One thing that is a 100% sure bet: The Republican Convention in Cleveland will draw the highest television ratings we’ve seen in our lifetimes. Why wouldn’t it? Trump’s Delusion…. that he’ll actually be elected president… makes its last stand in a totally controlled environment this week. When the Nielsens come in huge he’ll predictably brag about them and add the rating number to the insufferably boring recitation of the victorious glory days of primaries past he spits out, from memory, to kill 40% of the time at his rallies.
Speaking of controlled environments, I was in Cleveland over the Fourth of July weekend and one of my lifetime complaints has been addressed there: smoking in casinos. I wondered if I was the only person in the world who liked to play blackjack but hated smoking and the smell of the casino. The Jack Casino in downtown Cleveland is smoke-free. Delightful. Las Vegas made the calculation years ago that the connection between smoking and gambling was too strong to risk banning it. Risk what? That people just won’t gamble, or gamble as much if they can’t smoke for a few minutes or hours at the Bellagio? That always made as much sense as the fake warnings airlines issued when it was suggested flying become smoke-free. (the law officially changed in 1990) Nervous flyer-smokers were supposedly being denied their Constitutional rights, would stop flying and the airline business would come to an unprofitable end. Try telling someone under 40 that at one time you could smoke on an airplane. They won’t believe you.
“Sincerity – if you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”
That stolen George Burns/Groucho Marx quote appears to be what will decide this presidential election that eclipses all others in having two candidates with such high negatives, albeit for different reasons. If you’re an undecided voter, you need to consider whether you think that the past, horrible or allegedly horrible things that the candidates have done in their public and business lives are likely to be a replicable roadmap to their behavior as president. Or, are the most egregious errors that will be pointed out simply unfair exaggerations that can always be countered with, “yea, but what about?…..”
No matter what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did regarding her cavalier attitude towards email security, do you believe she’d actually try to continue to have a private server as President Hillary Clinton, caring so little about state secrets that she’d continue her careless ways unabated… she must hate America even more than Barack Obama? If not and you think that last sentence was written by Sean Hannity, then she should get your vote. If you don’t think she went on a 15-hour bender, sleeping through the Benghazi disaster, only to wake up for 3 minutes to call off the readily available troops to rescue Chris Stevens and company, then she should get your vote. If you think the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy outweighs Hillary Clinton’s own personal foibles and insecurities, she should get your vote.
If you don’t believe that Donald Trump stiffs his contractors and workers, trying to negotiate them down, he should get your vote… if you don’t believe that in 2006 he started Trump Mortgage specifically to become a lending slumlord, read this: Cleveland’s Pain Was Donald Trump’s Gain.
A deeply reported story on NextCity.org from local writer Dan McGraw looks at how the Republican Party is about to nominate in Cleveland a man who encouraged investors to exploit the foreclosure crisis. Donald Trump “once sold subprime mortgages through a short-lived venture called Trump Mortgages and taught America, through a for-profit education company he founded called Trump University, how to profit from foreclosures,” the story notes. In the same year that Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland lost 783 homes to foreclosure, Trump University “was running ads with a picture of its founding namesake and the message, ‘Investors Nationwide are Making Millions in Foreclosures … And So Can You!,’ ” McGraw writes.
If you think the above is malarkey, vote for Trump. If you believe his explanation on why he, allegedly the richest guy to ever be a nominee, refuses to release his tax returns (it’s not the law that he has to…. he’s under audit… the Yankees lost 3 in a row….)…. if you don’t care that his returns would show how little he’s ever given to charity, how much lower his yearly income is than would be typical of someone of his alleged net worth, how little in actual income tax he has been paying…. that he hypocritically demanded the VP-Political Apprentice candidates show him their returns…. then vote for Trump.
My macro-confidence grows over some things that have always stuck out, for me, about Trump. He is the richest, most brilliant businessman guy I’ve ever seen who has never produced one person who has said, “he made me rich.” Every other mogul spawns disciples. The real people who’ve had any kind of financial dealings with Trump, directly or indirectly, seem to be people he’s ripped off and destroyed through schemes and scams over the decades. The tax return thing is so far beyond inexcusable that it cannot be explained away. And picking Mike Pence to show what a Team Unity Player he is should be seen as the transparent, ultimate flip-flop that it is. The establishment Republicans can like me…. they can really like me!
Here are some key words for the Republican Convention Drinking Game: God, Obamacare, 35%, Mexico, China, the blacks, the Hispanics, women, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, bathrooms, Second Amendment, tennis balls, law and order, Benghazi, Lyin Hillary, Radical Islamic Terrorism, Obama, Nobama, Lebron, apologize, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, dishonest, illegal alien, Cleveland Orchestra, Republican Party, Titanic. Enjoy the show!