Monday, August 1, 2016

Trump Needs a Miracle + Blows Against the Empire

This morning, the first post-convention Monday in the long march to the general election in November, is a good indication of why it will take a miracle for Donald Trump to win the White House. Stories with the most prominent placement are "Donald Trump’s Confrontation With Muslim Soldier’s Parents Emerges as Unexpected Flash Point" and "How Paul Manafort Wielded Power in Ukraine Before Advising Donald Trump." The former plays up Trump's bigotry and divisiveness; the latter, the new McCarythism. The media will tattoo Trump and the Trump campaign every day for the next three months. Trump will be unable to whittle down his disapproval rating and narrow the gender gap. Because the media monopoly has gone all in for Hillary, Trump is effectively in a box; absent the miraculous, there he will stay.

Then there is the issue of the daunting electoral map. Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman in "Electoral Map Gives Donald Trump Few Places to Go" outline the harrowing journey ahead for The Donald. Basically he has to run the table on the big swing states -- Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida -- and hold North Carolina. Problem is, Trump is woefully underfunded at this point, not to mention that he has alienated a large part of the GOP machine. Even assuming a richly-funded, well-organized campaign, Trump's task ahead is Herculean. Given that he is having trouble raising money -- and it doesn't look like he is going to bankroll himself -- and his campaign infrastructure is skeletal, once again, a miracle is called for.

Nate Cohn limned the contours of this miracle in "Donald Trump’s Path: What Map Should Democrats Fear the Most?" Trump runs the big swings as well as the little swings -- Nevada, Iowa, New Hampshire -- and ends up tied 269-269 with Hillary. The election gets dumped into the House of Representatives where Paul Ryan anoints Trump il Duce. Far-fetched? Absolutely.

True, Trump has proven he is a real wild card and not one to be counted out, but I think as we get deeper into August his limitations are going to catch up with his campaign and Hillary will get back to her four-to-five-point lead.

While we are hypnotized stateside with the Trump circus, the U.S. Empire is about to absorb some big blows:

1) Some sort of rapprochement is underway between Russia and Turkey. Putin and Erdogan are to meet next week in St. Petersburg. Turkey appears convinced that the U.S. had a hand in the recent coup attempt.

2) The jihadis are surrounded in Aleppo. Pro-jihadi think tankers are already licking their wounds and looking for some sort of silver lining. That silver lining appears to be "Just wait until Hillary gets here."

3) Italy is on the verge of a full-blown banking crisis. Renzi is on the ropes. Another anti-EU party, M5S, is looking strong.

4) Britain will likely continue to trod a rocky road as it becomes apparent that Theresa May plans on screwing the white working class that voted for Brexit.

Get ready. Crisis time approaches.

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