Saturday, July 23, 2016

FactChecking Day 3 of the GOP Convention

FactChecking Day 3 of the GOP Convention

What is clear about this and other fact checking, is to scare the daylights of voters to support him, Trump and others have to distort and lie in order to make their points.  What is also clear is that few care whether what he says is true because what he says rings true with their own opinions, guesses, hunches,  prejudices, and fears. Trump's deceits only verifies them and gives them a voice.  He makes is politically correct for them to express what was before politically incorrect, whether it is racism or based on ignorance.

 It is this kind of populism that frightened our country's founders who sought to set up a government with checks, balances, protection of rights, that would prevent such strong men from ever dominating the new country. They had seen too much of that in their past lives, both in Europe and England from which most came, and in mistakes made by colonialists.    The problem is that Donald Trump has no concept of any of this.  What it would mean if he became president is sheer chaos as he tried to bull his way through the safeguards of the Constitution against a would be dictator.  What we can see happen are   fights  over supreme court appointees as he tried to stack the Court with those who agreed with him, gridlock beyond anything we have yet seen in Congress, and protests of size and intensity of what we have not seen yet.

More fact checking:

For even more, simply google Fact check Trump Republican convention  and choose your sources: My two: the independent Fact and the Associated Press.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Trump...fixing conflict with conflict?

Fixing conflict by creating conflict: Donald Trump's solution to what ails America

Review his speech to the Republican convention:  read it carefully and understand that he says that only he can fix it...That his platform is promoting fear and disunity. He and the convention have placed themselves solidly against Black Lives Matter...that he and they fail to recognize they African-Americans have any basis for complaints. A police power of law and order is his solution, and basis his reasoning on cherry picked statistics that are contradicted by so many other facts when one takes in the trends in the country as a whole.   There is absolutely no balance between the cops and the blacks. There in lies the scary part.  If this country seeks to have more racial conflict, and even more income inequality, Trump is the Man.

What is startling is missing his platform how he would help those left behind in our economy, the ones he says with whom he has empathy:  Their problems are economic; their blame falls on others; it is solely an import  and immigrant problem. . Ignored are changes in the manufacturing sector and an underlying problem of the changing needs in the workforce. Many in the rust belt of manufacturing  do not   have the education and the skills to compete in our modern world. (The most unemployed are those with only a high school education at two to one ratio)

.Yet, not mentioned is his speech are his proposals to fix the economic ails other than to bargain harder in trade negotiations on behalf  those engaged in manufacturing, ignoring those eleven million who work in the new economy of technoology and whose services to the rest of the world create  a positive balance of payments.  Here is what he has proposed in the past:  no minimum wage (starting salary in manufacturing now is $12 per hour, below a living wage); a flatter tax that would decrease the taxes on the very rich and place a greater burden on the middle and lower income classes.  That is just for starters.

So far as his foreign policy goes: he cuddles up to Russia and even North Korea: It is no wonder he is admired by Russia since he wants to disband NATO unless the participants pay more into it. His proposals suit Russia's foreign plicy, not America's.  (Pay more is not a bad thing, but threatening to disband it because he calls in obsolete, as he has done,  is another) He ignores land grab of everything Russia can grab that does not belong to NATO: Georga, Ukraine/Crimea. One wonders whether ending a mutual defense  treaty, which is what NATO is, would open many doors for Russia to reassemble its old Soviet boundaries from those whose defense we no longer support.  That is just for starters. When some of his proposals run contrary to international law, especially reinstating torture, his first answer: change international law. When he opposes the domestic check on his plans to ignore anti discrimination laws or the first amendment, both having to do with freedom of religion,especially regarding the "Muslim ban",  his answer is to stack the Supreme Court.

He skipped over the "how's" of how he would fix the problems he identified, but instead peppered his oratory with simple:  ""we will"; "I will"..and not much more.
His basic solution to problems: trust me; I know how to do it because I have done it in business.  It is me who will save you.    In reality, his solution if more racial conflict and an economic policy that would make income disparity worse.

I have seen too much of the strong man approach in Europe.  The cult of personality plagued many during the Comminist era in Eastern Europe.  I have seen the same appeal used by a Serbian strong man to rise to power by reminding unemployed coal miners of their economic problems and appealing to a Greater Serbia as it cleansed minority e thnics.  So have

most Europeans who are in shock of a prospective Trump presidency. As one European observer told me: if Trump is elected, all Europe will boycott America and she followed up with the question: How could America ever support such person as Trump. My answer: the same currents that led to the Brexit vote: anti immigrants and a search for simple answers to economic woes: just leave the EU. Britain awoke after their vote  to a mammoth economic hangover .  Theirs was a vote of the "heart", but unlike them, we need to vote with our heads.

Muftic: Obamacare revisited: heads up for good, bad, and ugly proposals |

Muftic: Obamacare revisited: heads up for good, bad, and ugly proposals | Just as certain as hot temperatures in summer, repeal and perhaps replace Obamacare is a topic of party platforms and soaring oratory at the party conventions. What is certain

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bernie's diehard supporters need to take a deep breath

Bernie Sanders' supporters fall into a couple of categories: they will reluctantly support Hillary Clinton, since he endorsed her and so many of his issues were incorporated into the Demicratic platform. A minority say they will vote for Donald Trump.  And a few say they will "vote FOR someone instead of against someone", not buying Sander's criticism of Trump as a motivation for voting for Clinton. And some may consider voting libertarian or for the Green Party.  Some will opt to skip that part of the ballot or stay home on election day.

Here are my thoughts:  Because of the overwhelming numbers of dedicated supporters to either Trump or Clinton, voting for someone who has not chance of winning, such as a lLbertarian or a Green,  may be a vote on priciple but it is an evasion of decision making. . it is as good as throwing away your chance to influence the  outcome that will be either Trump or Clinton.  If you were a possible Clinton vote, but you opt to vote third party or not vote for president at all, consider your actions as a vote for Trump because it takes away from the potential vote for Clinton (The reverse is true for any possible Republican vote for Trump, including those who sit on their hands or vote Libertarian. That only helps Clinton. )

If you are serious about voting Libertarian and you were a Sanders supporter, then find out what they stand for first.  If your reasons for supporting Sanders' were the issues  he prioritized them and proposed solutions to problems he espoused, brace yourself. You may like the Libertarian approach on social issues, but the core of Sanders' platform was a more active government, from single payer to college financing.  Libertarians want only a skeleton of government and more government programs are an anathema to them.  They would not happen and you are at that point be in effect  undermining the possibility of  enacting most of Sanders' positions.

If you are acting out of sheer anger at being left behind in the economy or resentment of the wealthy, then you may be  the victim of unintended consequences of public policies that arre not in your iinterests in some other way. For example some of Donald Trump's policies contain  continuation of greater income disparity and lack of enforcement of environmental or consumer protection laws, or removing the minimum in wages paid,  or lower taxes on the rich.  It is not unlike those in Britain who voted for Brexit because they didi not like EU regulations and disliked immigration, but awoke the next morning to find their pound had lost value and corporations were considering moving headquarters to Ireland, and foreign investment in the UK was dead in the water.   That was not the intention of those who voted for Brexit.  The lesson: voting because of anger only may have unintended consequences.   Look before you leap.