After one year in office, Donald Trump and Andrew Jackson are more alike than ever.

December 26, 2017


In this year of the 250th anniversary of the birthday of Andrew Jackson, many modern historians remain conflicted about the comparisons between “Old Hickory” and our current president, Donald Trump. But after one year in office, the comparisons between the two men are more pronounced than ever.

One historian declares, wrongly, that Trump is the first modern president to identify with Jackson. In fact, Reagan, Truman, FDR and others embraced him. Like Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan actually hung his portrait in the Oval Office.

Another historian takes issue with Trump’s claim that if Andrew Jackson had been president at a later time he might have prevented the Civil War. In fact, Jackson, once publicly proclaimed that he would lead an army into South Carolina and hang the first secessionist from the nearest tree. That was 30 years before the Civil War. Lincoln studied Jackson when he wrote his first inaugural address. Trump has a point.

What is clear, is that many comparisons between the two presidents are uncanny.

#1) Both men were outsiders, considered too politically inexperienced to be effective presidents.

#2) Both men were populists, standing up for the forgotten man.

#3) Both men were personally wealthy while publicly taking on the established moneyed interests of their time. Jackson refused to endorse a second national bank, saying that it only made the rich richer and the poor poorer. Trump rejected soft money and personally financed much of his own campaign.

#4) Both men were mercurial, unpredictable, short tempered. Jackson carried bullets in his body from personal duels.

#5) Both men ran against political family dynasties. Jackson took on John Quincy Adams, whose father had been president. Trump took on Hillary Clinton whose husband had been president.

#6) Both Jackson and Trump ran against opponents who had been secretary of state and would accuse their opponent of being dangerously ignorant of international issues.

#7) Both men warred with their own political parties.

#8) After winning election both retaliated by appointing businessmen and soldiers to key government positions instead of politicians.

#9) Both men had ongoing, public feuds with their own cabinet members. Jackson started meeting with separate advisers, it was called a “kitchen cabinet.” Critics declared it unconstitutional. But every president since has had one.

#10) Both men warred with the US Senate. Jackson was eventually censured by the Senate.

#11) Both men were stubborn. When the Senate rejected Andrew Jackson’s nominee for Ambassador to England, saying he was a son of a tavern owner and unqualified, Jackson put the man on his ticket as vice president when he ran for re-election. The tavern owner’s son, Martin Van Buren, became the 8th president of the United States.

#12) Both men founded new political movements. Jackson is the founder of the modern Democratic Party.

#13) Both men were known as “counter punchers.” Trump defined himself as such in the national debates. Jackson was famous in war and politics for letting his opponent strike first.

Jackson once fought a duel with an opponent who was considered a “perfect” shot. Jackson let the man fire first. To everyone’s surprise his opponent missed. Jackson then, very cool and deliberate, aimed his pistol and shot him dead. Afterward it was learned that Jackson had indeed been hit and the bullet was only inches from his heart. He had not flinched. Jackson would carry that bullet, near his heart, until the day he died many years later.

#14) Both men used the latest technology to transform politics.

Jackson used lithographs to mass produce pictures of his heroic exploits at the Battle of New Orleans. It was a new concept. It allowed people to actually see the man they were voting for.

Color lithographs of Jackson winning the Battle of New Orleans hung in log cabins and homes. It was the poor man’s art.

In our time, Trump used Twitter to by-pass the media and speak directly to the people.

#15) Both men waged war against the media of their day. Jackson’s wife was attacked in the press. After the election she read articles labeling her an adulterer and a bigamist. She died just before the inauguration.

Jackson retaliated and organized his own media, the “Jackson papers” which viciously attacked opponents.

There were also major differences between the two men.

Trump was born into riches. Jackson was born into poverty. Trump came from a large family. Jackson’s father died before he was born and his mother died when he was young.

Trump has been married three times. Jackson loved the same woman all his life.

Even so, many of the comparisons are hard to avoid. And every morning, when President Donald Trump looks out the front window of the family quarters of the White House, he sees a statue of Andrew Jackson on horseback in Lafayette Park. Jackson, ignoring the pigeons all around,  is waving his hat back at the president.




Trump is the most impactful president since FDR

December 21, 2017

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has been the most impactful president since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

When it comes to politics, James Carville and Paul Begala taught us that “its the economy stupid.”

By those metrics Donald Trump leaves George W. Bush and Barack Obama standing still. Under both presidents the rich got richer and the poor got poorer with a rigged, crony capitalism, system in place.

Now, in one year, we have 1.7 million new jobs.

Unemployment is at the lowest in 17 years.

The stock market has broken records 80 times in one year.

We have a reformed the tax code. It was Ronald Reagan’s stellar achievement but it took him 5 years and a massive re-election landslide to get it.

And the list goes on.

We are becoming energy independent. Both Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter would have given their right arms for that. It was considered an impossible prospect in the 1970’s and 80’s.

Illegal immigration has dropped like a rock.

Isis has been driven out of its cities and wiped off the maps of the Middle East

Trump has transformed the judiciary, not only the Supreme Court but 12 circuit judges, the most in a first year in American history. It is not as easy as it looks. I worked for a president whose first pick was an ideological disaster.

So it has been a spectacular, breathtaking year.

Of course, you wouldn’t know it if you depended on the corporate, Democratic news machine. One study shows that 90% of media stories are attacks on Donald Trump.

And all of this is coming at a time when the corporate, Democratic, media is losing its power, its stranglehold, on the American people.  We now have options, Twitter, Live Streaming and YouTube. As their audience shrinks, the corporate media have become increasingly desperate and shrill. But the more they demand control, the more their audiences turn them off.

Ginned up scandals have not worked. Lord Melbourne once observed, “The problem with a scandal is that sometimes the mud gets on the wrong person.”

Attempts by the media to create an issue out of “Russian collusion” has resulted in more intense examination of the Clinton years and now, unbelievably, the role of Jill Stein.

The idea of obstruction of justice has led to revelations about a politicized FBI. When I dared to mention Andrew McCabe on CNN last May, I was banned from the network. But finally, this week, the Congress called him in to testify under oath.

The campaign against sexual assault has led to calls to revisit Bill Clinton’s untouched list of women and now the Lisa Bloom scandal, with women receiving money to attack Trump. If the Democratic Party, with their allies in Hollywood, actually become the party of moral values, it will be the equivalent of a triple axel, triple toe move by an Olympic skater.

Sometimes the media narrative is immediately discredited. All the networks proclaimed that Trump’s tax reform would result in companies paying off debt and awarding their executives big bonuses. None of it, they said, would reach the common man. But immediately after the measure passed AT & T and Comcast announced $1,000 bonuses to all employees.

Nevertheless, the media’s relentless attacks have taken their toll. As they carefully point out, Trump’s year end approval rating is the lowest for the last month of the first year in office since Eisenhower. But even then they cherry pick their dates and numbers, like a good high school debater.

To give you a better guide, Trump’s lowest rate has been 33%. Harry Truman dipped to 22%, Richard Nixon 24%, George W. Bush 25%,  Jimmy Carter 28%, George H.W. Bush 29% and both Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan, both, reached 35%.

But yes, Donald Trump is vulnerable. He is disrupting years of bi-partisan corruption on Capitol Hill. It has been a rigged system. So he has critics and enemies in both political parties, not to mention the board rooms of some of America’s biggest companies.

It is all moving toward the 2018 elections and an attempt by the media to take back the election they lost to a wayward and willful electorate, who dared to defy them.

The Democrats will be trying for impeachment. If they win enough seats in the House of Representatives they will be able to do it. And if they win enough seats in the Senate they will be able to convict Donald Trump and remove him from office.

Contrary to what many Americans may think, they do not need evidence of Russian collusion or obstruction of justice or any other crime. They only need the votes.

We are in for a year of high drama. Fasten your seat belts.






Bill Clinton’s “Me Too” list is a ticking time bomb

December 20, 2017

As of this moment there is a “Me Too” Bill and Hillary Clinton list of women. It is very possible that some of the names are kept under lock and key at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas. I am not talking about the women of the 1990’s, Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Monica Lewinsky. In fact, this list is comprised of women of the 1980’s.

The only one we have heard about is Juanita Brodderick, who claimed that she had been raped.

This list has never been made public. But the facts surrounding the list are part of the public record and have been talked about under oath.

Here’s the story. In 1984, after the re-election of Ronald Reagan, Governor Bill Clinton began considering a run for president in the 1988 cycle.

His chief of staff, Betsey Wright, and his wife, Hillary Clinton began compiling a list of names of women who might have had sexual encounters with Bill Clinton.

According to one account – reported in GAME OF THORNS – State Troopers, who testified under oath, said that there were hundreds of women procured for Bill Clinton. The sex was both consensual and non-consensual.

According to published accounts, women on this list were brought into the Rose Law Firm, one by one. They were confronted by a team of attorneys and were apparently told to immediately report anyone trying to get information from them.

According to one published account, Hillary Clinton was actually present at one of these meetings.

A woman would be told that Rose was the most powerful law firm in Arkansas and they would “help” them if anyone inquired about their relationship with Bill Clinton. The message couldn’t have been clearer.

1987 was the year that Democratic frontrunner, Gary Hart, was eliminated from presidential race because of his extramarital affairs.

Eventually, the Bill Clinton list was so long and so damning, that Bill Clinton withdrew from consideration for running for President in 1988. He publicly said he wanted to spend time with his family. “Politicians are people too.”

Four years later Bill Clinton finally ran for president.

That old – 1987 list – is now a ticking time bomb with the names of women who have never felt safe to come forward. They have never gone public.

And no wonder. The women who surfaced in the 1990’s were subjected to harassment, ridicule, IRS audits, the windows were blown out of their cars with shotguns, their pets went missing, they were followed, the Clinton campaign reportedly hired private detectives to destroy their reputations and many were fired from their jobs.

In the wake of recent scandals of abuse of women many public figures are now saying that they should have come forward to defend the victims of Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

Well, now they have a second chance.

They can assure these women of the 1980’s that they will be respected and protected from the power of the Clinton machine.

The Rose Law Firm can assure these women that they will not be targeted with lawsuits.

And all of us can call forth the women who were abused by Bill and Hillary in the 1980’s and promise them that things have changed, that their stories will now be heard and respected, that they will not be victimized by the media, powerful politicians and by a corrupted US government.


Hillary Clinton calls Trump a dictator, says she should be exempt from investigation.

November 21, 2017

So the Trump administration is a dictatorship?

Hillary Clinton seems to think so.

The whole idea is a bit of a stretch. In authoritarian dictatorships the government controls the media, does anybody seriously believe that Donald Trump controls the media?

One study showed that 91 percent of media coverage was anti-Trump. Another study showed that 96 percent of all media donations went to his opponent.

Here’s what Hillary Clinton has to say: “This is such an abuse of power and goes right at the rule of law … if they send a signal that we’re going be like some dictatorship, like some authoritarian regime, where political opponents are going to be unfairly, fraudulently investigated, that rips at the fabric of the contract we have that we can trust our justice system.”

What’s sad is that there are real authoritarian regimes in the world. With corruption and murder of citizens. Even as we speak, innocent people are dying in North Korea and in socialist Venezuela, at the hand of authoritarian regimes. Most of the nations of Africa and many in Asia are authoritarian.

When Bill Clinton was elected president, Hillary appointed her best friend, Margaret Milner Richardson, as director of the IRS and the IRS eventually audited the women who had accused Bill Clinton of sex abuse. You can read the whole story in glorious detail in “Game of Thorns.” Now, that is a better example of authoritarianism.

In reality, nothing that happened under the Clintons, or Bushes, or Barack Obama and nothing that is now happening under Donald Trump qualifies America as an authoritarian state.

The Clinton folks are nervous about all of the talk of a special counsel investigating the Clinton Foundation and Russia and conflicts of interest. Hundreds of millions of dollars were involved.

But isn’t it dangerous when one politician can be investigated and another one can’t?

Remember, the American people elected Donald Trump, not Hillary Clinton. The Justice Department is not an agency unto itself. It is not a separate power, like the Judiciary and the Legislative branches of government. It should certainly not operate at the behest of the political opposition and become their tool for undermining the duly elected president and his administration. The Justice Department is part of the Executive branch of government and, as such, should be run by Donald Trump, the chief executive.

He has every right, even responsibility, to make sure that the Justice Department does what he wants. That is not a dictatorship that is good government.

To describe America as an authoritarian regime is unfair to the millions of people who now live under the rule of harsh regimes, without liberty.

In North Korea and Venezuela, the head of state, and other members of government, can order the death of a citizen without trial. Innocent people are dying there today.

Thousands of people in North Korea have been born in prison camps, punished for life, because of the alleged crimes of their parents. These children are being raised by the state as second generation political prisoners.

In Nazi Germany, an authoritarian regime institutionalized mass extermination. At the Wannsee Conference, in the suburbs of Berlin, 15 officials of the German government met in 1942 and approved the genocide of the Jewish people. It was so inconceivable that a government would actually do such a thing that many Jews didn’t believe it until they actually walked into the gas chambers. They thought it was not in the interest of the government to take their lives. “We have value as workers, engineers, doctors,” they thought. But they were wrong.

We have seen Idi Amin in Uganda. And then there was Pol Pot in Cambodia. He marked for execution everyone who was in government, in academia, in medicine, all business owners, all journalists. He even marked for execution anyone who wore eye glasses because if they had glasses they could probably read and he didn’t want people who could read in his new Cambodia.

Now that is an authoritarian regime.

One of the reasons Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election was her insolent demagoguery. Saying that America is now an authoritarian government with its own dictator, is an example of that. It is an insult to the intelligence of Americans. No one is above the law. And we should not be shamed from holding her to the same standards that we would hold anyone else.

How liberal elites cheat on their taxes

October 5, 2017

Celebrities promote socialism in public while privately fleeing to tax havens, leaving the cost of paying for it all to the rest of us. As Leona Helmsley famously declared, “Only little people pay taxes.”

Celebrities publicly argue for free healthcare, food, housing, education, entertainment, iPhones, guaranteed income, four day work weeks and all of this, not only for U.S. citizens, but for anyone who can get to America, legal or illegal. Indeed, some are promoting the idea that these are “rights”.


How to avoid taxes.

During the 2016 campaign we learned that Hillary Clinton had privately told audiences that she wished the Western Hemisphere had no tariffs or borders at all. Of course, Clinton herself, set up a private foundation to avoid taxes altogether. It bankrolled $2 billion in donations from corporations and countries who expected to get an even greater return on their investment when she won.

Boeing, for example, donated $2 million to her foundation and their executives maxed out their legal contributions to her presidential campaign. Afterward, they expected $10 billion for a new Air Force One. But surprise, surprise, Donald Trump won the election. Now Boeing is being challenged by three new competitors for some of their projects and Trump wants a better deal on their plans for Air Force One.

Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, even Donald Trump, pay a lower percentage of their income on taxes than me or you or most Americans. And they are public figures. It gets much worse the deeper you dig. A New York Times article claims that liberal, MSNBC celebrity, Al Sharpton, has IRS tax leins of $4.5 million against him and his company.

Some of this began in the United Kingdom, when 1960 taxes reached a whopping 95% of the income of the rich. The Beatles’ George Harrison wrote his famous “Taxman.” It was a protest against the exorbitant rate.

In the ‘70s and ’80s many rockers ran to tax havens around the world. David Bowie moved to Switzerland. Cat Stevens to Brazil. Ringo Starr moved to Monte Carlo in 1975. He told Howard Stern he pays “zero taxes.” The Police‘s frontman Sting, who sang, “I don’t wanna be no tax exile” in 1978, left for Ireland a couple years later.

Get this. In those days, Rod Stewart and Bad Company avoided taxes by moving to California. Not anymore. People are moving out of California, to escape crime and some of the highest tax rates in the world.

Before I comment further, I want to say that many celebrities are very compassionate and generous. Here in America, Pat Boone, William Shattner, Cecily Tyson, Angelina Jolie, and many others have given their lives to helping others. The late Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope, raised millions for charity. Elton John did not run from the high tax rates in the United Kingdom. Many celebrities pay taxes through the nose.

I served as Chairman of the Charity Awards. Every president since Lyndon Johnson helped us, free of charge, except for the Clinton’s who asked us to pay a speaking fee for an appearance. The Fords, the Carters, the Reagans, the Bushes, all opened the White House to us.

That said, this flight of tax money from the UK has been going on for years. And it happens here in America too.  It illustrates the point that no one wants to give money to a government.

Bill Gates is giving away half of his fortune and that’s wonderful but he is not giving it to the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Education. Like other philanthropists he has set up his own NGO. Why? Is the government too corrupt and inefficient?

Warren Buffet says that we should increase taxes on the rich and he will be glad to pay his fair share but nothing stops Warren Buffet from giving his money to the US government now. He doesn’t need written permission from Nancy Pelosi to give more money.

Avoiding taxes is an instinct. It’s like touching fire. It’s okay if you give the government YOUR money – who cares? But I worked hard for MY money. Don’t take it away from me and my children.

The only public figure I know of who has donated to the federal government is Donald Trump, who recently gave $1 million.

Today, celebrities use Nevada and Florida as tax havens. Here’s how it works. They own a mansion in Beverly Hills but they buy a condo in Las Vegas or Miami. As long as they spend 51% of their year in Nevada, for example, they can declare themselves a Nevada resident and Nevada has no state income taxes. Thus they avoid those ridiculous California taxes that everybody else in the state pays.

It gets better. Before flying to Spain to do a movie, they go to their Nevada condo and spend the night, flying out the next day from Las Vegas. The entire trip, even months abroad, counts as living in Nevada.

Of course, they pay taxes. There are 21 separate fees and taxes on their airline ticket alone. But they don’t pay those outrageous California State taxes. That’s only for the “the little people.”

Chuck Grassley has asked the most important questions

September 30, 2017
      In the past I have had my differences with Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa but he is so busy pursuing justice and fairness in the U.S. Senate that I have to take my hat off and hold it in my hand and humbly ask his forgiveness.
      Senator Chuck Grassley serves as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. And right now, he is asking the most important questions about what happened in 2016.
      After the political circus paraded through the Senate and dominated cable television, Grassley began to poke around for details.
Senator Chuck Grassley

Senator Chuck Grassley

Much of his work should have been done by an objective media but it was not. Some could have been resolved by the Trump White House but it was hard for them to defend themselves and so Grassley raised issues that no one else would raise.

      For example, Grassley recently asked the FBI if they actually warned Donald Trump that Paul Manafort, whom he had brought into his campaign as chairman in 2016, was being watched by the agency because of his dealings with pro-Kremlin figures. Good point. Obvious question. No one but Grassley has even thought to ask it.
      And if there was no such FBI warning, Grassley said he wanted to know why. Weren’t there past warnings to other campaigns? The implication was that the Obama Justice Department was trying to entrap the Republican nominee.
      Obviously, the Obama administration and their lap dog Justice Department didn’t expect for Hillary Clinton to lose the election and they were not ready to discuss such points.
      A few days later Grassley threatened to subpoena two FBI officials to answer questions about Russia, Hillary Clinton’s email case, the firing of James Comey and more. Grassley wanted to know if there was improper political influence or a bias in the Justice Department.
      The FBI balked. The Justice Department was obviously nervous. Stephen Boyd, the assistant attorney general, wrote Grassley on September 11, 2017, saying that the FBI officials he wanted to talk to could not be interviewed, claiming that it would interfere with the work of Special Counselor, Robert Mueller.
      Grassley countered that he could conduct the interview behind closed doors. The answer was still no.
      For the moment, journalism in America is dead. Some of the most important questions about Russia and 2016 and Clinton and Trump are in the hands of one man. Senator Chuck Grassley. No one else has the mental acuity and ethical courage to pursue them. His questions, and there will be more of them, should become America’s questions.
      Grassley is not the bully that was Lyndon Johnson, nor is he the mesmerizing performer with the baritone voice, that was Everett Dirksen, but Grassley is every bit as important for this moment. He is an icon of the Senate and we need him.
      If Washington, DC is indeed a Swamp, there are some lights flickering along its banks. Chuck Grassley is one of them.


Starve the Beast: How JFK and Ronald Reagan got their tax cuts. Lessons for Trump.

September 29, 2017

So how did JFK and Ronald Reagan get their famous tax cuts through congress?

It’s called, “starving the beast.”

First, this is not easy. People forget. JFK’s tax cuts were actually passed by Lyndon Johnson in 1964. After JFK’s assassination. At that point it would have been political suicide to oppose a Kennedy idea. So it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Nevertheless, a Democratic president was opposed by liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans who felt that you shouldn’t give a tax cut without balancing the budget. Democratic Senate leader, Al Gore, Sr. was against it. Democratic House leader, Harry Byrd opposed it.

And Ronald Reagan lowered taxes in 1981 but his famous Tax Reform Act was actually passed in 1986, after he had been re-elected as president. That’s the one that reduced income tax brackets from 14 to 3, which is what Donald Trump is trying to do.

So it is not easy. And it will be historic of Trump does it in his first year.

Doug Wead and Ronald ReaganI once asked Ronald Reagan about his legacy, expecting him to talk about the end of the Cold War but he said that the one thing he was most proud of was his Tax Reform Act.

So if Donald Trump pulls this off, this year, it will be huuuuge. Historic.

Okay. Got it. But what did they do? How did JFK and RR actually get it passed? How can you get congress to move?

Three things.

#1) Both JFK and RR hit the road on a national tour to rally support for their plan. This gave them publicity. We can see that Trump would be good at this.

#2) They mobilized their supporters to call congress and light up the switchboard.

With a systematic, targeted approach on Twitter, Trump could do this too.

#3) They gave a national televised speech.

Trump hasn’t really used this option. It may not be what it once was because the White House no longer has a television monopoly. But it was an important tool for JFK and RR.

Finally, historically, does it really work?

Absolutely. It’s called “starving the beast”. JFK came to realize that the only way you can get the government to spend less is to lower taxes and force it to spend less. Reagan came to the same conclusion and showed that with lower taxes came increased business investment, creating jobs and new taxes.

In 1981 the top income tax bracket in the USA was 71%. Reagan lowered it to 28%.

By the end of his term in office the top 1% earners in America, who had been paying for 17.9% of the annual budget, were now paying 25% of the annual budget. The government had lowered taxes but gotten more money.