Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Trump's odds of impeachment and extra scattershooting

-- Short bets on Trump being removed from office involuntarily.

As we roll toward January 20, the bookmakers have also started leaning toward impeachment. The British-based gambling company Ladbrokes Coral opened shortly after the election in November with 3-1 odds that Trump wouldn't complete his term. By November 22 the odds were down to 9-4, according to the International Business Times. Now they're 50-50 that he won't make it through.

Paddy Power, an Irish bookmaker, is even less circumspect about Trump's future in the Oval Office. Right now the company is offering 8-1 odds that Trump will not make it six months (that's about twice the odds they gave Obama getting through his first six months), according to Salon. Now Paddy Power is offering 4-1 odds that Trump will be impeached before he completes his term. (It's worth keeping in mind both that Paddy Power is known for making adventurous bets about everything from endangered species to American politics, and that the bookmaker ended up having to pay out a lot of money when Hillary Clinton lost the election in November, meaning the bookmaker isn't infallible.)

As a disclosure, I am a Paddy Power gambler of low frequency, and while you will miss often, when you hit, it's usually big.  I wouldn't wager a dime betting on Trump's impeachment by this Congress, however, no matter how bad he gets.  Now if you gave me these odds on his resigning from office before his first term is through -- or for that matter, not running for a second term -- then I'd be all over that action.

Trump is a 'thrill of the chase' kinda guy, not so much the kill.  He's going to get tired of the daily grind quickly; he didn't start this charade to serve the public.  Washington is not going to be shaken up all that much as his base vote thinks.  If he can't make money the way he's used to, he'll have to subsist on the delight of terrorizing American corporate CEOs, and that also has limited utility after awhile.  Six months?  I'm betting against.  Four years?  I'm betting heavily in favor.  As a matter of my opinion, he's probably out no later than early 2019, a scant two years from now, so that Mike Pence can organize a run for the White House.  And if the Democrats keep on making the same mistakes -- such as overestimating the value of the DNC with a neoliberal at the helm -- Pence could win in 2020, while having an even larger Congressional majority to work with.  I can see his campaign slogan now: "Trump without the Bull(ying)".

But I'm the guy who thought Hillary Clinton would serve two terms and then Julian Castro would serve two after her, so WTF do I know?

-- Betsy DeVos, who wants to bring God to our public schools -- and vice versa -- faces her Senate panel today.

... (I)n a 2001 interview for "The Gathering," a group focused on advancing Christian faith through philanthropy, she and her husband offered a rare public glimpse of their views. Asked whether Christian schools should continue to rely on philanthropic dollars—rather than pushing for taxpayer money through vouchers—Betsy DeVos replied: "There are not enough philanthropic dollars in America to fund what is currently the need in education…[versus] what is currently being spent every year on education in this country…Our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God's Kingdom."

It's not just her Dominionism, her Ben Carson-ish lack of experience, and her massive political contributions that are questionable; she has controversies galore swirling about her.  Hope the coals of Hell are stoked white hot for this grilling.

-- The protests, and the number of protestors, are going to outnumber the people celebrating the new president at his inauguration.

Early estimates back in December suggested that Donald Trump’s inauguration would be attended by around 800,000 people, less than half of the 1.8 million people who attended Obama’s first inauguration (in fact, it’s less than the one million people who attended Obama’s second Inauguration). Trump can subtract at least another 18 people from that number, representing the Congressional leaders who refuse to attend the inauguration (including John Lewis).

However, Trump may not even fetch the 800K originally expected. We won’t know official numbers until we actually see them, but we do know that the main spot for the parking of buses in D.C. for inaugural events is RFK Stadium. There, only 200 charter buses have asked for permits on inauguration day. Compare that to the 1,200 bus permits requested for the Women’s March on January 21st. Right now, it’s possible that the protest march actually outdraws the inauguration. Comparatively speaking, Obama’s first inauguration had 3,000 charter bus permit requests, or 15x more than Trump’s inauguration. Obama also had 10 Inaugural balls compared to the three scheduled for Trump.

However, outside of the inaugural events on Friday, the city could see could see even bigger numbers than 800,000 expected to attend Trump’s inauguration, because some expect that demonstrators will add as much as 750K to the total. Hundreds of thousands of protesters are expected in other cities across the nation on Saturday.

It's going to be a big fucking deal this weekend.

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