Saturday, November 20, 2021

Independent Voters Sour on Political Offerings

Independent voters in the U.S. are "feeling increasingly alienated from politics."  Yet, this is often the group that decides which political team, Red or Blue, wins an election.  

Just 37% of independents say they have confidence in the wisdom of the American people's choices on election day, compared to 48% of Democrats and 46% of Republicans.

America's permanent political campaign means the fight is always on and there are no constants in the battle.  Trillions in deficits run under the Red Team have no impact on inflation, yet ten months of running under the former President's budget caused skyrocketing inflation, attributable solely to a Blue White House.  

The Florida Senator pushing this line is the one of the richest in Congress and can easily afford to pay more for gasoline, food and housing.  Senator Rick Scott made his fortune in for-profit healthcare and Columbia/HCA settled with the Justice Department for $1.7 billion for committing widespread healthcare fraud.

HCA will pay nearly $620 million to resolve eight whistleblower lawsuits in which the government had intervened alleging that HCA systematically defrauded Medicare, Medicaid and other federally funded health care programs through schemes dating back to the late 1980s.

Attorney Rick Scott founded Columbia Hospital Corp in 1987.  He left in 1997.

When the federal investigation of Rick Scott’s former hospital company became public in 1997, the board of Columbia/HCA forced him out. Scott left with $300 million in stock, a $5.1 million severance and a $950,000-per-year consulting contract for five years.

In its settlement with the government, the company admitted to 14 felonies related to fraudulent billing and practices. Most happened under Scott’s leadership.

Scott claimed not to have known anything.

I saw from the inside CEO Rick Scott set aggressive, hard targets for hospital staff and how his C-Suite minions bullied that same staff for "performance."  Scott's management waterboarding caused people to do whatever was necessary to stop the pain.  Some quit, others were fired but many chose to do whatever it took to meet the target.  That could be done ethically or unethically.  If 30% of executives could cheat by backdating their stock options then some percentage of healthcare managers would take a similar path.  Rick Scott should have known, but that would mean being in relationship with real people.

Members of Congress say their body is like "high school."  High adrenaline, testosterone and a dab of estrogen are not a sound basis for governing.  Neither is making everything a hill to die on or consistently failing to accept responsibility.   

Rick Scott did his impression of former President Bill Clinton and Lord John Browne while under investigation.

 "I don't know what the def — your definition or anybody's definition of an 'agreement' is, or an 'offer' is, or 'promise' is," he said in the Jan. 16, 1997, deposition.

Rick Scott, a mergers and acquisitions attorney, said in a deposition that he didn't know the "exact" definition of "fiduciary duty" or even more commonplace terms.In one deposition, Scott pleaded the Fifth Amendment 75 times.

Virginia voters elected a chimera Governor that exported U.S. jobs to China, backed out of a public-private partnership leaving a $400 million hole and received $35 million from Texas taxpayers for cutting 35 jobs.  Virginia voters had a choice between a private equity executive and a private equity limited partner.  Not much of an offering there.  The executive won.

This independent voter wants elected officials to lead, not appeal to their constituents greatest fears while demonizing their political competitors.  Once the election is over, the job of governing begins.  That means doing what's best for the whole, not optimizing one team's political part or one's personal wealth.  

A great example looms, the raising of the debt ceiling.  The coming Red and Blue political clown car show has the potential to harm America's credit rating.  Together in their aggressive apart-ness, they just may do that.

Update 11-22-21:  The U.S. got labelled as a backsliding democracy for "declines in civil liberties and checks on government.”  Other concerns include an "increasing tendency to contest credible election results, the efforts to suppress participation (in elections), and the runaway polarization."

Update 11-27-21:  Generation Z'ers aren't enamored with America's Red and Blue political teams. 

Update 12-4-21:  Wingnuts are so emboldened they are running for office. Legislative agendas are not needed for the Red Team, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

Update 12-19-21:  This statistic might be pertinent:

Nearly six in 10 — an unusually robust consensus at a time of deep political divisions — say they’re opposed to a Trump campaign (59 percent) or a Biden campaign (57 percent) in 2024. 

If politicians stick to ignoring public will it'll be Trump vs. Biden in 2024 unless God intervenes before then. 

Update 2-2-22:  To stamp out the canard of voter fraud Texas banned the mailing of vote-by-mail applications by local election officials.  It did not bar Red Team incumbents from that very practice.  Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick did just that using official looking letterhead as did Rep. Dan Crenshaw.  I believe they have pointed out the speck in the other's eye while ignoring the log in their own.  

Update 2-20-22:  A conservative retired federal judge said "the United States is locked "in a political war to the death" and that "American democracy hangs in the balance."

"Our leaders seem incapable or unwilling to lead us in this moment when we need leadership most. If our leaders refuse to lead us to where we want to go and need to be, then we must go there ourselves — and leave them behind," he wrote.

Update 10-14-22:  Red Team Gov. Ron DeSantis loosened voting rules for Red Team dominated counties with damage from Hurricane Ian.  No such declaration for Blue leaning ones with major flooding. 

Update 11-13-22:  Independent voters showed their disdain for Trump backed candidates in the Midterm elections.

Update 12-8-22:  Georgia voters rejected Trump candidate Herschel Walker for the U.S. Senate.  Independent voters dislike the Insane Red Team but also have no love for the Blue Lucys. 

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Youngkin's Win Brings Ari Back

The Red Team victory for Virginia governor woke Ari Fleischer from his twelve year nap as a media consultant.   Yahoo News reported:

 "To put a finer point on what's happening in Virginia, particularly in the suburbs, what you really have - and this is the risk the Democrats have going into 2022 - is an anti-woke rebellion," Ari Fleischer, who served as White House press secretary under former President George W. Bush, said on Fox News Tuesday night.

Rabid Trumpians have no use for Ari's old boss, President George W. Bush.   But that's not the group that pushed Youngkin into the winner's circle.  Independent voters and Red Team members (who could no longer stomach "punch back harder" Donald Trump in 2020) switched from Blue to Red in the Virginia race.

Youngkin levered his appeal by toning down his hard right tendencies.  He hid his recent stint as a globalist, union partnering, ESG committed, diversity/inclusion loving private equity underwriter (PEU). 

Did Ari help Youngkin hide his tendency to monitor rush hour traffic in Beijing?  Was Fleischer behind Youngkin avoiding the thousands of American jobs he and The Carlyle Group sent to China via affiliate United Components Inc. during the Bush years?  How did Youngkin get to advocate for public-private partnerships but not have to explain how he left the Port of Corpus Christi a potential $400 million hole when Carlyle abandoned it lead developer role for Harbor Island expansion?

The Red Team sold independent voters a chimera in Glenn Youngkin.

(It's a) pattern that has spanned Republican and Democratic presidencies and Congresses: Private equity has conquered the American tax system.

Private equity firms have devised to help their managers avoid income taxes on the roughly $120 billion the industry pays its executives each year.

Glenn Youngkin and The Carlyle Group are tax avoiders, exported U.S. auto parts manufacturing jobs to China and abandoned their lead developer role and $400 million commitment to a Corpus Christi port expansion.

Update 11-6-21:  Youngkin's 17 year old son tried to vote for his father twice and was turned away.  One might expect young Youngkin to be educated on voting rules.  Maybe his father hasn't had that talk with him yet.  "Son, there's this thing called the policy making billionaire.  They get the government to stack the laws and steer the federal budget in their favor."

Update 6-7-22:  Ari is the spokesperson for the Saudi backed LIV golf tour.

Update 7-4-22:  Ari is the media coach for LIV

Media consultant Ari Fleischer, the Fox News political commentator and White House press secretary for President George W. Bush, has appeared at both LIV events and listened intently to how players answered questions.

Once it was clear players were giving the same talking points, a testy exchange occurred when some were asked how much media training they received, especially to address questions about human rights abuses happening in Saudi Arabia.

"Zero," Pat Perez said.

"Yeah, I mean, unless you want to do it yourself," chimed in Brooks Koepka.

When Koepka was told it was just a question he said, "I'm just giving you an answer, man."

Take the money and run boys.  Next LIV stop is Trump Bedminster where ex-President Trump is in residence.  I expect Jared Kushner to drop by if Affinity Partners is an equity holder in LIV.