Author Archive

2020 AMA Forecasts Overview

An Annual Tradition I continued the New Year’s Eve tradition where Facebook users could “Ask me Anything” (AMA) and receive an improvised, off-the-cuff, unsourced, but what I hope is an interesting forecast on where we’re going in 2020. This year the questions were harder, more varied, and reflected what I sensed was a growing pessimism

Q1: Which is more dangerous to the Iranian people, suppression by the regime in Tehran or a violent fall of the government and the chaos that may result?

2020AMA Forecast to the Question: Which is more dangerous to the Iranian people, suppression by the regime in Tehran or a violent fall of the government and the chaos that may result?

Q2 Who fares better in the 2020 Presidential Election?

New Year’s Eve 2019 Forecast (What is this?)  Barring certain contingencies, President Trump gets re-elected by a narrow electoral margin but loses the Senate and House. This is due to Trump leveraging a success-to-the-successful archetype in turning out “missing white” voters who mobilize to vote for him. But the success-to-him of this strategy costs the

Q3 Will the Impeachment process heal or harm the current world opinion of the United States?

New Year’s Eve 2019 Forecast (What is this?) Most of the world bases its opinion on the US as to whether it acts, collectively, more as an ally as a threat. Administrations serve as a proxy for this understanding both by their action and signaling of action. Trump is the biggest signaling President to ever

InfoMullet: Third Time’s a Charm – Impeachment

TLDRUpFront: For the 3rd time in history the House has impeached a President. Never before has a Trial resulted in conviction. Understanding the Trial means understanding “sole power” and “inherently political”. As we cover the Trial check back here for our previous coverage and resources to gain context.

Q4 Does impeachment cost the Democrats the House?

New Year’s Eve 2019 Forecast (What is this?) No. Per my forecast response to Q2 above, I’m predicting the Democrats retain the House and take the Senate. Specifics to the election are contained in that post. Here I’m going to focus on why. What we’ve seen as the reliable dynamic throughout the impeachment process is

Q5 If he is re-elected with a GOP friendly House will President Trump be able to do a better job of actually implementing policies than he did the last time he had complete control of government?

New Year’s Eve 2019 Forecast (What is this?) No. Let’s assume the premise that I’m wrong on all my forecasts above and Republicans take the House & Senate. (Scientific studies have placed the probability of me being wrong at 12.5%.)* Competence in the Executive Branch is related to the stock (number) of qualified personnel you

Armistice Signed in China-US Trade War – New Boundary Set at 53rd Parallel

TLDR Up Front: A trade deal between China and the US is closer to an armistice than a peace treaty. It calls off hostilities, exchanges some prisoners and establishes a new boundary that looks a lot like where we started. Many contentious issues are kicked-down-the-road to a future “treaty”, to be negotiated in November 2020.

Q6 What causes (e.g. corruption of government) would be sufficient to get citizen mobilization to the level of Hong Kong?

New Year’s Eve 2019 Forecast (What’s this?) In Q7 I cover some of the demographic barriers to widespread mobilization and uprising in terms of youth bulge, unemployment, and expectation formation. Here I want to cover something more visceral – which is the personal motivations that lead to mass protests. First I’m starting with a premise

Q7 What areas in the US are ripe for civil unrest in 2020? What factors are feeding the potential conflict and how might it play out?

New Year’s Eve 2019 Forecast (What’s this?) I forecast no major sustained civil unrest in 2020. There may be a few riots. Property destruction riots emerging out of protest and police-overreaction after shooting incidents. Or self-defensive riots between opposed political groups. But those of these that are violent are going to be few in number