Independent Investigations
A Place For Considerate Political Discourse!

Nov
07

The President of the United States sits in a position of incredible responsibility in regard to decisions that must be made involving all branches of science.  Whether it is medical science research, climate science, or any other form of investigative research, the United States must lead the world in these areas.  Unfortunately, the Republican Party that was once known as a party of conservation and science has morphed into an unrecognizable entity that has done its’ absolute best to thwart the advancement of scientific research for years.

Any individual that doubts the Republican Party’s attacks on the field of science is ignorant of an easily discoverable truth.  The truth is, Republican attacks on science are significantly endangering our populations’ right to live a healthy existence free from the effects of corporate destruction of our environment.  Sadly, literally no time has been expended in this years’ Presidential contest discussing the role of science and medicine in maintaining the health and well-being of every day Americans.

That is not to say that this Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump do not have policy prescriptions relating to the advancement of science.   Trump, typically, espouses the Republican Party’s denouncement of regulations because of the effects that government regulation has on the corporate environment.  In the eyes of Republicans, environmental regulations stymie corporate growth and affect the bottom line of companies from coast to coast and beyond.  On his official website, Trump denounces “over regulation” of U.S. Companies.  To his credit he does mention that regulations that affect public safety should not be touched.  He also denounces Hillary Clinton’s plans to regulate oil, shale, and natural gas as “job-killing” efforts of intrusion by the government.   Part of his energy plan is to use untapped sources of shale, oil, and natural gas.  Generally speaking, Trump denounces any attempt to regulate the energy companies, allowing them to continue dumping CO2 into the atmosphere.

Trumps fundamental view of climate change is that it is a hoax.  He has pronounced global warming as a hoax, and bullshit using his favorite form of communication, his twitter account.  While he has denounced global warming as a candidate, as a businessman he has attempted to preempt the effects of global warming by building a sea wall on his Trump International Gold Links Ireland facility.  The permit for the wall cites the dangers of global warming regarding rising sea levels caused by global warming.  What does it say about an individual who works both sides of the issue depending upon whom he is talking to.  Trump wants to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement.

As one who has always been interested in the effects of pollution on the planet, and one who spent his college days earning a science degree, I will never, in good conscience cast my vote for a person who denies the reality and accuracy of climate research and who wants to unleash the energy companies to further pollute our rivers and our land.  There is no such thing as clean coal.  The coal industry is a dead-man-walking.  Anyone who doubts this isn’t facing the harsh reality that faces that industry.  To deny its’ role in polluting the planet is to further move the planet towards a polluted future.  The coal industry, with all of its horrible environmental problems, is going to be phased out over the next several decades.  Clean energy solutions are critical for the health of the planet and the health of those who walk on it.

Any candidate for any office who denies effects of dumping millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere is at best scientifically challenged and more likely scientifically illiterate.  Qualification for the Presidency of the United States requires that one understand the importance of the processes of science and scientific research.  In that regard, Donald Trump has eliminated himself from consideration.   His claim that Global Warming Theory is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese tends to draw attention away from the real hoax that he has been perpetrating to his followers.  That would be the hoax that he is qualified to lead this nation from the White House.  The reality of that hoax will be destroyed on November 8th.

Nov
06

Benghzi, Pay for Play, Email Server, Whitewater, Travelgate, Vince Foster Suicide, and several other faux scandals have been used effectively for the past 30 years or so to tarnish  the career of Hillary Clinton.   The efforts of the political right started long before her husband was elected President of the United States.  I don’t know of any woman in politics who has faced more attacks than this woman.  That being said, she has pushed through all of them and stands at the precipice of becoming the first woman President of the United States.

Any woman who aspired to the Presidency of the United States was going to face mountains of attacks, innuendo, and claims basically from the “good ole boys club” of political hacks that will do almost anything, and make almost any type of claim to sidetrack her efforts.   Any woman who has moved this close to the Presidency was going to have move forward against enormous odds to get this far.  The glass ceiling blocking a woman from the Presidency is a mile thick and more of a challenge than most would attempt to crack.   Hillary will be the first to crack that glass, and it may be years before another even attempts it.  Considering all that she has gone through to reach this point, why would one even try?

I am not voting for her because she is a woman.  I am voting for her because she has withstood years of attacks while doing her best to serve others.  You see, I don’t hate her, I admire her.

Long ago before she even met Bill Clinton, very intelligent people in her law school days saw her potential. Some even said she could be one whose intelligence, desire to work tirelessly for the less fortunate, servant heart towards children, and drive, could result in a rise within her political party that no woman had ever attempted.

That being said, there would be forces that would do everything in their power to derail her political career.  The attacks began early in her career as she gave up prestigious opportunities in Washington D.C. to marry Bill Clinton and take up residence in the State of Arkansas.  You need to understand that moving from the hub of all things political in this country, to live in a politically meaningless Southern State with barely 2 million in population was a risk that few would have taken.  However, she loved Bill Clinton deeply and was willing to forego immediate political opportunities to be with him in a region of the country she knew nothing about.

Through his time as Arkansas Attorney General and Arkansas Governor, she was there standing with him as a political partner.  He was a brilliant politician.  She was a brilliant lawyer.  As a team of two, they worked together on issues that they were passionate about and became rising stars in a region of the country that basically, no one paid attention to.  At first, the population in Arkansas did not accept this Midwestern woman who did not come from among them.  As her service to the people of Arkansas continued, most grew to accept her as someone who cared deeply and worked tirelessly.

Forces from the opposite side of the political spectrum in Arkansas never accepted her as anything but an outsider in much the same way as similar forces in Washington D.C. fought to derail “all things Hillary”.  At first there were small skirmishes.  Eventually, the attack machine of the right grew into a full-blown industry of individuals looking to subvert her every attempt at service.   She was never one of them.   In that regard, she was an imposter.  She was not qualified because she did not come from that bastion of political power in this country, the East Coast Political Elite.  (This is true even though her post-graduate studies occurred at Yale University).

One of the things about her that is troublesome to me is that through all of the battles and wars, she developed a penchant for secrecy.  Some see it as her being aloof.  Others see it as proof that she is hiding something.   Those who know her best, see it as a protective device she developed to survive the bombs that she faced because she was Hillary Clinton.  I can’t blame her one bit for the distance she keeps in some cases.  However, the distance she keeps, and the privacy she desires has been used against her.  To some, it disqualifies her.  Most who feel that way add this to their already massive array of weapons that they use to try and destroy her.

Hillary has a significant Methodist background.  Throughout her life she has used her belief in God as an anchor and a driving force to do things for the disadvantaged children and adults who do not have equal access to the benefits of being an American citizen.  Her spiritual journey has developed in her a desire to do good for as many as she can for as long as she can.  I will never understand evangelical hatred for Hillary, and the resulting acceptance of Donald Trump.  Any evangelical that thinks that Donald Trump represents their spiritual prerogatives is exhibiting a complete blindness to the reality of who he is, and how he treats individuals.    To many evangelicals, Donald represents their interests and Hillary is the Devil incarnate.  That being said, I have believed for a long time, that evangelical backing of Donald Trump is an example of ones spiritual beliefs being subverted and overcome by ones political beliefs.

Many on the right side of the political spectrum will argue that her supposed illegal activities and her association with Bill Clinton eliminate her from Presidential consideration.  No woman in the history of our country has been accused of so much, and shown to be not responsible so often.  It has become a “where’s the beef” issue for me.   Where is the proof?

In investigation after investigation, proof of illegal behavior has been soundly rejected.  Let me give you some examples.

  • Whitewater – millions of dollars spent, uncovering of secrecy revealed, political stains deeply imbedded into her persona, and nothing close to illegal ever discovered.  In fact, innocence revealed in spite of years of attack.   Unfortunately innocence revealed has not done a thing to remove the stain.   The Clinton’s lost money in their Whitewater investments.  Charges for this fiasco involved them making money on illegal activity.  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  Yet, there are still individuals who point out that this issue shows a pattern of behavior that indicates criminality.  (Or at least is consistent with it).  The Whitewater scandal was nothing more than political bullshit.  Hurling that bullshit towards them resulted in political stains.  Investigation after investigation was shown to be nothing more than attempts to tarnish political careers and keep them from rising to the point where they are now.  In that respect, the political right succeeded in creating political stains, but have done nothing to impede political careers.

 

  • Vince Foster Suicide – Vince Foster was a childhood friend of Bill Clinton. He became a brilliant lawyer in Arkansas working with the Rose Law Firm.  When Hillary moved to Arkansas she was eventually hired by that firm.  Hillary was the first woman lawyer ever hired at Rose.  As such she encountered opposition from the “good ole boys” club within the firm, and others within Arkansas.  One needs to realize that Arkansas was not the hotbed of progressive thought during this time.  Hillary, Vince Foster, and Web Hubbell became close friends and Foster and Hubbell steered Hillary through the maze that she faced as the firms first woman lawyer.  Foster followed the Clinton’s to Washington, leaving the region of the country that he loved to serve in the Clinton Whitehouse.  Foster was a “fish out of water”.  He was a brilliant lawyer who endured incredible attacks from the Washington and National press.   Over time he began suffering from a deep depression, largely brought on by the attacks from the political right side of the press who basically spent a decade trying become the next Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein.   One day, he closed his briefcase, walked to a park and killed himself.  From the time of his suicide on, the scandal machine of the right and the political press, looking to uncover another “Watergate-style” scandal attributed  Fosters suicide to any number of issues involving the Clintons.   Even the infamous Rush Limbaugh (aka Flush Slimebaugh) spent on air time claiming that Foster was killed by someone and his body dumped in the park where he was found.   Innuendo about an affair with Hillary surfaced.  It was sickening.  In the end, the Clintons were absolved of all the ridiculous claims.   It turned out that Foster suffered from a deep depression that resulted in his taking his life.  Even in death, the attacks from the right did not stop.  Conspiracy theorists today still make the claims that the Clintons were somehow involved.  In truth, a man, loved and trusted by the Clinton’s killed himself.   End of story.

 

  • Benghazi – Benghazi is a tragedy.  It is an embarrassment.  It is a stain on the soul of America.  The actual events are heartbreaking.  The buck stops with Hillary Clinton, just as the buck stops with George Bush regarding the events of September 11th in New York City and the Pentagon.  Political leaders in positions of power have huge responsibilities.  That being said, the claims from the political right regarding Hillary’s responsibilities have been proven by at least seven investigations to be false.  She did not order the military to stand down.  That was an immediate lie propagated by those looking to take political advantage of the murder of Americans.  While the causes were somewhat unclear during the initial evaluations of the events, early attributions of causes do not in any way create some kind of legal liability.  Individuals who work in the Department of State are in constant danger as they serve our country in foreign lands.  Our State Department personnel have been being murdered for a century.  This was no different.  However, no one is pointing a finger at the Republicans in Congress who refused to increase State Department funding for protection of State Department personnel.   No one is saying much about the fact that the company that was hired to guard the embassy in Benghazi was never qualified and only chosen because limited funds were available.  Requests for increased funding for the State Department fell on deaf ears even when such requests were made by Condelezza Rice and Colin Powell when they served in the same position as Secretary of State.  If Congress refused prior requests, they certainly were not going to approve request from the Devil herself.   No funds, limited protection, dead State Department personnel.  That being said, the attack in Benghazi was nothing new.  During the George W. Bush Presidency, 66 Americans died at U.S. State department facilities.  During that time, there were 20 instances of terrorist attacks that killed at least one person in U.S. Embassies, Consulates and against traveling diplomatic personnel.   Benghazi was a heartbreaking event for the country and especially for State Department personnel.   One has to ask why the Benghazi attack resulted in at least 7 investigations and no similar events that occurred during the Bush Administration were ever investigated.   Nothing defines the political right’s hatred for “All Things Clinton” more than the fact that she has been accused of every possible crime with millions of tax dollars being spent in an effort to keep her from the Presidency.   The Benghazi investigations, once again, proved no more liability for Clinton than they would have discovered had they investigated any of the Bush-era attacks in an effort to destroy the sitting Secretary of State.   Members of the committee responsible for the latest investigation admitted during the investigation that it was purely a political witch-hunt designed to ruin Hillary’s chances of becoming President.  That is not to in any way diminish the deaths of those who were killed.   That being said, when she is elected on Tuesday, the money, the time, and the effort will once again fail to derail a remarkable career.

 

  • Email Server – I will not say that I am happy with the fact that Hillary decided to use a personal email server.  It was dumb.  It was short-sighted.  It was ignorant.  Just as dumb, short-sighted, and ignorant as similar efforts by  Colin Powell.  I understand that there may be differences between the type of servers and the protection they provide (or don’t provide).   However, the claims made by the right regarding this are, once again, far outreaching the facts as we know them. The “email scandal” has received more cable news coverage than all policy issues combined. The following quote from  Matthew Yglesias’ November 4th article on the Vox.com website sums up the email server issue. Clinton broke no laws according to the FBI itself. Her setup gave her no power to evade federal transparency laws beyond what anyone who has a personal email account of any kind has. Her stated explanation for her conduct is entirely believable, fits the facts perfectly, and is entirely plausible to anyone who doesn’t simply start with the assumption that she’s guilty of something.”  Deleting 33 thousand emails did not break the law and in fact was part of her attempts to meet the demands made upon her.  She was ordered to turn over any work related emails.  She had her lawyers go through each email and delete the ones that were not work related.  She then turned over all work related emails.  This of course does not assuage those that always start with the assumption that she is guilty of something.   For me, and obviously for the FBI, her actions did not reach the level of behavior that can be considered criminal.  The comparison between the top-secret information on this server and that of others who have been thrown in jail for “similar” behavior doesn’t hold water and you know it doesn’t.   If the FBI says they found no evidence of criminal intent, they found no evidence of intent that would be considered a crime.   It was not her shining moment.  However, it never reached the level of action that disqualifies her for me.   Others obviously have a different opinion, and they have the right, just as I have the right not to let this dumb event disqualify her.

 

  • The Clinton Foundation – This is a remarkable group of people who work world-wide to do nothing but good for less fortunate populations. Their goals are remarkable.  Their efforts are to be commended.   There has been no evidence of pay-for-play in any investigation that has occurred to this point.  This however, has not prevented Trump or his paid surrogates to make outrageous claims about the foundation and the way the Clintons operate it.    However, Trump surrogates consistently make outrageous claims about the Clintons pocketing huge sums of money and selling access.  Those claims are nothing more than the failing, flailing efforts of a political operation that is about to be put out of business by the American people.  The contrast between the efforts and goals of the Clinton Foundation and the Trump Foundation is remarkable.  There is no comparison and most of us find it amusing that charges are brought forward by individuals who represent a man who spends $20,000 of Trump Foundation funds for a painting of himself to be hung in one of his properties.   I guess it would be amusing if it wasn’t so sad.

 

  • Bill Clinton Affairs – Does anyone else on this planet find it troublesome that a man who has divorced two women, and had a very public affair during at least one of the marriages, attacks Hillary for making the decision to stay with her husband after the Monica Lewinski affair was revealed? Donald Trump attacking a woman who forgave the husband that she loves deeply is the epitome of hypocrisy.   The ignorance of such an attack is more proof that Donald Trump has an ignorant side in him that can’t be overcome with 3 AM tweets and hats that say “Make America Great Again.”  He is, quite probably, “The Most Disgusting Man In The World”.

 

This one is pretty long but I felt the topic deserved the time.  I live in Nevada, one of the “Swing States” in the Tuesday election.  Living in California for all those years tended to make my vote somewhat unimportant because of the nature of the electorate there.   I wouldn’t want to be a Republican voting in California any more than I would want to be a Democrat voting in Kansas.   My vote in Nevada is made important by the fact that whoever wants to become President pretty much must win the vote here.  I take my votes more seriously now than I used to just because of that fact.  At this point, I can predict with fairly high certainty that Clinton is going to win in Nevada.  Democrats have a large advantage in registered voters in Clark County and throughout the State.  Early voting tends to favor Democrats and this year 57,000 individuals voted on the last day of early voting.  I will not be surprised if at least 50% of the votes tallied in Nevada were early votes.   All of my family voted early.   Now we sit back and watch, nervously awaiting the election results.

While I am not happy with some things about Hillary Clinton, I find no truth in the statement that neither candidate is qualified.  One is qualified and one is not.  In fact, Hillary can be considered one of the most qualified individuals every to run for President of the United States.   The vast majority of complaints about Hillary come from extreme right-wing and are nothing more than efforts to eliminate her and are recognized as such by a significant number of American voters.   I have listed many reasons why I will not support Donald Trump.  This blog post is about one more of those reasons.  I don’t hate Hillary Clinton.

I have one more post that will be posted on Monday.   It is my number one reason for not supporting Donald Trump.   It is not a reason that most Hillary supporters even recognize.  But to me, it is more important than all others combined.   I look forward to putting it together and sharing it with you on Monday.

Nov
05

The thing about Donald Trump that is most infuriating to me is that he tries to make us think he is much more than the petulant child than he is.  Let me state this without hesitation.   I know of middle school children that have a better handle on how to behave in most situations than Donald.  He has the temperament of a juvenile.  The country doesn’t need a juvenile in the White House.

Most individuals grow out of the middle school mentality.  Donald has yet to move towards his freshman year.  He suffers from a severe case of arrested development.  You have probably come in contact with someone during your life that, after having a conversation with him or her, you came away thinking that you didn’t understand why they think and act the way they do.  Interaction with that type of person is infuriating.  Generally, you just walk away, shaking your head, hoping that you don’t have to spend a lot of time with them again.

An adult doesn’t interrupt.  In the second debate with Hillary Clinton, Donald interrupted her 55 times.  Not only did he interrupt her constantly, a large portion of his verbal onslaught was made up of lies.  Several times, she made a statement about something he said, and he interrupted with a one word response: “Wrong”.   When she would make a true claim about something he had said earlier, he would deny it in spite of the fact that what he said earlier was exactly what she claimed.

An adult learns to tell the truth.  As mentioned in an earlier post, no one lies as many times as Donald.  He lies about just about everything.   We have all known people who lie constantly.  We all know people that we just can’t trust in any situation.  Donald is provably that person.

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As one grows into adulthood, one usually learns how to handle criticism.  The ability to admit when you are wrong is a sign of maturity.  The ability to control ones anger is a sign that you are no longer in middle school.   Donald has none of these capabilities.  In fact, he brags about the fact that when his statements or actions are called to account, the only response is to fight back.  Someone who has matured in life will tend to evaluate criticism for its validity before responding.  I get that is hard to do, but a mature individual will not respond as Donald does.

My two-year old granddaughter is at that stage where she is learning about sharing.  Lately, I hear her using the word “mine” when her little brother touches something she considers to be hers.   With a little quiet conversation she eventually shares.   Over time, with many such conversations, she will eventually share her things and won’t be bothered by it.  Part of growing up is accepting the fact that one must be kind and courteous to others.  Trump seems to have rejected that notion.  Juvenile behavior towards others is to be expected if one is juvenile.   In adults, that behavior is not only unacceptable, it is infuriating.

His treatment of the former Miss Universe reminds me of why I taught high school instead of junior high. At least with most high school students, the process of maturing is ongoing.  His treatment of a partially disabled member of the press was not only mean and demeaning, it was cruel.  Donald is a bully.  He is that kid you know early on in high school that tended to torment you.  He is that kid who tries to make himself look more important by cutting you down to size.   He is also the kid who didn’t understand why you eventually beat the hell out of him.

The bully will never apply his craft to someone he thinks is his equal.  The bully only mistreats people whom he feels is beneath him on the social ladder.   The bully tries to climb the social ladder by stepping on people who get in his way.  In Trumpland, you bully people by threatening to sue them.  Hence, when 12 women came out with claims that his behavior toward them was unacceptable, he threatened to sue.  That is this bully’s most effective technique.  It will be very interesting to see if the Trump University lawsuit will be won by those whom he cheated.  That lawsuit is an example of using the bully’s favorite method to fight back.

Prior to his nomination, Trump tweeted out an unflattering picture of Heidi Cruz next to a flattering picture of his own wife.   Anderson Cooper called Trump on his behavior during an interview.  Trump responded by saying he thought it was “a nice picture of Heidi”. Cooper pushed back, responding,  “Come on, you are running for President of the United States.  “Look, I didn’t start it,” Trump said. Cooper responded with perhaps the most compelling response by any member of the media this year.  “Sir, with all due respect, that’s the argument of a five-year-old.” Trump immediately protested with a typical juvenile response.  “it is not!”

In three days, Donald will learn America’s response to his juvenile behavior.  Will his candidacy be rejected?  That rejection will come only if Americans stand up to him and put him in his rightful place. The United States can’t afford to have a juvenile in the White House.  Our world can’t afford to have a child filling the position of the most powerful human on the planet.

Nov
02

I don’t think I am the only person in the country who is tired of politicians not speaking the truth.  It is as if candidates don’t believe we are intelligent enough to discern the difference between truth and falsehood.   Insulting my intelligence is not a great way to earn my vote.  In this election we are being subjected to an unusually high level of false statements.

Don’t believe what is being parroted in the media both candidates are spouting lies at about the same rate.  The media is spewing a “false equivalence” in regard to candidate truthfulness.   There is no comparison between the two.  Those who spend their time documenting the words of the candidates have shown that Donald Trump lies to us about four times as much as Hillary Clinton.  There is a massive imbalance in the frequency of dishonesty among our Presidential candidates.

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According to one such study, Trump insults us with between 20 and 37 lies each day.  Another study shows that only 13% of the statements Donald made in a given time period were completely true.  In the same study it was shown that 71% of his statements were partially, substantially, or completely false.   In other words, about 3 out of every 4 words spoken were not truthful.  This from a man who calls his opponent “lying Hillary”.

One of the most amusing things about Donald’s lies is that he lies about his own past statements even though those statements are recorded on video.  It takes no real effort to expose his lies.  The false statements Trump is trying to get us to believe are not only given when speaking to his supporters at his rallies, he performed even worse during debates.   During one of the debates he uttered 104 false statements.  Clinton made 13 false statements during the same debate.

There are three possibilities that can explain the origins of false statements.   The first is that the person is lying.  The second is that he is confused.  The third is that he is unwilling to learn facts.  I would be hard pressed to deny that Trump doesn’t fit all three categories.

The individual who worked with Trump on his “Art of The Deal” book, spent hours and hours with him.  After spending literally hundreds of hours interviewing him, he made a statement that pretty much sums up Donald’s lying tendencies.  He said that he believes that Trump lies strategically.  In other words, the reason he lies is because he wants a certain outcome and he knows that stating the truth will not get him what he wants.  There can’t be a more personally damning feature of an individual’s fitness for any leadership position.

Basically, Donald Trump is a bullshit artist who has captured the hearts and minds of a large portion of the conservative electorate in this country.  The bullshit artist isn’t concerned with the truth and makes things up to suit his purpose.  In that respect, Donald Trump sits high on the list of individuals who have used these techniques to persuade.

Politicians result to bullshit when discussing topics they are not well versed in.  They do not care about facts.  If a fact doesn’t align with their message, they jettison the facts and spread their garbage hoping that people will believe them.

Mark Peter’s in his book Bullshit: A Lexicon, researched synonyms for bullshit dating back as far as the 1400’s.   One of the more amusing terms that he discovered was a word that was defined as describing insignificance or nonsense.   That word, used hundreds of years ago is the word TRUMPERY.  It is hard not to laugh when learning that fact.

I will state once again that any individual has the right to vote for Donald Trump.   However, such individuals do not have the right to claim that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump spew equal volumes of bullshit and lies as they seek the Presidency.  That claim is a perfect example of Trumpery.  A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for a bullshit artist, a liar like none other than we have seen in electoral politics.  I will not vote for an individual who thinks so little of my intelligence as to try to convince me that his positions are what are right for the country by lying about them to convince me.  He has convinced me that his Trumpery eliminates him from consideration.

Oct
30

A question that always seems to guide my thinking in regard to all things political is whether or not the individual has earned my trust.  Here are some relevant questions regarding the “trust issue” as it pertains to any given political candidate.

  • Has the candidate done anything to earn my trust?
  • Has the candidate done anything that would cause me not to trust him or her?
  • Does the candidate have a history of saying only what their political base wants to hear?
  • Can the candidates statements be verified as true?

Unfortunately, this years’ election features two candidates that are perceived (rightly or wrongly) as individuals who do not tell the truth.   In that regard, this election has become a choice between the lesser of two evils in the minds of many.

I have always recoiled from individuals who use the “trust me” verbal tactic when trying to prove their point.  In that regard Donald Trump is the “King of the Trust Me, I Know More” candidates.  Let me give you two examples of how Donald has tried and failed to convince the American Electorate of his worthiness.

“Trust Me, I Know More Than The Generals”

I am trying to figure out where Donald developed the knowledge of warfare, military intelligence, and military tactics.   He didn’t serve in the military.  He did however get sent to a military school by his parents because of his basic lack of discipline.  Did he somehow learn about how to defeat ISIS back in his military school days?  You and I know the answer to that question.   What I can’t figure out is why he thinks we should trust that he knows anything about the military.  He is so ignorant of the basic tenants of the military that he believes he can get them do obey illegal orders just because he would be President.   That being said, there are thousands of people who attend his political rally’s that must believe him when he says he knows more than the professional military’s top commanders.  You will excuse me if I just go ahead and use my own sense of intelligence and reasoning to reject his claim of mental superiority over career military commanders who have been in combat and have served this nation with pride.  His statement is an insult to those who have served and are serving.

“Trust Me, No One Respects Women More Than I Do”

I have heard this repeated over and over by a man whose basic attitude towards women is that they are placed in his world to be used as he desires.  Trump’s claims that every single one of the twelve women who have reported his physical and mental assaults on them is not believable and never will be.   Now he is saying that every single one of them will soon be joining that not so exclusive club of individuals he is suing, or going to sue.   If you think Donald Trump is going to sue these women you need to take a hard look at what will happen to him if he does it.   Any lawsuit of this nature will require Donald to be deposed about every aspect of his personal sexual history.   Every statement made and recorded whether it be in a bus on the way to a meeting with a young actress or one of his boastful appearances on the Howard Stern show will be open to analysis by defense lawyers trained in the art of exposing truth.  Any defense lawyer with a brain wave would absolutely relish the opportunity to depose him.   It isn’t going to happen, and he knows we know it.   Yet, he makes that preposterous claim expecting that we should believe him because he is Donald Trump.

Developing trust in a person is not something that is done quickly.  Developing trust is a process.  The process usually involves observing what a person says and seeing if they are true to their word.  Donald Trumps behavior during this election contest is not something that allows me to develop a blind trust in him.  In fact, it occurs to me that he has told so many lies, and behaved in so many ways that are unacceptable, that the only trust a person could have in him would be blind trust.  Blind trust is not something I can use when deciding to support an individual for the most powerful leadership position on the planet.  I don’t trust him, and never will.

Oct
26

We all know people who belong to the “Obama is a Muslim” crowd.  We see them on television.  We hear them at political events.  We may be related to them.  We may be friends with them.  We hear their proclamations and we realize that, in reality, there are a huge number of totally gullible individuals out there who parade their ignorance.  Even after Donald Trump’s feeble attempt to end the “birther” issue, there are thousands who still believe that which is untrue.

Contrary to what a lot of people believe, neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton started the ongoing “birther” campaign against Barack Obama.  The disgusting birther campaign started in 2004 during Obama’s campaign for the U.S. Senate.  At that time, Andy Martin, an Illinois politician was alleged to be the author of an email entitled “Who Is Barack Obama?”  The main thrust of the email centered around lies about Obama’s ethnicity, religion, and birthplace.

Donald Trump’s claim that the birther campaign was started by Hillary Clinton is provably false, as is much of the rhetoric espoused by the Birther King.   During his 2008 Presidential campaign, those prone to conspiratorial efforts started fomenting the lies associated with the soon-to-be-Presidents birthplace.  For her part, Hillary Clinton immediately denied that there was any truth to the birther stories that began circulating at that time.

For the record, Obama was born in Kapiolani Women’s Hospital in Hawaii.  However, the fact of the location of his birth was never accepted by many conspiracy-spreading members in the Red State region of the country.

The real thrust of the birther theories that swamped the country evolved around the fact that Obama’s father was born in Kenya, and was a Muslim.  The theory projects the birthplace and religion of the father on to the son.  Birther’s have relied on a giant leap in logic (huge shock there) to assume that Obama is a Muslim and has allegiance to Islamic terrorists who are creating havoc on the planet.  At the very least, in their minds, he is an Islamic “sympathizer”.

Donald Trump spent half a decade fanning the flames of the birther issue.  Basically, the basic goal of the birther’s is to prove that President Obama is not “one of us”.   Since he is not “one of us” his Presidency not legitimate.  Here are some of Trump’s comments on the issue.

  • During television interviews in 2011 Trump stated “I’m starting to think that he was not born here.”
  • In 2012 he used a twitter rant to state that he had an “extremely credible source” stating the Obama’s birth certificate was “a fraud”.
  •  In 2012, Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “a lot of people don’t agree with that birth certificate. A lot of people do not think it’s authentic.” (In typical Trump fashion, he calls attention to statements of others but doesn’t really go out on a limb and tell us that he is the one fomenting the issue).
  •  In 2013 he used twitter again stating How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s “birth certificate” died in plane crash today. All others lived”  (Can you spell “conspiracy”?)
  •  In 2014 he invited hackers to “please hack Obama’s college records and check his place of birth.”
  • In 2015 at a town hall event at a town-hall event, Mr. Trump didn’t denounce a comment from an attendee who said Mr. Obama isn’t an American. The man said, “We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American.” Mr. Trump interrupted, saying, “We need this question.”

In September of this year, Mr. Trump briefly addressed the issue at an event at his new hotel in Washington. “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.” In his remarks, he also falsely blamed Hillary Clinton for the birther controversy.

The truth is, Trump did his best to “slyly” advance the birther issue throughout his future base of support.  He claims to have ended the controversy.   First of all, there was never any controversy.  He didn’t create the controversy.   However, he advanced it regularly to the point that a large percentage of Conservatives who tended to grasp at any and every conspiracy theory as long as it fit their view that the country’s first African -American President was really African and therefore was not qualified to serve.

His efforts worked very well.  Even today, the “Our President is a secret Muslim” crowd permeates the Republican Party.   There is no room for that kind of ignorance in the electorate.   Yet, that ignorance is on display by those who believed Trumps birther lies.

At a time when the Trump campaign seems to be failing regularly, this is just one more reason that I will never support any candidate who spreads garbage disguised as truth in efforts to shape the all-to-willing hearts and minds that support his candidacy.

Oct
12

After a while, one just has to wonder if Donald Trump really believes what he says. Is every word out of his mouth designed to stimulate a certain portion of the electorate that he believes will propel him to become the leader of the free world?  Sometimes I have a hard time believing he is stating his beliefs.   If he really believes what he is saying, it is not hard to make the argument that he is the least qualified nominee for President in our lifetime and maybe in the history of the Republic.

Trump on Torture

Back in February of this year, Trump made the following statement:  “Torture works. OK, folks? You know, I have these guys—”Torture doesn’t work!”—believe me, it works. And waterboarding is your minor form. Some people say it’s not actually torture. Let’s assume it is. But they asked me the question: What do you think of waterboarding? Absolutely fine. But we should go much stronger than waterboarding

 There has been no evidence that information gained during “enhanced interrogation” as practiced by the CIA during the past decade or so has resulted in gaining truthful information.  In fact, the information gained during these sessions has been shown to be reliably false and nothing more than an attempt to say what the victim of torture thinks his torturers wanted to hear.

In 2014, the  Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said: “The CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.” The report, released in 2014, adds, “The CIA’s justification for the use of its enhanced interrogation techniques rested on inaccurate claims of their effectiveness.”

Those who have studied the effects of torture have shown that it doesn’t work, and in fact is counterproductive, resulting in false information.   Since the point of the interrogation is to gain information, using techniques that provide false information while staining the integrity of the United States worldwide is counterproductive to everything we believe in about the nature of our country.

Note – In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, Trump has disavowed his previous statements on waterboarding, stating that he would not require members of the armed forces to do anything that was against the law.  That being said, this is just one instance of him saying something to make himself appear tougher than his opponent that backfired on him causing him to flip-flop on the issue.

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  Trump on War

In November 2015 Trump made the following comment at one of his rallys.  “”I love war, in a certain way.”  He also commented that he  “knows more about ISIS than the generals do” and calling “nuclear, the power, the devastation … very important to me.”

I find it interesting that a man who has never served in the military, never experienced the horror that is war, would make a comment like that.  I also find it interesting that a man such as this has recently made a comment indicating that our soldiers who are suffering the effects of PTSD were basically to weak to overcome the effects of war.

Anyone who has served in combat, or who knows someone who has served undoubtedly knows the ignorance of the “I Love War” comment.   But then, ignorance does tend to be visited quite often during his rally’s.

Khan family

Trump on Nuclear Weapons     

Trumps own comments about Nuclear Weapons are fairly easy to find.  Here are some of the more interesting ones:

  • Trump said he might use nuclear weapons and questioned why we would make them if we wouldn’t use them.
  • Trump said he was open to nuking Europe because it’s a “big place”
  • Trump said that “you want to be unpredictable” with nuclear weapons
  • Trump said he wasn’t that worried about more countries getting nukes since “it’s not like, gee whiz, nobody has them”
  • Trump had no idea what the “nuclear triad” was.
  • Trump started talking about nuclear weapons in Pakistan and made no sense at all
  • Trump said he’d be OK with a nuclear arms race in Asia
  • He said it didn’t matter if Saudi Arabia acquired nuclear weapons because “it’s going to happen anyway”

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Trumps supporters tend to discount these statements as irrelevant.  That being said, it is obvious that Donald Trump has no idea of the devastation that would occur on the planet should he unleash the country’s nuclear arsenal or allow others to gain one.   That kind of ignorance has consequences, ones that tend to be lost on his supporters.

Trumps stances on torture, war, and nuclear weapons illustrate, once again, the complete lack of knowledge on the issues and a complete disregard for the qualifications required to be the leader of the free world.

 

Oct
08

Donald Trump is the gift that keeps on giving!

As much as his supporters would like to prove otherwise, it is painfully obvious that he is “that guy”.   We all know the type.  We have seen him many times over our lifetime.  Words do not adequately describe his behavior or the sense of entitlement that fosters it.   The hard truth is that Donald Trump is a man that believes that women were placed on this planet to serve him.

There is no disinfectant for contact with this type of man.  There is no way to explain away the thought processes within him that are at the core of his beliefs.  He is repugnant.  He is disgusting.  He is demeaning to the human condition.  He is a nightmare of a human being.   Contact with him, or his words, requires the one to burn their clothes and take a bath in the hopes of washing the stench off.  Unfortunately, there is no cure for contact with him.  Once infected, always affected.

I am amazed at the early attempts to justify his lewd and demeaning comments about women.   Those who dismiss his comments immediately claim that Hillary Clinton is every bit as bad a human being because she is married to whom she is married to as if that somehow justifies their support for this dumpster fire of a candidate.   Basically, the comments flow along the following lines:  “What he had said is bad but I can still support him because Hillary is married to Bill”.   Let me say this for the record.  If you can still support Trump after hearing his latest remarks, there is a distinct possibility that you have a complete lack of understanding as to what those remarks indicate about him.

Explain that to your sons and daughters.  Explain that to your wife.  Explain that to your mom or your dad.  Explain that to your secretary or any other woman that you come in contact with.

One other possibility for supporting him is that your core ideological beliefs outweigh any supposed spiritual enlightenment that you have received as you travel down the highways and byways of your life.  To some, that statement may seem harsh.  The truth is not always pretty.   If you claim to be a person with spiritual values, dismissing the obvious truths about the man you support to be the leader of the free world, is proof that said values take second place when it comes to evaluating an individuals’ qualifications for the Presidency of the United States.   If that is the case, what you are saying is that your political beliefs trump your spiritual beliefs.

Any evaluation of the Republican political machine at this point in the race has to take into account the fact that the ship is sinking and those who have remained on it through this journey are jumping off at a rapid pace.  Republican politicians are coming to the conclusion that remaining in support of the Trump candidacy will affect their own political careers.  Once infected, always affected.  Politically speaking, remaining with Trump after these latest revelations of his character as a human being will damage their standing with the people they serve.

There are those who think he should terminate his candidacy immediately.  After a fairly strong performance in the Vice Presidential debate, Mike Pence kicked reporters out of the room and refused to answer questions about his running mate.   I have a suggestion for Mr. Pence.   Terminate your candidacy.   Staying on this sinking ship will forever scar any attempt at future candidacy.  Terminating your candidacy in the face of these latest revelations will do more for your future political life than any other action.   Standing up to Trump at this point in time will absolutely solidify your position within the Republican Party.  This ship is not going to float much longer.  There is no justification for staying on a ship that will be at the bottom of the political ocean soon.  Is your loyalty to a specific person or is it to those whose political beliefs match yours?

There is one other observation to be made here.   It is not lost on me that Donald Trump is going to be described as the one person in the history of the United States that was defeated in a battle for the Presidency by a woman.  There is something satisfying to me in that eventuality.  A man, who has spent his life with the belief that woman are placed on the planet to serve his needs, is going to live the rest of his life knowing that a member of the group placed on earth to serve him has completely destroyed his dreams.   Destruction of his dreams is the payback for a life lived with a sense of entitlement.  It is only fitting that the dreams of leadership of the free world were destroyed by a member of a group of people that he has disrespected and marginalized for most of his life.

One of the quotes that was revealed yesterday was when Donald Trump said of a married woman “I moved on her like a bitch”.    No Donald, payback is a bitch.

Oct
07

 

This is the 3rd in a series of blogs listing reasons why I will not vote for Donald Trump.  This one probably isn’t something that most think about.  It involves Trumps latching on to the tired old fiscal theory that has come to be known as “Trickle Down Economics”.  I will keep this one short, since the vast majority of us are definitely not economists, and the topic may not create any interest.

Image result for Trickle Down Cartoons

First of all, “trickle-down” is not a term used by most economists.  It is a purely political term.  Basically, this economic theory suggests that giving large tax breaks to the rich will give them even more money than they already have.  This theory depends upon those who are getting the tax break to create more jobs with their extra money which then boosts the economy. A growing economy would be good for the middle class.  In essence, the money “trickles down” from the rich to the middle class.

The most recent experiment in the “cut taxes for the rich” crowd involved our most recent Republican President, George W. Bush.  As a result of the Bush-era tax cuts, the highest-income earners paid the lowest rates in U.S. history and that net job growth during the Bush administration was zero.   The idea that the rich would create jobs with their extra money definitely fell flat on its face.

The real question is “what are those that receive the tax breaks doing with their extra money”?   Generally speaking,  money from these tax breaks usually ends up being hoarded in overseas tax shelters and other “safe havens”, or if it is invested, it is typically in the equities market where the profits are taxed at a mere 15%-20% because they are considered Capital Gains.

The tax plan that Donald Trump has revealed is basically the same fiscal policy that has proven to provide very little job growth, exploded the debt, stymied economic growth, and increased the gap between the very rich and the middle class.  Since I presume that most of those who read this would not be classified as belonging to the “very rich” crowd, a vote for Trump is a vote that, at its most fundamental form, is a vote against our own economic interests.    In this fiscal environment, it makes no sense for most of us.

Sep
27

Generally speaking, Republicans vote for Republicans and Democrats vote for Democrats.  It has always been that way and nothing that has happened in this year’s contest will change that general trend in the future.  However, this election is different.   With about 6 weeks to go before the November election, there are rumblings from a large number of significant Republicans.  The bottom line is, a great number of them refuse to back Donald Trump.

There is no way one can downplay the significance of the Republican exodus from Donald Trump.  There is no other way to describe the reasons for this other than the fact that those who are not supporting Trump, see him for who he is and realize that he is the least qualified candidate.  They tend to think he is dangerous. They doubt his capability.   They tend to think he doesn’t support their Conservative ideology.  They tend to think a Trump Presidency would be a disaster at home and abroad.  In a nutshell, they think he is bad news for their political party and are willing to risk their reputation within the party by refusing to vote for him just because he is a Republican.  Here is an incomplete list along with some of the comments they made.

Richard Hanna – Current member of Congress (Called Trump a National Embarrassment)

George H.W. Bush – Former President of the United States

Henry Paulson – Former Treasury Secretary (Bush)

Carlos Gutierrez – Former Commerce Secretary (Bush)

Louis Sullivan –health and human services secretary(Bush) (“I detest Donald Trump”)

Rosario Marin – U.S. Treasurer (Bush) (I will stand against a tyrannical Presidency)

John Negroponte – Director of National Intelligence

Richard Armitage – Deputy Secretary of State (Bush) (Doesn’t appear to be a Republican)

Brent Scowcroft-Advisor to 3 Republican Presidents (Doesn’t have judgement and knowledge required)

James Clade – Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (There is no choice)

Richard Painter-Chief White House Ethics Lawyer (Hillary Clinton is the only qualified major party candidate)

William Reilly – Environmental Protection Agency

Allen Steinberg – Regional EPA Administrator

9 Other Bush Administration Officials

Frank Lavin – Reagan Administration Political Director (Donald Trump deserves to lose)

Doug Elmets – Former Reagan Spokesman (Can’t live one day with Donald Trump as President)

Jim Cicconi – Former Reagan and Bush Aide (he would set our nation on a very dark path)

Charles Fried – Former Solicitor General (brutal, substantially incoherent and authoritarian tendencies)

Robert Kagan – Advisor to both McCain and Romney

Max Boot – Council on Foreign Relations (Hillary is vastly more preferable than Trump)(the more he talks the more obvious he makes it that he is totally unfit to be commander in chief.)

Peter Mansoor – Former Aide to CIA Director David Petraeus (First Democratic President I will ever vote for)

Meg Whitman – Former Hewlitt-Packard Chief Executive (His demagoguery has undermined the fabric of our national character.)

Chris Shays – Former Congressman – (There is a time when you put your country first)

Mark Salter – Former McCain Advisor (Whatever Hillary Clinton’s fault, she is not ignorant, hateful, or a nut!  He possesses the emotional maturity of a 6-year old)

Sally Bradshaw – Former Jeb Bush Advisor (I can’t look my children in the eye and say I voted for Donald Trump)

Mike Treiser – Former Mitt Romney Aide (In the face of hatred, bigotry, violence, and small-mindedness, this time I am with her)

Colin Powell – Former Secretary of State (Donald Trump is a National disgrace who is in the process of destroying himself)

Harry Sloan – Major Republican donor  (Does not embody the values that make me a life-long Republican)

Frank Lavin-Former White House Political Director (The bankruptcies reflect a man who either lacks reasonable business judgement or lacks business ethics)

Tony Fratto – Former Deputy Press Secretary (Bush) (is not fit for office)

Mitt Romney – Former Republican Nominee For President (I wanted my grand kids to see, that I simply could not ignore what Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and a temperament unfit for the leader of the free world.) 

Karl Rove – Former Bush Political Director(a complete idiot who is graceless and divisive)

Susan Collins – Senator from Maine (I have become increasingly dismayed by his constant stream of cruel  comments and his inability to admit error or apologize)

Lindsay Graham – Senator from South Carolina (If anybody is looking for an off-ramp, this is probably it. There will come a time when love of country will trump hatred of Hillary)

George Shultz – Secretary of State (Reagan) (God help us!)

Paul Wolfowitz – Deputy Secretary of Defense (Bush) (The only way you can be comfortable about Trump’s foreign policy is to believe that he doesn’t really mean anything he says)

Robert Gates – Former Secretary of State and head of the CIA (Trump is beyond repair and unfit to be commander in chief)

Donald Gregg – National Security Advisor (Bush) (Dangerous, doesn’t understand the complex world we live in, and is without any moral or international philosophy)

Erick Erickson – national conservative radio host (I will put my country before my party, and decline to help the voters in this country commit national suicide)

John Warner – Former 5-term Senator from Virginia – announcing endorsement on 9/28/16 (Comments to follow)

There are literally hundreds more that I could have included in this post.  Neither you or I have the time to include them all and read all of their comments.  That being said, the Republican exodus from Donald Trump sends a clear message to the electorate.    The real question that will be determined in November is whether or not the electorate is listening.

Comments always welcome