months. Each state has their own rules as to how delegates get selected for the party conventions. Some use votes open to all voters, some are open only to registered party members, some use a caucus of party officials.

Each state also has rules on how they award delegates, but for the most part, they're split with most going to the winner, then the rest awarded by district or county winners. Not only is it possible for a candidate to win all of a state's delegates without winning a majority of the votes, it's pretty common. For example, South Carolina is a winner take all primary. Trump claimed 32.5% of the vote. 67.5% of the people voted against him, but since he had the highest single tally, Donald Trump won all 50 delegates.

What was that 67.5%? 45% of that was Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio split down the middle. The rest were split evenly between John Kasich, Jeb Bush, and Ben Carson.

But, you might be asking "how did Donald Trump win?" Here's a thought experiment.

There are 17 candidates, each asking a pool of 100 voters to elect them.

10 of those 100 are crazy. Another 10 are completely undecided. The remaining 80 voters will choose between the best qualified candidates, and ruled out 1 candidate.

The crazy people love that 1 candidate, while the other 16 candidates are trying to split the pool of 80. The last 10 will pick randomly between the top 5.

What does this mean? The worst candidate has at least 10 votes, probably 12, 4 candidates have 7 votes, and the rest have 5 each. The Crazy Candidate wins.

That's how the race started. Within a couple races, the field narrowed to Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Kasich, and Ben Carson. This was the build up to Super Tuesday.

Super Tuesday is when the most number of states, 11 in 2016, hold their primary. It will make or break a candidate. Going into Super Tuesday, Trump had a lead, but wasn't insurmountable. By the end of the day, Trump had taken a commanding lead.

Let's go back to the thought experiment. Instead of 17 candidates, the race starts with 9. What happens then?

The Crazy Candidate still has their 10 guaranteed, but so do the other 8. The undecided voters make the choice.

This phenomenon played out during Super Tuesday when multiple contests were very close. Trump won many races, but they were very close.

For the remainder of the race, Trump fought a three headed dog that refused to work together. Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich couldn't beat Trump individually. They split the responsible votes between themselves.

How could this have been prevented?

Next part of the thought experiment. Instead of 17 candidates, we're down to 5. What happens then?

The Crazy Candidate still has their guaranteed 10 votes, and 10 people will split the vote among all five candidates. However, the 4 serious candidates each take 20 votes. The Crazy Candidate ends with 12 votes while the other 4 have 22 each. The Crazy Candidate is done.

Imagine, for a moment, that the Presidential GOP race after Iowa, the very beginning of the race, if either Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio dropped out of the race. Let's say Ted dropped out and pledged his delegates to Marco. And after Super Tuesday, John Kasich did the same, leaving a Rubio versus Trump race. What happens then?

Crunching numbers from this link, Marco Rubio still loses New Hampshire, but takes South Carolina. Nevada still goes to Trump. Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia now belong to Rubio. He would take a commanding lead, and wouldn't look back. He would have won every contest for the next month. By the end of March, Marco Rubio would have been so far ahead that no one could catch him. By my calculations, he would have won the nomination by April.

Why Rubio? He doesn't microwave fish in the lunchroom.

CONCLUSION

By taking advantage of a broken system, a 24 hour news cycle desperate for footage, and engaging the fringes of the party, Donald Trump was able to stand out enough from the competition to win the 2016 Republican Party Nomination for President of the United States of America.

Where to Begin?

This post is a little different than normal.

One question that I battle with every time I try to explain things with Trump, Russia, Politics, and this country is "Where do I begin?"

Well, where do I begin?

Do I start with the cover-up of multiple meetings between Russian spies and members of the Trump Presidency?

Do I start with the appointment of the Special Counselor, following the firing of the FBI Director?

Do I start with the torpedoed House Intelligence Committee investigation when Devin Nunes spilled the beans to the White House instead of his fellow committee members?

Do I start with Donald Trump tweeting about how Obama "taped" his phone lines?

Do I start with Mike Flynn's firing?

Or Sally Yates?

The Muslim Ban?

The inauguration?

The increased sanctions imposed by President Obama?

The meeting in Trump Tower in December where a back channel was proposed?

The botched recount organized by Jill Stein?

The Steele Dossier?

The election itself?

Comey's letter on October 27th?

The debates?

The sexual assault tape?

The DNC emails?

The Democratic Convention?

The June Meeting in Trump Tower?

The Democratic Primary?

The GOP Primary?

The Russian trips in 2013?

Zero Dark Thirty?

The Birther Movement?

The Magnitsky Act?

Hilary's emails?

Citizens United?

The 2008 election?

Trump's Russian business ties?

Russian money laundering?

Trump's "business acumen"?

His attempt at the Reform Party nomination in 2000?

Trump's bankruptcies in the 90's?

The right wing attack campaign on HRC going back a generation?

Repeal of the fairness doctrine?

Trump's 80's exploits?

Trump's court battles against the government for racist policies?

How Donald's parents raised him?

His family's history of racism?

The founding fathers?

The Big Bang?

This is the problem I put on myself. No matter where I start, I'll reference something that happened before.

If I make this in chronological order, not only do I have to update information as it comes out, but that forces a specific narrative.

If I write what I feel like at the moment, or what's popular, I'll lose track of things.

The best approach I can come up with is a hybrid method.

I'll start, for the most part, with the 2016 Election, with research pieces on previous events and people. Maybe more succinct, which is not my forte, but it's a challenge I'll accept.

I'll make a timeline, or find one I trust, and use that as a general guide.

I'll still put out the daily pieces, as well as whatever drives me that day. If something big hits the wire, like a debate about pardons, or if I feel the need for a deep dive, I'll do that, too.

If we live through this, historians will spend years going over everything with a fine toothed comb. It'll take time to go through this mess.

There's an old saying that applies here…

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.