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A lovely movie in prime Redford /Newman days.  Two grifters run an operation way out of their league.  Will they pull it off?  And with the cops on their tail?stingredfordnewman
The movie unfolds from the perspective of the two leads, Redford and Newman.  The crookery takes place in a crooked system, so there’s no sympathy for the marks.

Go with this.  In the national game, it’s pretty obvious that America’s a smoldering mess in a number of ways.  Over a decade of begging the Chinese to lend us money; thirty years during which the American household savings rate is at or below zero; American civilian manufacture unable to get off the ground compared to American military manufacture.

Our economy is trapped in a Keynesian system dependent on military manufacture – money to run the government comes from taxes, which come from individual income taxes and such, which come from making airplanes and warcraft for sale abroad, which come from government acquisitions.  The merry-go-round leaks money, and doesn’t turn a profit.  In the real world of business, that means one has to shut down the division, but when Donnyboy tries it, WOW!  will he find out the difference between Business and Government.

He just bought – – oh, 2,429,914,969 acres of underwater to be the live-in super, to clean the toilets and call the cops.  Don runs operations like get in – get out, and there’s no way out of the box for four years.  Don doesn’t do deals he doesn’t want to do – but now he has to.  Don doesn’t like to lose, but now he will, in spades, up on the Hill.  Don doesn’t like being bothered by trivial crap, but now he will be waist-deep in dealing with, say, booms in the onchocerciasis public health nightmare in west Africa – a problem with no win or lose, a problem with no negotiation, just a stale-as-dogshit problem without a solution.

Ron Reagan was a skilled actor, which means hitting your marks and doing it the director’s way. They all worked for him; but in the day-to-day, his life was as regimented as a corporal’s. That will drive the Donzo nuts. 

But it’s even worse for the Donald.  In his later business days, he doesn’t have to hustle.  He just has to sell the Trump brand.  Every day that he was running for President, the Trump brand was soaring up the charts.  Anyone who wanted to do business with Trump Industries was getting a deal with a Presidential Candidate, which is big lucre.  Ask Bill and Hillary.

And now it’s gone.  He has to tuck the Trump Industries behind a firewall, a blind trust, that thousands of enemy lawyers will be scouring for leaks.  And the Don doesn’t inherit any Federal lawyers to protect his ass – it all comes out of his pocket.  At the pinnacle of value, Trump Industries goes to one of his scions and partners, whom he must trust implicitly for four years at least.  Don hasn’t made it to where he is by accidentally trusting people.

He wanted the Heroic Loss.  It would have put his brand value instantly at ten times its previous value – for selling steaks, condo’s, you name it.  But now he’s a seventy-year-old man who has to wait for at least four years to cash in on the deal, and that ol’ devil Death’s still out there for everyone.  Being the richest guy in the nursing home – well, ask Ronnie.

Hillary and Bill, meanwhile – after they go off to the South of France and weep  for a few weeks over their loss, they’re going to figure out that the actual cash value of the Clinton Brand’s gone through the roof, and they can cashgrab on it now.  They can send Don postcards from Aruba or the South Pacific.  And their biggest risk will be excessive sun exposure.  All the sex, drugs and rock’n’roll two fussy geriatrics can stand. And Don’s in church for four years. 

Did the Clin – bots just pull off the biggest grift on the American people yet?  On the Don?  You don’t outsmart the Clintons and get away with it.  Tag you’re it, sucka. 

All because Don took on a bigger operation that he was aware of.  And he lost.

The Mess.

The country’s in an irredeemable mess.  The numbers don’t add up.  The bleeding could have been stopped at the beginning of the millennium; it’s too late now.  Don gets to ride this tide of red ink down further.  He lifted Obama’s Hope and Change message, and sold it again at a profit in 2016.  Let’s Hope and Change again, America.  But Hope and Change meant accelerating the collapse of American healthcare – which was already running at a healthy clip when the O-Man came into office.  Repeal it!  Why yes.  But stopping the bombing of Dresden and Berlin and Tokyo and Nagasaki in World War II didn’t magically make for their instant return to normal.  They were just cold rubble instead of hot rubble.  That’s what we’ll have in America in 2017.

And the corporatists will be let loose to fix the situation, continuing the idiot superstition that Corporations Can Fix Everything.  If we only get big Pharma, the Insurance Industry and Big Retail Pharmacies to take over healthcare, well, that will be an innovation that Trump can be proud of – until he realizes that’s already going on, and what’s on the toe tag and death certificate.

His campaign, like the O-Man’s and Hillary’s and Romney’s, completely misses the invisibles of America.  The invisibles flocked to him and took him up as one of their own, which was a great sales job.  When both candidates live in Manhattan with a dozen houses in other places, make deals and wheel with the nobs of the town, get into any restaurant that they wish, and command a couple hundred thousand for their speeches, well,  who’s the hero?