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Archive for the ‘Political’ Category

Completely Exonerated?

I just don’t get this part:

If the Mueller report completely exonerates Trump, if it proves there was no collusion, if it shows that we treated the president unfairly, if it allows the “country to move forward again,” then why isn’t Trump making sure that every one of us gets a copy of it as soon as possible?

Hand out the reports, so we can read it for ourselves!

Trump is free and clear, and we can all be sure that the country is safe and protected by our beloved leader.

But it seems like everyone, including the GOP enablers in congress, are fighting to keep it secret.

Why?

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You can judge the character of a person by what the person spends his or her money on.

You can judge the character of a nation the same way.

Our military budget is larger than that of the next 10 nations COMBINED.

The U.S. military is planning on buying a total 2,443 F-35 jets. Since the pricing of each jet is not clear, because they are sold in “batches” where the costs of development are sometimes wrapped into the planes, I find it difficult to figure out how much individual planes actually cost. I have come up with up to $200 million each, but on the low end around $100 million each (source).

Let’s say we’re on the low end at $100 million for each plane.

Trump and DeVos just suggested we cut the entire budget of the Special Olympics – about $17 million a year. We know Trump caved after the public outrage that announcement created. Two billionaires, two kleptocrats, trying to take the Special Olympics out of the government’s budget – in our name!

Let me suggest the following:

I don’t think we need 2,443 F-35 jets. I think 2,442 will do just fine. And we’ll take the $100 million we saved and fund the Special Olympics for about six years straight.

We can live with one less F-35, right?

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When you elect a clown, expect a circus.

The Ukraine is suffering from massive corruption at the top of the government. After Paul Manafort’s protector in the Ukraine was ousted, near-billionaire Petro Poroshenko took over. Most of the candidates for the upcoming election are oligarchs. The voters don’t like it.

41-year-old television comic Volodymyr Zelenskiy is the host of a show called Servant of the People. He makes fun of the political elite. Ukraine is a large country with a lot of resources, great agricultural potential and a highly educated population of 42 million. They are not happy, and the comedian is the front-runner in the election.

Sounds familiar?

Steven Colbert for President!

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Friday night we went to our first political rally. Yes, I made it through 62 years without ever attending one.

We went to see Bernie Sanders in San Diego.We found a spot very close to the podium.

Bernie Sanders at Podium in San Diego, March 22, 2019 [photocredit: Trisha]

The crowd was large, but being in the middle of it, it was impossible to count or estimate. Here is a happy selfie.

Selfie [photocredit: Trisha]

Sanders has a huge momentum built up this early in the campaign. Obviously, in 2016, he was just short of the nomination, mostly due to coming in a bit late after Clinton and of course Clinton’s notoriety. This time around, there is no Clinton, and Sanders appears to be the front runner. He already has a million volunteers signed up all around the country for his campaign. It will be difficult for anyone else to catch up to that. Having done this last time around, unlike the wide field of other candidates, he has a huge (huuge) advantage.

Old Guys Rule

I enjoyed listening to a stump speech that is not about a personality cult. Trump’s self-admiration and egotistical world view was far, far away. Here is a humble man, from very modest beginnings, who has been a public servant for most of his life. He has also been a maverick, agitator and activist. Most of all, he has the welfare of the people, the country, and the world as his objective.

I predict that Sanders will win this election.

If he is elected in November 2020, he will be 79 years old and by far the oldest president ever. So far the oldest is Trump, who was 70 when he was elected. Remember when the country thought that Reagan was too old when he took office at age 69?

Be that as it may, I can see the possibility of a very young electorate voting a very old man into the presidency. This means that his selection of a running mate (presumably younger than himself and probably a woman) will be crucial, and the likelihood of that vice president ascending to the presidency is high, especially if he succeeded for two terms.

So far, the outcome of this rally for me is that Sanders has my vote. He had it in 2016 in the primary, and he will have it this time around (as long as he does not pull a McCain and find a Palin – but that was another story I wrote about here in 2008).

Old Guys Rule!

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I was around in 1988, when Senator Gart Hart (Hugh Jackman) was considered the front runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. We know how it all ended. Hart exited the race not too long after a story broke about an extramarital relationship with a woman named Donna Rice.

In 1988, tabloid journalism surfaced for the first time in a presidential election. It is now 30 years later, and it seems like tabloid journalism is all we get anymore in high profile elections. Gary Hart was an Eagle Scout compared to Donald Trump. Our senses are now dull, and our sensitivity numbed. The office of the presidency will not be the same again.

But in the days of Gary Hart, different rules applied.

This documentary drama tells the story of the rise and fall of Gary Hart, the man who almost might have been president, until some “Monkey Business” got in the way. The Front Runner is an entertaining and informative film into the way we run our presidential elections and I enjoyed the window into the past.

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Both Nixon and Trump called the investigations witch hunts.

Some witch hunts!

I think I’ll side with the blues on this chart.

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Vice is a biopic about Dick Cheney’s life. Cheney is played by Christian Bale, and his wife by Amy Adams.

How did a quiet man from Wyoming of humble beginnings become arguably the most powerful man in the world during the George W. Bush presidency?

Cheney reshaped our world. First, he made sure that he and Bush won the election in 2000. Bush won against Gore by less than 600 votes in Florida, as far as the world knows. What would have happened if Gore had won just his own home state and therefore the presidency? We will never know. Because Cheney was in charge.

After the terrible events of September 11, 2001, Cheney took the reins and shaped the world to his liking. What he did affected all of us, all over the world.

This movie guides us through Cheney’s life, and gives us a glimpse of his reasoning and motives. The likeness Christian Bale achieves at times is eerie. There is also a very powerful performance by Steve Carell playing Donald Rumsfeld and a hilarious one by Sam Rockwell, playing George W. Bush. Rockwell does not quite look enough like Bush to be convincing, but when you close your eyes and listen to him talk, he really comes to life.

I enjoyed the film, and I didn’t like Cheney any better when it was over than I did when I walked in. I just had more insight.

We live in a frightening world, where men with immense power can do horrific things to thousands, no, millions of others.

 

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Oscar (Anthony Gonzalez) is a 12-year-old boy from Honduras. Forced to flee his home to escape gang brutality, he goes on the long trek in hopes of meeting up with this uncle, who lives and works in the United States. Eventually he reaches the border and tries to seek asylum. But the journey is not simple, and he ends up in a cage in an ice-cold warehouse (the Icebox) with nothing but little space blankets and a thin mattress. Rather than reaching the promised land after a long and arduous journey, he is lost in the American immigration system, and that’s where his journey only starts.

The timing for this movie could not be more appropriate. In an age where our leadership vilifies immigrants, and demonizes those that come from the south as criminals, rapists and drug dealers, it is enlightening to witness the human story of the immigrants themselves.

Frightened in an alien world, separated from their families, terrified by the crime and gang violence at home, these people are abused, beaten and subjugated — all for the “crime” of trying to make a living for themselves and their families.

Now more important than ever, go watch Icebox and then tell me you are afraid of those monsters and criminals who threaten us from the southern border.

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Making Russia Great Again!

I am embarrassed for my Senate and Country.

Our government put sanctions on this Russian because he conducted criminal activity in our country, and now our own American Senate confirmed that those criminal activities are acceptable, and that the sanctions should be lifted.

This is not how you make America great. This is how you sell out America. The same people who were upset when Obama freed up Iran’s frozen assets and gave them back their own money, and who made it out like America was paying Iran, these same people are now handing the Russians the key to business in America.

Shameful!

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Hillary Clinton, when you go to prison for defrauding American and perjury, your room and board will be free!

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I picked up this coffee table book recently:

The book is filled with pictures of Obama interacting with people, some famous, like the picture below, others just babies, children, etc.

With every picture, there is a quote from a speech. Here is an example:

I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself.

— Interview with Univision, October 25, 2010

Obama is graceful, he has integrity, and there isn’t a single scandal or any type that I can think of that arose in his eight years in office. During the Obama years, it was never about Obama. It was about the country he served.

I do miss him.

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Trump really must think we’re all stupid.

If you took a commercial airliner from Dallas, TX to Guatemala, it would take over three hours.

The distance is about the same as that from San Diego to Canada, and the majority of the “hike” is in desert terrain.

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a world-famous hike that a few thousand people hike every year. It starts at the Mexian border outside of San Diego and goes to the Canadian border in Washington State. Seasoned through-hikers walk 20 to 30 miles a day, every day. They start in April and end in September. The hike is brutal, requires frequent resupply packages, and only the most persistent and hardy hikers finish it. It also costs a hiker a few thousand dollars for resupplies, several pairs of hiking boots that they wear out, and broken gear. You can find out more by reading one of the many books about hiking the PCT. Here is one of them I reviewed: Book Review: Bliss(ters): How I Walked from Mexico to Canada One Summer – by Gail M. Francis.

So now Trump is sending over 5,000 American soldiers to the border to wait for 5 months for the first of these migrant families with children in their arms, in flip-flops, with water bottles in their hands, to reach the American border?

There is so much wrong with this. If the president really believes this caravan is a danger to the safety of the United States, he can definitely wait 5 or 6 months until the caravan gets close and then send troops.

In the interim, the military could use its satellite surveillance to keep track of the caravan.

Of course, not a single one of those migrants in the current caravan will ever make it near the United States border due to the immense hardship of the incredibly long trip. It makes the Mormon hand-cart trips in the 1800s look like a walk in the park in comparison.

Obviously, the president and his supporters are using this to scare us. They are using fear-tactics and xenophobia to whip up the ignorant and uneducated, the people that don’t have the insight to look at a simple map and assess what’s really going on.

Fortunately, most Americans can see through this nonsense.

I can only say: MAGA stands for Make America Stupid Again.

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[picture credit: Reddit – click for details]

Today the United States Senate voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

The way I see it is:

We have a president who has openly boasted about committing repeated and continuous sexual assault. That president has been accused by more than a dozen women, and those are only the ones that came forward, of sexual assault. That president has now appointed a justice to the Supreme Court how has also been accused by more than one woman for sexual assault, albeit over 30 years ago. The media and his supporters make it sound like sexual assault in high school and college are nothing to worry about, everyone does it. I disagree. But be that as is may, even if I could excuse the indiscretions (or possibly crimes) of his youth, I cannot forgive him lying about it now under oath and in front of the whole country. There is evidence that Kavanaugh lied, a lot, about many facts related to this mess he is in. And that I cannot forgive him for. After all, he is a Supreme Court justice now. How is he going to vote on perjury when it comes up? How are his fellow justices thinking about this?

Can they ever respect him?

Can I ever respect him?

And this president and this Supreme Court justice are now going to decide on women’s rights!

We sure need help now.

Here is a strange fallout:

Senator Susan Collins was the deciding vote. She had to power to stop this.

Now the ire of the nation is upon her. Fundraising against her reelection has escalated, and it’s quite possible that her career as a senator may be ending.

However, why are we targeting her?

Every other Republican senator, save Murkowski, also voted for Kavanaugh.

What is different about Collins and everyone else? Why are we coming after her now, and not all the others that voted the party line.

We truly need help now. Trump has tarnished the image of his office, and Kavanaugh has tarnished that of the Supreme Court. I guess the Senate is next.

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Did you know that the United States has 883 military bases in 183 counties?

Check this out:

The US military has a staggering 883 military bases in 183 countries. In contrast, Russia has 10 such bases – eight of them in the former USSR. China has one overseas military base. There is no country with a military footprint that replicates that of the United States. The bases in Japan are only a small part of the massive infrastructure that allows the US military to be hours away from armed action against any part of the planet.

There is no proposal to downsize the US military footprint. In fact, there are only plans to increase it. The United States has long sought to build a base in Poland, whose government now courts the White House with the proposal that it be named “Fort Trump.”

Currently, there are US-NATO military bases in Germany, Hungary and Bulgaria, with US-NATO troops deployments in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The United States has increased its military presence in the Black Sea and in the Baltic Sea.

Attempts to deny Russia access to its only two warm-water ports in Sevastopol, Crimea, and Latakia, Syria, pushed Moscow to defend them with military interventions. A US base in Poland, on the doorstep of Belarus, would rattle the Russians as much as they were rattled by Ukraine’s pledge to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and by the war in Syria.

These US-NATO bases provide instability and insecurity rather than peace. Tensions abound around them. Threats emanate from their presence.

— AsiaTimes

No wonder we spend more on the military than the next 10 countries combined! No wonder Trump complains that other countries are using us “for their protection” without paying us back for that.

I hate to do this, but I actually agree with Trump. Our country is insane with its military. Do we really need 883 military bases all over the world?

Could we maybe make do with 100 or so?

Or 101 – I think Trump will want his “Fort Trump,” won’t he?

Oh, my tax dollars at work!

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Rich old white men, and apparently corrupt men, are in the process of destroying our country, and we’re letting it happen, like the proverbial frogs in the boiling water.

Thousands of years ago Socrates stated that democracy cannot be maintained without a well-educated citizenry. Today, we’re not a well-educated citizenry. Just watch the people cheering Trump at rallies and tell me what you think. Somebody cheering Trump when he is making the alleged rapist and his family the victim, and the victim coming forward the perpetrator, I equate that to Orwellianism in the highest degree. Make America great again, long live the stupid.

We have a president who is obviously and blatantly corrupt, who is systematically consolidating his power as a dictator.

We have a president who is obviously working on inserting corrupt justices into the judiciary. The way I see it, Kavanaugh lies under oath like Trump lies in press conferences.

We have a Congress that is supposed to oversee our government and provide checks and balances. Congress is not doing that job.

The way I see it, rich old white men are working on destroying our country, and we’re sitting there watching.

It’s one big con job, conducted like a reality show on TV, just like Trump has run his private and business life all along.

The well-educated citizenry must stand up on November 6th and vote the thugs out of office, all of them, before it’s too late.

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