Tag Archives: candidate

Boy Am I Stupid

Of course, anyone reading this blog knew that a long time ago. Nevertheless, I just discovered how stupid I really am during the Trump-Clinton Debate on Monday night.

You see. I pay taxes.  I have been paying taxes for 50 years. I don’t like it. But I consider it part of my civic duty. An essential part of being a citizen. The price I pay for living in a free, wealthy society.

I know we need to pay for the military. For roads. For infrastructure. For food for kids who otherwise would not eat. For housing for poor people who have not had the good fortune I have had. For national parks. For the privilege of living in the “Greatest Country on Earth”.

Paying taxes , I thought , was a civic responsibility. I pay mine. You pay yours. We are in this together.

I was wrong.

From the debate:

“CLINTON: Third, we don’t know all of his business dealings, but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes about $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks. Or maybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes, because the only years that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax.

“TRUMP: That makes me smart.

“CLINTON: So if he’s paid zero, that means zero for troops, zero for vets, zero for schools or health. And I think probably he’s not all that enthusiastic about having the rest of our country see what the real reasons are, because it must be something really important, even terrible, that he’s trying to hide.”

(To contrast, Clinton had an income of $10.6 million in 2015 and paid 34% in federal income taxes…$ 3,624,445)

Not paying your fair share is “smart”. Yes it is. If you have no concept of society, ethics and fairness. It is “smart” to let the counter worker at Wendy’s shoulder your load. To let the cleaning lady who scrubs out the toilet in Donald’s  penthouse pay your share. To let the cop and teacher and sewer worker and bus driver and airline pilot pay, but not you…well, you get the point.

Somebody has to pay taxes. And every penny that the “smart” guys like Donald Trump refuses to pay must be made up by people like me and you.

The Stupid Ones.

 

 

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Filed under debates, Elections, government, Politics, POTUS, Republicans, Society, Taxes, Trump, United States, workers

All Mouth, No Ears

I had someone who called himself “Joe Citizen” respond to my post about Hillary Clinton and why I am voting for her. Despite the fact that his post had some factual errors I found the most interesting part his final 3 sentences. They read:

“Reply or don’t reply. I don’t care. I’m not going to read it anyway.”

https://josephurban.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/i-wont-vote-for-a-woman-potus/

This got me to thinking about the very nature of political discourse over the last 8 years. Not limited to the extreme right wing, but certainly manifesting itself there with alarming regularity. The attitude is one succinctly noted by “Joe Citizen”. It boils down to this.

I will talk. But I will not listen. I will state untruths and errors, but I will not accept facts , evidence or data. Mouth open. Ears closed.

We see this in the multiple investigations of Hillary Clinton. Every one has come up empty. All 9 Benghazi committees (8 run solely by the GOP) found no evidence of wrongdoing. No matter. Ears Closed. Regarding Clinton’s use of emails, the FBI found no wrongdoing (carelessness, yes) and stated so on page 57 of the latest released report. Ears closed.

There are just some people who will not open their minds to evidence or facts. They will not let evidence interfere with their preconceived notions or stereotypes. Like the little boy in the back seat of the car cupping his hands over his ears and whining “I can’t hear you. I can’t hear you” to Mom and Dad.

Donald Trump implies that most or almost all Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals.The fact is that there are approximately 74,000 inmates in prison who are not US citizens.(And not all of these would be Mexican illegals) There are an estimated 11,000,000 illegal Mexican immigrants. Do the math. There is no evidence  to back up Donald’s claims. No matter. Ears closed.

Donald Trump claims that most blacks live in dire poverty when the actual statistics show that 75% of African-Americans are above the poverty level  in income. Not a great statistic. But a major improvement since the 1970s, when the numbers were hovering around 50%. No matter. Ears closed.

The “Hate Hillary” advocates have been crying over and over and over that Clinton or Obama or both issued a “stand down” order and prevented the US military from saving lives in Benghazi. 9 committees have said that is blatantly false. 8 GOP run committees found no evidence of any “stand down” order. No matter. Ears closed.

And the examples could go on and on and on. Obama born in Kenya. Global warming a plot by Al Gore. Bill Clinton responsible for 9/11. Saddam had WMDs. Hillary Clinton on Death’s Door. Obama created ISIS. Blacks hate cops. Etc.

It is one thing to have honest differences of opinion. And to have differing interpretations of events and actions. It is quite another to refuse to consider evidence and facts. Too much of the rhetoric from what used to be the radical fringe and is now personified in the Trump campaign is just plain false. But those who hold those views refuse to consider any evidence to the contrary.Ears closed.

I imagine these same folks were among the those who shook their heads in disbelief as Columbus sailed westward to find the route to the Indies. They were sure he was going to sail off the edge of the Earth. Of course, the educated “elites”  knew  (as did the ancient Greeks) the the world was round and not flat. But that knowledge would not interfere with the preconceived notions of the uneducated. Ears closed.

There are two methods for analyzing data and coming to conclusions. You can have your preset notions and stereotypes in place. And search and search only for the bits and pieces that support your preconceived ideas. Take quotes out of context. Take a line here and a line there from a report. Or in some cases, like Trump’s claim that hundreds of Muslims in New Jersey were rejoicing at 9/11, just make stuff up. You can ignore any and all evidence that forces you to reconsider your world view. Ears closed.

Or. You can have a point of view and seek to find all relevant data. To see if it fits. And then change your point of view as new evidence dictates . In other words, you can use evidence to develop a point of view. That is the scientific approach. Analyze new information and see how it fits. Adjust. Ears open. Mind open.

So, “Joe Citizen” and folks with his point of view don’t need facts. They don’t need evidence. They don’t accept anything that might contradict their stereotypes and prejudices.  ” I am not going to read it anyway”. And there are a lot of them. Which is why Donald Trump is the nominee for the GOP.

He is the perfect example:All Mouth. No Ears.

 

 

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Filed under Benghazi, candidate, Clinton, Congress, Democrat, Elections, Foreign policy, Hillary, immigrants, logic, obama, Politics, president, Republicans, Society, Trump

The Trump Scream

Edvard Munch created  a painting in 1893. A strange painting. A powerful painting. Titled “The Scream”.

 

http://www.nasjonalmuseet.no/en/collections_and_research/our_collections/edvard_munch_in_the_national_museum/The+Scream,+1893.b7C_wljU1a.ips

This painting depicts how I feel whenever I think of the possibility. The remote possibility that Donald Trump could actually be President of the United States.

I would not suggest that his opponent, Hillary Clinton, is perfect. Far from it.She is flawed. Anyone who has been in public life for over 30 years is going to make a lot of mistakes. Unless the person sits on their butt, does nothing, and gets re-elected. But those who want to change things will create enemies. And make mistakes.

But no matter how flawed Clinton might be, she has actually done the work. As First Lady.  As Senator. As Secretary of State. To paraphrase from the musical “Hamilton”…”She has been in the room where it happens. Where decisions are taken. Where the sausage is made.”

Then I look at the “career” of Donald Trump. Given a few million. Blew it. Bankruptcy. Bankruptcy. Bankruptcy. Bankruptcy. Loans from Russian oligarchs.Tax dodger. TV personality. Blatant liar. Racist. Nativist. Anti-Muslim. Misogynistic. Crude. Vulgar. Shallow. As Bloomberg, the former millionaire mayor of NY said at the convention: “I  am from New York and I know a conman when I see one”. So am I and so do I.

I feel like the non-gender specific person in the painting. Horror and wonder. Disbelief. Astonishment.

Horror at Trump, to be sure. But also horror at the 39-42% of the American people who plan to vote for him. The wonder that so many of my fellow citizens are either racist, or nativist, easily conned or just not paying attention.

Over 14,000,000 Republicans voted for a man who regularly and gleefully insulted other Republican candidates. “Little Marco”Rubio, . “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz,  Jeb Bush “the loser”, Kasich’s eating habits  are “disgusting”, Carly Fiorina “look at that face”, Carson cannot be “cured”, Rand Paul as a genetically defective son of Ron, Lindsey Graham is “one of the dumbest human beings” and so on and so on.

And that was just his fellow Republicans. The list is too long to for this essay.

14,000,000 Republicans said, with their votes, that this crude, vulgar conman should be President of the United States.

And in November, millions more will go into voting booths from Maine to Iowa to California to Hawaii and cast a ballot for Donald Trump. Millions. They would put the nuclear capacity of the US in his hands. They would put diplomacy in his hands.  They would put the power of the executive branch is the hands of a pathological liar and practiced conman.

When I look at the Munch painting I feel as though I am in it. Win or lose. It is not Donald Trump that causes me to scream. Win or lose.  It is not really the idea of a Trump president that causes me to scream. After all, we have seen his type of conman before.

It is the millions of Americans who will vote for this guy.Millions of Americans who will consciously choose to select this man as their leader. Someone  for their kids to “look up to”. The millionaire conman  who they think will help them.

Millions will vote for him.Let that sink in.

Now that is a reason to scream. AAAAAAGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

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Filed under Politics, Trump

Throw Down: The Donald vs. Bill

A Throw Down Between The Donald and Bill. With apologies to the cast of “Hamilton” and, well, everyone else with rapping talent. (You have to rap this out loud for full effect)

 

(Moderator)

How does a millionaire billionaire abomination

Win the Republican Party nomination?

He does it with a nasty attitude

He does it with rude, he does it with crude

He does it with bigotry, does it with fear

He tells the Tea Party what they want to hear

He’s Donald Trump the celebrity

The candidate for the G O P

 

Now the former first lady is his opposition

How did a woman put herself in this position?

She worked for the government along with her mate

New York Senator, Secretary of State

She took a lot of crap from multiple sources

In the end she proved she had the resources

To come out on top, she did not stop

She won the nomination, she rode the right horses

She’s the Hillary, the female hope

She’s Hillary, ain’t no dope, nope

 

(Enter Donald Trump)

My name is the Donald so just step away

When I start talking I got something to say

I whipped Little Rubio, took him right down

Stepped on Jeb, made him look like a clown

I’ll say anything, so I can’t lose

If you don’t believe me you can ask Ted Cruz

They are all losers and I am a winner

I ate those chumps for Sunday dinner

Yo…Is that you Bill?

 

(Enter Bill Clinton)

 

My wife is Hillary and she’s on top

She gets inspiration and she just won’t stop

She works all night, she labors all day

She’s always in the office, no time to play

She’s devoted, promoted and working is her tonic-ah

Why do you think I turned to Monica?

Whoa…sorry about that…

 

(Back to Trump)

If Hill wants to know what I am thinking

Here’s how her ship of state I’ll be sinking

Talking bout Bill, how she found him whores

And she must be a lesbo, that’s for sure

Hillary’s a maniac, Hillary’s a liar

By the time I’m done she’ll want to retire

She’s a pimp for Bill, a shill for the Street

She does nasty women stuff. She’ll be easy to beat

Nasty women stuff…she’s got cooties…..

 

(Back to Bill Clinton)

OK Donald you continue talking trash

But Hill’s gonna whip you, gonna kick your ass

It’s true that my life is far from perfection

Many ladies have benefitted from my affection

But Trump, you’re a chump if you think you get away

With talking that trash. I got something to say

I know I’ve done many things that I shouldn’t oughta,

But I never fantasized about my own daughter.

I may have bragged that Chelsea was a cutie

But you talked about banging your own kid’s booty

You is sick man…Really sick…..

 

(Back to Trump)

People like hearing all the things I say

Like rounding up Mooslims – sending them away

Keeping out the immigrant Mexican slime

By building a wall nobody can climb

I’ll be doing what the people say I oughta

Like shooting to kill at the Mexican border

One more issue, blown out of proportion

Put women in the bin if they want an abortion

The Roe v Wade don’t mean nothing to me

I’m the king who decides who‘s in jail and who’s free.

The people want a leader who preaches hate

Isn’t that what made America Great?

Black Lives Matter…but not to me….

 

(Back to Clinton)

Donald you are dreaming if you think you can

Undo all the good things we have in this land

Women have rights to control their own body

Even though you don’t know what they do in the potty.

Freedom of Religion – it’s the Bill of Rights , say,

So you ain’t gonna drive no Muslims away.

You can fool the fools and the Fox News sheeple

But you ain’t gonna fool the American people

Your message of bigotry is losing fast

Your words of hate are from a long dead past

People aren’t buying your denial of diversity

Go home. Build yourself another phony university.

Hillary’s got the moxey, Hill has the brains

Hill’s gonna bury you – I feel your pain’

You claim to be a financial wiz

Even though your businesses tend to fiz

I’m not trying to be a mean-oh

But who goes bankrupt running a casino?

Bottom line Donald, you are nothing but a brand

You live in a castle but it’s built on sand.

So…now…you know what you know….

 

(Moderator)

So now we’re back to the moderator

We won’t know, the results come later

You best take a moment of deep reflection

Cuz this is a monumental election

Either Donald or Hillary will be the next president

Either Donald or Hillary — a White House resident.

In November you’re gonna have to choose

One’s gonna win, one’s gonna lose

The world wants to know, who is going to be

The commander-in-chief of the land of the free

So…don’t be a dope..when you vote..think about it

A lot…then .. think some more

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Filed under candidate, Clinton, Democrat, Elections, GOP, Hillary, jeb bush, Politics, POTUS, president, Republicans, Trump

Feel the Bern… Vote the Hill

The New York Primary is this Tuesday .  As a registered Democrat I have the right to vote. Usually by now the NY Primary is an exercise in futility, one candidate is well on his way to the nomination. And in the general election NY tends to be deserted by presidential candidates. They all know that NY is securely in the Dem column.

But this time it counts. So, for whom shall I pull the lever. Well, no longer. We used to pull levers, now we bubble in sheets. Like taking a standardized test in high school.

My heart belongs to Bernie. My philosophy is firmly to the left of Karl Marx.  OK.  Not that far, but I certainly side with the socialist mentality. I remember voting for Jesse Jackson long ago in another NY Primary. And I have voted for Ralph Nader . (But only because I knew the vote would not impact the final outcome of a Gore victory in NY). So I naturally gravitate toward Mr Sanders. I feel the Bern.

Then I step back and the more pragmatic side of my political sense takes over. Clinton is not that far from Sanders in her views.  She has a long, and I mean LONG,  history of being involved in issues that are important to me. She has more administrative experience, to be sure. She did run the State Department for 4 years. She is singularly uninspiring, true. But inspiration isn’t everything.

So, I will bubble in the bubble for Hillary. Why?

Pragmatism. She will stand up to all the crap that Trump or Cruz or Kasich (yes, Kasich still has a shot)  throws at her. There has not been one lie, half-truth, insinuation, aggravation and derogation (is that even a word?) that she has not had to deal with and deflect. Remember the illegal Whitewater land deals? Remember how she murdered Vince Foster? Remember how she recruited women for Bill? Remember how she sent top secret emails to our enemies? Remember how she sat by during  the attack on our ambassador in Benghazi and did nothing to help him?

Secretary Clinton was an effective senator for NY. She was a competent Secretary of State who had to repair our international relations after the Iraq debacle. Most of all, she has stood up to the vilest and nastiest attacks on any politician since Andrew Jackson. And survived. More than survived. Came out on top.

I don’t know how Bernie will stand up to the GOP /Fox attack machine. The label “socialist” and “communist” will be pounded out over and over again. His lack of experience in foreign affairs will be seen as a sign of “weakness” by the pundits. Every verbal slip will be magnified, distorted and linked to Karl Marx somehow. And the attacks WILL get personal. I am not sure he has the thick skin and killer instinct necessary to fight back. Obama did. Which is why the GOP hates him. And Clinton does.

So, while my heart belongs to Bernie I don’t think he is electable in the general election. I don’t care what the polls say. I have seen the GOP attack machine in full mode. It isn’t pretty.

I saw Muskie sabotaged by counterfeit letters. I recall the “Willie Horton” commercials which appealed openly to racism and helped sink Dukakis. I recall a veteran who risked his life in the most dangerous missions in VietNam, the swift boats into Cambodia. I watched  the GOP simply lie about his service and mount a “Swift Boat” attack on his integrity. I saw  the label of “communist ” and “socialist” and “radical Muslim” placed on Barack Obama. All good men. All attacked in the vilest of terms. Keep in mind,  the GOP is shameless. In the campaign they will say and do anything.

So, I will vote for Clinton. She has shown that she has the guts and intelligence to stand up to the most vile lies. She has been there for 30 years. And remains standing. Maybe Sanders could stand up to the nastiness, too. I don’t know. But I am not willing to take that chance.

So, while I feel the Bern, I will vote the Hill.

https://berniesanders.com/issues/

https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/

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Filed under Benghazi, Bernie Sanders, candidate, Clinton, Cruz, Democrat, Elections, Foreign policy, GOP, government, Hillary, Kasich, liberals, NYC, Politics, POTUS, president, Republicans, socialism, socialist, Trump, United States

Keep America(ns) Safe

Keep America Safe.

Protect us from the  (fill in the blank)… Muslims…Mexicans…terrorists…refugees…Syrians…

But never fill in the blank with “Other Americans”.

We hear this from candidates all the time. America is a dangerous place…for some. But not from Muslim terrorists or jihadists. The biggest threat to human life comes from our  fellow citizens. With guns. All kinds of guns. Easily obtained.

Forget about the few “mass killings” At churches . Or schools. They are simply a spike in the graph. The every day, under reported killing of people in the USA is the biggest tragedy not covered by the media. Or candidates.

Keep America Safe.

For some reason keeping Americans safe from other Americans is a very low priority, especially for the two GOP candidates. I give you Matthew 7:3 ” Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye but ignore the log in your own?”. It is easier to point the finger at “the other” than admit to our own societal  and governmental failures.

Fact: On 9/11 a small group of  Muslim extremists, mostly from Saudi Arabia, flew planes into building that killed almost 3,000 Americans. The US government retaliated with a massive attack on Afghanistan and later Iraq. Americans wanted revenge and wanted to make sure that we would be safe. Keep America Safe became the mantra. Ever since then our legal institutions and domestic priorities  have taken second place to our military desires. Keep America Safe. 3,000 innocents killed.

Fact: Since 2002 over 200,000 American citizens have been murdered. (Not including suicides or accidents, which almost doubles the figures) Not by Muslim terrorists. Not by ISIS. Not by hordes of Mexicans or Guatemalans.  By fellow citizens. By other Americans with guns. 200,000 citizens murdered. . And this is not seen as a crisis worth talking about. By any of the candidates.

Fact: Since 2002 over 17,000,000 Americans have been victims of violent crimes. Murders, assaults, rapes. 17,000,000 Americans . That is  MORE THAN the entire population of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Hawaii, Idaho, West Virginia and Nebraska COMBINED. 17,000,000. And not a peep from the candidates.

Source:  http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

Not worth mentioning.

These Keep America Safe politicians don’t seem to equate America with Americans. To them “America” is simply a land mass with a border, not millions of people. A geographic entity. Uninhabited? Children living in inner cities? Not Americans. The homeless? Not Americans. Battered spouses? Not Americans.

Perhaps someday a moderator in one of the debates will ask these candidates why they outline no plans to keep “Americans” safe. Wouldn’t that be a good question to ask?

———————————–

Related information from the websites of the 4 major candidates. The 2 Democrats do touch on the issue of gun violence. The GOP candidates simply ignore it.

The Ted Cruz website (https://www.tedcruz.org/issues/) talks about defending our borders. and securing the borders. He wants to install a missile system on the borders of Russia and wage war on..well, just about everybody. (http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Ted_Cruz_War_+_Peace.htm )

The Donald Trump website (https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions ) talks about building a wall to keep out Mexicans.  And he wants 30,000 US troops to defeat ISIS. (http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/11/politics/donald-trump-30000-troops-isis/ )

Hillary Clinton is a little more nuanced in her views of keeping America safe. She wants a combination of military, economic and political actions.  War as a resort. But not the first resort. (https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/national-security/). And she has some specifics regarding  domestic gun violence. (https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/gun-violence-prevention/)

Bernie Sanders seems to agree with President Obama’s current policies on ISIS and terror, in general. ( http://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-isis/ )       Sanders stand on gun control is a little more complicated. He is for it, but does not go as far as Clinton. (http://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-gun-policy/ )

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Filed under Bernie Sanders, candidate, Clinton, Congress, crime, Cruz, debates, Democrat, Elections, Foreign policy, GOP, government, gun control, Hillary, immigrants, Islam, NRA, Politics, POTUS, president, Republicans, Society, Terror, Trump, violence

I’ve Seen Enough

Against my better judgment I watched the January 14 “debate” of the GOP candidates. We really should not call  it a “debate”. More like a rant. Or series of rants. The moderators did not seem to know how to ask a question and the candidates obliged by not answering any. Still, it was instructive.

I learned, for example, that I have a higher tolerance for pain than I thought I did.

I also learned how wrong we liberals can be. I thought by now that the nastiness of Cruz and the ignorance of Trump would have disqualified them in the eyes of GOP voters. Seems that those are the traits most admired. Go figure.

Anyway, I am taking this opportunity to present a summary of the last performance as I see it. The candidates, from left to right on the stage.

Kasich. He stood. He shook his head. He looked sad and defeated. What am I doing on stage with these clowns?  He tried to talk about his accomplishments and ideas. No one cared. He shrugged. He’s done and he knows it. Born 20 years too late.

Christie. Buffoonery personified. His message was an attempt to out-buffoon Trump. Can’t be done. So, he came off as a small (I know, I know) replica of the master. He tried to insult  Obama by suggesting he would “kick his  rear end out of the White House” in the next election. Well, I guess. If he ever does rise in the polls his corrupt practices in in New Jersey will doom him anyway. There are people STILL homeless from Hurricane Sandy.

Rubio. 13 year old on speed. Besides looking like he should be home doing his homework (“Time to turn off the lights, Marcky”) instead of standing behind the podium all Rubio did was go bat shit crazy over Obama. A man obsessed. Obama Bad. Obama Bad.  Obama Bad. He even crossed over into Trumpland with his statement that Obama STILL wants to take away all our guns. ALL of them. Maybe when his voice changes he will run again. 2032?

Trump. The Donald. Same old Donald. “We need to figure this out” “We need to hire good people” “We need to make America great again”. ..”We need to kill the bad guys…””My Muslim friends..” “My Chinese friends..” ” I love the Japanese…” With friends like Donald, who needs….? The master of the Bleeding Obvious. The Master of saying NOTHING while pretending to say everything. I don’t want an old man who still  hasn’t figured it out.  A 68 year old body and a 16 year old mind. Singularly uncurious about the rest of the world.  BUT. He is the front runner.

Cruz. Every time I hear this guy speak I feel the urge to take a hot shower. With a good scrub brush. And plenty of soap. LAVA. He just oozes used car salesman… and not the good kind. Cruz is cynical and clever. I can appreciate that. Not once has he answered a question. Every question is an unfair attack on him and his superiority. The NY Times reports a fact. He attacks the NY Times. His minions are thrilled. The entire world is either good or evil. No  room for honest disagreements. No shades of gray. And underneath it all, we know he knows better. Not an ounce of integrity. Scary guy.

Carson. Carson answers all questions. Just not the ones asked. He also answers the ones in his head. The ones no one else hears. He reminds me of an old lady rocking in the corner half asleep. They nudge her awake. ” The Jews did it”. “Go back to sleep grandma. We’ll wake you for supper.” Carson just keeps showing up. Evidently his tactic is just to  stay alive long enough. It works for grandma. We keep feeding her. With this group, it just might work. Have to give him a solid “C” for creative use of the English language. Stringing together unrelated words,  phrases  and ideas into an incoherent mess.

Jeb. Still here. Like Kasich on the opposite side of the room Jeb actually attempts to discuss issues and ideas. He has not yet caught on. You can see the anxiety on his face as he tries to engage the others and the Fox moderators in some meaningful dialogue. Kind of like trying to explain to a group of three year olds that they should not shove spaghetti up their noses. You know your words are falling on deaf ears but there is nothing else you can do.  So you keep trying. And trying. And trying.

Finally, the most pathetic moderators yet. No incisive questions. No follow up. No stopping the candidates and making them explain themselves. A train wreck.

It is fairly apparent now that one of these bozos is going to be the standard bearer for the GOP. We can only hope that when they are confronted with Hillary or Bernie they will be exposed for the doofuses they are. We can only hope. At times like these I wish I were a Christian. At least then I could pray.

 

 

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Barry Destroys the GOP

The modern GOP has become a front for radicalism and the religious right. It  has been criticized  by the guy they refer to affectionately as “Barry”.  He destroys them. Here are some of the things he has said.

  • “When you say “radical right” today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.”
  • “The big thing is to make this country, along with every other country in the world with a few exceptions, quit discriminating against people just because they’re gay. You don’t have to agree with it, but they have a constitutional right to be gay.”
  • “… why the hell shouldn’t they (gays) serve? They’re American citizens. As long as they’re not doing things that are harmful to anyone else… So I came out for it. ” (Washington Post Interview)

 

“On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.
I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?
And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.””(Senate Speech)

And, my personal favorite:

“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.” (Personal communication with John Dean).

So, there it is. Barry condemns today’s GOP. He condemns the anti-gay religious fanatics. Not surprising, you say? After all, Barry Obama is a socialist/communist/liberal.

Except all of the above quotes are not from “Barry” Obama. They are from the man who was once called “The Conscience” of the Conservatives.

Barry Goldwater, GOP candidate for president and Senator from Arizona.

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Filed under Christianity, Conservatives, GOP, homosexual, Islam, Judaism, neoconservatives, obama, Politics, Radicals, Religion, Republicans, tea party

Jeb (not his real name) Bush’s Achilles Heels

No matter what the polls say today I think that Jeb (not his real name) Bush will end up on the GOP ticket.

But there are two very important decisions he made while governor of Florida that should give anyone who is thinking of voting for him pause. For thoughtful voters they should be his Achilles Heels.

1.  In the run up to the 2000 presidential election the governor hired a private company to purge the Florida voter rolls. That, in and of itself, is no problem. Many voter rolls have people that have moved, etc. People who no  longer have the right to vote.

But in this case the focus was on purging felons, who are not allowed to vote under Florida law. Of course, the “criminal justice” system puts a higher percentage of non whites in prison than whites. And a higher percentage of poor folks, to be sure. So, this purging would effectively eliminate more  black (mostly Democratic voters)  than GOP supporters. Still no problem. If you are a convicted felon you can’t vote.

But Jeb (not his real name) went one step beyond. Even though the private  company doing the purge (Data Base Technologies) told the Bush administration that using the parameters given to them many LEGAL voters would be purged, Jeb (not his real name) told them to do it anyway. Since they were given $4,000,000 of Florida tax dollars to do so, they didn’t complain. Yes, tax dollars paid by Florida residents  were used to purge Florida taxpayers from the voting rolls.

So, for example, a felon with the name of John Jackson would be purged. But so would all other John Jackson, Johnny Jacksons and even J Jacksons. The result was that thousands of innocent people were suddenly no longer legal voters.  The end result. A disproportionate number of African-American voters (who vote 90% Democratic) were purged from the voter rolls. And Jeb’s (not his real name) brother was given the Florida electoral votes by the US Supreme Court. . What effect did that purging have on the US? Would we have invaded Iraq had Gore won? Or nearly gone into a 2nd great depression? Or ignored climate change?

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/jun/06/uselections2000.usa

http://www.gregpalast.com/the-great-florida-ex-con-gamernhow-the-felon-voter-purge-was-itself-felonious/

2. Terri Schiavo. A 26 year old woman who was found by her husband of 6 years face down in the hallway. Rushed to the hospital, she had lost too much oxygen to the brain. She was vegetative. After months on a feeding tube her husband decided to let her die in peace.

Then her parents stepped in and tried to prevent this. Then the governor of Florida stepped in and took every legal (and some say illegal) action he could to prevent Terri Schiavo for being allowed to die.

In the end, thanks to Jeb (not his real name) intervention, and despite numerous court findings  for the husband, this young woman was forced to sit in a bed in a vegetative state for 15 years. Yes. 15 years of sitting with a feeding tube. Having no brain function. Having no awareness. Having all her bodily functions artificially kept intact.   (In the autopsy the doctor said most of her brain had been replaced by spinal fluid).

“…In June, the medical examiner released Terri Schiavo’s autopsy, which confirmed what the judges had ruled for years based on the testimony from doctors concerning her prognosis. Her limbs had atrophied, and her hands had clenched into claws, and her brain had started to disappear. It weighed barely more than a pound and a third, less than half the size it would have been under normal circumstances. “No remaining discernible neurons,” the autopsy said. She couldn’t see. She couldn’t feel, not even pain. Forty-one years after her birth, 15 years after her collapse, Terri Schiavo was literally a shell of who she had been…”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/01/jeb-bush-terri-schiavo-114730#ixzz3qjGuAF7f

Governor Bush used every legal tool he had to impose his will on that of the woman’s lawful guardian. And kept her “alive” , in a bed, unresponsive, for 15 years. She finally was allowed pass at the age of 41. Only because the governor had run out of legal challenges.

I would think that when  Jeb (not his real name) Bush does get the nomination he will be faced with trying to explain away these two situations. He will have to explain his aggressiveness in keeping blacks from voting (a tactic now employed across a number of GOP-controlled states) and his interference in the life (or was it torture) and death of Teri Schiavo. In both cases he stretched the powers of the executive branch to bypass the law. It won’t matter to the rank and file GOP but it may matter to moderate independent voters.

A question they should ask. What kind of chief executive would he make? How would he use executive power?

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Questions for Debate

The GOP is mad because the moderators of the last debate asked “gotcha” questions. Of course, the Fox moderators did the same thing but they were not criticized (except for The Donald, but then he criticizes everything so it doesn’t count). Of course, similar questions, devoid of substance, were asked at the Dem debate. The difference? The Dems, for the most part, refused to be drawn into squabbles .

Bu what if they WERE asked real questions. Not political questions, but questions that any high school grad should be able to answer or at least have an opinion about? Wouldn’t that be a joy to behold.

Here are some questions I would like to see them ask ALL the candidates from both parties.

Each candidate has 5 minutes to give a fairly thorough, though limited, response.

  1. Explain the theory of evolution and whether you think it explains the diversity of life on Earth.
  2.  Should the Bible, Quran, Mahabharata or any religious text be used as a governing tool?
  3. Is it more important to spend money on the military or on social programs?
  4. What is your position on the Affordable Care Act? If you oppose it what would you replace it with or how would you improve it?
  5. Is climate change real or a hoax? Can you cite any data to back up your position?
  6. Under what circumstances should the US send troops into a war? Be specific. The vague statement “our interests are threatened” is not acceptable. Give some concrete examples.
  7. Will you support a law that makes it mandatory for all federal elected officials to move all their investments from the private sector into government bonds  while they are in office?
  8. Since the primary purpose of government is to keep its citizens safe, what would you do to make sure that every child in America can play in their own front yard without fear of being killed by gang warfare?
  9. Discuss why we have so many illegal immigrants and explain your short and long term solution to the problem.
  10. The US incarcerates more people than any western nation. By far. Are Americans inherently a lawless people or is there something wrong with the legal and criminal justice systems?

No questions like: You are now 7th in the polls, why don’t you drop out of the race? Or: Some people say that your uncle on your mother’s side was a drug addict. Do you love illegal drugs? Or: Please use one word to describe all the personality characteristics of all your opponents. Etc.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what these people are actually thinking? If they are capable of thinking? And perhaps give honest answers that are not memorized 20 second soundbites?

It might be fun to watch. It might be enlightening. It might be painful. But wouldn’t we learn something very important about each of them?

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Movie Review: The Three Faces of Reed

(Reblogged from Siskil and Egbert’s Movie Reviews.)

A review of “The Three Faces of Reed”, (a remake of “The Three Faces of Eve”) newly released in the NY 23rd Congressional District.

Starring Jason Alexander (George Costanza of the Seinfeld TV series) as the inimitable, playful and sometimes a little off-center Congressman of NY’s 23 Congressional District, Tom Reed.

This film is set almost entirely in the psychiatric offices of an anonymous shrink in the Southern Tier of New York state. The shrink takes the Congressman back in time through hypnosis (since he cannot otherwise remember what he said or to whom he said it). It is a fascinating study of multiple personality disorder, otherwise know as PAU complex (Politics As Usual).  Jason Alexander does a wonderful job  (an Academy Award nomination is in the works,  I do believe) of portraying a politician who is able to assume different personalities almost at will. A man, who is short, balding and stubby but sees himself as tall, rugged and tough.

There is the (in his mind) tall, rugged, no nonsense, strong-jawed Congressman who is wined and dined by ALEC, the Hydrofracking industry and the NRA. He makes it clear to these lobbyists that he is at their beck and call. For example, a scene in which a widow  sits outside his office waiting for an appointment to see him about his vote to destroy the ACA.

(Scene:) Widow sitting quietly as secretary gazes into a computer screen. Muffled noises from the inner office slowly become louder and more distinct.

“Yes sir. …..Yes , sir…..Yes , sir……. Whatever you say , sir……. Of course, sir……. Just leave the bill on my desk and I will sponsor it…Yes, sir….Yes,  sir….Yes, sir…Oh, no need for that….Well,  if you insist…Thank  you so much , sir….Yes, sir… ”

Three middle aged men,  wearing Armani suits, emerge from the office, glance and sneer at the widow and give each other high fives. “He belongs to us, no doubt about it”. (End of scene)

Then there is the Constitutional scholar whose career as a mortgage broker has made him an expert on the Constitution, foreign affairs and women’s physiology. Another scene from the movie illustrates this Tea Party personality.

(Scene): The Congressman is standing in front of a group of carefully selected “constituents” and delivering one of his most profound and thoughtful speeches. Reed sees himself as 6 foot 5 inches tall and wearing an American flag draped over his shoulder as he peers, steely-eyed, into the carefully selected crowd.

“Founding fathers. 2nd amendment. Safe Act unconstitutional, I don’t care what the courts say. (applause) Obamacare BAD, unconstitutional.(thunderous applause) I  don’t care what the courts say. Heroes. We need to do more for our heroes. Our Veterans. (applause and standing ovation) We need to give them better care. We need to stop spending tax dollars on health care.(applause) We need to give our heroes better health care. Stop spending tax dollars on pork. I brought millions of dollars of federal aid to NY. We need to eliminate pork.

I support health care for our females. Stop Planned Parenthood. (standing ovation, thunderous applause, Star Spangled Banner playing in background) No more funding for abortions.  Not on my watch. Stop funding services for women. We need better health care for our women. Stop Obamacare. Keep government out of our lives. Make abortion illegal.   No more welfare. (applause) Love the unborn. End welfare for children. End birth control. 2nd amendment. No deal with Iran. No nukes for Iran. Nuke Iran. (thunderous applause along with a few “Heehaws”)Founding fathers. OK. Gotta go now”. (End of scene)

Then there is the third personality. The moderate. The sensible Mr Reed who only wants to do what is best for all of us.

(Scene): The Congressman appears at a photo op at the opening of a new gas station.

” I support small business. I love small business. I love America. I support women’s rights. I support sensible government. I support the flag and America. I think we can do better. We need to do better. I support those who support doing better. We can do better if we can only strive to do better. Liberty for all.  Let’s do better together. Together we can do better. Is that better? Don’t be scared. I really mean it (wink)” (end of scene).

So, who emerges at the end of the movie when all the personalities are finally joined? Will it be the “you wash my back and I’ll  wash yours” politician in the pocket of the fossil  fuel industry and the NRA? Will it be the Tea Party crazy who can’t decide if he wants to destroy health care for the poor, scuttle the arms deal  with Iran  and take away a woman’s right to choose or all of the above? Or will it be the smooth talking, say nothing,  do nothing , just get re-elected politician who has no real values or ethics?

We won’t tell you the ending. In the original film it was said that Eve and her personalities were finally joined. But a few years later she again disintegrated back into the multiple state. (Now called DID “Dissociative Identity Disorder”).So, she was never “cured” of her affliction.

What will happen to the Congressman in the end? Will his true personality ever emerge? Stay tuned. This reviewer suspects that there is a very lucrative lobbying career on the horizon at the end of the Hyrdofracking Rainbow for one of those personalities….

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Filed under ACA, Foreign policy, GOP, government, healthcare, Iran, Iran agreement, Neoconservative, nuclear weapons, Obamacare, Politics, right to life, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, tea party

Contestant #8: The Huckster: Praise Jesus and Pass the Collection Plate

Eighth in a series of biased reviews of the people who claim they want to be president. It  keeps getting weirder, if you can believe that.

Mike Huckabee. Former governor. Talk show host. Peddler of the “Diabetes Solution Kit”. Minister of the word of God.  This guy does it all!

A look at the “issues” section of  his website: http://www.mikehuckabee.com/issues

The Huckster has plenty of issues. They include: Record as Governor; Israel; Energy;Undecided Voters; Seniors;Education; 2nd Amendment;Tax Reform; Veterans;Spending Debt; National Security; Health Care; Border Security; and, Family Values. Unlike some candidates, Huckabee has a good list of important issues. So, let’s see where he stands.

Let’s just pick a few.

Tax Reform. His Fair Tax Plan (not explained) will lower EVERYONE’s taxes. Bring investment to the US. And abolish the IRS. So, I guess if I decide not to pay any taxes there will be no agency to collect from me. Brilliant! Mike notes that he cut taxes “nearly 100 times” as governor of Arkansas. Doing a little research I found the website for Huckabee’s “Fair Tax Plan”. It eliminates ALL income taxes, including payments to SS and Medicare. Replaces it with a national “sales tax”. Then gives “prebates” to everyone to pay part of the sales tax that they will now be paying. . I cannot figure out how this raises any revenue. The numbers just don’t add up. Oh, well.

Health Care. He opposes the ACA. Calls it a disaster. He would replace it with…he does not say. He would repeal it . Then what? He would use “common sense”. He says that the ACA has taken $ 700 billion from Medicare. A claim that has been shown to be a falsehood  but is often repeated. (Factcheck calls this claim a “Whopper”, their highest honor for falsehoods).

Education: He opposes the federal government controlling education (It doesn’t). He says educational decisions are best left to “Mom and Dad” (Anyone can homeschool). He demands accountability in the classroom…and opposes accountability schemes like Common Core. Also, college costs too much. (Why can’t Mom and Dad just offer B.A degrees from home?)

Family Values. Life begins at conception. According to Huckabee this is not just a “Biblical” view but a “scientific” one. (He does not quote a Biblical passage or a scientific study that supports this). He also supports “traditional” marriage . (Who doesn’t it?). As governor he signed a “Fetal Protection Act” . (While it is not on his website it should be noted that Huckabee has been endorsed by the Dugars family… Nineteen kids and counting. Just think if every family was as prolific. Old Huck would win in a landslide!)

OK. Huckabee DOES have a political record to look at. So, he has a list of his accomplishments as governor of Arkansas.

Record as Governor. Tax cuts. Tax cuts on capital gains. Tax cuts for families. Average family income INCREASED by 50%. WOW! Cut 50% of poor folks off welfare ! Executed 16 people.  (I presume many were criminals, he doesn’t say). Refused to commute sentences. Appointed a “home schooling ” parent to the state Board of Education. Issued a “Home School  Day” proclamation. Passed an abortion ban and a “marriage protection act”.

What does Factcheck have to say about some of these financial accomplishments?

While Huckabee did CUT some taxes 94 times, he also INCREASED taxes 21 times. The overall impact? A $ 500 million net INCREASE for the people of Arkansas. Household incomes did increase by 50%…but 41% of that was INFLATION. Actually median incomes rose by 9% from 1996-2007 when he was governor.

Bottom line. Huckabee is running as the “Christian” candidate. He emphasizes the Bible and religion as central to his candidacy . Even mentions that god gave Abraham the land in the Middle East as the basis of his foreign policy. He is very aggressive in the areas of “right to life” and “traditional marriage”. Code words for ending Roe v Wade and gay marriage.

One would have to think that his primary goal in running for POTUS is to fatten up his retirement account with donations sent in by the faithful. A religious conman?  A family values kind of guy ? Well, he did forget to mention that he has appeared on stage with that icon of civility and family values, Ted Nugent.

Parise the lord and pass the hat, the Huckster is back in business.

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Filed under abortion, Arkansas, Christianity, Churches, Conservatives, death penalty, Elections, gay rights, governor, huckabee, president, Republicans, right to life

Contestant #7: Carly, We Hardly Know Ye and Never Will

Part of an ongoing series of biased reports about the increasingly humorous group of people who think they have the qualifications to be President of the United States. This is not a joke. Really. They do.

Carly Fiorina.

Let me start with this. Most. Actually ALL the other candidates have well organized websites. You can click on a link to their “issues” section. And even if they are vague and sometimes silly you can actually read what their ideas are.

Not so with Carly. While she did run a computer company (into the ground) her website lacks the most basic political information. Like. What do you stand for? What do you believe in? What do you want to do?

Since she has never held public office we have no record of her votes, speeches in Congress, etc. So, we depend heavily if not exclusively on her own website.  Nada. Nothing. See:

http://carlyforamerica.com/meet-carly/

Well, you can MEET Carly. You can DONATE. You can VOLUNTEER. And there is a “NEWS” section. But nothing on her goals, ideas, plans, etc. In her “news” section she does criticize those who have criticized her. And she tries to make a case that she was a great CEO. Even though she was fired. So, I guess we will go with that.

Carly says that in her tenure at HP she created thousands of jobs. Others say she fired or laid off between 15,000 and  30,000 employees.

Carly says that when she took over HP had revenue of about $45 billion and she DOUBLED it’s worth to almost $90 billion.

Carly says that when she started at HP there were 84,000 employees and they almost DOUBLED to over 140,000 employees by the time she left (was fired).

So. That’s it. That is her SOLE qualification for being President of the US. For dealing with ISIS. Russia. The vast social services bureaucracy. That, and the fact that she was chairman of CPAC, the radical right wing fundraising organization.

OK. Let’s look at her claims. The first year at HP she actually cut jobs. But, in 2002 there was a 60,000 person increase in employment ! Almost doubled in ONE year. And the revenues DID increase  to almost $90 billion by the time she left.  Sounds like she is a WIZARD! A real job creator, par excellence! So, why did they fire her?

Something peculiar happened in 2002. HP bought another company called Compaq. So, those new “jobs” were simply the additional Compaq employees. That new “revenue” was simply what happens when you combine two massive companies. These increases had nothing to do with management..they were BOUGHT. It was not the result of good old American know how…it was the result of a good old American MERGER.

So, Carly is being a bit devious when she touts her management skills. So, why DID they fire her.

According to figures from a book about her”success”:

“After the 2002 merger the company’s results suffered. Yes, Fiorina did double HP’s revenues by buying Compaq, but at what cost? Let’s take a look at the numbers. In 1999 when she arrived at the company, HP had $42 billion in sales and $3.1 billion in net earnings. When she left in 2005, HP had $87 billion in sales but only $2.4 billion in earnings.”

(Read more at http://wonkette.com/584307/did-carly-fiorina-run-hewlett-packard-into-the-ground-or-did-sexism-do-it#OcKe28B8eRJUr2le.99)

So, she took a company earning $3.1 billion a year, bought another company, and managed to make only $2.4 billion in profits by the time she left. A financial genius. This is her sole qualification to be the President of the United States.

Of all the losers on the GOP side Carly is the “losingest”. No issues. No experience. Fuzzy math. The only thing she has going for her is that she was a CEO . A failed CEO.

Contestant #7. GONG! You’re out.

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Filed under candidate, Carly Fiorina, CEO, Conservatives, cpac, Elections, Republicans

Contestant #6: The Doctor is In…Sane

The next in a series of biased reports about the men and women who want to be President of the United States.

Ben Carson. A great surgeon. Proof that a person can excel in one area and be a total incompetent in other areas.

A look at Mr Carson’s website: https://www.bencarson.com/issues/

Ben has no experience in governing. Which is fine. But he has no record of voting on issues.  So his website is especially important. It allows us to see the depth of his understanding of political issues and the practical solutions he puts forth.

His site lists 10 issues. They are: A Balanced Budget Amendment; Education; Keep Gitmo Open; Keep Faith in Our Society; Health Care; Protect Innocent Life; Russia;2nd Amendment; Israel; and, the Tax Code.

Ben wants an amendment to the Constitution to balance the budget. He makes no recommendations on what he would cut to do so. Voodoo.

Education. Schools are failing. He wants to improve schools by having more “local control” and less big government interference. He would stop common core. Evidently Ben does not know that our educational system is the ONLY area in our lives where “local control” dominates and has done so since book learnin began. . Maybe that is why schools are failing in some communities? He also evidently does not know that common core is not mandated .

Ben wants to keep prisoners at Gitmo without trial. Evidently he does not believe that evidence should be required to detain folks.  (To his credit he does not claim to support the Constitution).

He wants religions to be able to practice their faith. I am not sure who opposes this.

He wants to end the ACA and fund health care through individual “Health Savings Accounts” which will drive down health care costs. Does not explain how this keeps costs down. I guess if you tell your doctor that you are paying with a HSA he will cut you a deal? And on a minimum wage salary it should be easy to sock away a lot of loot into your family’s HSA.  Yep. That will work.

He wants to protect innocent life. Don’t we all?

He thinks Russia must be dealt with. And he supports Israel. So far, so good.

He thinks the 2nd Amendment should stay on the books. Hard to argue that.

And he wants to change the tax code and eliminate the IRS. Not sure how taxes get collected?

All in all, his “Issues” amount to vague generalities, code words and general ideas. To put it bluntly. This guy is full of crap.

One example is from his “Keep the Faith” explanation. He wrongly asserts that the US was based on the Declaration of Independence as the “bedrock” document. It wasn’t . The Declaration lead to the Articles of Confederation, which was a massive failure. The “bedrock” document of the USA is the Constitution, which fails to mention any religion.

There’s more. And I quote:

“…However, we need to reverse the recent trend of secular progressives using activist, federal judges to drive faith out of our society. Anyone who wishes to practice their faith, for example by praying privately, can and should be able to do so. Equally, the rights of someone to abstain from private prayer should also be jealously protected…”

He cites no case in which judges have DRIVEN OUT faith. (Is he not aware of Hobby Lobby?). And he says people should be able to pray privately. Who , in god’s name, is STOPPING THEM  from praying privately?

I have to stop. The shallowness of his thinking, the lack of understanding of US history, the use of code words. I can’t decide if he is the most devious, dishonest candidate to date or if he is actually dumber than Sarah Palin . (Now that WOULD be an accomplishment.)

Last note: He forgot to mention Prison Reform on his website. After all, “Dr” Ben is the guy who insisted that prisons create gays.

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Filed under ACA, Ben Carson, Budget, Conservatives, Constitution, economics, Elections, gays, GOP, prayer, Republicans

Contestant #5: Sanders the Socialist

5th in a series of biased analysis of announced candidates for the office of President of the US.

From Bernie Sanders Issues website: https://berniesanders.com/issues/

The senator from Vermont, a native of Brooklyn, is a self-proclaimed socialist and independent.  Since everyone knows what a socialist is, there is almost no need to go into detail. A socialist is one who hates America, wants to eat babies and tries to destroy all that is good in the world. Someone from, let’s say, Sweden.

That said, Bernie’s website has the usual vague generalities on some topics, specifics on other topics and simply ignores other topics.

For example, he pretty much ignores social issues like gay rights, abortion, etc.

He opposes Wall Street bailouts. He wants to rebuild the crumbling infrastructure. He wants women to have equal pay as men for equal work. He wants tax reform. He thinks the middle class has been screwed. All noble concepts. But the devil is in the details, and he is short on details.

His main area of concern is for working families. He is very specific on raising the minimum wage (to $ 15.00). He wants a one payer health care system. And he wants to make it easier for workers who want unions to unionize. These are areas where he has been consistent throughout his long career.

Most telling, he has opposed all the free trade agreements, going back to NAFTA. That is one area where he differs from most other candidates. He has a record of fighting to keep jobs in the USA. Unique among the candidates. Ever.

He does not seem to have used his political office for personal gain and has no outstanding scandals. But I am sure Fox News is working to create something as we speak.

All in all, a tried and true socialist. Can he win a major election with those credentials? Is it possible ? Does  a socialist have a chance of winning the highest office in the land?

About as likely as a socialist being elected to the US Senate. Or a black guy winning the presidency. Twice. We shall see.

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Filed under Bernie Sanders, CAFTA, candidate, economics, Economy, Free Trade, minimum wage, NAFTA, PNTR, socialism, socialist, unions

Contestant #3: Hillary: There is Nothing Like a Dame.

(The third in a series of essays regarding the relative merits/demerits of announced Presidential  candidates).

Hillary Clinton. If you are Republican then “you can’t live with her, can’t live without her.”

Hillary Clinton. If you a Democrat then “there is nothing like a dame”.

Hillary Clinton. Liberal on social policies. Corporate on economic policies. Mildly hawkish on foreign policy.

Hillary Clinton. Long record. Lots of words. Lots of deeds. None of it matters.

Unlike the other candidates Hillary Clinton is a known quantity. She is either the devil incarnate or touched by an angel. She has been in power.  She has been around since 1992. She has actually accomplished things. There is nothing she can say or do that will significantly change support for or against her.

Hillary Clinton. Nothing new here.

Hillary Clinton. the first Woman President of the United States.

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Filed under candidate, Clinton, Democrat, Elections, Hilllary, Republicans

Why I Like Mitt

Like everyone else on the political left I enjoy poking fun at Mitt Romney . He is out of touch. Was born into great wealth. Hides his money overseas. Takes seriously a religion that believes in magic underwear. (Which is really no sillier than any religion when you think about it). So, I surprised myself when I realized I wanted Mitt to run for POTUS again.

No. Not so Hilary Clinton could waltz to an easy victory. No. Not because I want to see him and his family humiliated again. But because, when looking at the rest of the GOP field, Mitt stands tall.

As in 2012 the GOP faithful have their perennial candidates. People like Huckabee, Perry, Santorum, maybe Newt. Along with a newer breed of crazy. Cruz, Rubio, Rand Paul, Ben Carson. A group of wannabees that make a Star Trek convention look like a royal wedding. None of these candidates has a chance of getting nominated or elected. But they all have a financial stake in running for POTUS.

Running for POTUS in modern times has become a very lucrative business. You fly around the country. Spout whatever comes to mind. And get hollow-headed folks to send your PACs loads of dough. Money that can be used for anything you want.

Take a look at Sideshow Sarah Palin for example. She takes in millions and spends a very small fraction on helping candidates get elected. The overwhelming majority of her unregulated PAC income is spent on her travel, wardrobe and vacations. All legal. A family slush fund. So, running for POTUS is a good gig. The fools and their money are easily parted.

But there is a second group of politicians who actually do want to be POTUS and have a chance of doing so. That would be Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Mitt Romney. So ask yourself, of those three, who would you rather see sitting in the Oval Office?

Christie may very well self-destruct. But don’t bet on it. The GOP has been known to back criminals and bullies. Tricky Dick, anyone. Christie has a lot of baggage, to be sure. His misuse of the billions set aside for the train tunnel to NYC, which never materialized. His handling of the Sandy funds , some of which still have not been distributed. His costing the state of NJ millions of dollars by holding a special election for the vacant US Senate seat rather than waiting a few weeks and holding that election on election day. He was afraid that the votes for popular Democratic Senate candidate Booker would cut into his own election win. His hiring of a group of folks now under indictment. His vacating the job of governor for 40% of the time to spend it courting GOP votes across the nation. Again, at great expense to the people of New Jersey. Other GOP candidates throwing mud at Christie will be easy. He lives in a cesspool of his own making.

That leaves Jeb Bush. A thought. No GOP candidate NOT named Bush has won the presidency since 1984. From 1980 through 2007 only ONE time has a Bush NOT been on the national ticket. The GOP has been run as a Bush family legacy. A divine right. Which means the Bushes have plenty of money and support from the more traditional GOP money makers. While Jeb himself has plenty of “character” issues that has never stopped a family member from advancing. His illegal removal of tens of thousands of voters from the Florida rolls prior to the 2000 election all but assured his brother the presidency. Even then it took 5 members of the SCOTUS to close the deal. (Two of those justices voting to put GW on the throne had family members working directly for the Bushes) And, like the rest of the family, he does no real “public service” other than line his own pockets. But that will not be a hindrance to the oil industry. Compared to his brother he is smooth and smart and knows how to avoid saying dumb things. Beware.

That leaves us with Mitt Romney. Despite the fact that Romney was crushed in the election of 2012 in the electoral college by a vote of 332-206. But, switch the votes of Florida, Ohio and Virginia and that race becomes an almost dead heat. Add in Wisconsin and Michigan, which now have GOP governors, and it is Romney who wins big. And he did get 61,000,000 Americans to pull the lever for him. So, I understand that Romney thinks he has a chance to win this time around.

But what kind of POTUS would Romney be? Unlike the first group of idiots he is not an ideologue. He does not subscribe to any narrow religious worldview that he seeks to impose on others. Be real. The Church of Later Day Saints has always been as much a business enterprise as a religion. In the last 150 years it has not hesitated to change “god-given” doctrine for political or economic gain. (Polygamy, role of blacks comes to mind).

And unlike Christie or Bush he does not seem tied to special interests. I know he flip flops on some issues and does his share of pandering, but he is basically a business man. A manager. A bottom line guy. Which is why he supported “Romneycare” in Massachusetts. It was the practical thing to do. It made economic sense. And he took federal tax dollars to save the private Olympic games. Socialist when it suits him.

I can see President Christie going off the deep end with his “tough guy” persona and destroying any international cooperation we now enjoy. I can see Christie attacking any newsperson or citizen who dares suggest he is wrong. Christie surrounds himself with yes men who are willing to do his dirty work. What kind of cabinet would he hire? Any independent thinkers? Not the kind of guy I want as POTUS.

I can see President Jeb Bush continuing the family tradition of speaking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time. And blatantly lying with that sincere look on his face; a family gift. I can see Jeb and his people using the same nasty campaign tactics his dad and brother used. The “Willie Horton” ads. The McCain has a black baby smear. The Swiftboating of a soldier who fought in the war the Bush brothers carefully avoided. I think the family mudhole has no bottom when it comes to slinging. Another Bush would mean a major step backward for all but the oil industry. The Saudis, of course, would be gleeful.

I just can’t envision a President Romney doing those things. I think he is educable. I think he is smart. I think he wants to succeed. And I think he has a pragmatic sense that would not allow him to avoid real domestic problems once he was in a position of power. And would not allow him to get involved in the foolish hawkishness that has become a badge of honor for the GOP.

Would I vote for Romney? Heavens no. I don’t agree with him on many, if any, issues. But does he scare me? No, again. Not like Cruz or Bush or Christie or Paul or Huckabee. So, I think Mitt should run again. Maybe three times IS the charm. Maybe not. But at least sane citizens wouldn’t have to lose any sleep over the person sleeping in the White House.

What do you think? Does a Romney presidency scare you?

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