Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category

Day 62

In nine days the Presidency of Barak Obama will come to and end.  During his eight years in office we have seen the least productive three Congresses in our history.  In his last six years, the House was under Republican control due to gerrymandered districts.  In the last two years he faced a total House and Senate in Republican control.  What came from these Congresses?  Nothing.

President Obama was not perfect.  There were some things that I disagreed with him on, but overall, he did more than most other Presidents to help the country.

When he took office, the country was at the beginning of the worst recession since the Great Depression.  The day he took office, we were losing over 850,000 jobs per month.  Before he even had time to even consider the damage taking place, the unemployment rate rose to over 10%.

The President, with a friendly Congress took actions and got Congress to pass the Republican hated stimulus packages.  He worked to help save the auto industry which over 3 million jobs relied.  Slowly, the brakes started to be placed on the economic free-fall.

In the last quarter of his first two years, unemployment rates stopped gaining and new jobs began to be created.  Since then, we have seen 75 consecutive months of new job growth.  That is an unheard of accomplishment.  During those 75 months over 15 million jobs were created.  That is over 2 million jobs per year.  We have never seen jobs grow for so many consecutive months in our history before.

As a result, when the President leaves office, that over 10% unemployment rate sits at 4.7%.  It was cut by nearly 60%.  The auto industry is on firm economic footing again.  In the last two years, income increased at record levels as well.

You know that the workers are beginning to see gains when you look at a state like Kentucky who just passed that “right to work for less” law that Republicans love so much.  It was another attack on unions and an attempt to keep wages low so employers can make more money in profits.  That is the only reason to even consider “right to work” laws.  When workers start making more money, companies turn to Republican controlled state legislatures to put the brakes on those gains.

On top of all of this, our economy has come back without all of the “austerity” measures that European countries tried during the same time period.  Their economies are still lagging behind ours.  That proves that “austerity” does not work the way conservatives say it does.

At the time he took office, the Stock Market was just over 6,000.  Today it is nearly at 20,000.  So, if you own stocks they have tripled in value under President Obama.

I argued about income inequality, and I was hoping that the President could do something about it.  However, I also realize that he cannot do everything by himself.  With an obstructive Congress, there was no way the workers would gain the same attention as the top 1% of the economic ladder do.

Our economy is on strong footing again.  Our companies are healthy again.  People up and down the economic ladder are seeing greater income for their families.  Rather than sinking into a second Great Depression, we were pulled from the brink and put back on the road to a healthy economy.

The Affordable Care Act helped over 20 million people who never had health insurance now have it.  The percentage of uninsured people is at the lowest rate in our country’s history.

Under President Obama our NATO allies were comfortable with us and our actions.  They worked with us and were happy to have a President who did not dictate what everyone should do.  The President worked to build coalitions rather that the rogue “go it alone” of his predecessor.

NATO did not get real nervous until Donald Trump won the election.  His rancorous rhetoric about NATO and his love fest with Putin have made them very nervous about our national interest and our commitment to NATO.  When you say that if a country of NATO is attacked, he would decide to defend them once he reviewed “if they have paid their fair share” makes our allies very nervous.

The other thing is that this President has not been accused of any scandals.  Yes, the conservative wackos will talk about Benghazi and the IRS thing, but there were no real scandals.  We did not see anything like Watergate, the Iran/Contra Affair, or the Monica Lewinsky matter.

The so-called scandals were all politically motivated.  You don’t have to take my word for it either.  Republicans were caught on tape bragging that all of the Benghazi investigations were intended to hurt Clinton during her run for President.

After dozens of investigations and millions of dollars being spent on them, nothing was found to be improper or illegal.  Every time Republicans said “we got her” they didn’t have her.  Every time they said “we have the proof” they had no proof.

You can argue that the President used too many Executive Orders.  But, he did not even come close to the number of Executive Orders issued by the Republican sainted Ronald Regan.  He issued almost 300 Executive Orders in his two terms in office.  And, he had to deal with the Iran/Contra scandal that resulted in some of his staff going to jail.  It was also under his watch that 250 Marines were killed in a terrorist attack on their barracks in Lebanon.

While we have had a few terrorist attacks in our country, they were all conducted by “homegrown” terrorists who were radicalized.  No coordinated attack by foreign terrorists took place on our soil.

What most don’t know is that thousands of potential terrorists were arrested and charged before they were able to act.  Additionally, all of the “terrorist” attacks were not launched by Muslims.  Dylan Roof used a terrorist attack against a black church in Charleston for example.

The rise of ISIS was the direct result of the Iraq war.  When you overthrow a government and do not have a plan on what to do when the war is over, vacuums take hold and terrorism gains a foothold.  That is what President Bush gave us.  But, you cannot end it by simply invading another country like the warmongers want us to do.

He took on climate change.  He took on immigration reform.  He took on education problems.  He took on fair taxes.  He was opposed by Congress on every issue, but he kept working on them.  That is what a President is supposed to do.

Michele Obama was a First Lady of grace.  She, like all First Lady’s before here, picked a topic that was dear to her and helped to teach our children.  She settled on nutrition.  Even though many Republicans and right-wing media gave her hell for her topic, she stuck to her guns.  As a result, we are seeing children trying to eat better.  Good nutrition is important for health and even productivity.

When criticized.  When called hateful names.  Mrs. Obama kept going.  She never hurled insults back at her attackers.  Her goal was to help children and she stuck to that goal regardless of what her detractors said.  That is grace no matter what you think of her.

It is my belief that the Obama’s understood their role.  They also understood that being the first African-American family to live in the White House was a huge challenge.  They seemed to understand that their behavior and actions would be placed under the microscope like no other family before them simply because they were the first African-American First Family.

They conducted themselves with measured temperament.  They conducted themselves in a manner that can be an example to everyone who desires to sit in the Oval Office.

President Obama took office at a very difficult time in our history.  We were fighting two wars.  We were collapsing economically.  He faced problems head-on.  You may agree with what he did, or you may disagree with what he did.  But, at least he did something in an effort to make things better for the American People.  If that is being a bad president, then we will never see a good president.

This President faced more obstructionism than any President in my lifetime.  He faced more death threats than any President in my lifetime.  Yet, as he leaves office, we have a strong economy.  We are safer than we were when he took office.  He ended torture as a way of “interrogation”.

My opinion is that President Obama was one of the best Presidents we have had.  He faced problems with rational thinking and plans to make those problems go away.  He wasn’t always successful.  He may not have made all the right choices.  But, he worked for us and not his own glory.

There has been a lot of talk about his legacy.  The incoming administration will do its best to erase it.  But, they won’t be able to do that.  Only history will give us a full review of his legacy.  I am convinced that history will say that he was one of our best Presidents.

So, I want to say to President Obama a thank you.  May you have a very happy life after office.  You were a great example of what an American President should be.  Farewell!

 

 

Read Full Post »

Day 29

“I know more about ISIS than the Generals do.  Believe me.”  “The Generals have been reduced to rubble.”  “The Generals leading our military are losers.”

Those are just three direct quotes from our Slanderer In Chief (SIC), Donald Trump during the campaign.  I have decided to start calling him by his real title since he can’t help but slander people who say things against him like he did the other day with the Union Leader at Carrier.

So, now that he is filling out his cabinet who is he appointing to key positions?  Generals.  Why would anyone who thinks that our Generals are losers want them on his team?  Why would anyone who thinks he knows more than they do place them in positions that deal directly with our security?

I cannot say I know any of the three Generals so far named to his administration,.  However, I do know people who worked for Flynn and they absolutely hate the man.  It says something to me when the next President picks a conspiracy theorist as his Intelligence Director.  I thought that position required someone with actual intelligence.

A lot of people are concerned about the “over militarization” of the cabinet.  Especially in the positions they are being earmarked to fill.  There is a lot of concern about Mattis being the Secretary of Defense.  Our Constitution says that the military is to be under “civilian” control.  A retired four star General isn’t exactly what most people consider as “civilian”.  But, considering some of his other picks so far, Mattis may be the only adult in the room.

Now it is being reported that our SIC is going to announce his third General to head up the  Department of Homeland Security.  That choice is General John Kelly.

I don’t know a lot about Kelly except that our SIC picked him because he was in charge of U.S. Southern Command which includes Latin America.  Other than that, he really has no experience heading up a department of 22 different agencies including law enforcement, transportation security, and the Coast Guard.

If you are wondering how good of a job he will do, you are not alone.  I share your concerns.  Back in 2002 Retired Adm. James Loy was named by George W. Bush to head up the TSA.  I was very involved in security management at the time and was a member of ASIS International.  That group along with others offered suggestions as to how to best handle security at airports.

Unfortunately for all of us, we weren’t listened to very much.  Adm. Loy was a fine Coast Guard Officer, but unfortunately, I don’t think he did a very good job at TSA.

The problem comes from one simple fact.  Running a military organization is totally different from running a civilian organization.  In the military we sort of live in our own world.  We have our own criminal justice system.  We have our own rules.  We even have less “freedoms” than our civilian counterparts.

When a military leader attempts to head up a civilian organization, the military way just doesn’t work very well.  I believe that was the biggest hinderance to Adm. Loy succeeding better at TSA.

Should our SIC decide to start rounding up “illegals” and deporting them,  Kelly is the one who will be responsible to do so.  If our SIC orders that stupid wall of his to be build, it will be Kelly who will have to do it.

Problem is that he already stated that the wall probably won’t work.  And, he knows little to nothing about the legal implications of rounding millions of people for deportation.

I cannot remember a time in my lifetime when so many Generals were being selected to head up important cabinet posts.  Even President Eisenhower didn’t have as many Generals on his payroll as our SIC is going to have.

Then again, no one worried about Eisenhower establishing a militarized government either.  We cannot say that about our SIC.  If you want to militarize the government the best way is to put military people in top positions.  Especially if you believe the military would follow them even if they were breaking the law.

Our SIC has made some god-awful choices for filling out his cabinet.  I cannot say that Mattis and Kelly fall into that category.  Only time will tell.

It is going to be interesting though watching the infighting after our SIC takes office.  I wonder if our SIC knows that when appointing so many retired Generals, rank does matter to these people.  Flynn who will have the closest spot to our SIC’s ear is the junior officer of the three.

That could make for some interesting fights.  It will be interesting if the other two “pull rank” on Flynn when it comes to final decisions.  I bet Flynn comes up with some wild conspiracy theory about how Mattis and Kelly will be “out to get me”.

This could all be comical if it wasn’t so serious.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust our SIC.  Nor am I thrilled with his choices for his cabinet so far.  As a veteran, I really do fear for the future of our country under this clown.  I hope I am wrong for all of our sake.

 

Read Full Post »

The election is over.  Donald Trump has pulled out a victory.  There are a lot of people wringing their hands over this election and wondering how the pollsters got it so wrong.  Only, they really didn’t get it all that wrong.  It was close.  3 percent, which is what they said Clinton was leading by is within the margin of error.  So the outcome wasn’t all that much of a surprise to me.

Besides, if you have closely watched politics for the last 30 or 40 years like I have, you knew this day was coming.  It was just a matter of time.  The current crop of Republicans have nurtured this fear and hate among Americans for that long and now they have what they wanted along.

The real winner was hate and fear.  Donald Trump played those two up big time and it radiated with the trolls enough to give him a sound base.  Plus, Clinton was a flawed candidate, so the formula was there for this “upset”.

Hillary Clinton is far more qualified to be President than Donald Trump will ever be.  However, she is also a terrible campaigner.  There were plenty of times I scratched my head and wondered just what the hell she was thinking.

All of that doesn’t matter anymore.  Donald Trump is the President Elect and on January 20, 2017 he will take the oath of office.  Though I doubt that he will take that oat with any seriousness.

I am not a fortune-teller.  I keep telling my kids I had to work for a living because I was honest and I failed mind reading school.  However, there are some things that can be looked at as being real possibilities.

For one, if you remember Richard Nixon and remember just how much of a sleaze he was or if you remember his using his office to “punish” his political opponents, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Donald Trump will be worse than Richard Nixon when it comes to payback.  If I were Paul Ryan right now, I would be watching my back really close.  I imagine that he will be the number one hit on Trump’s list.  His cool endorsement of Trump will not be forgotten, especially when the new Congress takes over in January and the speakership is up for grabs.

Some other things that seem to be certainties.  Over 20 million people will lose their health insurance.  Social Security, Medicare and Veterans Benefits will be privatized.  Medicaid will be doled out in block grants meaning that states won’t all use the money for what it s intended and therefore even more people will be without health insurance.

The last time the Republicans controlled both Houses of Congress and the White House it resulted in the biggest economic meltdown since the great depression.  With Dodd/Frank surely being repealed, we will be on course for another meltdown.

Our planet will be allowed to slowly heat up and die.  If you are planning to leave that nice beach house in Florida to your kids, forget about it.  By the time they inherit it will be under water.  But as long as oil companies keep getting richer, that is all that matters.

Muslims will be in the firing line.  Donald Trump said they should not be allowed in the country.  That means refugees will have another target on their back with the possibility of being thrown out.  And, Muslim citizens should expect to be “monitored” by the new Administration since they are all terrorists, or at least terrorist sympathizers.

Those criminal immigrants will all be deported.  Well, most of them.  I am sure he won’t deport his criminal immigrant wife.  She violated immigration laws and lied on her citizenship papers.  Those are felonies.  That makes her a felon, but I am sure he won’t deport her, unless he is looking for a quick divorce.

By the time the next off-year election in two years happens, you won’t have to worry about those photo ID laws that restrict votes.  In order to make sure that you belong here, you will have to have some kind of proof.  Since you may not be expected to carry around your birth certificate with you all of the time, you will most likely have to get national papers to prove your citizenship.  So, you will just have to show them when you vote.  You will also have to show them every time you get pulled over for speeding.

If you were a Trump supporter and expect to get that great paying job he promised, I am afraid you will be disappointed.  It isn’t coming anytime soon.  As a matter of fact, I would be surprised if the Federal Minimum Wage wasn’t eliminated entirely under his administration.  So if you get a new job, it will probably be at around $5.00 per hour, if you are lucky.  Remember it was Trump that said “a low minimum wage is not bad for our country.”

The deficit and debt are both going to balloon out of control.  You cannot promise huge tax cuts reducing revenues and then spend more money on defense.  The math just doesn’t add up.  If we are running a deficit now, and we cut taxes, and then increase defense spending, the deficits will go higher not lower.

These are just some things I believe we can look forward to under a Trump administration.  There will be others as well that won’t be good.  The Supreme Court will either be so conservative it won’t matter what laws are passed, or he will figure out a way to do away with it entirely.  He will find several people in Congress that will go along with the second part very easily.

During this campaign Donald Trump made a lot of stupid promises that will probably never happen.  I seriously doubt he is going to build that stupid wall.  However, he can harm the country in a lot of ways that most people don’t even think about.

His closest ally, Steve Bannon in an interview several years ago said he admired Lenin.  Not because of his communist beliefs, but because he totally tore apart the government.  He went on to say that is what he wants to do to our government.  He didn’t say what he would replace it with, but one can only imagine he wants an authoritarian government.

The one true lie that the right-wing extremists have been saying for years is that liberals or progressives want to run you lives.  Liberals or progressives do want control over the financial markets to protect consumers and our economy.  They do want social safety nets like Welfare, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Unemployment Insurance.

However, that is it.  Liberals or progressives do not want to tell you how to live your life or what you should believe in or who you can love or who you can marry.  They simply want civil rights for every citizen including minorities.

It is conservatives that want to tell you all of those things.  They want to tell you that you don’t have a right to vote unless they say so.  They want to tell you that you cannot marry the person you love if they disapprove.  They want to tell you what religion is correct and proper and that is the rules you must live by.

They want to define who a citizen is.  Birthright is something they would love to see go away in some forms at least.  They want to tell you how to live minute by minute.  If you object, you are a pervert or commie and need to be locked up.

Donald Trump is the epitome of that belief system.  That is why the right-wing extremists are so overjoyed with his victory.  They believe their White Christian male dominated paradise is just around the corner.

I am not Donald Trump.  I won’t argue against the legitimacy of his election.  I won’t start rumors that he was really born in Moscow which is why he loves Putin so much.  He won the election and he will be our next President.

However, I won’t call myself his “loyal” opposition.  I will simply call myself his opposition.  I will fight him every chance I get.  When he or his party try to pass something I believe is wrong for the country, I will speak out.

I believe that Donald Trump is the most dangerous unstable person this country has ever elected to be our President.  I only hope that he is so terrible in his first two years his opposition will be able to take back control of the Congress.  That is assuming we still have an opposition party by then.

All anyone can do is hold your breath and hope he doesn’t blow up the world too quickly or ruin our country beyond repair.  Both of those ideas are not out of the realm of possibility with Trump at the top.

I served my country in uniform for 20 years.  I will continue to serve my country by voicing my opinion about what I believe is right and wrong.  I will continue to be that voice crying out in the wilderness.  Maybe, just maybe, the American people will listen to me and people like me and realize what a dunce they just elected to be President.

Read Full Post »

There are a lot of rumblings going on in the Republican Party.  The rumblings are supposed to be because of Donald Trump.  But, that is only partly true.  The rumblings we see spilling over in public have been going on for years inside the party.  The only thing Trump has done is bring them into the open.

From the time Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican President in 1860 right up through the early 1960s, the Republican Party was actually the one that fought for civil rights.  They were the driving force behind the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act in the 1960s.

Remember, it was a Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower who sent the army into Little Rock, AK to ensure the safety of African-American children when they first entered an all white school.  These small children were hounded and threatened by white people as they tried to simply go to school.

As the civil rights movement gained strength, it was Republicans in Congress who were on their side.  Lyndon Johnson could not have gotten the Civil Rights Bill or the Voting Rights Bill passed Congress without the help of Republicans.

Right after he signed the bill, Johnson reportedly told someone behind him “I have just lost the South for a generation”.  That was because he knew the so-called Dixiecrats, Democrats with racist views, would create a huge backlash against the Democrats.

In 1968, Richard Nixon took advantage of that schism in the Democratic Party.  He came up with his “Southern Strategy” which relied on getting the Dixiecrats to switch parties and support him for President.  It worked and he became President in 1969.

The Republican Party has been using “code words” and “code strategy” ever since to keep power for as long as they could.  Then, in 2008 the unthinkable happened.  An African-American Man became President.

Over the years, the Republican Party had been partnered with a group that calls themselves “Conservative Christians”.  They merged religion and politics as much as they could.  Problem is this group is anything but Christian.  In my mind, it is impossible to be a Christian and a Conservative.  Christianity is a religion based on revolution and change.  Conservatism is based on “status quo”.

These so-called “Conservative Christians” are really the white supremacists that were against the Civil Rights laws that were passed in the 1960s.  They are the people who were in favor of Jim Crow laws and very huge supporters of George Wallace in 1968.

They simply changed their open racist language to “code speech”.  When Barak Obama became President, pace makers stopped.  In 2010 they politicized their hatred even more and formed something called the “Tea Party Movement”.

There was no doubt from the rhetoric that what they really wanted was to figure out a way to get rid of the “black man in the White House” anyway they could.  Since the GOP was very active in gerrymandering Congressional Districts in many states” these haters had a huge election victory of sorts and they formed a large minority caucus in the House of Representatives.

That was when all government functions came to an end.  Since this so-called “Freedom Caucus” came to be, the House became dysfunctional in incapable of doing their job.  I call it so-called because the only “Freedom” these people want is the freedom to tell you and me how to live our lives.

The party waged war within the Republican Party for five years.  Then Donald Trump announced he was running for President.  The problem for the Republican Party was that Donald Trump didn’t care about the party, he only cared about himself.

So, he openly said what the “Freedom Caucus” and the Republican Party in general was saying in “code speech”.  The racism that has fed the Republican Party since Richard Nixon suddenly came to the forefront.  But it didn’t stop there.

He went on to attack women openly, including that disgusting tape released last Friday.  He went after Muslims and basically said they were all terrorists and needed to be watched if not rounded up.  He proposed a total ban on Muslims from immigrating to our country.

He proposed a “religious test” on our immigration practices.  He keeps talking about his infamous wall to keep those “rapists and criminals” from Mexico from crossing the border and killing us all in our sleep.

All of this has been being said for about 16 months.  Since that fateful day he came down that ugly escalator in Trump Tower and announced his candidacy for President we have suffered through this mess.

The Republican Party did nothing to stop him.  The other candidates refused to let the world see what a racist and xenophobe he really is and he cast them off one by one.  Now this dictator wanna-be is actually the nominee of their party.

And, one by one the rats are abandoning ship.  Meaning that Trump will get even worse than he has been.  The last four weeks of this election is not going to be a mud-fest, it is going directly into the sewer and Trump is taking it there.

Trump isn’t satisfied with just attacking Clinton.  Now he feels free to go after his own party leaders.  Today, he has basically declared war on Paul Ryan.  This is going get worse and worse.

The problem is, the Republican Party has brought this upon themselves.  Their “code speech” for the last 40 years and divisive language against minorities, like the “welfare queen” rants from Reagan, to today’s open racism from Trump has resulted in this “civil war” within the party.

Before the Republican Party became a reality, the Whig party was the big thing.  That party disintegrated because it was infiltrated by the Know Nothing Party.  The stupidity and anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant stance of the Know Nothing Party made the Whigs disposable.  The party fell apart.

Today, the Tea Party is making the Republican Party meaningless.  Maybe if Trump can really destroy this version of the party, the real Republicans will pull themselves together and a valid second party will emerge.

Donald Trump’s candidacy is the direct result of the Republican Party and their policies for the last 40 years.  Richard Nixon laid the groundwork for this mess of a political party.

When a political party is based on the policy of hate and divisiveness, government stops functioning and opens the door for authoritarian rule.  It never happens quickly.  But it usually becomes inevitable.

Read Full Post »

Last night’s debate was nothing short of looking at a raving lunatic trying to debate a normal person.  I know that is going to piss off some people, but Donald Trump looked like a raving lunatic trying to intimidate his opponent instead of debating her.

The optics were absolutely horrible.  While Clinton was speaking, he was stalking her around the stage.  I am not sure what he was trying to do.  But, having him lurking right behind her all night scowling like some kind of spoiled 4-year-old brat was really a stupid idea.

Maybe that was because he didn’t have anything to say.  When he was confronted with his comments released on Friday, he refused to admit that he was bragging about sexually assaulting women.  He claimed “you didn’t understand what I was saying”.  No, I do understand what you were saying.  You were bragging that you could sexually assault women and get away with it because you are a “star”.

Donald Trump thinks that the American people are so stupid that he can make any claim he wants and they will believe him because he keeps saying “believe me”.  Well they don’t believe him and he is in real trouble trying to win any of the battleground states.

The spot polls say the Clinton won the debate last night even though the Trump campaign keep trying to claim victory.  I guess since he didn’t try to grab Clinton by her genitals that is a victory.

Then we have the scary part where he said he would join forces with Assad, Putin and Iran to fight ISIS.  He claims that Russia is bombing ISIS when in fact they are bombing the rebels in Aleppo.

I defy anyone on the right to defend the idea we should support Assad, Russia and Iran.  Nothing shows Trump’s global view better than that statement alone.  He is willing to abandon NATO because he thinks it is obsolete, but he is willing to support dictatorships.

The very idea of dictatorship in this country came up when he claimed that “If I was President you would be in jail.”  I haven’t heard that in many years and never in this country.  That is the kind of thing dictators do not Presidents.  As some have said that comment is totally “Banana Republic” talk.

I guess we will also hear that he had a bad mic again since he was sniffling all night again.  Is Donald Trump suffering from a cold or is he crying about his disastrous campaign?

During the debate he even went out of his way to throw his running mate under the bus.  Instead of talking about Syria and even saying that “I and Mike will sit down and discuss this because we do have minor disagreements about how to proceed in Syria,” he said “we haven’t spoken and I disagree.

About the only thing that Donald Trump was very good at last night was hurling innuendos and avoiding “answering” the questions that were asked of him.  What new?

I really don’t know how to describe Donald Trump anymore.  He keeps losing his cool and speaks like someone who doesn’t think.  To put it plainly if Donald Trump had one more brain cell, it would die from loneliness.

We have 29 days until the election.  That means we have 29 days of mud and sewer talk from Donald Trump.  The man simply cannot help himself.  The very idea that he could even have a remote possibility of becoming President is very scary.  We cannot let him get anywhere near the White House.

Breaking news:  As I was writing this I heard a report that Paul Ryan released a statement that said he would no longer defend Trump and will put all of his energy on helping to keep the House.  But, he still hasn’t pulled his endorsement.

Still, the rats are abandoning ship.

 

Read Full Post »

I will admit that tonight’s debate between the two VPs was a bit better than I thought it would be.  However, it wasn’t anything to write home about either.  Both men had good points and both men had bad points.  Both interrupted each other, and Kaine interrupted more than Pence.

As I sat and watched, my wife blurted out, “why doesn’t Pence answer any of the questions he is asked?”  My wife is not a political wonk like I am.  She listens when it is election time, but doesn’t necessarily follow politics every day.  Still, even she noticed that Pence had a penchant of not answering the questions he was asked.

I was about to give an answer when she blurted out “is it because he is a Republican?  They never seem to answer questions on any show or at any debate.”  I think that pretty sums up an amateurs view of the debate.

When it came to appearance, I have to give the edge to Pence.  He seemed a bit calmer than Kaine.  At times I thought Kaine was on way too much coffee or those energy drinks filled with caffeine.

There was way to much talking over each other and the moderator all night.  It made it difficult to even hear what they were saying.  It did calm down a bit as the night went on, but it was a problem for me all night.

There are two things about Pence that needs to be pointed out.  The first point is that Pence kept saying “he never said that” or “I never said that” when the whole world knows they did say that.

For example, Pence said that “unquestionably Putin has been a better leader for his country than Obama has been for our country”.  That is on tape and Pence tried to distance himself from his own quote.

The one time that Pence made a good hit was when he brought up the “basket of deplorables” comment made by Clinton.  Unfortunately, Kaine was able to answer with the fact that Clinton apologized for the comments.  Then he asked if Trump has ever apologized for any of his insulting comments.  Pence never answered.

The most disturbing thing to me was when Pence was talking about Syria and “safe zone” protection and what to do about Aleppo.  He made a comment that we should be willing to face down Russia “militarily”.  That is scary.  Is he suggesting that we start World War III over Syria?

The other blunder to me was when he was asked what he would do if North Korea fired a missile at the United States.  He said the “first thing is to rebuild our military”.  Isn’t it a bit late to “rebuild our military” after a missile is fired at us?  He either was too intent on sticking to his talking points or he didn’t understand the question.

The simple fact that Pence kept saying “he never said that” will give the Clinton camp plenty of clips for upcoming ads.  They will be able to go after both Pence and Trump with this issue.

The second point is that Pence did not “defend” Donald Trump all that much.  There were a lot of times when he needed to defend Trump he deflected the question and went on to something else.

This is supposed to be Trump’s running mate and his right hand man.  Yet, he refused to show total loyalty to his top of the ticket candidate.  There were times I thought he was actually interviewing with the right-wing of the party for a future run as President rather than trying to help win this election.

The moderator was absolutely terrible.  Not in the way she asked the questions or tried to keep control which was difficult at best, but rather in the haphazard way the questions were asked.  It was almost like she was using an alphabetic list of questions rather than trying to tie everything together.

For example there was a lot of discussion about Russia and then later in the debate, she finally actually asked a question about Russia.  That should have come up when the candidates brought up Russia and not wait for it to hit the alphabetic list.

The poor “ranking” of asking questions aided to the disjointed manner of the debate.  There was no cohesion and no rhythm to the questioning which made things worse.

I came to the conclusion that neither candidate was too interested in the Independent Voter.  Both candidates seemed to be trying to ramp up their bases.  I think that could have been because neither believed that a whole lot of people was going to be watching.

Many of the issues I wanted to see brought up were never brought up.  For example, Pence is one of the staunchest anti-LGBT people in the country but Kaine never hit him on that issue.  Too much was left out and that is a real shame.

My overall opinion is that stylishly Pence won the debate.  However, on content Kaine won the debate.  In the end, Clinton’s campaign will get more points out of the debate to hit Trump with than the other way around.  That could be the real deciding fact.

The next Presidential debate is Sunday.  Problem is that over the weekend Hurricane Matthew is due to hit the southeast all the way up to Virginia.  Unfortunately for the candidates, that story will dominate the headlines more than the campaign.

With that in mind, it is to the benefit of the one leading when the hurricane hits.  But maybe we will get lucky and the hurricane will stay off shore more and not affect the country very much.

To me this was more of a draw than anyone winning.  Regardless of what you think, I don’t see this debate moving the needle very much.  Now we have to wait and see if Trump can put his foot in his mouth again and subtract any thought that Pence won.

Read Full Post »

Tonight the two VP candidates will face off in their only debate.  Of course the media is all agog about the debate.  And, it will probably be all that is talked about for the next week.

However, there are some things that really do matter, but will probably not be covered in the debate.  You are told over and over how Mike Pence is the “stabilizing” factor of the GOP ticket.  You are told he has a steady hand and a calm demeanor.  He would never use negative attacks to gain power.

Most of that narrative is a lie.  Maybe he won’t use negative attacks to gain power, but he won’t do anything but support the radical, racist and misogynistic candidate at the head of his ticket.  You may think that is only because of politics and being the running mate.

You would be wrong.  Mike Pence is even more dangerous, if that is possible, than Donald Trump.  Especially when it comes to social issues.  To put it plainly, Mike Pence is a fraud in his own right.

Remember, this is the Governor who signed one of the first “Religious Freedom Acts” that made it legal to discriminate against LGBT in business practices based on “religious beliefs”.

When there was a huge outcry about the bill, he rolled back some of it, but most remains in tack.  As a matter of fact, a woman who has been charged with child abuse is using this very law as her defense.  She claims that she had to beat her child because she was saving him from Satan.

If she wins her case based on this vile law, it will open the flood gates for anyone who wishes to abuse their children with a “defensible” argument based on the RFA law that Pence wanted passed so badly.

While Pence’s running mate keeps talking about the violence in Chicago, he never seems to mention that Indianapolis, IN has a bigger murder per capita than Chicago.  Last year, Indianapolis had a murder rate of 16.9 per 100,000 people.  That topped Chicago’s rate.

Buying guns in Indiana was always easy.  Mike Pence made it even easier.  He even retroactively stopped the City of Gary from suing gun manufacturers.  It is so easy to get guns in Indiana, the Chicago Police Department reports that up to 40% of all recovered guns used in murder crimes in Chicago were purchased in Indiana.

Then there are the usual anti stances.  You know the ones.  Anti-same sex marriage.  Anti-abortion.  Anti-equal pay for women.  Anti-climate change. Anti-clean water and air policies.  Anti-minimum wage.  Mike Pence is a phony who claims to be a “Conservative Christian” which is an oxymoron at best.

Sorry, but Christianity preaches love and inclusion through the “brotherhood of man” including women.  Conservative Christianity teaches hate, segregation, and the subordination of women.

Then yesterday the RNC was bragging about the next “Willie Horton” ads.  It turns out that they plan to run ads criticizing Kaine for being a defense attorney.  Imagine that.  The party that claims to love the constitution is going to run ads against the VP nominee of the Democratic Party because he was giving those accused of a crime the legal representation that is guaranteed in our Constitution.

When Bobby Jindal left office in Louisiana, the Public Defense Office was so short of funds it was on the verge of non-existence.  So, according to the new Alt-Right RNC, we are now supposed to be guilty until proven innocent.  How convenient.

Some of Kaine’s fellow Senators want him to make Mike Pence own Trump’s rhetoric.  That is not necessary.  He has owned them even before Trump asked him to be his running mate.

But, I doubt we will hear anything about these issues.  We won’t see Pence held to the fire to explain his policies and past laws that discriminated against citizens.  No, we will hear a bunch of nonsense like we always do.

But, I am not sure it will matter.  Vice Presidential Debates rarely move the needle.  People do not vote for the Vice President, they vote for President.  I will watch tonight, but tonight unlike the Presidential Debate, I will probably have my bottle of wine next to me.  Sometimes that is the only way to get through the same stale and false Republican talking points.

I am just wondering if Trump will figure out a way to take the headlines away from this debate and back onto himself.  The man can’t stand anyone else taking headlines away from him, even if he needs to do or say something stupid.

I know, maybe he will take the stage tonight instead of Pence.  That would be something wouldn’t it?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »