Independent Investigations
A Place For Considerate Political Discourse!

Jul
16

No attack on the Clinton’s is a more perfect illustration of the phrase “there is no there, there” than the pseudo-scandal known as “Whitewater”.   There is no better example of the lengths to which Conservatives will go to undermine and attack anything and everything Clinton.   Most of those who understood and experienced the all-consuming fire brought by Clinton antagonists have to admit that it was an effective effort that created incredible ill-will towards Bill and Hillary Clinton that still exists to this day.  This ill-will is exhibited every day on the campaign trail as Hillary seeks the office of the Presidency.   The truth about Whitewater is not elusive.  The Clinton’s were completely exonerated as the process was brought to a close, and in fact, the Clinton’s were the only individuals who lost money in this failed investment scheme.

Whitewater began before Bill Clinton was elected and ended on the day before his second term concluded. Early on in the feeding frenzy known as Whitewater, the Clintons were completely exonerated by two investigations. The conclusions of those investigations were never proven to be wrong. However, the conclusions of those investigations did not fit the agenda of the political right wing.

Right wing ideologues invested millions of dollars fabricating accusations against the Clintons during this time. Once these accusations reached the media, they were turned into massive efforts to fan the flames of scandal.  Media outlets were climbing all over one another to come up with stories related to the Clintons’ and their unlawful actions.   Many members of the news media at that time are still on the job today.  The Clintons became fair game as accusation piled upon accusation.  The result was that no self-respecting Republican member of Congress would ever place himself in the media’s crosshairs by agreeing with, or working with Bill Clinton.  To illustrate how these flames burn white-hot today, you have to look no farther than my Facebook feed which featured an article making claims about the list of people who stood against the Clintons who ended up dead.  For those whose feeble thought processes lead them to believe in conspiracy theory, Clintons are arranging the deaths of certain individuals and the bodies keep piling up.  There can be, and will be, no limit, to right-wing efforts to undermine Bill and Hillary Clinton and keep Hillary from becoming President of the United States.

Here is a perfect example of the media feeding frenzy. On March 4th 1994, the New York Times published a front-page article regarding Whitewater.  “Grand Jury Is Reportedly Told Of Shredding At Little Rock Firm: One Box Had Initials of Aide Who Killed Himself”.  Take a good look at all of the potential scandal in that title.  Secret Grand Jury testimony leaked, shredding of documents, a dead law firm aide.  Those Clinton’s must be corrupt.  However, in the 28th paragraph of this hit-piece it was noted that the documents that were shredded had no relationship with anything related to Whitewater.   Such was the media environment at that time.  They completely shredded their own article when they mentioned it had nothing to do with Whitewater.  It was an attempt to compare the Whitewater scandal with the destruction of documents during Watergate.  If was very effective.  It was a lie.

Republican members of Congress joined in the feeding frenzy. For example, Congressman James Leach began making accusations and promising a “block-buster” revelation about the Clintons.  He claimed that the Clintons made money on their Whitewater investments. (They lost money).  He claimed they used the funds to pay of campaign debts.  (They didn’t).  He claimed that the fraud committed by David Hale during the Whitewater investment was at the behest of the Clintons. (It wasn’t).   From his official government office, Leach became a source of leads, suggestions and documents for all reporters covering Whitewater.  Leach fell silent after the congressional Whitewater hearings produced no shred of evidence to support any of his charges.   Silence is not apology.  There was no apology to be heard.

In the summer of 1995, Senator Alfonse D’Amato, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee decided to hold Whitewater hearings. They lasted for 3 years.   The Whitewater committee heard 159 witnesses, 20 of them more than once, took 281 depositions and processed more than 35,000 pages of documents provided by the Clintons.  Newspapers reported that Hillary would be proven to be a perjurer, the President would be proved to be obstructing justice, and the “secret” files relating to the suicide death of Vincent Foster would be revealed.  In the end, the committee could not prove that any charges against the Clintons were warranted.  Three years, millions of dollars.  No charges.   The pattern continues.

As an interesting side note to the congressional investigation, L. Jean Lewis who had been hailed as a critical witness against the Clintons was completely rejected and proven to be without credibility.   When confronted on the witness stand by Senator Paul Sarbanes regarding her testimony, she collapsed on the witness stand, crying and fainting.  It was a dramatic scene illustrating, once again, the length that right-wing individuals would go to undermine the Clintons.  Unfortunately for her, her testimony ended in tears and loss of consciousness as she was shamed in front of the committee.  It was never reported in the press.

Attorney General Janet Reno chose Robert Fiske to investigate all things related to Whitewater as an independent counsel. Reno was acting under the instruction of Bill Clinton when establishing an independent counsel investigation.   Clinton made the decision as a way of finally ending the scandal.   Interestingly enough, Senate Republicans who had allowed the Independent Counsel Act two years earlier to lapse while a Republican President was in office, reversed themselves when a Democrat was in office.  Prior to that time, Lawrence Walsh, a Republican Lawyer from Oklahoma, served as Independent Counsel during the Iran-Contra hearings.  Those hearings resulted in eleven convictions of Reagan Administration officials and their accomplices.  After those investigations, Republicans determined that the Office of the Independent Counsel represented a run-away fourth branch of Government.  They brought it back for Bill Clinton.

Fiske moved quickly with his investigation. Five months after beginning the investigation he issued a definitive report clearing up the Vince Foster suicide and Clinton’s obstruction of justice.   His report rightfully asserted that Vince Foster, the President’s personal attorney, had committed suicide after an intense bout with depression relating to the attacks on his personal character in the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets.

Subsequent work by the independent counsel resulted in indictment of Webster Hubbell and Arkansas Governor Jim “Guy” Tucker for bank-fraud schemes having nothing to do with Whitewater or the Clintons. In fact, Hillary Clinton turned out to be a victim of Hubbell who had embezzled money from the Rose Law firm that she worked for.

Within one year, the investigation of the independent counsel had been completed and the Clintons were exonerated from any and all wrong doing.   End of story.

Maybe not….in my next post we will get into the efforts of recently demoted leader of Baylor University, Kenneth Starr, who lost his prized position as a leader of a terrific Southern Baptist University because of ignoring the claims of female students who were raped by members of the football team.

I couldn’t possibly include all of the information I wanted to in this post. For a fairly complete revelation of issues involving Whitewater see The Clinton Wars by Sidney Blumenthal.  The well-documented text is 800 pages long and well worth the read.

Jun
25

Before I start, I have an admission.   I don’t have a degree in political science.  My degree’s are in the field of science where I was taught to look at evidence, sometimes called data to see where it leads.  That being said, 62 years of living has brought with it, the ability to observe and make reasonable conclusions from what I see.

All of the political events we have been exposed to for the past year have brought me to the following conclusion and a few predictions.   First, and foremost, Donald Trump is not the savior of the political right wing.  I don’t necessarily blame someone to believing that he is based upon the way he mowed down his adversaries in the battle to win the Republican nomination for President of the United States. I think it said more about the qualities of his adversaries than it does about him.  Second,  if Donald Trump is nominated at the upcoming Republican Convention, it is my belief that he will receive a major drubbing at the polls in November.

However, it is not the purpose of this post to drag Trump through the mud.   That being said, the election of Hillary Clinton will bring back the scandal machine that we experienced during the Bill Clinton administration.  It is that scandal machine that I want to call your attention to.

During his time in office, Bill Clinton, and his wife, faced a continuous barrage of scandalous press releases and accusations no President of the United States has had to endure.   If and when Hillary Clinton is elected, the rejuvenated scandal machine will put on a barrage that makes their previous efforts pale in comparison.  There will be two reasons this will be so.  The first is that she is a Clinton.  That fact alone will cause right wing meltdowns from the day of the election until she leaves office.  The second is that she is a woman.  The factions are already lining up and preparing their ammunition for the battle.  Don’t kid yourself, it is a battle.  It is a battle that is designed to limit her effectiveness and destroy her Presidency.   If you think it was bad during President Obama’s Administration you haven’t seen anything yet.

When the Clinton’s arrived in Washington, salvo after salvo was launched in an effort to undermine his Presidency.  In the minds of right wing political operatives, he was an outsider, ignorant in the ways of Washington, and not qualified to be President.  It has been said that the Clinton’s were the poorest Presidential family to ever gain the Whitehouse.  They were outsiders, from a very poor Southern State and they did not qualify to be there.   Those that were considered the rulers of Washington society completely rejected them until they left the scene.  They were not accepted by the “ruling class” in our nation’s capital.

That was all it took to engage the scandal machine in Washington and the rest of the country.   In future posts I will address some of the Clinton “scandals” as to their origins, their coverage in the press, the investigations that created havoc in Washington, and lastly, the evidence that was uncovered that was basically ignored by the nation.

First up, will be Whitewater and the firestorm and dumpster fire it became.   I guarantee you, the Whitewater scandal will be mentioned over and over during the campaign.  It has been, and will forever be, one of the main salvo’s against the Clinton’s.  Be ready for it….it is going to return very soon.  If you are going to be exposed to Whitewater again, as one who is deciding who to vote for, one needs to know the nature of that scandal and the outcomes of the millions of dollars spent on investigating it.

May
25

I can’t begin to fully understand what it is like to be female in our society.  The truth is, no man can. Until you have experienced the things that females of all ages experience one can not accurately identify with their experiences.

Now females of all political persuasions are faced with the opportunity to support Donald Trump in the upcoming election.  They are faced with casting a vote for an individual that has spent quite a lot of energy in his life demeaning females he disagrees with.   Here are some verified examples of Trump’s treatment of women.

Donald called Rosie O’Donnell “untalented and of less than average intelligence”.  He has called her a “big fat pig, a real loser, a disgusting pig, and my nice fat little Rosie”.  He also commented that Rosie O’Donnell is “disgusting both inside and out, she is a slob.”

Of Arianna Huffington he has said “she is a dog who wrongfully comments on me”.  Donald also sent a woman named Gail Collins a picture of Huffington with the following written on it. “The Face Of A Dog”.

He called Attorney Elizabeth Beck “disgusting” when she requested a break from a legal proceeding to pump breast milk.

Referring to Carly Fiorina he said “look at that face, would anyone vote for that?  Can you imagine that, the face of our next President”.

Once he referred to Nicollette Sheridan by commenting that “a person who is very flat-chested is very hard to be a 10.”

His recent battle with Megyn Kelly of Fox News is just the latest example of comments that demean women.

Some have used the term “misognyst” to describe Trump.  There are several definitions that one can use to describe the term.  Some go as far as to claim it means one who hates women.   I don’t think we can go that far.  After all, he has married three of them and divorced two of them.  That being said, a more accurate label would be that Donald Trump is “sexist”.   That term implies a general attitude that is explainable only by stating that he treats them with disdain and thinks he is better than them because of his inheritance of a Y chromosome. Voting for a man with this attitude is voting for a man who regularly thinks women are beneath him.  He is better than them.

So I ask you, women of the country, how is it that a person that behaves as he does towards women could ever gain your vote in a Presidential election?

I have heard quite a few answers to that question.   One common one I have heard is that there are other things about him that make him their choice in spite of their dislike of his sexist behavior.  In other words, other things are more important.  We can hold our nose and vote for this guy because other things about him are more important that his documented attitude towards women.

Here are a couple of questions you might ask yourself before you make up your mind.

  1. If Donald Trump was a Democrat would you vote for him?
  2. To those of you with daughters, if those comments were made directly at your child, would you still vote for him?
  3. Are you comfortable with putting a man with his attitude towards women into the most powerful leadership position on the planet?

It is not surprising to most of us that Donald has said “I have always treated women with great respect.”    That, my friends, is just one of the lies he uses to persuade.  The sexist man is the last person to realize he is sexist if he ever does.

I think for many women who plan to vote for Trump the real reason is that their dislike, and possibly hatred for one woman with a different political ideology than theirs, grants them the ability to ignore hurtful and vicious behavior that many of them have had to deal with, and been scarred by, in their lifetime.  In spite of the pain of those experiences, they will vote for a man who personally attacks women on a fairly regular basis.

If that is the case, admit it to yourself and stop defending Donald Trump’s sexist behavior.

Mar
25

First things first.   Any citizen of the United States that is an eligible voter has the right to vote for any candidate that they want to.   If you want to vote for Donald Trump, do it.   It is your right.  Trump’s efforts to gain the nomination of the Republican Party are on many levels an accomplishment that no one predicted.

That being said, the rise of Donald Trump can be attributed to several  factors which have combined to give him the opportunity to be considered by the voting public.   The factor that is most often used as an explanation for his popularity among certain conservative voters is the anger of the Conservative electorate.

However, one recent study suggests that only about 25% of those who are voting for Trump in the primaries are doing so out of anger.   That leaves a large portion of his followers with other reasons.  I suggest that one big reason is that members of the political party that has not held the Presidency for 8 years in a row consistently do their best to see to it that a member of their party succeeds the sitting President.  The most recent example is the Obama election.  There was a very large turnout of liberal voters voting for Obama because they were tired of the Bush Administration.  There is nothing new about that.

That being said, one can not deny the anger that is being expressed in the Republican primaries.  The question then becomes: “What has fueled their anger?”   There is no simple answer to that one.  Why are they so mad that they will consider an ego-driven, crude, non-politician as a man to put their trust in?   Too often the pundits don’t give full consideration for the causes of the anger that has fueled Trump’s rise in the polls.

Factors That Fuel the Anger of the Electorate

Foremost in the mind of the angry electorate is the inescapable fact that they feel that politicians they elected have failed them.  Consider the fact that many evangelical voters voted for George W. Bush based upon the belief that he would govern in a way that reflected their basic evangelical beliefs.  After 911, the Iraq War, failure of their WMD arguments to justify the war, and, at best, superficial attempts to support the firmly held political beliefs of evangelicals, it became obvious that the promise of George W. Bush for evangelicals was a failure of the highest order.

Another bitter pill for conservative members of the electorate is the failure of the House of Representatives and Senate to thwart the policy prescriptions of the political left as represented by the Obama Administration.   Rarely, has any group of Republican legislators made more noise about what they were going to do for the conservative electorate and failed so miserably to actually get something accomplished.  If you ask “What has Congress been doing since the Conservatives took over?”  The answer is: basically nothing.

Not only have conservative members of Congress failed at stopping legislation proposed by their political opponents, they have pretty much failed to get anything done at all.   This Congress has rightly been identified as the “accomplish nothing” Congress.  In the eyes of a large portion of the electorate, Washington politics can be characterized by a lot of noise with nothing getting said or done.   Don’t think for a moment that their lack of accomplishment has not been perceived as a failure to fulfill the promises made to their political base.  In short, for the most part, the conservative electorate is tired of promises made by individuals they elect.

One should also note, that those who consider themselves center-right, or progressive are frustrated on many levels also.  However, most of that frustration is directed towards conservative politicians whose main goal was to thwart the policies of the Obama Administration.  Washington, as a governing entity, has become largely ineffective in the eyes of both political parties.

One other factor that has given rise to conservative anger is the fact that the Obama Administration has been effective in moving its policies forward and blocking the policies sought by Conservatives.  A question not often considered, is whether or not the anger that is fueling the rise of Donald Trump would be as intense had a Republican been in the White House for the past four or eight years.

Both conservatives and progressives are tired of the influence that money has in our politics.  Basically a group of about 100 large donors, who donate in secret, are unbelievably influential in determining who gets elected.

When a certain political party has had its representative sitting in the White House for 8 years, there is always momentum to effect change.   There is nothing new about that part of the anger that is being expressed about the country.

Do You Know What You Are Getting In Donald Trump?

So the conservative electorate is angry.  I get it.  Does the level of that anger cause conservative voters to abandon their basic political and spiritual beliefs for the purpose of electing someone who claims to be able to change the way the country is run?

At this point, I would have to say without reservation that the answer to that question is “absolutely”.  Many Conservatives believe that electing Donald Trump will be the answer to their anger.   In the mind of a large portion of the conservative electorate, nothing that Trump does or says eliminates him from their consideration.

To many evangelicals, it doesn’t matter that Trump is perceived by most as having a distant relationship with the basic beliefs they have required in their past candidates.   His pandering to the Liberty University crowd with his comment about Two Corinthians is an obvious clue that he has, at best, a distant relationship to scripture.  Sorry folks, the only reason he even brought those verses up was that they mention the word “Liberty” and he was at Liberty University.   To deny that exhibits a lack of clarity about what he was doing.   Many of the policy statements that are uttered from his mouth exhibit a complete lack of understanding of evangelical positions as revealed in scripture.

In short, believing that Donald Trump represents members of your faith is a compromise of your beliefs.  You can’t have it both ways.   Donald Trump has not, and probably will not be a man who represents evangelical beliefs.  His words, actions, and policy ideas could not be farther away from any scriptural imperative we claim to want in a candidate.   Those who deny that are either exhibiting a complete lack of understanding of the faith they claim to adhere to or their political beliefs outweigh their spiritual beliefs.

The question for evangelicals to answer is: Does it matter that he doesn’t represent your basic spiritual beliefs?   Sadly, the anger and desire for change inside the evangelical conservative electorate indicates that it doesn’t matter.  That fact alone, casts a long shadow over past proclamations from evangelical voters over the type of individual they want representing them in Washington.   Basically it boils down to this:  The desire of many Trump supporters to have an evangelical represent them is not nearly as important to them as their conservative political beliefs and their dislike of President Obama.  Dislike of all things progressive trumps their need for a President that represents their spiritual beliefs.  In other words, spiritual  beliefs are not as important as conservative beliefs in spite of all of the proclamations to the contrary.

Another question that must be answered before casting your vote for Donald Trump is whether or not he is really a Conservative , or even a Republican.    His entire message is designed to fire up the conservative base.  Take a hard look at his stances on “building a wall”, destroying ISIS, expanding the military, overturning the Iran Treaty, overturning Obama’s executive decisions, reversing the Affordable Care Act, and other items on the Conservative hit-list.   Regardless of the fact that he will not be able to make Mexico pay for his wall, he has no answer other than bombing and torture to destroy ISIS, our military is the strongest in the world, the Iran Treaty isn’t close to being as bad as conservatives claim, Bush had more executive decisions than Obama, conservatives have no answer for what to do after they overturn the affordable care act, and on and on. He makes these outlandish and foolish claims to fire up his base and get himself nominated.   His proclamations are a sure fire way to fire up his base, regardless of the fact that they are guaranteed to cause progressives to turn out in large numbers to make sure he doesn’t get elected.

For the first time that I can remember, Conservative politicians are considering not supporting Trumps’ presidential ambitions.  Think for a minute about what that really means.  What it means is that they would rather have another Clinton in the White House with all that it implies, than have Trump in the White House.  Considering all of the attacks on the Clintons’ over the years, that is an amazing development.   It is almost as if they are saying that they will take their chances with the Clintons’ rather than risking the soul of their political party by electing someone who doesn’t represent their basic beliefs and will be a horrible representative of the Conservative Party.

Expressing Your Anger At What Cost?

Another issue to consider is whether or not giving Trump the nomination will negatively affect those Republicans running for the House of Representatives and the Senate.  Without Trump on the ballot, the Republicans are at a distinct disadvantage regarding controlling both houses of Congress.  With him on the ballot there is a good chance that control of the Senate will be turned over to the other party, and a large number of House seats will be lost.    It is entirely possible that the anger of the electorate will cost them the Presidency, the Senate, the Supreme Court, and reduce their majority in the House of Representatives.  Each of those outcomes will be a disaster for the Republican Party.

The cost of nominating Donald Trump could result in a huge drubbing in the general election.  He can’t win any legitimate percentage of the woman’s vote in spite of his claim that “women love me”.  As of today he has a 73% disapproval rate among women.   He can’t win the Hispanic vote that is even more crucial to winning this year than ever before in spite of his claim that “Mexicans love me”.  He can’t win the African-American vote in spite of all of his claims.   He could very well win the “older white man” vote but there are fewer of those around these days.  No one who could be considered knowledgeable in the political arena gives him much of a chance to beat the nominee of the Democratic Party.

With all that being said, you have the right to express your anger.  Many have died fighting to make sure you maintain that right.  However, expressing your anger without examining the costs is a prescription for failure.  How angry will you be then?

Oct
03

 This just in!  The Government of the United States has been under attack for quite some time now and the origins of the attack are becoming clearer by the day.  Billions of dollars have been spent over the years in attempts to keep attacks from sources outside of our country from destroying us.   Hard-working, diligent people in all of our branches of military service and clandestine services have sacrificed their time, and their lives to keep this country strong and ward off those who would attempt to destroy us.  It seems as if, in this case, efforts should have been made to protect us from those who live among us whose self-centered personal goals put them in a position where they can influence others to perform actions that do harm to us all.

Our political system has been hijacked from within and the country is paying a steep price for a lack of diligence.  The hijacking of the American political system is a serious event that has long-lasting repercussions.  Some of us saw it coming and were fearful.  Others saw it coming and were overjoyed by the prospects.  Others saw it coming and were too afraid to stand up against it.

Our political system has been hijacked by a missile that has very definite destructive characteristics.  It is these characteristics that make this weapon so deadly to the very government of our union.   Here are just a few of the characteristics that many of us have observed in the past year or so.

We have elected individuals whose actions are geared towards re-election at the expense of governing the nation and expressing the will of the people.

Once in a position of power, our elected officials spend a very large portion of their time raising funds that are used to keep them in power.  The collective will of the people is made subject to corporations and individuals with immense financial backing.  Those who serve us, no longer serve us.  They serve those who keep them in power.

It has become almost impossible to get rid of elected officials.

A very large percentage of the House of Representatives are elected in gerrymandered political districts that are absolutely designed to keep them in power.  Many districts have been set up with abnormally high percentages of one political party and as such, there is very little threat that their elected representative will ever lose an election in a district tailored to keep them in power.

“The will of the American people” is an oft-used quote that is rarely accurate.

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a political representative state that they are voting or acting in a certain way because it is the “will of the American people.”  Justifying political behavior on such garbage is politically expedient and intellectually dishonest.   Let me give you some examples.   I can pretty much say without fear of being incorrect that it is the “will of the American people” that our government should protect us from harm from countries or groups that would do us harm.  That is pretty much a 100% certainty.  However, when we hear our representatives say that the American people want the Affordable Care Act overturned you can rest assured that they are overstating that will for the purpose of making a political point.  First of all, the statement is a lie.   The American people do not want the Affordable Care Act overturned.  True enough, a portion of the American people want it overturned, but there is an equal number that do not want it overturned.  Stating that the American people want a given outcome is ignorant on its face.   Is anyone else as tired of this garbage coming from the mouths of both sides of the political spectrum?

Are our political leaders so ignorant that they don’t know the difference between the “will of the American people” and “the will of those who will keep me in power”?   Or could it be that they think those of us who put them in power are ignorant?  (If you doubt the ignorance of the electorate I call attention to a recent video I viewed where individuals where asked whether or not they would chose the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.  None of them knew that they were one and the same thing.  (Most commented that the Affordable Care Act was much better).  Ignorance indeed.

There are those in power who do not believe that elections have consequences.

The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.  Those who claim they can repeal, or defund it in this political environment are feeding you a load of garbage.  Attempts to do so (over 40 worthless votes in the House of Representatives) are nothing more than a political stunt without any chance of accomplishing the stated goal.  The sad thing is that a fairly significant percentage of the American people actually believe it can be done.  Those “true believers” in the Constitution are depending upon actions that are not possible because of the very Constitution they believe in.

Elections have consequences.  The political environment as of this date is one of “split” government.  Democrats control the Presidency and the Senate.  Republicans control the House of Representatives.   There are not enough votes for Republicans in either house to overcome the actions of Democrats without there being “defectors” from the Democrats.  The Presidency was one by a Democrat with a 5 million vote advantage over his Republican rival.  The Democrat campaigned on moving forward with the Affordable Care Act.  The Republican campaigned on the repeal of the same act.  The Democrat won, the people spoke.  Even the Supreme Court has spoken on the issue. The Republican lost, and his party is now beholding to individuals trumpeting sound and fury signifying nothing of consequence.

Now we have a very small group of elected Republicans who have made every effort to overcome the results of the election.  Make no mistake.  Attempts to repeal of the Affordable Care Act in this political environment are contrary to the collective will of the American electorate.  As such, these efforts reject very Constitution they claim to love.

I suggest that those whose desire it is to repeal the Affordable Care Act figure out a way to win control of the Senate and the Presidency.  Only then will they be successful.  Minority parties, while representative of many individuals, are not representative of the overall electorate.

The Republican Party Is Unrecognizable And Has Been Hijacked By A Small, Vocal Group Whose Actions Have Terrified Other Republicans In Power.

The Speaker of the House has allowed this small group to hijack the Republican Party and the rest of the country is paying a steep price for it.  Only time will tell if he is able to remain in his exalted position as Speaker.  He has voiced significant concerns but at this point has done nothing that will get control of this small faction of individuals who threaten to remove him from power.   Now we are back to my original statements.  “Those who serve us, no longer serve us.  They serve those who keep them in power.”   Who is the Speaker of the House serving?  The view from this window indicates that he is serving himself at the expense of the rest of his party.

Ted Cruz Represents The Will of His Political Base Very Well, Without Regard To Anything But His Own Self-Serving Interests.

I am absolutely sure that Senator Cruz is expressing the will of a majority of those who elected him.  However, his actions over the last month or so have led his national party over the edge of a cliff of his own making.  The country is paying a price for it.  For the most part, he has convinced other political leaders to attempt to do something that is politically impossible in our current political environment.  We are beginning to see statements from other Republicans denouncing his efforts, attitude, and political expertise.  His efforts are failing miserably and every day more our political leaders veer off the path that leads towards the cliff.

I have some major questions regarding the efforts of Senator Cruz:

  1.  If he is so intelligent as he and others claim, why did he lead so many of his party astray on this issue?
  2. Could it be he is only trying to garner a name for himself and prepare the country for the Cruz Missile that would be his Presidential run in the future?
  3.  What is the reason that others followed his lead in this issue?
  4. Could it be that they fear losing power if they don’t follow him?

The heart of our government has been struck by an out-of-control missile that has left a lot of damage.  It is obvious that the American electorate is fed up with the behavior of members of both Houses of Congress as is attested by their 10% approval rating.   Our government is now stuck in a pattern of governing from self-inflicted crisis to self-inflicted crisis.   The most infuriating part of this is that a small group within the government believes that this is the way to express the will of the people.

The will of the people is being suppressed by the weight of the desire to remain in power.

Aug
13

Is voter fraud really a problem in our elections?  If voter fraud is a problem, has it had any role in electing individuals to office?  Why is it that Republicans stress the importance of voter id laws and Democrats are against them?

If you listen to a Republican touting the importance of voter ID laws you tend to see trends in their comments.  Here are some comments that I have found online in “comments” sections of online articles this morning:

“We debate whether it’s better to allow a dirty foreigner to vote or deprive a grandmother her right to vote…..”

“I believe many in the Republican Party want voter ID laws because they believe it important only living, legal-age, legally-allowed (depending on state laws regarding felons and that sort of thing) citizens vote and each one votes only once.”

“Why are Dems so scared of the possibility of a fair election?”

“Why are the Regressive Liberal Democrats against anything that ensures integrity.”

“it’s the right thing to do, up yours NAACP”

“How many times a day are we requested to show ID? You cannot board a plane without showing ID- are airlines being sued? Now to buy cold medication and even nail polish remover you need to show ID. The ones who cry out racism and law suits are most likely the ones who are not American citizens.”

“Keep illegals out of the polls…”

“Boo hoo. You just want all the illegal democrats votes. You don’t care about their well being, keep them down but keep them voting.”

Realize first of all, that the comments I provided are not in any way a scientific representation of all of the comments out there these days regarding voter id laws.   That being said, these comments are actual comments from concerned citizens regarding our voting process.   There are definitely some trends here that we should take a look at.

  1. There are citizens out there who believe that minority individuals who have migrated to this country illegally are actively involved in providing Democratic votes in our elections.
  2. There are citizens out there who believe voter ID laws will ensure the integrity of our elections.
  3. There are citizens out there who believe past elections have not been fair and that is the reason why they lost.
  4. There are citizens out there who believe votes are being cast in the name of dead individuals.
  5. There are citizens out there who believe underage voters are voting.
  6. There are citizens out there that believe people are voting twice or more.
  7. There are citizens out there that believe convicted felons are voting when they don’t have the right to vote.

There can be no doubt that a portion of our electorate believes that illegal votes are being counted and that these votes have swung elections towards Democratic candidates.  There is also no doubt that there is a significant portion of the electorate that believe that “illegals” are voting in our elections and swinging elections toward Democratic candidates.  You will have to decide whether or not you think that negative feelings towards individuals who are of a different race is contributing towards these comments.

The right to vote is one of our most important privileges and responsibilities.   As we draw nearer to the next mid-term elections in 2014 this is a battle that will be waged on many fronts.  Are there facts that support the positions of those whose comments I illustrated today?   Look for more posts regarding voter id laws in the coming days and weeks.  This is a discussion worth having.

Nov
07

For the past month or so I spent a great deal of time writing down my thoughts in regard to the reasons that I and others could not vote for Republican candidates in this election cycle.  Now that the election is over, its time to take a hard look at the reasons I had, and whether or not the Obama victory in any way reduced my fears over the very reasons I voted in the way I did.

Reason #1 – The Republican Party has evolved from the party that worked diligently to conserve the environment to one that does its best to insure its destruction.

Nothing is going to change in regard t the Republican Party’s stance on environmental issues.  Hopefully in this second term, Obama will have the courage to work together to come up with legislation that will make a positive impact on the environment.  A Republican victory would have guaranteed that their “job killing regulation” garbage would have continued and the environment would have paid the price.

Reason #2 – Replacing the current Democratic Administration with a Republican Administration significantly increases the probability of a return to the “enhanced interrogation” policies ushered in by the Bush Administration.

Since Mitt Romney basically said that he would institute “enhanced” interrogation, the fact that he is not in office lessens the chances of the return to the ineffective use of torture to gain information that is at best sketchy and at worst false.  Since information obtained by torture techniques is basically unusable in a court of law, there is less chance that trials of terrorists will be unsuccesful because of information obtained illegally.

Reason #3 –The Possibility Of A Return To Neocon-Influenced Foreign Policy.

Neocon influence on the Obama Administration is marginalized and will not be a factor in foreign policy decisions.  Obama’s victory guarantees that the Neocons will spend at least 8 years in exile.  This does not in any way preclude the fact that their ideology will return in the future.  For now, their influence is negated.

Reason #4 – Republican Voter Suppression Is Real, And Is, At Its’ Core, Un-American

The President won the popular vote by about 2.8 million votes.  There is no real data out there yet as to the number of individuals who were denied their legal right to vote because of the actions of Republican Governors and legislators.  All you have to do is to look at the lack of results in Florida to see that their voter suppression efforts impacted the electoral process.  Seven hour waits to vote are ridiculous.  Governor Rick Scotts’ reduction in early voting in Florida impacted the election.  Once again, the State of Florida looks moronic.  Can anyone in Florida count past 5 or 10?  It surely doesn’t look like it.  Republicans will continue their voter suppression efforts even though they failed in their objective during this election cycle.

Reason #5 – Republican political figures exhibit a significant “anti-science” attitude that leads to policy implementation that is uninformed and imperils both the environment of the planet and the welfare of those who live on it.

Until Republicans are removed from key positions on committees that are informed by the processes and data of science, they will continue with their uniformed, ignorant, and destructive attitudes and the people of the country will suffer because of it.  Until the House of Representatives contains a Democratic majority, those who deny the contributions of legitimate science to the public policy debate will continue their denial of scientific fact.

Reason #6 – Republican Obstructionism

Democratic gains in the House of Representatives and Senate are not sufficient to overcome the obstruction that has become the hallmark of Republican legislative effort.  There is some noise out there today about Harry Reid letting the Republicans know that the majority in the Senate will not be pushed around.  Truth is, without filabuster reform, Republicans can continue their obstructionism.  I think many voters were turned off by their stated obstructive processes, but I am not sure that they are intelligent enough to make the decision to give up their efforts.  A good indication of what the voters think about Congress is to take a look at their job approval rating.

On another note, Mitch McConnells stated goal of doing whatever it took to make sure Obama was a one term President failed.  I don’t have much faith that things will change in that regard.  However, it was a very good night for us last night and I wanted to call Mitch up and say “scoreboard baby, you are a complete failure”.

Reason 7 – Romney’s statements over the years make it completely impossible to have any legitimate understanding of where he stands on the issues.

It doesn’t matter, he is no longer on the political scene.  His flip-flops made an impression on voters.  The extent to which they contributed to his 2.8 million vote loss is probably not discernible.

Reason #8 – Putting more Republicans in office will contribute to continued lack of action on climate change.

The real question here is whether or not the Obama Administration has the political will to even bring this up.  Big storm hits New York and New Jersey, everyone is talking about it.  Hurricane hits the Republican Party on election night, will anyone be talking about it now?  Obviously having a Democrat serving as President makes it more likely, but I don’t have a lot of faith in the Democrats convictions in regard to the most important environmental issue of our lifetime.  Time will tell.  However every day they wait, the problem gets harder to solve.

So there you have it.  My reasons for voting Democratic.  Notice that I did not bring up any of the real “hot button” issues to justify my vote.  Issues like womens rights, minority rights, tax fairness, the Supreme Court, and health care etc. are important.  However, I am not your typical Independant voter.  Other things grabbed my attention this time. 

Your comments are always welcome.  Would love to hear why you did, or did not vote Democratic in this election.

Nov
05

People have been asking me what my predicitions will be for the Presidential race.  All we have to go on for data on where the electorate stands is polling data.  My predictions are based upon data taken from individual battleground states in their last 10 polls.  Most of the polls were taken in November, but a few were in Late October.  My prediction is based entirely on polling data without trying to inject any of my own personal bias.  The accuracy of polls is, of course, assuming that the polls themselves eliminate bias.

My Prediction –  Obama 294 electoral votes, Romney 244 electoral votes.

Obama Toss Up States victories predicted in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nevada

Romney Toss Up State victories predicted in North Carolina, Florida and Colorado (Though the polls slightly favor Obama in Colorado at this point)

For details of the poll data and how that influences my predictions click on the following link: Swing State Predictions

Nov
01

This is the last in a series of posts on reasons why I and many other Independants and Democrats will not vote for any Republican candidates in this election.

Reason #8 – Putting more Republicans in office will contribute to continued lack of action on climate change.

So the monster storm hits New Jersey, New York and other areas on the east coast and all of the sudden people are starting to pay attention to climate change.  A 15 minutes search of online media that I tend to read each morning illustrates my point.  Nearly every one of the websites I read has an article that relates to the possibility that the intensity of Sandy was influenced by issues related to climate change.  Even Fox News had an article, with their typical caveat that some scientists don’t agree with the consensus.  Big shock there.   Here are a few of them:

  • “Did Climate Change Play A Role In Sandy’s Strength? – Ericka Bondstad – Mclatchy
  • “It’s Global Warming Stupid!” – Paul M. Barret – Business Week
  • ‘It’s Called Climate Change” – Molly Reilly – Huffington Post
  • “Cuomo: “Climate Change Is A Reality…We are Vulnerable” –
  • “Nasa Warned New York About Hurricane Danger Six Year Ago” – Chris Mooney – Mother Jones
  • “Outsmarting the Surge” – Bryan Walsh – Time
  • “Dems Push Climate Change Issue In Wake Of Sandy, But Some Scientists Skeptical” – Kara Rowland – Fox News

Everyone has an opinion.  I am amused by the fact that all of the sudden people seem to be having a “come to Jesus” moment now that the $50 billion storm has spread its havoc over a highly populated area.  Note, I am not amused by the results of the storm, just by the sudden surge in interest in climate change issues.

The processes and data obtained through legitimate scientific research is used to inform policy decisions that are made in Washington D.C.   However, when scientific research comes face to face with political ideology and the almighty pocketbook of our elected officials, that research is often ignored.  There are lots of reasons for a politician to ignore the results of science.  Here are a few:

  1. If the science in any way threatens the religious beliefs of a politician, he can not afford to alienate those who would vote for him that have the same beliefs.
  2. If the science  in any way threatens the ideological position of a politician, he can not afford to alienate his political base or he will lose his job.
  3. If the science in any way threatens the financial contributions that come to him from special interests, he literally can not afford to agree with the science.

Here is what we as a country are faced with at this time.

  • Legitimate scientific research overwhelmingly points to the fact that human activity has changed our climate.
  • Those who claim otherwise are not skeptics, they are deniers.
  • All legitimate scientists are legitimate skeptics.  It is inherent in the scientific process that one be skeptical.
  • Denialism is not skepticism.  Denialism involves ignoring evidence and maintaining a set of beliefs that are consistent with ones ideological or religious convictions.
  • Skepticism involves taking a legitimate look at the science, questioning it, getting answers and moving in the direction of the data.
  • Republican politicans are significantly more likely to deny the science of global climate change than Democrats.
  • All of the Republican politicians vying for the Republican nomination but one, stated that they basically “don’t believe that the climate is really changing” or don’t believe that “human activity is the cause”
  • Mitt Romney changed his position on human contribution to climate change during this election cycle.
  • Anyone shocked by Romney’s change in his position doesn’t pay attention to the realities of his constant flip-flops on most issues.

Let me be perfectly clear with regard to my stance on climate change if it is not already clear to this point.  I stand with 98% of the legitimate scientists whose expertise is in climate related fields.  Climate change is real and it is upon us in ways that are causing loss of life, causing destruction of property, causing major disruptions to peoples lives, and costing the government billions in repair and cleanup costs.  The effects of CO2 in the atmosphere were predicted in the late 1800’s.   Politicians who are responsible to put policies in place to protect those that voted them into office have failed miserably.  Some are significantly more culpable than others.

Ultimately, the electorate is responsible for the lack of legitimate action on climate change issues.  Those who vote for individuals who don’t have the courage to stand up to special interests, those who will not honestly look at the science, are responsible.  Voting for individuals who deny the science of climate change is similar to voting for someone who believes that smoking doesn’t cause cancer.  To anyone with a legitmate brainwave, that seems ignorant doesn’t it?  Yet, we keep putting these people in office year after year.

I blame the electorate my friends, for being so short-sighted and gullible when it comes to this issue.  If this was the only issue where I disagreed with Republicans, it would be enough for me to deny them my vote.  I am not a one-issue voter.  If I was, this is big enough for me.  In the long run, it could be more important than the other 7 reasons I have given in my previous posts combined.

A vote for a Republican candidate, is a vote for continuing the process of denying the science of climate change.  It is a vote that has ramifications, while the wind blows, the rain and snow fall, and the ocean decides to come ashore.  I am counting the days now, until Mitt Romney changes his mind again and goes back to his original stance on climate change.  A word of caution here.  It won’t happen before the election, too many of his voters expect him to have his current stance, and that is the problem in a nutshell.

Oct
28

In the first 6 versions of “In Case You Were Wondering” I detailed reasons why I and many other Independents and Democrats could not support any Republicans in this election cycle.  The reasons given were all related to specific attitudes and policies of Republicans.  At this point I want to go in a different direction.  Now I want to talk about the Republican Nominee for President, Mitt Romney.

Reason 7 – Romney’s statements over the years make it completely impossible to have any legitimate understanding of where he stands on the issues.

In the Republican Presidential Debate on November 9, 2011 Mitt Romney made the following statement: “I think people understand that I’m a man of steadiness and constancy.”  Actually Mitt, we understand just the opposite.  You have proven to be a man with an unsteady and ever-swaying doctrine about so many issues that the only thing that is constant is your unsteadiness.   In other words, you have proven to be a man we can not trust because you hit both sides of almost every issue and therefore we have no idea what you really stand for.  Romney is, steadily unsteady and constantly changing.

John Huntsman, fellow Republican Mormon, and one of the early dropouts in the Republican nomination process has summed up what others (regardless of political affiliation) think of Mitt Romney.  He pointed out that Romney was “A perfectly lubricated weathervane.”   There is more truth in that statement than one could possibly imagine.  First of all, by their nature and design, weather vanes are designed to spin and twirl and point to whatever direction the wind is blowing.  What a perfect metaphor for Mitt Romney.  You see, Romney’s statements are entirely dependant upon which way the political winds are blowing at any given time.

Wind is an amazing phenomenon.   Unless we are schooled in the science of climate and weather we probably don’t have a clue as to why it is blowing in any direction at any given time.  Never mind that we can’t figure out why it is blowing so hard.  All we care about is getting away from its effects.  If you live in Las Vegas like I do, you would be constantly faced with winds blowing in all sorts of directions with all sorts of velocity.  So it is in the political realm.  On any given day you never know what direction political wind will come from and rarely be able to determine its velocity ahead of time.

I suggest the following reality about the nature of political windstorms.  The force and direction of political wind is often related to its source and the environment you are in at the time the wind hits you.  If you are trying to gain the adulation of a group from the Republican political base you had better understand the political winds they are driving your way.  In that regard, Mitt Romney is the absolute perfect political weathervane.  When trying to get people in the Republican base to get excited about your candidacy, you will have one set of responses to their inquiries.  If they ask about gays in the military, you better come out strongly against it.  If they ask about abortion, you better come out strongly against it.  If they ask about climate change you had better spout the company line that the science is not certain and because of that we shouldn’t do anything about it.

If you are trying to garner the nomination, you better pander to the base.  However, when you sense the wind blowing in a different direction, like maybe in a Presidential debate where Independents and Democrats are paying attention, you better deny all that you said during all of your debates against fellow Republicans and come out strongly in favor of things that might attract the independent vote.  Hence, Romney’s performances during the Presidential debates were no surprise to anyone who was paying attention.  The weathervane was well-lubricated and spun around and basically denied all of his previous statements.   Hence, John Hunstman’s description is dead on the money.

To give you an idea of the seriousness of Romney’s lack of conviction, even the political commentators on Fox News have made disparaging comments about Romney’s inability to stand consistently for anything.  “You are only allowed a certain number of flips before people begin to doubt your character” – Britt Hume – Fox News, October 30th, 2011.  While I don’t usually agree with much that comes from Fox News, my point here is that even those who support him, realize that his flips and flops generate beliefs about him that indicate he has character problem.

The problem that many Independents and most Democrats have with Mitt Romney is that his ever-changing political stances on a host of issues make him appear to have no political soul. To put it in biological terms, he is a vertebrate without vertebrae.  I prefer to use that term instead of the one I hear more often, that he is spineless.  In other words, he doesn’t believe strongly in much, and because of that we don’t trust him.  Should we vote for him because he is going to reduce the taxes of the very rich, or should we vote for him because he is not going to reduce the taxes of the very rich.   Should we vote for him because he was completely supportive of the Bush doctrine on Iraq, or should we vote for him because he was completely against the Bush doctrine on Iraq.   Should we vote for him because be believes in his primary legislative accomplishment while Governor of Massachusetts (health care), or should we vote for him because he is against the same basic health care legislation that is President Obama’s primary legislative accomplishment.

You see, no matter which Mitt Romney we vote for, we are voting against the other Mitt Romney.  Do we put Mitt Romney in the White House or do we put Mitt Romney in the White House?  Either way, we can be sure that he will proclaim victory while he is forced to proclaim his political demise.  We don’t trust him, because he is untrustable.  We don’t believe in him, because he is not believable.  As such, he is not fit for the office of the Presidency of the United States.

I have put together a chart illustrating Mitt Romney’s flip-flops.  It doesn’t include all of them, there isn’t enough room to list them all.  If you believe what I am saying, it will support my position.  If you don’t believe what I am saying, it will support my position and you may not want to discover that what I am saying is the truth.  At least my position on this doesn’t change when the wind blows.

Romney Flip Flop

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.