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Business Insider – Politics

  • The 10 most important things in the world right now
    (Politics - May 05 2016 - 5:36 AM:)

    Star Wars Stormtrooper Taipei China Chinese

    Hello! Here's what you need to know on Thursday.

    1. Ohio Governor John Kasich dropped out of the presidential race Wednesday, effectively handing the Republican presidential nomination to Donald Trump.

    2. United Kingdom voters will cast their ballots for local representatives on Thursday. Final opinion polls put Labour candidate Sadiq Khan 12 to 14 points ahead in the race for London mayor.

    3. It appears Turkey's prime minister is about to quit. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is not planning to run for party leadership at an upcoming conference, according to senior party officials.

    4. Elon Musk said Wednesday that Tesla now wants to be delivering 500,000 vehicles per year by 2018, a full two years ahead of a previously announced schedule.

    5. Yahoo's 15-year-long partnership with AT&T has come to an end. The deal brought in $100 million in almost pure profit last year.

    6. Alberta declared a state of emergency Wednesday, as wildfires in Canada have forced 80,000 people to flee their homes.

    7. China will invest $11.9 billion in building aviation infrastructure this year. The investment will initially lead to 11 construction projects and 52 upgrades to existing facilities.

    8. US Secretary of State John Kerry just drew a new red line for Syrian President Bashar Assad. The new deadline for Assad's transition out of power is August 1.

    9. The European central bank is permanently stopping production of the 500-euro note, getting rid of drug cartels' favorite currency.

    10. The US Justice Department said Wednesday that North Carolina's so-called bathroom law violates the US Civil Rights Act. The law in question bans transgender people from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

    And finally ... 

    How to find out everything Google knows about you.

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    NOW WATCH: How ISIS makes over $1 billion a year

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  • LIVE: Britain is about to go to the polls
    (Politics - May 05 2016 - 5:00 AM:)

    sadiq khan zac goldsmith face off staring versus

    Britain votes! The nation is going to the polls today after weeks of bitter campaigning, voting on everything from city mayors to regional assemblies, local councils to police and crime commissioners.

    Here are the key stories:

    • London is electing a new mayor after an ugly battle between Labour and Conservative contenders Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith that has at times descended to accusations of outright racism.
    • Today's elections will serve as a crucial early test of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party. The left-wing politician is attempting to square his popular support among the broader party against a sometimes hostile MP base.
    • The Conservatives could push Labour into third place in Scotland in Scottish Parliamentary elections, as the SNP seeks to maintain its overwhelming support
    • The elections come hot on the heels of a toxic row over alleged anti-Semitism within Labour's ranks — threatening to harm the party's electoral chances.

    This is a liveblog of the day's events and will be updated frequently. Refresh the page for the latest news, or click here.


    0600 — Good morning!

    Hello, and welcome to Business Insider UK's liveblog for the 2016 elections!

    Polls open in an hour in what promises to be an series of exciting elections. Here's what you need to know going into it.

    The Basics

    There are a number of elections being contested across the UK today. These are:

    • Mayoral elections in London, Bristol, Liverpool, and Salford.
    • Council elections at 124 English councils.
    • Police Commissioner elections in England and Wales (but not London).
    • Northern Irish assembly elections.
    • Welsh assembly elections.
    • Scottish Parliament elections.
    • London assembly elections.

    If you're unsure of what you're eligible to vote in, then BuzzFeed has put together a great tool. Just enter your postcode and it'll tell you what elections are being held in your area.

    Polls are open between 7 a.m. BST and 10 p.m. BST — go to your local polling station to vote, unless you signed up in advance for a postal vote. You don't need to take your polling card with you to vote, but if you didn't register (or were already registered), then it's too late now — sorry!

    We'll get exit polls immediately after polls close at 10 p.m. BST (it's actually illegal to publish any before then), with the proper results coming in as they're counted overnight and into tomorrow morning.

    Today is a test of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership — and David Cameron's

    Jeremy CorbynThese elections will be a critical early test of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party.

    The veteran politician has huge support among the party base, but the Parliamentary party is far less warm towards him, amid fears his politics are too left-wing for the general public.

    A strong result will be taken by his supporters as a vindication of his approach, while heavy losses could provoke open rebellion in the Commons.

    No MPs are elected to Parliament today, but the elections will nonetheless also serve as a barometer of public confidence in David Cameron's government. It has been a year since the Conservative Prime Minister returned to power with an outright (though slim) majority, allowing him to discard his coalition partners; today will give us a indication as to what Britain thinks of the Tory's performance flying solo thus far.

    Right now, it's not looking great for Corbyn. Polling in late April suggested that Labour could be in line for the "worst council defeat in opposition in 34 years," according the The Telegraph, with the party standing to lose as many as 220 council seats if it polls 4 points behind the Conservatives.

    We're about to discover the electoral cost of Labour's anti-Semitism row

    Over the last week or so, Labour has been caught in a ugly firestorm over allegations of anti-Semitism within the party.

    Two senior Labour party members — MP Naz Shah and former London mayor Ken Livingstone — have been suspended over allegedly anti-Semitic remarks, and on Monday, the Telegraph reported that the party has secretly suspended more than 50 party members over "anti-Semitic and racist comments."

    Labour is battling to keep the crisis under control, launching an independent inquiry into the issue. But the Conservatives have hammered Labour on the issue, with David Cameron bringing it up on the eve of the elections during Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions.

    We will soon discover whether the row has harmed Labour in the polls.

    Labour is tipped to win in London

    The London mayoral election is a two-horse race between Labour's Sadiq Khan and Ken Livingstone. Though Tory Boris Johnson has served as mayor since 2008, London as a whole is traditionally Labour heartland, and Khan is odds-on favourite to win.

    ken livingstone london mayorThe race is complicated by the fact that one of the Labour figures suspended in the anti-Semitism row is Ken Livingstone, the former London mayor, who made (and repeatedly defended) bizarre remarks claiming that Adolf Hitler was a Zionist. Khan was swift to condemn Livingstone, but it remains to be seen whether the issue has affected his chances.

    With that said, the Conservative campaign in London hasn't been free of accusations of racism either. Rhetoric in the election has been remarkably ugly, with Goldsmith attacking Khan — a Muslim — as a "radical" and attacking his judgment for sharing a platform with alleged Islamic extremists.

    Khan's camp has countered that Goldsmith's tactics amount to "dog-whistle racism," intended to play on voters' prejudices.

    The Tories could move into second place in Scotland

    The nationalist SNP currently has a resounding majority in the Scottish Parliament — 69 seats to second-place Labour's 37. The SNP will be seeking to maintain this majority, while the Conservatives — who currently hold 15 seats in Holyrood — are angling to slip past Labour into second place in Scotland.

    There's a question mark over the future of the police and crime commissioner elections

    The most interesting result to come out of the police and crime commissioner elections, held in England and Wales, won't be the winners — it'll be the turnout.

    Introduced in 2012, turnout in these elections has typically been abysmal, and many are calling for them to ditched altogether.

    Stay tuned for more...

    Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats are battling in their first major elections since leaving government, and the Welsh and Irish assemblies are up for grabs.

    We'll be covering all the day's events live, reporting on the ground and linking out to other coverage we're appreciating, so check back in regularly for the latest developments and the exit polls and results after the polls close.

    This is a liveblog of the day's events and will be updated frequently. Refresh the page for the latest news, or click here.

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    NOW WATCH: It’s surreal to watch this 2011 video of Obama and Seth Meyers taunting Trump about a presidential run

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  • Trump expects to raise $1 billion for the election
    (Politics - May 05 2016 - 2:24 AM:)

    Donald Trump

    Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said on Wednesday he will probably work with the Republican National Committee to raise $1 billion to beat likely Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

    "We're going to try and raise over a billion dollars which is what's going to be necessary. The Democrats maybe will get as high as two billion dollars," Trump said in an interview with NBC Nightly News.

    Trump has relied largely on his own fortune to finance his primary campaign, which according to Open Secrets has spent almost $50 million so far.

    Throughout the primary, Trump has insisted his self-funding makes him immune to money's corrupting influence in politics.

    But the businessman reversed course in March by saying he would raise money for a pricey general election fight, according to CNN.

    "I'm not looking for myself, I'm looking out for the party, so the party can compete in Senate races and House races. I want to raise money for the party," Trump said on the Fox News program "Fox and Friends."

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  • John Kerry just drew a new red line for Assad in Syria
    (Politics - May 05 2016 - 2:19 AM:)

    kerry vietnam

    The new deadline for Syrian President Bashar Assad's transition out of power: August 1, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a press conference at the State Department on Tuesday.

    "The target date for the transition is the first of August," Kerry told reporters. "So we're now coming up to May. So either something happens in these next few months, or they are asking for a very different track."

    The ultimatum was reminiscent of Kerry's warning in 2011 that Assad's days were "numbered," as well as President Barack Obama's "red line" speech in 2012 outlining the conditions — namely, the use of chemical weapons — that would prompt the US to take action against the embattled dictator. But then, as now, Kerry did not specify what "track" Washington would take to force Assad's ouster.

    "That is for the future," Kerry said.

    Kerry responded to questions about Assad's departure after announcing a new plan to end the latest wave of violence in Syria's largest city, Aleppo, where more than 250 civilians have been killed in less than a week by government airstrikes and rebel shelling.

    Under a new ceasefire arrangement, US and Russian military officials "will be sitting at the same table" at a coordination center in Geneva to monitor and document any violations of the truce, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday, in a news conference from Moscow with the UN's envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura.

    The truce will include Aleppo moving forward.

    aleppoRussia — a staunch ally of Assad — had initially refused to include Aleppo in the cessation of hostilities agreement because of Al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra's presence in parts of the city. It used the group to justify the continued airstrikes.

    As a result, joint US-Russian efforts to end regime bombardments there have largely been made on Moscow's terms, and Kerry admitted that negotiators are still trying to figure out how to target Nusra — which is not party to the cessation of hostilities agreement — without hitting rebel groups who have agreed to abide by the ceasefire.

    “Are they somehow commingled? Are they fair game? These are the kinds of things that have to be worked out, so that there’s no misunderstanding” about “who is doing what, where, when and how,” Kerry said. “We don’t control the terrorists."

    nusraIn any case, Kerry insisted the US would not allow Aleppo to fall to the government. He said there would be "repercussions" if forces loyal to Assad did not abide by the new terms. 

    "If Assad does not adhere to this [ceasefire], there will clearly be repercussions, and one of them may be the total destruction of the ceasefire and then go back to war," Kerry said. "I don't think Russia wants that. I don't think Assad is going to benefit from that. There may be even other repercussions being discussed."

    Again, however, Kerry did not specify what consequences the Assad regime or Russia would face if it violated the ceasefire agreement.

    "If Assad's strategy is to somehow think he's going to just carve out Aleppo and carve out a section of the country, I got news for you and for him: This war doesn't end," Kerry said. "As long as Assad is there, the opposition is not going to stop fighting."

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    NOW WATCH: The US is showing its strength against Russia by sending its most advanced warplanes to the Black Sea

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  • New Jersey is facing a 'poisoning' scandal in its schools — and parents are saying it's a 'cover up'
    (Politics - May 05 2016 - 2:14 AM:)

    Chris Christie

    Parents of four Newark Public School students have filed a proposed class-action lawsuit claiming the district and other city and state officials "poisoned" thousand of students by deliberately exposing them to toxic levels of lead from March 2011 to present, which caused gastrointestinal and cognitive health problems.

    The complaint, which names New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Superintendent of Newark Schools Chris Cerf among the defendants, also alleges the district made a conscious decision to conceal the elevated lead levels present in schools' water supply from children, parents, and teachers, even after the information became public in March 2016 after testing from the Department of Environmental Protocols.

    "Since [then] the Defendants have done nothing but attempt to cover up their actions, mislead parents and teachers, and make it difficult for the parents to get their children tested for lead," the suit reads.

    The suit also claims that the defendants "haphazardly and secretively installed filters" into some water sources to combat the issue but that the district failed to provide adequate maintenance, which would take as little as five minutes, twice a year.

    "The Defendants intentionally failed to change the filters for years despite the requirement that these filters be changed every six months," the suit claims.

    The district left some filters unchanged for "more than five years after they expired," according to the complaint.

    Further, the suit claims the defendants drank bottled water, instead of the schools' water, while leaving students to consume lead-infused water on a daily basis.

    No level of lead in the blood is considered safe, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exposure to high enough levels can cause an array of serious health issues in children and pregnant women, especially.

    Some who drank the water, according to the suit, experienced "life threatening and irreversible bodily injury."

    water fountain

    The district has not yet been served with the lawsuit, but it's working to communicate with the community, said Dreena Whitfield, a spokesperson for Newark Public Schools, in a statement emailed to Business Insider.

    The statements reads:

    At Newark Public Schools, the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. That is why we have taken proactive measures to share water quality results broadly with the public; to engage experts to create a new baseline for water quality in our schools; and to go beyond efforts taken in the past to solve this historic issue once and for all.

    With the suit, the parents are seeking a jury trial, compensation for damages, and the establishment of a medical fund as well as the appointment of a monitor to oversee water operations in Newark Schools.

    New Jersey joins Flint, Michigan, and Sebring, Ohio, as cities in the midst of lead crises.

    SEE ALSO: More lead found in Newark schools' drinking water

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  • Hacker 'Guccifer' says he broke into Hillary Clinton's email server
    (Politics - May 05 2016 - 1:14 AM:)


    Romanian-born hacker Guccifer claims that he broke into Hillary Clinton's private email server, saying that "it was easy."

    The infamous hacker, whose real name is Marcel Lehel Lazar, recently spoke with Fox News from a jail cell in Virginia where he is being held. He was extradited from Romania after being arrested in Jan. 2014 following a string of email hacks of high profile individuals, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, US Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and friends and family of former President George W. Bush.

    Lazar claimed to Fox News that he accessed Clinton’s server "like twice" but found the contents "not interest[ing]" to him at the time. "I was not paying attention. For me, it was not like the Hillary Clinton server, it was like an email server she and others were using with political voting stuff," he said.

    Neither Fox News or Tech Insider can independently verify Lazar's claims. The FBI is currently in possession of the private email server as it investigates whether its use by Clinton was appropriate while serving as Secretary of State.

    Clinton's website claims: "No, there is no evidence there was ever a breach."

    Still, it was Guccifer who first exposed Clinton's email server, after he broke into the email of Sydney Blumenthal, a close Clinton confidant. But his explanation of how he allegedly gained access to the Clinton email server is light on details. He told Fox he looked up the IP address of Blumenthal's emails to Clinton, and then did a simple web scan and found the server.

    After that, he supposedly looked for open ports to exploit. He didn't offer any more detail. There are quite a few more technical steps needed to get access to a private server, as opposed to his past hacks of common email services like AOL and Yahoo.

    As the New York Times has noted, Guccifer is no computer expert, operating on a cheap laptop and a cellphone and using tools readily available on the web. Many of his "hacks" were the result of social engineering skill and months of guessing security questions until he got in.

    "He was not really a hacker but just a smart guy who was very patient and persistent," Viorel Badea, the Romanian prosecutor who directed the case against him, told The Times.

    SEE ALSO: This hacker makes an extra $100,000 a year as a 'bug bounty hunter’

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    NOW WATCH: Hackers showed us how to break into the grid — and it was shockingly easy

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  • 'Even the stones are catching fire': A surgeon in Aleppo wrote a brutal op-ed describing what life there has become
    (Politics - May 04 2016 - 10:06 PM:)


    Violence in Syria's largest city has escalated so dramatically that hospitals there are being forced "to choose patients to save because there aren't enough doctors to treat everyone," a surgeon there wrote on Wednesday.

    The epicenter of Syria's brutal civil war shifted decisively last week to the divided city of Aleppo.

    There, warplanes loyal to the government have been dropping bombs with "such ferocity that even the stones are catching fire," Osama Abo El Ezz, the Aleppo coordinator for the Syrian American Medical Society, wrote in a New York Times op-ed.

    "As one of the few remaining doctors in Syria, I have watched the 'cessation of hostilities' that was agreed on in February crumble," El Ezz said, referring to a truce between government and rebel forces brokered by the US and Russia just over two months ago in Geneva.

    He continued: "We know that for the community we serve we represent a last hope, the final defenders of life in this city. But we are also among the fallen. We have all lost medical brothers and sisters to barrel bombs and missile strikes, but we keep on working through the night."

    People inspect the damage at the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)-backed al-Quds hospital after it was hit by airstrikes, in a rebel-held area of Syria's Aleppo, April 28, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

    An airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo last week prompted international outcry as the fragile ceasefire collapsed and the city erupted in a new wave of violence, which has resulted in a "catastrophic deterioration" of the city.

    Under a new ceasefire arrangement, US and Russian military officials "will be sitting at the same table" at a coordination center in Geneva to monitor and document any violations of the truce, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday, in a news conference from Moscow with the UN's envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura.

    The truce will include Aleppo moving forward.

    But Jeff White, a military analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said that the plan "likely won't hold up."

    "This is a military-technical fix to what is essentially a political-strategic problem," White tweeted. "Also, it seems that Russia has succeeded in getting the US officially involved in its (and regime) operations in Syria."

    Indeed, Russia — a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad — initially refused to include Aleppo in the cessation of hostilities agreement because of Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra's presence in parts of the city, which it used to justify the continued airstrikes. As a result, joint US-Russian efforts to end regime bombardments there have largely been made on Moscow's terms.


    At least 250 people have been killed in Aleppo since April 22, including at least 40 children. Aleppo's last pediatrician, Dr. Muhammad Mo'az, was killed in the strike on Al-Quds hospital. His final moments were captured on CCTV cameras just before the hospital was reduced to rubble.

    "We are running out of coffins to bury our friends, family and colleagues," El Ezz wrote.

    Government forces, while able to inflict larger-scale massacres with airstrikes, are not exclusively to blame. At least three people were killed and 17 wounded when rebels shelled a maternity clinic in a government-held area of Aleppo on Tuesday, in the sixth assault on a medical facility in the city in less than a week.

    The violence forced the city to cancel its Friday prayers "for the first time in Aleppo's centuries-long history" last week. It prompted Lina Sergie, an activist from Aleppo, to "think that perhaps we have crossed a line" in the war "that has never been crossed before."

    Indeed, many in the besieged city have already lost hope and are now simply "waiting for death," El Ezz wrote. "Some people even pray for its swift arrival to take them away from this burning city."

    Read the full op-ed at The New York Times >>

    SEE ALSO: John Kerry just drew a new red line for Assad in Syria

    Join the conversation about this story »

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  • One of the most painful lessons ever learned in finance has finally come to politics
    (Politics - May 04 2016 - 9:51 PM:)

    Donald Trump

    Back in 1998, the world of finance learned a very painful lesson: Models break and markets aren't efficient.

    And with the rise of Donald Trump from sideshow to presumptive Republican nominee, politics has learned the same lesson.

    Long-Term Capital Management was a hedge fund staffed by several Nobel Prize winners that possessed a supposedly unmatched grasp on how markets work. The firm had the most sophisticated methods for exploiting any and all inefficiencies, millions and millions of times over. And it blew up.


    Chronicled at length in Roger Lowenstein's brilliant book "When Genius Failed," the short version of LTCM's blowup is that a series of misplaced bets that certain interest rates would converge over time — because they always had in the past — went against the firm until they were out billions of dollars.

    LTCM's core conceit was that it believed markets were efficient and any inefficiencies would be corrected in due course.

    They were wrong.

    Trump's efficient market

    Trump's presidential campaign began with a surreal press conference inside Trump Tower in Manhattan. His "supporters" were reportedly paid actors and much of the spectacle was a farce.

    And so Trump was not only written off as a marginal and unserious candidate because he himself is so unserious, but also because no outsider candidate with no establishment support and using only his money to fund his campaign could, the theory goes, win a nomination.

    In politics there's an axiom that says "the party decides." This idea that vague, entrenched powerful interests — not the voters — determine an election's outcome is the political field's efficient-market hypothesis.

    And it was essentially this idea that underwrote months of Trump commentary that effectively followed the simple line that this can't happen because the party won't allow it. The voters and the media can have their fun (look at Bernie Sanders), but eventually reality sets in and the practical candidates that Very Serious People believe are best for the job will be put to the voters.

    And yet here we are, not a year later, with Trump as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

    Donald Trump

    Buoying themselves against this market ideology of deciding parties were not only the traditional pundit class but also the newly crowned top dogs of the political commentariat: the data hounds.

    In 2008, Nate Silver rose to fame by correctly calling the election in favor of outsider Barack Obama, a junior senator who overcame the establishment in defeating Hillary Clinton but also topped the face of the GOP, revered Sen. John McCain.

    In 2012, Silver again nailed the election — which was never really that close — that so many believed to be a toss-up between Obama and GOP establishment choice Mitt Romney.

    But this time around Silver failed.

    On Wednesday, Silver wrote: "To me, the most surprising part of Trump’s nomination — which is to say, the part I think I got wrongest — is that Trump won the nomination despite having all types of deviations from conservative orthodoxy."

    Nate Cohn at The New York Times also drew similar conclusions in a reflection on what data-based predictions about the Republican contest got wrong.

    Which are both ways of saying that it seems the party itself failed — the market failed to self-correct its inefficiency, in other words — and thus the arguments undergirded by a belief in a coherent party structure inevitably fell apart.

    There was simply no there there.


    The statistician George Box once wrote, "Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful."

    This is true.

    The failure to predict of Trump's rise to the nomination, then, is not the fault of the work done by folks like Silver, but a manifestation of the hubris involved in trusting the party over what was happening on the ground. Trump dominated Republican polls for months, but his place in the race as a self-funded outsider who was clearly not the choice of The Party seemed entirely untenable.

    The incoming data was doubted all the way. The model broke.

    In a great tweetstorm Wednesday, former Wall Street trader Chris Arnade — who was among the slick, model-wielding upstarts to hit finance in the 1990s — broke down the problem with models, with beliefs, and why Trump's imminent nomination is, really, a pie in the face for everybody.

    The success of Silver in 2008 and 2012 at the time appeared to be the triumph of math over feeling or inspiration. The classic political pundit could — still can! — anecdotally outline their case for or against a certain candidate. Silver instead brought the data to back up his view. And he was very right.

    Nate Silver

    But where a Silver-style model eventually broke down this cycle was in doing what all models do: using the past to predict the future.

    And this is ultimately why Box's quote endures. All models — even those that are useful and correct for long stretches — will eventually reach a point at which the current inputs no longer yield results that look anything like the past. The model's guiding light goes dark. The model breaks.

    Arnade argued Wednesday that this affirms the need for on-the-ground reporting, meeting voters in real life, getting a feel for just how serious the Trump thing is by talking to people who take it seriously.

    Maybe this is the answer. Maybe not.

    But Arnade's point is that using the model as a backstop to affirm your priors — that Trump can't win because he's not the party's choice, that he's too unserious, too racist, too inconsistent, too everything — is exactly the point at which the model begins to fail.

    Long-Term Capital Management thought all arbitrage opportunities would eventually revert to some efficient equilibria. Then they incurred a revision of belief, and then they were out of business.


    Markets, in general, are pretty efficient.

    But they are not absolutely so. There's an old John Maynard Keynes quote that says markets can remain irrational longer than you remain solvent. Trump rendered the Republican Party insolvent.

    Business Insider's Henry Blodget wrote Wednesday that Democrats who are so confident that our next president will be Clinton should be a bit more humble.

    And what I think his post really drives at is that to believe Trump can't beat Clinton would be to once again trust the model, trust the market. This position would require you to believe, just like the GOP did for the last year or so, that the party would decide, that the sensible decision would be made, and the theory against which you balanced your world would not fall apart into nothing.

    Before 2016's actual voting began, Trump's surprisingly strong poll numbers were somewhat dismissed because, well, they were early.

    And then, finally, Trump lost Iowa. Peak Trump! The model was going to be right!

    Ted CruzBut this was and remains Donald Trump. His campaign of schoolyard-style insults exploited what my colleague Allan Smith has called Trump's biggest strength: finding someone's weakness quickly and hammering on it.

    So Iowa winner Ted Cruz became "Lyin' Ted." A multi-decade Bush political dynasty was destroyed with two unforgettable words: "low energy." Marco Rubio, the preferred establishment choice for the GOP nomination, became "Little Marco." John Kasich was "1 for 38 Kasich," which isn't even that catchy: It's merely true.

    Cruz, as Josh Barro noted on Tuesday, ostensibly admitted that he was finally done deceiving voters after he knew he wouldn't win their support.

    Jeb Bush? He's actually pretty low energy. Which is fine, but it's also true.

    Marco Rubio, at 5-foot-10, isn't short at all, just shorter than Trump, who's 6-2.

    John Kasich did, in fact, win only one state.

    But with these schoolyard insults — which, again, were mostly statements of slightly inconvenient facts — Trump galvanized his base against his opponents, against the party he hoped to represent, and against the truth we all took to be self-evident about modern presidential politics.

    He upended the party and the "truths" that come along with a political establishment using its heft to nudge voters toward the candidate that has been vetted, supported, put in position to succeed.

    Trump broke the model, and now he's one vote from the White House.

    SEE ALSO: Ted Cruz just got what was coming to him

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    NOW WATCH: FORMER GREEK FINANCE MINISTER: The single largest threat to the global economy

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  • The National Teacher of the Year had the best reaction to introducing Obama at an event
    (Politics - May 04 2016 - 9:50 PM:)

    Jahana Hayes was awarded the title of National Teacher of the Year at the White House on Tuesday. Before receiving the award, she got to introduce President Obama.

    She was excited, to say the least. 

    Written and produced by A.C. Fowler

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  • John Kasich is dropping out
    (Politics - May 04 2016 - 9:10 PM:)

    john kasich

    Ohio Gov. John Kasich dropped out of the presidential race Wednesday, effectively handing the Republican presidential nomination to Donald Trump.

    Kasich's campaign scrapped a press conference planned for early Wednesday morning in Washington, DC, and instead announced that the governor would make a statement in Columbus, Ohio.

    "Nobody has ever done more with less in the history of politics," Kasich said of his staff in the statement.

    Trump all but sealed the nomination following a landslide win Tuesday night in Indiana's primary.

    Kasich was the last major Republican presidential candidate remaining in the race. Sen. Ted Cruz dropped out Tuesday night following the results of the Indiana primary.

    The Ohio governor's campaign never really got off the ground. Though he had picked up a handful of delegates in several nominating contests and won his home state's primary, he did not take home any other primaries or caucuses and won few delegates in the past month.

    Even after the Indiana loss, Kasich's team insisted that the governor would stay in the race until the Republican National Convention in July. On Wednesday morning, Kasich tweeted out a "Star Wars"-parody video claiming that Kasich was the "only hope" to defeat Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

    SEE ALSO: The crisis in the Republican Party is even worse than it looks

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    NOW WATCH: Watch Obama roast Trump at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

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  • The ECB is getting rid of drug cartels' favorite currency
    (Politics - May 04 2016 - 9:08 PM:)

    for woody

    The European central bank announced on Wednesday that it would permanently stop production of the 500-euro note, worth about $575 at current rates, and stop issuing the notes around the end of 2018, when a new series of 100- and 200-euro notes goes into distribution.

    "It has been decided to end in a permanent manner the production of 500-euro bills," European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said after a meeting in Frankfurt, after "taking into account the worry that those bills could facilitate illicit activities." 

    The move was prompted by the note's suspected use in criminal activities like fraud and terrorist financing.

    Another major concern about the notes — particularly in Spain, which supported ending circulation of the 500-euro note — is how they have aided smugglers who move large sums of money around Europe and all over the world.

    As Tom Wainwright, author of "Narconomics" and formerly The Economist's reporter in Mexico City, explained to Business Insider, such a high-value note has been a boon to smugglers:

    In Europe, the cartels have it a bit easier, because there we have this incredibly high denomination bank note, the 500-euro note ... This makes life much much easier for them. And in fact, most of the 500-euro notes in Europe are in found in Spain, which not coincidentally is the cocaine-importing capital of the continent.
    These notes are sometimes known as "bin Ladens," on the basis that everybody knows that they exist, but no one's quite sure where they are, and they've made life much much easier for the cartels that have to smuggle the money back.

    With just 20 notes amounting to 10,000 euros, the 500-euro note makes it relatively easy to transport and hide large sums. For reference, 1 million euros in 500-euro notes would weigh about 4.5 pounds, while the same amount in the UK's highest denomination, the 50-pound note, would weigh about 53 pounds.

    Spain drug smuggling money euros

    The ease of transport has no doubt proved beneficial to Colombian criminal organizations widely present on the continent, as well as Mexico criminal groups, which are a growing force in Europe's drug scene.

    Removing 500-euro notes from circulation will raise logistical costs for smugglers and make it easier for authorities to physically detect and track shipments of money.

    Critics have said eliminating the 500-euro notes will infringe on privacy rights and the ability to conduct transactions discreetly, and suggested limiting transaction sizes in ECB countries instead.

    SEE ALSO: Kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzmán had more airplanes than the biggest airline in Mexico

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    NOW WATCH: This is how Mexican drug cartels make billions selling drugs

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  • NATE SILVER: 'We basically got the Republican race wrong'
    (Politics - May 04 2016 - 8:47 PM:)


    In September 2015, writer and statistician Nate Silver urged people to "calm down" about the possibility of Donald Trump winning the Republican presidential nomination.

    Two months later, he wrote that the media should "stop freaking out about Donald Trump's polls" and that Trump's odds were "higher than 0 but (considerably) less than 20 percent."

    Six months after that, after Ted Cruz had dropped out of the race but before John Kasich had done so, Silver wrote: "Donald Trump is going to win the Republican nomination."

    "Other than being early skeptics of Jeb Bush, we basically got the Republican race wrong," Silver wrote.

    It's easy to cringe at how, in August, for instance, Silver outlined the "six stages of doom" that he foresaw for Trump in the coming months — and how, in December, he updated the post to note that "the most difficult hurdles between Donald Trump and the Republican presidential nomination are still to come."

    So how did the site that prides itself on a numbers-based approach end up just another late-stage Trump bear with its tail between its legs? Silver has some ideas.

    For one, some of Silver's earliest Trump doomsday analysis was, by its own admission, in line with the theories of "The Party Decides," a theory that posits candidates must be electable and believers in the party's positions. By January, Silver was rereading the book: Either the book's hypothesis that functioning parties nominate strategic candidates is wrong, he said then, or the Republican Party is not a functioning one.

    But Silver isn't giving up on "The Party Decides" quite yet. So when, on Wednesday, Silver admitted that "in Trump, the Republican Party may have a candidate who fails on both counts," he unsurprisingly also argued for the "failings of the Republican Party as an institution."

    Silver wrote:

    To me, the most surprising part of Trump's nomination — which is to say, the part I think I got wrongest — is that Trump won the nomination despite having all types of deviations from conservative orthodoxy. He seemed wobbly on all parts of Reagan's three-legged stool: economic policy (he largely opposes free trade and once advocated for a wealth tax and single-payer health care), social policy (consider his constant flip-flopping over abortion), and foreign policy (he openly mocked the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq War, which is still fairly popular among Republicans).

    But Republican institutional failure alone is only one of three major facets of Silver's analysis, which simultaneously addressed Trump's success and Silver's (predictive) failure.

    The other two components are the incredible volume of media coverage of Trump and the tribal nature of Republican primary voters. On the latter, Silver said that Trump's appeal to "cultural grievance" worked.

    "It's a point in favor of those who see politics as being governed by cultural identity," he wrote, "as opposed to carefully calibrating one's position on a left-right spectrum."

    Statistical analysis is always still analysis and, as such, requires some assumptions. And though he didn't address it specifically in his post on Wednesday, Silver said in November that a statistical approach to presidential-campaign prediction is a hard problem because there's only so much data.

    Perhaps Silver's most prescient prediction came in November: "Unprecedented events can occur with some regularity."

    Read the full post at FiveThirtyEight: 'Why Republican Voters Decided on Trump' >>

    SEE ALSO: The crisis in the Republican Party is even worse than it looks

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    NOW WATCH: Trump just dropped more hints about a possible running mate

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  • This poignant photo is a reminder of the people forgotten in the immigration debate
    (Politics - May 04 2016 - 8:22 PM:)

    This photo, tweeted out by Adam Isacson of the Washington Office on Latin America, captures the effort of some Mexicans to reassert their humanity amid a heavily politicized debate about immigration and trade during the US presidential campaign.

    The message painted on the bank of the Rio Grande River in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, across the border from El Paso, Texas, translates to: "There are dreams on this side too."


    Ciudad Juarez was just a few years ago one of the world's most violent cities, as drug-cartel warfare sent its homicide rate through the roof. 

    While the violence has eased, the city remains a focal point of cross-border movement, particularly of migrants, which has become fodder for US presidential candidates.

    SEE ALSO: 'It doesn't matter how tall of a wall you put up': Trump's border-wall plan is full of holes

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    NOW WATCH: Donald Trump on Syrian refugees: 'If I win they're going back'

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  • US Justice Department: North Carolina's 'bathroom law' violates the Civil Rights Act
    (Politics - May 04 2016 - 8:13 PM:)

    north carolina pat mcCrory

    Officials from the US Justice Department notified North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory that his state's so-called bathroom law violates the US Civil Rights Act, according to The Charlotte Observer.

    The law in question prevents local governments in North Carolina from passing nondiscrimination ordinances, and bans transgender people from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

    It quickly swept through the state Legislature in a one-day special session in March and was signed by McCrory hours later, sparking a national backlash from business leaders and LGBT activists.

    According to The Observer, the Justice Department's letter says that the state's law violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars employers from discriminating, and Title IX, which outlaws discrimination in education based on sex.

    State officials have until Monday to confirm "that the State will not comply with or implement" the law.

    If the determination is upheld, it could cost the state millions of dollars in federal school funding, The Observer reports.

    Since its signing, the law has received fierce opposition from businesses around the country. PayPal and Deutsche Bank froze major expansions in the state in April, costing the North Carolina 650 jobs. The NBA has threatened to move its 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte if the law remains unchanged, and the NCAA has said that the law jeopardizes the state's chances of hosting future events, including the men's basketball tournament.

    Several entertainers, including Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, and Ringo Starr, have canceled performances in the state in protest of the law.

    The law overruled a Charlotte ordinance passed in February that added gay and transgender people to the list of protected classes in the city. Opponents of the ordinance latched on to the provision relating to bathroom preference, claiming that it would leave children vulnerable to sexual predators.

    SEE ALSO: Officers have no idea how to enforce North Carolina's new 'bathroom law'

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    NOW WATCH: A transgender college student is fighting against a law that would force him to use the women's bathroom

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  • Brutal Hillary Clinton montage scorches Donald Trump using GOP rivals' words against him
    (Politics - May 04 2016 - 8:01 PM:)

    Donald Trump

    Hillary Clinton's campaign is going after Donald Trump using a powerful weapon: the words of his former Republican rivals.

    A new digital video released on Wednesday showed a montage of former Republican presidential candidates slamming Trump in brutal fashion.

    The ad cut together comments about the newly presumptive Republican presidential nominee from former foes such as Jeb Bush, 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and Sens. Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz, among others.

    The ad quoted Sen. Marco Rubio, who claimed that Trump was "the most vulgar person to ever aspire to the presidency," as well as Romney, who criticized Trump's "misogyny" and "third-grade theatrics" in a speech earlier this year.

    The video ends with a clip of the real-estate magnate saying that he "brings people together."

    "Well, he's right about that," the text onscreen read.

    Clinton has already begun an effort to use Republicans' words against Trump.

    Shortly after the ad was released online, the former secretary of state's campaign also released a lengthy press release citing Republican Party lawmakers and other high-profile conservatives swearing never to support Trump.

    Watch the video below:

    "President Trump" is a dangerous proposition.

    Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio agree.https://t.co/fUkISvgaXC

    — Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 4, 2016

    SEE ALSO: It's time for Democrats to get more worried about Candidate Trump

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    NOW WATCH: Argentina is trolling Trump to hype a big international soccer tournament

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  • It’s eerie how this ad from 1964 perfectly captures the anxieties of defeated #NeverTrump Republicans
    (Politics - May 04 2016 - 7:46 PM:)

    This "Confessions of a Republican" attack ad on Barry Goldwater from 1964 perfectly captures the current identity crisis in the Republican party now that Donald Trump has all but clinched the GOP presidential nomination.

    Produced by Devan Joseph 

    Follow BI Video: On Twitter

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  • This photo of an Australian politician went viral after he tried to get it removed from the Internet
    (Politics - May 04 2016 - 7:14 PM:)

    peter dutton

    Australia's minister of immigration, Peter Dutton, and his team wanted an unflattering photo of him removed from Twitter.

    Instead, he ended up becoming the internet's latest meme.

    The original photo, taken by photojournalist Alex Ellinghausen, was posted to Twitter by journalist Stephanie Peatling

    .@ellinghausen turns his camera on Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. pic.twitter.com/d8sr3dA0nn

    — Stephanie Peatling (@srpeatling) May 3, 2016

    The photo was taken at a press conference where the minister was discussing the ongoing refugee crisis in Australia after two recent events where refugees reportedly lit themselves on fire.

    Once the photo of the minister surfaced, his press office requested it be taken down. Peatling, a senior writer at The Age, explained the request on the Live Budget Blog.

    "Keen observers would have noticed that I tweeted some of Alex's photos from the press conference as they came in," she wrote. "Mr Dutton's office felt it was 'unflattering' and demanded to know why I had tweeted it. [...] After one of those conversations where both parties say the same thing over and over again, I agreed I would take it off Twitter so long as I could say they asked me to do so."

    She also tweeted about the request, as did other reporters like Dave Donovan, the managing editor of the Independent Australia:

    IM Dutton's office tres unhappy abt most recent pic of him so have taken it off twitter because I don't have time to argue with them.

    — Stephanie Peatling (@srpeatling) May 3, 2016

    Peter Dutton wants this photo deleted, so please delete it ASAP!
    I'll just pin it here so you know which one it is. pic.twitter.com/n05I34bD2o

    — Dave Donovan (@davrosz) May 3, 2016

    Dutton and his office's request proved futile, serving to merely encourage people to spread the picture around. On the subreddit Photoshop Battles, Redditors got ahold of the picture and Photoshopped their own creative versions.

    User SirReginaldTheDumb subbed Dutton in for Tim "the toolman" Taylor's neighbor Wilson:

    Redditor Senpai_Has_Noticed_U switched Frank from "House of Cards" out for Dutton:

    And the user Animal-Kingdom superimposed Dutton's face on the "Citizen Kane" slow-clap:

    Twitter commentators also joined in, calling Dutton's priorities into question:

    Good to know Dutton's office worries about unflattering pictures of their minister. Pics of burning asylum seekers, however...

    — Bernard Keane (@BernardKeane) May 3, 2016

    And poking some fun at the minister.


    Dutton goes Disney. #dutton #auspol #carefulwhatyouwishfor pic.twitter.com/uQkz0cplhW

    — Steph Kitch (@SK1TCH) May 4, 2016


    The real picture Dutton didn't want you to see. pic.twitter.com/ASpxtGDXQr

    — James Hutchinson (@j_hutch) May 3, 2016

    We reached out to Dutton and his team for comment, neither had responded at the time of this post.

    SEE ALSO: How 2 Stanford grads made a hot new app that soared past Facebook in the App Store — while being falsely accused of sex trafficking

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's why memes are so much more than just funny internet photos – straight from the man who coined the term

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  • 'Oh please': Hillary Clinton dismisses Donald Trump as a 'loose cannon'
    (Politics - May 04 2016 - 7:13 PM:)

    hillary clinton

    Hillary Clinton said she's ready to take on Donald Trump in a general-election matchup.

    In an interview on Wednesday, CNN's Anderson Cooper asked the Democratic presidential frontrunner whether she's ready to confront presumed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's penchant for raising sensitive subjects from her history.

    Clinton brushed off concerns that Trump might attempt to rehash details of her marriage with former President Bill Clinton.

    "He's not the first one," Clinton said, laughing.

    "Oh please," she added. "If he wants to go back to the playbook of the 1990s, if he wants to follow in the footsteps of those who have tried to knock me down and take me out of the political arena, I'm more than happy to have him do that."

    Throughout the interview, the former secretary of state attempted to cast herself as a rational alternative to Trump, whom she repeatedly called a "bully" and a "loose cannon."

    Still, there appeared to be a limit to Clinton's criticisms of the real-estate mogul.

    When asked whether she agreed with popular Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren's assertion that Trump has "built his campaign on racism" and "sexism," Clinton praised Warren but avoided a judgment on Trump.

    "I think Elizabeth Warren is a very smart person," she said.

    Though she still faces a popular insurgent candidate in Sen. Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side, the former secretary of state has a virtually insurmountable lead over the senator in popular votes and pledged delegates.

    For his part, Trump looked ahead to the likely November matchup. He said in his Trump Tower victory speech Tuesday that she would be a "poor president."

    "We're going after Hillary Clinton," he said.

    SEE ALSO: It's time for Democrats to get more worried about Candidate Trump

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    NOW WATCH: Trump just dropped more hints about a possible running mate

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  • What Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and 21 other highly successful people were doing right out of college
    (Politics - May 04 2016 - 6:10 PM:)

    Donald Trump Liberty University

    The first few years after college can be the launching pad for the rest of your career — it's why successful people often advise young people to start doing what they love as soon as they can.

    But while some tech geniuses and business tycoons took this route to success, finding the optimal career path right away is easier said than done for many, and others found career bliss many years down the road.

    To show that no two paths to success are alike, here's what 23 highly successful people were doing right out of college.

    Aaron Taube contributed to an earlier version of this article.

    SEE ALSO: 19 highly successful people who prove it's never too late to change careers

    DON'T MISS: The unglamorous first jobs of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and 18 other highly successful people

    Donald Trump worked for his father's real-estate-development company.

    After graduating from Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania in 1968 with a degree in economics, Trump went to work as a young real-estate developer at his father's company, Elizabeth Trump & Son.

    In 1971, he was given the reins of the company, which he later renamed the Trump Organization, according to Bio, and soon became involved in large, profitable building projects in Manhattan.

    Steve Jobs dropped out of college, but kept learning.

    The Apple cofounder dropped out of Reed College, an elite liberal-arts school in Portland, Oregon, where he started doing lots of LSD and learning about spirituality, after six months, according to "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson.

    Jobs said he didn't see the value in paying for an expensive college when he didn't know what he wanted to do. But his edification didn't end when he dropped out.

    For the next 18 months, he would sleep on the floor in friends' rooms, live the bohemian lifestyle, and return soda bottles for spare change, and drop in on the creative classes he wanted to take at Reed College, like calligraphy.

    "If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts," Jobs said during his commencement address at Stanford in 2005. "And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do."




    Marissa Mayer became Google employee No. 20.

    At 24, fresh out of grad school, Mayer became the 20th Google employee and the company's first female engineer. She remained with the company for 13 years before moving on to her current role as CEO of Yahoo.

    Google didn't have the sorts of lavish campuses it does now, Mayer said in an interview with VMakers. "During my interviews, which were in April of 1999, Google was a seven-person company. I arrived and I was interviewed at a ping pong table which was also the company's conference table, and it was right when they were pitching for venture capitalist money, so actually after my interview Larry and Sergey left and took the entire office with them."

    Since everyone in the office interviewed you in those days, Mayer had to come back the next day for another round. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider > <>
  • It's time for Democrats to get more worried about Candidate Trump
    (Politics - May 04 2016 - 5:26 PM:)

    Donald Trump

    Now that Donald Trump has effectively clinched the Republican nomination, many Democrats are exchanging high-fives.

    Trump's victory, they believe, will guarantee a Hillary Clinton win in November and secure the White House for the Democrats for another four years.

    Most of the pundits who declared Trump's candidacy dead on arrival last summer also believe this.

    Democrats and pundits are confident because during his scorched-earth primary campaign, Trump repeatedly said things that would make almost anyone else unelectable to national office — including frequently insulting and offending vast groups of voters such as women and minorities.

    Their confidence is not illogical. Trump starts the general election with a 6.5-point average deficit in polls. And he is the most unpopular major-party nominee ever.

    But those who believe the Trump nomination assures a Clinton victory are not giving enough weight to two important facts:

    1. Hillary Clinton is a weak campaigner; Trump is a strong one. At its core, campaigning is about selling a product — the candidate. The reason Trump clobbered the Republican field is that he's a great salesman. Hillary Clinton is not. By her own admission, Clinton is much better at actually doing political jobs than campaigning to get them.

    2. No one really knows what Trump believes or would do as president, but we do know that he'll say whatever he thinks will give him the best chance of winning. So far, Trump's pitch has been tailored to appeal to one particular voter constituency — the angry, fed-up right wing. Now that Trump has won over that constituency, he'll turn his sales efforts, and image, to winning another: the center.

    A great salesperson figures out what customers want — and then persuades them that, if they buy the product, they'll get what they want.

    In the Republican primary, Trump figured out what Republican voters wanted. And he persuaded enough of them that, if they chose him, they would get it.

    Most Democrats still think that Trump will get crushed in the general election because he actually believes what he was selling in the Republican primaries — the plan to round up and deport all of the immigrants living in the US illegally, for example. Or the plan to bar Muslims from entering the US. 

    donald trump interview

    It's possible that Trump does believe these things and intends to act on them as president.

    But to me it seems more likely that Trump was just "projecting an image," as his team reportedly suggested a couple of weeks ago to Republican leaders when speaking behind closed doors.

    When Business Insider executive editor Brett LoGiurato and I interviewed Trump in his office last fall, he came off as more reasonable and practical than he does in his public appearances. When we noted the absurdity of rounding up 11 million people and shipping them out of the country, for example, Trump hesitated in responding.

    Trump didn't actually say it, but what I expected him to say after this hesitation was this:

    Come on, Henry. I'm a practical guy. I know the idea of deporting 11 million people is ridiculous. But I also know that it's what Republican voters want to hear. Let me win the nomination and election, then we'll study the situation. And then I'll fix it! Just the way I fixed Wollman Rink!

    Now that Trump has won his first sales pitch — the nomination — he, like any great salesperson, will adjust his pitch to win the next one: the general election. 

    He won't disavow any of the hateful things he said to win the Republican primary. He'll just ignore them. And instead of pitching to angry right-wing voters, he'll start pitching to the vast numbers of more centrist Americans who just aren't all that stoked about voting for Hillary Clinton.

    And in that sales pitch, Trump will have another advantage: He's selling something positive.

    Specifically, Trump is promising to "make America great again."

    Hillary Clinton is already responding by selling something negative: "Prevent President Trump."

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the attendees of the 61st Annual NAACP 'Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner' in Detroit, Michigan May 1, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

    The "block Trump" pitch may scare some people into voting for Clinton, but it's not as compelling a pitch as "making America great again" — especially when, for so many Americans, on both the right and left, America's economy is clearly not that great.

    So Democrats who are viewing Trump's victory as a guarantee that the White House will remain in their hands might want to rethink that.

    The next six months will be about selling two candidates to about 51% of the American public.

    Donald Trump is a great salesman.

    Hillary Clinton is not.

    SEE ALSO: We hit the road to find out why Americans are so crazy about Trump

    SEE ALSO: The crisis in the Republican Party is even worse than it looks

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Trump just dropped more hints about a possible running mate

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