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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Trump Is Tempting Fate On Health Care

"House Republicans introduced their health care bill, the American Health Care Act, only two weeks ago. During that relatively short interval, President Trump’s approval ratings — which were never very good — have become a little worse.

Is that just a coincidence? Could health care be Trump’s undoing when so many things haven’t been? Let’s ask a few more questions about Trump’s popularity and the GOP’s health care plan. The health care bill probably has had a drag on Trump’s numbers, but it isn’t an open-and-shut case."

Angela Merkel is now the leader of the free world, not Donald Trump

"When Barack Obama revealed that his last phone call as President was to Angela Merkel, reaffirming their alliance and friendship of the last eight years, he wasn’t just saying goodbye. He was handing over his baton. The German Chancellor isn’t just the leader of Europe, she is now the de-facto leader of the free world.

The thrice-elected, soft-spoken former scientist from East Germany, armed with a doctorate in quantum chemistry, doesn’t just carry the weight of Germany and Europe on her shoulders, but that of defending freedom and liberalism across the world.

This is not an attempt to be provocative or exaggerate for effect. Donald Trump cannot claim the mantle of “leading” the free world by default. America’s military might is not the only criteria necessary."

What do Trump’s 2005 tax returns reveal?

"It's first important to note that there are limitations: they don't show us details about his sources of income, or expenditures like charity. But they do reveal Trump did pay some taxes in 2005 — previous tax-return leaks indicated he could have written off hundreds of millions of dollars in tax bills over time. "

"We also learn that he, like many, took advantage of tax loopholes, writing off more than a hundred million dollars in business losses to lower his taxable income. That landed him at a tax rate of about 25 percent."

"One reason Trump ended up paying as much as he did in taxes in 2005 is because of the alternative minimum tax, which targets the wealthy to make sure they don’t get to write off too much and pay very little. During his campaign, Trump said he wanted to eliminate this specific tax."

Purple America Has All But Disappeared

I think this is a troubling trend for Democrats, in light of the fact that Republicans control all branches of the federal government, and almost a two thirds majority of state houses.

But all people in power tend of over-reach and become tone deaf. At some point, things are going to go disastrously wrong for the GOP, and Democrats will wake up and become less tone deaf to the public. The magic and shine of Donald Trump will at some point wear off, and people will want a different direction for the country. Healthcare reform seems to particularly troublesome -- although voters may actually like the fact that his plan is better for middle-class voters.

When will it happen? I don't know. It might not happen until 2020 or 2022. At some point, some heavily red counties will inevitably turn purple, when Democrats come to their senses that they don't have to always talking about the most liberal policies in the book.

I hope that soon a judge imposes a travel ban on President Donald Trump.

Judges often do that to people after they are indicted on felonies, to avoid them leaving the country and going on the lam. Somebody like the president poses a unique flight risk, because he owns properties across the world where he could hide out from justice.

We May Have Unlocked the Mystery of Trump’s Orange Skin

"For nearly 20 years, Trump has had a close personal and business relationship with an Indiana businessman named Steve Hilbert, who in 2006 became CEO of New Sunshine, a maker of tanning beds, spray booths, and Kardashian-branded tanning lotions and bronzers.

Hilbert and Trump have much in common. Both men are 70, have made and lost fortunes, and have cycled through multiple marriages. They enjoy outsize lifestyles and indulge garish decorating tastes. And they share a similar orange skin tone that can result from the use—or overuse—of certain tanning products."

Map: Rochester Cuomo 2010 Vote

Map: Rochester Cuomo 2010 Vote

The 2010 Andrew Cuomo vs. Carl Paladino race was an interesting one to consider in 2014. In Upstate, the race may not be as heavily slanted towards the governor as it was in 2010, but it will likely follow similar patterns, and people generally do not alter their views from year to year -- and turn out in 2010 and 2014 is expected to be similar.

This is based on the LATFOR redistricting files which can be downloaded from http://latfor.state.ny.us/data/. They provide data from the 2006, 2008, and 2010 elections.

The Emigrants

"From a letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Trump had been ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete mandatory military service and to register his initial emigration to the United States twenty years earlier. Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s request for repatriation; the family later settled in New York. Translated from the German by Austen Hinkley."

Salesman-in-Chief

"President Donald Trump basically told Americans last night that he’s going to make sure we can have our cake and eat it, too—and by the way it will be a spectacular cake, it won’t cost much, and it’s going to help us lose a lot of weight."

One observation I have about President Donald Trump, is the need for more High Schools to teach basic economics. I didn’t learn much about economics, until I studied them in college. There should be a mandatory course on both macro and micro economics. It’s obvious that many in our country have a poor understanding of how the global economy works, why some communities and occupations struggle, and the pros and cons of each policy choice our society makes.