What Is Going To Happen In 2019

Hi Everyone. Happy 2019.

Today, as is my custom on the first day of the new year, I am going to take a stab at what the year ahead will bring. I find it useful to think about what we are in for. It helps me invest and advise the companies we are invested in. Like our investing, I will get some of these right, and some wrong. But having a point of view, a foundation, is very helpful when operating in a world that is full of uncertainty.

I believe and have been telling those around me that I think 2019 will be a “doozy.” I think we will see major dislocations in the leadership of the United States, a bear market in stocks, a weakening economy, a number of issues with the global economy including a messy Brexit and a sluggish China. All of this will lead to a more cautious stance by investors in the startup economy. And crypto will not be a safe haven for any of this although there will be signs of life in crypto land in 2019.

Let’s take each of those in the order that I mentioned them.

I believe that we will have a different President of the United States by the end of 2019. The catalyst for this change will be a devastating report issued by Robert Mueller that outlines a history of illegal activities by our President going back decades, including in his campaign for President.

The House will react to Mueller’s report by voting to impeach the President. Which will set up a trial in the Senate. That trial will go so badly for the President that he will, like Nixon before him, negotiate a resignation that will lead to him and those close to him being pardoned for all actions, and Mike Pence will become the President of the United States sometime in 2019.

I believe this drama will play out through most of 2019. I expect the Mueller report to be issued sometime in the late winter/early spring and I expect an impeachment vote by the House before the summer, leading to a trial in the Senate in the second half of the year.

The drama in Washington will have serious impacts to the economy in the United States starting with our capital markets.

The US equity capital markets enter 2019 on shaky ground. Though the last week of the year brought us a relief rally, the markets are dealing with higher rates, some early indications of a weaker economy in 2019 (possibly due to higher rates), and, of course, the potential for the drama in Washington that we’ve already discussed. Here is a chart of the S&P 500 over the last five years:

I expect the S&P 500 to visit 2,000 sometime in 2019 and then bounce around that bottom for much of the year. This would represent a decrease in the S&P’s trailing PE multiple to around 15x which feels like a bottom to me given the recent history of the equity markets in the US:

S&P PE Multiple (source http://www.multpl.com/)

Interest rates have been rising gradually in the US for the last three years. The Fed has taken its Fed Funds rate from essentially zero three years ago to almost 2.5% today:

Source: https://www.macrotrends.net/2015/fed-funds-rate-historical-chart

The rates that are available to consumers and businesses have followed and I expect that to continue in 2019. Here is a chart of the interest rates on the three most popular mortgage products in the US:

Source: https://www.amerisave.com/graphs/

When it gets more expensive to borrow, marginal projects don’t get funded. And what happens at the margin has a much larger impact on the economy than most people understand. No wonder the President wants to fire the Fed Chairman.

I expect the combination of higher rates, uncertainty in Washington, and storm clouds globally (which we will get to soon) will cause business leaders in the US to become more cautious on hiring and investment. Consumers will make essentially the same calculations. And that will lead to a weaker economy in the US in 2019.

The global picture is not much better. The eurozone is about to go through the most significant change in decades with some sort of departure of the UK from the EU (Brexit). It remains unclear exactly how this will happen, which in and of itself is creating a lot of uncertainty on the Continent. I don’t expect most businesses in Europe to do anything but play defense in 2019.

Probably the biggest unknown for the global economy is the resolution of the ongoing trade tensions between China and the US. It seems inevitable that China will make some concessions to the US to resolve these trade tensions. But, of course, what happens in Washington (first issue) may impact all of that. In the meantime, the uncertainty around trade and exports hangs over the Chinese economy. China’s GDP has been slowing in recent years as it achieved relative parity with the US and the Eurozone:

Source: https://tradingeconomics.com/china/gdp

Any significant trade concessions from China could impact its growth prospects in 2019 and beyond, which will take the most powerful engine of global growth off the table this year.

So all of that is a pessimistic take on the broader macro environment in 2019. How will all of this impact the startup/tech economy?

The startup/tech economy is somewhat immune to macro trends. Many startups and big tech companies were able to grow and expand their businesses during the last financial downturn in 2008 and 2009. Some very important tech companies were even started in those years.

The tech/startup economy is driven first and foremost by technical and creative (ie business model) innovation. And that is not impacted by the macro environment.

So I expect that we will continue to see big tech invest and grow their businesses and do well in 2019. I expect we will see IPOs from big names like Uber/Lyft/Slack, although I also expect those deals will get priced well below the lofty expectations they have in mind right now. Some of that will be because of weak equity markets in the US, but it is also true that most of the IPOs in 2018 also priced below the lofty “going in” expectations of founders, managers, boards, and their bankers. The public markets have been much more sanguine about value than the late stage private markets for a long time now.

However, I do think a difficult macro business and political environment in the US will lead investors to take a more cautious stance in 2019. It would not surprise me to see total venture capital investments in 2019 decline from 2018. And I think we will see financings take longer, diligence on new investments actually occur, and valuations to come under pressure for even the most attractive opportunities.

But all of that is going to happen at the margin. I expect 2019 to be another solid year for the tech/startup sector as we are in a possibly century-long conversion from an industrial economy to an information economy and the tailwinds for tech/startup vs the rest of the economy remain in place and strong.

Any set of predictions for 2019 from me on this blog would not be complete without some thoughts on crypto. So here is where my head is at on that topic.

I think we are in the process of finding the bottom on the large, liquid, and lasting crypto-tokens. But I think that process could take much of 2019 to play out. I expect we will see some bullish runs, followed by selling pressures taking us back to retest the lows. I think this bottoming out process will end sometime in 2019 and we will slowly enter a new bullish phase in crypto.

I think the catalyst for the next bullish phase will come as the result of some of the many promises made in 2017 coming to fruition in 2019. Specifically, I think we will see some big name projects ship, like the Filecoin project from our portfolio company Protocol Labs, and the Algorand project from our portfolio company Algorand. I think we will see a number of “next gen” smart contract platforms ship and challenge Ethereum for leadership in this super important area of the crypto sector. I also expect the Ethereum open source community to ship a number of important improvements to its system in 2019 and defend their leadership in the smart contract space.

Other areas of crypto where I expect to see meaningful progress and consumer adoption happen in 2019 are stablecoins, NFT/cryptoassets/cryptogaming, and earn/spending opportunities, particularly in the developing world.

There will also be pressure on the crypto sector in 2019. The area I am most concerned about are actions brought by misguided regulators who will take aim at high quality projects and harm them. And we will continue to see all sorts of failures, from scams, hacks, failed projects, and losing investments be a drag on the sector. But that is always the case with a new emerging technology that allows anyone to set up shop and get going. Permissionless innovation produces the greatest gains over time but also comes with the inevitable bad actors and actions.

So that’s where my head is at on 2019. Do I sound pessimistic? I suspect I do, but I am not. I am incredibly optimistic, like my partner Albert and can’t wait to get going and make things happen in this new year. It is going to be a doozy.

#blockchain#crypto#Current Affairs#digital collectibles#economics#employment#entrepreneurship#non fungible tokens#Politics#stocks#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. JamesHRH

    That’s a lot. Your head is a big place.Trump is an Uber Weasel – they never do time, Mueller has nothing on the President that he cannot pin on an advisor or supplier.UK does not leave EU – new vote happens.China / US strike new deal.Bear market happens, but it’s short and sharp – the new bear market normal.2019 buries crypto as no Normal uptake happens on the big name projects and regulation spikes it.Alternatively, crypto turns into something everybody just does. The Big 10 becomes the small 10,000,000 and it’s like websites – everybody uses them but nobody makes any $ at it.Wish I had more time to think more about it all and not just splatter a reaction. Family fun calls.All the best to you and yours in 2019.

    1. andyswan

      Man crypto would be awesome if u could actually spend it

      1. JLM

        .Swan, you’re the kind of demanding guy who wants the damn basketball to be inflated.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  2. Jacob Anstey

    Love following everyday, Fred. Wish you, your family and friends a Happy New Year.Are there a handful of books/people/resources you’d recommend for someone just wanting to learn the foundation of crypto?

    1. fredwilson

      start with Satoshi’s white paperhttps://bitcoin.org/bitcoin…william – a regular here at AVC, wrote a book called The Business Blockchain that is very good toohttps://www.amazon.com/Busi…

      1. Jacob Anstey


    2. Vendita Auto

      Worthy of the read:An interesting review of 2018 cryptoassets market from University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Financehttps://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/f…

  3. andyswan

    Pretty sure the internet and tech already died along with Net Neutrality.Trump willl ramp up another brilliant campaign and continue to deliver on all of his campaign promises.Democrats will try to create another Obama out of Robert “Beto” Orourke but he will eventually be deemed too male, so they’ll settle for 17 ounces of Bloomberg with a token minority woman VP. Battle of the billionaires, either way the US wins (no ClintonBush war machines)Economy depends on the Fed, as usual.They’ll dump Robinhood, Spotify and Uber/Lyft on the public markets at fake valuations.Facebook might implode (this is wishful thinking) and Twitter will get out of its own way to become THE publishing platform of the world.PC culture will throw a few tantrums in its death spiral but we will all finally be able to breathe and joke again.I will do some dope dunks.LikeFolio will begin to displace traditional polling — lookout Gallup.Fred will continue to teach and challenge us to be better.Love you all. 2019!

    1. LE

      Whomever is doing that likefolio.com thing has done a good job.One suggestion for the guy who is running that (whoever that is) is to price the trader product at $48 per month (not $49) and the Pro product at $1280 per month (not $1250).

      1. andyswan

        haha thanks.

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      Trump is the new PC bitting itself in the ass 🙂

    3. JamesHRH

      Those last 3 are mortal locks.The Net Neutrality burn is a beaut.

    4. sachmo

      I like the battle of the billionaires, would be (for my view of things), one of the best nominations democrats could make — but no way Bloomberg wins the Democratic primaries.Bloomberg getting some balls and running as a third party candidate with mainstream Republican… Like Kasich or something… Now that could be interesting.

      1. JLM

        .It is hard to imagine a 3rd party candidacy that is not based on a far left candidate and thereby tilts the election toward President Trump.The key will be whether it’s well funded or not. If it is well funded, it is better for President Trump.Go study GeoHWBush v BillClinton v RossPerot in 1992.Clinton was elected with 43% of the vote.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. sachmo

          I remember that… what was weird was that Ross Perot quit and then rejoined the race. His supporters all went to Clinton, from what I recall.

      2. Susan Rubinsky

        No third party candidate could win as long as there is an electoral college.

  4. John Lowery

    Wow Fred – what an amazing post. I’d like to take an opportunity to thank you for this blog. I’ve learned a ton these past few years. While I don’t always agree with you, I always find your arguments well-defended and thought-provoking. Thank you for taking all the time (I’m guessing considerable!) to do this for us!! Best, John

  5. William Mougayar

    I think you’ll be quite right when 2019 unravels.I agree that crypto will not sort itself out until 2020. But you can’t judge a blockchain’s success solely by its smart contract capability. Smart contracts anchored in truly decentralized blockchains (such as Ethereum) are much more powerful than those that look like simulated programming of a database on more central blockchains. The 2019 revelation will be that the “next blockchains” that are pinning their hopes on having a feature or two ahead of Ethereum will fail to gain enough traction, because it’s more about the network effects of the platform itself, and not about technical prowess resulting from decentralization compromises.

  6. Pointsandfigures

    Trump will survive any impeachment attempt and like Clinton, be stronger from it. Stocks up 4% by the end of the year. I will watch Andy dunk. I can’t jump over my credit card bill anymore.You might be right about crypto. I was thinking it would come into its own in 2020.

  7. Frank W. Miller

    Really nice, thoughtful set of predictions. I would say more liberal than pessimistic.I too believe Trump will survive the Dem house. If Mueller had something on him, he would have brought it already. Its been two years and the best he’s been able to do is hit a few people around him with stuff that had nothing to do with the campaign. With all the light on that investigation and all the reporters digging to save their reputations from their childish biases, I can’t believe Mueller has a report full of what you are predicting. Maybe you are privy to scuttlebutt among the NY elite that are most in peril of being wrong, but it just doesn’t feel like there’s anything there to me other than their debilitating hatred of Trump.I think the markets will end up with modest gains for the year after a bumpy first half. I’m not sure the S&P will bottom out at 2000, more like 2200-2300 imho. I bought a little bit last week on the dip.The Uber/Lyft IPOs may or may not happen. If they do, the valuations will be stupid, mainly cuz they seem to be the only super high-profile offerings coming down in the near term.As always, I have no idea what will happen with crypto. That’s been the underlying problem with it from day 1. Its not tied to anything so who knows what direction it will go in…Best wishes for a prosperous 2019 to you and all!

  8. Jim Peterson

    Great list FredHere’s mine:Stocks up 15%, there are some great values right now. Everybody expects trouble, and the crowd will be wrong.IPOs of Uber, Lyft, Pinterest price lower and go even lower. Devouring cash doesn’t work in the real world for long periods of time. Though they won’t do as poorly as Blue Apron and Snap.More social media drama of coursehttps://youtu.be/IABRgZH12YAGreat web services, or offline services, that “get jobs done” for people will thrive.Podcasting continues to gain in popularity.Disney starts the long game of building a viable streaming service with Disney +Family, friends, and making a difference will continue to provide joy.AVC will inform and entertain again.Happy New Year!

  9. iggyfanlo

    Federal reserve chairman Powell was great news in 2018.Perhaps for the first time since Paul Volcker, we have a fed chairman that is 100% focused on the real economy (unemployment, inflation, etc) and Main Street versus just asset prices (stocks, bonds, real estate, etc). In the process of eliminating the “Fed put”, we suffer some short term pain but eliminate the ridiculous bubbles from our investment landscape.He doesn’t pander to the markets or to the president. In the long term we should have more stable markets and investment climate as well as (perhaps inadvertently, but hopefully not) reducing the inequality gap by lowering overinflated asset prices held by the wealthy and ensuring a more stable base (but perhaps not 1970s like) for the working and middle class. Asset returns should also be less volatile in the long term.People perhaps won’t enjoy having the federal reserve take away the punch bowl but we will all feel better in the morning

    1. OldManGoldenwords

      Agree. Last 9 years Fed have kept emergency era easy money policy which all asset classes are in huge bubble. Yellen was most ineffective as she was appointed for being female and she tried to return favor by impressing her political boss. QE1, QE2,QE3 has eroded the saver net worth while asset price have gone through roof. No wonder millennial generation has no saving, live pay check to paycheck and house they cant afford and become renter for life. At least Powell is trying to fix the issues.

  10. sigmaalgebra

    I believe that we will have a different President of the United States by the end of 2019. The catalyst for this change will be a devastating report issued by Robert Mueller that outlines a history of illegal activities by our President going back decades, including in his campaign for President.The House will react to Mueller’s report by voting to impeach the President. Which will set up a trial in the Senate. That trial will go so badly for the President that he will, like Nixon before him, negotiate a resignation that will lead to him and those close to him being pardoned for all actions, and Mike Pence will become the President of the United States sometime in 2019. Mueller: So far there is not even as much as zip, zilch, or zero evidence that Mueller has anything at all serious on Trump:(1) Since Trump announced his campaign, we’ve had wild accusations, Democrat Goebbels style propaganda, from the Democrat media weekly or so against Trump, and none of those accusations have any credibility or substance. Bluntly, Trump did nothing wrong with “The Russians”. More generally, there no serious suggestion that he’s done anything wrong since he announced. Again, the worst credible accusation is that he had two scoops of ice cream at some formal dinner when the other guests had only one scoop. So far there is not even a hint that Mueller has anything at all substantive or credible against Trump.(2) Mueller has basically given up on Trump and been going after Manafort and others, all for things that have no evidence that Trump did anything illegal or wrong, nearly all of which are for things that are claimed to have happened long before Trump announced. So, those directions by Mueller are no threat to Trump.Mueller can issue a report, but there is no hint that it will be “devastating” for Trump.So, what is Mueller doing? Well, he’s a lawyer and can just continue collecting dust balls from under beds essentially forever. By continuing, maybe he believes that he can convince people that he has or will have something against Trump. So, net, Mueller is just creating doubt and uncertainty.We can note that those Democrat tactics were tried against Kavanaugh and flopped.Yes, the Mueller report, even if it has nothing at all meaningful, can be used by Pelosi, Waters, Nadler, etc. as an excuse to send a Bill of Impeachment to the Senate. They can send such a bill based on nothing at all but wild speculation. They can send the Senate used Charmin, and so far what they have to send is no better than used Charmin.About this time, a lot of voters will see Mueller, Pelosi, etc. as just doing anything to reverse the fully legal election of Trump. People will likely get pissed off.So, the Senate will get the Bill. Then what?(1) There will be nothing substantive in the evidence to vote to remove Trump. And, no way will the Senate have 2/3rds vote to remove Trump,(2) No way will Trump be removed because of some issues of what he did before announcing his campaign. Such claims should be addressed in the court system and may already have been. IIRC the “high crimes and misdemeanors” have to be from his time in office, and there’s not even as much as zip, zilch, or zero such evidence.All Trump has to do to stay in office is the minimum — no way will the Senate vote him out of office.In addition, the whole impeachment issue will be in the headlines daily, and Trump can use that to slam the Democrats and Fake News — Trump will gain votes in 2020 from that hot topic. It’s easy enough for plenty of voters to see that the Democrats and their buddies in the media wanted Hillary and didn’t want Trump. But the voters wanted Trump, and they and more still do.Nearly no voters actually want to see a duly elected POTUS thrown out of office by the opposition based on nothing substantive and just because the opposition lost an election and wants to reverse the election. As the Democrats and media push this issue, try to steal an election, which is apparently what they are doing, they will lose support among the voters.We have to note that the old days of the lock on information on politics from the powerful, big city newspapers and the big network TV evening news is over, and, instead, Trump has plenty of wide open channels, via Twitter and YouTube, to get his message out.This current fight about The Wall will be a big victory for Trump: Nancy/Chucky are playing one of the worst hands in all the history of US national politics: No way can they win proposing, as they are, to neglect US national security, to ignore the 72,000 US deaths a year from illegal drugs from Mexico, deliberately to refuse to defend the US, to support the massive, dangerous, outrageous illegality of the “sanctuary cities”, to ignore our immigration laws, to let in criminals, drugs, and sex slaves. All Trump has to do to win big is just keep insisting on funds for The Wall and changes in the laws and calling the interim the Schumer Shutdown.It appears that in part Nancy/Chucky just want to deny Trump a victory on one of his more important campaign promises. But no way can they do that: Trump as Commander in Chief can have the US Army Corp of Engineers build the wall with funding from the DoD, the shutdown, etc. So, Trump CAN build the wall and CAN keep his campaign promise. So, why is he waiting? IMHO he wants to let the issue get much hotter so that (A) when he builds the wall he will gain votes and not lose them and (B) Nancy/Chucky will be seen to have lost big and have deserved to lose. Nancy/Chucky are walking into a big trap and will lose big league.Nancy/Chucky can see the trap; so why are they being so stupid as to walk into it? Because they are tightly controlled by the special interests who are willing to have Nancy/Chucky keep fighting until they win or lose. The special interest string pullers are willing to sacrifice Nancy/Chucky. But in part the string pullers believe that the propaganda from their media buddies can create a victory. Before Trump on Twitter and YouTube, maybe; not now.It will dawn on people that, for Nancy/Chucky to play such a bad hand so strongly, they must be under enormous pressure from some special interests, and that realization will generate high resentment for Nancy/Chucky, the Democrats, and their media buddies.Trump is in line to win big league. I suspect that way back Trump saw in a nanosecond that the open borders people were playing a hopelessly bad hand and he could win.In particular, the impeachment issue has nothing specific to Trump and is so general that it could be applied to anyone. This situation has been crystal clear in US politics since Washington but so far has never been successfully exploited; I can’t believe it would be exploited now.We could try to turn our government over to a parliamentary system where the legislature has to approve the chief executive, but that’s not our system, and with the Democrats far short of 2/3rds of the Senate there is in practice no way for our system to act like a parliamentary one.Here Nixon is irrelevant: Watergate was bad stuff; Nixon was involved; he directed a cover-up. Here there is no parallel for Trump.Yesterday I suspected that there would be nothing new and significant against Trump today. It looks like I was correct.

    1. Frank Jaskulke

      You do realize that as a good lawyer working on a prosecution Mueller has made an effort to not release evidence against the President to the media, or anyone else?You’re arguement is speculation and AVC’s is speculation. That’s all.When the report is released there will be the opportunity to consider the evidence.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Wrong: Mueller has put out all he could cook up on Manafort, etc.If he had anything impeachable on Trump, then he would have put it out before the last election so that the Democrats could win big. Since he didn’t put out anything, he doesn’t have anything.Mueller is not acting as “a good lawyer” and is not pursuing a “prosecution”. As a lawyer, be regards nearly equal what he can get away with and what is right. He is playing in the contact sport that is politics.What he wants to do is just keep busy, going after Manafort, etc., until after the election and the start of the new Congress so that he can hand his used Charmin to Nasty Nancy so that she can have fun with it.Also in a sense he is helping to block another Special Counsel to go after Bill/Hill because the second one could be accused of being just a fight against the first one. No, it is in Trump’s interest to let Mueller continue on getting nothing. As Mueller continues all these months finding nothing, he gives Trump a unique, world class clean bill of health.You want us to look at some black box and take seriously that there’s big stuff in there, all secret, no evidence otherwise, but big stuff. Nonsense: We don’t do that.Or, the DOJ leaks, and Mueller is no longer going after anyone who could have anything at all serious on Trump.Mueller is not acting as a lawyer seeking justice and, instead, is just scaring up doubt and uncertainty that he and the Democrats suspect will help them. Again, it looks absurd, failed on Kavanaugh, and will fail on Trump. But that’s all the Democrats have.Net, Mueller has totally lost his credibility. The most he will have is propaganda no better than the stuff on CNN.

        1. ccn

          About this time, a lot of voters will see Mueller, Pelosi, etc. as just doing anything to reverse the fully legal election of Trump. People will likely get pissed off.If they try to impeach without any damaging evidence there will be a “civil war”. Trump is no saint but the hypocrisy is that people like Fred, who i admire greatly, go after Trump after protecting Bill and Hillary for the past 30 years. It just stinks…

          1. JLM

            .One of the best things that has happened from L’Affaire Trump is the unmasking of liberals, the media, and the clear demarcation of the geographical impact of the electorate — Coastal/Big City liberalism v the Heartland.The wild card in 2020 is going to be African Americans and Hispanics who are going to abandon the Dems big time.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. SubstrateUndertow

            Trump is no saint but the hypocrisyAt least you managed to get Trump and hypocrisy in the same sentence so you appear to be making some progress at escaping your hostage-syndrome situation.

        2. Cyrus Adkisson

          Wow these are some seriously delusional mental contortions. The president is under *17* investigations by several different jurisdictions, not just Mueller. I’d say “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” but there is already fire! Cohen has already implicated Trump in criminal election violations. Trump himself admitted to obstruction when firing Comey. The Cohen stuff may not be enough to impeach, but don’t forget Flynn and Weisselberg have been singing too… and, again, it is *delusional* to think they don’t have decades of evidence of felonies on Trump.I thank you for the chuckle on “he would have put it out so the Dems could win big”. News flash: they did. 8.5% margin nationwide, 40+ seats. GOP couldn’t even flip West Virginia and Montana in the Senate… lol. Mueller is keeping his evidence against Trump close until the final reveal. Don’t kid yourself.Anyway, this’ll be fun to come back and see how wrong you were.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            From all the news I’ve seen, Cohen has said nothing that is negative for Trump.The Democrats didn’t win very big: IIRC there were about 40 Republican retirements in the House. So, suddenly 40 seats were up for grabs. In the Senate, with many fewer seats up for grabs, the Republicans gained, what was it, 2-3 seats?The people of West Virginia are THRILLED, with Trump because Trump has the coal mines going again. With that, West Virginia has no big gripe with Manchin. That maybe Manchin will vote with Schumer on issues far from West Virginia doesn’t much concern West Virginia.> Mueller is keeping his evidence against Trump close until the final reveal.Naw: Mueller has yet to interview anyone with any real dirt on Trump since he announced in 2015. And Mueller has quit interviewing people who might have some dirt on Trump. Mueller has basically given up on Trump. Net, there’s no way Mueller has anything on Trump.Mueller would love to bring down Trump and would if he could, but he knows he can’t and has given up. But he is not quitting: Instead he is just continuing to blow smoke to influence people who might guess that “where there is smoke there is fire”.Again all that Mueller has is used Charmin, and that’s enough to give to Nasty Nancy, Waters, Nadler, etc. and have them scream before TV cameras that they have the smoking gun on Trump. They will send the used Charmin to the Senate which will NOT remove Trump from office or motivate him to leave office.The Southern District of NY won’t indict Trump because can’t do that to a POTUS. The standard of “high crimes and misdemeanors” doesn’t apply to acts out of office.It’s all an effort by the Democrats and anti-Trump media to spread doubt and uncertainty hoping to slow down Trump, get some votes, etc. But the whole anti-Trump effort has not even as much as nothing. People can see this political dirt, and, thus, the Democrats and their media buddies are just losing credibility.To take this Mueller, Pelosi, Waters, Nadler, etc. impeachment stuff seriously, have to be in the echo chamber of NYC, SF, Boston, and LA — otherwise no one believes or cares. This is 90+% just a NYC thingy.

          2. Cyrus Adkisson

            > From all the news I’ve seen, Cohen has said nothing that is negative for Trump.Then you’re not paying attention. Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator in SDNY as “Individual-1” in campaign finance violations.> The Democrats didn’t win very big.By popular vote, the wave was the biggest since Watergate. Only gerrymandering saved the flipped seat total from being as severe.http://www.msnbc.com/sites/…What a sad state of tribalism we’ve come to when people won’t even accept known and quantifiable facts. The good news is we only have about 6 weeks until it’s all laid bare. But I’m sure there will always be diehards. You’ve formed an emotional connection with Trump that can’t be broken with facts or logic. Hey, we’re all human. Hopefully you’ll have fresh eyes when Mueller drops the mixtape.

          3. sigmaalgebra

            The Cohen thing from the SD NY is just meaningless: There were no campaign violations, and the end of the case will confirm that. The connection with Trump is meaningless.I’m just looking at the data like the well trained mathematician I am.This is the first I’ve seen of your data on House vote margins, but it doesn’ t support your claim and is explained by what I wrote: Suddenly there were 40 Republicans that retired with their seats up for grabs. So, at 40 seats, suddenly the Democrats had a chance to make a difference and did so. No big surprise. For a midterm, Trump did comparatively quite well.

          4. Cyrus Adkisson

            Lost by the biggest popular vote margin since Watergate and “did quite well”? Totally absurd. Up is down and down is up, right? Fascism is a hell of a drug.

          5. JLM

            .Actually an “undicted co-conspirator” is a legal term of art. He is not an unindicted co-conspirator by any stretch of the imagination.To be an undicted co-conspirator would also require somebody being anointed as an “indicted co-conspirator.” There was no finding or charge of a conspiracy.It was a simple guilty plea and a plea bargain. Only the sentence is important. The three years Cohen got is right in the middle of the sentencing guidelines and the Special Counsel and the Southern District of NY had different views of Cohen’s level of cooperation in their sentencing memoranda. Read them.Read and study US v Edwards as it relates to campaign finance prosecutions. The US lost at trial and dropped the case. In that case, Edwards used campaign funds to pay his mistress during the campaign.Nobody is even suggesting that Pres Trump misused campaign funds. Even if he did, a candidate can contribute an unlimited amount.The President isn’t remotely exposed. The Cohen guilty plea was a bit of literature intended to make some waves, but it was an add on to the other charges.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. Cyrus Adkisson

            Mass delusion on a national scale. It really is unbelievable.Cohen said in court (paraphrased): “I committed a crime. I was told to do this by my boss, Donald Trump.” Trump is, in effect, an un-indicted co-conspirator, regardless of your legal/mental jujitsu.I don’t even care that much about the Cohen stuff. It’s similar to what Bill Clinton did and, you know, meh… probably not something I want the president removed over. But a crime is a crime. Prosecutors don’t care about the politics. The affairs were many years ago and he paid money at the height of the election to silence them. That makes it an unreported campaign expenditure, no matter where the money came from.Personally, I’m much more interested in the serious crimes of conspiracy against the United States, decades of tax fraud, taking bribes as emoluments, obstruction of justice re: investigations involving himself, etc. If the facts to support any of these aren’t there, I’m fine with that; I’d prefer that my president is NOT a criminal. But you’d have to be willfully blind not to see the pattern of criminality that has emerged. As I said in another comment, there is just an unbelievable amount of smoke and already some fire. At this rate, it’s nearly impossible that Mueller won’t reveal a raging inferno.

          7. JLM

            .Cohen would have pushed a peanut up Broadway bare naked with his nose, hands tied behind his back.I think, as I have said numerous times, that the Mueller report is devastating, but crimes? Not likely.”taking bribes as emoluments” — do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds?It is pure talking point. Have you ever even read the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution?The Constitution:“No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”An emolument has to be from a King, Prince, or foreign State. You will also note that it pertains to a “person.”The law comes from when Ben Franklin accepted a jeweled snuffbox from the King of France as a token of his affection when Franklin returned home. The box had 408 diamonds. John Jay received a horse from a Spanish King.In Trump’s case, there is an allegation that a hotel bill paid at a hotel he owns an indirect interest in — through corporate stock ownership with no management oversight — is an emolument.His defense is obvious — it is not a gift, it is not an emolument (go look up the definition), whatever benefit the hotel has received is for services rendered, and he is not the “person” receiving the benefit.Further, Trump promptly agreed to have the hotel turn over any profits from such hotel bills to the US Treasury.His detractors do not have standing to enforce the provision of the US Constitution. They are disgruntled citizens.If anyone is going to make allegations of criminal behavior against anyone, it deserves rigorous analysis and a fact based allegation with evidence would be nice.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          8. JamesHRH

            You have ‘not a lawyer’ syndrome.The actions are only crimes if there are laws in place that make the specifics illegal.Trump has shown a life long ability to read those laws and work them.Is he doing things that look bad? All day.Is he doing illegal things? Very unlikely. He checked before he did them.Just because Cohen pleads out and swears to testimony does not make that testimony unassailable ( or true ).

          9. SubstrateUndertow

            From all the news I’ve seen, Cohen has said nothing that is negative for TrumpStop watching FOX & FRIENDS !

          10. sigmaalgebra

            Trump’s not dumb enough to put his neck in a noose with the rope held by a low grade lawyer errand boy like Cohen. Cohen can’t have anything serious on Trump.All his career, Trump was in the world of high end real estate business with all its labor, zoning, legal, and political issues, making campaign donations, etc. and stayed out of jail — he’s no dummy and too smart to put his neck in a noose, especially as a POTUS candidate.I don’t watch TV and don’t watch Fox & Friends on YouTube or at all. As I mentioned, I take anything on Fox, essentially only Hannity, with a shovel full of rock salt. I don’t trust Hannity to give me the whole story, but I can pay attention to some of the most credible lawyers on Hannity.I posted here, and what I wrote took some time, but what JLM posted is much, Much, MUCH better and added a lot of detail to some that I posted. Read JLM’s post, by far the best here today at AVC and no doubt one of the best posts on the future of Trump now on the Internet.In particular, from what JLM wrote, the Mueller report need never see the light of day and need never reach Congress. The AG or the Acting AG can just file it and f’get it.Mueller can’t indict Trump.The DOJ will NOT prosecute or let the Southern District of NY prosecute a sitting POTUS.By the time Trump leaves office, the statute of limitations will likely have expired on all the financial accusations against Trump.Once Trump is out of office, if any criminal action perks up, the next POTUS will pardon him.Nasty Nancy can send used Charmin to the Senate for a trial, but no way will the Democrats get the needed 2/3rds.Nearly all the stuff here today against Trump is at best just wishful thinking overcoming real information or even worse, just propaganda.Nearly all the anti-Trump stuff on AVC today seems to be from the echo chamber of the NYC Democrat tribe. That tribe is fooling themselves, engaging in public intellectual self-abuse, as statements of loyalty to the tribe putting their credibility in a noose with the rope held by reality.

      2. JLM

        .Mueller is a good lawyer. Unfortunately, he has to run people by a grand jury like Manafort, Gates, Cohen, Papadopulous, etc.Their lawyers know the questions which frame the cases.There have been countless sessions between the President’s lawyers and the Special Counsel.The Special Counsel has to submit written reports to the DOJ. The SC has to file budgetary reports to the DOJ.Nah, the smart guys know what is going on here.The Russian cases and the Russian indictments — guys who are far beyond the jurisdiction of the SC and never going to be extradited — are pure showboating.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      The report that has not come out has no substance to it !

    3. scottythebody

      he may have obstruction. Which is a lot more than they had Bill Clinton for. We shall see…

      1. scottythebody

        Oh, and I should back that statement up with my belief that it won’t result in Trump’s removal from office. I don’t have any more or less facts about this than all of the others on this site, and my legal skills are close to zilch, but I think the “President cannot obstruct justice” argument is going to work pretty well for a while. But we haven’t seen the report yet.

      2. sigmaalgebra

        Trump fired Comey. That is 100% totally within his Constitutional rights and duties. Moreover, the firing was as recommended in a memo from Rosenstein.I see no chance of obstruction.Obstruction looks to me like just CNN/MSNBC anti-Trump propaganda and wishful thinking.ABC, CBS, … NYT, WaPo, etc. daily pass out outrageous accusations against Trump, cook them up, a new one each few days, e.g., that the pressures on Trump will have him resign in 2019 somewhat like Nixon did, gang up, pile on, and repeat the accusations as in Nazi Minister of Propaganda Dr. J. Goebbels over and over all with no support, data, exact quotes, etc., just keep making accusations, over and over.I refuse to pay any attention at all to any of those propaganda sources except occasionally to debunk them, show how bad they are, and get most of my input on them from clips of their propaganda via Hannity.They are free to say what they want; they are permitted to pass out just total 100% groundless nonsense and do; and I’m free to ignore them and do.From the outrageous accusations and more, they are “fake news” and an “enemy of the people”.For obstruction, very serious violations of serious US laws on national security, etc. look to the Bill/Hill side and to parts of thee FBI itself.

  11. Joseph K Antony

    Quite a few other crypto instruments will find their legs in 2019, beginning with value-based crypto tokens and DAG based Distributed Ledger Protocols like Hedera Hasghraph. But all these emerging protocols have vulnerabilities in their specs which could begin to surface.

  12. Richard

    You don’t sound like a pessimist as much a politician who seem to be (oddly) invested in the story of chaos on the streets and bitcoin as its savior. You expressed over the years that you do not invest in equities and but now you forecast the 2019 S&P based 2017 earnings?https://uploads.disquscdn.c… Look forward and you’ll see a different story.

    1. fredwilson

      you are here everyday. you know who i am.

      1. Richard

        Just trying to make it interesting! How about a forecast on the METS! Adding Wilson Ramos, Robinson Canoe, Edwin Dias, Jesus Familia to the mix and with their team chemistry, I’m long Mets – and short Yanks -. Also – how about a blog sometime on 25 years of the Knicks. Talk about a 5 sigma outcome!

    2. JamesHRH

      Cheap shot – Fred knows those markets, he just doesn’t play there.

      1. Richard

        Don’t think there is any thing “cheap” about the shot. Fred could have forecasted on lots of things he has sagacious expertise on. He stated many time that’s he does not spend time on publically traded equities or fixed income. My shot was that there are a dozen market valuation models – and One couldnt know these these makets without playing them and nobody “knows” markets short term – the best Stan Dunkenmiller, Howard Marks, Monish Pabrai, Howard Marks, Michael Price all stipulate to that. The worlds best economist Ed Hyman (30 years at number 1) is calling for moderate gdp growth. Why? https://uploads.disquscdn.chttps://uploads.disquscdn.c

  13. rich caccappolo

    Much as I hope you’re right, I don’t think Trump resigns or is removed by end of year, rather they will show him what they’ve got on him, GOP Senators will threaten to turn, and he will “decide” not to run again. He will declare “victory”, said he accomplished what he came to do, and spend the rest of his life negotiating for amnesty.

    1. fredwilson

      i would take that trade

    2. Vendita Auto

      Hmmm if the charges are serious America / democracy will [IMO must] be seen to take the geopolitical high ground {Washngton Lincoln Kennedy Roosevelt …….] As a Brit I can name almost all the USA presidents be hard pressed to recall 5/6 Eaton boys …That’s You in the cornerThat’s You in the spotlight

    3. OldManGoldenwords

      Yeah. I agree with this. He will take whatever the deal the china can give him and declare greatest deal ever. He will take what ever piece of wall dems gives and declare greatest wall ever. He will declare he made America Great in one term and dont need second term. But he will make sure to build trump tower in all the countries ruled by dictators before he leaves office. Congress will wake up and enact strict law so that future con artist cant benefit from office of presidency.

    4. JLM

      .Rhetorical — who leads the GOP Senate’s 22 re-election candidates to victory in 2020?What GOP Senator gets re-elected if the Republican President is not at the top of the ticket with coattails?McConnell says, “Yeah, we had the White House, but we decided to throw it away. Vote for us geniuses, please. Cause you can trust us Republicans to govern.”Nah.Higher probability of the Second Coming and Beto turning out to be Jesus.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    5. SubstrateUndertow

      he will “decide” not to run again. He will declare “victory”, said he accomplished what he came to doWhat he originally meant to do was prey on everyone’s anger/frustration in a watershed age of complex social/economic transition thus grabbing Rush Limbaugh’s lunch of anger/frustration followers to backstop his own rightwing media income stream.Alas the best laid plans of mice and grifters caught him unexpectedly elected to the presidency. Now he will have a chance to take the first convenient 2020 exit with a even more robust takeover of Rush Limbaugh’s franchise!Dateline 2020 – Rush Limbaugh now calling for Trump prosecution 🙂

    6. JamesHRH

      It’s important to note what a cynical, sociopathic, narcissistic ass the President is….. while not under-estimating his abilities.First time politician wins WH.You really think he does his own dirty work? Or leaves a paper trail?2 terms in a cake walk.

      1. JLM

        .Would one use the same words to describe Churchill, Roosevelt? I think so.I have seen strong leaders under very trying circumstances. Give me a man who projects victory in the face of defeat every single time.Want to get people to follow you in difficult circumstances, tell them, “I got this. Follow me.”Hugely successful leaders are not the men you would discover, but the story they tell.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. JamesHRH

          That last one is the start of a great book.Cynicism is the potential undoing of democracy. I would not use that word on the names listed.Sociopath is unlikely. Clintons are, Obamas are not, Bushes we’re not. I find the Obamas unlikeable now – they are just high brow political Khardashians. It’s almost as cynical as Al Gore, who cannot even see the Clintons as their lead in the Cynicism Derby is so vast.Every modern President is a narcissist. Job requirement. Teddy & Winston less mandatory but no less likely.I will say this – if DJT keeps up the policy wins…..

  14. Tom Labus

    Now that’s a lead off post!!Trump will be lucky to slink out of DC with a pardon. The Constitution calls for a more drastic form of punishment for his crimes.At some point, the markets are going to focus on our interest payments for the debt. It could be a rough ride once that happens.I hope that everyone enjoys a healthy, happy and prosperous 2019.

  15. JaredMermey

    What is most interesting is that this forum which attracts a combination of bright, ambitious and (for those who choose to comment) outspoken people has the widest spectrum of predictions I have seen, specifically around politics.(Probably has something to do with Fred’s ability to draw us away from the more narrow communities where we get our information.)My only prediction is another year of good stuff coming from the post and comments. And that I’ll continue to worry if the latest post has not published by 8am PT.

  16. awaldstein

    A lot here.I agree that the potential for NFTs is going to touch the broader based market this year in areas as diverse as gaming, art and potentially frictionless active philanthropy.I like your Trump scenario but honestly, my deep disdain for him, clouds my thinking and hopefulness for anything but the very worse outcome for him.The one platform I am playing in and you didn’t touch is the intersection of cannabis and the wellness market. Depending on how you value each of these, this is a multi trillion dollar shift in products, innovation and brands over the next decade. And while I’ve been bullish on Dash and the crypto possibilities for the CBD and Cannabis markets, I’m seeing the traditional gateways stepping up rather than stepping aside to let Crypto own this one.Happy New Year to everyone!

    1. fredwilson

      cannabis is the gotham gal’s area of interest, not minethough i think it should be legal and the US should make reparations to all of the people (largely black males) we have imprisioned for selling weed over the last fifty years

      1. LE

        US should make reparationsReparations? What? You mean not only let them out (fine) but also pay them money? I hope you are not serious.Separately nothing good about drugs period. Sure some people can take drugs and be responsible and it doesn’t impact them. Just like I can drive my sports car at 110mph on I95 responsibility and the car performs beautifully.. But I still recognize that speed limits are necessary because not everybody is me and doesn’t have my car.You know what I just found out about one of my brother in laws that my sister is separating from? He did a great deal of drugs. I always suspected that. Why? Because he seemed as if he was off in some way mentally. Like his brain was fried. You’d think he was a nice guy probably. He would just the stupidest things some times. So when my sister hit me with the separation I asked her point blank. Did S ever do drugs? She replied ‘yeah a great deal’. I knew give what I observed that had to be the case. This is a kid from a good family that has money and all the promise in the world. Very fine family. But with that kid the start with pot has led to other drugs (if only because you hang around others and are influenced). Ditto for my current wife’s parents. Big pot heads and as I have said she drank the bong water at one of their parties. And years later (after stopping) their health suffers from it big time. And their brains are for sure screwed up. Read that again. Drank the bong water at a pot party.Nothing good about drugs or marijuana on a large scale. Sure individuals (like with guns) can handle it and not abuse ‘the fast car’.At this point yes we have to legalize pot no way around it. But all that drug violence in Mexico started with pot and the market in the US and other places.

        1. Richard

          The pot pendulum will shift back (eventually). Really hard to see how a drug can be used in an open setting (you can’t walk down a steet in Los Angeles without smelling it), if that same drug has an effect on a person not consuming the drug. This (once the Hazars Ratio of second hand effects is published) will turn into one of the largest class action suits the US has ever seen.Reparation, basic income, maintaining carried income taxation, moving away from the $ as a reserve currency ? – i would like to see Fred post a April Foods blog this year. Cogntive bias is on full display almost every day on this blog.

          1. JLM

            .I think weed will be legalized nationally. The rub is going to be the health care fallout.There is no greater risk to health than turning hot smoke loose into your lungs. This is why tobacco was so dangerous. Weed is worse.The people who want to get high will get high.It will not diminish illegal marijuana sales because the illegal weed will simply undercut the prices. Just like illegal cigarettes in the Eastern Corridor.The narcotic effect of current legal weed is 10X what it was in the 1960s and that is alarming.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. LE

            Bottom line weak people (to social pressures) who abuse themselves and/or try to keep up with the Joneses. Hard to say if abuse of food is any better by the way.Also selfish on the part of people who seem to think because they can control themselves and use responsibly (or on a limited basis) there is no impact on the weaker members of society.And there is an impact on weaker members. My wife probably wouldn’t earn the income she does if people didn’t abuse drugs of various types.I am actually hedged somewhat nicely (income wise) against all this abuse and money going to the healthcare system as a result of things that I often point out on this blog.

          3. Pointsandfigures

            I am glad we are going state by state and going slowly rather than by court edict

          4. JLM

            .Colorado is having second thoughts everywhere except for Denver.Kids going skiing in Colorado are bringing back lots of weed on their road trips.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. JamesHRH

            History rhymes – like when EC cats took Coors Banquet back after a ski trip.

          6. JamesHRH

            Trudeau went national in Canada.Supply issues.

          7. Susan Rubinsky

            Main fallout areas will be:- Health care- Law enforcement- Workplace (productivity and accidents) – Education (more kids showing up stoned to school)

        2. SubstrateUndertow

          Separately nothing good about drugs periodReally my BP meds seem to be working wellPot is working very well for all kinds of medical applications tooIf I’ve told you once I’ve told you a million time don’t exaggerate 🙂

          1. JLM

            .Actually marijuana is not within the top ten for efficacy for treatment of any disease in active testing.If it were, pharma would be farming it.I see a lot of vets using it for PTSD and have talked to hundreds of them — weed led to many of their mental issues. They like to get high.There is a lot of buzz that it is effective for long term pain treatment, but again, no test proof.There is no medicine which a doctor prescribes in which the delivery mechanism is hot smoke in your lungs.Having said that, I think it will be legalized nationwide within the next few years.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. LE

            Possibly not you (could be genetic) but a large portion of people on BP meds are there because of some other abuse they shouldn’t be foisting on their body. No question we are getting less healthy as a result of the fact that ‘cures’ (which by the way do have impact) are so readily available. Not to mention the costs to all of us.My FIL as a result of his abuses is a typical older person on a laundry list of meds to keep him from dying. Most (per my wife who knows about this) as a result of abuses in prior years.Separately we are not talking about pot for medicinal purposes we are talking about rec pot and ‘game the system’ medical pot. (Or at least I am).

      2. JLM

        .The Trump “First Step Act” recently passed by the Congress and signed by the President does just that though it stops short of reparations — a truly goofy idea.In the FSA — thank you Pres Trump and son-in-law, Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner — the “three strikes” equals a life sentence provision was changed to a maximum of twenty-five years.It is a credit to the bi-partisan leadership from the White House that such a provision was included.In addition, Kushner gets credit for retroactively — retroactively — including the provisions of the Senate sponsored Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 — which reduces the disparity between crack (black men) and cocaine (white preppies) sentences.It also included the expansion of “safety valves” in which a Federal Judge may unilaterally issue a sentence beneath the mandatory guidelines for low level crimes. This restores real judgment to the Federal judiciary.How did this get done after three administrations tried and failed to get it done?Pres Trump went to the Fraternal Order of Police and said, “Who’s got your back? I do. Trust me, baby.”In turn, they supported the legislation giving Republicans and conservative Dems (both of them) cover.Who did this? President TrumpWho never could get this done? Presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama.Thanks, Trump.This is a perfect example of why I like Trump based on policy. Most people reading this have no knowledge of the First Step Act because the media doesn’t report on Trump wins. This was a huge win for America.Footnote: Many Federal sentences for weed distribution were plea bargains in which the underlying crime had been distribution heroin and a gun was involved. For this reason, the parole boards have been reluctant to let a guy out for simple weed distribution.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Richard

          Where are science first thinker on this issue? The evidence against the use of pot, particularly by kids, seems indisputable. Did you see any effects of users vs nonusers in the millitary?

          1. JLM

            .Right now, this is a political issue. Liberals love it. Conservatives cannot win on it.The after effects being felt in early adoption places like Colorado are quite detrimental as it relates to early age introduction, rehab, involvement in other crimes, DUI, and health.It is questionable as to whether one net penny of revenue is actually being realized when all the costs are totalled.It is a low class problem. I suspect that every well raised kid will try it — they did when I was growing up. But, it won’t be broadly used by well raised kids.There is nothing more pathetic than a 60 year old loser pot head.Bit judgmental, I admit, but lung cancer is a bit judgmental also.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Susan Rubinsky

            You are spot on.

          3. Susan Rubinsky

            I have all the data on this too if anyone wants it.

          4. Susan Rubinsky

            Exactly. First off, legalization has normalized it. Secondly, fake news (spread mostly by liberals) has glorified it as a miracle substance that causes no harm. Because it’s been illegal for so long there have been very few studies with large enough data sets to prove it’s worth*. Newer studies are showing that it is far more addictive than people believe and in teens, studies are showing that it actually creates addictive neural pathways in the developing brains (human brains still are developing it’s core neural pathways until the age of the mid-20’s).*The largest longitudinal study ever conducted was started in 1972/73 with 12 and 13 years olds and is still on-going. Teens who used marijuana have shown the following: Lower IQs, lower levels of educational attainment, lower household income, lower savings, etc.

      3. scottythebody

        this is interesting and something I hadn’t thought about before.

      4. Pointsandfigures

        Legal yes. Reparations no. Friedman was right on the War on Drugs when he told Nixon not to wage it. The war on drugs like the Great Society and War on Poverty before it was mostly political and not rooted in any math or good economic theory

        1. JamesHRH

          So true.

      5. JamesHRH

        The problem here is the lack of systemic thinking.Teens / young adults need a ‘badboy’ drug. Weed was perfect.Legalize it, what do the cool kids do? Coke? Meth?Not good.Tell me you hit your head skiing on the reparations thing. It was illegal the whole time.

        1. JLM

          .The factor of safety for a not-yet-fully-formed adolescent is about 1/16″.When high it is ZERO.It is adults who have done this to our children.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. JamesHRH

      Your comment on Trump is as truthful a statement by anyone who holds your views as I have ever seen. Kudos for saying you dislike him so much, you can’t think straight ( not an insult, a huge humanity plus IMO ).Interesting statement about ‘ crypto not being let in’….

      1. awaldstein

        My disdain is very deep.The courts will decide and if the evidence is there, I will seriously enjoy his demise.The payments space is fascinating, a serious mess and massive opportunity. I wrote about it here a bit ago.Crypto, CBD, Cannabis and the broader markets http://arnoldwaldstein.com/

    3. JLM

      .”…my deep disdain for him, clouds my thinking and hopefulness for anything but the very worse [worst] outcome for him.”This is the anthem of the liberal elite. Their selfish, emotional judgment is substituted for the Electoral College and millions of voters who played the game as the game is designed to be played.They are not just sore losers, they are vindictive, small minded, mean spirited provocateurs willing to sacrifice democracy and fair mindedness on their altars of personal idolatry.Fair mindedness is not tested — our virtue is not tested — by the outcomes we like, but by the outcomes we don’t like. Only then is it difficult.The naked truth of the matter is that the elites want their way even if it harms the balance of the country, denies the sanctity of the ballot box, puts a shiv into due process, drowns the notion of the presumption of innocence, throttles democracy, or fails to give a new President a fair chance for not just him, but for the country to succeed.This is the sentiment that calls for an economic downfall of the US market in order that they might “get” Trump, something they could not do at the ballot box.It is an arrogant display of hubris which is why Trump won in the first place. It is revealing as to the lack of critical thinking and the reliance upon emotion and personal wants — the province of an infant.It is sad that such an admission troubles not any fair minded citizen including those who utter such intellectually bankrupt nonsense.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    4. Susan Rubinsky

      Wish I could get behind cannabis, but can’t. There are very few studies with big enough data sets to prove it’s medicinal use. The cannabis industry is one of the largest purveyors of fake news out there and the liberals are helping spread misinformation on it like wildfire. I don’t doubt cannabis has a few great medicinal uses but it is not the miracle drug that a whole lot of people think it is.

      1. awaldstein

        “the cannabis industry is one of the largest purveyors of fake news out there and the liberals are helping spread misinformation on it like wildfire.”I can’t respond to statements like this with any seriousness–sorry. You are accusing me of what exactly? You surprise me.I’m all in for it.All in for the tax basis.All in as it chips at an imprisonment epidemic based on nothing.All in as I am a huge believer in the benefits of CBD and when CBD is balanced with THC that is where the benefits and the innovation happens.Each to their own.

        1. Susan Rubinsky

          You should see what people share all over Facebook. I’ll start screenshotting it and saving the links.

        2. Susan Rubinsky

          If you’d like to take a look at some of the preliminary data coming out of Colorado, this is a good overview – https://www.policefoundatio…I have plenty of other sources if you’d like to see more.

        3. Susan Rubinsky

          The following organizations all have public statements against legalizing marijuana for medical use due the lack of studies/evidence:American Society of Addiction MedicineAmerican Cancer SocietyAmerican Glaucoma FoundationThe American Medical Association (AMA)National Multiple Sclerosis Society

          1. Richard

            Facts get in the way for Arnold; There is no interest stronger than a financial stake.

          2. Susan Rubinsky

            Facts aren’t being used much at all in the whole cannabis front. I expect it will be legalized across the country very soon. I’m not completely against it, but I am FOR understanding the facts and utilizing them for sensible legalization and also to understand the societal pitfalls to take true stock in preparing for and preventing (to some extent) negative outcomes, of which there are many. In Colorado and Washington state, for example, the actual ROI is negligible when the negative costs — such as workplace accidents (up 185%), industrial workplace accidents (up 155% — these are measured separately from white collar accidents), auto fatalities (up 50%), pediatric hospitalizations (up 100% due primarily to accidental ingestion), workplace productivity (random drug test positives up 178%), #1 drug found in adolescent autopsy reports for first time ever — are factored in. I could go on with the data because I have done a lot of research and reading on this topic.

          3. awaldstein

            It’s a complicated and controversial subject.I’ve done my own homework on the ground, especially in the supplement and CBD worlds and am confident with my point of view.In you opinion as stated, me as a liberal is personally responsible for spreading false info. Don’t accept this obviously. Too weird a statement.There was a great discussion on The Conversation podcast on the topic with a really great panel of mixed political views on the toic.

          4. Susan Rubinsky

            Most of the people I see on Facebook spreading fake news about cannabis are liberals.

          5. Susan Rubinsky

            I stand corrected. The New Yorker, one of the most liberal of media sources, has published a piece on marijuana, noting the lack of evidence.”…smoking pot is widely supposed to diminish the nausea associated with chemotherapy. But, the panel pointed out, “there are no good-quality randomized trials investigating this option.” We have evidence for marijuana as a treatment for pain, but “very little is known about the efficacy, dose, routes of administration, or side effects of commonly used and commercially available cannabis products in the United States.” The caveats continue. Is it good for epilepsy? “Insufficient evidence.” Tourette’s syndrome? Limited evidence. A.L.S., Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s? Insufficient evidence. Irritable-bowel syndrome? Insufficient evidence. Dementia and glaucoma? Probably not. Anxiety? Maybe. Depression? Probably not.”https://www.newyorker.com/m…

  17. Salt Shaker

    The newly placed puppet AG will never allow a report on Trump’s historical malfeasance. It’s way beyond the scope and authority of what Mueller has been charged to investigate. On the other hand, the Southern D of NYC has much freer reign to explore that space and will do so aggressively. I think the Southern D will circumvent the partisan and highly improbable Senate vote for impeachment (unless Mitch flips), thereby letting someone else do their dirty work. One way or another this will emulate “House of Cards.” Life imitating art. (Pence: “Honey, pack your bags.”)

    1. JLM

      .Before you get too excited about what the SDNY might undertake, take note that the US Attorney for the SDNY is one Geoffrey Berman (Penn, Stanford) who practiced law with Greenberg Traurig — Rudy Guiliani’s firm.Rudy promoted Berman for US Attorney of NJ before Berman was appointed US Attorney of SDNY.Berman — wait for it — did volunteer legal work for the Trump Transition.By all rights, Berman should recuse himself from anything involving Trump as he did in the issuance of a search warrant for Michael Cohen.Wink, wink.The guy to watch is his deputy, Robert Khuzami, a former SEC guy. He is the inventor of the SEC’s Cooperation Program. He worked for Deutsche Bank.He also worked with Andrew McCarthy and Patrick Fitzgerald (US Attorney in the Scooter Libby case and James Comey’s current attorney).Trump doesn’t have much to worry about in the SDNY.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Salt Shaker

        Letitia James.

        1. JLM

          .A politician completely out of her depth when it comes to complicated financial crimes. She has state jurisdiction only if the Feds don’t take jurisdiction. A blowhard of the first order with a law degree from Howard.Doesn’t have the resources of the FBI/DOJ including expertise and money.Hard to see how Trump could not remove any litigation to Federal Court.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        2. LE

          Despite what anyone might want the outcome to be, the means of how someone like that operates is honestly not the way things should work. A prosecutor who is out to win at all costs, prior to even studying the evidence, (other than what they have read or observed) is not kosher. Period. Sure they aren’t judges they are prosecutors, but one of the problems with our legal system (among many) is this ‘win at all costs’ mentality which often (anecdotally) ignores evidence to the contrary. They care about the win. Not justice. They should in a perfect world be able to walk away from a case and not have it be about them and winning. Who do you want prosecuting crimes? Someone out for themselves ironically the same fault that Trump is accused of? (And other politicians).I mean seriously is this what you desire?https://www.nytimes.com/201…Letitia James, the incoming New York attorney general, has made no secret of how she feels about President Trump. She calls him an “illegitimate president.” She says her decision to run for attorney general was largely “about that man in the White House who can’t go a day without threatening our fundamental rights.” She has suggested that Mr. Trump could be charged with obstruction of justice, and implied that foreign governments channeled money to Mr. Trump’s family’s real estate holdings, which she characterized as a “pattern and practice of money laundering.”Points:a) Two wrongs don’t make a right. Trump sucking, criminality and so on doesn’t make this woman right for her prejudicial attitude.b) The process protects us all. You can’t throw it out the window because in one case you clearly see that a perp is guilty and ‘looks and quacks like a duck’.c) You don’t want preconceived notions in the judicial system that shape how prosecutors operate. Wait until you are on the other side of this. Once again this is to protect all of us and the foundation of our system.d) Shoe will be on the other foot once a line like this is crossed.e) States should stay out of trying to take down the President.f) All these legal actions against the federal government (not only this) is a drag on the economy and simply a boon for attorneys and the news media.

          1. Salt Shaker

            Do not disagree about her inflammatory rhetoric prior to even doing due diligence. Not right. Why should the states stay out if crimes within their jurisdiction occurred? I don’t think Mueller has a smoking gun, but I do think there’s a lot of dirt w/ the Trump Organization and Trump Foundation. He’s gonna regret the day he ran for office.

          2. LE

            I do think there’s a lot of dirt w/ the Trump OrganizationThere is a great deal of dirt period on anybody doing business in the US period let alone in NY Metro area. It’s kind of the highest level of selective enforcement.Its well know that there can always be a way for the government to bring charges against someone because there are so many laws and the law is analog and not digital. And that means lawyers and money spent and resources on something that is being done for the wrong reason.Why should the states stay out if crimes within their jurisdiction occurred?Well along those lines an IRS audit is supposed to be random let’s say and not done because you are trying to get back at someone for some other reason and you legally can. (Has been done I think Nixon?)Say you live in a town. You are a citizen. You want the prosecutor or the mayor (because they don’t like you or what you say or your beliefs) deciding to leave no stone unturned to try and bring you down? Probable cause is not ‘we sort of know something is going on here’ or ‘someone told us something isn’t kosher here’ or ‘we read the papers so they have said’. You’d never get a warrant to search or tap based on that type of thing.But my most important point is ‘we don’t like so we will go after and bring someone down’ is just clearly wrong period.Go to the IRS now and tell them some guy commenting on AVC.com has said he has cheated the IRS in the past and hasn’t paid any of his taxes. They will ask you (if you even get someone to take you seriously) what your proof is. They will say ‘did you work for that person’ or ‘do you have some concrete proof of what he is doing or reason to know other than comments or loose knowledge to that effect’? You probably won’t even get that far.Do you want prosecutors and investigators and the police going on witch hunts (no matter how obvious there is a witch!) in this fashion?

          3. Salt Shaker

            That’s why they have grand juries. They won’t indict w/ out a preponderance of evidence.

          4. LE

            No seriously. Since JLM is out having a smoke, I will bat that down right away. You really think that is the way it works?Have a read of this:https://criminal.findlaw.co…There is no judge present and frequently there are no lawyers except for the prosecutor. The prosecutor will explain the law to the jury and work with them to gather evidence and hear testimony. Did you know this? You think a one sided presentation means ‘they won’t indict?’.Don’t you remember the saying ‘a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich’?

          5. Salt Shaker

            True at Fed level. In NYS 20% of grand jury cases fail to indict. Still a stacked deck, but less so at state level.

  18. LE

    All of this will lead to a more cautious stance by investors in the startup economy.I always find phrasing like that interesting. It reminds me of ‘security was tightened because’. Shouldn’t (if it’s security) it always be tight? [1] Should investing always be cautious? No more no less any any point in time. Otherwise it indicates that investing is typically not as cautious as it should be. And aren’t ‘times are good’ ephemeral anyway? You know they won’t last. On a long term investment you will hit a bad spot at some point. Why does caution change and why should it?[1] You know those monster movies where you think the monster is dead but it’s not. Can remember the first time I saw one but might have been Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween. You think the monster is dead but the shot shows the monster then getting up in the background and JLC not knowing it is coming for her again.

  19. LE

    I believe that we will have a different President of the United States by the end of 2019. The catalyst for this change will be a devastating report issued by Robert Mueller that outlines a history of illegal activities by our President going back decades, including in his campaign for President.I give great weight to this because I think I have an idea of who you spoke to that told you that. And what that person knows that we don’t know. (From the lips of ‘JH’ … my guess…)

    1. JamesHRH

      Yes, this is the thing.Does Freddy have inside NYC dope?

  20. JLM

    .Wow! Hats off to Freddie Wilson for a thought provoking set of predictions. Wow! Best, most adventurous ever! Salute.Like a lot of liberals, unfortunately, he has the political instincts of a German Shepherd in heat when it comes to all things Trump.Let’s review the bidding, shall we:1. First, the Mueller report is rendered to the DOJ in the person of the Acting Attorney General, who has no legal obligation to reveal it. Ever.Further, the Acting AG can accept or reject the report in part or in whole.Very real chance that the Mueller report never sees the light of day. If I were the AG, given what follows below, I would not reveal the report and “take it under advisement.”I would give the White House six months to prepare a rebuttal and then lose my calendar.The current Acting AG Whitaker and the nominated AG Barr are both guys who have questioned the original appointment of the Special Counsel.With the report in hand, the wisdom of the original appointment — based on some nonsensical conversations with George Papadopoulos and the FISA warrants — four of them — on Carter Page — will be in the public realm. Not indicting CP for anything after four FISA warrants is going to be a very tough question to answer.I doubt that now-revealed evidence passes muster.Count on everything being de-classified as soon as that report is finished. The docs which remain classified all inure to the benefit of the President. If the report is finished, they are released unrebutted.2. There is by Fred’s own admissions, a statute of limitations issue. If a “crime” is beyond the statute of limitations — “decades ago” — it doesn’t even belong in the report.It is a criminal investigation of Russian collusion and a free pass to follow that investigation to any other crimes. A “crime” beyond the statute of limitations is not a chargeable offense. Period.Mentioning such a crime is “prejudicial” and would not be allowed by policy.3. The DOJ has a long standing policy that a sitting President cannot be indicted while in office. This creates two different problems: the same statute of limitations issue because if re-elected the President will have added a total of 8 years to the “tolling” of the statute.No financial crimes have such a long statute of limitations.The defendant is not obligated to waive tolling. That is a pipe dream as is the notion of a sealed indictment. Mueller has to have the permission of the Acting AG to issue any indictment.The second problem is a practical one — the Mueller investigation ends with the rendering of its report. Their prosecutorial zeal disappears and the cases will be tried by another US Attorney. The DOJ has to appoint someone to try any resultant cases — which again cannot go forward until the end of the President’s tenure.You are betting that a US Attorney is going to be willing to take this case and run with it with the same zeal as Weissmann did with 12 year old Manafort allegations which the FBI had passed on before.The Manafort trial was purely to create leverage to get him to sing. He has apparently lost his voice. Smart play for a guy who needs a pardon.[Clearly, the FBI did not get whatever they thought they might get or wanted to get from Manafort. Clearly, Manafort is getting pardoned.]I do think a President can be indicted at the end of his term. And, if there is evidence of a crime, it is within the statute of limitations, I am all in favor of ex-President Trump being charged and given a fair trial.Of course, any Presidential successor will pardon him.4. The House is going to wait on the Mueller report to vote articles of impeachment — if they are smart. Already Nancy Pelosi is reluctant to go forward without some external justification.She needs the Young Turks to get the Speaker’s gavel, but she is a very establishment, traditional politician.If the impeachment fails, the House Dems — as the Reps were in the Clinton saga — are dead meat. Dead. Meat.This will not stop some of the crazies going all in from Day One, but once Nancy gets the gavel, they will be taught manners.In any event, it will take six months for this to percolate to the surface.5. No way the Senate votes to remove. The vote requires 67 Senators.The Dems have 47 Dems/Independents with 4 wobbly Senators — two being Manchin and Jones who have both said they haven’t heard anything justifying impeachment.Any Senator up for re-election in 2020 in a Trump won state is also going to be wary — I count that to be at least 4 (Reed, Shaheen, Smith, Udall) in addition to Manchin and Jones (also up for re-election).At best, the Dems have to convince 20 Republican Senators to vote with them. There are 22 Rep Senators up for re-election in 2020 including Mitch McConnell, Tom Cotton, John Cornyn, Joni Ernst, Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse and Tom Tillis. Mississippi and Arizona will have “open” seats.The Republican Senate will not risk this action as the electorate will turn on them like a rattlesnake. There is no Rep Senate candidate who can vote for removal and expect to be re-elected. You think a guy like Cornyn votes to remove and comes home to Texas and gets re-elected?If you run the math out, the Dems are pulling to an inside straight with only 31 targets remaining (53-22=31) of which they would have to capture at least 20 and maybe as many as 24.Not. Going. To. Happen.5. The worst Trump you could ever imagine would be an impeached, un-removed Trump on the 2020 campaign trail. He would be a wounded lion with an empty belly and a megaphone.6. The 2020 Presidential Election has begun with Lizzie Warren’s announcement of the formation of an exploratory committee. The reality of fundraising requires any serious candidate to do the same in the next month.This will be the big story of 2019 — 30 Dem candidates lurching left to capture the nomination in a jungle primary in which the far left progressive movement will be the kingmaker.You thought the Republicans were entertaining in 2016? Hang on. This is going to be wild.Everybody is going to be looking for “Beto” money and there is a limited supply of it. The California Beto money is going to stay at home.Some states have moved their primaries up to try to get some more power. Plus, the DNC will likely not know for whom to fix the race. There is even a credible chance that HRC will throw her XXXXL caftan into the ring. Please, God.7. The very best thing for Trump would be to be impeached and not removed. This is the likely scenario. It would completely defang the charges, turn a wounded Trump loose on the world, and justify the witch hunt accusation.8. The Mueller report will be a MFer. It has to be, but it will also be rebutted and it will become a boring pitched battle of high powered lawyers on CNN v Fox News. Alan Dershowitz will be on every news show.The country will completely lose interest. It falls under the “If you have an erection for more than 4 hours, call your Presidential candidate” exemption.It will be as exciting as the current government shutdown. You did know the gov’t was shutdown, right?9. In what world does Donald J Trump resign? This is a fearless SOB who is unafraid of anything. He resigns? That is like trying to negotiate with a cobra.Nixon got caught with tapes. Nixon was in the White House when he did what he did.The best anybody can come up with is the Stormy payments. [Read US v Edwards to see how that turns out. Hint: the gov’t loses.]There is no allegation that Pres Trump did anything while in office or that he did anything during the campaign. He was on the hustings for 3 months and every second of his time was accounted for.Nah, 2019 ends with President Donald J Trump continuing to Make America Great Again, the Dems tilting at windmills, and DJT looking like a shoo in for re-election.Remember, I personally am rooting for him to be impeached and tried in the Senate. That unleashes the Ultimate Donald. Further, if Trump did something wrong, impeachable, then IMPEACH HIM. I only like the guy’s policies. If he committed a crime, OFF WITH HIS HEAD, but I just don’t see it.Happy New Year, y’all, and thanks, Freddie, for provoking some interesting thoughts. Here’s hoping we all have a great 2019.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. scottythebody

      Props for being one of the only people in the world who uses the “tilting at windmills” analogy correctly. Your obvious bias aside, you raise some pretty good points, too. I really wish Trump would go down in flames because he is such a terrible person, but I think the legal case is just not there — yet. Trump will get his in Hell anyway (and we will all roast in the hellscape he is creating, but that’s another story).

      1. JLM

        .Fair play to you.I am not biased. My opinion is neither preconceived nor unreasoned.I am a open and forthright supporter of Trump’s policies and the resultant impact.I do not hold up a cheater’s lens or a sneaky view of things. I have a perfectly rational, reason-based, critically thought out assessment at to why I prefer Pres Trump’s governance.Critical thinking is the antidote to knee jerk bias. Bias is unreasoned and instinctive. The left should examine itself and see whether their opposition is fact based or bias.Case in point is the First Step Act justice reform attempted by the last three Presidents, but gotten over the finish line by Pres Trump (thanks Jared Kushner). This is good law.As to him personally, I doubt our opinions of his personal life would have much daylight between them.I love the First Step Act, the confrontation with China over cheating and theft of IP, the destressing of the Korean peninsula, the renegotiation of NAFTA, the tax cuts, the withdrawal from Syria, the boot up the ass of NATO as it relates to paying their bills, the same boot up the ass of the UN, cleaning up the VA, the Canadian Softwood Lumber Tariff — these are policies.I didn’t vote for a Pope. I voted for a President. I picked my President based on promised policies. Thus far, I am not disappointed by the rate at which his promises have become policy.I live in a border state and know the issues of drug trafficking, child and sexual trafficking, illegal alien violence, cartel violence, and we need a border — wall v fence v tech – pfffft. I care not what form it takes.I think the Secure Fence Act of 2006 — voted for by Senators Schumer, Obama, Clinton — was good law, good policy.I agreed with the underlying thesis that the system was rigged. Watching the establishment and the Deep State squirm has been a singular pleasure.Seeing two conservative Judges appointed to the SCOTUS was sufficient to earn my vote.Results. YES. Personality. NO. Don’t GAS about it.We’re all going to spend a little time in Purgatory.Happy New Year.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. sigmaalgebra

          By far the best analysis on AVC and no doubt one of the best on the Internet.For Trump’s personality, I DO like that, that I like his policies so much helps, that he fights so hard while standing under a MSM monsoon of sewage helps more, that Melania is such a sweetheart helps more. No way do the Trumps deserve the MSM sewage monsoon.Best POTUS since Washington; Mount Rushmore would be a step down.

          1. scottythebody

            I absolutely despise his personality, and as far as policies, find it a mishmash. Some of the concepts I truly agree with, but the implementation is always so bungled and the level of intellectual rigor in his speech to communicate any of his ideas basically none. That is my preference — to have a President that actually seems slightly intelligent. I know it’s a perception thing, but still..But it is disturbing to me when people say the like his personality. This means, to me, that they are either bullies themselves or were the type of people who never stood up to bullies and ingratiated themselves to bullies. I could be wrong, but I’ve lived a long time, known a lot of humans, and am surrounded by people with PhDs in psychology, so I’ve also had some debate about it, too (BTW, before you assume anything, half of those Psych PhDs are Trump supporters — hahahah).

          2. sigmaalgebra

            > implementation is always so bungledI’m not seeing that:He got his tax cut and “reform” through, and maybe that has helped the economy significantly, I don’t see it as “bungled”.He wants out of absurd foreign military adventures, policing the world, and is getting our 2000 troops out of the ISIS fight. The 2000 is so small that it is partly symbolic. Here he has taken his time and avoided problems, not “bungled” it: That is, IIRC he gave Mattis a deadline, extended it, and now says he is moving slowly, three months. For the Kurds, he’s been talking with Erodgan and maybe cooked up something to keep the Kurds safe as long as they don’t try to foment violence with the Kurds in Turkey. He still has the 10,000 or so in Iraq; with that and aircraft carriers in the Med, etc. he is not at much risk of some reversal that would “bungle” the effort. Yes, Iran, Russia, Turkey, Syria, etc. might sit and meet. Okay with me. One thing they can’t do, meeting or not, is bring that desert into the 21st, 20th, 19th, … 16th centuries. Since there’s no big risk to us, let the countries over there handle it.He has North Korea not testing missiles or atomic bombs. That North Korean situation has been bad since the early 1950s and a serious sore spot, and Trump has some progress without “bungling” it,Things could be hot with China over the islands in the South China Sea, flights over South Korea, thefts of intellectual property, and more, but Trump has Xi at least talking and, apparently recently, getting Chinese Fentanyl production stopped,Repeal and replace ObamaCare was bungled, but Trump was deliberately lied to and sabotaged by McCain,The Wall has been bungled, but Trump has been facing everything Schumer could round up in the Senate, e.g., to filibuster any bill funding The Wall. For whatever reasons, Schumer wants a big fight. Given what Schumer is doing, Trump seems to be doing well — I believe he is in line to win this fight because Schumer is playing about the worst hand in all of serious US national politics: Schumer has NO WAY to excuse immigration that is ILLEGAL, 72,000 deaths a year from illegal drugs from Mexico, sex slaves from Mexico, Mexican drug cartel violence in the US, the public health disaster, the costs to US taxpayers for welfare, medical care, child education, hurting the employment opportunities of US citizens, etc.For the separation of families at the border thingy, IIRC Trump’s policies were more humane than Obama’s. Besides, even for US citizens, when a parent is in jail for a crime, we “separate” the families, The illegal immigrants have committed crimes.For the hurricanes, it seemed to me that Trump and wife were there on the ground listening and making help available — not bungledFor the California wildfires, the person who bungled it, for $billions a year for 2+ years, is Governor Moobeam and his Moonie, Greenie quasi religious 100% all natural wacko nonsense about forest management. Trump handled that nasty situation gracefully.Trump gracefully overcame awkward situations with Mexico, Canada, and England and in England got smiles from both PM May and especially the Queen.Trump handled the situation with the Khashoggi murder gracefully, tried to get the Saudi prince forward from the 15th century without breaking up.Your comment on bullies assumes he is a bully; I don’t see that. I do see that he is working hard to put the working people back to work, stop the threats of massive importing of cheap illegal labor and cheap and often in part illegal products. And he is working for his “America First” in reversing the manage the world attitudes that got us into Viet Nam, Gulf War II, Akrapistan, have us spending too much on military activities around the world — Asia, the Mideast, South Asia, Europe, Africa, etc. IMHO, the thinking that had us stay so long in Akrapistan and spend so much US blood and treasure in Iraq after 9/11 was disastrous, close to brain dead, and needed to be changed. For the change, Trump has acted not like a bully but has moved cautiously. He didn’t bungle it.For his speaking style, I see it as effective: He gets really good reactions at his rallies. For his press conferences, now mostly outside the White House as he comes and goes via Marine One, fine — he gracefully got rid of totally out of line Acosta. For his short video statements just outside the Oval Office, fine. For his use of Twitter, terrific use of a new communications tool; there he cuts out the middle man, “disintermediates”, gets his message out without media distortion. He doesn’t speak like a Harvard prof of English literature giving a lecture; my writing is closer to academics than his is; but I like what he says and find his words just fine.For being a bully, you gave no examples, and I know of none.Maybe your psychology Ph.D. friends could give some suggestions for how the Trump “personality” should be changed.

          3. scottythebody

            Can’t really change a person’s personality. By the list you’ve typed out, i can see that you are a huge fan. Props. But if you can’t see that he is a bully, I’ve got little time for tying any response.

          4. DJL

            I think it is fair to say that people like the way he fights back and does not get bullied by the media or Democrats. And the speech that is judged by the Phd’s to be immature is golden to average Americans that are tired of political double-speak.The Left and the Media are the true bullies – not Trump. Just watch them destroy anyone that does not fit their mold. You don’t see any conservatives running around with black masks terrorizing people.

          5. scottythebody

            There is something there for sure. I hate the left fascist act these days just as much as the right wing version. I especially hate it when one can’t be a “true” supporter of a position unless they also adapt the agenda of a bunch of other issues that they may or may not care about.But Trump is definitely a bully. I’m not talking about his “Fight back” style with the media or detractors (even though it borders on pathological — he’ll even do it when he has literally nothing to say). I’m talking about his life-long and demonstrated pattern of being a bully.

          6. Dedangelo

            Nope. They wear white sheets instead.

          7. spock123

            “Oh, you mean the Klan? But they were Democrats.”Deeply disingenuous. The Dems tolerated the racist south until the 1960s, when their collective conscience finally awoke enough to reject them. The racists were then welcomed into the open arms of the GOP, where they happily remain today.https://en.wikipedia.org/wi

      2. JamesHRH

        It is odd that you see bias.It is not uncommon here, for those of us who are Trump Objectivists.

        1. scottythebody

          This statement makes no sense to me. I do see an obvious bias and a personality that tilts towards “bully” when I see statements like:there is even a credible chance that HRC will throw her XXXXL caftan into the ring. Please, God.I get it. I see the viewpoint (and obvious bias), and I also understand why people say they like his personality. They are either bullies themselves or people who used to stand next to bullies and say stuff like “yeah!”

          1. JamesHRH

            it’s not bias when the facts support the Statement, she is no slimmer than Fat Nixon and he would destroy her in another campaign.She is arrogant enough to think she is a viable candidate. It’s amazing.

          2. scottythebody

            Sure. It’s super relevant to call people fat when talking about politics. You just do it because it’s true. Right? Typical bully bullshit.

          3. JamesHRH

            Grow up. She’fat; he’s fat.Bullying needs victims to be effective.

      3. DJL

        You might want to ask the coal miners and factory workers whose jobs he saved if Trump is a “terrible person.” It is easy for rich Liberals to throw bombs at Trump – because they are going to still be rich and out of touch with mainstream America. It means so little when billionaires and tech tycoons rail against Trump and vote for socialist policies. Easy because it makes them feel important and their money will not be taken away. Walk the streets of Detroit, Pittsburgh and Cleveland and see what people say. The “hellscape” is full of happy people with jobs and a future.

        1. JLM

          .Steel workers.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. DJL

            And lets not talk about raising interest rates because of a healthy economy based on sound policy. Or the fact that we have stronger trade deals with both Mexico and Canada. I’m glad I missed this yesterday. So painful wading through the misinformation.

          2. scottythebody

            But Trump didn’t want interest rates to rise and he criticized the “sound policy” of the Fed. What misinformation?

          3. DJL

            You are correct. I think he felt that it was done to tank the market on purpose. Hey, when you wake up every day with everyone trying to destroy you, you might get paranoid. Personally, I think this higher rate is appropriate for the economy. But I do not even play an economist on TV.

          4. scottythebody

            What about them? They weren’t too pleased as recently as October. They weren’t openly hostile or anything, but i think we almost have to pretend Trump has done anything major for them.

        2. scottythebody

          Like I said, some of the policy is good.i think saving jobs is good. Also creating new jobs in future oriented areas is also good. That isn’t happening so much. Still think he’s a terrible person. Terrible people can still function.I would guess you’re only going to ask the white people you see in Detroit, Pitrsburgh, and Cleveland what they think of Trump.

          1. DJL

            That was a racist comment. Do you only talk to white people?I am from Detroit, Lot’s of black people like Trump – despite being shamed by their “leaders” for making up their own minds. (Oh yes, and the Black and Hispanic unemployment rate is the lowest in history.) I think it is disgusting to assume that all black people need to hate Trump because their Hollywood heroes do.

          2. scottythebody

            Right out of the DJT playbook. “That’s a racist comment!” Look, I know that plenty of people who are black support Trump — but it’s not very many. And I agree with you with that “leaders” comment in general. It’s all part of the new “agenda setting” groupthink that I don’t particularly love. It happens in the right wing, too, but I think that, right now, the conservative area is better at being inclusive of diverse and loosely aligned viewpoint (even if that means DJT has to stoop down and lick the balls of racists and Nazis). At least it keeps the momentum going for the agenda overall.

          3. creative group

            DJL:you and your platform supporters are the last to speak for the African American community. Those so-called Blacks who support Trump don’t live and communicate with the majority of African Americans being effected by the racist policies of DJT and PAC’S.Everything that DJT does isn’t going to be evil or have a negative effect. We can name five positive policy pushes that have been a positive for overall Americans. But the awful attempt to appear that the Republican party is inclusive and not whistling at the racist within the base it condescending to those with common sense and an education.What DJT represents is what America refuses to confront or discuss the underbelly of racism in America is taught and learned behavior.Everyone may have a bias. You don’t drink milk but like Almond, you don’t eat meat but eat fish, etc. Racism is based upon a false sense of superiority of one race over another which if basing those facts in America are proved totally false.We are proud Independents from day one. Not the one from the Republican party shamed into registering as Independents after the Bush presidency or the Democrats before the second terms of the Obama administration.We realize the Right-Wing playbook with be unleashed to counter the facts we stated. The attack, lie, deflect, lie, attack and attack some more which happens to work on the weak and feeble minded.We are always interested and motivated in winning Wars not battles.Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      9. In what world does Donald J Trump resign? This is a fearless SOB who is unafraid of anything. He resigns? That is like trying to negotiate with a cobra.Come on!The guy is one big ball of raging fear.That is exactly why he has spent his whole life Neo-cheating everyone and every social/economic process he comes into contact with. He has no real confidence in anything but his grifting skills which are indeed monumental.He is the antithesis to the Neo-thinking folks that populate the Tech sector!You’ve been punk’d big time by the fearless Mr. Bonespur !!But you sure got the “SOB” part right 🙂

      1. JLM

        .Don’t see it.A guy who faces down Mad Dog Mattis and pulls the carpet out from under him when MD tries to go on a world wide pity tour has a lot of balls.I had the pleasure of spending a little time w/ MD. He gave a speech at VMI because the Superintendent was his boss when the Supe (4-star) was CentComm CO in which he gave the cadets a pretty good rundown on the world when they got commissioned into the Brotherhood of Arms.MD’s a little shit — 5’8″ on his best day, but he’s a powerful guy.Funny thing about Pres Trump is he is a compensator. The fact that he was a 5-time bone spurred draft dodger leaves a mark on his soul. He’s trying to compensate for that by being a bad ass.No way this guy resigns. Ever.Can I get some odds for our bet? Small bet. Just symbolic. Favorite charity kind of thing.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Richard

          There something else about Trump – rarely mentioned -. As a kid he attended the church of Norman Vincent Peale – the author of the classic “the power of positivethinking”. Peale’s wizdom along with a little suvivorhsip bias doesn’t make for a guy who will back down. Agree or disagree with Trump, has anyone seen this guy mindset in a negative framework? Fold under pressure ? Looked scared ?

          1. SubstrateUndertow

            Trump is MR. Positive now that is ripe !He has a long illustrious history of folding under pressure. He does what all grifters do. They fold followed by a long loud campaign of victory propaganda.

          2. Richard

            I’m not coming at this with a bias – other than not a huge fan of the 80s northeast region creepiness – but when I see old DT videos I see a guy who had a positive attitude.

          3. JamesHRH

            See JLM comment re: leadership.He’s positive – and, people really miss this – he’s prepared.

          4. JamesHRH

            Don’t see it.Biggest loss was casino bankruptcy which was triggered by accident that killed 3 of top 6 execs in his casino empire.And he came out of that with some casinos.

          5. JamesHRH

            I actually do know this – it is the basis for his ‘ you will forgive me when I am successful ‘ life philosophy.I think he fully expects to serve to 2024 and be lionized. Take somebody off Rushmore and put Trump up there level lionized.His style is his personality.Peale’s weirdness fuels his philosophy.

        2. SubstrateUndertow

          Trump is chickenshit he does no even have the courage to fire people face to face.I never claimed he would resign. That would take some semblance of integrity. So no betting required.

          1. JLM

            .Anybody who goes through the trial by fire that is the modern pursuit of the Presidency is not a chicken shit.I do think you should fire people fact-to-face, but he does do it promptly. I like that.I’ll put us down for a BBQ and a beer bet. Trump survives 2019 as POTUS v he’s out by 12-21-2019.I like Peacemaker beer.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Mat

            “He does it promptly, I like that”. I mean, WTF!? DJT fan boys like you are running out of excuses to like the guy. He literally fired Mattis because he resigned. He fires people because they turn against him because of what a terrible human being he is. Not because he has any convictions about them as individuals.He’s had more resignations to date than any sitting president in the last 50 years. He was making the case 3 years ago that Obama was a weak president because he had had 2 COS changes in a short time frame… compare that to now. Do you really, really not see the issue here? The hypocrisy? You chose to say you like him because he is prompt??

          3. JLM

            .He fired Mattis because Mattis had tendered a resignation with an effective date of 28 February.Mattis intended to make a whirl wind tour of NATO and the foreign capitals to conduct a post-mortem pity party.Pres Trump knee capped him.Game, set, match — DJT.Do you even know how many Cabinet officers there are and how many Pres Trump has replaced? The average tenure of a Cabinet officer?Trump is right in the middle of the pack.Sorry.I do like him for his promptness, but I love him for his policies. I love the Canadian Softwoods Timber Tariff, first of all policies.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. Mat

            How about Mattis played him by not showing his hand and resigning at one of the worst time possible for DJT when he was least expecting it?How about DJT doesn’t control shit and can’t get people that work for him to show any sign of allegiance / respect towards him?And that letter that Mattis sent, which at no point names or praises DJT? History books will remember this – not that DJT didn’t allow him to go on a pity tour.If anything, Mattis can be a much greater nuisance now that he’s free to talk.

          5. JLM

            .Mattis is a known quantity in the USMC. I am a VMI grad and VMI has produced tons of Marines.Mattis spoke at my alma mater recently at the request of the Superintendent who was a 4-star CentComm Commander. Mattis worked for him.The Mattis I know is a earnest intellectual — as that term can be applied to a man who is essentially a high level light infantry commander and trainer (USMC).He is an inspirational leader at the Division level and below. I would entrust my son to his care and feel very comfortable.I believe that he and Pres Trump had a perfectly honest difference on a lot of policies starting with small things like transgender integration in the military, forcing women through Ranger School.I think that the notion of withdrawing the last combat troops from Syria — primarily Marine artillery units firing Paladin 155mm guns with a range of 15,000 meters delivering a 95 lbs projectile — is a sound idea.No Caliph. No Caliphate. The Turks can handle it from here. Let the locals do the work.We have another 5K soldiers/airmen providing CAS (close air support) just west of Baghdad — the airfield Pres Trump recently visited. So, the missions are redundant.Having been a professional soldier, I am extremely wary of Generals not willing or able to finish a war. My God, we’ve been in A’stan for seventeen years.There is something called Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice which precludes a General from using contemptuous words toward the POTUS.Mattis is too much of a pro to violate that article. And, he is a sound enough commander to understand why.President Trump is a 5-time Vietnam War Era draft dodger based on a pre-induction physical malady of bone spurs.He tries to compensate by appearing to be a hawk. Smart people in the Pentagon know that and use it as leverage.His strikes against Syria — two cruise missile attacks — were another example of a policy disagreement. The Pentagon thought it would provoke a confrontation with the Russians. It did not. Trump was right.The decision to withdraw from the Iran nuke deal was another example of a policy disagreement.On the big picture, Pres Trump grades well. None of the things the military counseled against, turned out to be real.Even in the NK saga, the Pentagon was anxious about the overflys. Again, Trump right.The Navy counseled against the “freedom of navigation” ship patrols in the vicinity of the Chinese atoll developments. Again, Trump right, the military wrong.The current crop of Generals are an odd bunch. Very political. Not experienced in large conflicts because we haven’t had any.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. Mat

            Sorry but I’m not quite sure what point you’re trying to make here?I wasn’t aware we were discussing the merits of DJT’s foreign policy! Kudos to you though, you know a lot on the topic 🙂

          7. JLM

            .I was refuting the proposition that Mattis was playing the POTUS. That’s a MSM meme.Mattis is a good man who knows his strengths and weaknesses.They had sincere intellectual arguments. I think DJT was correct.The guy has great instincts. He figured out how to defeat the GOPe, the entire Republican field, HRC, the Bushes, the Clintons, the DEMe, while using a new form of messaging.He did this at a fraction of the cost of his opponent.In the end, fair minded folks look at results before they form their opinions.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          8. Mat

            Hmmm…you are bringing up Mattis and DJT’s track record in foreign policy to justify that Mattis didn’t play him when resigning? Apologies but that’s not coherent.Again, your arguments are sound, they just don’t address the question at hand or are based on gross generalizations.It was nice chatting though!

          9. scottythebody

            I guess he didn’t want to leave the Kurds hanging

          10. JLM

            .The Kurds — who have been an ethnically distinct people who have been stateless since the end of the Ottoman Empire — got screwed at the end of the First Gulf War when the US, in the person of Geo HW Bush, encouraged them to stake out an independent position v Iraq.When they did, Hussein killed them. Gassed them. We stood by and let it happen.They are, unfortunately, stuck in the corner of Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. They are very good fighters though they only field an army of about 5,000.The removal of the last 2,000 Marines from Syria — a long way from the Kurdish homeland, along the Euphrates River near the Iraqi border — is not the linchpin which will seal their fate.The Kurdish troops that have been fighting v ISIS are excellent troops and the area of Syria they have taken in the north and northeast was not and is not dependent upon American boots. We have provided them with lethal force support.The Turks classify the YPG fighters as an extension of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) with whom they have been fighting for almost 40 years though only in the southeast corner of Turkey.Since 2014, the Turks (a NATO member) have been thoroughly pissed with the US since we supported the Kurds in the Battle of Kobani, a Syrian city just over the Turkish border.The US and NATO have bigger fish to fry with Turkey as we have a huge nuclear presence within Turkey’s borders.Trump is allegedly trying to cut a deal with the Turks to safeguard the Kurds, but it is hard to believe that works out.Since the First Gulf War no American general, including Mattis when he was the CentComm CO during the Obama admin, or diplomat has ever come up with a plan that gives the Kurds a homeland.There was some talk about giving the Kurds some oil in northern Iraq, but that fizzled out when we gave up control of Iraqi oil.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          11. scottythebody

            All you say is true, expect for my take is that the Kurds have been “stateless” since long before the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. But it still doesn’t lessen my support for the Kurds. Personally, I would love to carve out a Kurdistan for them, but that’s just not anywhere in the cards anytime soon. Maybe when / if Iraq and Syria collapse… But right now we are too up all the autocrats butts to do anything like Democratic nation building and it’s certainly not the popular activity of the times.

          12. Mat

            Out of curiosity, can you name me 3 polices you like, and why?

          13. JLM

            .I don’t usually take blog post homework assignments, but I am waiting for the heat contractor to come.I like the following policies — a smattering:1. I like the way the White House (Jared Kushner) shepherded the First Step Act through the Congress. It had broad bi-partisan support and passed the Senate with a vote of 87-12.It made reforms that were called “once-in-a-generation” by the likes of Cory Booker. Kamala Harris voted for it.It was the same bill that Clinton, Bush, Obama wanted, but couldn’t get done. Trump got it done even though he had to bring Tom Cotton back to the fold to do it.It aligned the sentencing for crack and cocaine — which the Senate failed to do since the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act.[This one provision will provide the authority for 3000 inmates to be re-evaluated for their crack offenses.]President Trump, personally, got the backing of the Fraternal Order of Police who had opposed it for 30 years. Trump did this.In the end, the ACLU came out in support of it.2. I like the Canadian Softwood Lumber Tariff.Read this:http://themusingsofthebigre…This was the test case on the issue of tariffs and it worked as planned.3. I like the policies as it relates to energy discovery, pipeline approvals, and the authority to export crude.The low current gas prices are a huge tax cut for the USA. In addition, it puts enormous pressure on Russia which generates 50% of its gross revenue from energy. When Russia is broke, they perform less mischief.4. I like the tax cuts for both business and individuals.5. I like the turnaround of the Veterans Administration and the passage of the VA Mission Act which expands the menu of caregivers a vet can access particularly when the VA is not able to schedule a timely intake, treatment, or procedure. This had been lingering for 20 years.6. I like the appointment of conservative Judges to the Federal bench including the Gorsuch and Kavanaugh appointments to the SCOTUS.As I said, that is a smattering. I like Trump’s policies. I carry no brief for him as an individual.7. I like the in your face confrontation of North Korea, something that has been kicked down the road since the Reagan admin.I did not vote for a Pope. I voted for a President.Policies — seven solid policies — fact based, true, working like a champ.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          14. JamesHRH

            He thinks that is cagey.

        3. JamesHRH

          Only a fool takes that wager,

        4. Mat

          LOL! He “fires” someone who already resigned and you’re viewing this as a sign of strength because said person who resigned is known to be a tough guy??? Come on, you can do much, much better than this.PS: it’s not strength it conveys – it’s simply a strong willingness to cover his ass and not being viewed as the weak man he is.

          1. JLM

            .Jim Mattis was about to launch on a world wide pity party tour providing the liberal press with an opportunity to canonize him and to spend countless hours impugning DJT.Trump, master counter puncher, cut Mattis off at the knees and summarily dismissed him.Pro move.So, yeah, I see it as controlling, strong move. As usual, Trump controls the messaging.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Mat

            That’s literally what 10year old kids do in the playground. That’s called damage control. And if you have to do that, it’s probably because you were an idiot in the first place.People who are smart and control the messaging don’t get blind sided with the resignation of one of their closest allies.

          3. JLM

            .You may have missed the three months of signalling in which Pres Trump indicated that Mattis might leave.I don’t think Pres Trump forced him out, but I do think he indicated it would be fine if he left.The Pentagon requires both men who have served in the building, but also men who have weapons development expertise, tech savvy, international affairs experience, space tech, and large scale war fighting experience.One of the problems with the current crop of Generals is they don’t have any large scale war fighting experience. All the Iraq, ISIS, A’stan fighting has been platoon and company level actions, lots of patrolling.This is not a cadre of WWII Generals who commanded corps, armies, army groups.I think Mattis did a very good job stabilizing the Pentagon from the perspective of bringing the force back up to snuff, refocusing on war fighting, but he was at the limit of his expertise.It’s good to get fresh blood at that level. The average four star tour of duty is less than two years.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. Mat

            You are moving the goal post. No one is disputing the fact that it’s a good thing to get a fresh face to replace Mattis.I was reacting to your fan-boy reaction that DJT is a “pro” and beautifully executed the removal of one of his closest allies in cabinet. His departure was a shamble, DJT controlled nothing, was left to do some massive damage control and was left embarrassed by the whole situation. Only people who are biased do not see this (I say this because elsewhere in these comments you are praising yourself for having no bias and being extremely fact and evidence-driven, lol).

    3. JamesHRH

      4X caftan versus ‘lose my calendar’ for LOL line of the comment.Impeached President Trump – no, please no.I agree re: Dems primary comments – all of them.

    4. sachmo

      I agree with this.1) the Mueller report comes out. Even if trump has the acting AG on his side, the democrats will leak the entire report. However trump will get a heads up and be in full damage control / spin mode to the press.2) the house dems will impeach him. The far left of the democrats are too loony, emotional, ‘virtue signaling’ whatever you want to call it, to calmly think through the repercussions of this. Pelosi will try to delay, but will cave to pressure. Trump gets impeached in the most straight line party vote ever.3) trump does NOT resign. The man does not give a $hit. Most of what’s in the report relates to tax evasion and very intricate shady biz dealings (which are probably illegal) from the 80s, 90s, and 00s. There will be almost no new evidence of Russian collusion. Trump supporters will go nuts seeing evidence of the witch hunt. Corporations don’t really care who comes out ahead as long as there is business certainty. The gop will do what their supporters (ppl and corporate interests) want. NOT what the democrats want. They defend trump and this goes nowhere in the Senate.4) the entire country is extremely polarized. Democratic supporters go crazy (as they have gone for last two years). This brings the worst ppl on the left to positions of power / front runners for the Democratic primaries.Meanwhile as this plays out over 2 years, the report loses its steam. Business continues to do well, even though stocks are highly volatile.Trump is handed a major election issue and frankly is going to be a hard one to beat. If someone like Elizabeth Warren gets nominated, he will mop the floor with her. I would give him fairly decent odds of reelection.I could also see a serious third party challenge arising that takes everyone by surprise.The next president will be elected by independents and centrists who are on the sidelines watching all this play out with disgust. Fun times ahead.

      1. JLM

        .There is only one salient fact that pertains to Pres Trump — collusion, criminal collusion.If there is no fact based, evidence supported, credible allegation of criminal collusion, then Mueller can have pictures of Donald J Trump fornicating with a goat and Trump wins.The implications of a post-Mueller “vindicated” Donald J Trump are awesome to contemplate.Entire new wings would have to be constructed on every psychiatric hospital in America to contain the liberal exploding heads.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Mat

          I think you may have missed the part where Muller already has ample evidence to support collusion on the part of DJT. Your arguments are good, but you are basing them on very shaky foundations. « If » there is no proof of collusion, then… Newsflash: there is proof of collusion – it’s just a matter of time before it gets made public. If you can’t see it then you’re either being disingenuous or don’t know enough about criminal law to have an accurate view on the topic.BTW, it’s a shame that you can’t make a logical argumentation without referring to “liberals” the way you do. Why the obsession?

          1. JLM

            .Haha, yes I apparently did miss that part where Mueller “has ample evidence to support collusion on the part of DJT.”Help a friend out, Mat, tell me what the evidence is. Take your time.BTW, collusion doesn’t violate any Federal statute.Liberals? You may not have noticed, but there is a lot of discussion between — wait for it — normal folks and liberals.Lots of folks self-identify as liberals. It isn’t a pejorative. There are a great number of things in which I would consider myself a liberal.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Mat

            There are so many proofs that I won’t be able to make them justice in a single comment. However, since you claim to be rational, objective, and evidence-based in your conclusions, please go ahead and read a book that is LITERALLY called “proof of collusion” by Seth Abramson. It’s long, it’s got lots of details and footnotes. No pictures I’m sorry so not an easy read.Take your time reading it. Process it. And come back to me with any rebuttal you think is appropriate.Regarding the liberals. You literally refered to liberals having to be put in a psych ward… or didn’t you? Or did I miss the nuance that you’re now trying to evidence in your response? Man I knew DJT fan boys had issues with facts but you’re taking this to the next level!

          3. JLM

            .Haha, the guy is a college prof and a writer for Huffington Post. Come on.In the future, I’ll be sure to tell you when I’m using a splash of flavor. Liberals don’t have senses of humor. Got it.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. Mat

            Haha, I’ve heard that one before. Did you read the book?Or is it your gut telling you that educated individuals cannot make coherent enough arguments? Or did you read a book rebutting all of the arguments? If so please tell me where to buy it!For what it’s worth (I say this because you claim to like facts and evidence), he is a contributor to the Huf Post (not employed by them) – but more importantly he got there because he is a graduate from Harvard Law school, was a criminal defense attorney and a criminal investigator, before turning to investigative journalism.I know Trumpets don’t like experts but this one is actually quite good. And I’d love for you to tell me what bar a writer needs to meet in order for you to believe that a book is worth your time.Apologies I didn’t get your “humour”!

          5. JLM

            .It’s a little hard to take anybody seriously who calls one a “Trumpet” and says sophomoric things like “Trumpets don’t like experts…”You sound like a pre-pubescent girl singing along to Taylor Swift.Give it a rest.I am working my way through all the Ron Chernow books right now.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. scottythebody

            Says the guy calling people fat for no good reason and his little pile on cohorts who rave about “liberals”. Whatever, dude.

      2. creative group

        sachmo:as true Independents who registered in 1979 and only party ever affiliated we agree with your assessment. Both parties are so corrupt can’t even stand to read and consume both bases being manipulated.Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

      3. Susan Rubinsky

        Agree abut Warren. No way she can get enough electoral votes.

    5. Susan Rubinsky

      You’re right about the Dems. They are lost. It’s painful to watch, being a bit of a lefty…And I’m laughing about the lost calendar.

    6. ShimC

      So Freddie doesn’t have the intelligence or balls to respond to you? I wonder why he’s resisting on doing so?Self important pricks like Fred think their money somehow gives them intelligence

    7. jwoop66

      Ha! Well played and very detailed. I agree, but have a simpler version – Trump has had more people, organizations and institutions sniffing and searching up his ass for three years now, and all they have come up with is a few process crimes created/coerced by the fbi against guys who only have superficial relations with Trump. The press has made headlines of every faux pas they think will expose Trump and/or cause public opinion to go against him. So far they have nothing, and considering they originally just wanted him out, they would have played a solid hand as soon as they had it.The fact that so many otherwise intelligent people, including the author of this blog and probably most of the commenters in this thread, actually believe and buy into the mueller investigation amazes me. How can you even remotely buy into the whole sham, other than to believe a blatantly biased and one sided press – which coincidentally is comprised of a large number of former democrat operatives and politicos. The ones that aren’t – are married to said politicos and operatives.People!!! Step away from the television! For the love of all that is holy(or secular)! Stop buying the lies.

  21. David Semeria

    Excellent list Fred. I would only add that we haven’t heard the last of the FB / opinion manipulation story. I expect laws to be enacted in both Europe and the States to limit social media’s ability to claim editorial immunity.I suspect the blockchain could play a role in some sort of more democratically robust editorial process (public audit trail) which could set the trend in other public facing and politically sensitive digital areas.

  22. kidmercury

    wow, i think this is the longest post in fredland history. fred really pulled a fast one on us this past week, with his “nothing much to see here, just skiing” post and then a series of thoughtful commentary to fake us out.the trump replacement thesis is one i’ve seen shared in kook circles, with the added viewpoint that pence is the deep state tool who can help ensure endless war continues. i think this viewpoint should be taken seriously, but i’m inclined to agree with the others who view the lack of a trial thus far as a sign that nothing damning enough is available, and i doubt the senate and presidency will cave without something truly damning. still, i hope the trump haters recognize that he is legitimately trying to pull out of war and has pushed criminal justice reform designed to help ex-convicts return to the workplace. these are two huge issues that i would expect almost universal support for. criticism becomes much stronger if it can survive acknowledging the target’s strengths.

    1. JLM

      .Pulling out of Syria and A’stan drives a whole new part of the Deep State to the surface.This is one of the things I like about Trump — the willingness to build a powerful military, but the power to keep them from dissipating it on stupid wars.I knew something was up when Trump picked Mark Milley to be the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He is a troop leader from way back with lots of service in Airborne units. He’s a Ranger and you know, “Rangers lead the way.”He is a Princeton grad and a long post-Vietnam War guy who has almost no time in DC other than General officer level assignments.Culturally having a Princeton grad running the show is huge.The US needs to get the Hell out of places — including Africa — where we have these little brush fire wars. We spent $5-6 TRILLION in Iraq and A’stan to no worthwhile result.If you ask a surgeon, “WTF, doc?” He says, “Let’s operate.”If you ask a political General, “WTF, General?” He says, “Let’s go get into a gunfight.”If you ask a General who has spent his entire career as a troop leader, “WTF, General?” He says, “Let’s be sure we want to do this cause I’ve had to bury a lot of young men and it’s shitty duty.”JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Going way back for me, it is clear that the US military has (1) a lot of respect for soldiers who have led men in harm’s way and (2) a lot of contempt for soldiers who have rarely or never heard the sound of gunfire or been in harm’s way.So, ambitious soldiers hate paper pushing assignments and keep asking to be in the action.Now I’m beginning to see some of just why.

        1. JLM

          .Soldiers respect officers who suffer the same privatizations as them. Troops follow officers who never ask them to do something the officer would not do. Huge consideration.They like officers who arrange for ammunition, water, and chow — who make sure they get their medals, their leave, their pay, their chow, their fair discipline.A PFC can smoke out a phony in ten seconds. A sergeant will put out the word on an officer in five seconds. A sergeant major can size up a new Lieutenant in 1 second.Leading men is not for ballerinas.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. sigmaalgebra

            There are a lot of non-military organizations that could do a lot better following a lot of that.E.g., in organizational behavior one of the standard issues is goal subordination, middle management pursuing their own personal goals at the expense of everyone else and the organization. They do this by acting, sucking up, gossip, fighting people down the hall, keeping down subordinates, etc. It all points to “phony” and needs to be rejected from below, above, and all sides but rarely is.That’s some real clarity.. Thx.

      2. JamesHRH

        @fredwilson this is so true.I think Trump May be the best military leader of US troops in 70 years.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Your 70 years covers Ike, and he is some competition. E.g., kept us out of a land war in Asia.

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      Agree those are both positive goals and the criminal justice reform is a positive achievement.The problem is that avoiding stupid wars is being conflated with the separate issue of how to extract yourself from stupid war you have already entered. The second is much more complex and you don’t get to cop-out on that complexity just because a predecessor started said stupid wars. Trump is president and whether he likes it or not he must competently deal with the mistakes made by his predecessor.

      1. JLM

        .As to Syria, it is a total and complete head fake.We have 2,000 soldiers on the ground. They are very powerful because they are Marine artillery amongst other things, but they are only 2,000 men.The biggest howitzers we have in Syria are 155mm Paladins that can fling HE about 18,000 meters and throw rocket assisted rounds up to 30,000 meters. That is a 95 lbs projectile.I doubt they are firing rocket assisted projectiles because of the cost and the wear and tear on the guns.You never want to operate at the limit of the artillery fan, so they are primarily engaged at say 8-10,000 meters firing in support of troops on the attack.They will leave their guns in place, teach their successors how to operate them, and go home.It is a very insignificant force in the greater scheme of things.We continue to have about 6,000 troops at an airbase west of Baghdad from which we can project air power, a decent proxy for artillery support.You could pull those 2,000 soldiers home tomorrow and it would not impact the fight.This is the kind of thing that “experts” and Generals blow smoke up the ass of the civilian leaders. No way 2,000 men has a meaningful impact on a fight of that size.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. SubstrateUndertow

          You know nothing in war especially Syria is that simple !

          1. JLM

            .OMG, that’s exactly the problem. It IS that simple.The Syrians are a third rate army. The fighting is amongst, at best, light infantry. Nothing more.Trump, a novitiate military mind, comes in and reshapes the ROE (rules of engagement) and increases the sortie rate by 4X and the Caliph is no more, the Caliphate is a pipe dream, and ISIS is a popcorn fart in a hurricane.Warfare is actually that easy. Find ’em, fix ’em, kill ’em.All Trump did was to untie the hands of the US military from the Obama era ROE and turn the Air Force loose to hit primary and alternative targets with no returning with bombs on their bellies.Nobody was allowed to hit Raqqa because of the civilians. Trump captured it. Bloody bit of fighting, but it’s done now. If you capture your enemy’s HQ, it changes the way they fight.ISIS cannot make up combat losses in personnel and weapons. They cannot recruit effectively. Why? Cause it is a ticket to a grave.Pres Obama threatened a RED LINE, did nothing. Trump reiterated that — took out 25% of Syrian Air Force, knocked out one of 6 Syrian airfields, knocked out the entire chemical weapons infrastructure, allowed the Americans to tangle with Russian mercenaries — voila. It wasn’t rocket science.Meanwhile, the Generals are telling him it’s going to draw the Iranians and the Russians into a direct fight. Wrong.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. kidmercury

        i think that is an excuse used to stay there forever. after ordering a rapid withdrawal from syria, trump is now saying he wants 4 months. i worry the US will end up staying forever, since entrenched bureaucrats and the mainstream media want it that way, but we’ll see. if trump does manage to get a withdrawal and wall funding, and if he is impeached, his base will go berserk and the cultural divide will grow to a dangerous extent in my opinion.

    3. JamesHRH

      Nice work on all counts Kid.

    4. LE

      lack of a trial thus far as a sign that nothing damning enough is availableLike the protagonist in the movie “HEAT” (DeNiro/Pacino) the special counsel here has no reason to rush the process. He wants to win and he wants to get it right. That is the most important thing. I would not take the time line as anything other than people in law typically work slow because they can. Nothing moves fast in law or the legal process.Also with law, judges, juries nothing is absolute. It’s analog not digital as I say. Lot’s of nuance. If it were physics, math or computer science we wouldn’t need appellate courts. For that matter nobody would need to have any civil process at all. One side would see that they would lose and just not put up a fight.

      1. kidmercury

        i think there is ample reason to move quickly, especially to have done it before the midterm elections.

        1. JLM

          .The midterms already happened.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  23. dineshn72

    What scares me if Fred’s prediction comes true regarding Trump exiting the Presidency is this — unlike Fred, I don’t think he will go quietly. To quote David Brooks in today’s NYT “When the indictments come down, Trump won’t play by the rules. He’ll seek to delegitimize those rules. He’ll seek to delegitimize our legal institutions. He’ll personalize every indictment, slander every prosecutor. He’ll seek to destroy the edifice of law in order to save himself.”What this implies is him going ape-shit on Twitter, his rabid followers working up a rage and then doing damage, I literally anticipate rioting on the streets.

    1. JLM

      .Look, as much as David Brooks might like to have it happen or to pontificate on a fantasy, the simple truth is that the DOJ has a long standing legal opinion and policy against indicting a sitting President.It is simply not going to happen. Period.Mueller cannot indict anybody without permission from DOJ. He was supervised by Rod Rosenstein. Now, it’s Matthew Whitaker and soon to be Robert Barr — a couple of experienced DOJ guys who question whether Mueller should have been appointed in the first place.Once Mueller renders his report and it is accepted by the AG, the Mueller team goes away.When the Mueller report is submitted to the then sitting AG, there is no assurance the AG/DOJ will even make it public. There is no duty to do that.President Trump’s crowds have been extraordinarily well-behaved. They’re too lazy to riot in the streets. That is more of an Antifa action plan.I love the idea of having Twitter be the locus of anger. Then, I have a single place to ignore.Our legal institutions — the top management of the FBI being the show pig — need some creative destruction.Trump will not need to save himself. If he were removed, his successor would pardon him before he finished packing his sock drawer.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. cavepainting

        The democratic congress can ask Mueller to testify in a public hearing. I am not sure if they can make the report public but they might well be able to release parts of it.I agree that if the report’s findings are not overwhelmingly damning and not enough to persuade a Senate majority, the democrats are chasing a ghost and might even play into Trump’s hands.But using a lame AG and his minions to protect himself is a pathetic ploy. You are too smart to not see that Trump is a crook. The question is if he can be brought to account with sufficient evidence.The truth is you do not not know what Mueller has and neither do any of us. Let us wait before we pre-judge the outcome.

        1. JamesHRH

          Jeff is right that the AG can sit on it.It’s almost as if the President knew that, as you say.It’s almost as if the President is really good at making a system of rules work for him…… which he has claimed re: NYC building codes, federal bankruptcy laws, etc. but no liberals want to admit he is smart, skillful or diligent, because he is so self serving.

          1. Susan Rubinsky

            I’m a liberal (sort of, also am conservative about some issues) who has been telling my friends this since before he was elected. However my smarty pants friends who are liberal dislike my statements so they don’t hear me (some unfriended me too, lol.). So I just stopped talking about it and moved on with life.

          2. JamesHRH

            I have had the same experience.If you hold the view that Trump is a very talented cretin, many people don’t like to talk about the first part.And you cannot get them to just say ‘ I just hate the guy ‘. Although, Arnold, to his credit, is pretty much there.

        2. JLM

          .A Special Counsel has to, literally, turn in every copy of the report to the AG.The report will be classified as the AG is an “original classification” power.Mueller cannot testify about any aspect of the report until it is released–meaning it is de-classified.Go read the Special Counsel statute.The Congress can request anything they want under their Constitutional oversight authority, but the AG can stand on the SC statute which was passed by Congress.I suspect the report comes out eventually. If there is no finding of collusion, I suspect it comes out right away.Collusion continues not to be a crime.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. sachmo

        The reports will get leaked to the public, and the house will put enormous pressure and succeed in getting the indictment (or whatever) handed to trump. Wishful thinking that report never goes anywhere.

  24. Doug Ireland

    Long time reader and fan – not to be a pedant, but I think you may have intended “much less sanguine” not “much more sanguine”. I believe more optimism would be associated with higher multiples.

  25. conlinm1

    Have a great 2019, Fred.

  26. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:This statement is for the well read and history buffs. DJT is the modern day former Vice President Aaron Burr. Traits are exactly like him.Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

  27. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Great food for thought.I think what’s going to happen with the present administration and congress will be unlike anything we’ve seen before (not a Watergate or Intern-gate rerun).

  28. William Mougayar

    I’m referring to the degree of nodes and developer ecosystem decentralization. Ethereum and Bitcoin are very decentralized. Newcomer blockchains start by being more centrally architected and directed.(thanks for the spelling…Bonne Année)

  29. Tereza

    Happy New Year, friends!This is a great roundup, Fred.I just wanna add that on the enterprise side, I continue to see so much appetite to squeeze value out of data. Tons of projects.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Let’s see: Suppose n is a positive integer, R is the set of real numbers, and X and Y are random variables taking values in R^n. Suppose we are given X and want to predict Y, say, in the sense of least squares. The easily the best non-linear predictor as a function of X is just E[Y|X]. The discrete version of this is just classic cross tabulation and, thus, it is a good first step when there is data enough.

      1. Tereza

        I’ve missed you, my friend!

    2. Susan Rubinsky

      Right on.

  30. Charbax

    China will ban Apple and Apple will go bankrupt or pivot to some other business that isn’t dependent on Chinese manufacturing.

  31. Pdcincan

    Hilarious Trump derangement syndrome from an otherwise rational individual. Why is it that liberals keep talking and quoting only other liberal talking points. Are you people incapable of critical thinking?Sorry for the ad homenim attack. But I think it’s the only thing liberals understand. How about some policy criticism some day?If the Democrats want to have a party after 2020 they need to do three things.1) Govern. 2) Stop the endless bs tds and useless investigations. 3) Begin prosecuting Clintons et all for their known criminal acts.2018 voters have given democrats their last chance. I suggest they, and this otherwise intelligent author, begin doing so and to stfu.

  32. sachmo

    Here’s a prediction for 2019 – possibly as a result of continuing negative coverage by the Washington post, the trump administration files an anti trust case against Amazon. While it may take a few years to pay out, it sets the ball rolling for the break up of Amazon into smaller constituent marketplaces. Also leads to similar suits against Facebook and Google. Both parties get behind this.Apple and Microsoft dodge the political headwinds.

  33. sachmo

    Another prediction for 2019 – Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s spot on the court opens due to her destabilizing health condition. In the middle of impeachment circus. Gop pushes through another conservative judge on straight party line votes.

  34. stephenvesh

    Sounds like you are just repeating what your portfolio manager told you. Half of this is just basic forecasting from changes to monetary policy and really doesn’t deviate from prevailing thinking.

  35. Zibri (http://www.zibri.org)

    I agree on almost anything except the forecast on S&P500… I think it will bounce up and down on about 2500 and not 2000. If it will ever hit 2000 will be because os some speculative string of carefully selected and amplified “bad news” which will induce fear and give the big “guns” the opportunity to buy at the bottom, then bounce immediately back up at 2500-2600 level and then up from there.I also forsee a bullish market in the short term which will not last long then the bearish trend toward 2500 then as I already said up from there.

  36. Tommy

    https://uploads.disquscdn.c…I continue to marvel at interest rates over time. We’re currently at the same rates at 1955, which makes you think we’re at a historical norm, until you look at the 70s. And 80s. 20+%!Unreal.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      What you are seeing are the effects of essentially just one cause: Too many powerful people in DC were all fired up about getting the US deep in absurd foreign military adventures.So, we won WWII, beat both Japan and Germany, and had the A-bomb, H-bomb and a huge air force to drop them.So a little more generally, we were successful policing, even managing the world. We believed that WWII meant that we both could and should do that.Then once again we had some challenges, especially Mao in China and Stalin in Russia. So, China and Russia wanted to expand, first in Korea, and wanted to unify the place under the control of Communists in North Korea. The US fought back.France wanted their colony in Viet Nam back. The rebel Ho Chi Minh sounded like a big buddy of Moscow and Peking, so the US backed France. Not for the first time France lost.So we went for the old partition the country ploy and set up a puppet regime in Saigon. With the long history in Asia of low respect for humanism and high regard for unspeakable cruelty, the Saigon regime was true to form and wildly unpopular. Soon they were losing to just the Viet Cong in South Viet Nam. Then … we went for decades before we finally got out.In the meanwhile we burned enough oil to enable OPEC which still has power. We inflated our economy and had to go for 22% Fed rates to calm the inflation.Then the economy kept being unstable: The S&Ls were in deep trouble since they had to borrow at ballpark 22% but were getting on their home loans only about 5%. So they went bust. The distortions spread to lots of companies where the fixed assets on their books were suddenly worth more than the market capitalization. So we had takeovers and sell offs.We blew it with a bubble in 1999 made worse by Greenspan’s fears that the business software would choke on the year 2000 change over so had another bubble from interest rates too low.Then we had 9/11 and got into long wars spending lots of US blood and treasure in Gulf War II in Iraq and also in Akrapistan. We blew ballpark in net present value $5, maybe $7 billion. Really big bummer.Then W didn’t watch what Fannie/Freddie were doing as they ignited a housing bubble. Wall Street took that opportunity and ran with it and blew the housing bubble.The bubble burst in 2008, and Obama and Bernanke didn’t do enough to get us out of the crash.We are only now coming out of the 2008 crash.So from the early 1950s, we’ve had DC doing weird-o, sick-o things to the US economy, mostly part of the dumb de dumb dumb old sin of kings, bleeding the country white over absurd foreign adventures.We have hurt a LOT of US people and families.Some of the worst people involved were Dulles, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, McNamara, Rusk, Rostow, W, and Obama.Trump wants to stop that crap. Good for Trump.

  37. Fred Trump Wislon

    Fred you’re dead wrong about Trump. He will win again in 2020 and prove you wrong. You and your liberal elite UWS friends will be very wrong. We the people will have our Yellow Vest moment against you elites.

  38. Michael Mahon

    “earn/spending opportunities” … you just rang a bell in my head! TY

  39. Charl Norman

    Moving away from the Trump talk. What about equities/ETF growth in South East Asian countries like Vietnam or Bangladesh? Their economies (GDP) seems to be flying.

  40. Lisa Vieira

    Who is this moron?

  41. Lisa Vieira

    What flavor KoolAid today ?

  42. Lisa Vieira

    Where is ur backup info for all these insane predictions ?

  43. Captainda

    Great post! As usual.Since we are prognosticating, my predictions -1. Trump is gone (laughable that anyone thinks he hasn’t committed any crimes)2. Stock market tumbles and economy falters (well, we’re due for a correction)3. Lots of national and global turmoil (at it’s core, driven by wealth inequality which created the political climate we are in)Out of this, tech will be create some of the greatest new companies to come out over the next decade – many based on blockchain technology. Long term bullish…just not this year.-S

  44. Karl Etzel

    The de-platforming campaign by the SJWs at Patreon, PayPal, et al will give a boost to crypto and decentralization in general as people look for business tools that can’t be turned into political tools.

  45. spock123

    I don’t think Trump’s impeachment by the House will lead to a trial in the Senate, because Republicans in the Senate will not want to shine any light on the Russian money they’ve taken. I don’t know where things go, but I suspect they will be far uglier than this post suggests.https://www.dallasnews.com/

  46. Scott

    Cheer up Fred: this, too, shall pass