It would be silly to speculate on the menu, but one can’t help but wonder about the details of Trump and Romney’s private dinner – on Tuesday evening – with their wives accompanying them. Will it be a formal if intimate setting, with aides just out of earshot? Like a dinner between two heads of state perhaps. Or will it be more informal with lots of time for serious talk on how Romney sees America’s role in the world, and how he senses his possible role as Secretary of State would play out in a Trump administration?

The ongoing battle within the Trump camp over this still-surprising rapprochement spilled out into the big wide open this weekend with Kellyanne Conway going public (or rogue according to those unpleased with the ferocity of her attacks) with her harsh criticisms of Romney. And of Trump, by implication. She practically accused Trump of betraying his loyal base of supporters by even considering Mitt Romney for the position. And looking fabulous, she posed for pictures down in the lobby of Trump Tower a day later. One wonders if she actually had an appointment with the folks upstairs. Trump’s answer to all this – including Gingrich’s criticism – was a private dinner with Mitt along with their wives.

As well, the media speculation is that Trump is perhaps letting Romney dangle and die from a thousand cuts. Keep your enemy close until he stops breathing; or something like that.

What if Trump is serious? What if he actually feels that Romney would make a good Secretary of State? Let’s remember something about the President Elect. He might be bombastic, theatrical, and volatile at times. But he is tough. And determined. What he has achieved was not believed possible by anyone, perhaps at times not even himself. But as Byron York stated clearly in a article a short while ago, he never gave up. In the face of the most negative media campaign against a presidential candidate in perhaps the last century or so.

To support his focus, Trump has chosen wisely. Jared Kushner is now recognized as the wonder kid who put together a game-changing data operation with near real-time feedback to guide the campaign in it’s final weeks. What was Trump doing in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin fer goodness sake? We all asked. He was winning the election, helped by Jared’s genius. And it was Trump that pulled Kushner into his campaign and brought out the best in his son-in-law.

Mike Pence turned out to be a great pick for Trump at VP, and has been recognized as such. And yes, Kellyanne Conway helped steer his campaign through some of its most difficult moments. Perhaps she is right about Romney. Or perhaps her time with Trump is winding down and Romney will indeed be the next Secretary of State. Perhaps Conway made the fatal mistake of thinking she could somehow pressure Trump. She should know: you underestimate Trump at your own peril.

In all the articles and editorials commenting on Fidel Castro’s death and his unfortunate legacy with regard to Cuba, precious little has been written about the island’s history before, well before, Castro rode a battered truck into Havana in early 1959. Cuba did not suddenly become a problem, previously unimagined and ignored, when Castro and Ernesto Guevara and their crazed communist cadre of scruffy revolutionaries toppled the Batista regime. Cuba has been in America’s imagination and her history for almost as long as America has been a republic.

Consider: a plot to invade Cuba hatched in New Orleans with American mercenaries and angry Cubans. And the promise of economic payoffs should they dismantle the burdensome state apparatus of tariffs and controls. A determined Cuban- Venezuelan who despised the island’s regime tried to enlist American military expertise to lead his expedition. The Cuban-Venezuelan? Narciso Lopez, a veteran of the wars of independence. The American experts? Jefferson Davis and Colonel Robert E. Lee. The year? 1849. Davis passed the request on to Lee, who wisely rejected participating in the expedition. Veterans of the American Mexican war had apparently signed up. But President Taylor scuttled the expedition, concerned about violating neutrality laws.

You think the Bay of Pigs was an improvised out-of-the-blue idea quickly cobbled together by military and intelligence and Cuban exiles who were determined to stop the emerging communist regime in Cuba? It was one more chapter in a long, colorful, and sometimes violent history. One soaked in intrigue as well.

Lopez was a wealthy planter, and a frustrated member of what were called the annexationists: Cuban planters who saw a bright future for Cuba as an addition to America. One that would fit with the Southern plantation economy. Yes, slavery was at the heart of their system, and their vision of Cuba’s future within America. Cuba might have been purchased, might have been fought for with the support of part of Cuba’s elite. It did not happen, as much from constant changes in American foreign policy as from resistance from Spain – an impoverished, faded, ghost of an empire by this point.

You think Castro was just an idiotic showman when he booked a hotel room in Harlem in the early 60’s? Yes he was a showman, yes he could be a dangerous idiot, and a cunning traitor (just ask, if you could, Ochoa: executed for carrying out Castro’s orders in running the drug trade in Cuba). But Castro was playing media theatrics with the issue of race in America. And how it relates to Cuba’s history. He played America. He played Cuba. He played Europe and the Third World. And it worked. Tragically for Cuba, especially Afro-Cubans who were – and are – often at the lower end of the economic scale. Which is saying something in a failed economy like Cuba’s.

So don’t expect a final, closing chapter in Cuba, now that Fidel is dead. Raul Catro is handing off a communist regime to the next generation of communist bureaucrats and military power brokers on the island. And it is likely this next cadre of Caribbean apartchiks would love to imitate the Chinese model: firm political control and state-run capitalism. With lots of goodies for communist party members. In other words, an economically successful version of what Cuba already has been for a long time.

That’s a doubtful outcome, but not impossible. Whether the communists are able to keep their grip on power depends on how ruthless the Cuban military wish to be. And how President-Elect Trump is able to re-apply pressure by insisting on real progress on the island in terms of human rights, freedom of worship, and economic openness. This is just the latest chapter in a long history. Cuba, and America, will have to be patient. Let us pray that the Cuban populace find some light at the end of their long dark tunnel.

Was the Turkey well-dressed? As in all that delicious, chopped and diced and spiced stuff that gets stuffed inside the ceased-to-be, expired, late fowl that can provide leftovers for nearly a week. Because if you thought that now America could – in the spirit of that thanksgiving that has been the nation’s legacy and lodestone for almost as long as it has been a nation – get down to the business of transition, think again.

Yes, Trump is moving ahead with his cabinet and doing so in a remarkably ordered and brisk fashion. But you’d never know if you read the headlines. Or even worse, actually read the articles. The progressive and liberal elites, and their msm spokespeople/storytellers went from shock and anger in the immediate aftermath of the election, straight to … angry protest. And active opposition on multiple fronts. For example:

Jill Stein has apparently raised about 5 million dollars to fund a recount effort in Wisconsin, Michigan, and of course, Pennsylvania. The electoral tampering charges have proven to be false. So now she is spearheading an effort to move to a recounting of every vote. In the hope that maybe the good citizens of those three states were careless in their handling of their electoral duties. Like Hillary was with classified material.

And over in the House, ranking Democrat E. E. Cummings has already lodged several requests for investigations that he wants to GOP Congress to undertake. For example, Cummings has demanded that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Vice President-Elect Pence turn over any documents relating to Jared Kushner’s security clearance. And E.E. is just getting warmed up. There’s also requests for investigations into shadowy Russian connections and Trump’s far-flung business interests and how they could present conflict of interests.

Over at U.S. News and World Report, Robert Schlesinger is in full-on raging mode, denouncing what he angrily calls a Faustian bargain between Congressional Republicans and Trump’s so-called “horror show” team. This is someone who is enraged that the American voter did not produce the result he deemed appropriate. Lots of hissing and spitting about the popular vote, not just in relation to Hillary, but also in relation to the Senate. Schlesinger would re-write the constitution to ensure popular vote predominates at every electoral level. He would by executive order or any other means ensure that their creed – Demographics is Destiny – is willed into electoral existence. No. Check that. Furious Progressives like Robert Schlesinger and Jill Stein and E.E. Cummings are furious because they can’t re-write the constitution. Because to them the constitution is merely a living document that has to be continually updated until every last word of wisdom forged by the old white males who gave the 13 colonies an enduring and flourishing form of government, has been written out of existence.

Have you considered the emoluments clause of the constitution lately? Because it seems that those worried about, or angry about, Trump’s business interests are now fixated on this obscure corner of America’s supreme law. While experts argue over whether it even applies to the office of the president, it does provide ammunition for opposing legislators, and potentially even members of the GOP, to argue that President-Elect Trump should liquidate his business holdings and place the proceeds in a blind trust. Blind as in no Ivanka, Eric, or Donald Jr. running things.

The President-Elect has a different view of the matter, based on the legal advice he has received, and feels he can still be owner of his business empire even as he becomes America’s 45th President. How he would achieve an arm’s length relationship in that case remains to be seen.

To know who’s legally right, you would seem to need to mount a legal challenge that ends up in the Supreme Court. But does, for example, a competitor company have legal standing to sue the Trump enterprises due to the undue influence and favor the Trump group of companies could receive with Trump swearing the oath in about 50 days? Ask the experts, seems to be the answer, an answer that no one really has at this point.

The reason that the emoluments clause may have teeth in this matter is the far-flung nature of the President-Elect’s business empire. From Russia to India, to South America, and elsewhere, he has real estate holdings or other ventures. And in the very Trump Tower he has ICBC – the enormous Chinese mega-state-bank – as a tenant. Does rent or profit his companies receive from foreign companies, governments, or institutions count as emoluments? It does seem to be the case. Again, ask the legal and accounting experts. Who are still trying to figure it out.

Politically, this will be an albatross weighing on the new administration. And even assuming Trump decides to somehow liquidate his holdings and place the proceeds in a blind trust, the act of doing so would be a multi-year process involving jurisdictions around the world. Either way, Democrats and other opponents of Trump’s newly elected administration would have field day picking apart the details. Or even demanding – should he not divest – that Congress begin an impeachment process. This course of action was recommended in the NYT article by none other than Bush 43’s former ethics counselor, Richard Painter.

One suspects that Trump feels he has a legal basis, as President-Elect and soon to be President of America, to hold onto to his business empire. That means battling opponents in Congress and the beltway establishment and the media over potential conflicts of interest. This is not a good way to begin draining the swamp, but we are in unchartered territory. And Trump’s battles over his relationship to his business holdings will define a new set of precedents. One way or another.

Quite a few years ago now, in the middle of Reagan’s first term with a recession hanging over the economy, there was a band that came out with a protest song. The kind of song that would have got them shamed and denounced and possibly even paying a fine. Had they written and performed their song under the reign of Obama’s Justice Department.

Yes, we’re talking about The Clash’s Rock the Casbah, and that old, rather deceased, white male, (may he rest in peace), Joe Strummer and the rest of his bandmates. Because with radicals in Justice like Vanita Gupta – Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and head of the Civil Rights Division – the band would have been promptly slapped with a restraining order and fined, for having discriminated against Muslims around the world. And certainly would have been pilloried everywhere from Vox to CNBC. Not to mention by fellow Brit John Oliver. Who surely boogied to the song in his younger more innocent days. Ok, seeing he was 5 when the song came out, maybe not. But his left-leaning parents surely did.

So please do not be surprised that The Department of Justice, led by Assistant AG Gupta, have slapped a 10K fine on the Denver Sheriff Department, for having the brazenly incorrect manners to actually require that an applicant for the position of Sheriff in the State of Colorado, be an American citizen. What were they thinking? Don’t they understand this administration’s immigration policy?

Apparently, the Sheriff’s Department in Denver violated the Immigration and Nationality Act. And they now will be forced to go back through their applications to find anyone who is not an American citizen and re-consider them for the position. They will also have to go through training to make sure they are in compliance with the Act’s anti-discrimination provisions. As Gupta herself said this is to:

… help ensure that the Denver Sheriff’s Department hires the best and most qualified individuals to protect and serve.
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And if the Denver Sheriff’s Department dares reject an application, for example, from a young Muslim male who recently arrived to America as a refugee, they will surely be named and shamed and fined. This is what happens when you place radicals in key positions in Justice. Gupta cut her teeth in the ACLU, and it was her division that sued North Carolina’s so-called transgender bathroom law. She is an advocate of “constitutional policing” which handicaps police forces around the country by practically requiring an ACLU lawyer to ride shotgun with them when they respond to a call.

Obama knew perfectly well who he was getting when he appointed Gupta to her current job back in 2014. This result was inevitable with people like her at Justice. And this sort of crazed entrenched radicalism at Justice is why Jeff Sessions confirmation will be contested by almost any trick the Democrats and their progressive allies can find. The administration and it’s radical bureaucrats are terrified that Sessions would actually restore balance to Justice. With Deputy AG’s like Gupta, one can only hope and pray that Congress will duly confirm Sessions in the coming months. Let us hope.

And no. The Shareef at Justice, she don’t like it.

Speaker Ryan, heeding voter anger, postponed a vote – a secret ballot – in the House of Representatives on earmarks. And yes, he used the phrase “drain the swamp” when he managed to convince his colleagues to at least hold off on the vote. But that didn’t stop Florida’s Tom Rooney – one of the 3 sponsors of the proposal – to let people know what this vote was about.

The Army Corps of Engineers. Or Corps of Engineers, for those on the righteous side of the sandbanks, dams, and newly-designated swampland on your aunt’s 80 acres of farmland. Tom Rooney is sick of being ignored by the CoE. Who respond to a chain of command that ends up in the White House. Not Congress. And Tom Rooney would like to get a dam built on the shores of Lake Okeechobee. Yes, the huge inland lake that sits at the heart of Florida’s Everglades and demarcates the western border of the 17th congressional district that Rooney represents.

In the 1920’s the Army Corps of Engineers built dikes around Lake Okeechobee, after devastating flooding in the wake of two hurricanes. More devastating flooding occurred in the late 40’s. These were the latest in a long string of projects, including canals, meant to … drain the swamp and create agricultural land – mostly sugar – in South Central Florida. Sometime in the 70’s, resistance grew and by 2000 legislation has been in place to restore the Everglades to its former glory. If you are environmentally inclined that is, and regard swampland with a propensity to flood as glorious. As a libertarian eco-activist might say: South Florida wants to be a swamp.

Not on my watch, says Tom Rooney. You see, to get the Corps of Engineers to built that dam that his constituents apparently want, he claims he needs earmarks. Earmarks targeted at the Army Corps of Engineers. These earmarks would have the USACE directly responding to Congressional spending authority. Because right now, you have to go through the Assistant Secretary of Army (Civil Works), run by Jo-Ellen Darcy, an Obama appointee who has lengthy experience in land and water management, including a stint in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. One suspects she doesn’t eagerly answer her phone when Tom Rooney tries to call her.

So who decides how wet South Central Florida should be? The President and his hand-picked appointees? Or Congress? It’s a fascinating battle, but one cannot help but feel that the law of unintended consequences will inevitably apply if Congress even brings back a more limited, and transparent version of earmarks. And then expands earmarks, just a touch. And just a touch more. This battle is not over.

The bridge to nowhere would have been splendid. Hundreds of millions of dollars to build an enormous bridge to a tiny island off Alaska’s coast. Where, thankfully, a ferry instead continues to provide good service at a very reasonable cost. Because the infamous bridge to nowhere did not get built. Not yet at least. But this is what earmarks get you. Cozy, corrupt relations between beltway lobbyists, members of Congress, local politicians, and favored contractors. That’s the whole point of earmarks.

And now 3 GOP members of Congress want to start peeling back the restrictions on earmarks that have been in place since 2010. John Culberson of Texas’ 7th congressional district. Mike Rogers of Alabama’s 3rd congressional district. And Tom Rooney, of Florida’s 17th district. The vote is secret and conservative GOP members of the House are trying to make sure the nays win.

Do these three, and others who will vote in favor of easing restrictions and allowing earmarks to return to the floor of the House – not to mention the Senate – even care about the recent election? Do they even care about voter anger at beltway politicking?

There’s another name worth remembering: Jason Grumet, President and founder of the Bipartisan Policy Center, or BPC. He has recently written in the Washington Post in favor of earmarks as a way to entice members of Congress to vote the tough issues. As well, the BPC like to hold what they call Bridge-Builder-Breakfasts. There’s nothing like the promise of targeted pork spending to bring people across party lines to sit down for a little coffee and deal making. And the Bipartisan Policy Center is dedicated to “principled solutions through rigorous analysis, reasoned negotiation, and respectful dialogue.”

Did they hold a Bridge-Builder-Breakfast with Alaska’s Ted Stevens and chat about his bridge to nowhere? What does reasoned negotiations mean? You block my earmark and I will vote against every bill you or anyone in either party bring to the floor until I die of a heart attack or get voted out? And perhaps respectful dialogue is code for: how dare you talk to the media before you clear it with me!

That’s the thing. If people like Jason Grumet get their way, and earmarks are brought back to get the logs rolling again on Capitol Hill, then the tough votes tend not to get taken. They often don’t even make it to the floor. But there’s also another implication. Infrastructure spending will likely be a big budget item in the coming years. Lots of it. And how all that money is allocated will depend in part on how this secret House vote goes. If earmarks are slowly allowed back on the floor of the House, then Trump’s presidency won’t be about draining the swamp. It will be about building an enormous and expensive bridge over the swamp.

Apparently there are over 30 so-called sanctuary cities in America, where police forces are instructed to refuse to ascertain the legal status of anyone they detain whom they might otherwise suspect to be an illegal immigrant. It started in 1979 in Los Angeles with an internal police department policy. Now the current chief of police of LAPD, Charlie Beck, has proudly stated he will be upholding this decades old policy, and so the LAPD will continue to refuse to cooperate with the ICE when they arrest someone suspected of being in the country illegally. LA mayor Garcetti practically encouraged political violence if on the first day of the Trump presidency “we see something that is hostile to our people … we will speak up, speak out, act up and act out.”

Unadulterated tribalism, and secession from the rule of law. San Francisco – it goes without saying – has announced similar sorts of things. As has Chicago, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Trump’s home town of New York. Surely there are a few more sanctuary cities that will aggressively confront President Trump, even on his first day in office. Or at least state that that is their intention.

That is a problem with state rights, and by extension, local rights. You can’t be sure what any given state or city will do with greater autonomy. So are sanctuary cities within their rights to be defying the rule of law? Specifically immigration law in America?

If they are, then immigration law is no longer a national prerogative. It becomes a state right, not a federal one. One can hardly imagine that federal immigration authorities will agree to this. And it goes without saying that Trump will certainly be willing and eager to take on sanctuary cities. But are the funding penalties, taking away federal funds from defiant sanctuary cities, the only route available to President-elect Trump?

Ultimately this should end up in the courts. Although at it’s most basic level, it is about the fundamental structure of America itself. Because if sanctuary cities increase in number and aggressively defy current immigration law, then the law no longer applies in major urban centers around the country. And federal law on immigration is no longer an effective reality. So that, de facto, you no longer have a unified republic, but rather large swaths of America surrounding city-states. We’re already moving in that direction, and this election can be seen as an angry rebellion against the emergence of privileged, wealthy city states on either coast.

Because once you have sanctuary cities in terms of immigration policy, why not in terms of drug policy, of abortion rights and health care policy, and on and on. Oh. It sort of is that way already. And yes, the 10th amendment – in its clarity, brevity, and breadth – does allow for much of this, at least at the state level, if not the municipal level. But if the 50 states are to continue to be united in a free flow of people, ideas, and capital, then immigration rightly should be, and is, a federal power.

One doubts that sanctuary cities actually want to mount a legal challenge to federal immigration law. In other words, they are essentially, de facto, engaging in rule-breaking by executive order. Except it’s the head of local police departments, or the mayor’s office, that are the executive. Not the Obama White House. And if every mayor’s office and police department did what they saw fit regardless of what the law says, then what kind of rule of law do we have?

Because the defiant rule-breaking can run the other way, should a police chief or mayor with a different perspective calculate she or he has the right local political climate to get away with it. Want all children of illegals in any city turned over to the ICE? If you take the de facto route, it just depends on who’s in power. That’s the problem with de facto. That’s why America has a constitution, and the rule of law. Let’s hope sanctuary cities realize this someday.

There were three key speeches in the past 10 hours. First Trump’s speech was honestly and graciously inclusive in a way that surprised many. There was no gloating, and only some celebration, mostly in recognizing the movement he has led, and those who worked hard to help his astonishing victory take place. Including a big shout out to Reince Priebus, the RNC chairman who has had a very interesting and supremely tough year as head of a party that is still facing deep divisions. And it was considerate and respectful of Hillary Clinton as a major political figure, paying tribute to her service to America.

This is astonishing if you think back only a few days ago, or a few weeks ago. But it did not seem false, it felt genuine and displayed an honest generosity. Trump knows full well he’s been in a bare knuckle brawl with his opponent. She ran a very negative campaign that focused on Trump’s past transgressions, while Trump essentially painted her as a corrupt icon of the status quo. How could he mean it, when he praised her service to the country? Because he understands the importance of a peaceful transition. Whether he would have been as gracious had he lost, is now irrelevant.

This Wednesday morning, Clinton then gave her speech, and revealed both emotion and toughness. It was perhaps her best speech of the campaign, which is a tragic irony all of itself. Suddenly, in that speech, Clinton seemed more trustworthy than she has this whole election cycle. As to what her future will be, that will play out in the months ahead. But she nor Bill are now no longer among the leadership of the Democratic Party.

That is Obama’s role, precisely the man who has presided over the electoral destruction of his own party. A very long way from the control of both houses of Congress and the White House, that they obtained in 2008. Obama’s speech came a short while after Clinton’s. It was professorial and affable. The rejection of his agenda that this loss implies was buried under carefully inclusive language. His defining of what America is about – especially through it’s unbroken peaceful transition of power – seemed a way to try and rescue what he now fears may be lost. It seemed more a lecture than a speech, even as it played the notes of unity and purpose at the root of American Democracy. Obama’s legacy will have plenty of time to be judged. This was perhaps a moment for a more focused set of words.

Markets discount what’s to come. People put their mouths, or fingers to the keyboard, in support of where their money is. And there is nothing like the threat of losing money – or making money, although the fear of losing money is apparently more powerful as a motivator for us frail human beings – to focus the mind, and force a decision. Given the information you have available.

The S&P has been down for about 3 months now. And there has been a 9-day consecutive losing streak for the index as of Friday November 3rd. That means a lack of optimism on the economy. And even the possibility of a recession. But it is also a clear indication of nervousness on Wall Street over a the very real possibility of a Trump victory.

Why? You would think Wall Street would welcome Trump’s promised tax reforms – lowering corporate and income tax rates – as well as his promise to cut regulations and support conventional energy production. It seems, however, that the compliance daemons who work and plan their corporations routes through the mazes of regulations and taxes are not happy. Could it be that big finance fears reform? Yes, fear of uncertainty is the standard answer for the political element to the market swoon, and there is something to that. But Trump has been for more granular on his economic policy proposals than he has on his foreign policy proposals, for example. Why such fear of his presidency? Especially when economically, most of his policies are business friendly.

Oh yes. Trade. And perhaps a drying up of international flows of capital as a result of showdowns with China or even Europe over trade rules. To say nothing of NAFTA. Trump threatens to re-write the rules on trade, and just the threat of that – regardless of how much he could do, or would even want to do, as Chief Executive – is also enough to worry markets.

And is it also that Wall Street – as in the movers and shakers who live and work in NYC and surrounding areas – know and dislike Trump? Is it also personal on a scale we haven’t seen before – especially for a pro-business GOP candidate? That seems a little petty perhaps. They are all about the money, after all. But what is undeniable is that Hillary has courted Wall Street shamelessly. As a candidate, and previously as a Senator. And through her and Bill’s web of charitable companies, as a Secretary of State. The compliance class, whether at an investment bank or at the EPA, consider Hillary their ally and friend.

All this may have something to do with the swooning markets. But in the end, markets are about the money and the economy. And it seems that the markets have had enough of Obama’s slow-growth, high-tax, big-regulation economy. Markets are predicting a significant downturn in the economy. And something over 85% of the time that that has happened, the incumbent party has lost the general election.

So maybe markets are indeed nervous about a Trump presidency. But they’re also sick and tired of Obama. And Hillary is essentially a promise to double down on Obama’s high-tax, big-regulation economy. Markets have had enough. Have voters?

America has had a baby boomer in the White House since January 1993, when Bill Clinton was sworn in. And now America is about to get another baby boomer – whether Hillary or Trump – when the swearing in takes place next inauguration day, Friday, January 20, 2017. Unless an Electoral College tie forces a House vote with a surprise choice, one that makes it past any legal challenges. Before a 4-4 Supreme Court.

As aging boomers are wont to do, their focus has been mostly about preserving the status quo in Hillary’s case, or returning to an America the very same boomers grew up in in Trump’s case. One that afforded them unimagined opportunities, or at the very least, a reasonably stable work environment. Even for high school graduates.

In a recent article, Michael Brendan Dougherty claims very convincingly that America has given up on the future. It seems a strange thing to say in a world of technological disruption and global trade deals, but there is something very real and unsettling in what he postulates. For example:

Our politics have ceded the future to the markets and Silicon Valley. The question of social organization, presumably, has been mostly solved by the wonks … The global elite is converging on economic integration, low trade barriers, universal benefits, light regulation, and the cultivation of a global class of politicians and plutocrats who socialize and groom each other and their children for continued benevolent rule.

In other words, the shenanigans at the Clinton group of charities is business as usual for them and they only regret that hacked emails and stubborn FBI investigators – and idiotic separated-husband-failed-mayoral-candidate-schlemiels as well – are to blame for these minor ethical matters coming to the public’s attention.

And while Dougherty’s attacks on Trump are understandable – he’s appealing to a time we can’t get back – there is something Dougherty does not say about Trump which nonetheless flows directly from the quote above.

Although Trump does come from the economic elites, he does not fit easily or well with the typical model of a Davos Man or Woman. And he is the one candidate willing to take the elites on, precisely because he understands them. And they him of course. Bloomberg’s attack on Trump at the Democratic convention last summer was exactly the response you’d expect from someone angry that a candidate is not in line with the established global order. And they have piled on to Trump, helped mightily by Trump’s joyful disregard of politically correct discourse. So Trump can claim outsider status and postulate himself as the agent of change.

At least, that is Trump’s great promise to his supporters. It’s what Gingrich praised in him in his final and defiantly ringing endorsement of Trump in the media late this week. Never mind that Trump’s children fit perfectly in Dougherty’s quote about the wealthy grooming their children for power – it’s no surprise that is the one thing Hillary, when forced to do so in the debates, praised in Trump: his children. Trump himself is seen by his supporters as the last possible agent of change.

That is likely wrong. But if Trump actually wins, we are about to find out how much change he is willing to enact. And how much he is able to enact with America’s separation of powers inevitably presenting his ambitions with the limits placed there precisely to deal with ambition and power seeking. Whether by Obama, or Trump, or Hillary. But the great difference is that Hillary has most of D.C. lined up ready to do business with her. Trump does not. At least not yet.

It’s not just that Alicia Machado – the Venezuelan ex-beauty queen with a suspicious and possibly violent past – was dragged out on stage, again, as a warm up act for Hillary’s full frontal assault on Trump’s machismo. No, the media also dutifully repeat the highlights of Machado’s speech, just to make sure the voting public is fully informed of the issues. The grim full court press, by the press, enters the last half of the fourth quarter, with all of society’s estates seemingly lined up to make sure that the unthinkable – a Trump victory – remains just that.

Every group that Trump may have offended in the last year, or much further back in the case of some of the women who have spoken out in the last several weeks, will have their wounds salted and their anger built up to a boil by a hard series of negative ads running in the media in these final days. Unless of course, they’ve already voted. Or are a little tired of these exhausting primaries and general election. And don’t vote in the numbers needed to ensure Hillary gets the victory that her greedy grasp of identity politics demands she should get.

And Nate Silver – no fan of Trump’s – has a post out today (Wednesday) that basically tells Trump supporters that Hillary still has 70% odds to win. Unless polls tighten further, in which case bets are off. But Nate Silver’s message seems to be: calm down all you Trumpkins, you’re almost certainly going to lose, and you’re engaging in cognitive dissonance, along with anyone in the press foolish enough to speculate on a Trump victory.

Maybe. But if enough further tightening happens, then a reasonable margin of error could hand Trump a victory. Will there then be a tough self-examination by the press? A hard honest look at their own cognitive dissonance? Or misguided polling methodologies?

Not likely. For several reasons. One, the world will of course soon end if Trump is elected, so they will have to write doomsday headlines before Western Civilization makes like dinosaurs. And in case the world doesn’t end as a result of an unexpected Trump victory, there will be a GOP civil war to cover. Something the press is already salivating over.

There has never been – at least in recent modern history – such a coordinated, and shared bias in the media against a presidential candidate. They surely feel they are right to feel this way, from the right to the left wings of the media. And they have no shame in doing their best to sink Trump. Plus the fear of being on a Hillary spread sheet of periodistas-non-grata is an awesome motivator. Like in some of America’s Latin American neighbors. So what’s a little bias when your future as a Hillary White House hack is in question?