Donald Trump Not Attending the 32nd Annual Palm Beach International Boat Show; Will Enjoy Washington and Cherry Blossoms This Weekend




Opposition to the very idea of Obamacare… the Affordable Health Care Act… by the Republicans was always a simple, two-pronged idea.

1. We hate Barack Obama. He should not be president. We have ideological reasons, some of us have racist reasons, many of us are willing to believe he is an illegal, foreign agent who shouldn’t even be allowed to be president. We will oppose everything he stands for, especially the idea that health care is a right that the federal government can help to make accessible to as many Americans as possible through this law, which will bankrupt the country in short order.

2. Republican politicians, from the most moderate to the tea-party-est whackjob “Freedom” Caucusites alway agreed on their hate for Obama, but would never admit their opposition to the ACA wasn’t that they were worried it would miserably fail… it was their fear it would SUCCEED. Republicans opposed the Social Security Act in 1935, The Medicare Act in 1965, and the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Three strikes and they knew they’d be out.

Fear of poverty and sickness, not just in old age but for one’s lifetime, has been addressed, not perfectly, by those three laws. One of the 3 is not like the others, in that there were no continuous, sustained efforts to repeal and actually undermine SS and Medicare after they passed. Yes, Reagan RAILED and campaigned against Medicare before its passage, but 10 and 14 years later when he ran for president he didn’t promise to repeal it on Day One. Or ever. In fact, Social Security, and Medicare (and Medicaid) have been altered and improved upon since their beginnings. Now Trump and his Band of Losers face the music, and so far all we’ve heard is that they lie about the current overall state of Obamacare and promise to do everything to continue to sabotage the current law, punishing millions of Americans in the process.

So, Republicans… do you love and care about real Americans, or does your never-ending hate for Barack Obama and your fear the law is succeeding in spite of your efforts to screw it up override your now-discredited ideological quest to repeal and replace with something 100 times worse? Tell us more about your “patient-centered” ideas, please.

Are You A Trump Tax Truther?

I am a Trump Tax Truther.  I will explain why later.

Up until the moment of this writing, there has been nothing on the Republican side to derail the blind obedience of primary voters willing to support Donald Trump, buying his braggadocious, scattershot combination of policy-free, nationalistic, populist, racist, personality-driven, misogynistic ego-tripping drivel…. all under the umbrella of sticking it to the man.  More than 65% of his electoral fans say, that so far, there is literally nothing, possibly including murder, that he could do or say that would shake their support for him.  Not surprising for a guy who has been building brand loyalty to his image and name for close to 40 years.  Britt Whitmire, on our podcast the other day, zeroed in on an analogy that is so frighteningly on target that it hurts:  That Trump has inhabited the mind space in politics right now that the most obnoxious, violent, money-flashing, arrogant rappers have for many years…. except with a totally different audience.  It works like this–the rappers (Trump) are, at least publicly, off-the-charts confident, and really, really rich (supposedly) and display that wealth in the most ostentatious ways, with planes and boats and buildings and trophy wives/girlfriends.  For the rappers, this translates into musical popularity and sales.  For Trump, it translates into vote for me and my success will somehow reflect on and rub off on to you and your life and country will be better.

One of the greatest ad slogans was for Air Jordan shoes from Nike. “Be Like Mike.”  It’s a fairly safe bet that even the most out-to-lunch fool you could find never really thought changing sneakers would enable him to play as well as Michael Jordan.  Trump has been able to ride this never-Screen shot 2016-02-25 at 10.49.23 AMbefore-seen (in politics) Al Pacino/Scarface persona beyond the standard party guardrails by gaining trust and getting people to believe (100% falsely, I believe) that he is so far superior than anything they’ve ever experienced in politics… that the details don’t matter.  What’s not to like in a guy who never, never, never loses and promises you nothing but wins, wins, wins?  Beam Me To The Polls, Scotty!  More from Zach Blumenfeld in a piece called:  DonYe: How Trump and Kanye are Alike, and How They’re Critically Different

The comparison seems too easy to make. Donald Trump. Kanye West. Two narcissistic egomaniacs. Both wildly overestimate their influence, both say things that no decent person would ever think of saying, and both find themselves constantly embroiled in controversy, with passionate defenders battling the Screen shot 2016-02-25 at 10.50.34 AMlegions of harsh critics… Yet there’s a crucial distinction to make when comparing the egos of Donald Trump and Kanye West, one that gives the latter far more redemptive quality: Kanye knows and admits that he is fallible. Trump does not.

I wanted to make sure that the growing demand for Trump to release his income tax returns is not out of the ordinary for presidential candidates.  If it was, he could claim he’s being unfairly picked on because he’s the richest guy to ever run for president (allegedly) and is self-funding.  Fortunately, there is something called The Tax History Project.  You can look at the Screen shot 2016-02-25 at 10.52.20 AMreturns of every president going back to Nixon.  Harry Truman made his available and so did FDR.  Both of them released their taxes for many years before they were president and Truman kept putting out his 1040’s all the way until he died in 1972!

So, it’s official…. Trump is stonewalling putting out his income tax returns. Surely this will be 100% excused, forgiven, and alibied by his fans, as are all of his other excesses, rhetorical, actual, political, and human.  He will strike back at previous rich guy/victim Mitt Romney for Paying It Forward and gossiping that there’s a “bombshell” in there.Screen shot 2016-02-25 at 11.01.41 AM

But the real question is why?  This is the one issue that cannot be papered back into the corner, especially with anyone not 100% sold on the guy.  When you’ve been touting your overwhelming business success, your wealth, your not being beholden to anyone because of that wealth, you gotta show the world your tax returns and how much you’ve been making and how much you’ve been paying what percentage you’re paying.  You know that.  We so want to believe everything you ever say about anything…. but just this one, little detail would really seal the deal.  If you keep blocking, we’ll have to believe you either are not nearly as rich as you say you are, you pay little or nothing in income taxes way below the rate of the average person, just like Mitt Romney (15%) …. which may be legal but is indefensibly immoral.  Here’s a clue, when he said he pays: “as little as possible because it’s an expense and it’s not one I’m happy paying because frankly the United States government wastes a lot of money.”  Of course, it’s also possible that his wealth is more of marketing mirage than any of us could have conceived as he lives off the biggest, blackest most platinumest American Express Card ever!

In the golden days of Ann Landers, if a woman wrote: Dear Ann:  I am madly in love with the greatest guy in the world, “Donald.”  He is so kind to me, showers me with gifts, and his kids from his previous marriages love him so much!  Sometimes “Donald” is mean to other people, but I know he’s really got a good heart because he keeps telling me so and promises me a perfect future together.  One thing bothers me, though.  I hear through the grapevine that he is not as rich as he says he is.  Ann, that’s not so important because I would love him even if he were poor.  Ok, I’m lying about that, but I need to know for sure.  Would it be ok to ask to see “Donald’s” tax returns for the past, oh say…. 30 years… to verify and trust to seal the deal?  Signed, Tillie in Tampa.  The answer would be-Ann: Tillie… you bet your bottom Peso you should ask this Revolting Romeo to show you his financial cards.  A man who’s not totally honest with his finances will never be honest in his relationship with you.  Bash that Bozo in the choppers if he’s not straight with you and head for the exits.  Hoping he’ll change after the wedding is the worst idea I can think of.  They never change.  Wake up and smell the Starbucks, sister. 

One thing’s for certain.  If Trump thought he had anything to gain by releasing his tax returns so he could brag and shove them down the collective throat of America and his critics, he surely would.   He obviously has something to lose, so he hasn’t.  Earlier this week he said he hasn’t put the returns out there because they’re “extremely complex.”  Right.  You people, especially you uneducated people (another never-before-explicitly-targeted group of Americans until Trump called them out)… you dummies have been saved from mass confusion by Trump doing you the favor of not putting out his tax returns.  Add 3 more points to his polls. But as for me, I am a Trump Income Tax Truther, and proud of it!

And Jimmy must be listening to the Brad and Britt Podcast!