Running the Table, by Robert Gore

Multitasking is a delusion. Its premise: that the human mind can, like a computer, parallel process and perform multiple tasks effectively. No, it can’t. Each new task undertaken diminishes efficiency across all tasks. For those who need empirical proof, read this article, make a phone call, prepare a meal, do a crossword puzzle, and paint a picture. How’s it going? Multitasking usually involves less demanding tasks, but people who drive and talk on their phones represent a heightened risk on the road, and that is performing only two fairly simple functions. On a conscious level, the human brain best operates as a serial, one-by-one processor rather than parallel processing, although the subconscious and conscious apparently work in tandem.

Delusion prompts multitasking and superficiality is the result. Like an invasive weed, delusion and superficiality crowd out and eventually eliminate more desirable mental flora. Deluded and superficial minds are unable to form perspectives, analyze, imagine, or philosophize. Epistemology is broadly defined as the theory of knowledge. Reams have been written about the upcoming election, but little about how either of the presumed nominees thinks. It’s a demanding and thankless task, but someone has to do it, because this election is an epistemological train wreck.

Ideally, a mind would take the shortest possible path from observation, facts, hypotheses, and experimentation to logical conclusion. Delusion avoids rather than arrive at conclusions. Instead of the shortest path, the mind builds mazes, and just when it appears an end might be reached, more walls and false passages are erected.

Hillary Clinton personifies delusion. Insecure, transparently phony, privately nasty, and unlikable, she has no political gifts other than her marriage. Her performance since law school has ranged from, at best, undistinguished, to a disastrous tenure as Secretary of State. She embraced foreign interventionism and regime change that had clearly failed in Afghanistan and Iraq, rebranding it as a “Responsibility to Protect.” At Clinton’s behest, the people of Libya were “protected” out of Muammar Gaddafi’s dictatorship and into the bloody chaos of a failed state and new Islamic State stronghold. She blessed arms shipments from Libya to Syria to help US-backed rebels foment a revolution similar to the one that had failed in Libya. Her characterization of Vladimir Putin as Hitler set up a cardboard devil that prevented her from understanding either the point of view of the other major nuclear power’s leader or the subtleties of one of the US’s most important international relationships. One expects far better from America’s chief diplomat.

Clinton has skated from scandal to scandal since her Arkansas days, aided by a complaisant press that has fawned over her every insipid word and unremarkable deed and ignored her every crime. What her and her husband get away with legally and in broad daylight probably dwarfs their sub rosa criminality. The Clinton Foundation is a slush fund and their six-figure speakers’ fees are graft. The end of the mental maze Hillary and her deluded supporters cannot allow themselves to reach is that she’s incompetent, corrupt, and therefore unfit to be president. Those who get to the end and still support her do so because of reflexive gender solidarity or party affiliation, or venality—they expect something from her.

Donald Trump has expertly discovered and exploited hot buttons on his path to the Republican nomination. By definition, hot buttons are emotional and superficial, but pressing them are what politicians do. Trump has done it better than anyone else, constantly throwing his opponents off balance. Clinton is vulnerable to Trump’s strikes on her scandals, her husband’s infidelities and her role in suppressing the truth, gender tokenism, lack of accomplishment, whopping lies, and whatever other weaknesses he decides to exploit. Delusions render one mentally inflexible, fragile, and susceptible to derogatory attacks, especially when they’re true. By the time Clinton figures out how to respond, Trump will have launched several more attacks.

However, his superficiality, so appropriate for this campaign, will be his greatest weakness should he win the election. As far as policy goes, his pronouncements have been a contradictory mess. Take debt: he’s going to eliminate the national debt, encourage the Fed to maintain low interest rates, cram a debt restructuring down America’s creditors’ throats, not touch entitlements, and if all else fails, default. Anyone who thinks they know how this will work out please explain in the comments section below.

Similarly, Trump has spoken of scaling back the US’s foreign military commitments and making our allies pay for their own defense, encouraging those of us who have urged the same for years. But he also wants to “stand up” to various threats and increase the already huge military budget (which will further increase that deficit he’s going to eliminate). His proposals are applauded, but the day after the election the applause stops. The winner has to pick the few important themes, draft plans, and mobilize support behind specific proposals. Trump has said he likes to keep people off balance, and perhaps he knows exactly what he wants to do if he wins. The likelier bet is that he has only the vaguest outline of a strategy.

Which need not be fatal to Trump’s candidacy or potential presidency. Good politicians are rarely deep thinkers; they’re button pushers who outsource much of their thinking on nuts-and-bolts policy. His four bankruptcies probably indicate that nuts and bolts are a Trump weakness. All presidents have their brain trusts and Trump needs to expand his. He can’t and shouldn’t try to multitask, but rather outsource policy clarification and planning. He’ll have plenty of volunteers from the think tanks, media, and academia. David Stockman may already be raising his hand (see here, here, and here). Trump imposing even a modicum of intellectual coherence on himself (he could do worse than bring Stockman on board), would be in far better position to launch ideological attacks on Clinton. It would also increase his chances of a successful presidency

If Trump clearly stakes out a position of less or no foreign military interventionism, which has been a winner so far, Clinton has never met an intervention she didn’t love, stretching back to her husband’s presidency. Trump can embrace the private enterprise that has made him a billionaire and offer it as an alternative to disastrous Obamacare, of which disastrous-had-it-been-implemented Hillary Care was the forerunner. Highlighting crony capitalism, of which he has admittedly been a beneficiary, hits Clinton at a weak point, one that Bernie Sanders exploited effectively. These kind of issues offer Trump the opportunity to replicate his cornerstone success with the immigration issue.

The election is Trump’s to lose. Hillary Clinton is the same captive of the establishment and stilted campaigner as the Republicans he destroyed. Trump’s running the table. Barring successful machinations to deny him the nomination at the convention, or a predictably unpredictable “accident,” he shouldn’t have much trouble with the candidate the consistently wrong pundits believe he can’t beat.

YOU’LL WANT TO REREAD IT

TGP_photo 2 FB

AMAZON

KINDLE

NOOK

19 responses to “Running the Table, by Robert Gore

  1. Pingback: SLL: Running The Table | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  2. Pingback: Running the Table | NCRenegade

  3. Trump is going to learn very quickly, just like in business, the President can’t ‘have it all’ as there are constraints of time, budget and resources. That is something he should be familiar with being in the real estate game. One must constraint your costs or the project becomes unprofitable.

    I do believe his position on not looking for adventure abroad is an appropriate one. His tax plan, such that it is, does not go far enough. His points on trade are valid, but the detail based on how he approaches it depends on whether we are winning or not.

    Its is going to be a wild ride.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. peter connor

    Trump in a landslide, says Scott Adams, and I agree. Bernie would be a much stronger candidate than HRC. But you grossly exaggerate Trump’s superficiality. Unlike regular politicians, Trump has a history of solving complex problems in the real world. And most of America’s problems aren’t that complex. Bad trade agreements, perpetual war, disastrous levels of immigration that will destroy the welfare system, and have destroyed the job market for many. Government run wild. Trump can accomplish more than every President since Coolidge by simply revoking 99% of Executive orders, especially those of Bush, Clinton and Obama….

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “His four bankruptcies probably indicate that nuts and bolts are a Trump weakness.” This statement is absolutely false or at best misleading as you are assuming that he has filed for personal bankruptcy. Trump has made in excess of 400 investments in various properties, companies, and projects with additional licensing deals where the Trump brand is licensed for use on projects owned by 3d parties. Every investment, project, or property is in a separate LLC or corporate vehicle (a standard investment practice). Of these 400+ projects, 4 went bankrupt and another dozen or so were liquidated, shut down, or sold at a loss. His track record is among the best in the private equity and real estate world. If you make assumptions about the four bankruptcies without examining his entire portfolio, you are making extremely flawed assumptions and bad analysis. The anti-Trump media and NeverTrump crowd will never tell the truth or do an honest evaluation of his portfolio and investment history.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dr. Richard,
      Your point is well taken about bankruptcy. I should have made it clear that I was referring to bankruptcies of corporations in which he was the controlling shareholder. As for evaluating his “portfolio and investment history,” how does one do that? His financial disclosures have been limited and only give a general idea of his investments and the profitability of those investments. Various experts who have tried have come up with guesstimates of Trump’s net worth at anywhere from less than $1 billion to $10 billion. The best we have to go on his 92 page disclosure for the Federal Election Commission, which was not exactly enlightening (see this link. I took my statement about Trump and nuts and bolts from a statement he made that he sometimes takes his eyes off the ball and his businesses suffer as a result. I believe Trump has been a successful businessman, but he has been full of bluster about his career, and his field, commercial real estate, is prone to boom and bust. So I have no idea just how successful he has been, and I venture to guess that few people actually do. He has a fondness for debt, which can mask a lot of sins…until the music stops.

      Like

      • Doing a proper analysis (without full disclosure from the Trump Organization and the various privately held LLC investment vehicles) to quantify returns would take a major forensic accounting research project but would probably be doable assuming one had access to a Bloomberg terminal as well as Lexis Nexis and was prepared to spend 100+ hours building a dossier of every Trump project going back to the late 1970s.

        That disclosure provided plenty of hints and was probably the most detailed and complex personal financial disclosure any presidential candidate ever released. However, you would need an extensive finance and accounting background (e.g. finance MBA from a top 10 program plus extensive experience as either an analyst or implementing projects) to understand his disclosure. For disclosure purposes, I have 25+ years experience financing and developing real asset projects, a PhD, and an MBA from a top 10 program.

        His record is strongest on luxury developments (golf courses + residential subdivisions), hotels, and media (The Apprentice as well as licensing of the Trump brand). He has largely prospered despite the real estate boom-bust cycles. His biggest misses have been casino projects in Atlantic City and the Trump airline shuttle between NY and DC along with general over-leverage in the 1992-1994 time period when he had one of the Atlantic City casino bankruptcies and had to do a major restructuring. He also had some marginal brand extensions (e.g. Trump Water) but those are really more marketing vehicles than sources of his real wealth. At least one of the bankruptcies was a Trump branded project that he did not own.

        Likewise, he had a few investments that were very successful for a decade or more but whose prospect declined over time. You will find plenty of private equity firms who make lots of money on companies that went public or got sold but that later failed or decayed greatly. At least the cases of some of his problems, the problem investments generated significant cashflows for many years before they ran into problems such that the investors still had very positive returns from the cashflows even though the terminal value was minimal.

        My sense is that he learned from his lessons in the early 90s and cut back his leverage – that is probably what kept him going through the 2006-2009 housing bust.

        The problem with estimating his net worth is you have to value a large number of illiquid, privately-held (level 3) assets for which there are no mark-to-market benchmarks. Comparables have little value here either as there is too much variation between luxury hotels and other comparable properties. At a minimum, you would need significant privately held data on project cashflows to do a proper net present value analysis AND you would have to account for market premiums for some of his properties – especially Trump Tower or Mar Largo – that have not been on the market for decades. Note that virtually all of his assets are real assets whose values are directly related to cashflows — not the dot.con BS typical of many of the tech unicorns like Twitter. Also, most of his assets are minority positions in LLCs whose details are covered under non-disclosure agreements such that Trump can disclose his stake and an estimated value but he cannot provide the details needed to properly value them.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you for your detailed response. You clearly have a better understanding of Trump’s finances than most, including myself, but I think we agree that it is impossible to get the complete picture without access to his books.

          Like

  6. Also, Trump has detailed issue papers on his website — something else that the NeverTrump crowd ignore and routinely lie about. The Trump Organization has a very strong reputation for both their level of detail and their track record in delivering projects under budget and ahead of schedule. It would be safe to assume that Trump has very detailed plans BUT that as a master deal maker he will never show his hand before it is appropriate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You may be right about his plans, but as a voter I’d like to know what I’m voting for.

      Like

      • Here is what I know about Trump:

        1) His fortunes are tied to Main Street America and are being negatively effected by the globalist plan. If America stays on its existing path, there will be no Trump Organization for his kids and grandkids looking out a decade or two.

        2) He knows what it takes to employ tens of thousands of workers and contractors and to meet payroll. Lawyer politicians who have never worked a single day in the private sector have no clue what this means.

        3) He has had to comply with thousands of government regulations covering construction, food, employment, transportation, aviation, product safety, taxes, and a variety of other regulations.

        4) Many of his views on business, immigration, and trade have been consistent for 25+ years. There are interviews dating to the late 1980s and early 1990s that are consistent with statements he has been making during his presidential campaign.

        5) Look at his enemies – most of his enemies and loudest opponents are also the enemies of the American people and American globalists.

        6) Trump has a conceal carry permit in New York City and regularly carries a pistol. Both of his sons are known gun nuts.

        7) Trump has a very strong track record of hiring very strong people. His organization is successful because of his people.

        8) His employees love him.

        9) He was not involved with or responsible for any of the trade deals, TPP, NAFTA, the wars in the Middle East, the exponential growth in national debt, the failure to control government spending, the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, repealing Glass Steagel, etc — all of which the so-called “conservative” GOPe brought us.

        10) His conservatism is really old-school business conservatism – he is not a DC policy wonk type.

        11) Trump is a brilliant brand builder and marketer.

        12) He is his own man and relies on his own instinct and analysis for making decisions. He is willing to try things, fail, admit failure, and then try something else (politicians will never admit failure or change course regardless of the facts). He cannot be bought and no one (the establishment, lobbyists, donors, etc) owns him. Political correctness has no impact on him.

        Trump has my vote and gives me hope. He is America’s only hope (beyond the return of Jesus Christ) and our only shot at avoiding or delaying a civil war and a nuclear world war 3. He probably cannot prevent the consequences of generations of stupid political decisions and mal-investment but he gives me hope that we might be able to rebuild.

        Liked by 4 people

  7. “Clinton is vulnerable to Trump’s strikes on […] her husband’s infidelities ”
    Criticizing her for her husband’s affairs is disgusting to anyone who’s ever been blamed for something someone else did, a group most adults belong to.

    Like

    • While I agree with you that blaming Hillary for her husband’s infidelities would be wrong, you did notinclude the rest of the clause: “her husband’s infidelities and her role in suppressing the truth,”. Hillary Clinton went after, quite viciously, many of the women who accused her husband, and that’s what I was condemning. I was not condemning her for those infidelities, only her role in covering them up and persecuting the women involved.

      Like

  8. All the “polls” the MSM reported on claiming that in a head to head vs Clinton, Trump would be demolished smacked of obvious lies, almost begging. “You silly Republicans need to nominate Kasich. He’s the only one who can beat Hillary. No, really. We promise. Pinky swear.”

    Now that he has the nomination, how do “we” get a cabal of libertarian/anarcho- capitalist, anti police-state advisors surrounding Trump? Pray?

    Like

    • Maybe he’ll give us a call. He says he’s looking for people outside the mainstream, and you can’t get any more outside the mainstream than SLL and its readers.

      Like

  9. You asked for an explanation of how Trump will solve the myriad of fiscal dilemmas confronting him as President. He won’t. It is way too screwed up, from a debt and asset view, for anyone to fix. Even if given all the power he could gather, the fiscal problems of the US are unsolvable, and they are matched by the bureaucratic, regulatory, human, political, natural, shades thrown over it that have made it the monster it is. The economy is headed for it’s own little Armageddon, and who ever is at the helm when we hit those rocks, G*d help them. They’ll unfairly be blamed for it, but even that won’t matter, as the country itself will be toast. While his election to the POTUS may be an accomplishment itself, it won’t really matter, because the aftermath of the Big Change will render that moot.

    Like

  10. @Dr. Richard, Robert Gore,
    In 1861, Abraham Lincoln had a problem… he needed to fight a war, but had no money. So, where did he go? Yup, New York, to the Rothschild banking interests, which were the only ones able to fund wars. They wanted to charge him interest in the 30% range, if history is correct.
    Lincoln told them to go to hell. It has been a long time, so I don’t remember the mans name, but he had a guy working for him that told him that government had the power to print money, and what resulted was the term;
    Greenbacks.
    These were US Treasury BILLS, not Bank NOTES. One, being a poker chip ‘ish draft on the productive endeavors of the people, the other being a loan plus usury against those same endeavors paid off by collected taxes. The bankers in London went nuts, but America(uh, yankee land), despite the war, prospered so much, that Lincoln was considering the extension of the Greenback after the war. Is this what got him killed? History doesn’t tell, but JFK was in a similar situation with support for silver backed Bills to bypass Fed Reserve Notes. LBJ’s first task upon gaining the Oval office, was to nullify this. Hmm.

    So, long story short, Trump told you what’s happening when he said “you can’t default, you’re printing the money”.
    HE understands… he could literally write checks for 19 trillion in new treasury bills… out of thin air, and the National Debt is paid in full. The Executive, as Lincoln, FDR, and JFK proved, has the power to declare an emergency and redefine ‘money’. It is the money men who would go nuts, and start driving up prices in this ‘gov money’, and then there would be a backlash against them.

    Everything is tied to DEBT, and it is the source of all misery in the world. Those who say it is also the source of all happiness and constructive endeavor, are those money changers profiting from the sweat of others and those of us who don’t know any better.

    Those who say it can’t be done any other way, are liars, or stupid.
    Those who say you can’t back money with gold or silver, because it is not ‘elastic’, are only correct if the prices of those commodities are artificially controlled.
    Those who say a US Treasury Bill, would not be acceptable because it carries no debt, don’t get it because it would be tied to the GNP directly, and not indirectly with the added burden of interest. People don’t remember that along with Gold and Silver, the Real Bills credit system was in effect, credit based on real productive activity. All it would take, is the Governments of the world to nationalize the Banks, done deal, problem solved. Those who wouldn’t accept such a ‘new money’, will become cannon fodder. This is not a new idea, and not my idea, it was thrown out by a socialist leaning friend. I simply asked “What’s the difference between owing money to a bank, or owing the government?” “Society would finally catch up to what could be done if profits were not the primary motivator.” says he, “huh?” says I.

    Once this “Lincoln Option” is taken, during and after a time of chaos, America would be Great Again… up to the point when they all figure out that capitalism that depletes resources in the name of profits for owners, would eventually, too, have to be rethought. And I bet, most of the rich people of the world, have already thought about it, and they have arrived at the same conclusion the Club for Growth arrived at many years ago. The Earth itself, is finite, and cannot support infinite growth under any ideology. Are we bumping into limits, here and now? The socialists think so, but, I don’t want to see them get ‘in charge’ either, for the ramifications are horrendous.

    So what do we do? Under their system, the rich do get richer and the poor get poorer, until, it breaks… and we’re very close to that point. Bankers once hung from trees in the 1870’s, and we may see that again if this globalist crap isn’t stopped. But its too late for that now.
    It matters not, for all is preordained towards evil. The world will come under a new kind of money, digital computer money, under the control of governments, and religion will be brought under control by worshiping the environment? All of this after another world war of epic proportions to reduce the population, blamed on religion? We shall see, but the trends are speaking to us, are we listening?

    As for Trump and Hillary… I think I’ll go plant some taters…

    Like

  11. Clinton is so flawed as a candidate that Trump would be wise to wait until after the DNC convention to attack her. I get the impression that she is days away from a revelations that will force her to withdraw – giving Trump a more formidable opponent.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.