Archive for January, 2016

donald trump

My hair alone could run this country.

Statistician Nate Silver had been my rock when it came to the chances of Donald Trump winning the GOP nomination.  No matter what the rest of the press was saying, there would be good ol’ Nate saying Trump won’t win.  But with the primaries starting tomorrow and with the collapse of Trump in the polls that I think many of us expected not occurring, well even Nate has backtracked now and is saying Trump has a legitimate chance of pulling this off.  Further, his models now has Trump as the favorite to win Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

So Donald Trump is not a reality television side-show entertainment candidate.  He is an actual real candidate.  As voters start going to the polls, I hope they do their homework on Donald Trump.  For your consideration:

  • Trump says he is a successful business man because he’s made billions.  There are important things to remember though.  First, he inherited around $40 million from his dad in 1974.  So it’s not like he went from rags to riches.  Further, while he is now worth around $3 billion today (not bad right), some say that had he just invested his money in index funds and reinvested any dividends, he would be worth much more.  And Warren Buffet, who was worth about as much as Trump in 1974, now is worth $67 billion.  Doesn’t necessarily prove Trump is a bad business man.  But perhaps he’s not exactly good either, or at least not as good as he purports.
  • Trumps says he is good with money.  But he has filed for bankruptcy four times.  Hey, that’s allowed.  Still, I don’t think anyone has ever responded to the question ‘how are things financially?’ with ‘great, I just filed for bankruptcy!’
  • Trump is self-financing is campaign.  Except not exactly.  Go to his campaign website and you will clearly see a “donate” button.  He’s taken in millions from donations.  And in as such as he has contributed himself, it’s mostly be in the form of loans in which he can pay himself back for at any time using the raised campaign money.  There’s also a Super PAC backing him (“Make America Great Again”).
  • Trump is a man of principles.  And if you don’t like those principles, just wait, they will probably change.  He’s for legalizing drugs, he’s against legalizing drugs, he’s pro-choice, he’s pro-life, the rich should pay a wealth tax, wait no they need a tax cut, he’s for universal  healthcare, oh wait nevermind, Hillary would be a great President, no she would be a disaster, Ted Cruz is a great friend and also a very nasty person……

Clearly some see something in Trump.  I think it may be that what I may see as narcissism, others see as confidence.  Maybe what I may see as boastful and braggadocious, others see as leadership.  What I may see as offensive and racist, others see as courage to call it like he sees it.

Anyway, in case you couldn’t guess, I’m not a Trump supporter and find him a particularly weak candidate.  I think he has lived in a bubble all his life and doesn’t have a lot of real world knowledge.  I think in his arrogance, he has decided that being President would be easy (for a guy like him).  I think his extremely low tolerance to criticism is a major and potentially dangerous character flaw.  Finally, I think he would say or do anything, but only in what is in the best (perceived) interest of Trump (which he would probably think would be in the best interest of everyone anyway).

But I invite everyone to at least do their own homework in regards to Trump  (of course a good idea regardless of who you are voting for).  In my opinion, There’s more to being President than being outspoken.

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nick-saban

Grrr….I could build a national champion out of toothpicks and duct tape……and a 37,000 square foot weight room…..yeah, that would be nice.

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide this week won its 16th college football National Championship this week, its 4th National Championship in the last seven years.  It has been quite a run, and I think it’s safe to throw the word “dynasty” out there  in regards to the state of university’s football program.  And there is no signs of the program slowing down.

How did this university achieve building the premiere football program in the country?  Well, first, they spared no expense in hiring and retaining the best personnel they could find.  Head coach Nick Saban was lured in with a $5 million per year salary, which has now grown to around $7 million per year.  He’s even been provided a home he doesn’t have to pay taxes on.  Another $5 million plus goes to assistant coaches.  And almost another $3 million goes to support staff (Alabama’s strength and conditioning coach alone makes over $500,000 annually).

But that’s not all, the university also strives to have the best facilities in the country to help attract the best football players coming out of high school.  Players center comes complete with nutrition areas, cooking classes, lounges with huge flat screen TV’s, game systems, arcade, etc.  They also have a 37,000 square feet weight room (if you click the link, the awesomeness of the weight room will be helpfully demonstrated by the conditioning coach going all Hulk Hogan….whatcha gonna do when Alabama’s weight room runs wild on you!!!).  There may will be one million dumbbells!

That’s not to mention indoor practice facilities, free police services from the city of Tuscaloosa, and the list and list goes on and on.  The point of all this is that no expense is spared, with the cost of “football operations” being over $50 million a year.

Still, you can’t argue with the results.  It shows that when you make something a priority and give it enough resources, great things can be accomplished. Nobody would ever dream of telling Nick Saban ‘no, you are just going to have to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and make do with what you have’ in response to a request for his “needs”.  Yet, it seems like this attitude is not applied elsewhere.  It is a common answer among many that “money/spending never solves anything” and that people just need to be “self-sufficient”.

I guess my question is if somebody as unquestionably great as Nick Saban needs all of these resources to solve the “problem” of college football National Championships, why wouldn’t other problems need similar prioritization and resources to be solved?