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On the Democratic side, the only real surprise last night was the margin of victory for Bernie Sanders.  It was huge.  Bernie Sanders seems to have hit a nerve with many Democratic voters.  Yet, we must also remember that in New Hampshire, Independents can vote and Bernie got a lot of independent votes.  In other states, you must declare party affiliation in order to vote in the Primaries.

On the Republican side, the results were predicted as well, except for the idea of Kasich coming in second.  Cruz finished third, which is no surprise since New Hampshire doesn’t have the evangelical population like Iowa has.

Of course, Cruz is claiming “victory” because he came in third.  I never understood how you can be the winner when you lost.  But, that is politics for you.  Even if you don’t win, you can claim “victory”.

The one thing that came out of this primary is evidence that politics is not dead in America.  According to what I have read and saw, New Hampshire’s primary resulted in a record number of people casting a ballot.  That is truly good news.  Hopefully, the remaining states will have record turnouts as well, right through November.

There are also some disturbing things that came out of New Hampshire.  Those disturbing things come from the Republican side.  The biggest disturbing thing to me is that during an exit poll, two-thirds of New Hampshire Republican voters believe Muslims should be barred from coming to this country.

When you take that into consideration, it is little wonder some consider the fact that only 40% of those same people believe that Mexicans should be deported.  But then Mexicans aren’t Muslim are they?

There has been a lot of conversation about the “establishment” wings of both parties being upset over the results.  After last night, the Republican Establishment is being told to support Kasich instead of Rubio who finished fifth.  I don’t see Kasich as being compassionate or “moderate” like some other pundits like to call him.  Kasich has proven to be just as “conservative” as Cruz and the other wing-nuts in the party.

Kasich faces the same problem that Sanders faces moving forward.  He got a lot of “independent” voters to back him.  In many of the upcoming primaries, he won’t have that luxury.  The Republicans are even more strict about independents than the Democrats are.  Therefore, it is way too early to say Kasich can hang on and be a viable contender to Trump and Cruz.

That is the real problem.  It appears that Trump and Cruz are going to be the last men standing on the Republican side.  We will have a choice from Republicans that is disturbing at best.  One is a white supremacist, nativist, fascist who likes torture as a means of “interrogation” and wants to keep every foreigner who is not white out of the country.  The other is a bigot who believes that anyone who is not a follower of his religion, which really doesn’t exist, a traitor to America and wants to establish the Jim Crow days again but including not just blacks but non-white people of any kind, gays, and women.

Between the two, they garnered over 40% of the New Hampshire primary votes.  That is even more depressing than their views.  To believe that over 40% of people in New Hampshire think like they do.

The next primary in South Carolina will be interesting to watch.  Cruz’ main support comes from social issue evangelicals.  Trump’s main support comes from white supremacists and nativists.  South Carolina has a very large evangelical population.  But it is also known for their white supremacists and nativists.  It will be interesting to see if the evangelicals or white supremacists win out.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton needs to come up with something viable to run on.  As one pundit put it last night, Bernie Sanders wants to become president because he hates income inequality and is fighting for the poor and middle-class.  Hillary Clinton is running because she would do a good job.  That isn’t a very good campaign slogan.

Bernie Sanders has found something to get his supporters fired up.  Hillary Clinton has not found that, yet.  If she can get her supporters fired up about something, she will probably get the nomination.  If not, we could see Bernie Sanders as the Democratic candidate.

In either case, we now have two political parties that are polar opposites.  One party, the Democrats, have remained true to the values of the poor, working poor, and the middle class and civil rights.  They look to move the country forward in ways that will benefit everyone.

On the other hand, the Republican Party has become a party of fear and hate.  They want you to be afraid of everyone and everything.  Their motives are to keep the oligarchs in power and are happy to be their mouthpieces.  You, the common person don’t count.

The things these Republican candidates believe in are very scary.  They believe in torture, racism, poor education for the non-elites, closed borders, second-class citizenship for those “others” in our society, and constant wars.  They believe that is how we “make America great”.

All you need to do is look at the leading candidates for each party, and you will see I am right.  On the Republican side, last night proved the “shirts” keep marching along!

 

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All through this election cycle, we have heard Republican Candidates, Fox News, and other conservative media rail against “Political Correctness”.  The fact of the matter is they really don’t hate political correctness, as long as they get to define what that is.

The anti-pro choice, anti-gay, anti-woman agendas they are trying to get America to buy into are all versions of “political correctness” as defined by conservatives.  If you do not believe in their versions of these issues, you are “politically incorrect” according to their talking points.

However, nothing exemplifies this more than the conservative “outrage” over the Super Bowl Halftime show with Beyoncé.

It began immediately after the new day’s news cycle started yesterday.  Steve Doocy thought Coldplay was just OK and Bruno Mars was “fantastic,” he telegraphed his point by noting that Beyoncé “was in there too.”

“I couldn’t really make out what Beyoncé was saying,” host Brian Kilmeade added after the show aired some footage of her performance. “But at the end, we find out Beyoncé dressed up in a tribute to the Black Panthers, went to a Malcolm X formation. And the song, the lyrics, which I couldn’t make out a syllable, were basically telling cops to stop shooting blacks!”

“I think it was outrageous,” Giuliani said. “The halftime show I thought was ridiculous anyway. I don’t know what the heck it was. A bunch of people bouncing around and all strange things. It was terrible.”

“This is football, not Hollywood,” he continued, “and I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive. And what we should be doing in the African-American community, and all communities, is build up respect for police officers.”

So, I guess you can say the main theme in all of this is that a black woman was showing disrespect towards police officers.  If you are a black person and don’t like the police, there is something very “politically incorrect” about that stance.  If you believe that “Black Lives Matter” there is something “politically incorrect” about you.

Yet, on the other side of the country, there are still four domestic terrorists holding a wildlife refuge sanctuary hostage, with guns.  Those four holdouts put out their own video over the weekend.  Fox News doesn’t seem to have any problem with their attacks against “police officers”, maybe because they are targeting the nation’s “police officers” the FBI.

These domestic terrorists are all white.  They are claiming they are only “exercising” their right to free speech.  Yet, they need guns to exercise their free speech.

Many of the original group are under arrest.  These four want to be allowed to leave without any charges brought against them for their terrorist activities.  They have even built barricades and “defensive” positions in preparation for a shootout with the FBI.

“We just got done talking with the FBI,” said 27-year-old Blanchester, Ohio resident. “They consider fortifying a crime.”  Fry said he, Jeff Banta of Nevada, and husband and wife Sean and Sandy Anderson of Idaho have “every right” to defend themselves from the “oncoming onslaught of people with fully automatic rifles (and) armored vehicles.

In another video posted Sunday, Sean and Sandy Anderson are sitting together and the husband says they feel like hostages because they can’t leave without being arrested.

“What are they to do with us?” Sean Anderson says. “They either let us go, drop all charges because we’re good people, or they come in and kill us. How’s that going to set with America?”

Even some politicians are getting in on the act.  A Nevada state Assembly member who is sympathetic to Bundy’s cause, Michelle Fiore, said Monday she and lawmakers from several other states plan to meet in Portland this week to protest the jailing of Bundy and his followers. She said the lawmakers are members of a group called the Coalition of Western States, which opposes federal management of Western lands.

“My folks are prisoners for exercising political free speech. That is not OK,” the Republican lawmaker told the AP.

So, you can see the differences between these two “incidents” and why it is outrageous that Republicans keep talking about “political correctness.”  If you are a white person with a gun, and you commit a domestic terrorist act like seizing a wildlife refuge center, and if you are barricading yourself in order to “survive” a planned shootout with police you are “exercising political free speech.”

On the other hand, if you are a black musician, and you do a video or Halftime Show at the Super Bowl showing support for a non-violent group called Black Lives Matter, you are poisoning the minds of the people.

The term “political correctness” has many meanings.  One is designed to prevent hurt feelings.  One is designed to show compassion.  And, from what we have seen from Fox News and other conservative media, one means you can threaten and/or kill federal officers as long as you are a conservative white person.

And the “shirts” keep marching along!

 

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Last night’s debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders was the best debate so far, from either party.  It was fiery, it was full of specifics, and it was informative.   It wasn’t perfect in the sense of I wanted more specifics on policies.

Yet, I got a whole lot more specifics on policies than the Republicans have given us in total from their debates.  As a matter of fact, they haven’t given us any specifics on anything.

Maybe this debate was so good because there were only two debaters.  Maybe it was because the two moderators were actually intelligent, asked intelligent questions, and then let the two debate.

There were some dull moments.  I wasn’t too impressed with the “progressive” label fight.  I consider both progressive and each offer more to move the country ahead than any of the other sides’ ideas.

The other day I said I wasn’t sure which of the two I was willing to support.  I still haven’t made up my mind on that, but in honesty, Hillary did more to earn my support than Bernie.

Bernie Sanders sounded too much like a one or two issue candidate.  With all of the problems facing our country, I expected more from him than a repeat of those simple issues.

Yes, I agree Wall Street has too much power.  I agree that we need Campaign Finance Reform, but there are a lot more problems facing us, and quite frankly I thought Bernie had a problem talking about anything else.

Sanders seemed to really struggle when it came to Foreign Policy.  He did point out one thing about veterans that I have said many times here.  The quality of treatment veterans get from the VA is top rated.  The satisfaction rating from veterans about treatment is the highest in the Health Industry.

The problem with the VA is that they don’t have enough resources to treat all of the veterans that need it.  On the reverse side, Republicans are not interested in improving the quantity of health services to veterans by the VA, they simply want to eliminate the agency and give us vouchers that won’t cover the total cost of treatment that the VA does.

A lot of Democrats seemed to be worried about the so-called email scandal hanging over Hillary Clinton.  I am not that worried about it.  Especially when you consider that Colin Powell also used personal email for business.  That came out the other day.

Nor am I all that interested in the “speaking fees” Hillary Clinton received from any group including Goldman Sachs.  She may have been planning to run for office, but she wasn’t in office at the time.  Speaking fees are part of the game.  If a company or organization wants you to speak at a function, they pay you for your time.  Those fees are usually more exorbitant the higher your profile.

Speaking fees are different from campaign contributions.  So, that “issue” isn’t of any interest to me.  That interest may change if Goldman Sachs would throw huge amounts of money at Clinton to win the election.  I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

There are a lot of things that were at least mentioned that you won’t hear tomorrow night.  Things like clean energy.  The Flint Water Crisis.  An actual plan on how to fight ISIS.

You may agree or disagree with what was said, but at least they were said.  There wasn’t any fear mongering going on, and there wasn’t any hate spread.  That was refreshing by itself.

This race is really about what each candidate is going to do.  What policies they are going to follow and what their “agenda” is going to be.  To me, Sanders needs to expound more on other topics about his policies and agenda.  Sanders has an advantage in that he is loved by young voters.  I hope that love continues throughout the full campaign right up through November.

Overall, this was an informative debate.  It allowed us to see how each candidate would try to implement their policies.  It allowed us to see the real differences between the two.  It didn’t give us all of the answers, but hopefully they will come out in the upcoming debates.

What is really important is that the Democrats were finally “forced” to allow more debates and that is to our advantage.  If you plan to watch tomorrow night’s debate from the other side, I am willing to bet you won’t hear as much detail as you did last night.

The Democrat primary race is going to be tough.  I am sure that accusations and attack ads will increase from both sides.  These additional debates will help us determine which candidate should be the standard-bearer for the Democratic Party.  In that vein, we all win.

Finally, kudos to Rachael Maddow and Chuck Todd.  They showed Fox News just how a debate should be conducted.  Not that anyone at Fox News paid any attention.

 

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During every election, we keep hearing the same term tossed around like it is a “hot potato”.  Republicans are especially in love with the term.  Democrats love it as well, but don’t think everyone gets a chance to live it.

That term is “The American Dream”.  In order to fully understand what is meant by that term, we need to explore just what it means to you.  If you don’t have that understanding you cannot actually live it.

James Truslow Adams, in his book The Epic of America, which was written in 1931, stated that the American dream is “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”

In reality, it is not a dream about owning big houses or fancy cars.  But, rather a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.

In other words, it shouldn’t matter if you are white, black, Native American, Asian, or anything else, you should be able to reach that goal of a better and richer life.

Unfortunately, over the years, this “dream” has fallen on hard times.  We no longer look at the “American Dream” in this context.  We rather look at it as having fancy houses or cars.  We work our lives away in order to make more money so we can “enjoy” those benefits.

Yet because our focus has reached such a materialized outlook, we work so many hours that we cannot truly “enjoy” those benefits.  As a result, we have become slaves to our own materialism.

Furthermore, more and more people in the “working poor” class believe that the “American Dream” is unattainable to them.  They are forced to work two jobs just to support their families at the “survival” level.  There is no “dream” in that circumstance.

More and more people retire in this country without sufficient savings and have to rely on Social Security just to survive.  It isn’t necessarily their fault.  Wages have plummeted for the Middle-Class and expendable income has dropped.  As a result, they have no additional money to “save”.  Fewer and fewer corporations offer “retirement pensions” to workers.

During the twentieth century we saw the rise of unions.  Those unions created the 40 hour work-week.  They created higher wages for employees.  They ensured that employees shared in the profits of the corporations they worked for.  Later in the century, we saw the “Right to Work” laws begin passing in several states.  The average American today works 49 hours per week.  The 40 hour week has become an myth to most Americans.

Unions were placed in the cross-hairs of corporations and Republican candidates, and their power weaned.  Today, far fewer people belong to unions.  Yet in states where unions are still strong, pay is higher than in the states where unions have lost power.

Rather than being recognized for ability and achievement, laborers are measured against the “bottom” line.  As a result, pay has stagnated or lowered in favor of higher profits.  The labor that employees put forth is unrecognized and unrewarded.

In the over 200 years of our country’s existence, we came to realize that government is needed to fund public schooling.  We realized that our children needed education to be competitive in the real world.  States and the Federal governments put millions of dollars into public schools. Today, we are seeing those school budgets slashed and the quality of education declining.  We have gone from first in the world in education to sixteenth.

Today, candidates talk about the “ladder to success” as part of the “American Dream”.  Yet they have placed the lowest rung of that ladder so high the majority of Americans cannot reach it.  So, how can they climb the ladder?

Today, perhaps more than since the civil rights era, your place of birth, your race, your religion, your family’s economic status have more to do with reaching that lower rung on the ladder than anything else.  The lower your economic status, the less likely you will be at achieving that mythical “American Dream”.

Instead, you are to blame for all of the ills that our country faces.  You are the reason that the rich aren’t getting rich fast enough.  You are the reason that our country is in “trouble” as Republican candidates like to say.

The “American Dream” really isn’t the “American Dream”.  It is every individual’s dream.  Making sure our families are properly supported and given the things they need.  Receiving a good education.  Having a chance to move up the economic ladder.  Being treated with dignity and respect regardless of our economic status.

Those are primary elements of every person’s dream.  They are the things that get us up in the morning to work for a living.  They are the things that keep us going.  Trying to make our children’s future brighter than our’s was.

Unfortunately, the rich and powerful have hijacked the “American Dream”.  They have declared that only they and their off-spring have a right to live that dream.  They have made it a materialistic dream of riches, fancy houses, cars, boats, and private planes.

They, along with their political abettors have turned the “American Dream” into the “American Nightmare” for most Americans.  We are supposed to slave at their companies for low wages.  We are supposed to “work more” as Jeb Bush once said in order to grow their riches.

George Carlin once said “it is called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it”.  To me, what Republicans are calling the “American Dream” is a myth.  It is simple rhetoric used to make you believe you are worth something.  All the while they are blaming you for your lowly plight and making sure you do not rise up the ladder with their policies.

When you hear candidates of either party talk about the “American Dream” you will hopefully realize they are not talking about your version of the “American Dream”.

Thomas Wolfe said, “…to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity ….the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make him.”

That is probably the best definition of the mythical “American Dream” I have seen.  If that is your definition too, then the Republican Party is not your Party.  They would prefer you be the fodder for the mills.  You don’t count, and your dreams are just that, dreams that will never reach reality.

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The way the media swarms around the Iowa Caucuses, you would think it will determine who wins the nomination for their party.  New Hampshire can just close down their primary next week.  The winners have been announced, so don’t waste any money on a primary that doesn’t mean anything.

I don’t actually try to predict results, but on the Republican side I was not surprised to see Cruz win in Iowa.  Nor, was I all that shocked that Rubio came in third, even closely behind Trump.

Iowa after all is an evangelical state and they don’t really care about your politics, they care about your religion.  Remember, Rick Santorum won in Iowa just four short years ago.  He didn’t fare well after that.  Or, remember Michelle Bachmann won the “straw poll” just four years ago.  Those two facts should stifle any Cruz winning the nomination assertions going around.

It is on the Democratic side that I see the most drama.  Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are in a virtual tie.  It appears that Clinton may edge out Sanders in Iowa but Sanders leads Clinton big in New Hampshire.  That is real cause for concern for Clinton.

There is the fact that Obama beat Clinton in Iowa in 2008, a surprise win for the President.  Another loss in Iowa could spell doom for Clinton in he quest to be the nominee.

I am frankly still torn between the two.  Sanders talks a very good game, but he isn’t too keen on real specifics for many of his plans.  He says, for example, that he will ensure veterans will receive the help they need and deserve.  But, I haven’t heard just how that will happen.

On the other hand, Clinton still has a lot of baggage following her around.  I don’t think she did anything illegal while Secretary of State using her private email accounts, but that is still to be determined fully.

So, I will wait and see if I can get more details about the two before I endorse either of them.  There are still too many questions for me to make up my mind.

The one thing I noticed on the Republican side is that a full 75% of Republicans caucused for liars.  I know that is a harsh criticism, but it is true.  None of the top three delegate getters are known to tell the truth.

It is also very interesting that a person who now claims to be a “Christian” but was divorced three times came in second in a very religious state.  To me, that is something that is being missed by the so-called pundits about Iowa.  I was not surprised that Trump came in second, but I must admit I was somewhat surprised that he came as close as he did.

It is true that Rubio will be glowing after last night.  He will claim that he “won” even though he came in third.  His placement wasn’t that much of a surprise, but the numbers he garnered were.  Yet, he was the one “establishment” Republican that the party seems to be willing to back.

As a result, he got a big boost from the establishment wing leading up to the caucus.  It will be interesting just how much that wing of the party will be willing to go to stop both Cruz and Trump by throwing their unconditional support behind Rubio.

To me, the polices that are coming out from the three top runners on the Republican side are the most dangerous in my lifetime.  And that includes Richard Nixon.  I dread to believe that they are the “best” the party has to offer.

In any case, the nomination process has officially opened.  Iowa was no surprise to me, except maybe on the Democratic side.  New Hampshire may be interesting on the Republican side, but I believe Sanders will win on the Democratic side.  But, you never know.

It would be nice, as we proceed down the road, if the media would actually put the candidates feet to the fire and ask some meaningful questions.  Like what are your specific plans and policies if you should win the election.  The problem is that the media has lost focus on what their job is.  They lost focus that their primary duty is to “inform” the population.  They are more interested in “dirt” and “scandals” than the actual news.

There is going to be a lot of talk about winners and losers last night.  But, it is Iowa.  A state with a very small niche population.  All last night has shown me is that the Republicans will nominate some kind of wacko to be their standard-bearer.

The Democrats seem to have a real race on their hands.  Something they had not expected when this all started.  From what I have seen so far, their two choices are far better for America than the whole field of Republicans put together.  At least they have illustrated a capacity to think.

There are a lot of issues that still need to be talked about.  Climate Change is real.  Public Education is in trouble.  Hate is running rampant in too many areas of the country.  The Affordable Care Act is constantly under attack.  Energy needs to be addressed.  We need to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels for a cleaner environment and a better, less expensive energy source for our businesses to compete globally.

These are all things that the top three Republicans want to avoid talking about.  They seem to believe that it is not our responsibility to address them or even try to fix them.

They don’t care if you have lead in your drinking water.  They don’t care if you care about the environment.  They want to protect their biggest investors, fossil fuel companies, and shut down clean energy projects.  They don’t care if you have health insurance or if your children can read and write.  They are perfectly fine with your hating people, but only if they are Muslim, minority, women, or gay.

That is what I took from the Republican side last night.  These are the very things that 75% of Iowa voters voted for!

The determining factor in this whole process, including the general election, will be if Americans actually participate.  If they do, the people may actually be the winners.  If not, we will all lose.  It is up to you, so please vote!

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I didn’t think it could get any worse than it already has been.  But, last night’s debate was arguably the most nauseating exposition I have witnessed since my last Natural Disaster relief work.  It was like watching seven zombies talking like their brains had already been killed off.

As with he other debates, we learned that Republicans really hate Hillary Clinton.  There for a time, I thought that was who they were debating instead of each other.

Here is what we know these Republican Candidates really believe:

  • Americans are being killed by ISIS terrorists every day in numbers unbelievable.
  • America’s military in incapable of waging wars anywhere in the world, there is no morale in the military except bad morale, and that it is equivalent to a third world country.
  • All Muslims are terrorists and should be barred from coming into the country.  Even if they aren’t all terrorists, they harbor terrorists just the same.
  • The southern border is so porous we can expect the Mexican Army at any time in an effort to take back Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
  • Even allowing undocumented aliens to gain “legal status” instead of citizenship is the same as “amnesty”.  Which means Cruz is against it, even though he is in favor of it.
  • They all hate the Affordable Care Act, but don’t have any plans for a replacement, except what we had before the Act was put into place.  As a matter of fact, they claim that more people “lost” their insurance than gained insurance.
  • The economy is so terrible that we must have a 25% unemployment rate rather than the 5% rate the Department of Labor says we have.
  • The rich aren’t getting enough money, so we must cut their taxes while we raise everyone else’s taxes.
  • They all want our laws to be based on “Christian” laws, even though they say that is what ISIS wants, all laws based on “Muslim” laws.
  • They all hate the idea of same-sex marriage.
  • They all hate President Obama.  This one is hard for me.  I couldn’t tell if they hate the President more than Hillary Clinton, or the other way around.
  • They love war!  Especially if that war is against a Muslim country like Iran.

There are other things that they talked about, but that is the gist of the debate.  Even when shown video clips proving their “flip-flops” the candidates tried to explain that the clips were wrong.

Of course, all of the pundits want to say someone won and someone lost.  If anything, Ted Cruz came out on the losing end.  He tried the “anger” meme so often he appeared to almost foam at the mouth.  He never answered a single question.  I still say if you put green makeup on his face, he is the spitting image of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  Marco Rubio, who many pundits said did well, appeared to be reading from talking points everytime he tried to answer a question.

Ben Carson was totally incoherent.  I sat with my mouth open during his responses wondering just what the hell he was talking about.  Jeb Bush seemed more comfortable without Trump, but his rhetoric of his “proven track record” got old real quick.  Kasich tried to appear confident and happy.  His answers were a little more direct, but not enough to actually say anything about what he would actually do.

Chris Christie had a one track mind.  Hillary Clinton.  Every answer somehow came back to Hillary Clinton, like she was the devil incarnate and he was the second coming sent to stop her.  Rand Paul seemed the most coherent on stage.  He never raised his voice, but he never said anything either.  It was almost like he was just happy to be at the “grown up table” again.

Of course the elephant in the room was Trump.  He was out doing what he called raising money for veterans.  Yet, no one knows which veterans groups are actually going to get any of the reportedly $6 million raised for veterans.  All of the money is going to “trumpforvets.org”.  Which didn’t even exist until yesterday morning.

Since Trump wasn’t there, ratings for Fox News was down for the debate.  Yes, it was still large, but one of the least watched debate so far.  The question is were the ratings down because Trump wasn’t there, or were the ratings down because Americans are getting tired of the same fear mongering and hate mongering every time these candidates open their mouths?

I am sorry, but the RNC should really consider cancelling the rest of their debates.  I feel like I am being forced to watch a very bad movie over and over again because there is only one TV channel and it only has that one bad movie.

If I were a religious person, I would take Ted Cruz’s advice at the end of the debate.  I would pray.  Only I would pray that these morons somehow disappear and leave the rest of us to live our lives in peace and harmony.  Two words none of these candidates can spell, much less define!

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In 1991, the New York State Legislature received a letter that read in part:

While disabled veterans should be given every opportunity to earn a living, is it fair to do so to the detriment of the city as a whole or its tax paying citizens and businesses?

Do we allow Fifth Avenue, one of the world’s finest and most luxurious shopping districts, to be turned into an outdoor flea market, clogging and seriously downgrading the area?

In 2004, Mayor Bloomberg received a letter that read in part:

Whether they are veterans or not, they [the vendors] should not be allowed to sell on this most important and prestigious shopping street.

The image of New York City will suffer… I hope you can stop this very deplorable situation before it is too late.

These letters were prompted because after the Civil War, New York City accorded special “veterans licenses” to disabled veterans.  That practice continues.  These special licenses allow veterans to “peddle” merchandise from carts on city streets in order to make a living.

The author of those letters is planning to hold a “fund-raising” event for veteran groups tonight instead of participating in the Republican Presidential Debate.  That is right, it was Donald Trump.

Apparently, talking about veterans is different than helping veterans.  These vets are trying to make a living by selling products.  Trump doesn’t like them hanging around his gleaming headquarters on 5th Avenue because they aren’t as pretty as his workers.

Trump likes to talk like he really cares about veterans.  His actions seem to indicate that he doesn’t give a damn about them.  I find it weird that people trying to make a living on the same street as Donald Trump are considered as “vagrants” rather than vendors.

There is very little information as to which veterans organizations will participate in tonight’s so-called fundraising.  The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America said they would not accept any money from tonight.  Their leader said “we need policies, not charity.”

As of last night, the Wounded Warriors Project was unaware of any participation either.  So, just who is going to “benefit” from this event?

Sorry, but Trump’s history of treating veterans with dignity isn’t exactly what he wants you to think.  He has wanted to get rid of veteran peddlers from 5th Avenue because they are an eye-sore.  He never served. His children never served.

Yet, when his fight with Fox News hits a new high, he uses veterans as his next prop.  He claims he will raise money for them instead of debating.  I hope he raises a ton of money for veterans tonight.  If, that is, the event actually takes place.

However, I would rather hear what policies he plans to help veterans if he is elected.  I am tired of “lip service” from candidates who try to show “patriotism” by praising veterans and then doing nothing to help us.

Since the year 2000, the only things the Republican Party has given America is two wars that were never paid for, a collapsed economy, austerity measures that hurt millions upon millions of Americans, and more wounded veterans from those wars without helping them.

This latest side-show is nothing different.  There are even rumors that candidates like Cruz and Fiorina would like to help out by sending representatives to the event.   Cruz’ voting record proves he doesn’t give a shit about veterans.

Sorry, Republican Policies towards veterans has been anything but helpful.  They really look upon us as Donald Trump sees the veteran vendors on 5th Avenue, with disgust.

Which is why I say this latest gambit is nothing more than using veterans as a prop.  Shame on them!

 

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