Thursday, December 1, 2016

How to Protect Yourself from Trump

Elections have consequences, none more so than the 2016 election.  This time a lot of the consequences are bad, maybe really bad.  This is particularly true if you are Black, Hispanic, a young woman of childbearing age, or a member of the LBGT community.  It is also true for anyone who depends upon Medicare, Medicaid or Obamacare for their health insurance or who hopes to retire and needs Social Security to do so.  It is also true for young people struggling to find the funds to obtain or complete their college education.  It is true for a lot of people, many who actually voted for Donald Trump, although they may not realize it, yet.  We all have something to lose from this very, very bad decision we just made.  We have less than two months to carefully assess our personal situations and prepare for the worst that may come.

The seriousness of the threat to you from the Trump administration depends in large extent on the source of your rights, privileges and protections.  If the source is executive orders, particularly recent executive orders from the Obama administration opposed by Republicans, those rights, privileges and protections are likely to disappear, perhaps in days or weeks of Trump taking the oath of office.  If the source is court decisions, such as many of Gay rights, then you have until new Conservative Supreme Court Justices are confirmed and have their chance at rolling back your legal protections.  That probably will not happen for several years, provided Democrats in the Senate can fight a successful delaying action to slow down confirmations.  If your rights, protections and so on are based upon legislation, you must also look to Democrats in the Senate to slow down what will likely be a determined effort by a Republican-controlled Congress to undo as much of the progressive legislation passed over the last 50 years as possible.

If you are dependent upon Obamacare for health insurance, you will most likely be forced to look for other options within the next few years.  Obamacare will not survive, at least not in the current form.  The Republican replacement, whatever that is and if it ever comes, will offer you options that may be cheaper for some, but certainly will be much less comprehensive and protective and many cases not much better than junk insurance that only gives the illusion of coverage.  Medicaid is in danger of becoming as a shadow of what it is today.  Medicare could become nothing more than a next to worthless voucher program, if not for current recipients, certainly for those who are under 55 when they become eligible.  If you have been putting off expensive treatment for an existing condition, now may be the time to take advantage of whatever insurance you have, since what you have today is certainly better than anything that will be available to you in the future.

Of course, there will be no comprehensive immigration reform and no hope of a path to citizenship if you are not a legal resident.  At least right away, I don’t think there will be mass deportations or internment camps, but these evils are not out of the realm of possibility in a few years if some in the Trump administration have their way.  The odds of many immigrant families being torn apart have increased dramatically. 

If you are a college student or about to become one, forget about any Trump administration help to reduce the enormous financial burden you are facing or about to face.  There may be even less help available in the years ahead.  Get as much education as you can now and take advantage of whatever financial aid might be available to you at this moment.  Student loans will cost a lot more under the Trump administration if they remain available at all.

If you are gay, the right to marry along with all the other rights you have fought so long to obtain and have only recently acquired are endangered.  The current Supreme Court will protect your rights for a few more years, but that will change as soon as the Republicans start packing the courts with their hand-picked Scala-type judges who could control the court for the next thirty to forty years.  Needless to say, any rights or protections you now enjoy as a result of executive orders will quickly be eliminated, at least if some backers of Trump have their way.  If you want full rights, you may have to leave the U.S.  If you want to stay in the U.S., your only option may be to relocate to a sanctuary city.

If you are Gay, Black, Hispanic and/or a member of any minority group, it is almost certain that you will experience increased hate crimes during the Trump years.  We are already seeing this.  Some really evil groups believe they have the President-elect’s permission, even encouragement, to engage in verbal and physical violence, to openly express their anger toward groups of people they dislike or with whom they disagree.  There is no doubt that you are threatened.  The best you can hope from Trump is that he does not openly encourage or condone attacks against you.  At best, he will remain silent.  Don’t expect him to try to stop very bad people from doing very bad things.  You are going to have to be very watchful and careful to avoid personal injury.  There probably will be areas of the country that you will need to avoid at all costs.

If you are worried about the environment and America’s natural treasures, you have a right to be.  Expect the Trump administration to roll back environmental regulations, expand mining and drilling on public lands within national parks and federally protected areas.  Trump is surrounding himself with aides and appointees who deny the human impact on climate change and see nothing wrong with raping the land for money.  The Trump years are going to be tough for endangered species and fragile parts of the ecosystem.  You may see widespread destruction in the name of greed.  Go see the wonders this country has to offer now.  They may not survive the Trump years.

Bottom Line: There is no way to know to what extent Trump’s words during the campaign were just appeals to his base or whether he really believed what he said.  We don’t know to what extent he will actually do the things he said he would do.  He may not.  But, we dare not take the risk.  The United States could be on the verge of experiencing what Germany experienced in the 1930s.  An American “Hitler” may be about to be sworn into office.  We can hope that such an analogy is totally wrong and that Trump will only be a little worse that Nixon or Reagan or GW.  But, we can’t take the risk.  Better to assume the worst and be prepared.

What You Must Do—Right Now

As I said earlier, time is running out.  You have less that two months to imagine the worse and prepare to protect yourself.  Here are a couple of things you need to do, starting right now.

(1) You need to answer some tough questions and act upon your answers.  How might you and your immediate family be affected if the bad things I’ve talked about in this post really happen over the next few months and years?  What damage could they do to you and those most dear to you?  What can you do to minimize the damage?  You may have to move to a different part of the country or overseas for a while if you can afford to do so.  You may have to moderate your words or behavior in certain situations and around certain people or be careful to avoid certain places, people and/or situations entirely.  That probably makes you angry and it should.  But if the worst comes to pass, you will have to do what you will have to do and not just to protect yourself.  Many people will need your help if the bad days come.  You can’t help them if you have not helped yourself.  Your number one goal during the Trump years may be just simply surviving the bad days Trump will undoubtedly bring. 

(2) Once you have arranged for your own protection and for protecting those closest to you, you should provide as much financial and other assistance to the Democratic Party as you can.  No matter how much you would like to see the growth of a multi-party system, no matter how disillusioned you are with the Democratic Party’s shortcomings, this is not the time to toy with third party candidates.  The only hope we have of reversing the course the Republicans and Trump have put us on, is a strong and united Democratic Party.  That can’t happen unless Blacks, Hispanics, Gays, Young People, Women, Progressives, Liberals, Environmentalists and all of the other natural supporters of the Democratic Party turn out in much larger numbers than they did in 2016 and vote only for the Democratic Party and not some third party.  Finally, you must accept and support efforts by the Democratic Party to win back support from Whites with less than a college education, particularly White Males.  Non-Hispanic Whites were 70% of the electorate in 2016 and nearly 60% of them voted for Trump.  If the Democratic Party becomes the party of minorities, it will forever remain the minority party in Congress and we may never again see a Democrat as President.  The policies of the Democratic Party are really the best hope rural, non-Hispanic Whites with less than a college education have for a better life.  We have to convince them that Republican promises are empty promises.  See the 2016 voter demographics here:  http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-37889032

I wish this post could be more positive, but the truth about our future as I see it is grim.  Better to face that fact and do what we can to minimize the damage Trump will do than live in denial. 

I’m not going to conclude this post by offering some reassurance that all will be well and that the bad things I’ve discussed in this post will not be as bad as they seem.  Maybe that will be the case.  I hope so.  However, the future Trump brings us could be even worse than any of us imagine.  Be prepared.


Friday, November 11, 2016

AN OPPORTUNITY LOST


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What to look for as you watch the election coverage tonight

Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight.com has posted an excellent guide to what to look for as the returns come in tonight.  Read Enten’s explanations of what to look for and why here: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-to-watch-election-night/

Here is a brief summary of key points in Enten’s guide to the election coverage.

6 PM
Enten says a quick call of the Senate race in Indiana former Sen. Evan Bayh could signal that the Democrats will regain control of the Senate.

7 PM
Florida—Clinton should have an early lead. If she doesn’t, that could be a bad sign.
Georgia—A “too close to call” would be a bad sign for Trump
South Carolina—A 25% turnout by Blacks would be a good sign nationally for Clinton
Virginia—A “too early to call” would be a good sign for Clinton

8 PM
Illinois—Look for an early call for Democrat Tammy Duckworth. A “too close to call” could be bad sign for Democrats gaining control of the Senate.
Maine—If the statewide race is called early for either candidate, that’s a good sign for the winning candidate nationwide and a bad sign for the loser.
Michigan—Clinton needs a strong turnout in Wayne Country/Detroit. A low Black turnout is a bad sign for her.
Pennsylvania—A “too early to call” would be a good sign for Clinton.

9 PM
New Mexico—Clinton needs large margins in Santa Fe County and Bernalillo County around Alburquerque.  Close results in these counties could signal trouble ahead for her in regard to winning the state.
Wisconsin—Trump should be leading in early returns.  If he is behind, he is in big trouble.

10 PM
Iowa—Clinton could be in trouble if she does not have an early lead.
Nevada—A Clinton win by 10 points or more in Clark County (Las Vegas) is a good sign for her. A win of less than 10 points in that county would be a bad sign.
Utah—Clinton needs to win big in Salt Lake City (Salt Lake County) and in Park City (Summit County) or she may not be able to take Utah.

11 PM
If Clinton has a good night, the race should be called by 11:15 or 11:30.  If it is still too close, it may be a long night.


Hopefully, we will be able to break out the champagne by mid-night or shortly thereafter.

Who is winning? Early estimates in six key battleground states

UPDATED: 11/8/2016  5:15 PM

Clinton continues to lead Trump in all 6 of these key states.  

Votecastr says Clinton has leads of 4 pts in Florida, 3 pts in Iowa, 4 pts in New Hampshire, 2 pts in Nevada, 1 pt in Ohio, and 3 pts in Pennsylvania.

According to estimates from Votecastr of votes cast based upon early voting and on election day at a sample of polling places in six battleground states:

Here are the estimated vote counts so far:

STATE
Hilary Clinton
Donald Trump
Florida
4,225,249
3,947,947
Iowa
524,152
505,385
Nevada
408,495
401,051
New Hampshire
204,682
188,947
Ohio
1,968,075
1,939,358
Pennsylvania
1,787,755
1,684,020


Friday, November 4, 2016

UPDATE: CLINTON WILL WIN

Final Consensus: Clinton will win the election

Final projections for the outcome of the election have been coming in all day today.  All 14 of the forecasters we are tracking project that Hilary Clinton will win the election with a minimum of 273 electoral votes and a maximum of 323.

The Attack Democrat is projecting Clinton will receive 322 electoral votes. Three other models—Frontloading HQ, Sabato’s Crystal Ball and the New York Times are projecting the same.  Pollyvote, which has one of the best track records in predicting the outcome of Presidential elections, has Clinton gathering a total of 323 electoral votes.

There seems little doubt that Clinton will become the next President of the United States.  The only way Trump can win is if the polls are not just wrong, but way, way off the mark AND every forecasting model is badly flawed.  That could be true but the chances are not very good.

Some states still too close to call

Five forecasters that we track are still unable to project the winner of some states calling them toss-ups at this late date.  Four out of these five say Florida and North Carolina could go either way.  Three of the five add Arizona, Ohio and Georgia as toss-ups.

The consensus view of our forecasters is that Clinton has locked in at least 268 electoral votes, just two short of winning. Additionally, she has better than a 50% chance of carrying New Hampshire (4 Evs), Nevada (6 Evs), Florida (29 Evs) and North Carolina (15 Evs), bringing here total too a possible 333 Evs, about the same as Obama in 2012 but less than the 365 Evs Obama won in 2008.


The consensus view of our forecasters is that Trump starts with 151 Evs and has a better than 50/50 chance of taking Mississippi (6 Evs), Arizona (11 Evs), Nebraska-2nd (1 Ev), Georgia (16 Evs), Utah (6 Evs), Iowa (6 Evs), and Ohio (18 Evs).  If he won all of these, Trump would only have 215 Evs, 55 short of the number he needs to win.

The Attack Democrat projects that Clinton will win the election with 322 but not less than 272 electoral votes.

Here are some other projections of a Clinton win with from 273 to 340 electoral votes.

Forecast
Thur
Fri
Sat
Sun
Mon
Tues
340
340
340
340
322

293
293
293
293
322

294
297
291
291
297

303
285
302
323
323

278
278
278
278
278

278
274
274
274
278

274
274
274
274
274

317
312
312
314
313

288
288
284
284
302

322
322
322
322
322

317
317
317
317
317

323
323
323
323
323

317
302
302
273
273

323
323
319
312
313

The Attack Democrat
303
302
302
322
322



Saturday, October 29, 2016

Democrats, Don’t Panic about the FBI Flap—VOTE!

The recent FBI flap about possible new Clinton emails is unlikely to change the results of the race very much.  Most (read that practically everyone) will still vote the way they had decided long before the Friday news.  Why is that?

First, very few American’s make their decision based upon something like the FBI flap.  That’s not why people vote the way they do.

Jamelle Bouie Slate has written a great article explaining why most people are voting for Trump (and Clinton), why the race will likely be close regardless of what happens and why the latest FBI flap will not matter very much when it comes to who wins this election. 

When it comes to voting for a President, most people vote for the party, not for a candidate or his/her position on the issues.  The fact is, if you voted for the Republican in 2008 and 2012, you were going to vote for Trump this year.  You might have toyed with the idea of voting for a Democrat for the first time in your life, but eventually you would vote for the same party you have always supported.  The same is true if you have voted Democrat in the past.  You may have considered Sanders and even voted for him in the primaries, but eventually you were going to vote for Clinton, the Democrat.  The candidates’ personalities, position on the issues, and all that other stuff doesn’t really matter that much.  The FBI flap will just reinforce the decision you have already made, or more precisely were destined to make anyway.

Second, it is much too late in the election for an October surprise, like the FBI news to change the outcome very much.  Steve Shepard at Politico points out that the original Comey announcement back in July about the Clinton emails resulted in a net gain for Trump of only 1.6 points and that was a much more explosive story than the one that set the media on fire on Friday. Even then, it took several weeks for the true impact of the July announcement to emerge. As of Friday, the Real Clear Politics average had Clinton with a 4.6 point lead over Trump nationally.  Trump could have a net gain of 1.6 points from the new FBI news and still be losing by 3 points or more.  Anyway, by the time the needle moves, the election will be over.  There are less than ten days left.  Additionally, 12.6 million Americans (about 6% of the eligible voters) had already voted as of last Thursday. 

Third, Clinton has a commanding lead in the electoral college that is unlikely to change very much between now and election day.  The consensus forecasts give here 272 almost certain electoral votes, enough to win, without carrying states like North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, and so on.  Trump can count on only 148 electoral votes and needs to carry ALL of these states and MORE to have a chance of reaching the 270 electoral votes he needs to win.  That’s possible, but the probability, according to the forecasters, is less than 10%--nine times out of ten a candidate with the electoral vote that Clinton holds today would win the election, a good, but of course not certain bet.

BOTTOM LINE, Democrats:  Relax and VOTE, if you haven’t already.  The ONLY way Clinton is likely to lose is if you STAY HOME.

Read Bouie’s article here:

Read Shepard’s article here:

Read the Real Clear Politics averages here:

Read about early voting here:

Read about the composition of the electorate here:

Read the electoral vote forecasts here:


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Status of the Race with Less Than 2 Weeks to Go

All 17 forecasts I’m following show Clinton with enough electoral votes to win as of today, 10-26-2016.  Seven of the 10 forecasts have Clinton beating Trump with an electoral vote margin equal to or greater than Obama’s victory over Romney in 2012.

Hilary is well positioned to win this thing.  The whole question now is Democratic turnout.

Forecast
Clinton
Trump
Toss-Up/ Other
340
198
352
173
13
332
204
2
334
204
278
179
81
272
163
103
307
180
51
287
157
94
307
174
57
Associated Press
272
179
87
330
208
333
205
347
191

272
148
118
323
215

339
199

323
191
24
CLINTON HIGHEST ELEC VOTES
352
CLINTON LOWEST ELEC VOTES
272