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Today, the Mexican President took the highly unusual step of cancelling a meeting with Donald Trump. The amazing, but not wholly unpredictable result of 18 months of bellicose blather by the new President. But what does this mean for the world?

Well, I think it’s fair to speculate that any unilateral action Trump takes will elicit a reaction by Mexico and affect trade in a negative way for American consumers and businesses, which is obviously bad for the US.

Trump’s twitter rants are no way to renegotiate NAFTA, and his bullying of Mexico is not endearing – to we Americans and Mexicans alike. A better approach would have been to announce a renegotiating of NAFTA and work through the issues at the table.

That said, the wall Trump wants to build is a separate issue from NAFTA. For one thing, Trump’s been insulting towards our Southern neighbor, arrogantly proclaiming that he’s going to make them pay for his grand idea. He speaks about them like someone in high school that you can beat up and manipulate, and at this point I’d be surprised if their national mood was anything but SCREW TRUMP, even if it costs jobs and money.

So, the result is that Trump has embarrassed himself internationally and created animosity with our third largest trading partner. And it’s only week 1. This is going get really interesting. It’s like watching a semi-slow motion train wreck.

Even before I became a business owner the concept of trickle down economics never made sense to me. The fact that Republicans have so successfully been able to push this concept decade after decade, well let’s just say I find it astonishing.

On its face, trickle down economics makes no sense. Lowering income taxes on the wealthy won’t create jobs. First, employers don’t hire simply because they have money. They hire when they have a need – that is when they have demand for their product or service and they need people in order to accommodate that demand. Why for example would someone who only needed five dishwashers hire more if he had no need for more people? Having the money to hire is beside the point. Either you need people or you don’t.

There’s usually a point where you have spent as much as you can on your business and now it’s time, as a business owner, to take the rest for yourself. Well, if the rest happens to be $50 million, then that is money that is being taken out of circulation for the benefit of the person who made it. So lowering taxes on people who already make hoard-worthy piles of cash is just a give-away in the end, since that’s just extra profits for the business owner to keep.

Also, tax breaks on wealthy income earners means they pay less personal taxes, not corporate taxes. This is money that’s paid to them as a salary. If they were planning on hiring people with that money, they wouldn’t be paying themselves money to begin with. They would leave the money in the business. All an income tax reduction does is let wealthy people keep more money from their paychecks.

Also, while rich people do generate jobs by spending their millions, those paltry numbers pale in comparison to the job growth that would come if that same tax break were given to far less advantaged people who need that money to pay bills. Those people would spend the money, and in so doing, stimulate the economy. A tax break to a wealthy man is worth less economic stimulation than that same tax break being given to lower income earners who actually need the money to pay bills and buy things.

This is the most confusing thing to me about the trickle-down crew. If a millionaire makes more millions, he’s basically going to put it in the bank or buy toys. If a poor or middle class person makes more money via a tax break, he’s probably going to spend it. So it becomes fairly obvious who’s going to stimulate the economy more – the small guy who immediately puts the money back into circulation, not the rich guy with the impressive bank account.

If I got a tax break, all I would end up doing is pocketing the money. If I were rich, it would just make me richer.

Why is giving money to a candidate considered free speech? Free speech means you can say or write whatever you want without fear of imprisonment or worse. That’s free SPEECH. It doesn’t mean you can DO whatever you want. You can’t rob a bank, for instance. Why does donating to a politician somehow qualify as ‘speech’? This isn’t speech. This is clearly a financial transaction. Giving money to politicians isn’t necessarily saying anything at all. It might be a kickback, bribe, or just a donation with no particular issue in mind. Making donations a first amendment issue is like making sales a first amendment issue. Both are financial transactions. One says you support a candidate, the other says you support a product. Why is one speech and the other not? You could then argue, for instance, that the government must allow me to purchase C4 explosives or that fully automatic rifle with extended clip and silencer – you know, because of free speech.

This is absurd for a number of reasons. First of all, if donations are a form of free speech, then wouldn’t rich people have more of a ‘voice’ than the poor? Would that not give the rich more opportunities to ‘speak’ than the poor? I’m not sure that’s what the framers of the constitution had in mind. But in practice, this is what happens. The rich spends millions while the average person can’t afford to donate anything substantial to politicians in the first place. I think everyone can understand speech isn’t something that you should need to be able to afford. The rich shouldn’t have a larger voice with which to speak.

Financial transactions are not ‘speech’ and should not protected by the constitution like actual speech is. What we’re really protecting here is the ‘right’ of the rich to have more influence on our politicians and our lives than the majority of citizens. We’ve handed them the keys to the kingdom and called it a ‘right’. Good work, all you idiots who made this happen. When the ‘wrong’ people have all the money to spend, then what will you think of your success?

When Donald Trump signed his pledge not to run as an independent, it was worthless. Worth less than the paper it was written on, to be specific. Let’s be honest. Does anyone believe that Donald Trump wouldn’t invent a reason to walk away from his pledge as easily as he might stiff a waiter on a tip?

The reality is that Donald is used to doing EXACTLY what Donald wants to do. As a billionaire, he knows no rules, no boss, and there are no exclusion zones. He has a wife, which generally governs the activities of a man, but he’s traded in his wife twice already, so it’s clear that even interpersonally, Donald Trump is willing to do whatever he wants without limitation.

So can we trust Trump to do what he says?

This week while simultaneously calling out Ted Cruz as the single biggest liar in the Republican race (a tacit admission that they are all liars?) Trump also managed to accuse the RNC of breaking its pledge to treat him fairly by not condemning the negative ads run by Cruz’s campaign. So in Donald’s view, negative ads and personal attacks are his providence only, and if he’s not defended by the (supposedly) impartial RNC, they are in violation of their impartiality. I wonder if this is Trumps negotiating style we keep hearing so much about? Demonize the other party while simultaneously accusing the other party of unfairly demonizing you. Then threaten then judge or moderator if they don’t support you.

I’m not sure I’d call that great negotiating, but Donald probably would. Still, let’s think this through. First, he’s backing himself into a corner. Obviously the RNC would never condemn an attack ad unless it crossed a line of decency so egregious that they had no choice. Otherwise they’d be condemning virtually every ad from every candidate. Let’s face it, attack ads are the meat and potatoes of our current political environment.

So by insisting the RNC condemn said advertisements and by further insisting the RNC is packing debate halls with detractors, the Donald is essentially guaranteeing himself a loophole by which he can run an independent campaign without losing face. Logically, he would have to leave the Republican party if this were true, but don’t believe it. Nothing Donald Trump says really matters. He’ll make up whatever excuse he wants and do as he pleases.

Today Donald Trump “boycotted” the Fox debate.

My view? You’re an idiot, and so am I.

Fox and Trump had to have coordinated this whole wrestle-mania-like, nonsense feud. It’s terrible politics, really, but it’s GREAT television. Reality TV at it’s best for a land full of nitwits who tune in every day for another helping.

Let’s consider the facts.

Can anyone remember the last time Fox released such an unprofessional statement? So, we’re supposed to believe that suddenly Fox is a ‘fair and balanced’ news outfit where sarcastic commentary is acceptable? Did they hire Ann Coulter and Rush whatever-his-name-is to manage the newsroom?

And can anyone imagine that Donald Trump would NOT react predictably to said sarcastic statement?

So, Fox’s obvious taunt of a presidential front runner is curious at best.

It’s unprofessional, but not so much so that they’ve crossed any real lines of decency. But starting a childish war of words with someone like Trump who could credibly be considered a contender for President is not in the interest of anyone – unless it is.

This reminds me of the standard formula for many reality TV shows where they stuff a bunch of misfits into a big house and sit back while they film the drama. Except it’s not stupid reality TV. It’s prime time American Republican politics and it’s become a bonafide circus act.

Considering Fox isn’t actually run by idiots, they HAD TO KNOW Trump would respond aggressively, so this was all planned theatre. And now they get 2 huge ratings events instead and one. Laughing all the way to the bank.

This is a show, people, nothing more, by the greatest snake oil salesman of all time and the shucksters at Fox news who willing peddle his crap. And we’re the puppets watching it and paying for it. Let that sink in. How’s that feel? I skipped both events although I admit reading this article just to find out if the Republicans were actually able to discuss any policy… And not a hint of policy in this entire article.

Why? Because it’s boring for the Guns and Religion crowd. They’d rather see Sarah Palin balancing a hunting rifle on the bearded Duck Dynasty guy’s head while she shoots at endangered ferrets just to prove she’s more American than you.

Good god, we’ve become a nation of idiots.

While the rest of the world gathers in Paris to discuss the future of planet Earth and the threats posed by climate change, the Republican Party and in particular this week, Ted Cruz,  stand alone on the world stage as the final vanguard of denial and stupidity – or is it just greed? One can only wonder about which is true.

Only the hard-nosed conservatives of the Republican Party could stand proudly before their constituents and once again deny the legitimate role of science in creating public policy, and the mountain of evidence supporting its conclusions. And only the paranoid Republican electorate would believe the dubious tales of vast left-wing conspiracies and greedy scientists (whose conclusions are ripe with falsehoods after being paid for with dirty money of the nefarious corporations that supposedly fund them).

Meanwhile Beijing issued its first-ever red alert for air quality as Republicans decry President Obama’s war on coal while they politic across the nation. And while 2015 appears to be the hottest year on record, Republicans cherry pick data on global temperatures and assure us the glaciers aren’t receding THAT quickly.

I feel like I’m living in Bizaro world where white is black, down is up, and all that jazz. It turns out by the way that Beijing does not even rank in the 20 most polluted cities by air quality.

And as long as I’m talking about Bizaro world, how can I not discuss the topic of guns. Year after year, mass shootings in the United States pile up like newspapers on the lawn of an abandoned house. The solution? More guns of course. Evidently we don’t already have enough on the streets even though it seems like any 15-year-olds in the nation that wants one can get three.

Out of all the carnage and mass shootings we’ve had in the United States over the last several years, the NRA and their staff congressmen are steadfastly against enacting any type of new gun laws to help stem the flow violence. This stands in sharp contrast, of course, to the panic and hysteria that seem to terrify Republican voters at the mere thought of running into a Muslim at the grocery store.

As far as the Republican voter is concerned, allowing repeated mass shootings in the US with no new gun restrictions is acceptable. But after a couple of terrorist attacks, it’s suddenly time to close the border to an entire religion and lock up or listen in on anyone who’s already here.

Do I have that right?

To top it all off, the right wing conservative’s ruled by the tea party are all excited about Donald Trump who’s lack of military experience, multinationalism and cultural awareness will almost certainly lead us into an expensive war with ISIS in Syria. “Let’s carpet bomb” proclaims Trump while a bellicose Ted Cruz implies we’re ready to drop nuclear weapons as he ponders aloud whether sand glows in the dark. These people are insane if they think they can bomb their way out of this problem. But then again, we already know they aren’t sane people.

This war they are promising will explode the debt and result in the deaths of many more thousands of Americans, but as long as it’s a Republican idea, I guess it’s financially and morally ok. Never mind fiscal conservatism, we have some ass to kick with those bombers. Seemed to work just fine for us in Vietnam where carpet bombing brought the North Vietnamese to their knees, right?

In case you haven’t gotten your daily dose of Donald Trump inducing nausea, now Mr. Trump has threatened to boycott the upcoming CNN debate unless a $5M blackmail is paid to the charity of his choice.

You’ll recall that earlier Mr. Trump has boycotted various media outlets for coverage he deems unfavorable, and even threatened to sue one of his primary opponents over negative advertisements. Like most other things Trump, this should be of concern to the average person.

The moment it becomes acceptable to sue political opponents and blackmail the media (even if you don’t like the media), democracy is placed in hospice. Suddenly the ability of news organizations to publish a story some candidate (or worse, an elected official) doesn’t like goes out the window. Now editors will need to consider whether or not it’s worth losing access to the politician, and most news organizations, driven by profit, will have a conflict of interest. Publish only so-called ‘nice’ media or be banished. If this happens, there’s a chance you’ll never hear another opposing view out of the press for fear of reprisal.

What if Barack Obama declared that he’d only allow Fox reporters in the Whitehouse briefings if they paid whatever blackmail he dreamed up? What if the president threw out every conservative media outlet from his press events and only took questions from friendly sources? The difference between Trump and Obama is clear: you’ll rarely, if ever, hear Obama complain about the press even though Fox News has treated him very unfairly (Sean Hannity for example ran a multi-hour show titled ‘Portrait of a Radical’ the night of the 2008 election.)

Obama is clever enough to answer questions and man enough not to complain about the fairness. He’s not a whiner and he’s not afraid to call on Fox and their crony reporters. (And if you think Fox and other conservative media has been fair to Obama, you must be one of those libertarian Republicans because you’re smoking some good stuff.)

Just because you don’t like the point of view of the ‘liberal’ media, that’s no reason to kill democracy and democracy can’t live without media that’s allowed to say what it thinks, even if the schoolyard bully Donald Trump doesn’t like it.

Trump is bad for this country. Roughing up protesters, rounding up Mexicans like criminals, and listing all Muslims in some fascist database makes him more of a threat to our way of life than any other politician or outside terror group.