September 29, 2016

100 Words -- Oh Very Young

A significant percentage of college-age voters are unaffiliated, unhappy with politics, and apparently unconcerned with the consequences if Hillary Clinton loses. Many think elections don’t matter, that both parties are equally corrupt. More than a third of voters aged 18 to 29 plan to vote for a third-party candidate. They prefer not to think about or can’t even remember 2000, when Green Party candidate Ralph Nader swung Florida and the election to George W. Bush.  Some of us can’t forget. Cat Stevens asked, “Oh very young what will you leave us this time?” Please, don’t let it be Donald Trump.

September 28, 2016

100 Words -- A Taxing Question

So Donald Trump as much as admitted he doesn’t pay federal taxes. Let me channel my inner Bernie: Ordinary taxpayers can’t take advantage of tax breaks written by and for the rich!! But hey, rub it in our faces. Smart! Meanwhile, Trump is proposing massive new spending programs coupled with massive new tax cuts paid for by, you guessed it, budget cuts. But wait! Suppose every rich person followed Trump’s example and paid no taxes. Why wouldn’t they? It’s what Donald would do. Who would be left to pay the bills? Here’s a hint: take a look in the mirror.

September 27, 2016

100 Words -- Winging It

Looking back at the first presidential debate, I would argue that the most revealing moments occurred before anyone walked onto the stage. Hillary Clinton worked hard at debate prep, spending hours in mock debates and poring over briefing books. Donald Trump took a more relaxed approach, chatting with aides over bacon cheeseburgers and not hitting the briefing books very hard. This is who they are. Clinton’s a grinder, a Plan B kind of gal. Trump prefers to rely on his gut and wing it. For my money, the presidency is too complicated, the times too dangerous to simply wing it.

September 26, 2016

100 Words -- A Leap Of Faith

Tonight’s debate is not about the true believers; it’s about those who will be making a leap of faith when they cast their ballots. Clinton must close the trust gap, the residue of decades of Congressional investigations and her difficulties in being open. Trump, meanwhile, must convince voters he actually is qualified to be president. He talks a good game but has no track record in governance. Personally, I think trust is overrated. I never had a problem working with someone I didn’t completely trust. It was the ones who thought they knew everything who caused most of the problems.

September 18, 2016

100 Words -- Back To Paper?

We always knew emails were insecure. Back in the 1990’s I was telling employees, “Don’t put anything in an email you don’t want on the front page of the Washington Post.” Good advice then, better advice now. Time was, policy would be hashed out in meetings and documented on paper. Then everything got computerized, we got addicted to speed, and now it’s out of control.  I’m beginning to think some things would look better on paper. It was good enough to win World War II, and it sure as hell would be more secure than the mess we have now.

September 16, 2016

100 Words -- Trump's Tax Returns

When will Donald Trump release his tax returns? Every other candidate in modern times has. What’s his problem? The campaign’s refusal to release his returns makes it looks like he has something to hide.  You know they’re going to come out, sooner or later. Everything does. Don’t the American people have a right to know if there’s an issue BEFORE the election? Can you imagine finding game-changing dirt a month AFTER the election? While we’re at it, how about Donald Trump’s business emails? His business acumen is his main qualification. If Hillary’s work emails are fair game, why aren’t his?

September 14, 2016

100 Words -- The Family Businesses

The Clinton Foundation conducts charitable activities in Africa, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and the United States. Ninety percent of its donations go towards charitable activities. A complete donor list is on its web site. Chelsea Clinton will likely remain on the board if her mother is elected. Donald Trump runs the Trump Foundation. He also holds positions in 515 organizations including a number of foreign entities. He has business interests in Scotland, South Korea, UAE, Turkey, India, and Azerbaijan, with plans to expand into Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Thailand, and Argentina. Trump will turn his businesses over to his children if elected.

September 13, 2016

100 Words -- A Healthy Debate

Hillary Clinton stumbling into her car, propped up by Secret Service Agents … well, that’s not a good look for sure. It raises questions that both candidates should candidly address. The job of the presidency is demanding. Look at how President Obama aged, and he started out fairly young. Both Clinton and Trump are old. You get old, stuff happens. Everyone who voted for them signed up for that. In Trump’s case, the presidency may not age him as much given his stated intention to delegate most of the heavy lifting to his vice-president. A man needs to know his limitations.

September 5, 2016

100 Words -- What’s Really Wrong With Washington

Does it matter who wins in November? To some degree, yes. A Clinton presidency would be different from a Trump presidency, but what’s wrong in Washington is not the White House. The institutional dysfunction which is sucking the life out of America lies within the House of Representatives and the Federal Reserve. Both are independent institutions. Both are stuck in ideological dead ends. The House divided against itself can’t legislate. The Fed is stuck on a zero interest rate program that is crushing savers and retirees. What’s scary is that neither has hit bottom. God help us when that happens.