SCORECARD HERE

It’s still Wednesday, June 26, 2019.

Today is also the 92nd anniversary of the opening of the Cyclone roller coaster at Brooklyn’s Coney Island.

Will tonight’s Democratic debate, part one, have lots of ups and downs, like the Cyclone? Or will it feel more like the fire truck ride  that goes around in a slow circle so you can put a 2-year-old on for a little excitement?

My post earlier today gave some thoughts about what will constitute a good question and what will be a clunker. 

In general, I think good questions for a first debate focus on specific issues so that we have an idea what these men and women believe. I think lousy questions are the ones that address personalities and trivialities.

Because I can’t go to a baseball game without keeping score, I’ve spent the day devising a scoring system for this debate. I’d rather do that than the drinking game some of you intend to play, because I’ve never understood why people need the contents of a speech or debate as an excuse to get soused.

My scorekeeping will cover both the 10 candidates on the stage and the five NBC Universal moderators. 

There is, of course, an element of subjectivity in this. But I promise this: I will score this debate as objectively as I can – if a candidate gives a good answer that I disagree with, I’ll try hard to score it as a good answer.

Anyway here are the categories and the scoring:

JOURNALISTS/OVERALL DEBATE

The questions asked are scored five different ways: very good question, plus 2 points; good question, 1 point; mezza mezza, 0; bad question, minus 1 point; stupid question, minus 2 points.

There will be an overall debate score that I’ll try to keep as a running score on my Twitter feed: @MMMRaisin.

And then I’ll apply the points to each of the moderators. If Lester Holt asks three really good questions, one mezza mezza and a clunker, his score is 4. 

I might weight it depending on whether some of the moderators hog the asking time – why am I thinking Jose Diaz-Balart won’t fare that well tonight.

DEBATERS

There’s one objective measure of success: Who gets in the most answers.

If Elizabeth Warren answers nine of the questions and Bill de Blasio only answers one, that should say something about how realistic de Blasio’s chances are.

But if one of the second tier candidates – say John Delaney – manages to get in more answers than Cory Booker, that also might tell us something about this process.

The other score I’m keeping is quality answers. This is, like the question quality, subjective. Again, it’s not whether I agree with the answer, but whether the candidate presented her or his answer well.

In instances when seven to 10 candidates answer a question, I’ll give a point to the top three answers and take one away from the worst. Between four and six candidates answering, a point to the top two answers and a point lost for the worst. 

Between two and three, a good answer gets a point, a bad answer loses one. If a question goes to only one person, the point gets awarded or subtracted depending on how he or she answers.

Obviously, I’ll be working out the bugs throughout the debate.

But, no matter what, this should be interesting.

We’ve been looking forward to this since Nov. 9, 2016, when we all first began figuring out how to get Trump out. It starts tonight in Miami – and only gets tougher as we go along.

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20 QUESTIONS

It’s Wednesday, June 26, 2019.

It’s the 149th anniversary of the designation of Christmas Day as a federal holiday.

It’s the only purely religious national holiday – New Year’s technically is tied to Christianity, but we celebrate it as the first day of the year.

And, because I didn’t post yesterday, this little history lesson is a reminder that we are now a day more than midway between Christmas 2018 and Christmas 2019. Not to rush things.

Tonight’s first Democratic presidential debate – or, rather, part one of the first debate – is generating Christmas-like excitement among Democrats. 

It’s the beginning of the process of winnowing out all these candidates and dubbing the knight in shining armor who will try to rescue America from Trump.

The debate begins at 9 p.m. ET and will air on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. Tonight’s card features these 10, in alphabetical order: 

— Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey

— Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro

— New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

— Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland

— Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii

— Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington

— Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

— Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas

— Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio

— Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

What this is concerned with is the questioners. And their questions.

According to NBCNews.com, the five “moderators” are Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie and Chuck Todd, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Telemundo’s José Diaz-Balart.

Todd didn’t exactly cover himself with glory this past weekend with his questioning of Trump on “Meet the Press.” He let many of the usual Trump lies stand without challenge.

So it’ll be interesting to see if he’s as magnanimous with the Democrats or if he decides only they deserve to be challenged.

I don’t have a problem with the others. Now.

But I will if the questions they ask focus on the political dynamics and not on the issues that the people of this country actually care about.

That’s what’s pissed me off about primary and general election debates in the past. Often the questioners are trying to get the electric soundbite. The gotcha moment.

The prime example: In the general election debates last time, there was not a single question about climate change. Instead, we got Hillary Clinton’s e-mails and can you say something nice about the other.

So I’ve devised 10 questions I think Americans – particularly Democratic primary voters and caucus goers – want answered. And 10 questions that get a rise out of an audience but add zero to the understanding of what these people would do in the White House.

TEN QUESTIONS I’D LIKE TO SEE:

  1. What is your campaign doing to protect against efforts by foreign elements to sabotage the 2020 election?
  2. Since all of you believe climate change is real, what do you think is the fastest way to reach the goal of eliminating or reversing the problem?
  3. You’ve all condemned the migrant detention centers near the southern border. What would you do through executive order to alleviate the problem and what long-term solutions would you seek to get passed in Congress?
  4. “Infrastructure” is a magic word that seems to get bandied about at election time, but about which little seems to get done. What proposals would you make to revitalize the nation’s transportation system and utilities, and how do you expect to achieve your goals?
  5. Which is the best way to reduce health care costs and increase coverage: Medicare for All, improvements in the Affordable Care Act such as a public option, or something else?
  6. Student debt tops $1.6 trillion in the United States and affects more than one in eight Americas. How do you propose to alleviate this problem?
  7. China is on its way to becoming the world’s largest economy. Is China our enemy, our rival or our partner, and what issues would you prioritize with President Xi.
  8. What are American priorities in the Middle East? What are the first policy changes you would make?
  9. What role would your administration in improving education in this country? What would be your priorities in making changes?
  10. How would you either take executive action or work with Congress to reduce the level of gun violence in this country?

I think those are pretty fair. As a voter, those are just some of the criteria I’ll use to decide who to vote for in a primary.

Then, of course, there are the questions I fear:

TEN QUESTIONS I UNEQUIVOCALLY DO NOT WANT ASKED

  1.   Why do you think you’re better qualified than the other 22 Democratic candidates? (Isn’t that what the damn debates are supposed to determine?)
  2. Candidate 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10, recently you said _______________ (insert some controversial remark/gaffe/curse). Do you think you should explain that/clarify that/apologize for that?
  3. How will you respond to the nickname Trump will come up for you if you’re the nominee? (Why give Trump’s nonsense any more credence?)
  4.   Do you believe Congress should launch an impeachment inquiry against Trump? (That’s for Congress – and not a would-be president – to decide.)
  5.   Would you tear down the portions of the southern border wall that have been built?
  6.   How would you win over the people who supported Trump in the last election? (aka – how would pander to the racists and morons who would elect a grifter?
  7.   Who is your hero?
  8.   What’s the go-to song on your phone?
  9.   What’s the first change you’ll make at the White House when you’re elected?
  10.   Which of the other candidates would you vote for if you weren’t running?

Those are the 20 questions. I probably could come up with another 10 questions about issues.

Unfortunately, I could find 10 more really stupid questions.

Let’s see if the NBC crew can rise to the occasion. This election needs to be taken seriously – and that starts tonight.

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THE CRAZY DANCE OF STUDENT DEBT

It’s Monday, June 24, 2019.

It’s the 645th anniversary of the outbreak of St. John’s Dance in Aachen, Germany.

Apparently, the good people of Aachen just started dancing. And they couldn’t stop. Eventually, they collapsed, but not before screaming in pain and hallucinating.

Scientists aren’t completely clear why this happened. It could have been stress from the plagues and flooding of 1374. 

Those of us who have endured the Trump era in American history understand the feeling.

Bernie Sanders offered a plan today to erase the nation’s $1.6 trillion in student debt.

He’s trying to one-up Elizabeth Warren, whose debt elimination proposal is just slightly less extensive.

If the Democrats are looking for an issue to get in good with millennials, student debt is it.

There are few young people between the ages of 18 and 35 who aren’t affected by this issue. Both of my kids are. And the amounts they owe are nothing near what some young people took out in pursuit of the careers grownups prodded them toward: medicine, law, education, science.

But the proposals to eliminate or ameliorate student debt aren’t about pandering to a generation of voters.

Think about that number: $1.6 trillion.

Instead of that money going to pay back financial services companies, imagine it going to carmakers. Home builders. Tourism.

Actually, Sanders’ proposal is a double-whammy on bankers. He’s proposing a so-called “Wall Street speculation tax” that would affect financial investment transactions. So they get hit on those and lose those higher-than-they-should-be interest payments once the debt is wiped out.

My wife and I paid for most of our kids’ college education. But we couldn’t pay for all of it, which is why they carry the loans they have.

Plus we thought that maybe they should bear some responsibility for the educations they were receiving.

I’m not as sanguine about that idea now. For all the grief millennials get about being attached to their cellphones and being sensitive about everything, they are a generation that doesn’t have it easy. A lot of the job opportunities available to their older relatives have dried up in professions such as law, the corporate world and journalism.

And every time somebody decides to start a war somewhere in the Middle East, they’re the ones who will fight it.

One other reason they have it tough: this student debt crisis, which paralyzes them financially, even if they have found good-paying jobs.

The current administration has shown zero interest – you’ll pardon the expression – in solving this problem. 

Indeed, the woman taking up space in the Education Secretary’s office, Betsy DeVos, seems hellbent on holding student debtors’ feet to the fire. How dare they try to educate themselves when they could have fine careers as Amway salespeople?

One criticism I’ve heard of these debt forgiveness plans is that it’s unfair to those who managed to pay off their loans.

You know what else is unfair to them? An economy stifled because much of a generation can’t save money for homes, cars, travel or retirement. 

We tell kids they should go to college. And then we make it a lifelong financial burden and, in the process, hurt ourselves in the process.

I’m not sure whether Sanders’ or Warren’s plan is the better one. Right now, I just like the idea that they’re thinking about this.

Solving the student debt crisis sounds like a good reason to dance. Although not to the point of exhaustion.

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NOBODY ASKED US

It’s Thursday, June 20, 2019.

Dancin’ on the ceiling all night long: It’s the 70th birthday of Lionel Richie.

It’s the 126th anniversary of Lizzie Borden’s acquittal in Fall River, Massachusetts. She’s of the famous “…took an axe. And gave her mother 40 whacks. When she saw what she had done. She gave her father 41.”  

It’s been compared to the O.J. trial because most people think Borden killed her father and stepmother, despite the verdict. Thus the rhyme.

Did anybody ask you if going to war with Iran is OK?

Me neither.

The fact is that the efforts to match the two nations in a slugfest is the dream of assholes on both sides. 

Not to mention the leaders of Israel and Saudi Arabia, for whom American soldiers would be doing the bidding. Netanyahu and bin Salman must be giddy at the thought of the U.S. going in and, at the very least, weakening the Iranians.

The Iranians, on the other hand, aren’t wali. There are clearly people in Tehran itching for a fight against the U.S. as a way of finishing the ’79 revolution. 

Today’s downing of a U.S. drone is a victory for the hawks on both sides. The Iranians claim the drone was flying over their territory. The Pentagon says it was in international airspace that the Iranians violated.

Because of all the other scandals and crises Trump and his fools perpetrate, Iran is not especially prominent in Americans’ mindset. The only drumbeat for war comes from the likes of Pompeo and Bolton, and probably from some of the jackals who attend Trump rallies and wear the red MAGA hats.

But even Trump supporters have kids in the military. And if we started shooting at the Iranians, no matter what form it takes, there’s going to be some shooting back. 

Are Americans prepared for casualities from a conflict that seems completely unnecessary? I doubt it. I don’t even think the Trumpsters will understand why their loved ones died. 

My guess is that Trump and the Iran hawks are looking for the magic event that will start the war they so crave, they try to sell the idea that it’s Americans’ patriotic duty to back the boys. (By the way, there will be girls there, too, but I doubt they’ll get mentioned.)

The Republicans in the Senate will fall in line as always. Some Democrats from red states will too so as not to look as though they don’t support the troops.

Trump and anyone who supports war with Iran can take their flags and shove them. It’s not right – and we know it.

It will be a mess. Iran is not Iraq. The people support their government, contrary to what the Iran hawks believe. They don’t trust us, especially given the history of U.S. meddling in their affairs. There’s no easy victory here – and what will result will be a tragedy.

No one asked me or you about this. Unfortunately, the Iranian people and American kids are going to live – and die – with the consequences.

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SEMANTICS

It’s Wednesday, June 19, 2019.

It’s the 154th anniversary of the day on which slaves in Texas found out about the Emancipation Proclamation. 

As far as the United States was concerned, they had been free for about two years. But their captors, fighting for a treasonous group known as the Confederacy, disregarded President Lincoln’s order.

If you’re wondering why you’re seeing mentions of Juneteenth today, that’s the reason.

The people who hate Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez found something else to generate bile this week.

The congresswoman from Queens referred to the places where desperate people seeking asylum from poverty and violence in Central America are being kept as “concentration camps.”

The wording offended the people easily offended by Ocasio-Cortez. They said it implied that our government is akin to that of Nazi Germany in its massacre of millions of Jews and others in what it’s doing. And they believe it’s disrespectful to those victims to use such terminology.

Even some of those who normally support Ocasio-Cortez found her terminology disconcerting – they believe it’s inflammatory and gives the people on the other side of this issue cover.

But it is hardly disrespectful to call something what it is.

And, in fact, it would be disrespectful to sugarcoat the disgraceful conduct of Trump and his henchmen – there, I’ve used another inflammatory word – in regard to the treatment of these desperate people.

As you could see in the Trump campaign kickoff rally last night, the hyenas who support this guy couldn’t care less about the well-being of the migrants. 

Let’s face it – the idea here is that any suffering in these camps will discourage people from trying to enter the country. They support the whole concept of separating children from parents, thinking that somehow the information network to the villages of El Salvador and Guatemala is sophisticated enough to get the message.

We’ve had opportunities to solve the problem of people trying to enter the country without documentation. There were bipartisan efforts more than a decade ago – George W. Bush and John McCain were among the Republicans who sought common ground with Democrats trying to solve a problem that threatened to rend the fabric of this republic.

The forces of denial had other plans. “Just say no” was about as successful for curbing immigration as it was in curbing drug use.

So we have this mess. And Trump, a grifter who capitalizes on goading the people he believes will keep him in power, who himself runs businesses that have utilized undocumented immigrants until they were discovered, is flogging it as hard as he can.

These immigrants are concentrated in camps, in hopeless conditions. They’re concentration camps.

What would be more offensive, what would be reason to get angry, what would be a crime against humanity, is if these camps became the seeds for mass death and pestilence. 

And if the Trump and the scurvy that supports him aren’t rooting for that, they’re not doing a great job of hiding it.

I think everyone should follow the Auschwitz Museum Twitter feed. It’s run by the folks who operate the site of the infamous camp the Nazis built when they occupied Poland.

The feed isn’t focused on the mass numbers of people who died – between 1 million and 1.5 million, most of them Jewish

It focuses on individuals. It shows their pictures, which means you have to look the horror of the lives destroyed by hatred in the eye. The fact that they had names and jobs and family that was often destroyed with them.

Because they were Jews, or Roma, or homosexuals, or any other group that Hitler could name to get a rise from his adoring crowds.

In a way, saying a million people died at Auschwitz is numbing. You can’t wrap your mind around that easily. But seeing the individuals makes you realize the devastation, person by person, that the kind of mass incarceration we’re seeing at the border has on its victims.

If you think we’re far away from that, you’re deluding yourself. We’re a lot closer than any of us could have imagined.

This is an Auschwitz Museum tweet from November. It’s been brought to the fore in recent days:

When we look at Auschwitz we see the end of the process. It’s important to remember that the Holocaust actually did not start from gas chambers. This hatred gradually developed from words, stereotypes & prejudice through legal exclusion, dehumanisation & escalating violence.

AOC called it out. Even if you think “concentration camp” is a strong term, she put down a marker that Trump and his sycophants are on notice.

We need to make them know we – and civilization – are watching. 

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NO SHOW

It’s Tuesday, June 18, 2019.

It’s the 77th birthday of Paul McCartney, who needs no introduction, and the 67th birthday of Lee Soo-man, who – for this audience – does. 

Lee is a pioneer of K-pop, the founder of SM Entertainment, which is the management organization for several prominent groups – although not BTS, the one most of you know. 

My interest in this comes from having visited the SM Museum – which, of course, sounds to Americans like something other than what it is. Remember, the guy’s name is Soo-man.

Anyway, the museum (it’s in Seoul, of course) highlights the history of K-pop – which, as my baby brother points out, isn’t much more than 10 years.

So, it’s Lee’s birthday. My son would tell you to go listen to Girls Generation – that is one of the groups – to celebrate. 

I’m just going to bounce a few ideas on this rainy Wednesday and see what you think.

Today’s manifestation of the dysfunction that’s the Trump White House is the Patrick Shahahan debacle.

Shanahan was, until today, the acting defense secretary and Trump’s nominee to permanently run the department. The Pentagon has not had a leader since James Mattis resigned over Trump’s seat-of-his-pants decision to withdraw from Syria last December.

But Shahahan withdrew as the Washington Post reported that he helped his son temporarily evade a domestic violence charge in 2011 after he beat his mother with a baseball bat. Eventually, the father assisted his son when he turned himself into authorities.

The details of this story are sad and sordid. Beating someone with a baseball bat is never justified, but all of these people have problems – which is why Shahahan ultimately decided not to put his nomination forward.

While the Shahahans’ problems are troublesome, at this point I’m more concerned about this fact: This guy was confirmed as deputy secretary of defense two years ago.

There was a hearing and no senator – not from either party – asked him about the 2011 matter, or about a previous incident in which the boy’s mother – now Shahahan’s ex-wife – battered Shahahan while he was lying in bed.

And it’s not clear whether the Trump dolts a) didn’t uncover these incidents in what should have been routine vetting or b) didn’t care.

Neither of those is reassuring.

One thing to consider: The Post says it has been talking to Shahahan since January about the past incidents. 

So was Shahahan, who once held a prominent position at Boeing. thinking all this would blow over – even though he was talking to the freakin’ Washington Post? That’s not especially bright.

But, going back, was this something that eluded what appears to be a not particularly cracker-jack vetting team for the guy who says he hires “all the best people?” The Post knew – and they didn’t?

The first Democratic presidential debate is eight days away. It will be good to see the candidates spell out their ideas on the Miami stage over two days.

Trump has indicated he will live tweet the debate. I’m not sure how – or if – Democrats should respond to that.

But it’s goit me thinking about 15 months from now, when it’s time for the presidential election debates.

And this: Does anyone really believe Trump is going to show up?

Once again, he’s going to be intellectually overmatched. So, I would imagine his reasoning would be, “Why bother?”

He’s going to be insulted at every turn – and he doesn’t seem particularly thick-skinned about that. It would be galling to be dissed by Joe Biden or Kamala Harris or Pete Buttigieg or whoever.

How would his pride deal with it? And you know whoever the nominee is will cough strategically to rattle him.

And when Trump has to answer questions that aren’t from the tame Fox and Friends gang or one of his rally sycophants, how will he handle it?

I don’t think he will. I don’t think he’s showing up.

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THE GOLDEN GOOSE

It’s Monday, June 17, 2019.

It’s the 25th anniversary of the arrest of O.J. Simpson following a slow-speed car chase through greater Los Angeles. 

It’s the 47th anniversary of the arrest of five White House associates for breaking into Democratic National Committe headquarters at the Watergate office building – what was quaintly the worst political scandal in American history until Nov. 8, 2016.

I didn’t post anything for Father’s Day and it’s not because I wasn’t thinking about it. 

I sure as hell thought about my father and, because he was so much the focus of what my wife and I did in Asia recently, my father-in-law. And, as always, my wife and children showered me with more affection than I deserve.

No, it was just that I didn’t have anything profound to say. I was sad and happy – and not especially cohesive about it. And I figured, hey, sometimes Father’s Day should just be a day of peace and quiet. 

And that’s what it was. If you’re a father, or celebrated one, I hope your day was everything you wanted.

We were in Hong Kong recently – and if you’re looking for an eyewitness account of the protests, you’re in the wrong place.

We didn’t see them. The first big protest took place on June 4, the 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square. We were in transit from Taishan, in China’s Guangdong Province, to Hong Kong – and we were staying on the Kowloon side, across the harbor from the protests.

There were no protests the next two days, on the second of which we left for Seoul. 

But from being in Hong Kong and China, there are two things I can say about what’s captured the world’s attention.

First, the opposition to the proposed extradition law is pretty obvious.

There were banners all over the city, including one across the street from our hotel. This is not a casual issue in the city – this is pretty existential to these folks, who are now 22 years into the Chinese takeover from the British.

The second is that it would be nuts for the Hong Kong authorities not to at least attempt to placate the thousands – possibly millions – of protesters.

Because Hong Kong is humming. The streets are jammed with tourists and residents. The malls are bustling with shoppers and, unlike the USA, not struggling to keep the spaces leased. 

There’s construction all over the place. Not quite as much as in China – I’ll get to that in a bit. But you see skyscrapers going up and bamboo scaffolding on every other street.

It is obvious that business is good – that business people and tourists are coming to the city to explore or to use it as a jumping off point for the rest of China.

And you have to figure the Chinese are making money from this. Hong Kong is now theirs. They must get some sort of cut.

So why would they risk that? Especially for an extradition law that’s probably going to be more of a pain to administer than it’s worth.

Sure, China is no one’s definition of an altruistic democracy. They are asserting control – we learned that when we crossed out of and into the Special Administrative Region, as it’s called.

But Hong Kong has always been a bustling center of capitalism. What’s the point of having it any other way, especially when China has obviously amended its form of communism to accommodate the profit motive?

And if you get the populace, the tourists and the businesses aligned against you for a law that’s – again – more trouble than it’s worth, you’re putting all that in jeopardy. Who wants to go to a place where they might pack you up and send you to Shanghai for trial?

The Beijing government exercised prudence in getting its Hong Kong affiliate to back off. The idea, I imagine, is to try to diffuse the tensions and allow the business of doing business to get back to normal.

From Hong Kong, we went to Taishan, a city of about a million people – “a small city,” according to our wonderful translator – in southern China. My wife spent three days gathering information for a book about her family, and I tagged along.

This was actually our second trip here. We visited for about 24 hours in 1989 while Angela’s family was on a trip to Hong Kong. 

Some places don’t change that much in 30 years. The hamlet where we live in Rockland County, New York, looks very much like it did in 1989.

Some places change a lot. Brooklyn comes to mind.

And then there’s China. 

It’s a country that’s in a hurry to build stuff. On the nearly three-hour bus ride from Shenzhen, where you cross into China from Hong Kong, you see an uncountable number of clusters of high-rise apartments with those giant cranes lurched on top. 

Equally uncountable: The blue fencing around acres of land where some kind of project is being built.

There’s a network on toll roads and ring roads around cities, all three or four lanes in each direction and filled with cars and motor scooters.

Even in the ancient villages with their signature gates, modern structures are interspersed with the aging stone homes crumbling from the miserable humidity that permeates the area.

China looks almost nothing like what we saw in 1989. It has built the infrastructure to make the next step in its inexorable march toward becoming the world’s biggest economy.

There’s a lot of anti-Chinese sentiment in the U.S. – manifested in the trade spat between the Trump administration and the Beijing government.

The belief is that the Chinese could only challenge the U.S. economically by cheating somehow – that the Chinese are stealing our technology or dumping their products in world markets.

After being there for three days, that notion is too simple.

Because whenever you look up at the mountains that ring Guangdong Province, you see windmills whirring away, powering this region. You see the tall buildings that have been completed with their top floors covered in solar panels.

You see industrial centers next to rice paddies as you whirl down a country highway. You see a population so unafraid of technology that elderly people pull out their iPads to live chat with their kids in America.

For decades, China separated itself from the world. Now it wants to be its leader. The pace of change is fast and it seems as though the country’s billion or so people – with some notable exceptions – are on board.

I didn’t try to watch too much TV in China, since I don’t speak Mandarin or Cantonese. But you can glean what they’re talking about – and it sure seemed as though they talked a lot about the trade war with the United States.

It is existential. These people are building a country as fast as they can – and this trade war stuff is getting in their way. 

There’s a lesson for Americans, of course. 

When Trump was elected, there was talk that he would look for a win by working with Democrats on increased infrastructure spending. 

But, last month, when Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer went to the White House to talk about infrastructure, Trump ended the meeting in a temper tantrum about the multiple investigations into his administration.

That, in itself, is pathetic. But the problem is this country needs a massive rebuild. It needs roads and road repairs, new rail tunnels and fixed rail tracks, new mass transit systems and an overhaul of existing ones.

Not to mention a strengthened electrical grid, reconstructured water systems and updated housing.

We need to start building the future. Because China’s already doing it.

They are leaping forward. They’re bypassing old ways of doing things and embracing the new – they seem perfectly fine with renewable energy, perhaps understanding better than Americans that CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL!

Much like the Hong Kong crisis, China will wait out the Trump trade troubles. They’ll try to hand Trump one of his patented face-saving solutions – the Chinese are big on that face-saving stuff .

Or they’ll wait to see if the Democrats, normally somewhat protectionist, come up with a candidate with a real strategy that doesn’t include idiotic tariffs.

In any event, from what I saw in three days on the bus, China isn’t slowing down if it can help it. There’s a golden goose out there, and the government wants the benefits ASAP.

 

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