Sunday, September 25, 2016

Thinking about voting Libertarian? Look before you leap. revised 9/28

Still not sure what you will do in the voting booth? Maybe you are  considering voting for the Libertarian Party as a way to avoid “choosing between two evils” or just throw all the old system out?  What if the Libertarian Party has demonstrated positions on issues in the past which violate some of your basic values or your action or inaction could result in the election of a president who would set back any progress on your treasured issues for years?

 No third party has ever  won the  electoral college majority since Teddy Roosevelt days in 1912, though in 1948 George Wallace’s anti civil rights party carried five states. It is the electoral college vote that elects the president, not the popular vote. Polling show that while the Libertarian Party could influence the outcome of this election in a state's electoral college vote, their candidates have no chance to be elected to the White House, nowhere reaching the 15% popular vote mark.

 The Libertarian Party has some sweet sounding siren songs that appeal to those on  the left and the right.  They promote very limited government, want to reduce our tax burden,  believe government should  stay out of our  bedrooms on social issues, and support civil rights. They  oppose foreign interventions.  However, when they carry their principles to extreme conclusions and apply them to issues, beware.  They have taken some very controversial positions over the recent years that are poison pills to many.      

There is a web site that  summarizes in bullet points with source citations issue positions taken recently  by all political parties and candidates. It is non partisan and non profit. Visit    What jumped out  as particularly controversial  were the following: eliminate minimum wage: privatize missile defense and  social security; allow public funding for private education; allow drugs, alcohol, prostitution, gambling; eliminate all restrictions on immigration; eliminate the EPA. Note: their candidates broke from prior  positions and platforms that eliminated government regulation of the the environment. On Chris Matthews Hardball, MSNBC, on Wednesday, their presidential candidate may be willing to keep the EPA. Libertarians would  eliminate federal regulation of energy production from coal to gas  (the free market will take care of that);  have  no government health systems but restore "free market" in health care; shutdown all foreign military  bases; eliminate all military and foreign aid;have  no trade restrictions (the ultimate free trade) ; and  repeal all gun control legislation. Candidate Gary Johnson is such an isolationist, he has appeared to have little knowledge of foreign affairs (Aleppo moments).

The vote for president is by state. All but a few have rules that the winner of the state popular vote takes all electoral  college votes allotted to that state. Your vote for a third party may withhold enough votes from your second choice in a very close election to cause the one you hate the most to win all of your state’s electoral votes, possibly  resulting in determining the  national vote in the electoral college. There are those who believe it happened in 2000 in the close Florida vote, causing Ralph Nader/Green Party to take away votes from Democrat Al Gore, resulting in his defeat.  It may have also contributed to a Republican loss of the White House in 1996 with Ross Perot’s independent candidacy. The Obama coalition would have lost the 2012 election if  the under 35 age groups' votes had not been heavily supportive of him.  As both President Obama and Michelle Obama said Wednesday, no vote, or a vote for a third party by this important group is a vote for Donald Trump. Given what is stake in both administration of laws and in appointments to the supreme court, the  impact of a Trump election could set back for a generation  reproductive rights and environmental protections.

Monday, September 19, 2016

How Hillary Clinton could turn the terrorist attacks to her advantage

Spooking the herd...New Jersey, New York, and Minnesota terrorist attacks...could be bad news for Clinton.  It plays into Trump's rhetoric and the fear factor upon which his candidacy has been based. The irony is that Clinton's reputation is that of an interventionist hawk and Trump talks a good game about being the hammer and fist, but has attempted to paint himself as an isolationist and a go it alone reliance on American military strength.  There are very few who do not recognize that the US cannot fight ISIS alone and that it takes a concerted effort world wide of allies, both European and Arab and other Muslims, to get the job done.  A strong case can be made is that Trump will not be able to lead the winning coalition.

Strength is what Trump radiates, but it is brute strength appealing to those who want a solution that is simple to grasp, but it the kind of strength that is blind, a counterproductive lash out.  Recent comments by Robert Gates and revealed in emails from Colin Powell that the world views Trump as a pariah and he insults to all of the Muslim world, dramatized by his stand on the Muslim ban. This makes him unfit to gather the kind of coalition we need and the cooperation we need from US Muslims.

Clinton must make it clear in the debates that she has the strategy to unite the world to defeat ISIS and that brute military strength conducted solo by the US will not work...and what Trump's strategy is doomed to failure because of his campaign of fear and hatred.  Clinton has at least the knowledge and understanding to be effective, while Trump is a bull in a china closet, doing more damage than good and inspite of his heated rhetoric is doomed to failure.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The greatest con: 72% of identified Republicans bought Trump's birther scam

The ultimate con: the birther issue. Donald Trump yesterday agreed President Obama was born in the US after five years of leading the the issue as his stepping stone to the GOP nomination. The following poll shows 72% of Republicans swallowed the con...either doubting Obama's citizenhsip or swallowing it hook line and sinker. While the response yesterday from Trump supporters was not race that was the motivation, it was his Muslim religion. Huh? The other line: Hillary started it in 2008, which, while one of her staffers suggested she use the birther concept, the media was quick to tag that as false. She never used that line.  That it was false belief that Obama was a Muslim was a stand alone attack. However, That was not how most everyone else saw it: As Gen. Colin Powell's leaked email revealed his thoughts: it was about racism. His views were similar as the response from most African American leaders: that was clear to them it birtherism was sheer race motivated...and was a dog whistle to racists.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Trump the Con Man

Trump the con man

Hand it to Donald Trump. He is a consummate con man.   He has been very effective from the beginning to paint Hillary Clinton as a crook and a liar and throwing out so much flak that he has been able to divert attention from his own crooked and truth twisted behavior. Trump is like the salesman depicted in the Broadway classic, “the Music Man”. Unlike the salesman trying to sell 76 trombones to River City, what he has proposed are kazoos powered by the hot air of implausible plans or nothing at all. These are just some of his vulnerabilities that Hillary Clinton should exploit and go on the offense in the upcoming presidential debates.

As the “Commander in Chief” forum revealed, Donald Trump had no plan to stamp out ISIS but would give his generals a month to come up with a plan which he may or may not accept, depending if he “liked” it.  What he had earlier indicated was 30,000 ground troops, which is a repeat of a past failure

In the same forum was Trump’s eyebrow raising plan to “take the oil” from a sovereign nation, as the way of stopping the rise of ISIS like organizations, because” to the victors belong the spoils.”  Aside from his ignorance of  international law, he ignored the tribal and religious civil war elements causing the rise if ISIS, that even fifteen years of US occupation could never resolve.

When it came to deporting eleven million in the country, once again, other than putting criminals as a priority, he left empty whether or not or even how, he would handle the rest.

He is a skilled flim flam artist, using false facts to make his sales pitch. Fact checkers have rated Trump pants on fire, half- truths, exaggerations and half the story when it comes to using figures and statistics. Clinton fares much better.

While he claims he gave millions to charities, yet  refuses to release his tax returns to show to what,  there  has been no evidence uncovered he gave much to any charities.  However his charitable Foundation gave $25 thousand dollar illegal political contribution from his foundation to a group backing Florida attorney general while his Trump University was under investigation for fraud. The attorney general later filed no charges. Both Trump and the AG deny the connections. There are allegations, too, that he gave even more to the Texas attorney general under similar circumstances, resulting in his dropping the Trump University case. The result is that those who feel ripped off, baited and switched, have had to seek justice by filing class action suits, the trials scheduled post November election.

Like a carnival barker’s shell game, he attacks the Clinton foundation as play for pay, with no evidence her foreign policy was influenced, yet his entangling business dealings with Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey, and other enemies or friends, revealed in a recent Newsweek investigative report.. One can draw a straight line from his business aspirations in Russia to his promotion of Putin’s foreign policy. That simply turning over Trump inc. to his children in a blind trust does not  remove him from conflict of interests with subsequent impact on foreign policy.  Family members are not considered a legitimate blind trust and his real estate investments are blind to no one.