Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Trump Predictions

Here are some predictions I have for the next few months:
  1. Trump will hold a "fancy dress party for close friends" at Mar-a-Lardo. The theme will be "who here should get a presidential pardon after all this Russia stuff is over." Only one pardon per guest!
  2. Due to "increasing popularity", Mar-a-Lardo membership fees skyrocket twenty-fold shortly before.
  3. Trump signs an executive order stating that because many important government fancy dress parties happen at Mar-a-Lardo, all members of Congress and other senior lawmakers and basically anyone who could help impeach Trump, gets a fully paid membership to Mar-a-Lardo compliments of the federal budget. "Very close friends" will also receive a Faberge egg and one thousand bochkas of vodka as a thank-you for all their hard work.
  4. Trump twits "It would be very, very bad for the Dems if Putin's style of dealing with opponents gets more common here. Capeach?" repetitively for a week.
If Trump can make lucrative business deals with anyone who can stop him from abusing his power to make lucrative business deals, then what's stopping him from promising to pardon anyone who can bring him down, in exchange for keeping him propped up?

Bonus prediction:
  1. Trump will eventually bankrupt America. He'll do this by firing $2 million missiles at $10 empty tents and hitting camels in the butt, which Bush Jr. famously said he would not do. Trump has no problem doing that. I don't think it's that he doesn't understand economics, but more that it's not his money that's being wasted, and it's that with which he has no problem. The more money going out in the form of wasted military spending (he has so far ordered more air strikes in Yemen than were carried out in all of 2016), the more money comes in to him personally, I suspect. It won't matter if the US goes bankrupt, or at least suffers financially. Only the losers will suffer, and he knows he's not one of them. What will happen when the US gets sticker shock from the outrageous spending of Trump's nascent presidency, from golf trips to camel-butt missiles to useless overpriced Trump-built walls, with Trump meanwhile working hard to reduce corporate and megarich taxes?

Monday, January 30, 2017

A Horrible Mess

Trump has declared his intention NEVER to give up power:
‏@realDonaldTrump Jan 27: I promise that our administration will ALWAYS have your back. We will ALWAYS be with you!
For all those who said they were just glad that the horrible campaign season was over, I hope you enjoyed your 2 months off! Trump registered to campaign for 2020, before he was even inaugurated. We are now in an era of continuous campaigning. Trump will literally be campaigning for re-election the entire time he is in office. There is speculation that the reason for this is that there are laws preventing groups from criticising a campaigning candidate by name, because it can be seen as political influence. So don't worry about Trump using this just to talk shit about other people, he's doing it to silence his critics. There will be plenty of mudslinging from him in his role as president. Another reason for campaigning now is that it allows him to keep previously acquired campaign funds and to accept new donations. Don't doubt that as long as there's cash still there, he will ALWAYS be campaigning.

How could Trump possibly be re-elected if his policies fail? What strategies does Trump use?

1. Exaggerate the positives in what he has done. Exaggerate the bad in what he wants to control.
“It’s not a Muslim ban,” Trump said in the Oval Office. “It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over.”
@realDonaldTrump Jan 29: Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world - a horrible mess!
2. Blame others for his mistakes, for getting in his way or slowing him down, or for sabotaging his plans.
Kellyanne Conway says the Muslim ban is actually Barack Obama's brainchild, and President Trump is just following his lead.
Remember it's not a Muslim ban when Trump does it, but it was actually done by Obama and it is a Muslim ban.

3+. Distract people from the real issues. Continue to incite fear and hatred with threats and lies. Use any event or tragedy to his advantage. And I suspect: If there is no sufficient tragedy to cement people's support and confuse their reasoning, create one. Man-made tragedies have worked well to consolidate power and support in the past, including Putin's 1999 Russian apartment bombings and Bush/Cheney's 9/11. There is no good reason to believe it can't happen again.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

So there's a Russian joke...

Rachel Maddow talks about US troops rushed to EU countries near the Russian border, which Obama did in his last few days of office, as he is sworn to protect the NATO countries and they axed for the troops. The 5-billion-dollar question is what will Trump do with those troops? Because if he pulls them out, he is thumbing his nose at the treaty, giving Putin what he wants, and possibly adding to the speculation that Putin has damning surveillance footage of Trump.

But wouldn't it be silly to risk world conflict to avoid embarrassment? Or is keeping a gross sextape hidden exactly the kind of top priority on which the current president of the United States chooses to focus? And who said anything about world conflict? Hey wait a minute, why has no one said anything about world conflict? If EU nations are nervous and Putin wants troops pulled from their borders, why? Could Putin actually be considering invading? Perhaps more likely, Putin is planning on taking back what once belonged to the USSR. Getting the old gang back together. Making the Soviet Union Great Again. And he doesn't want the neighbours getting involved.

And what could Trump be thinking in this? Is he too focused on his crowd sizes to consider what global conflicts his gross sextapes and his decisions might get the world into? Or is he on board? Strengthen his allegiance with Russia and raise the US up a little, by helping to cause turmoil in EU? To knock them down a peg or two? These are the types of questions we need to start asking now, instead of getting transfixed on lies about crowd sizes (it was a lie, end of story), conspiracy theories regarding whether Trump really lost the popular vote (it doesn't matter, it won't change anything either way) or whether he'll release his taxes (unless it can lead to impeachment, it doesn't matter if Trump has done bad things in the past as long as the world is so hung up on them that they let him continue to do bad things, and then only talk about those when it's too late). Well, there are some people who are thinking of these real issues, such as Masha Gessen, who worries Trump will lead us to nuclear holocaust. She mentions a few predictions of milestones on the road to Trump's bottom, among them banning increasing numbers of newspapers from the White House, and calling on Americans to report immigrants, thereby beginning a culture of citizen against citizen. Lots of scary stuff to watch out for and mark off our Trump Presidency bingo cards!

Now that Trump's in office and we all need to be thinking of what World War III's going to look like over the next several years, it's clear that it's going to be US + USSR teamed up against everybody else. Perhaps Putin/Trump will try to persuade the biggest nuclear powers to form a gang. Then everyone else can be bullied with impunity. Mutual Assured Destruction is a deterrent against the use of nuclear weapons, but if it's only Unilateral Assured Destruction there's no problem. It would almost be a waste to have all those weapons and not use a few. That would really "put the world on notice", as Conway has claimed Trump is doing when he speaks of an intention to expand US nuclear capability.

Oh, the joke courtesy of Gessen is, we thought we'd hit bottom, and then someone knocked from below. Dark comedy! This is starting to look worse than Bush 2. I guess we'll have to be on the look-out for Pence orchestrating a terrorist attack on the US, and the subsequent power-grab of whatever power is left ungrabbed, amidst the suddenly unquestioning, unified, unquestioning support of the US people.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Welcome to 1984

CNN: Trump White House offered 'alternative facts'

"Alternative facts" offer something that a lot of Americans will gladly accept: respite from the truth. There has been a lot of denial of truth recently---including the reality of global warming, the loss of jobs due to automation, and the competency of President Obama---and fighting against those truths is increasingly inconvenient. But now there is no need to worry about it. Instead of fighting between what you want to believe and what you suspect to be true, Americans can choose to accept what they're told, and leave the struggle between the reality that is, and the alternative reality they want, to people who have no scruples regarding that conflict.

An additional worrying thing to come from this is Conway's statement, "Your job is not to call things ridiculous that are said by our press secretary and our president. That's not your job," insinuating that the media's "job" is to present the message that the Trump administration wants. There were also veiled threats to CNN of punishment for calling out the nascent administration on its lies.

Lying about crowd size probably doesn't matter, but the administration---and media too, either unwittingly or complicitly---can systematically focus on trivialities to divert attention away from atrocities. The only atrocity so far that I'm aware of is Trump's executive order "to waive and delay Obamacare fees and regulation." They may be simply laying the groundwork to be mired in controversy so that no one pays attention to things like new wars.

Trump Loves War

While campaigning, Trump said, "I love war, in a certain way. But only when we win. By the way, when was the last time we won a war?" (This footage is from a campaign rally. #alternativefact)

This suggests to me that Trump equates winning wars with greatness, which fits into the "make America great again" motif. The US hasn't been winning a suitable quantity of wars recently. Unlike Bush 2, who wanted to be a "war president" and start wars for the glory of fighting wars, Trump just wants the glory of winning. It is like a business deal. Trump is anxious to make his mark in his first 100 days as president, and has talked about an intent to destroy ISIS. Given his statements, I predict that Trump will quickly attempt to start and win a war, which means going up against the weakest target that he can find, and using overwhelming force against them.

Trump, like all presidents since the US became a world power, will be making life-and-death decisions involving people all over the globe. This means that Trump will be deciding who gets to die in various specific situations. I hope that people are not stuck in the controversy over lies about Trump's inauguration crowd size, that they don't notice which unpersons the Trump administration is selecting for vaporisation.

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013

    US Upholds Free Healthcare, Drugs For Addicted Corporations

    The US Fed, a healthcare provider that services people of corporate personhood, has renewed its plan to provide free benefits for businesses suffering from an addiction to money.

    In recent years, the plan successfully prescribed large doses of the addictive drug Stimulus to treat depression among corporations. With the disease now all but eradicated, the economy regularly pushes to record heights in overall market capitalization. However, many of these healthy companies have become addicted to Stimulus, and experts in economic medicine say they need to stay on it, or risk stunted growth.

    "These companies originally needed Stimulus to get them back on their feet. Now, in peak financial form, they repeatedly want just one more hit so that they can stay on top... to bulk up just a little more. All they need is a constant supply of cash to keep them happy, and I really don't see a harm in that."

    The Fed says that Americans support the free healthcare. "Sure, the taxpayers have to foot the bill for supporting the economy, but good health for corporate persons is an important American value. We all have a corporation or two in our family and friends, and we all have to look out for them, to make sure that no single corporation is left sick or suffering like some disgusting poor person."

    In other news, the US is introducing "Preventative Welfare", a form of financial aid for extremely rich people, which aims to ensure that they stay that way. "One way to keep the poverty figures low is to avoid adding any numbers from among the wealthier Americans."

    Wednesday, October 3, 2012

    This Week in Pictures

    Nokia CEO Elop
    Stephen Elop in a trance, pledging eternal servitude to his master, in a ritual amid a fiery orange backdrop. The unidentified man on the right, presumed to be Lord Satan, is seen consuming Elop's soul via inhalation.

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Post Picayune lowers Nokia target price to $0.00

    A lot of people wonder: When will Microsoft buy up the remains of Nokia, now that they ****** their *** up like in a car crash? How low does the stock have to go before MS buys the cadaver?

    Here is my prediction: $0.00.

    Why? Because as long as MS has a man on the inside (Stephen Elop... inside and all the way up), they already own Nokia as much as they need to.

    People expect MS to bail out Nokia and prevent it from failing. When would they do that? Answer: When the stock price reaches $0.00. At that price, it means that investors do not expect to have any ROI at all from a purchase of Nokia. It is essentially the value of a bankrupt company. If the stock price is above that, it means that Nokia's probably not bankrupt and still has its own assets to waste on its survival. So why would MS throw its own money onto the fire when Nokia is still burning away quite toastily?

    What factors determine NOK's current price, which has a market cap lower than its book value (ie. it is undervalued)?
    1. Expectation that Nokia will burn through its cash and may go bankrupt in a year or three, and that it is completely committed to this doomed fate, pushes the price toward $0.
    2. The possibility that it will become profitable in the next few quarters keeps it away from $0, but its current trajectory suggests that this is not likely without some miracle.
    3. The possibility that Elop will be fired, and the stock will jump, and that the company can be turned around or even that the company will be liquidated before it goes bankrupt, makes for a long-shot bet that the stock will be worth a lot more than it is now.

    In my estimate, many investors have hope that Nokia will stop doing what it's doing and what it has publicly committed to keep doing, and fewer have hope that they'll stick to their plan and succeed, while most investors expect them to stick to the plan and fail.

    If MS doesn't already control Nokia's shareholders, then there is a chance that Nokia will come to its senses and fire Elop. In that case, we're talking about a different game. First, there will be a jump in the stock price simply from the renewed hope that Nokia may turn itself around without Elop. But there will also be a jump if there is a perception that MS no longer owns the company. If people believe that MS still wants to control Nokia, then at that point they may need to pay more than $0.00 for it, and the price will go up depending on how much they are seen to need it.

    If the current trend continues---Nokia failing in its Windows Phone strategy and yet remaining committed to its own doom---I think that it indicates a general understanding that Nokia is completely controlled by MS, and that MS has no interest in seeing Nokia succeed. If MS only needs Nokia to stay afloat, it can do so at a value as low as $0. A bailout at any higher means that MS is--or wants people to see that they are--committed to Nokia's success, not just their existence. MS just doesn't roll that way. If anything, they might want such a bailout to be done secretly, so that it's not seen as the embarrassment of "WP manufacturers have to be propped up." If these speculations are indeed true, then Nokia stock price and book value should head for $0 in absence of some great success for WP and/or a shareholder revolt.

    Disclosure: I have no position in either of the stocks mentioned, and I would rather see MSFT dead and buried in a pile of its own pig feces than consider investing in them, and it would be nice if NOK got the hell away from MS and climbed out of the grave Elop's been relentlessly digging for them.