Showing posts with label 2016 presidential campaign. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2016 presidential campaign. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

FBI Director Scathes Clinton Over Emails, No Indictment Recommended

Unless you are living under a rock, you probably heard about FBI Director James Comey - about the most a-political official in Washington at the moment - excoriating Hillary Clinton over her handling of emails while Secretary of State...

I'm of two minds here: on the one hand, HRC has to be breathing a sigh of relief that there won't be an indictment against her, which of course, sent fellow conservatives' heads into a frenzy over it. OTOH, go back and re-read Director Comey's report; he effectively convicted HRC in the Court of Public Opinion, something the Trump Campaign Trumpster Fires will try to use at every available opportunity.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Trump Lube...


To the Republicans who are supporting Donald Trump for President.....have some lube, folks; you've earned it! He's your candidate, good luck defending him!

With Due Apologies To My Fellow Conservatives...

After Donald Trump's most recent contretemps' over the judge in the Trump University case, I've come down to one simple, inexorable decision and that is...as much as I loathe Hillary Clinton, as much as I want to see her held accountable for the email server controversy, as much as I despise her foreign policy failures...all that aside, I cannot and will not - I repeat: CAN NOT AND WILL NOT! - vote for a narcissistic, draft-dodging, bully-boy xenophobic bigot, which is exactly what Donald Trump is!

Put simply, I'm voting for Hillary Clinton for President because as much as I hate that evil bitch, at least she's a known quantity - we know her political views, her policy positions, etc. - we know what kind of a person she is. You know what Donald Trump is, ladies and germs? He is a caudillo, an American caudillo who would, if he ever got his haqnds on the reigns of power, would destroy everything this country stands for - its' institutions, its' heritage and history, its' values and beliefs - all that would go right out the fucking window if Donald Trump becomes President, because frankly, we just don't know what the hell his political policies...no wait: we do know his policies and frankly they should scare the hell out of any honest conservative - or any honest American, for that matter...so yeah, I'm going to hold my damn nose and vote for that bitch the Democrat on the Left because as bad as she is, Trump is worse.


P.S. Apologies for the foul language above, but when  it comes to Donald Trump, I'm being exceedingly polite in my thoughts above, folks...

P.P.S. Open thread, folks.

HRC Goes After Trump In Foreign Policy Speech

I'm of two minds on Hillary Clinton's foreign policy speech eviserceration of Donald Trump Thursday in California....for what its' worth, it was a well-versed, cogent and frank speech detailing the threat that Trump would pose not just to America but for the rest of world and as much as I don't care for Hillary Clinton, I'll give her props on the speech: it was a damn good speech.

On the other hand, given, (a) some of her foreign policy failures and (b) the contiuning email server scandal, she's almost in no place to complain about Donald Trump.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Seven Broken Guardrails Of Democracy

There's an interesting article over at The Atlantic about how Donald Trump got to be the Republican candidate for President in 2016, and it is a very revealing article on just how broken representative democracy in America has become; the crux of it is is that there are certain norms within American politics that one expects candidates of all stripes to adhere to, Trump's basically blown through them like a .50 caliber bullet through stacks of toilet paper...here the 7 broken guardrails Atlantic writer David Frum is referring to (and how Trump got through them):


  1. Americans expect a presidential candidate to act in a certain way; namely, that of personal restraint, the idea that candidates for office should, to a broad extent, be humble in their pursuit. Now, this doesn't mean they have to be Mary Sues in their actions, but it does mean they should acknowledge that their fight is not just for them alone, but for America on the whole. Donald Trump, by his very nature, chucked this one out the window right at the start; as Mitt Romney infamously said about him, ("he) exemplifies what millions of parents would fear in their sons: “the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third-grade theatrics.”
  2. Americans expect some degree of truthfulness in their elected officials and candidates. Case in point: in 1940, FDR campaigned on a platform of - in part - "not getting American boys involved in foreign wars". However, since World War II was already underway in Europe and odds were America would eventually get involved at some point, it didn't mean FDR wasn't trying to get America ready to fight at some point, as illustrated by the Carolina & Louisiana Maneuvers (in other words, he said what he needed to say, but didn't outright lie). By contrast, Donald Trump's lies are so numerous, they're like the zombie hordes in World War Z - one on top of another, on top of another, on top of another, etc.,etc.,etc....indeed, his lies are so numerous that no one even bothers counting them anymore for fear of missing one; worse, he lies so much its' made Americans cynical towards him and its' fed into the Trump (and Clinton, to a lesser extent) narrative that "everyone lies" and "everybody does it".
  3. Americans expect elected officials to have at least a surface knowledge of public policy. Donald Trump doesn't even have the most basic of knowledge on anything; case in point: when asked by conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt about America's nuclear arsenal, Trump couldn't identify the specific parts right. (For the record, the U.S. nuclear triad consists of a bomber force, a sub-based missile force and a land-based missile force.) Now, to be fair, its' generally expected that Republicans will have somewhat less of a surface knowledge of public policy than their Democratic counterparts, but as Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush proved, you can mroe than make up for that by having some executive experience prior to running for President (Reagan was a 2-term governor of California, Bush was a 2-term governor of Texas). Unfortunately, thanks to the rise of dingelberries such as Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Louie Gohmert, its' no wonder that Americans recoil from Republicans on public policy matters...and Donald Trump doesn't do any better; in fact, in some ways, Trump makes the Quitta' from Wasilla seem smart in some respects.
  4. Regardless of political party, Americans expect some adherence to ideology. While both parties have become more Europeanized (i.e. partisan) in their ideological hewings, Republicans have, through nominating Donald Trump, picked someone who's basically taken conservative orthodoxy and chucked it right into the wastebin (just look at his flip-flops on abortion, the Mexican border wall, his proposed ban on Muslim immigration, etc.). Worse, even if Republicans were to begin complaining, it wouldn't do any good: this is the same political party that thinks than long-time conservatives such as John McCain, Mitch McConnell and Jeb Bush are squishy "RINOs", but have - instead of rejecting Donald Trump outright - embraced Donald Trump because he reflects the exact opposite of the groups opposing him.
  5. Similarly to #3, Americans expect their political leaders and candidates to have at least some bit of working knowledge on national security matters. Unfortunately, Donald Trump - who still, I suspect, doesn't have a clue what the nuclear triad is - has taken this guardrail and crashed through it in a tragic, Francois Cevert-kind of manner (with the GOP losing its' proverbial head in the process). After all, this is the same guy who said NATO was obsolete, who thinks Japan & South Korea should develop nuclear weapons and who thinks Saudi Arabia should develop nuclear weapons, so draw your own conclusions as to what a Trump Presidency would entail.
  6. Americans expect their elected officials to have a respect for both tolerance and diversity in their dealings with the American people. Case in point: while politicians like George Wallace were marginalized within the broader American body politic for espousing racist/proto-racist viewpoints, Donald Trump, by contrast, has been accomodated to such a degree that its' become a sad spectacle in and of itself; worse, as America becomes a more diverse society, this kind of dog-whistle style politics only feeds into the Left's narrative that the GOP is a party of racists and bigots, which doesn't help Republicans down the road.
  7. Finally, Americans, despite adhering to ideology in #4, generally are willing to vote for one party for President, the opposite for Congressional control. Don't believe me? Just look at election results between 1954 and 1992; in that 38-year period, Democrats held control of both houses of Congress (the 6-yr. GOP interregnum, 81-86, notwithstanding) for nearly the entire period despite only winning the Presidency in 1960, 1964, 1976 and 1992. This was due to ticket-splitting whereby Americans would vote for a candidate of one party for President, then turn around and vote for the opposing party in the Congressional election...unfortunately, because of the more partisan nature of American politics these days, ticket-splitting is a far lesser seen phenomenon. Worse, more Americans than ever before now see politics in negative terms, which explains why most Republicans, while horrified at the prospect of a Trump Presidency, are even more horrified at the thought of a Hillary Presidency (even conservative stalwarts such as the Wall Street Journal and National Review have gone this route), effectively saying that while Donald Trump may be an evil threat to America, he's less of a threat than that of Hillary Clinton (which makes no sense given the things Trump has said in regards to numbers' 3 & 5).
So what should we do? That, I don't know....I do know this, fellow conservatives: I myself will never vote for Donald Trump, period. Put that in y'all's pipe and smoke it, okay?

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Is 2016 The Year Of The Libertarians?

There's an interesting article over at Reason.com on whether 2016 could be the year when the Libertarian Party - America's longest-running third party by most standards - makes its' breakout from minor party to political player. For what its' worth, given just how unpopular the Democrat & Republican choices are - or as I like to refer to them as, "Itchy & Scratchy" - it could be their year...but, there are caveats.

(1) People loathe both Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton: This is no understatement; most polls have both of them so far underwater in terms of favorability that one could potentially wonder how we'd gotten this far (a conversation for another time, of course) and it also makes one wonder if it wouldn't be a good thing to vote 3rd-party. On the other hand, unless there's an epic collapse by both parties prior to Election Night, the next president is going to be either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton...period, full stop.

(2) Is the Libertarian Party a viable option? If one goes through the vote totals for about the past 3 decades or so, one could be hard-pressed to find any other 3rd party and/or independent option outside of the L.P. that hasn't finished third behind both the Democrat and Republican parties; there have been exceptions (John Anderson in 1980, Ross Perot in 1992) to the rule there but most elections (whether presidential or mid-term) the L.P. usually finishes third....well-behind the two major parties, but usually third. However, as American history has well shown us, whenever a third-party becomes a viable political option, they generally collapse under the weight of their own expectations and/or hubris (just look at Ross Perot and the then-nascent Reform Party of the 1990's).

(3) Is 2016 a weird-as-hell election? In a word, yes: after all, did anyone predict Donald Trump as the GOP nominee? On the other hand, this time last month, there was still talk  - and lots of it - of a contested GOP convention in Cleveland come July and Bernie Sanders was still an annoying fly in the political ointment of Hillary Clinton. Thirty days later, Donald Trump has clinched the GOP nomination and now everyone thinks the Democratic convention in Philadelphia is sliding towards Chicago 1968 and the Days of Rage surrounding it.

...in other words, 2016 is turning out to be an interesting political season after all....

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Political Thought, 25 May 2016

In regards to the State Dept.'s IG Report on the Clinton E-Mail controversy: if this doesn't sink the Clinton campaign, what the hell would? I mean, seriously, folks, only someone who believes that they are above the law would try to divert attention from their own legal shortcomings by claiming that everyone else did it....Ms. Clinton, Colin Powell did not have a private email server. Neither did he or his subordinates rewrite classified emails to make them non-classified as Clinton and her acolytes did, nor did they violate classification rules in doing so....

....but I guess since its' Ms. Clinton we're talking about, its okay, isn't it, libtards?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Random Thought, 24 May 2016

Another day, another Trump rally, another protest-turned-near-riot.....if things are bad now, can anyone imagine what things are going to be like come July 2016?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Two For One Sale...


...I'm old enough to remember the first go-round of Bill & Hillary and despite voting for Bill in 1996 (I was only 17 in 1992; couldn't vote for him then)....it still ain't getting me to vote for that orange-skinned sonuvabitch Trump, though.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Donald Trump Issues Veiled Threat Towards WaPo, Jeff Bezos Over Negative Coverage

....alright, Trumpiots, remind us again why he should be the 45th President of the United States?
Skip to 13:15 of the clip below. I’m going to guess that this interview was conducted after WaPo reached out to him for comment yesterday on their new story about “John Miller.”
Peter Suderman said everything that needs to be said about this. Nothing in the campaign to come will top Trump’s debate statement about issuing illegal orders to the military for sheer authoritarian creepiness — I hope. But a would-be president hinting that tax and antitrust problems might befall a company owned by a guy whose newspaper has been running stories he doesn’t like is up there with what he said about tightening libel laws for second place. To this day, you’ll see references from time to time on conservative blogs to a joke Obama told early in his presidency about getting the IRS to audit his political enemies. That joke lost its humor after we found out who Lois Lerner is; it’s used today as evidence that Obama’s mind always held a seed of thuggishness that grew and flowered in his second term. Now here’s Trump implying the same thing, without the humor. Had O said this about some right-wing media mogul whose publication had been critical of him, conservative media would be in a frenzy over “gangster government” trying to intimidate its critics into silence. Because it’s Trump, most righty media won’t care. If nothing else, that’s at least true to the revanchist spirit of Trump’s nationalist movement. If the left’s going to abuse government to intimidate its political enemies, why shouldn’t we? “Small government” is for chumps. This is war.
Meanwhile, enjoy Donald Trump, of all people, slamming a billionaire for using his tremendous influence over the media to advance his own political interests. Is that his real beef with Bezos? That Bezos had to pay to gain the power to shape media coverage that Trump, the expert showman, has enjoyed for free for the past year? Bezos paid $250 million for one paper; Trump’s wrung $2 billion in gratis promotion out of the full spectrum of television media over the past 11 months alone. (Go figure that WaPo, with a forthcoming book on Trump, wants to monetize public interest in him the way every other media outlet in America does.) Maybe what you’re seeing here on some level is a master manipulator’s disdain for an amateur.
Fitting that it happened on Hannity’s show, too. You’ll notice that the host, a long-professed enemy of big government and scourge of Obama’s abuses, doesn’t utter a peep as President Trump puts Bezos on notice. In hindsight, what percentage of “conservative” complaints about policy and statism during the tea-party era were really just wallpaper for the cultural resentments unleashed by Trump? Ninety? (Hot Air)
 Long story short: a few months back, Donald Trump - back when there was viable GOP opposition to the Narcissistic-in-Chief - opined that we should open up the libel laws so that he could sue anyone who wrote anything negative about him. Now, anyone with a modicum of common sense - which wouldn't include Trumpiots, by the way - knows that Trump's peddling bullshit of the rankest order, but hey, if it deflects attention from him, why not?

Anyway, fast forward to this week, when the Washington Post - owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos - published a front-page article alleging that Trump once masqueraded as a PR flack named John Miller back in the early 90's...cue the faux outrage from Trump and his media ass-kissers at Fox News over it and you can imagine where this one's gonna' go, especially after the Washington Post rightfully defended itself over the "Donald Trump is PR flack John Miller" article.

Here's the problem for Trump: under most libel law standards, Donald Trump would have a very hard time getting a libel suit to succeed against WaPo because Trump is a public celebrity and under most interpretations of libel law, anyone in the public sphere cannot sue for libel unless whatever is written about them is a deliberate falsehood, which by most accounts the WaPo article doesn't meet (in other words, its' a legit article). However, it offers, as the Boston Globe points out, a glimpse into what a Trump presidency would look like...hint: its' authoritarian, to say the least.

Indeed, as the Globe piece points out, Trump has long hinted at going after Bezos for his ownership of the Washington Post, alleging that Bezos is using the paper as a political tool to attack Trump...well, here's a newsflash, Mr. Trump: in a free society, that's one of the roles the media is supposed to play, the role of a watchdog over our political chattering classes. In most cases, they do a pretty good job (albeit w/a liberal bias most days). His threat agst Bezos - namely using the DOJ's anti-trust division to go after him - goes well beyond authoritarian because it also serves as an act of intimidation against both WaPo and other major newspapers of note, a way of saying, "if we can after them, we can come after you".

At best, this should be - like his not wanting to release his tax records - an automatic disqualifier for President....at worst, it is yet another example of why Donald Trump should not be President of the United States.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Conservative Writer Pens Anti-Trump Statement

.....I've never read any of writer Brad Thor's novels, but after reading this, I might just begin to. Quoting from Thor's FB page in full (because trying to boil it down into small parts wouldn't do it justice)...
Dear friends: I have taken a stance, which I know is unpopular with some of you, and which I feel I owe it to you to fully explain.
Throughout history, charismatic figures have appeared at critical moments in time. Some of these figures have advanced their nations. Some have set them back. Only with the benefit of hindsight is mankind able to make the final judgment.
I have long been a fan of the saying - History doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme. In other words, history leaves clues; lessons that we can all benefit from.
We are stewards of our Republic and as such, our greatest responsibility is not to ourselves, or any political party, but to the next generation of Americans. We must work tirelessly to see to it that they inherit a freer, stronger, safer, more prosperous nation than was handed to us.
To truly fulfill that obligation we must be selfless, and above all, we must be informed. We must understand the mechanics of politics, economics, and the framework that has allowed the United States to be the greatest nation in the history of the world.
As an American, my greatest allegiance is to liberty. As long as there is liberty, no task is insurmountable, no challenge too overwhelming. As long as there is liberty, anything is possible.
The true north of my compass has been, and always will be, liberty. I owe it to those who have come before me and those who will come after. I will act to safeguard liberty no matter what personal price I may be forced to bear.
Liberty is my litmus test. I weigh all actions of my government and those who seek office, against it. The ledger of freedom is incorruptible; its pages open for anyone to examine, and most importantly - to learn from. At great personal and professional expense, I have grown more vocal over the years about the need to reduce the size of government and place in office fellow citizens guided strictly by the Founding documents.
I have spoken on television, radio, and in front of civic organizations. I have campaigned for candidates, marched in Tea Party rallies, and was the man who drove Andrew Breitbart to Madison, Wisconsin to speak alongside him on the capitol steps in defense of Governor Scott Walker. From taking back the United States House in 2010, to taking back the Senate in 2014, we have won battle after battle for liberty. In so doing, we have placed principled, limited government Americans in office. We knew the war wouldn’t be won overnight, but rather that it would be won over time. We have been steadfast, resolute, and successful.
But in the opinion of some of our fellow Americans, we have not been quick enough. Rather than continue to fight, a plurality of voters in the Republican primary has decided to drop an atom bomb on Washington, D.C. That atom bomb is Donald Trump.
And so I come to my explanation. When I apply my litmus test of liberty to Donald Trump, he fails - completely. In fact, he has not only failed to ever stand for liberty, he has repeatedly worked to undermine it. From supporting an assault weapons ban, the seizure of private property via eminent domain, the restructuring of libel laws, and socialized medicine (just to name a few) - throughout his entire adult life, Donald Trump has repeatedly championed the power of the state.
Regardless of what he says now, Donald Trump has a history. That history is the clearest indication of how he would govern as president. No matter how badly Americans want to “blow up” Washington, they absolutely must consider who, and what, arises from the embers of that destruction.
After voters drop that atom bomb, what happens next? Herein lies my greatest concern. What will become of liberty under a Trump administration? Will it grow? Will it recede? Will it vanish altogether?
Our Founders realized that the normal course of history is despotism – the control of the many by the few. That is why the Founding documents sought to constrain government. They also counted on Americans to choose wisely those whom we sought to install in office. Too often we have failed in selecting the best among us.
Donald Trump is not the best among us, nor is Hillary Clinton. They are both incredibly flawed human beings whom we should be equally ashamed of. Neither would advance the cause of freedom. Both would take us – not to that shining city on a hill of which President Regan spoke - but into the murky valley below. Never have I seen America faced with having two such poor choices for president.
With the lessons of history as my guide, I see in Donald Trump the character flaws that are the hallmarks of despotism. In Hillary Clinton, I also see multiple character flaws, but I see them as a belonging not to a potential despot, but rather to a conniving, self-serving, progressive politician who believes in lining her own pockets and enlarging/increasing the state and its power.
The two are reprehensible – but completely different. One threatens to further enlarge the state, the other, potentially (a la Napoleon), to become it. Growing up, a wonderful nun repeatedly told me that kindness could only be expected from the strong. When Donald Trump mocked the disability of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski – he showed himself to be not only weak, but also lacking in compassion.
Trump’s position that he is a Christian, but has never asked for forgiveness – coupled with his incessant bragging – not only further shows that he is weak, but that he also lacks humility. Strength, compassion, and humility are necessary in any leader – but especially so in the person who would occupy the highest and most powerful office in the world. Just look at what the absence of those qualities has done over the last seven years. 
My greatest concern about Donald Trump, though, isn’t a trait he lacks, but a dangerous one he possesses – in spades. Authoritarianism. Confident people do not bully and demean others. That is the realm of the weak and insecure. Confident people also do not threaten others, especially not their fellow citizens.
Donald Trump has told us to just wait and see what he does to Jeff Bezos once he gets into the White House. He has told us the American military will do whatever he tells them to do no matter what their reservations. He has promised to prevent American companies from moving outside the United States, regardless of what they believe is best for their businesses.
In other words, Donald Trump has clearly told all of us that he will use the power of the presidency to force people to bend to his will. This is not liberty. In fact, Donald Trump has never even spoken about liberty. Neither has he spoken about the Constitution and the Founding documents. This is an absolute first in the history of the United States. Instead, Donald Trump talks about hiring the “best people” and making the “best deals.” This, though, isn’t what made America great, and it certainly isn’t what will return America to its prominence.
The blueprint for America’s success is the ideas of the Framers – limited, Constitutional governance – an area in which Donald Trump is criminally ignorant.
Let me be clear that I don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton. I also don’t want to vote for Donald Trump. My preference is to write-in or vote third party. I think they are both terrible for our future. But between a big government progressive and a potential despot – every American must ask themselves where liberty has the greatest chance to survive over the next four years.
As a Constitutional conservative, I take solace in, and guidance from the words of Alexander Hamilton, who in the election of 1800 said, “If we must have an enemy at the head of government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible.”
I value all of you as friends, readers, and fellow patriots. There is much at stake for our Republic. Be informed, be selfless, and vote your conscience. I will not hold your decisions against you.
None of us knows the future. But I ask that all of us look to the past. Only by doing so can we safeguard liberty and chart the most well-reasoned course forward. (Brad Thor, 10 May 2016)
...all I can say here is, "Well said, sir...well said indeed."

Friday, May 6, 2016

Sanders: We'll Force As Many DNC Floor Votes This Summer

......pass the popcorn, folks!
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has written a letter to Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to warn that any moves by the national party to stack convention committees with supporters of opponent Hillary Clinton will result in fights on the floor of the convention.
“I believe that the composition of the standing committees must reflect the relative support that has been received by both campaigns,” Sanders wrote. “That was why I was so disappointed to learn that of the over forty people our campaign submitted at your request you chose to select only three of my recommendations for the three standing committees. Moreover, you did not assign even one of the people submitted by our campaign to the very important Rules Committee of the Democratic National Convention.”
Sanders has won roughly 45% of pledged delegates during the Democratic nomination process, and has demanded similar representation in the committees that craft the convention’s rules and help form the Democratic party’s platform.
“If we are to have a unified party in the fall, no matter who wins the nomination, we cannot have a Democratic National Convention in which the views of millions of people who participated in the Democratic nominating process are unrepresented in the committee membership,” Sanders continued, saying that such a makeup “sends the very real message that the Democratic Party is not open to the millions of new people that our campaign has brought into the political process.”
“Fairness, inclusion and transparency should be the standard under which we operate.”
If committee assignments aren’t allotted proportionally, Sanders warned, the disparity could result in floor fights at the party’s national convention in Philadelphia. “If the process is set up to produce an unfair, one-sided result, we are prepared to mobilize our delegates to force as many votes as necessary to amend the platform and rules on the floor of the convention,” Sanders concluded. (The Guardian)
 Long story short here: this is sounding a lot like sour grapes on the part of the Sanders campaign in that, assuming the DNC runs its' presidential convention in roughly the same way as the RNC does, typically a floor fight doesn't generally happen...and when they do happen - think Ted Kennedy's efforts to force floor fights in 1980 - they usually don't end well for both sides. The reason is simple: the convention floor committees are typically staffed with people from both the respective national committees' and supporters of the winning candidate's campaign.

Now, Sanders does make a point here - and I'm going to dip into my nearly 2-decades worth of liberal memories to explain this point here - and that point is that, unlike the RNC primary process, which - for better or for worse, stacks the deck in favor of the winning candidate as campaign's end - if the Democratic Party is going to use a roughly proportional method of allocating delegates (pledged delegates, that is; not the superdelegates), then shouldn't the convention committees' roughly represent the will of the voters? In a sense, this is the revenge of the masses for the changes the DNC made following the 1968 convention, after which they created the current system (proportional allocation of pledged delegates, unpledged superdelegates, etc.), which begs the question: would those masses prefer the previous system instead?