The Donald’s Tweets and Laments of His Fans Jump the Shark

By James A. Kidney The worst thing that can happen to an entertainer like Donald Trump happened last week when he tweeted the visual of his faux physical attack on CNN. Trump jumped the shark. He is not only a boor, which we have known for years, but his antics are old and tired.  Of course, he is still news.  He is still a huge, perhaps existential, threat to our Constitution and even our world. But his personality, upon which he relies for his dwindling popularity, has moved from entertaining or curious to “what else is new?” If you are unfamiliar with the term “jump the shark,” it means that a tv series has outlived its entertainment value.  It originates from a really boring, extended shot of the Fonz in the 1970s show “Happy Days” water skiing over a shark.  That was viewed by critics as a sign the show … Read more of this post . . .

New York Times: Don’t Abandon The Barricades of Serious Journalism!

By James A. Kidney [Ed note:  The New York Times plans to lay off hundreds of copy editors, a sign of financial pressure and a management strategy to beef up digital resources — they say.  The Times also eliminated its Public Editor — the person who entertained reader complaints about reporting and posted occasional columns assessing the Times reporting, sometimes critically.  In its place, the Times is offering up something called the Reader Center to receive comments on these changes.  You can send your comment to readercenter@nytimes.com.  Here is our comment (edited somewhat) sent to the executive editor through the Reader Center email site.] Dear Mr. Baquet, I am a nearly life-long subscriber to The Times (lately, the digital version), a former reporter (UPI, U.S. News) turned lawyer.  I  was married for 38 years to the late Sara Fritz, who I believe you knew from your LA Times days.  So … Read more of this post . . .

Make Real Economic Change: Raise Taxes On the Rich — A Lot

By James A. Kidney  Now that the major party nominees are chosen, the economic pundits are making their recommendations on how to boost what remains a moribund economy. Despite recent months of reported job increases and a slight uptick in average pay last month, few believe the economy is robust or expected to be so.  See also here (pay wall).  The reasons — and proposed cures — depend on your politics, of course.             Where the Candidates Stand Donald Trump this week proposed the usual failed trickle down policies.  He wants tax cuts for the wealthy, including elimination of the estate tax (which effects about 0.2 percent of citizens).  He would increase the earned income tax credit, which is a pure redistribution of a little income to the poor which does not create jobs.  He would provide only a tax deduction for child care — which means you have to … Read more of this post . . .

Without a Friend in the World, Should Trump Be President?

Angry Trump

by James A. Kidney

Poor Donald Trump.  He appears to have no close friends.  That wouldn’t matter to us — except that he has a real shot at becoming our next president.  So it does matter — a lot.

Does he have close friends?  A Google search suggests not.  Take it from folks who call him a friend but, on closer examination, appear to be more in the nature of golfing partners with whom he has a business interest, such as Richard LeFrak, identified by The New York Times as “a fellow real estate tycoon who has known Mr. Trump for more than 40 years” (Trump identified LeFrak to the Times as one of two people, plus his wife and children, he called his best friends.  The other one wouldn’t talk to the newspaper.)

“He’s very gregarious and has lots of acquaintances,” LeFrak told The Times.  “But people that he’s close to?  Not so many.”  The Times report concluded that Trump’s “actual social circle has a fairly small diameter — even in his hometown, New York.”

Read more of this post . . .Without a Friend in the World, Should Trump Be President?

Standard Practices Make the Press Favor Trump Over Clinton

By James A. Kidney Friday’s New York Times coverage of Hillary Clinton’s critique of Donald Trump’s foreign “policy” — essentially that it’s a nutty barrage of insults and non-sequiturs devoid of substance but dangerous for the country — showed how asymmetric the press is in its disparate treatment of Clinton and Trump — to Clinton’s disadvantage. The main Times story on the speech was a workmanlike recounting of the highlights with perhaps too much inside baseball on how the speech came to be written.  It also noted that “… the speech was devoid of new policy prescriptions, and she skipped over difficult episodes during her tenure as secretary of state . . .”  In other words, where was the meat of foreign policy? This was accompanied by a list of ways in which the speech fell short on specifics about foreign policy written by Mark Ladler, a Times reporter who … Read more of this post . . .

Why Does Big Media Go Soft on Hillary Clinton?

By James A. Kidney              Recently, Big Media has attacked Sen. Bernie Sanders for being too vague and uncertain in answering questions during interviews with editorial boards of The New York Times and The New York Daily News about how to break up the big banks, his position on gun control, and other issues. A Washington Post political columnist, one who specializes in superficial “listicles” costumed as commentary, has even claimed that these interviews with Sanders and Donald Trump were, to quote the headline over his column, “the surprising success story of the election cycle.” Many, probably most, national political columnists and reporters have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo of the Democratic and Republican parties.  Electing Trump, Sanders or, until recently, Sen. Ted Cruz (who is now becoming the darling of Republican Party leaders), would put in the trash years of work cultivating … Read more of this post . . .

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