Trump and the seduction of Sheldon Adelson

June 3, 2016

Will Sheldon Adelson get snookered by the same failed Political Machine?

In early 2015, a group of well connected GOP consultants began raising  $100 million in large checks from their well-healed buddies on the promise of buying the White House.  We are serous operatives, they argued, and we can use big dollars to bend the will of the grassroots with the power of big money and big advertising.

Their efforts went down in flames.  One hundred millions spent on slick advertising went for naught. And, all of that money was being flushed down a Florida toilet – save the tens of millions “earned” by those well – connected consultants, of course.

Through this colossal failure, and other lower profile failures, one thing has become clear: All the money in world cannot buy elections. Ask President John Connally.  But it does buy expensive sports cars for political players.

Here’s how it works. If a political hack buys television commercials he gets a 15% commission. So political hacks sell television to their big donors. And they do everything they can to put the donors in the position where they have no choice but to do television. A late developing PAC, for example, has no time to build the right database. Television is all they can do.

Consider the June 1, 2016 announcement that former Chris Christie operative, Ken McKay, has tapped California hedge fund billionaire, Tom Barrack, to let him start a Trump Super PAC. It turns out McKay is currently employed by the Trump campaign and must undergo a legally required 120 “cooling off” period. The PAC cannot spend any money until October, rendering it completely ineffective. But hey, who cares? A few million is not a bad payday.

Take Bill Kristol, of the Weekly Standard. He wants to run a third party candidate he says, because neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton are good alternatives. I know Bill, and worked with him in the White House. He is no dummy. He knows full well that his candidate won’t win but hey, one might as well make a little money.

This November the key to a close presidential election is in the hands of three million voters in seven key states. The hardest job will be to find those three million voters and turn them into “true believers.” The PAC that does that will be the PAC that makes a difference.

Enter mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. Mr. Adelson is perhaps the single most generous donor to Republican causes, and someone deeply respected. As in the case of Donald Trump, Mr. Adelson did not become one of the world’s most successful businessmen by accident, in fact, it could easily be the other way around, with Adelson running for president needing Donald Trump to help a worthy PAC. So he knows the history I outlined above.

Sources say Mr. Adelson plans to spend as much as $100 million helping Donald Trump win the White House. Facing the mammoth Clinton machine.  Mr. Adelson’s generosity will be sorely needed.

But, the money must be spent smartly, engaging American’s at a grassroots level through channels that have already been built over time through hard work and elbow grease. There is no easy astroturfing here.

Hearing the call of another $100 million dollar PAC and seven figure paydays, establishment consultants are now lining up to convince Mr. Adelson and his confidants that they are the best ones to spend his money and take their 15% cut. But these consultants are all from the same tribe, cut from the same cloth as all Washington consultants, and know about grassroots politics.

I have a prediction. I want to say a bold prediction, but with so much evidence backing me, I fear it is rather easy to follow. If Mr. Adelson gives his generous support to a PAC run by status quo Republicans, it will do little to help Donald Trump and instead be squandered.

Mr. Adelson may be shopping for the “right” DC consultants to spend his money, but that is a quest akin to finding the Loch Ness Monster. These consultants know only one thing, big advertising, big money and big commissions.

I for one hope Mr. Adelson and his advisers will look outside the box and find a vehicle with a real grassroots networks, committed to engagement with real Americans. The TV commercials are the easy part. Donald Trump needs this help a lot more than DC Consultants need another sports car. And America cannot afford a President Hilary Rodham Clinton.


Trump is Reagan

May 18, 2016

Many comparisons are now circulating on the internet comparing Donald Trump to General George S. Patton, to former President Ronald Reagan and many others. In posts earlier this year I compared him to Andrew Jackson and  Theodore Roosevelt.

It was my humble privilege to appear on the speaker’s circuit with Ronald Reagan, talking with him backstage and writing his campaign biography when he ran for president.

The Charity Awards, which I helped organize, was really begun at a dinner in his home in 1979, the week before he announced what would be his successful run for the White House. Here’s my take on Trump as Reagan.

Trump as Reagan:

Both men were once Democrats.

Both men were once in show business.

Both men were divorced.

Their stand on the issues is remarkably similar. Both men are pro Life and in the exact same way. Both men defend the Second Amendment. And both men want to reduce spending and taxes.

Ronald Reagan was hated by the mainstream media. Slate once ran an article with the subtitle, “The Stupidity of Ronald Reagan. And so too, they hate Donald Trump.

You will notice that both Reagan and Trump are very strategic in their thinking, they don’t get into the details.

Both men put American jobs first and that makes them unpopular in other countries like Mexico, China and European countries who want those very jobs.

Most dramatic of all, both men are straight shooters.

For example, Ronald Reagan said he wasn’t so sure that it had been the right thing to withdraw support for the Shah of Iran. This statement caused an uproar and was seen as irresponsible. The whole world was outraged. Especially the American media. What was he doing? He was speaking against the newly formed Democratic Islamic State of Iran.

Donald Trump said we should have a temporary ban on Muslim immigration until we can figure things out.

Both men are unashamed in their support for a stronger and safer America. “Make American Great again,” says Trump.

There are some dramatic differences between the two men. Reagan was humble and self-effacing. He went out of his way to avoid personalizing his issues. But in his own way, using humor, he would always counter punch. Perhaps his greatest moment was when they hit him on the age issue.

General Patton talked trash to the enemy, the way Muhammed Ali baited Sonny Liston and it was very effective. It worked.  It is similar to Trump talking about Isis.

Reagan was sometimes as brash as Patton and Trump. When he was being sworn in as president Iran promptly released the hostages rather than face the consequences.

Machiavelli once said, “It is sometimes a wise thing for a prince to affect madness.” Nixon used that very device to bring the North Vietnamese to the peace table.

General Patton appeared spontaneous in his remarks and it sometimes got him into trouble but in retrospect he was right about the fact that we would one day have to face Russia anyway and if we had been stronger in dealing with them in 1945, we now know, that Hungary, Czechoslovakia and most of the Balkans could have arguably avoided the nightmare of communist rule where hundreds of thousands of people were imprisoned.

The comparisons of Donald Trump to General George S. Patton are the most problematic for the candidate.  I’m not saying that they aren’t true, I just want to point out that Patton couldn’t get elected to anything and couldn’t even keep his job as general – even though he was one of our most tenacious and brilliant commanders. In his army career, Patton’s political skills eventually failed him.

Patton once said, “It is a popular idea that a man is a hero just because he was killed in action. Rather, I think, a man is frequently a fool when he gets killed.” It did not go over very well.

When war hero, Senator John McCain called the thousands of Arizona citizens who had rallied to meet Donald Trump as crazies, Trump shot back, “He was a hero because he was captured. I like people who were not captured.”

Both men have been accused of profanity. Patton said you can’t run an army without profanity.

The one virtue that all of these Trump comparisons have in common is their penchant for strong leadership.  Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, George Patton, Ronald Reagan were all dynamic leaders.

One of George Patton’s most famous quotes declared, “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” It is vintage Trump.

If you live long enough, history comes back around.

The Crucifixion of Donald Trump

May 16, 2016

Now it begins. This onslaught has been decades in the making. It was not organized to hurt Trump but it is reaching its full organic and systematic power in opposing him.

By the end of the process Trump supporters will feel shell shocked and numb. They will not only be bitter about the biased political coverage which is about to reach breathtaking levels, they will never view the television networks and the large corporations who own them the same again.

Keep in mind a couple of things. All of the hundreds of television networks are owned by principally five companies.

There are demographic and socio-cultural reasons why they and their online and print media counterparts are politically liberal.

Academic surveys and polls of journalists have documented this bias since the question was first raised.

The proof of such bias is being scrubbed from the Internet as we speak. Google yourself and you will now see – for the first time – leftists sites featuring bogus data to suggest that the media actually tilts right.

Have such leftist sites actually earned a SERP or were they arbitrarily placed there by the owners of the search engines? It is almost surely the latter because – as of now – their equivalent social media pages cannot command the proportionate numbers of “likes” to the real studies.

Since this story has to begin somewhere we will start it in 1964 when major corporations knew that Republican presidential nominee, Barry Goldwater, was going to be defeated. A Democrat would be elected president and he would control both Houses of Congress and every social program they envisioned would be passed.

Even the most Republican of corporate leaders had to fall into line and that meant finding ways to benefit from “the War on Poverty” and any other well meaning social program. From that small beginning major corporations became allies of a multitude of special interests groups all with their own separate demands for new laws and regulations.

Now, understand, the special interests were well intentioned. They helped the poor, the victimized, they redressed past wrongs but they were also expensive and had the effect of crowding out small business competition. For big companies, this was the fast track to a monopoly. Make it too expensive for anyone to start their own business.

This worked so well that the process accelerated. Corporations made donations and soon owned or controlled many of the special interests. For example, alcohol companies donated money to Drunk Driving charities and were soon sitting on their boards of directors.

It gets worse. During times of economic downturn, big companies had their lobbying firms demand Congress for temporary exemptions from the regulations in order “to create jobs.” Such decisions were inserted into job stimulus bills that nobody even read.

Now, be patient, let’s jump to a parallel track, hang on, we’re getting there.

At the end of the Cold War. Thousands of spies were out of work. Major corporations all over the world snatched them up for pennies on the dollar. There were things they could do and technology that dazzled the civilian world.

Much of their work would have been illegal in the USA so it was perfected elsewhere but as it became the modus operandi for international companies and the public relations firms they hired, it soon back-washed home.

Within time, some of these overseas public relations firms were tapped to help run political campaigns. Again, much of it happened overseas, beyond the restraint of the U.S. Constitution.

In most countries of the world journalists could be purchased, stories could be fabricated and the former spies could create flawless disinformation.

After 9-11 all restraints were off. The curtain between the American government and the world’s global corporate giants came down. The American government needed information. The U.S. Constitution was in the toilet.

The Iraq War generated billions of dollars for private companies and was funded off the books by the Federal Reserve.

America descended into the second worse depression in world history. George W. Bush, a Republican president, nationalized the American banks. It was called socialism anywhere else in the world but we insisted that Bush was a “conservative.”

There was a massive transfer of wealth as the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. It has continued nonstop through the Obama years.

Fast-forward to 2016. Here is Donald Trump, an outsider like Andrew Jackson, a businessman who makes public claims about being fair in business and trade, who calls out America for its bad deals, and calls our decision making “stupid.”

It has taken the nation’s largest companies years to get to this place that he calls “stupid.” They have a candidate in Hillary Clinton who will assure “stability.”

So this summer, get ready, they will crucify Donald Trump. But will he rise again?

NOTE: As an example of liberal bias, in 2008, the Democratic Party received donations of $1,020,816, given by 1,160 employees of the three major broadcast television networks (NBC, CBS, ABC). Meanwhile, the Republican Party received $142,863 via 193 donations.

Did Trump, like Churchill, promote himself?

May 13, 2016

Did Donald Trump serve as his own anonymous publicist in a conversation with a reporter 25 years ago? If so he is in good company. Ben Franklin and Winston Churchill did the same.  Churchill wrote anonymous letters to the London Times. “Bring back Winnie.”

Meanwhile, dId Hillary Clinton hire private detectives to get information on women with whom her husband was having affairs 25 years ago?  The national media doesn’t care or want to know because 25 years is too long ago.

Presidents’ children at Harvard

May 2, 2016
I am getting a lot of press inquiries about children of presidents who went to Harvard University.  ( Joshua Kendall has found all 22 presidents’ kids who went to Harvard.  Here is the link.)
Start reading All the Presidents’ Children on Kindle right now.
#1) John Quincy Adams
#2) George Washington Adams (son of John Quincy Adams)
#3) John Adams, II (son of John Qujincy Adams)
#4) Charles Francis Adams
#5) Robert Todd Lincoln
#6) Ulysses S. “Buck” Grant.
#7) Birchard Austin Hayes (son of Rutherford B. Hayes)
#8) Richard Folsom Cleveland (son of Grover Cleveland)
#9) Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (son of Theodore Roosevelt)
#10) Kermit Roosevelt (son of Theodore Roosevelt)
#11) Archibald Roosevelt (son of Theodore Roosevelt)
#12) Quentin Roosevelt
#13) James Roosevelt (son of FDR)
#14) Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr. (son of FDR)
#15) John Roosevelt (Son of FDR)
#16) Caroline Kennedy (Radcliffe at Harvard)
#17) George W. Bush
#18) Malia Obama
Also, several have taught at Harvard.  For example, Herbert Hoover, Jr. taught briefly at Harvard Business School.

Malia going to Harvard

May 1, 2016

Whatever you may think of the President and First Lady, they have been outstanding parents, putting the lives of their children above politics. Recently announced plans for their daughter Malia are a good example.

The word is that Malia will have a year off before beginning her studies at Harvard in 2017. This will coincide with the post presidency of the President and First Lady and give the family time to adjust to a new life.

Presidents are notoriously bad parents.  Too severe or too indulgent.  Abraham Lincoln was estranged from his son and the White House servants were on edge when he visited from Harvard. Grant was typical of many presidents who indulge their children. It may have come from guilt for being away so much.

The Obama’s by contrast offer discipline and structure in the lives of their girls. Limiting the Internet and television, for example, while not hesitating to defy political theater by acting in their daughters’ best interest.

Liberal Democrats are champions of public education and for that reason, Jimmy Carter sent his daughter to public school.  Critics said Obama would be a hypocrite if he didn’t do the same but he and Michelle did what they thought was best for their girls and took the political heat, sending them to private schools.

They took them on foreign trips when it would make a difference and left them home when academic needs demanded it.

In contrast to the infidelities of many modern White House families, the Obama’s have given their daughters an example of a good marriage. In the long run it may be their greatest gift to the girls.

The inclusion of the grandmother in White House life was very important. I have interviewed 19 presidential children and almost all agree that they needed someone else – who was family – to help them but they didn’t get it.

When Mailia Obama enters Harvard in the fall of 2017, she will join a long list of 22 presidential children who followed the same path.

John Quincy Adams, the sixth president, followed in his father’s footsteps when attending the University but he took a circuitous route to get there. Homeschooled at a young age, he was taken to Europe with his father, who was representing the American colonies during the Revolutionary War. By the time he got to Harvard he could speak five languages. He graduated second in his class in 1787.

The sons of President John Quincy Adams tried their best to keep up. George Washington Adams needed special tutoring to get into Harvard. He would die in his twenties from what most historians believe to be a suicide.

His younger brother, John Adams II, became the next deadly focus of the family’s desire for performance. When Harvard invited President John Quincy Adams to speak at his son’s graduation he said he would not do so unless his son improved his standing.  The young Mr. Adams was 45th in his class.

The President refused to allow his son to come home to the family for a White House Christmas. Young Mr. Adams focused on his studies and improved to 24th whereupon his father announced he would not attend graduation anyway.

A few weeks later, John Adams II was seen drunk, racing across Harvard Yard in the nude. He was expelled. He would die of alcoholism in his thirties. His mother First Lady Louisa Adams would write, “Another child sacrificed on the altar of politics.”

In later years presidents tried to soften the blow of excessive expectations. Theodore Roosevelt once wrote his boys, saying that “each of my sons is doing or has done better than I was doing and had done at his age.”

But no matter how well intentioned he could not resist. “There is not leeway for the smallest shortcoming on your part,” he wrote Ted, Jr. before his exams at Harvard.

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt would not win any awards for parenting. And their five children would pay the price for it. The five children of FDR would have 19 marriages between them.

James Roosevelt, the first son had a Harvard career described by the Los Angeles Times as “unbrilliant.” (August 13, 1938.)  While Doris Kerns Goodwin thought it was “brilliant.” (No Ordinary Time, p. 170).

James was caught up in many scandals but also served for six terms in the U.S. Congress. Meanwhile, his brother Elliot flunked the Harvard entrance exam.

And finally there is George W. Bush. Who not only followed his father by graduating from Yale but picked up an MBA at Harvard as well.

The Obama’s represent a new time and a new family in the White House. And Malia represents the first daughter of a president to take on Harvard. We will all be wishing her well.

(Start reading All the Presidents Children on Kindle right now.)

Why Bernie won’t quit?

April 28, 2016

Okay, those who read my blogs already know the answer to this question.  It is the answer to almost any other question.  Altogether now… in chorus, please…


That’s right. Money.

You will hear the most nonsensical, idiotic discussions on television coming from pundits who have never met a payroll. They will tell you why Bernie Sanders is still in the race.

He wants to get his message out, they will say. Okay, that’s a little bit true. But what is the key to getting your message out?


They say that Bernie Sanders is in denial. He wants something from Hillary. He has a big ego, okay but what is the ultimate ego booster?


Anyone who has run a company, an NGO, a charity, a think tank, a newsletter, a political campaign can tell you a very simple fact. 30% of all donors or subscribers come from California.

For Democrats it means $100 million a year, first in the nation. And while it is 10th in percentage of states population, the total is ginormous, far and away, the biggest part of the annual budget of the DNC.

This means that if Bernie Sanders can keep his campaign going, for any excuse, just a few weeks more, he can get to California where thousands of innocent young people will crowd into his rallies and sign his petitions and give up their email addresses.

This is about California.

Pardon me for sounding cynical.  .

But facts are facts. And if Bernie gets to California he pads his mailing list by tens of thousands and these names will be the little oil wells that will fund all of his projects and his grandchildren’s projects for years to come.

Hillary doesn’t want that.  She wants to stop him.  She is hysterical about it.  Because she thinks that every dollar for Bernie is coming right out of her own pocket. Got it?

So Bernie must get to California. Win or lose.  Doesn’t matter.  Just get there.

Ignore all the idiots on television.



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