Friday, April 22, 2016

MAJOR FLIP FLOP: Trump is "Evolving" to Become Presidential Material (Oops)

The Five Faces of Donald
(No, not new movie, although it seems like a rerun)

GOP Position on Handling Trump

Wow talk about flip-flop or backpedal or whatever cliché we choose … Trump is expert at that. Cite this update (original post follows below):
WATERBURY, CT (AP)  —  A confident Donald Trump told supporters (April 232) that he is “not toning it down,” just one day after his chief adviser, Paul Manafort, assured RNC officials that the GOP front-runner will show more restraint on the campaign trail.
Trump struck back saying, in part: “I'm not toning it down. Isn't it nice that I'm not one of these teleprompter guys?”
Manafort, just one day before, told top Republican officials that his candidate (Trump – known for his over-the-top persona and brashness) has only been “projecting an image, and the part that he's been playing is now evolving for what the expects.”
Trump now turns back and jokes about how it's easy to be presidential, making a series of faux somber faces. But he said told the crowd he can be serious and policy-minded when he has to be, adding: “You know, they say: ‘Donald can be different when he's in a room.' Who isn't? When I'm out here talking to you people, I've got to be different.”
Whew boy – so, Mr. Trump, what is your size? These probably fit just fine.

Related from here, too.

Original Post Here: 
Trump's new campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is trying to make the case to RNC members and anyone else who will listen that Trump has two personalities: One in private, and one on stage, and that he is “evolving.” (* My observation: I thought GOPers didn’t believe in evolution?).
Manafort said that when he's out on the stage, when he's talking about the kinds of things he's talking about on the stump, he's projecting an image that's for that purpose, but you'll start to see more depth of the person, the real person. You'll see a real different guy, then added: “He gets it. The part that he's been playing is evolving into the part that now you've been expecting, but he wasn't ready for, because he had first to complete the first phase. The negatives will come down. The image is going to change. He's trying to moderate. He's getting better.”
While Trump's top advisers were promising GOP leaders that Trump would moderate his message, the candidate himself was telling voters he wasn't ready to act presidential, saying in part to a crowd in Harrisburg, PA: “I just don't know if I want to do it yet. At some point, I'm going to be so presidential that you people will be so bored.” 
Trump then predicted that the size of his crowds would dwindle if he dialed back his rhetoric so he implied he has to stay and be nasty, insulting, and rude (I guess) for a while longer – i.e., until he locks up the GOP nomination.
Then across GOP la-la land:
  • We see and hear some Republican conservatives starting to talk and champion and hawk conservative types like NE Sen. Ben Sasse; or Former TX Gov. Rick Perry; or Former IN Gov. Mitch Daniels; or, even the current IN Gov. Mike Pence.
  • Still some other Republicans want someone with impeccable national-security credentials like Retired Marine General and Former Commandant, James Mattis.
  • Even a smaller group of Republicans want Mitt Romney to get another shot.
  • Then there are a few moderate Republicans who like NV Gov. Brian Sandoval or Former MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Trump is trying to banish (I guess) or simply forget his previous offensive talk  about women, fights with TV anchors and reporters, or his uninformed comments about abortion, birth control, and women’s healthcare in general. E.J. Dionne writes in part that Trump is going about as establishment as he can

Whew boy. Hang on tight. It’s going to be a helluva rocky route all the way until November 8, but the scenery along the way is not going to be pretty. Historic race, yes; but, not the kind we probably will be proud to remember afterwards.

Summary as expressed by “The Donald” himself about becoming president? Yep, zero chance:

Friday, April 15, 2016

Supreme Court Vacancy: In GOP Death Grip for Raw Politics and Unprincipled

Scalia Vacancy Looms Due to GOP Hardheadedness

McConnell "Rationale" Makes Zero Sense

Several major updates the Supreme Court Scalia Vacancy:

First Update (April 12, 2016):  WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Judge Merrick Garland the Obama Supreme Court nominee to replace former Justice Scalia has failed to persuade Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) during a private meeting on Tuesday to hold confirmation hearings on his nomination with Grassley saying afterwards: “The committee in the Senate won't be moving forward during this hyper-partisan election year.” (Said Grassley following a 70-minute with Judge Garland in the Senate dining room).

Related: Grassley also sought to block Garland's nomination to the federal appeals court on which he currently serves as chief judge some 20 years ago.

Judge Garland also met with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) one of the dwindling number of moderates. Her office stated that she too had closed the door on confirming Garland. Republicans who control the Senate are refusing to advance the nomination. They are obstructionists by any definition by ignoring their constitutional obligations to proceed.

This recently from the White House press secretary: “If Republicans continue blocking Merrick Garland for the Scalia vacancy until Mr. Obama leaves office then it is almost impossible to expect that Democrats wouldn’t retaliate if given the opportunity if they were to control the Senate. What's to stop Democrats who are in charge of the Senate when a Republican is in office, from saying, 'Well, we're just going to wait the four years to fill the vacancy.' There is no material difference in that argument. That would represent a breakdown of the process.”

This reminder from McConnell – you know the Senator who pledged that the GOP’s main mission was to prevent Mr. Obama from winning a second term – how’d that work out, Mitch?

The White House press secretary is spot on … and the GOP and we all know it. The GOP would be the first to scream 'Stop the nasty DEM partisanship.' 

However, the GOP has no one to blame except themselves. They want to see the problem and the solution? Try looking in the nearest mirror.

Thanks for stopping by ... and if you can, put pressure on your GOP senator to move forward and fulfill their constitutional duty.

Friday, April 8, 2016

GOP Candidates Hit the Big Apple Seeking Delegate Votes Before Cleveland

GOP 2016 Original Field

Trump, Cruz, Kasich: Last of the Field

Cruz & Trump: Top 2 Delegate Count 

Door #1

Door #2

May be just my view — a single view — but, I suspect it's the same view of millions of campaign watchers like me.

We are about to see the GOP choose between their top two candidates: Donald J. Trump or Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz. That in my view is tantamount to the GOP being handed the death sentence, and then being asked to choose between the electric chair or firing squad...!!!  

As I said, my view, but perhaps shared by millions. In essence, if one is truly honest, this 2016 GOP presidential field may be the worse candidate field in the last three or four cycles — possibly the worst in GOP party nominating history.  

We are about to see a very nasty convention in Cleveland if Trump or Cruz can be believed will happen if they do not get the nomination on the first ballot.  

Stay tuned. And, for my GOP friends, hang on tight.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz, the Canadian Weasel: Favors Greed over Workers

A Silly Question, right Senator  Cruz
(Working for More Profits to Move Off-shore)

Working for Working Americans

All that RED and Corporate "Green"

Latest from Cruz on this topic: He said in essence during a radio interview that he supports national “right-to-work” legislation, which is a type of anti-labor law that WI passed last year in an effort to cripple the state’s unions, as well as a lot of RED states.

Cruz, who is currently leading in the Wisconsin polls, said in an interview on WTMJ radio in Milwaukee that such right-to-work laws are a “fundamental right,” according to the Associated Press. Right-to-work laws are designed to severely weaken unions by forcing them to provide services without payment from workers.  

He also said during the interview that supporting a right-to-work law will show that government “sides with the working men and women of this country.” He added that Wisconsin’s law restricting unions “is exactly what we need to do in Washington.” 

“Ted” Cruz is the new “Tail Gunner” Joe McCarthy – scare the crap out of people and hope for good results. 

Related: Union’s bottom line is to help hard working Americans. Giant Corporation’s bottom line is more greed and billions in profits sitting off-shore with more on the way. 

So, here is a reminder of the things Unions have worked hard for decades to make things better for all Americans: 
  1. Weekends without work breaks at work including lunch
  2. Paid vacation
  3. Family & Medical Leave Act
  4. Sick leave
  5. Social Security
  6. Minimum wage
  7. Title 7: employer discrimination
  8. 8-hour work day
  9. Overtime pay
  10. Child labor laws
  11. Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
  12. 40-hour work week
  13. Workers compensation
  14. Unemployment insurance
  15. Pensions
  16. Workplace safety standards
  17. Employer health care insurance
  18. Collective bargaining
  19. Wrongful termination laws
  20. Anti-Age Discrimination 1967
  21. Whistleblower protection laws
  22. Employee Polygraph Protection
  23. Veteran's Employment and Training
  24. Compensation & Raise Evaluation
  25. Sexual harassment laws
  26. Americans with Disabilities Act
  27. Holiday pay
  28. Employer provided-insurance
  29. Privacy rights
  30. Pregnancy and parental leave
  31. Military leave (job protection)
  32. The right to strike
  33. Public education for children
  34. Equal Pay Act: 1963 & 2011
  35. Ending sweatshops/Child labor
We don't need Cruz's type of help. A fact. We should pass on him, too.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Foreign Policy and International Relations According to Trump

Simple 3-Part View

Simple ISIS (and others who disagree with us) Strategy

Quite long and from several sources: Trump outlines Foreign Policy with The New York Times and The Washington Post (reported in Media Matters).

Donald J. Trump’s lack of total knowledge about foreign policy – except a quick with lip and quip snap is very troubling. His foreign policy outlook combines economic nationalism that would end up with a nasty score sheet: USA=0 / World nasties=Huge score. Our new national anthem under Trump: Bye, bye American Pie.

Trump is and likely to remain as the Republican presidential front-runner and eventually nominee. He has said some pretty horrible things in his personal attacks, but in the area of international relations and foreign affairs, he get a big fat goose egg. 

Examples follow:

He said that if he is elected, he might halt purchases of oil from Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies unless they commit ground troops to the fight against the Islamic State or “substantially reimburse” the United States for combating the militant group, which threatens their stability.

Specifically he said: “If Saudi Arabia was without the cloak of American protection, I don't think it would be around.”

He also said he would be open to allowing Japan and South Korea to build their own nuclear arsenals rather than depend on the American nuclear umbrella for their protection against North Korea and China. He added: “[that] if the United States keeps on its path, its current path of weakness, they're going to want to have that anyway, with or without me discussing it.”

He also said he would be willing to withdraw U. S. forces from both Japan and South Korea if they did not substantially increase their contributions to the costs of housing and feeding those troops, adding:  “[I’m] not happily, but the answer is yes.”

He also said he would seek to renegotiate many fundamental treaties with American allies, possibly including a 56-year-old security pact with Japan, which he described as one-sided.

In Trump's worldview, the United States has become a diluted power, and the main mechanism by which he would re-establish its central role in the world is economic bargaining.

He approached almost every current international conflict through the prism of a negotiation, even when he was imprecise about the strategic goals he sought. He again faulted the Obama administration's handling of the negotiations with Iran last year saying in part: “It would have been so much better if they had walked away a few times.” (But, he offered only one new idea about how he would change its content: Ban Iran's trade with North Korea – yeah, good luck with that one).

He struck similar themes when he discussed the future of NATO, which he called “unfair, economically, to us,” adding that he was open to an alternative organization focused on counter-terrorism. He argued that the best way to halt China's placement of military airfields and antiaircraft batteries on reclaimed islands in the South China Sea was to threaten its access to American markets.

The source for this summary shows clearly that Trump has explained his thoughts in concrete and easily digestible terms, but they appeared to reflect little consideration for potential consequences. [The source for this is The New York Times]

This is his overall view of our country it seems: “When I see the policy of some of these people in our government, we’ll be in the Middle East for another 15 years — if we don’t end up losing by that time, because our country is disintegrating. We are spending trillions of dollars in the Middle East, and the infrastructure of our country is disintegrating.” (Ergo: he wants to make us “Great Again” – ha.).

Sadly, we hear Trump supporters say things like “he tells like it is or he's not politically correct.” What they are really saying, at least many of them if you listen carefully for their follow remarks on Talk Radio or at red meat forums, you will hear them say: “I love it, because it's what I believe, too.” That’s the sad part of what is happening to us collectively and in a very negative way. As they say, “Fear sells” yes, it does, but I quickly add: “That is until we stop buying it.”

Some have even made a Trump-George Wallace comparison in speech and style – for example:

Wallace in 1968: When activists interrupted his rally at Madison Square Garden in NYC for example, he asked: “Why do Democratic and Republican leaders kowtow to these anarchists. We don't have riots in Alabama. They start a riot down there, and the first one of 'em to pick up a brick gets a bullet in the brain, that's all.”
Trump recently at one of his rallies when more fights and yelling and protesting have occurred, Trump said he said in essence, “In the old days such animals would be carried out on a stretcher, folks.” Then he ordered security to “Get 'em the hell outta here,” adding about man being dragged out, “I'd like to punch him in the face.”

Related: So, who are Trump supporters really? That’s an easy question but with no easy answer. Poll experts and political scientists have over time too an unparalleled look at Trump supporters’ attitudes long before they even knew Trump would run data back to 2007, 2008 or 2012. What have most discovered? Prior to Trump actually running the people who would go on to back him in 2016 have ID themselves along these lines:
  • They are much-less conservative than the people who would back Ted Cruz on most social issues.  
  • They were almost as pro-choice as Clinton supporters.
  • They were less opposed to same-sex marriage than Cruz supporters.
  • They were more populist on economic issues as well.
  • They were slightly more supportive of government spending in general.
  • They were less likely to favor repealing Obamacare.
  • They were hostile toward NAFTA type trade agreements.
  • They were markedly less likely to have favored a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
  • They tend to be “hawks” on defense and war.
  • They were, however, back in 2007, and unlike Cruz supporters today, far more likely to oppose keeping troops in Iraq — which is the position aligned with Trump.
  • They tend to be more anti-Hispanic and anti-black than voters for other candidates and that more true now since Trump hammers that so much.

A RAND poll found that a substantial proportion of the GOP primary electorate is relatively liberal on pocketbook issues, plus: (1) About 51 percent “strongly” or “somewhat” favored increasing taxes on individuals who make more than $200,000 a year, and (2) Some 38 percent had a favorable or very favorable opinion of labor unions. RAND also found that Trump benefited from biases against immigrants, African-Americans, and women (especially among those who believe that “immigrants threaten American customs and values” and that “women who complain about harassment cause problems.”

Yet the strongest indicator of support for Trump — stronger than gender, age, race/ethnicity, employment status, educational attainment, household income, attitudes toward Muslims, attitudes toward illegal immigrants, or attitudes toward Hispanics was a feeling of having no voice. Nearly 87 percent more likely to prefer Trump “somewhat” or “strongly” agreed that “people like me don't have any say about what the government does.”

Trump: Problem solver or trouble maker?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Trump Agent for Change or Dangerous Demagogue: Simple Question, Easy Answer

(Credit Illustration by Tom Bachtell)

An absolutely excellent and must-read article from The New Yorker here and skillfully written by Editor David Remnick. This extract is sort of an introduction as it were – as I said, it is a must-read – enjoy. I sure did.

Nearly three decades ago, Howard Kaminsky, of Random House, called on the real-estate developer and self-marketing master Donald J. Trump at his office on Fifth Avenue. Kaminsky brought along a cover design for “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” its author’s literary début. Trump seemed reasonably happy. Just one thing, he said: “Please make my name much bigger.”

It was all so funny once. For a long time, Trump, with his twenty-four-karat skyscrapers, his interesting hair, and his extra-classy airline, was a leading feature of the New York egoscape (Note: Yep, I had to look it up, too).

The editors of the satirical monthly Spy covered him with the same obsessive attention that Field & Stream pays to the rainbow trout. Trump never failed to provide; he was everywhere, commandeering a corner at a professional wrestling match, buying the Miss Universe franchise and vowing smaller bathing suits and higher heels.

You could watch him humiliate supplicants on “The Apprentice” and hear him on “The Howard Stern Show” gallantly describing the mystery of Melania’s bowel movements (“I’ve never seen anything — it’s amazing”) and announcing that, “without even hesitation,” he would have had sex with Princess Diana. As early as 1988, Trump hinted at a run for the White House, though this was understood to be part of his carny shtick, another form of self-branding in the celebrity-mad culture. And now here we are. Trump is no longer hustling golf courses, fake “universities,” or reality TV. 

He means to command the United States armed forces and control its nuclear codes. He intends to propose legislation, conduct America’s global affairs, preside over its national-intelligence apparatus, and make the innumerable moral and political decisions required of a President.

This is not a Seth Rogen movie; this is as real as mud. Having all but swept the early Republican primaries and caucuses, Trump — who re-tweets conspiracy theories and invites the affections of white-supremacist groups, and has established himself as the adept inheritor of a long tradition of nativism, discrimination, and authoritarianism — is getting ever closer to becoming the nominee of what Republicans like to call “the party of Abraham Lincoln.” No American demagogue [before] –– not Huey Long, not Joseph McCarthy, not George Wallace –– has ever achieved such proximity to national power.

Story continues at the main link. It contains much more enlightening reading.

Thanks for stopping by and for reading that assessment. If you like, spread the word about this fine piece.  People have the right to make up their own minds about Mr. Trump that is if they can keep an open mind and act accordingly about what they see and hear from him.

Is what we see and hear from Donald J. Trump, “an agent for political change he professes to be, or is he a very dangerous demagogue.” That remains to be seen.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

GOP Spin Machine Getting Fresh Oil and Ready for Final Push: Nail HILLARY

“They all do it, right?” Yeah, but some are better than others…

Red meat headlines; aggressive media policy: “If it bleeds, it leads” and other carefully designed headlines to grab the reader’s attention. However, based on lots of reading and such, far too often than not, dig into the story and bingo, or as someone once quipped: “There ain’t no there, there.”

Case in point from this story, in part (my emphasis added to make a point):

In comments that are sure to draw the ire of her Republican critics, Hillary Clinton sought to contrast the war in Iraq with the intervention in Libya during her stint as secretary of state.

I’ve said Iraq was a mistake,” Clinton recently told Chris Matthews during an MSNBC town hall event.  “Libya was a different kind of calculation. And we didn’t lose a single person. We didn’t have a problem in supporting our European and Arab allies in working with NATO.”

As Politico noted (and I think precisely), Clinton was probably referring to the U.S.-backed overthrow of Libyan dictator Mohammar Gadhafi in 2011 and not the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in Benghazi, where four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed. (I also note: this is a critical distinction that days will prove that the GOP righties will spin for all it’s worth – watch and see).

Matthews pressed Clinton on what he called the United States push for “regime change” in places like Iraq and Libya.

Mrs. Clinton responded: “Now, is Libya perfect? It isn’t. But did they have two elections that were free and fair where they voted for moderates. Yes, they did. So you know, changing from a dictator who has hollowed out your country to something resembling a functioning state and even hopefully more of a democratic one doesn’t happen overnight. And we’ve got to continue to support the Libyan people, to give them a chance, because otherwise you see what has happened in Syria, with the consequences of millions of people flooding out of Syria, with more than 250,000 people killed, with terrorist groups like ISIS taking up almost — huge blocks of territory, as big as some of the states in that area.”

Continue the article at the link above.

Just for the record, wait and watch for the GOP spin … then, duck!! What duck???

Thanks for stopping by. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Donald J. Trump: Liar Par Excellence and Charlatan Above All Else

Proof Positive (video clip below)

Here is the actual CNN clip (Youtube: 45 seconds). A typical Trump denial follows that clip:

Trump Denies Mocking New York Times Reporter with Physical Disability

Now imagine Trump mocking you, or a person with a missing limb or two, or a war Vet with no legs, or with severe speech impediment due to an IED explosion and head injury.

Would you vote for him to be CINC — our president? That is doubtful. So, why are so many people right now tolerating him that we see all over the country in the GOP primaries.

The short answer: It’s their newest TV reality show for them to sit down, have a cold one, watch, and cheer for the winner based on showmanship.

I have a simple message for Mr. and Mrs. America, indeed for Mr. and Mrs. Gee Old Poops that is simple. It is well past time to tell Donald J. Trump: “You’re fired – you get out of here.”

But, hey, that’s just my view, right? Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Stop Trump: Says Romney, McConnell, & Scared GOPers Near Total Breakdown

Mitt “Subliminal” Romney Warns Republican Voters 

Trump Supporters to Date

Those people who at this point readily accept Donald J. Trump at face value with all his baggage and lackluster public service plus his showmanship TV host antics are also, I suspect, huge FOX fans, Limbaugh lovers, and Hannity hounds

Who are they? They seem to be a wide cross of former TEA party type people. They probably love QVC home shopping; love reality shows in the afternoon; love the 30-second campaign Ads; and love to see this 2016 version of the return of Trump and The Apprentice; this time with him trying to sell and hire himself.

This seems to be the real, reality. We are watching a brand new, new America, with all the trimmings carefully designed for this show and it's all around us, and sadly, with the worse possible image ever being projected all across the globe showing the ugly side of American politics. True, politics is nasty and ugly, but this as they say takes the proverbial cake.

Trumpeters talk nasty about everyone being to blame for everything and chime in “What has happened to our country. We need to get it back and MAKE IT GREAT AGAIN.” (Singing the Trump’s theme song). 

I have to laugh out loud. I tell those Trump supporters to try looking in the nearest mirror for both cause and solution. They offer few if any viable solutions themselves seeking to trust the likes of Trump or Cruz or possibly now it seems, Mitt Romney who certainly seems to be hoping and praying for a draft Mitt movement before the convention or on the convention floor … that seems to be the thrust of his recent rant about Trump or so it seems to me.

What happened to our “greatness?” It’s all around us for those without blinders on. Just take an honest look and for goodness sake turn off FOX and Trump – things will clear up really fast.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

McConnell and GOP Table Set But They Are Unable to Enjoy TEA and Trumpets

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Off to Another “Stop Trump Meeting”
(The stern look is a dead giveaway)

We see old Mitch McConnell on his way to another meeting to discuss strategy to stop Trump I surmise.

What we see in the making as it were could be the start of the end of the GOP as we know it today and that has actually been in the making since the TEA “party” of 2010 era came on the scene in that party and has caused a lot turmoil for GOP leaders, even possibly now with a new brand of “TEA” sippers (angry Republicans turning against their party in near riot gear).

Mitch McConnell by his own words and I guess his forthcoming efforts has set out to gather GOPers, not to enjoy tea and crumpets, but how to finish off and toss away TEA and Trumpets?

Here I have a related story about nearly the same thing: McConnell on Mission to Stop Trump.

Now we see old Mitch off to a meeting, I guess, about how to stop Trump, or if Trump gets the GOP nomination, how to ignore him while trying to get the entire GOP to drop him “like a rock” as pointed out in this story from the NY Times with this stunning headline:

“Inside the Republican Party’s Desperate Mission to Stop Donald Trump”

Highlights from the story as I see it with my emphasis: 

In public, there were calls for the party (GOP) to unite behind a single candidate. In dozens of interviews, elected officials, political strategists and donors described a frantic, last-ditch campaign to block Mr. Trump — and the agonizing reasons that many of them have become convinced it will fail. Behind the scenes, a desperate mission to save the party sputtered and stalled at every turn.

Efforts to unite warring candidates behind one failed spectacularly: An overture from Senator Marco Rubio to Mr. Christie angered and insulted the governor.  

An unsubtle appeal from Mitt Romney to John Kasich, about the party’s need to consolidate behind one rival to Mr. Trump, fell on deaf ears.

At least two campaigns have drafted plans to overtake Mr. Trump in a brokered convention, and the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, has laid out a plan that would have lawmakers break with Mr. Trump explicitly in a general election.

Despite all the forces arrayed against Mr. Trump, the interviews show, the party has been gripped by a nearly incapacitating leadership vacuum and a paralytic sense of indecision and despair, as Trump has won smashing victories in South Carolina and Nevada.

Donors have dreaded the consequences of clashing with Mr. Trump directly. Elected officials have balked at attacking him out of concern that they might unintentionally fuel his populist revolt.

Republicans have lacked someone from outside the presidential race who could help set the terms of debate from afar.

The endorsement by Gov. Chris Christie, a not unblemished but still highly regarded figure within the party’s elite — he is a former chairman of the Republican Governors Association — landed recently with crippling force.

Memo to Mr. and Mrs. Gosh Old Party: What do we do now?  Stay tuned – it could be even nastier for the GOP from now on, even if that’s possible. So, hand on tight, it will get a lot rougher I am sure.

Thanks for stopping by (I will update this topic after Super Tuesday).

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Trump Extended Family Background: Sleepy Industrial Town of Sevnica, Slovenia

Trump and His Father-in-Law (Viktor Knavs)
(Knavs spelled the American ways is Knauss as shown in Trump business records)

Mrs. Trump's native country

Notes on Slovenia: On June 1991, after the introduction of multi-party representative democracy, Slovenia split from Yugoslavia and became an independent country.  In 2004, it entered NATO and the European Union. In 2007, it became the first former Communist country to join the Eurozone. In 2010, Slovenia joined the OECD, a global association of high-income developed countries.

This may or may not be a big story, but it is a very interesting to say the least based on the skimpy contents, considering what is at stake in this election – bio of a potential First Lady. It is posted for information purposes only re: Mrs. Melania Trump and her family background. The article is from here  and these extracts:
  1.  In line with their father’s officially atheist beliefs, Melania and her sister Ines weren’t baptized and didn’t make their first holy communion with the town’s other children.
  2.  But Viktor’s party membership came in handy when it came to securing a job for himself and Amalija, and allowed them access to good that others couldn’t get hold of. 
  3.  One Knavs family member said (My note: The American spelling of Knavs on Trump family and business records is “Knauss”): “Viktor was in the Party which helped you to get government jobs or higher positions.” (Family Member Source from Sevnica said to the Mail Online).
  4.  The family member then added that Viktor may not have really believed in the party line, but just joined to keep their lives comfortable, adding: “Maybe he was just being pragmatic. Being in the Party made things a bit easier and meant he could help his family. He had connections. He could always get little luxuries or essentials like car parts that other people couldn’t get their hands on.”
If those things are true, at least the world makes sense again according to the way Donald J. Trump sees things, which is this way, based on his own words at various times in this campaign:

Seven of the least communist things Donald Trump's ever said
  •  “Part of the beauty of me is that I’m very rich.”
  •  “I’m the number one developer in New York. I’m the biggest in Atlantic City,  and maybe we will keep it that way.”
  •  “Perhaps it’s time America was run like a business.”
  •  “I’m really rich. And by the way, I’m not saying that in a bragging way, that’s  the kind of mindset you need for this country. We gotta make this country rich.”
  •  ‘It has not been easy for me. I started off in Brooklyn. My father gave me a small  loan of a million dollars.”
  •  “The point is that you can’t be too greedy.”
  •  “Rich people are rich because they solve difficult problems.”

 I'll leave it at that until more info comes out, which the public deserves to know. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Voting Rights: Most-Compelling Issue Under Attack by the GOP — Why: More Power

Voting Rights Still Under Fire

One if not the most-important if not most-critical domestic concern and major issue of all time: VOTING RIGHTS.

Story from here - FYI with this headline:

Virginians Describe How the State Has Made It Harder For Them to Vote

Story in part here and not just restricted to Virginia.

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA — When Karen Stallings decided to move her blind, 84-year-old father from Arizona into her home in Virginia, she expected many new challenges in her life. She did not expect voting to be one of them.

And yet, a few months before Election Day rolled around, she realized her father’s driver’s license was out-of-state and expired. And under Virginia’s strict voter ID law, every voter needs an acceptable, unexpired form of photo identification to cast a regular ballot. So in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week, Stallings drove her father to the DMV to register to vote and get a photo ID card.

This is he new GOP strategy – and it seems to be working at least for now.  

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

GOP's Brand New Menu Sandwich: Trump on a Roll

“Make America Great Again” 
(Look What We Got Instead)

More Like This Tune
(Bye, Bye American Greatness)

Trump said that SC evangelical voters and born-again Christians, who Cruz predicted would turn out in droves to propel him to victory, instead broke decisively for Trump 33 percent to Cruz's 27 percent.

That was a coup of sorts for Trump, the larger-than-life candidate whose blustery rhetoric on immigration and terrorism seemed to make up for his apparent lack of religious and foreign policy and indeed national security credentials with those SC GOP voters. It is perhaps the most important demographic victory for Trump, but certainly not the only one. In fact, exit polls from the Washington Post tell a larger story about how Trump has molded the views of Republican voters to match his, and he has turned them in his favor with wild success and wilder promises of what he would do to “Make America Great Again.”

(I wonder: When did America lose our greatness, um, Mr. Trump)?

All this should alarm GOP party elites set on stopping Trump from sweeping the nomination. SC’s population looks a lot like those of the seven southern states voting on March 1 in the so-called “Super Tuesday” primaries and caucuses on March 1, 2016 that conducts all these races:

Alabama                                   (D and R)
Alaska caucus                           (R only)
American Samoa caucus          (D only)
Arkansas                                   (D and R)
Colorado caucus                       (D and R)
Georgia                                     (D and R)
Massachusetts                           (D and R)
Minnesota caucus                     (D and R)
North Dakota caucus                (R only)
Oklahoma                                 (D and R)
Tennessee                                 (D and R)
Texas                                        (D and R)
Vermont                                   (D and R)
Virginia                                    (D and R)
Wyoming caucus                     (R only)

More on those here elections [click here].

Unless there is a major shift in the race, the advantages Trump has built up for himself will likely hold up, and he could indeed sweep those major states as the election moves west and to larger states. 

If Trump sweeps those then this paramount question looms over the GOP: What the hell do we do now?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Sen. Mitch McConnell Must Be Removed from Office ASAP for Nonfeasance Pledge

McConnell Looks Down in the Mouth Like He Just Ate Raw Duck

Nonfeasance legal def: “The neglect or failure of a person to do some act which he ought to do. The term is not generally used to denote a breach of contract, but rather the failure to perform a duty towards the public.”

This story is astonishing — in part from Vox.com here with this headline:

Mitch McConnell just announced the Senate might not take up any substantive legislation in 2016

Wow, talk about a harsh and provocative statement – I wonder why?

For anyone who thought Congress might accomplish something in 2016, this dose of cold water comes from the Hill's Alexander Bolton, who reports that probably ain't happening this way:

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), seeking to protect his majority in a tough cycle for Republicans, is leaning toward holding back several measures that have bipartisan support but are divisive in his conference.”

So, for example old Mitch says his GOP won’t be voting on (from Bolton’s report):

(1) That bipartisan criminal justice reform bill that looked so promising, the one Republicans and Democrats had worked so hard on to reach a compromise. Yeah, the Senate won't be voting on that. 

(2)  The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). 

(3)  The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) (against ISIS I presume?). 

(4)  Or really not much else. 

Why not? Because why force anybody to take tough votes? 

I conclude that this is the new GOP, or should I say the new GOP “inaction?” 

Okay, so why are they on the public till with a job disapproval of nearly 80 percent? (With 15% approval and some 7% unsurethe latest).

Simple: Who the Hell knows. Just don't ask Mitch McConnell — he comes across as politically savvy; but, in reality he is dumber than owl shït (pardon my French).

That's it for now. Oh, too harsh, you think? Well, maybe, a tad, but it also shows a streak of my anger. Why, aren't you?  

Thanks for stopping by. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Secret Emails: Who Classifies Them, Who Sends Them, Who Gets Them, and Why

GOP Believes This is How HILL Gets and Receives Her "Secret" Emails
(not proven beyond a reasonable doubt but GOP keeps on fishing)

How GOP Seeks to See Hillary at the End of the Day
(yes, tar and feathered and on the proverbial rail)

As the quip goes: “There ain't no there there.” At least not yet. As for me, I tend to believe Mrs. Clinton on this whole (ready for it) Email-gate (yeah, another “gate”). She has testified under oath several times that the emails she received were not classified until after the fact. On that point I do believe her – those who greatly dislike or worse, the Clinton’s, will of course hold the opposite view – refer to the graph above of a rail-riding trip out of town.

Further I do not believe she is silly enough to have gotten secret emails at her home on her email server, let alone Top Secret stuff, at any time. I simply do not believe that. 

Also, it is a bit naive to think that Mrs. Clinton's actions and explanations are lies and something nefarious. I do not believe that for one minute. I may be proven wrong at the end of the day, but with this GOP in this crazy-ass election season it is not likely that they are apt to let that aspect play out legally – not when there is so much to gain politically is on the table, and then we have those who say, “What is wrong with our system?” May I suggest the nearest mirror for a look see?

I now reference this very good rundown on the whole government classification system and process. PSA: I held a government Top Secret (SCI) clearance for years while I was on active duty, my later years in the intelligence field as an Interrogator – so I know a bit of what I am talking about.

The American government's system for classifying things as secret is widely considered a giant mess, by which agencies reflexively over classify things, and the reasons for classifying often make little sense. It is thus extremely easy to imagine that Clinton's emails were classified not because they contained super-sensitive national secrets, and possibly not for any good reason at all, but rather just as a product of America's broken classification system.

This goes back to 1982, when the Reagan administration began a program of such aggressive classification that the unofficial slogan was, “When in doubt, classify.” 

That waned under Bill Clinton but shot back up dramatically under George W. Bush, so much so that by 2004 the mere bureaucracy for classifying documents cost $7 billion per year.

Even John Bolton, a senior Bush official who often championed executive secrecy, once complained, “If there is anyone who fully understands our ‘system’ for protecting classified information, I have yet to meet him.”

The problem was not so much secrecy itself as bureaucratic disarray; something that contains no obviously sensitive information might nonetheless be reflexively classified, or might be classified because the information at some point passed through someone or something that also handles classified information. Or maybe the information is banal but it was later wrapped into a report or document that is itself classified for different reasons.

The problem, in other words, isn't that the rules for classification are too strict. It's that the rules are unclear, messy, or contradictory, to the degree that the rules exist at all, and individual people and agencies have learned to over classify to stay on the safe side.

The problem has grown so severe that it has hampered even the ability of American intelligence officials and policymakers to access the information they need to do their jobs. The head of the 9/11 Commission, Richard Ben-Veniste, told Congress in 2005 that “the failure to share information was the single most important reason why the United States government failed to detect and disrupt the 9/11 plot.  Information has to flow more freely. Much more information needs to be declassified. A great deal of information should never be classified at all.”

In 2010, as a result, Congress passed the Reducing Over-Classification Act, which ordered federal agencies to do exactly that.

But no one thinks that over classification has been fixed. Federal agencies still have a habit of heavily classifying things, regardless of whether they need to be.

As an example of how silly this can get, State Department employees are banned from reading WikiLeaks cables or articles that quote them, as the cables include classified information. So the people responsible for guiding American foreign policy are barred from reading foreign policy coverage that you and I may access freely. Virtually no one in the State Department likes this policy, by the way, but it is a product of the government's larger, and largely broken, system of assigning and dealing with classifications.  

I conclude by saying as a people and that includes the GOP, too, we blow a lot of hot air and rant about justice and fairness and due process… except in this case, right Mr. and Mrs. Gee Oh Pee? (that is when it fits our narrow need)... Well I'm done now. 

Thanks for stopping by and as it has been said many times before: “It ain’t over till it’s over.”