Independent Investigations
A Place For Considerate Political Discourse!

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.

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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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Sep
24

This is the first in a series of blog posts that explains my reasoning behind my refusal to vote for Donald Trump.  At this point I have eleven main reasons, but honestly, I could have come up with more.

Reason #11 – Donald Trumps Experiences Do Not Qualify Him For The Highest Office In The Land

Let me get this straight.  Donald Trump wants to be President of the United States, the most powerful position on the planet.  He expects me to vote for a complete novice at all things political whether they be related to domestic policy or foreign policy.  He expects me to trust that his business career has prepared him for the highest office in the land.  At this point, I will not discuss his other qualifications or lack thereof; however, this one is both amusing and confusing to me.

I am amused because I have followed politics pretty heavily since 1972 when I was among the first 18 year old Americans to vote in a Presidential election.  At times I have agreed with the man sitting at the desk of the oval office.  At times I have disagreed.  But the point is this.  All of the men that sat at that desk had some semblance of experience that prepared them to do the job.  Obama served in Congress.  George W. Bush was Governor of Texas.  Bill Clinton was Governor of Arkansas.  George H.W. Bush was head of the C.I.A. among other things.  Ronald Reagan was Governor of California.  All served the country in one way or another prior to taking office.  Donald Trump has never served the country.  In fact, he has never served anyone but himself.  Serving others is completely foreign to Donald.

The experience of running a business, while an important endeavor, does not prepare one to run the most powerful country on the planet.  Business acumen or lack thereof, is not a legitimate qualifier for this position.  The government is not run like a business.  There are built in checks and balances to the power of the Presidency afforded by the Constitution of the United States.  In Trump’s businesses, he has all the power and all of the decisions are his alone.

Trump has never commanded anything close to the Armed Forces of the United States.  He has never dealt with Congress other than making contributions to members who he felt would treat him and his business interests positively.  He has never dealt with the Supreme Court unless one of his thousands of business and personal lawsuits has reached that hallowed hall.

The civil servants that make up the government outnumber political appointees by about 1000 to 1.  Donald can fire his political appointees.  He can’t fire civil servants.  The complete control he enjoys over his business interests is not what he would find if he serves as President.  He has never served in any political position, and in fact, has a questionable record as to whether he served anyone but himself during his entire life.   Yet, he wants me to give him the keys to the Whitehouse.   I think not.

I am somewhat confused by his request for my vote.  Does he think so little of my reasoning powers to suggest that I forego all rational thought processes and go against my basic instincts and vote for him?  Does he think that the way he talks, and acts, will somehow overcome my ability to discern his utter lack of qualification for the job?  Does he think that so little of the American electorate that he believes that their desire for a “change candidate” will overcome their ability to discern that he is the least qualified individual ever to be nominated by a major political party?

Obviously he does, and obviously it has worked up to this point.  That is the scariest part of this race for the Presidency.  Does the majority of the American electorate really have such a low opinion of the Office of the President that they will completely ignore the obvious and cast their vote for a complete novice?  Obviously, he believes they do.

You are always welcome to comment on my posts.  They are meant to stimulate dialogue.  Whether you agree or disagree, your reasoned comments are always welcome.

Look for my next post in this series.  It will deal with the fact that so many highly qualified Conservatives completely reject the Trump candidacy.

 

Sep
16

I just found out from that pillar of all that is truth, that indeed Barack Obama was born in the United States.  After almost eight years in office, what a relief it is to discover that Obama met the qualifications for seeking the Presidency of the United States.  I can now rest assured that the past 8 years were legitimate.  Imagine my relief!

Let’s talk about the reality of the movement largely created and energized by the words and actions of Donald Trump.  First, and foremost, there was never any doubt that Obama was born in the United States.  The effort to delegitimize the Obama Presidency was nothing more than a personal attack designed to undermine his efforts as President.  There was never any “there, there” and yet, people who knew better continued their ignorant and incessant claims that lingered throughout his two terms in office.

I am no fan of conspiracy theories or theorists.  I have always felt it took a special lack of intelligence and honor to propagate that which has no relationship to the truth.   To persuade like-minded individuals to rally with their conspiracy-driven brothers and sisters is a special act of cowardice reserved for individuals to whom truth and fairness are not part of their DNA.

Donald Trump is King among this group.  His role as King Conspirator immediately qualifies any utterance from his conspiracy-driven soul to the trash heap of ignorant ideas and provably false dribble.  Yet, a fairly considerable number of individuals in the United States support his efforts to gain the Presidency.  Many of them will refuse to believe his terse claim made today that Obama was born in the United States.

Imagine the relief felt in the State of Hawaii.  Now they can rest assured that their State is actually one of the 50 States comprising our country.   That is no small deal.

There are three possible scenarios for why the Donald spread this ignorant dribble.

  1. The first is that he actually believed it.  That alone disqualifies him from serving in any public office, let alone the Presidency of the United States. One who believes ideas and utterances that have been soundly refuted by fact is living in a world of their own making that very few relate to.  It takes a special lack of inquisitiveness to believe that which is provably false.  Yet thousands believe.
  2. The second is that he knew that his ignorant claims would find fertile ground in a rather large group of individuals that might one day propel him to become the Republican nominee for President of the United States. You see, any Republican worth his salt could never agree to an Obama Presidency.  It is against their political DNA.  Imagine the horror experienced in the bowels of the Republican Party when they come to realize that they could not find a candidate to defeat the first African-American candidate from their rival party.  In fact, it happened twice.  The embarrassment is palpable.
  3. The third is that he knew his ignorant claims would draw attention to himself and thus get the opportunity to revel in the spotlight created by his efforts. There is nothing more appealing to Donald Trump than the affections of those who believe in him.

The utterances of Donald Trump today regarding the birthplace of Barack Obama have completely pulled the rug out from underneath a huge number of his followers whose support he is counting on.  They believe in him.  They trust him.  They want to support him.  Now they discover that he has been lying to them for 8 years.  Imagine my relief.   However, you can count on one very disturbing result.   It will not make a difference in their support.

Remember, they still have that “Obama is a Muslim” fact to base their support on.  Trump couldn’t possibly change his stance on this one could he?  Possibly they could count on the “Clinton Death Squad” theory.  Maybe they could hang their allegiance to the “Vince Foster Was Murdered” scenario.  Better yet, let’s focus on the “Whitewater Affair”.    If all of those fall to the wayside, their best bet will be that Hillary is suffering from some kind of physical ailment that makes her behave incoherently and irrationally.   “It’s true, I saw it on Fox News!”   Isn’t that the same place they learned about Obama being born in Africa?

What does it say about one’s base of political support that requires belief in provably false ideas and statements?   It says that they believe their nominee is qualified to be President of the United States.

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.