The Weiner Component #168 – As You Sow, So Shall You Reap: The Recent History of the Republican Party

With the Friday, October 7th release of the lewd and sexual harassing conversation, that Trump did in 2005 on a bus into an open microphone to Billy Bush, one of the hosts of the TV show “Access America,” while on the way to do another show, being made public, many of the Republican leaders, in and out of Congress, are calling upon Trump to drop out of the 2016 Presidential race as the Republican candidate.  When he refused, saying that the conversation was only “locker room talk,” many Republicans, in and out of Congress, still want to drop the Party’s support for him, arguing that he’s already lost the election.  They want to concentrate all the Party’s resources and efforts on the Congressional and state elections.  Paul Ryan, while still endorsing Trump, has stated that he will no longer campaign with him and that Republicans should concentrate on Congressional and state election.


speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell were in shock.  Ryan was booed on Saturday, October 8, for disinviting Trump from the Wisconsin Unity Rally.  But both Ryan, the Speaker of the House, and McConnell, the Majority Leader in the Senate, are equally guilty of creating the milieu within the United States that allowed Trump to become a presidential candidate.  Both are equally guilty of bringing about the gridlock in Congress that caused very little to be done there, in keeping the government barely functioning, and even shutting it down for a while.  Even now, with Republican majorities in both Houses of Congress, there is a short term funding bill for a small part of the next fiscal year’s budget.  This includes, after four months hassling, Zika funding.


Every effect has a cause; and the cause of Donald Trump being the Republican presidential candidate can easily be traced back to Republican inaction in passing the necessary laws needed to run this country.  Every Republican in Congress worked to make Barack Obama a one term President and then still refused to cooperate with him during his second term in office.  They are all equally responsible for Donald Trump being their presidential candidate today.  They, by their inactions, created the situation that exists today.  They are all the cause of their own present-day ever-growing discomfort, Donald Trump.


I suspect that by the end of his second term, President George W. Bush couldn’t even have won an election to become dogcatcher.  He has gotten absolutely no mention in the current election by Trump or other Republicans.  But he was the President of the United States who declared war on Iraq, supposedly because of their weapons of mass destruction, but actually to punish Saddam Hussein for attempting to have his “Daddy” assassinated.  He was the one who destabilized the Middle East and was the President responsible for much that was blamed on President Barack Obama.


George W. Bush has somehow gotten lost in history; but he was President of the United States only eight years ago; and much of what Donald Trump has blamed on President Obama was not only initiated by Bush but also carried out by him.  It was Bush who set up the U.S. exit from Iraq which President Obama then carried out.  And it was then the Iraqi and Afghanistan new governments that wanted the U.S. to withdraw.  Neither government was able to run their own state against the Taliban, the forces of the Middle East that opposed them.


And the U.S. National Debt was mostly created by Republican Presidents, starting with Ronald Reagan with his “Star Wars” operation which brought the Debt up to over one trillion dollars, to President George H.W. Bush who sent an army to remove the Iraqi military from Kuwait.  The war was known as Desert Storm and never would have been necessary if Bush had dealt properly with Saddam Hussein and not given him the impression that he could invade oil rich Kuwait.


The National Debt was actually decreased under President Bill Clinton.  But President George W. Bush initiated and fought two wars in the Middle East that, with slight interruptions, are still going on today. Through the efforts of these Republican Presidents the National Debt has soared from one trillion to over nineteen trillion dollars today.


The Great Recession of 2008 or to state it more clearly, the great bank caused housing bubble burst under President George W. Bush who initially bailed out the banks.  President Obama inherited it and in order to prevent it from becoming a greater depression than that of 1929 had to spend a lot of money.  He brought about a large degree of recovery in spite of the fact that a Republican led House of Representatives continually worked against it and his efforts to end it.  He also inherited two wars from George W. Bush. 


Donald Trump loudly and vociferously blames our NAFTA Agreement of 1993 on President Bill Clinton.  That agreement was initially negotiated by President George H.W. Bush in 1993.  Congress was unhappy with parts of it and these were renegotiated by President Bill Clinton and approved by both political parties in the Senate.  The initial international trade agreement was brought about by both a Republican and Democratic President.  Somehow Donald is either confused or he’s editing history to fit his pattern of what, he feels, the past should be.  Instead of calling President Obama a failed president he should call himself a failed candidate for the presidency.  This is especially true now that about a dozen or women have accused him of one or another form of sexual assault.


Barry Goldwater (R) ran against Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1964 Presidential Election.  He was the first ardent conservative to run for the presidency.  Goldwater, according to his autobiography, did not expect to win the election.  He achieved 22% of the popular vote.  That percentage marked the extreme conservatives in the American electorate at that time. 


Interestingly Hillary Rodham (Clinton), as a high school student worked as a volunteer on his campaign.  Her parents were conservative and she initially followed in their footsteps.


From that time on the extreme right of the Republican Party worked avidly to improve their status with the electorate in the United States.  The next president, four years later was the Republican, Richard Nixon.  He was not as conservative as many in the party were.  Nixon resigned half-way through his second term over the Watergate Scandal.  He left the day before the House of Representatives was going to vote for a Bill of Impeachment.  Gerald Ford (R), the Vice President Nixon had appointed, replaced Nixon after his initial Vice President, Spiro Agnew, resigned over a corruption scandal.


President Ford appointed Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President.  Rockefeller represented what was then left or liberal end of the Republican Party; he was a moderate Republican.  The next President, the Democrat, Jimmy Carter, would be more conservative than Nelson Rockefeller.  This group of Republicans would be a dying breed. 


Ford was president for two years and then was replaced by the Democrat, Jimmy Carter, who would, four year later, be replaced by the Teflon conservative Republican President, Ronald Reagan.  With Reagan the ultra-conservatives felt that they had one of their own in office.  Reagan, however was capable of compromise.  The comment during his period as president was that he would take half-a-loaf, that is, compromise if he got some of what he wanted.


Reagan was followed by George H.W. Bush.  He had to contend with a Democratic Congress.  Then came William Jefferson Clinton for the next eight years.  Clinton spent most of his time contending with a Republican Congress.  He was frustrated over a number of laws he couldn’t get passed.  During his last year in office he actually reduced the deficit.


Clinton was followed by George W. Bush who was initially elected with less than the majority vote.  A foul-up on the ballots in Florida and the fact that his younger brother was the governor of that state and had inappropriately purged the voter lists got him elected.


Barack Obama was the first Black elected to the Presidency of the United States.  I suspect that that had something to do with the way he’s been treated by Congress.  All the Congressional Republicans at an early caucus meeting swore to make him a one term President.  They decided that they would support nothing that he tried to do.  


It was largely because of this overall inaction that the general public was alienated from Congress.  This brought about a condition in the country whereby the Blue-collar Republicans were looking for a hero to free them from the Washington Republicans.  That hero, to them, was Donald Trump.  It is amazing that the Republicans in Congress still do not understand what they have done.  And that is because they are still acting in that fashion with their short-term funding bill which they will revisit in December before the next Congress meets in January.


For most of his two terms in office President Obama bent backwards to accommodate the Republicans.  The Affordable Health Care Bill (Obamacare) was based upon a Republican plan developed by Citizen’s United, a far right think tank, for Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts.  It passed Congress on a partisan basis; in both Houses all Republicans voted against it and all Democrats voted for it.  From 2011 on the Republicans had a majority in the House of Representatives.  And outside of absolutely necessary bills nothing was passed.


A single bill can deal with an endless number of subjects and Paul Ryan came up with the idea of adding parts of their far right agenda to necessary bills that, for example, funded the United States.  That is why currently the bill to fund the U. S. for the next fiscal year was passed at the last minute and functions only until the middle of December 2016 when the Congress will meet again for a very short session presumably to fund the balance of the year.


The Republican dominated House of Representatives pattern is to pass their necessary bills at the last moment, shortly before they adjourn for some sort of extended break.  This means that the Senate gets very little time to consider the bill because they are also ready to leave for a period of time.  Consequently it’s pass the bill or let the nation suffer.


Ordinarily, every bill goes to a standing committee of members of that House where it is gone over, testimony on the bill can be taken and possibly the bill is modified, then it is sent to the specific house and can be debated before being voted upon. 


All money bills originate in the House of Representatives which directly represents the people, the Constitution gives them the “power of the purse.”  The Senate originally represented the states; they were elected by the legislative bodies in each state.  This was changed by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1913 to where the people directly elected two Senators from each state.


After a bill is passed in one House it then goes to the other House and the same process is repeated.  Ordinarily there is some difference between the two bills and a Conference Committee, comprised of members of both Houses of Congress meet.  They work out a new version of the bill which then goes back to both House and is voted upon again.  If it passes in both Houses it is then sent to the President for his signature.  After he signs it the bill becomes law.  This process cannot be completed in two days.


The new process, presumably under Paul Ryan’s tutelage, was developed in the Republican dominated House after 2011 when the Republicans received a majority of members in the House of Representatives.  It was a means of forcing or blackmailing the Democratic dominated Senate and the President into accepting parts of the Republican agenda.  They either passed it quickly in the Senate and the President signed it or the country suffered.  An example of this was to take over four months to financially deal with the Zika epidemic and then to still not fully fund the bill to the amount requested by the President.


Currently the Congress has the lowest approval rating in the history of its existence.  The Gallop Pole does a monthly survey which from 2011 to the present goes up and down continually from 9% to 20%.  A number of other polls average 13.8 % approval.  


Sooner or later there has to be a reaction to Congress’ high level of non-functionality.  That reaction in the 2016 Primaries was Donald Trump for those citizens who could not stand the Democratic agenda but were frustrated by that of the Republicans.  And Bernie Sanders was the candidate for those who were basically Democrats but were fed-up with Congressional gridlock.  Sanders has coalesced into the Clinton campaign and now supports her.


The Congressional Republicans created the field upon which Donald Trump, despite all the negative information that emerges about him, has flourished as the Republican Candidate.  They and they themselves by their strategies and actions have created him and now they refuse to take responsibility for what they have done.


Paul Ryan, who was totally disgusted by recent information that emerged about Trump, and cancelled his invitation to a rally with himself in Wisconsin, will no longer campaign with him.  He will concentrate upon Congressional elections only.  And it was Paul Ryan, as Speaker of the House of Representatives, who, at the last minute before adjourning the House, got the bill passed that temporarily funded the United States Budget through the middle of December so that the Republicans could once again make demands upon President Obama before he leaves office at the end of the year.


They are still playing the games that have lowered their approval rating with the American Public well under 20%.  Apparently winning political points is still far more important than carrying out their oaths to serve the American people.


The Republicans want political power and seemingly will do anything to achieve it.  And they will take no responsibility for the acts they perform.  It would be a nice irony for them if their actions caused them to lose control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  And, of course they would not understand how it came about.  Donald Trump, as a candidate, is their creation!


With the partial funding of the 2016 – 2017 budget the Federal Government may still face a major crisis.  If the House of Representatives attempts to force its agenda through at the last minute with the December Funding Bill then the last major act of President Obama may be to veto the Bill.  If this occurs then the current administration will end with a nonfunctioning government.  The new President will have to begin her administration by declaring a state of emergency until the government is legally funded in mid to late January of 2017 by the new Congress.  


Could this happen?  Very easily, if the Republican dominated House of Representatives attempts to force its will upon the country.  This would be shortly after the November 8th Election.  It would seem that a state of war exists between the Democratic President and the Republicans, and Donald J. Trump is just a byproduct of all this.


“As you sow, so shall you reap.”  It shouldn’t take too much intelligence to understand this.








The Weiner Component #167 – The 2016 Presidential Election

Mark Twain observed, among his many comments, that young people, adolescents, feel they know everything, but as they grow older their ignorance of the world around them grows and, in turn, they learn a lot more.  This is not true for Donald Trump.  He felt as a younger man that he did know everything worth knowing and has refused to learn anything since that time.  In essence he never mentally passed beyond adolescence.


If we look at his first debate with Hillary Clinton in late September, it becomes obvious that he had not really prepared.  He had apparently felt that he was ready to handle himself easily with her.  Later he blamed the moderator, Lester Holt of N.B.C. News and a faulty microphone.  These were responsible for him not doing well at the debate.  None of it was his fault or his responsibility.  He even presented a theory that Clinton was secretly signaling Holt.


The item, at that debate that seems to have unhinged Donald Trump, was the former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, who won a 1996 Miss Universe beauty contest that he owned and ran.  He had called her Miss Piggy because she gained weight and Miss Housekeeper since she was Hispanic, a native of Venezuela.  She is now an American citizen and lives in Los Angeles.  Incidentally she has recently stated that he was cruel to her and that she is, as an American citizen, voting for Hillary Clinton.


What was Trump’s response after the debate to Hillary Clinton and later, separately, to negative remarks about him from Alicia Machado.  He encouraged voters to check out a “sex tape” presumably featuring the former Miss Universe.  Hillary Clinton’s campaign is suggesting that a better rental would be the adult Playboy film in which Trump himself appears.


In the last week of September Trump went wild over this mention of Machado.  Other Miss Universe contestants have since come forward telling how bad their treatment by Trump was.  What’s emerged even among members of his own election staff is that this counter attack by him will further alienate female voters whose support he needs to win the election.


His middle of the night tweeting tore into the 1996 Miss Universe whose weight gain he said created trouble.  In addition her contract stated that she wouldn’t gain any weight.


“Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M. become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?”  This he tweeted at 5:30 a.m.  It was one of a series of late night tweets.  Trump, himself appeared in a soft-porn, Playboy video.  Neither of them appeared in the nude.


Did he do better at his second debate on Sunday, October 9th?  I understand he’s showed little interest in preparing again.  Actually he prepared by running a separate Town Hall by himself on Thursday night, October 5.  The problem with this preparation is that he will have only his supporters present and they should all ask friendly questions.   He has also stated that he will attack Hillary for her husband’s sexual misbehavior during his Presidency.


In his Second Presidential Debate with Hillary Clinton he acted like an anxious caged animal, pacing the floor, and looking like he wanted to attack Clinton physically at times.  It was 90 minutes long and filled with back and forth insults.


What I find fascinating about Donald Trump threatening Hillary about her husband’s earlier sexual behavior with other women is that Donald Trump and his two cohorts and ardent supporters, Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich have each been married three times.  That makes a total of nine wives for the three of them. 


Giuliani, after twelve years of being married to Regina Peruggi (1968 – 1982), his childhood sweetheart, discovered that he was married to his cousin.  He got both a civil divorce and an annulment from the Church because good Catholics couldn’t get divorces.  He cheated on his first wife with his soon to become second wife.  While being married to his second wife, Donna Hanover (1984 – 2002) he was openly carousing with another woman.  His second wife, Donna Hanover, locked him out of Gracie Manor, the residence for the mayor or New York City.  Apparently getting a divorce this time was enough for him.  His ex-wife got several million dollars and custody of their two children.  His third wife, Judith Nathan, had been married twice before and brought him two stepchildren.  I fail to see how Giulani could be morally indignant about anyone else’s behavior.


Newt Gingrich is another example of moral ineptitude in more than one way.  He is the only Speaker of the House of Representatives to be censored for ethics violations; 395 members favored the reprimand, 28 opposed it.  He would shortly thereafter resign both as Speaker and as a member of the House of Representatives.  In addition his first wife was several years older than he.  She was his high school geometry teacher; and was 26; he was 19 when they got married.    He had begun an affair with his second wife while still married to his first wife; and he served his first wife divorce papers while she was in the hospital recovering from a cancer operation. 


He was married to his first wife Jacky Battley from 1962 to 1981.  They had two daughters.  Newt married his second wife four months later in 1981 and remained married to her until 2,000.  Presumably she didn’t want to be the wife of an eventual President of the United States.  He began an affair with his third wife, Collisla Gingrich, who was 21 years younger than he, while he was still married to his second wife and married her several months after his second divorce.  She, it seems, was fit and attractive enough to be the wife of a future President.  However his one attempt at running for that office failed in 2012.


Of Trump, there have been three marriages and five children.  During his first marriage he touted, what he considered, the fact that his mistress who he later married gave him the beat sex he ever had.  He has also touted his promiscuity over the years.  His wives, when he marries them all seem to be the same age.  He, however, got continually older.  At present he is 70. 


At some point in the late 1990a Trump told Howard Stern, the radio jock, that Virginias’ were expensive.  Stern later made that a topic for one of his radio broadcasts with Trump as his guest.


These three people denounced Bill Clinton’s immoral acts in a state of shocked innocence.  To quote Donald Trump, “Give me a break.”  In addition, with absolutely no evidence, Trump has announced that Hillary Clinton had an affair in one of his rambling speeches not long ago.  Obviously he had no evidence; the announcement was strictly inspirational.


So much for moral pretentions!


Clinton in a Florida ad, both in English and Spanish using information provided by a Newsweek article demonstrated how Trump broke the law and was two-faced in 1998 when it was illegal to spend money in Cuba.  He addressed a Cuban-American crowd in Florida, denouncing Fidel Castro as a murderer while he had sent a group to that country to explore the possibility of doing business there, specifically opening a casino.  Nothing came of the trip but they illegally spent $68,000 in the process.  The expense was later disguised as charity.


This was a good example of Trump’s hypocrisy.  Another is the use of steel in his structures.  He rants about Chinese trade abusing the United States and the American workers, taking their jobs.  Trump bought Chinese steel for at least one of his structures because it was cheaper than American steel.  It is cheaper because it is not the same quality as American steel.  How many American jobs did he eradicate by this move?


Trump touted that he was making a contribution of $10,000 for the 9/11 first responders fund.  There is no record of him ever making any contribution to that fund.  Rudy Giuliani stated that the contribution was anonymously made.  Trump never did anything in his life for which he did not take credit.


 At one point during the election Donald Trump was musing, during one of his many speeches before his followers, that he could be still doing “The Celebrity Apprentice” on television and not be bothered with all the vicissitudes of running a Presidential Campaign.  He was paid a million dollars for each reality episode.


It was, however, too late to change his direction.  Perhaps the one thing he didn’t fully realize in the beginning was that he and his past life would be subjected to a microscope by the press and presented to the public.  What is currently happening is that his charity scandal is just beginning.


There are some earlier blogs that examine the multitude of scams that Trump has pulled over the years.  One, however, that has earlier emerged and that is now only beginning to be investigated by the different state Attorney Generals and also, I would suspect, by the Internal Revenue Service is the Donald J. Trump Foundation.  It would seem that this charity, into which he puts none of his own money, serves as a “piggy bank” for Trump personally and also for some of his businesses.  It seems that what he has done with this tax deductible enterprise has been totally illegal.


The Attorney General of New York State has begun an investigation of the actions of the Donald J. Trump Foundation.  On Monday, October 3, 2016 he ordered the Trump Foundation to immediately stop fundraising in the state.  They had not properly registered to do so.  In addition they will be required to provide financial records about their charitable activities.  All this three weeks before the Presidential Election.  Four Trump Foundation donors will also be investigated.


This process began in January when Trump refused to attend a Fox Debate of potential presidential candidates and held a fundraiser for veterans that night.  The $6 million he collected that night went into the Trump Foundation.  And later, under pressure, it was distributed to veterans’ organizations.


Earlier in 2016, Donald Trump held a veterans fundraiser in Iowa which gained nationwide TV coverage and millions in donations without proper certification to do so.  Trump seems to have a propensity to ignore state laws.


The records of the Foundation by law have to be made public.  After the veterans’ charity issued the records of the Foundation were closely examined by the press.  It was found that he had contributed nothing to the Foundation for years and that he used it to serve his own needs, individual, business, and political.  It has served as his piggy bank when he wanted money to solve problem or buy toys.


While New York has begun this investigation 40 other states have similar laws concerning charities within their boundaries.  His Trump Foundation may have broken the laws in dozens of states.  The New York cease and desist letter may be only the first such order he receives.  Trump, it seems, just goes ahead and does what he wants, ignoring possible laws.


The president of the National Committee for Responsible Philanthropy stated that, “It is likely that other states will follow suit and they will be issued cease and desist orders denying them fundraising privileges in other states.  That is the probable next step.”


The states most likely to do this are those who have historically been robust in their enforcement of charity laws, such as Illinois, California, and Pennsylvania.  This from Marc Owens, who formerly headed up the section of the IRS that dealt with charities.


The New York probe has already gone beyond its boundaries.  A Palm Beach lawyer upon request from N.Y. has sent them documents about a 2007 flag pole incident wherein a large fine leveled against Trump was settled by a $100,000 check to a charity. 


When queried, a woman from the campaign staff stated that, “The Trump Foundation will not comment further at this time.”


Conceivable Trump can have as many as 41 investigations going on by the different states or some or, even all of them, could combine with the New York investigation.  The charges could be a multitude of fines from the different states.  If the Foundation was used to mainly benefit Trump it might even generate criminal charges.  And in additions to all this the IRS is probably running its own audit.


On November 28, 2016 the first of his class action trials will begin in California.  Trump has already insulted the presiding judge.  It should be interesting to watch.

The Weiner Component #166 – Trump, the IRS, & His Tendencies for Sexual Assault & Harassment

On Sunday, October 2, 2016 the New York Times published a copy of three pages of Donald Trump’s 1995 New York State tax return that it had received anonymously.  They published this information and its meaning to Trump’s income taxes for the last 18 years.  Trump for almost a full two decades has legally paid no income taxes due to a $916 million loss reported on his 1995 tax return.  This accusation was not refuted by Trump or anyone associated with his election bid.


Chris Christie and Rudy Giulani, who are both helping to manage his campaign, called Trump a genius in running his businesses.  Hillary Clinton has stated that if he considers himself “smart” to be able to not pay taxes, then what does that make the rest of us?  Trump, himself, finally acknowledged that he did it for the benefit of his employees and fellow investors.  If this is true then why is he still refusing to release his tax records?


In 1995 his New Jersey Taj Mahal Casino buildings went bankrupt.  From what I have been able to glean he had earlier at numerous times taken multi-million dollar bonuses out of his casino.  I assume, but don’t definitely know, that  he paid taxes on his bonuses or found ways to shield the money from taxes.  This is probably true of other properties he owned or partly owned and managed.  Presumably the real estate business almost collapsed in the early 90s.   Could this have been the cause of his bankruptcies; that is, the drop in property values and the fact that he had been helping himself to innumerable bonuses?  Had all that almost cost him his building ownership collapse in the late 1980s and early 90s?  Or was it greed and poor management of his properties?  


The New York Times report, late Saturday, October 1, 2016, showed how Trump has used the laws to cancel out his income taxes after his real estate and casino empire collapsed in the late 90s.  The times estimated that he had avoided income taxes for 18 years.  It also exposed the unfairness of the Federal Income System.


What I find interesting here is the question of who leaked the information?  It had to come from a source that worked on those taxes; it had to come from someone who either worked for Trump or for the state government.  In any case it was someone who felt that he wasn’t qualified or fit to be President of the United States.


The last few days of September 2016 and the first weekend of October exposed his true taxes, his shaky debate performance with Hillary Clinton, his negative dealings with a former Latina beauty queen, his 3am tweets, and on Saturday, October 1st, his rambling speech where he couldn’t stick to his teleprompter speech but kept rambling off in different directions.  Finally in that speech he decided that Hillary Clinton may have cheated on her husband.


According to the Times he took advantage of special rules for real estate investors that legally allowed him to offset $50 million a year for 18 years.


Another consideration, which no one seems to have mentioned and the New York Times seems to have ignored, is the fact that Donald Trump seems to take credit for using other people’s money.  He seems to have co-investors on most of his projects.  But until recently he’s never mentioned that.  Was the $916 million all his money?  Did the IRS check that so-called fact out?  His foundation, to which he hasn’t donated a dime in years, contributed other people’s money to causes that settled his personal. political, and business problems.  Would his business losses be any different?


In the early 1980s a graduate student somehow got hold of a copy of President Ronald Reagan’s income tax returns.  She published them.  Reagan paid nothing in oncome taxes that year and the same would be true of earlier years.  During his Presidential Campaign he told everyone that they had to “tighten their belts” that year.  Reagan was naturally very upset over the release of his tax information.  In a speech to the American public he promised that he would tell his accountant to find a way for him to pay income taxes in the future.  And, I understand, he was able to accomplish this goal for the rest of his term in office.


With the release of information about Trump’s taxes I was reminded of the Enron Scandal.  In October 2001 news of this led to the bankruptcy of that large energy corporation and the dissolution of the auditors who had guaranteed their solvency.  What had apparently happened was that money at Enron was considered limitless by the executives and they kept drawing it out, investing it in nefarious schemes, and then covering up their-loses until the large but finite fund could no longer pay the company expenses and it consequently collapsed.  Enron was the largest bankruptcy reorganization in American history up to that point.  The CEO, numerous executives and some members of the defunct accounting firm ended up in jail.


It struck me that Donald Trump and possibly some other executives may have done similar things to cause Donald’s casino and building Empire to almost collapse.  We do know that he got numerous bonuses from the Taj Mahal, his New Jersey casino.  We also know that he’s been involved in at least four bankruptcies.  A negative temporary change in the real estate market could have brought about his crisis.  This would be easily done if he was milking his possessions for extra funds.


During the first stage of the Presidential Campaign, when he was competing to be chosen as the Republican candidate, he stated, in answer to a question or accusation that the others involved in his bankruptcies could afford and deserved to lose the money they had invested.  This, incidentally, would be his stockholders who had invested in Donald J. Trump shares of stock.  One would wonder how much he really lost, certainly not the 916 million dollars for which he took credit on his tax return.


In 1995, Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, took home a salary of $202,423.  He was President of the United States and she was unemployed.  They also gained $88,441 from a blind trust.  


He and his wife paid $75,437 in federal income taxes that year.  There are decades of tax returns on line for the Clintons, detailing every tax bill and charitable donation over the last twenty years.  Trump has released nothing; leaving everyone to wonder about his taxes.  Now three crucial pages of his 1995 taxes have come to light and Trump and his cohorts are busy explaining them away.  He still has not released his IRA tax forms.


In the late 1970s in order to get his casino license Trump had to release several years’ worth of tax returns.  They showed that Trump paid no taxes for two years and a total of $71,943 for the other three years.                      ****************************************

The Clinton campaign, Sunday, exploited the tax discovery.  They argued that Trump is both unqualified and temperamentally unfit to be President and that he took advantage of rules which ordinary workers cannot use.  They also exploited his comment in the first debate that not paying taxes made him “smart;” saying that if he was “smart” not paying taxes then what does that do for the rest of us who do pay our income taxes!


Mo Elleithee, a Democratic strategist who runs Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, stated that, “Political operatives and strategists are going to study the last week of September 2016 for generations as the textbook case of self-sabotage.”


Senator Harry Reed, the Senate minority leader said, “Trump is a billion-dollar loser who won’t release his taxes because they’ll expose him as a spoiled rich brat who lost the millions he inherited from his father.”  Reed went on to call Trump “a racist, incompetent failure who managed to lose a billion dollars in a boom year.”


Bernie Sanders stated on CNN that this is “exactly why so many millions of Americans are frustrated, they’re angry, they’re disgusted….You’ve got the middle class people working longer hours for low wages – they pay their taxes, the support their schools, they support their infrastructure, they support the military.  Trump goes around and says, ‘Hey, I’m worth billions!  I’m a successful businessman!  And I don’t pay any taxes.  But you – you make 15 bucks an hour – you pay the taxes, not me.”


In addition to his tax games on Friday, October 7, members of the press acquired a microphone recording that caught Donald J. Trump in 2005, relatively newly married for the third time, boasting to Billy Bush, the then host of Access Hollywood, about his sexual propensities with attractive women.  “I just start kissing them…I don’t even wait.  And when you’re a star they let you do it…You can do anything.”


The 2005 tape, which also had some video attached to it, hit the news broadcasts on Friday and became the main item of news that night.  Trump was uninvited from his Saturday Unity Rally with Paul Ryan in Wisconsin. 


Trump called it “locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago.  Among others, many Republican politicians have called the tape lewd and vulgar.  The New York News, a sensationalist newspaper, ran the headline about grabbing their “p_ _ _y.”


Trump initially said that he apologized to anyone who felt offended by the audio tape.  Later on Friday night or Saturday morning he released a 90 second TV statement, personally apologizing for his comments, stating that meeting people across the United States has humbled him, and verbally attacking the Clintons. 


Many Republicans have suggested that Trump resign as the designated Republican candidate.  He has stated that he wouldn’t quit “in a million years.”  Many Republican leaders and Congresspersons want the Republican Party to stop supporting him and concentrate on the congressional and state elections.  They want to keep their power base even if they lost the presidency. 


Interestingly Paul Ryan was booed when he announced in his opening address at the Wisconsin Unity Rally that Donald Trump had been uninvited and would not be there.


Trump also stated that he was younger then, only 59 years old, now at 70 years of age he is more mature.  He did not concede or apologize for any actual behavior that he described in the tape.  Legally what he describes amounts to sexual harassment and assault.


Jill Harth, a pageant owner who worked with Trump in the mid-1990s, filed a suit against him in the federal court in Manhattan in 1997, accusing him of a relentless campaign of sexual harassment and assault that included one incident of grabbing her crotch under the table during a meeting at a New York restaurant with other people present.  That case, which included other items also was settled by Trump with another case involving the pageant for $100,000.


Miss USA pageant winner, Temple Taggart, a former Miss Utah, told the New York Times last May that Trump kissed her on the lips without her permission.  She believed he did the same with other contestants.


It would seem that if he has reformed, he did so less than a year ago.  We all know how Trump went ballistic over Hillary Clinton’s comment during the first Presidential Debate about the 1996 Ms. Universe winner, Alicia Machado.  He tweeted negative comments about her at 3:30 a.m.  He had called her Miss Piggy because she ate too much and Miss Housekeeper because she was a Hispanic.  All this was last month.  Has he really reformed? 


He may or may not be currently groping women anymore but his basic attitudes toward them have not changed.  Trump reminded me of some of the former G.I.s I met when I was in the military in the mid-1950s.  These individuals always scored sexually when they went into town, according to them.  They lived rich fantasy lives.  Trump tends to exaggerate everything about himself.  He seems to always try to make himself look bigger than he is.


There are mountains of TV tapes which contain negative comments by Trump that have been edited out of “Celebrity Apprentice” tapes.  There is also quite a bit of exaggeration about Trump’s prowess toward women, including his elder daughter that exists from when he was on Howard Stern radio broadcasts from the first decade of this century and earlier.  These are suddenly very valuable; even short sections can be worth thousands of dollars to whoever can get hold of them.  I’m sure the press is willing to pay for the information. There may be many more people willing to testify that they have been harassed and groped by Donald J. Trump.  I would imagine the news will be quite colorful this week.  Some of the cases might be very recent.


I’s like to end this blog with a note of humor.  Trump charges people who fly on his plane with him.  As of about three weeks ago he has made a profit of about 6 million dollars.  As a Presidential Candidate he has Secret Service guards protecting him.  The Secret Service is billed every time they fly with him.  The Press pays for the privilege of flying with him in his airplane.  The campaign pays for his children accompanying him on the plane.  In addition whenever possible Trump holds many of his campaign rallies and other functions in buildings he owns or controls.  He has stated that even if he loses the election he will still show a profit on his campaign.

The Weiner Component #165- Donald J. Trump

Donald Trump enters the Oscar De LA Renta Fash...

Donald Trump enters the Oscar De LA Renta Fashion Show, New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A number of the previous blogs deal with Donald J. Trump, his history, his basic dishonesty, his abuse of people.  It seems that no matter how many negative facts come out it’s always just the tip of the iceberg.  It’s as though one was peeling away the thin layers of an onion.  Each one is fouler than the preceding layer.


Trump, as a Presidential Candidate, accepts no responsibility for anything he says or does.  Everything that goes wrong is something or someone else’s fault.  The problems, he had in his first Presidential debate with Hillary Clinton, are the fault of the moderator and a faulty microphone, certainly not because of anything he said or his body language.


It’s been suggested that he is sociopath, who cares solely for his intimate circle, this being his family, and for no one else.  He thinks nothing of abusing people or of cheating them, financially or otherwise.  Currently he is facing four lawsuits, the first of which, a class action suit, will be held from November 28, 2016 on in California.  Three are class action and one is a fraud $40 million suit by the State of New York.  The amounts he is being sued for, taken together, exceed $100 million dollars.  And all of these just deal with the former Trump University.


He is also under investigation for possible criminal activity in the use of his foundation.  Federal law clearly states that nonprofit foundations are tax exempt; they cannot be used for self-dealing.  Nonprofit lenders cannot use charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.


The Attorney General of New York is currently investigating how he has The Trump Foundation spend money.  What has just immerged is that Trump used $258,000, which he did not contribute, from his foundation to settle legal issues like lawsuits that he had lost or not taken to trial.  Incidentally Trump never applied to the State of New York to get a license in order to collect contributions from other donors.  The entire foundation is in violation of New York law. 


In 1987 Trump founded his foundation and supplied all its funds until 2006.  By that year he had given away all the money he had donated except for $4,238, according to tax records.  From 2006 on it became The Donald J. Trump Foundation.  He gave small donations in 2007 and in 2008 but he made no further contributions.  All the other monies for the foundation were solicited from wealthy donors who, I imagine, claimed those donations as tax-free expenditures on their income taxes.


In 2013 the foundation gave $25,000 to the political group supporting Florida Attorney general Pam Bondi (R).  The gift was made around the same time that Bondi’s was considering whether to investigate fraud allegations against Trump University, which had made over $3 million for Trump in that state.  Florida decided not to join the New York lawsuit against Trump.  Incidentally there were similar conditions in the State of Texas and afterwards Trump University withdrew from that state.


Tax-exempt nonprofit organizations cannot legally make political gifts.  Trump staffers blamed the Florida gift on a clerical error.  Trump paid a $2,500 penalty and reimbursed the Trump Foundation for the $25,000.


In 2012, the foundation bought Trump, through his action, a $12,000 football helmet signed by NFL quarterback Tim Tebow. 


We don’t know how much of his own money he ever put into the foundation but we do know that he took credit for the contributions he did and did not make.  He has claimed the foundation made donations to philanthropic groups that state they never received any donations from his foundation. 


He does accepts tax-free donations from various wealthy donors.  This is how his foundation receives its funds.  Among his donors are pro-wrestling executives Vince and Linda McMahon.   From 2007 to 2009, according to tax records, they gave a total of $5 million.  Trump is the president of the foundation and choses how the money is to be spent.


In 2007, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club faced $120,000 in unpaid fines from the town of Palm Beach, Florida.  This resulted in a dispute about a flagpole being too high.  In 2006 the club put up an eighty foot flagpole with a giant American flag; I believe it was forty feet.  The town rules said flagpoles can only be 42 feet high.  Trump stated that, “You don’t need a permit to put up an American flag.”  The town fined Trump $1,250 a day until the pole was removed. 


Trump’s club sued, arguing that a smaller flag “would fail to appropriately express the magnitude of Donald Trump’s … patriotism.”  They settled with the town waiving the $120,000 fine and Trump contributed $100,000 to the town’s chosen charity, Fisher House. 


Fisher House runs a network of comfort homes for the families of veterans and military personnel receiving medical treatment.  Trump provided the town with copies of the check which showed that it came from the Trump Foundation.


Trump also stated that he sent a check for $25,000 to another charity for good measure, the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.  Copies of this check were also sent to the town of Palm Beach.


Interestingly the first check is not hand signed.  Instead it is stamped with his signature.  I imagine the same is true of the second check.  Probably they were made out by one of his employees.  Can it be proven that he made or ordered the check sent to the veteran group?  I would imagine that the negotiations were carried out by one or more lawyers.  They would probably admit that they were ordered to solve the problem.  And this they did.  Can it be proven that Trump carried out this basically illegal self-serving action or that one or more of his employees went off on their own?  Probably not.


Trump used $5,000 of foundation funds to buy advertisements for three events organized by a D. C. preservation group at his hotel.  The money advertised the convergence of an old post office pavilion into a new hotel and convention center.  The events were charities but the ads dealt only with the new hotel and convention center.


He also spent $10,000 of foundation money for a portrait of himself bought at a charity fundraiser.  Several years earlier, in 2007, his wife, Melania, spent $20,000 of what turned out to be foundation money on a six foot speed portrait of himself during a charity gala at Mar-a-Lago. 


Tax experts stated that Trump was not allowed to keep those items, the signed football helmet or the two paintings of himself or to display them in a home or business.  They had to be put to a charitable use.  Trump’s campaign has not responded to questions about the helmet or the portraits.


The four cases of possible self-dealing were discovered in the Trump Foundation’s tax returns, which are required to be made public.  His personal tax returns have never been made public, except when he was applying for a casino license.


In 2010, a man named Martin Greenburg hit a hole-in-one while playing at a charity tournament at Trump’s golf course in Westchester, New York.  Apparently Trump had offered to pay one million dollars to anyone who got a hole-in-one at that golf course.  Later, Greenberg was told that he had won nothing.  The prize rules required that the shot had to go 150 yards.  In that course the distance to the holes was too short.  Greenberg sued.  Eventually, according to court papers, the golf course signed off on a settlement that required it to make a donation to the Martin Greenberg Foundation of $158,000.  The money came from the Donald J. Trump Foundation.  Greenberg’s foundation did not report receiving any funds from the Trump foundation or from the golf club for that year.  Neither Greenberg nor Trump have been willing to comment.  Apparently Greenberg kept the money for himself. 


Tax experts have stated that the two incidents appear to be clear cases of self-dealing as defined by the tax code.  The Trump Foundation had made a donation so that a Trump business did have to pay a debt.  A San Francisco lawyer stated that both cases clearly fit the definition of self-dealing.


In 2013, The Trump Foundation made a $5,000 donation to the D.C. Preservation League.  The nonprofit’s support has helped Trump turn the historic Old Post Office Pavilion into a luxury hotel in Washington, D.C.  The Trump Foundation’s donation bought a sponsorship.  This included advertising space in the programs for three big charity events.  It was aimed at Washington’s elite.  The ads did not mention the foundation or anything related to charity.  They promoted Trump’s hotel.  There were enticing photographs and a phone number to call for reservations.  The foundation’s check bought advertising for Trump’s hotel.  That was for the benefit of his business, not charity, even though a charity was involved. 


In 2014, at a gala Mar-a-Lago Florida charity event that raised money for the Unicorn Children’s Foundation, a charity that helps children with developmental and learning disorders, Trump bought at auction two paintings by Havi Schanz, a Miami Beach based artist.  One was an image of Marilyn Monroe and the other, a four foot-tall portrait of a younger-looking, mid 90s Trump.  He paid $10,000.  Several days later he sent a check from the Trump Foundation.


Trump did not respond to questions about where the second pointing is at present.  It was last seen at Trump’s club.


Trump has also been accused by Ted Cruz and others of being a pathological liar.  Recently when he finally admitted that he now believes that President Barack Obama was born in the United States he had to blame the Birther Movement, of which he was one of the leaders, upon Hillary Clinton.  He has lied about everything, from seeing Muslims in New Jersey celebrating on 9/11/01 when the Twin Towers were attacked, to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton being the originators of ISIS, to what’s stated above.  He seems to embellish everything with falsehoods.  It would seem that the line between truth and falsehood do not exist for him.  He says what is convenient at the time and then persists with the lie even after he has been proven wrong.


Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States is a 70 year old living disaster as a human being.  He is only aware of one thing, himself and his life experience.  He is painfully ignorant of everything else, the working of government, dealing with other nations, and the functioning of the military.  He tends to run his mouth off like a broken toilet, spewing out totally irresponsible public comments that effect the nation and our dealings with other nations. 


While some of the above expenditures are related to charity Trump’s definition of it is entirely different from the official legal definition.  In each case stated above either he or one of his businesses benefited from the transactions.  All of the above contributions are self-serving.


The Trump Foundation is currently being investigated by the New York State Attorney General.  In all probability, at this point, The Internal Revenue Bureau is also investigating the actions of the Trump Foundation.  What would be interesting, and we would never officially know, the Foundation could lose its tax-free status and may suddenly have a tax liability for all its illegal contributions.  In addition all the people who contributed to the Trump Foundation may have their IRA taxes revised and suddenly owe taxes on their contributions.  It makes for a wild mess.


In addition, if he were to become president he could easily destroy the U.S.’s credibility in the world and get us involved in nuclear war.  Even if he were to miss the nuclear war it might take several generations for the United States to regain its position in the world after four years of Donald Trump.


The Weiner Component #164 – President Hillary Clinton & the Republican House of Representatives

English: President Barack Obama and sec. of St...

The Weiner Component #164 – President Hillary Clinton & the Republican House of Representatives


If Hillary Clinton is elected President on November 8, 2016, and the probability is that she will be, then the question arises of: How will she avoid political gridlock with the Senate having a Democratic majority but the right to filibuster and the House of Representatives having a Republican majority?  Is it possible that she will be able to take the country beyond the point which had limited President Barack Obama, that of a Republican majority in the House of Representatives?


President Obama during his first term in office (2009 – 2012) kept trying to get Republican cooperation.  He did not succeed in doing this during either of his two terms in office.  President Clinton would be starting out with this knowledge.  She would not put herself in a position to be rejected by the Republicans.  In this case the responsibility would be clearly theirs to cooperate with her.  How could she achieve this?


President Franklin Delano Roosevelt from 1933 on used, what he called, The Fireside Chat to talk the people of the United States through The Great Depression.  These were weekly radio broadcasts to the people throughout the country. 


At that time the center of family entertainment and news was the family radio.  Television did not exist.  Presidential announcements were made through it.  So were sports, music, and drama presentations.  Mothers listened to drama serials as they prepared dinner.  Children listened to adventure stories during dinner and afterwards.  The family listened to news, concerts, or drama presentations in the evening.  President Roosevelt used this device to communicate with the people of America, by giving weekly reports to the nation on what was happening and what was being done by the government.  It served as an emotional crutch for the people of the United States.


Earlier, at the turn of the 20th Century, Theodore Roosevelt had used, what he called The Bully Pulpit to transmit his messages to the people.  He made his speeches and announcements before crowds and the press.  They were carried in newspapers throughout the country.  This, when necessary, brought pressure on members of Congress to pass many of the laws he desired for the benefit of the public.


The President of the United States does not make laws.  That is the job of Congress.  He/She is the chief administrator of the country.  But that individual is supposed to lead the nation through his/her party in Congress, by proposing many necessary laws in order to carry out his/her agenda which is supposed to exist for the benefit of the public.


What President Barack Obama proposed after 2011 to a Republican dominated House of Representatives was generally turned down.  The Republicans even tried to force him to carry out their agenda by adding riders to many laws which would carry out their agenda which he, in turn, would veto.  This was carried to the point of shutting down the government by attaching riders to necessary finance bills. 


Currently, during President Obama’s last four months in office, the Republican dominated House of Representatives is refusing to really deal with the Zika epidemic and also refusing to pass anything but a temporary budget to fund the U.S. Government over the next few months instead of for the full fiscal year.


In addition to this the current Republican dominated Senate has been refusing for the last seven months to allow the President to appoint a ninth Justice to the Supreme Court to replace Antonin Scalia who died on February 13, 2016.  They want the next President, if he is a Republican, to choose the ninth member of the Supreme Court.


However some Republicans feel that if Hillary Clinton is elected then they should hold a lame duck session and approve President Barack Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland.  The argument being that he is more conservative than anyone Hillary Clinton might choose.


My feeling is that the best choice Hillary Clinton could make would be a Constitutional lawyer by the name of Barack Obama; if he would take the job.  That would be the second time the Republicans have gotten what they deserve for refusing to properly do their job.


The first instance was Elizabeth Warren, who helped create and was supposed to be the head of the Consumer Protection Agency.  They would not allow her to be confirmed so she ended up becoming the second Senator from Massachusetts.  This would be the second instance where Republican plans backfired.  And there is precedent for this move by Clinton, President Warren Harding appointed former President William Howard Taft to the Supreme Court.


How would Hillary Clinton keep in constant contact with her public?  Generally most people in the United States have very little free time.  They are mostly busy with work, raising children, and the rest of their lives.  It takes a lot of time and effort to closely follow what goes on in Washington, D.C.


Radio has not been an important means of communication since the end of World War II (1945) when black and white television made its first appearance.  Today colorized television has become the major means of communication across the country.


In order to have a live, functional agenda the President today needs to have constant contact with the people of the United States.  He/She needs to keep in constant contact with her constituency. 


He/She still has the bully pulpit.  She is the directly hired representative of all the people.  And the people, as a whole, can make themselves heard by Congress.  And if Congress does not carry out their will then they can fire the entire House of Representatives and 1/3d of the Senate at the next election in 2018.


The President, as the representative of the entire nation, can keep up a weekly communication by weekly reports.  These reports can also function two ways with the constituency also being able to communicate with the President through the internet.


This would mean at least weekly reports of what is and is not going on.  Up to this point the Republicans in the House of Representatives, all 247 of them are fairly visible; their votes and the issues upon which they vote are recorded but not advertised.  It takes a lot of time to dig up that information.  It would certainly pay for the chief executive to set up a staff to keep a record of these happenings.  They could also script or outline the President’s report and keep the records of public’s communications to the President. 


In addition this group could also have easy access on the internet to specific information, like the addresses of all the members of Congress.  From this bank of specific information that could be accessed at any time by the public on demand, intense pressure could be brought on any or all members of Congress. Those citizens who so desire could also share their thoughts with the President.  It would make the individual Congress members responsible for their actions.


If President Hillary Clinton and/or her husband were to do a weekly television broadcast together or separately each week and specifically state their objectives and then go over what was done or not done by the specific members of Congress and the political party they represent for the prior week that would affect the general electorate.  This would be especially true if they had the means to easily respond to these members of Congress.  The President could also keep the public aware of their advance plans and what help they could expect from Congress by passing specific laws.


This weekly broadcast would have to be on prime time over one of more major TV stations.  I would suspect that CBS, NBC, or ABC might each be willing to carry the program.  The major cable networks: CNN, MSNBC, and even Fox News would probably also vie for the broadcasts.  This would be particularly true if they could sell commercial time just before or after the broadcasts.


What the White House would be doing here would be keeping constant contact with the voting public whose prosperity would be tied to the White House agenda.  It would also demonstrate to the voters exactly what they were getting from all their elected officials.  And it would do this with no additional effort by the public except watching a government report each week. 


As an additional benefit from an arrangement like this there would be a feeling by the public of contributing to the running of the government.  This could allay the feeling of frustration and helplessness many Americans feel about their government.


While there are different governmental philosophies between the two major political parties this type of move could bring about an end to gridlock in Washington, D. C.  It’s a little ridiculous to wait four months or more to have Congress sit on the Zika epidemic and mainly argue political points during a national medical emergency.  It’s equally ridiculous to have the House of Representatives refuse to fund the government, using it as a means of blackmail to get their way on other issues, because they don’t have the votes to pass those other issues.

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The Weiner Component #163 – Part 2: The 2017 Presidency

English: Seal of the President of the United S...

Official portrait of Secretary of State Hillar...

The Presidential Campaign will continue until Tuesday, November 8th of 2016, with both sides continually verbally attacking the other.  Trump has reorganized his staff three times, hiring among others someone who has made a career of attacking and trying to discredit the Clintons. He is supposed to excel in dirty tricks.  Hillary Clinton will continue with her basic premise that Trump is unfit to be President and move on from there.  In fact on Wednesday, September 7, at a back to back veteran’s Town Hall with Clinton, Trump defined the secret briefing as being anti Obama in the body language of the men who gave it, something which the intelligence community said never happened.  In terms of money raised for campaigning Clinton seems to be able to raise well over ten times the amount Trump does.


(In fact, Trumps entire Washington Bureau Organization quit when Trump refused to send them the promised checks for their work. This seems to be a pattern of Trump’s, stiffing his employees by not paying them.}


There are to be four debates scheduled, three will be between the Presidential candidates and one between the Vice-Presidential choices.  Of these one will be moderated by a NBC moderator, one by a Fox News employee, one by ABC News and CNN with joint a moderator from each network, and the Vice Presidential one by CBS News.  They will begin on September 26th and end on October 19th.  They should be interesting or at least colorful.


When all this is done and the votes finally counted at the end of November 8th the next President of the United States will be officially elected to that office and will take the helm in January of 2017 of guiding the country for the next four years.


If we ask, which candidate will it be?  There is a high probability that it will be Hillary Rodham Clinton.  It is also probably that the Senate will return to a Democratic majority after the election but that the House of Representatives will remain in the hands of the Republicans.  This is the exact situation that President Obama faced from his third year in office until his sixth year there.  In 2014, a non-Presidential Election year, the Republicans also achieved a slight majority in the Senate.


From 2011 on there was a Democratic President, a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, and until 2014, a Democratic majority in the Senate.  The result, since 2011, has been total gridlock with the House most of the time unsuccessfully trying to force its will upon the President and the Senate; and in many cases adding something that they wanted like defunding Planned Parenthood to a necessary bill which was then vetoed.


For the duration of his first term in office the Congressional Republicans in both Houses of Congress were determined to make Barack Obama a one term President.  They opposed everything he supported.  The Affordable Health Care Bill, which was modeled upon one developed by the Republican Think Tank, Citizen’s United, for Mitt Romney when he was governor OF Massachusetts and applied to that state.  It espouses Republican values by allowing private enterprise to control the plan.  Yet it was passed in Congress on a strict Party basis.  Democrats voted for it and all Republicans all opposed it.  The House, after the Republican majority was reached there spent over fifty days bringing its demise up and voting to end it even though these numerous identical Bills were never brought up in the Senate.  The vote has always been strictly upon Party lines.


For his first four years in office President Barack Obama seemed to feel that he could get some cooperation from the Republicans in Congress.  It never happened.  For his second term he knew better but he nor the rest of the Democratic Party ever really took them on.  While neither the President nor the Democrats in Congress never really exposed the Republican actions or non-actions the Republican’s never stopped blaming the President and the Democrats for what they, the Republicans, did not do.


The odds are that Hillary Clinton on November 8th will be elected 45th President of the United States, and the Senate will regain its Democratic majority.  But there is a high probability that the Republicans in the House of Representatives, while losing some of their majority members, will still have control of that body.


There are 435 voting members in the House.  Currently 247 are Republicans and 188 are Democrats.  The Democrats would have to win 30 seats in the House to just gain control of that body.  They will probably gain some seats but not the 30 needed.  Consequently the probable state of affairs during the Clinton Presidency could very well be continued gridlock.


With this situation there is the question of how will Hillary Clinton be able to bring part or all of her agenda about.


One of the major group of incidents that have frustrated President Obama during his presidency has been the random terrorist massacres that have occurred throughout the United States.  Generally Congress will observe a moment of silence but essentially the Republicans will pass no laws to control the purchase of firearms.  The National Rifle Association, which contributes heavily to Congressional elections and supports gun owners throughout the U.S. and is controlled by the gun, magazine, and ammunition producing companies, holds the position that any step in weapon control is the first step in taking guns away from American citizens. Essentially what the reformers want is to have thorough background checks upon everyone buying a firearm and to stop the sale to people with mental problems or to those who have criminal records.


The random gun shootings in the United States are at least 22 times higher than in any other industrial nation.  The last terrorist attack was on the night of June 12, 2016, when Omar Mateen, an American born, not too well mentally balanced 29 year old Moslem, who worked as a security guard, killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in a terrorist hate crime inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  After a three hour siege he was shot and killed by the Orlando Police Department swat team.  Mateen had purchased the semi-automatic firearms legally the prior week.


This issue was dealt with at least twice at the Democratic Convention: once by adults who had lost a parent or child to random shooting and once by people whose parent or child had been specifically or otherwise targeted.


The Senate had blocked four gun measures the following Monday, two from each party.  Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader said that Democrats were taking advantage of the Orlando Massacre, using it as a political talking point.  He called the Republican proposals, “real solutions.”  Harry Reid, the minority leader, called the Republican measures, “political stunts.”  Hillary Clinton had one word for the Senate after the gun vote, “Enough.”  She later tweeted, “It’s time to demand more than thoughts and prayers from our elected officials.”


At the Democratic Convention, the Platform writing committee consisted of fifteen members: Clinton appointed six of them, Sanders five, and Wasserman Schultz four.  The Platform was described by NBC News as the most progressive in party history.


They want to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and index it to inflation.  They also desire to include 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.  On health care, the Democrats want a public option for the Affordable Care Act and legislation to allow Americans aged 55 and over to buy into Medicare.  They also want Medicare to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs and to double their support for community health centers that provide primary health-care services, particularly in rural areas.


The Democrats express support for Wall Street reform.  They want a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act to keep banks from gambling with depositor’s money and a breakup of “too big to fail” financial institutions.  Also there should be an expansion of Social Security and the abolition of the death penalty.  There is support for criminal justice reform, and an end to private prisons; and reforms to boost police accountability to communities.


On taxation the platform pledges “tax relief for middle class families” and improvement on K-12 education.  On workers’ rights the platform endorses expanding and defending the right of workers to organize unions and bargain collectively.  The platform maintains the long standing support of Israel.  On abortion it states, “We believe, like the majority of Americans, that every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion – regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes, or how she is insured.”  It also defends Planned Parenthood.  It urges the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and supports passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.  “After 240 years, we will finally enshrine the rights of women in the Constitution.”


There are other considerations in the Democratic Platform but these are ones that both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sander strongly support.


The next question that arises is: How will President Hillary Clinton bring many or most of these positions to fruition?  Will she end up like President Barack Obama, having to fight the House of Representatives, in many cases unsuccessfully, for every change the country needed?  President Obama was mostly successful working through the Federal Reserve and by using executive orders.  He got very little from Congress except having the House close down the government.


The Republicans in the House of Representatives seem to have no understanding of fiscal policy and many of them seem to want to limit the powers of the Federal Reserve, particularly in terms of monetary policy.  One gets the impression that many Republicans in the House do not really understand the principles of economics as they apply to the Central Government.  Basic ignorance does not bring about solutions to problems.  In fact they worsen those situations.  Witness the Great Recession of 2008.  A Republican President in 2009 would have turned it into a Greater Depression than that of 1929.


The actions taken by the Republican dominated House of Representatives from 2011 tended to worsen economic conditions by cutting government spending and increasing unemployment.  It was President Obama and the Federal Reserve, under Chairman Ben Bernanke, using creative monetary policy that largely solved the problem of unemployment, which should have been solved completely by Congress using fiscal policy.


In 2017 President Clinton will have her hands full.  Will she be able to work with Republicans to bring about full employment and an era of increased prosperity for the majority of the American people?

The Weiner Component #162 – Part 3b: Thoughts About the Republican Party

Official photographic portrait of US President...

In addition to the election of a new President of the United States, 1/3d of the Senate is up for election in November of 2016, plus the entire House of Representatives will also be running for reelection.  The Republicans tend to do better in non-presidential years since at that time lots of Democrats, especially Hispanics, do not bother to vote.  Consequently a light vote tends to benefit the Republicans.  In 2014, for example, the Republicans were able to gain control of the Senate by a very slight majority.  In 2016 they will probably lose that majority and control of the Senate will return to the Democrats.


2010 was a non-presidential year and the Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives and a number of state governments.  2010 was also a census year, when the population of the United States was counted, and the House Voter Districts were reset by the State Legislatures, presumably based upon population changes.  Those states under Republican control gerrymandered their Districts to give themselves ultimate control in the House of Representatives by setting up new districts that were light in Democratic votes and heavy in Republican voters.  In 2012, a presidential year, a million and a quarter more votes were cast by Democrats for their candidates running for the House of Representatives but the Republicans still maintained their majority in the House of Representatives.  They still today maintain control of that House of Congress.  It will probably take an additional two to three million more votes by Democrats for control of the House of Representatives to be returned to them.  The probability of that happening, I suspect, is very low unless the Republicans do something extremely stupid like shutting down the Federal Government by not funding it.


What will probably happen in 2017 is that Hillary Clinton will be elected President of the United States.  The United States Senate will have a Democratic majority, and the House of Representatives will remain in Republican Control, where it has been since 2011.  If that is what happens then essentially gridlock can probably continue with the Congress.  President Hillary Clinton will be able to make some deals with the Republicans in the Federal Legislature, but it will be tit-for-tat, something will have to be traded every time.  The Republicans will be more interested, as they have for the last six and ½ years, in blaming the Democrats for legislative failures than in passing necessary laws.


An example of this is the Zika crisis, which the World Health Organization has called “an extraordinary event” and “a global emergency.”  Before the July 4, 2016 Congressional recess, President Obama requested a 1.9 billion Dollar Bill to be used to fight the Zika outbreak. The amount was put together by experts in the field as to what it will take to remove the danger of Zika virus attacks. 


The House of Representatives passed, before they left on vacation, a 1.1 billion dollar bill and then left Washington for their 4th of July hiatus which did not end until after Labor Day.  They were attending the National Presidential Conventions in late July and then spent the rest of their time in their home states presumably campaigning. 


Their version of the Zika Abatement Bill contained spending cuts in other health programs such as cutting funds for Planned Parenthood, and was 800 million dollars smaller than the amount asked for.  President Obama remarked that the Bill contains too little money and has too many partisan provisions.


In the Senate the Bill was filibustered by Democrats who wanted to spend the full 1.9 billion dollars without cutting funds from other programs.  The White House spokesman, Eric Schultz, stated that if the measure does pass the Senate it will be vetoed by the President.


The basic Republican position is: Take what we give you or there will be no bill and it will be your fault.  This process had been done with other bills earlier.  After the bill had died because there was no Conference Committee functioning, the House was on vacation; they, the Republicans, will blame the failure on the President and Democrats for what they themselves have not done.  Whether the public will believe them is another question.


The Democrats and Republicans have been unable, still by the middle of September, to come up with a compromise bill.  This crisis is now four months old since it first came to the Congress.  The House is still offering its 1.1 billion dollar bill.   The disease which has become more major in terms of becoming an epidemic seems to gradually be growing in the United States in such states as Florida and other Southern states.  One or more cases have come up also in California.


The House, as early as the end of May 2016 seemed to be in no hurry to solve the Zika crisis.  Democrats said it was wrong to require spending cuts for a public health crisis while not requiring them for past emergencies such as wildfires and floods.  Republicans said the cuts are innocuous.  More than 2,200 cases had been reported in the U.S. and its territories.  The number is even greater today; and as I understand the problem, Congress still has not passed a compromise bill which both political parties could agree upon.  This problem is currently being left to the states to handle individually.  They do not have the resources to deal with a national, if not international, problem.


Congress returned from its July 4th break or vacation on Tuesday, September 6th, the day after Labor Day.  The House of Representatives will have to deal with the Zika crisis, which has increased over the last two months, and also deal with the budget, funding for the Federal Government ends at the end of September.  The House also failed to pass the 12 annual funding bills needed to run the government.  The issue now seems to be passing a partial funding bill and letting the new Congress in January of next year fund the government for the full year.          


The government will run out of money by the end of September.  To date no additional spending bills have been passed.  If such a bill is not passed the Republican dominated House will again shut down the government; but this time it will be on an election year.


There is an election coming up on November 8th.  Every single member of the House of Representatives will be standing for election or reelection.  The current situation is totally absurd.  It would seem that the Republicans care more for making political points than for legislating for the good of the country.


During the remaining short period of time the House Republicans are planning votes on several “message bills,” some of which will not even be picked up by the Senate.  They will vote to impeach IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, over allegations that he obstructed a Congressional Investigation about whether the IRS improperly scrutinized Tea Party groups looking for tax-exempt status.


Speaker Paul Ryan wants a vote on some kind of legislation to register GOP opposition to a 400 million dollar payment to Iran.  This is money and interest on funds belonging to Iran that the U.S. Government has held since the late 1980s. 


What strikes me as fascinating are the conditions under which the Senate and the House of Representatives function.  The length of a year is 365 days.  After being elected to Congress the average salary is $174,000 per year.  The Speaker of the House of Representatives gets $223,000 a year; the majority and minority leaders of both parties get $193,000 per year.  The House has averaged since 2001 139 legislative days a year; that is less than 3 days a week.  In 2013 the New York Times found that the House was in session 942 hours that year, about 18 hours a week.  The House of Representatives calendar for 2016 is 110 legislating days.  Their average time spent in session in 2016 has been three days a week plus lengthy holidays.  They work, generally, from Monday through Wednesday and take a four day weekend plus all holiday breaks.


The average salary in the United States is less than half that amount and it includes at least a 40 hour work week.  There is also a very generous retirement plan for Congress that kicks-in after serving one two year term in the House of Representatives.


The Founding Fathers did not originally envision political parties.  They expected an educated constituency to elect the smartest people available.  We are far from that point now.  The taxpayers are spending a lot of money for very little.  For the last 5 ½ years it’s been for gridlock in Congress.


As of Friday, August 26, 2016, 42 new non-travel cases of Zika infections have been discovered.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants the entire blood supply within the United States, every single blood donation screened for Zika.  It is currently estimated that one out of every ten blood donations in Puerto Rico contains the Zika virus.  The number would also be high in Florida.  But the problem could also exist in any of the other states.  The country could be moving toward a massive epidemic.  It would seem that the House of Representatives is looking to get its way no matter what the cost to the general public.


The Zika virus disease is a mosquito borne illness.  It is beginning to reach epidemic proportions in some of the states and territories.  The symptoms of Zika are a mild fever, skin rashes, muscle and joint pain, and pink eye or conjunctivitis.   The symptoms normally last from 2 to 7 days and then go away.  The virus remains in the blood stream after the 7 day period.  Zika can produce sever birth defects in pregnant women’s fetuses, such as a small head size, and presumably limited learning ability as well as other physical problems.  This infection can cause microcephaly.


While the disease was first discovered in 1947 little is still known about it.  What we do know is that it is transmitted by a specific mosquito and also by sexual intercourse.  Lots of people in the country require occasional blood transfusions which is another way it can be freely transmitted. 


On Friday, August 26, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has recommended that the entire U.S. blood supply be screened for the Zika virus.  One out of every ten people tested in Puerto Rico has come up positive.  A massive epidemic of this disease can effect an entire generation of births and, if nothing else, cost the country trillions in medical care for the infected infants as they mature.


These new recommendations apply across the board.  The Red Cross said it will phase in universal testing.  It is currently conducting Zika testing in 5 Southeastern states.  It will now require it throughout the entire United States.


Because an infection can be transmitted during sexual intercourse someone who does not have symptoms might spread the virus unknowingly to his or her partner.  Then either of the two might donate blood, further spreading the infection.


In February of 2016 the FDA issued its first Zika virus blood screening recommendation in areas with active transmission.  Then, the agency advised screening blood and blood components for the virus or stopping blood collection completely in areas of active transmission.


The nation’s first local, non-travel related infection of Zika virus occurred in Puerto Rico in December of 2016.  Shortly after, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands reported locally transmitted infections.  In July, Florida’s Miami-Dade County reported its own first case of a local mosquito transmitted Zika infection.


With all this occurring and Zika spreading the House of Representatives is in no hurry to solve the problem of nationally fighting the spread of this disease.  Their reaction to what can be a major health issue is pathetic.  It would seem to the Republicans getting their way and making political points is more important than the health and welfare of their constituents.


This is a potential international problem that the United Nation’s World Health Organization takes very seriously.  Women of child-bearing age throughout the world are affected.  This can result in one or more generations of children growing up abnormally with no real futures, having to be taken care of by their healthier peers throughout the world; and the House of Representatives plays its political games essentially ignoring the issue.  They are basically leaving an international problem to the states and territories within the U.S. to handle by themselves without adequate resources or responsibility.  It would seem that a vote for a Republican legislator is a vote for political gridlock. 


President Barack Obama, on Saturday, August 27, issued a call to make the Zika crisis the first item of business that the House of Representatives deals with.  He stated that the various federal agencies dealing with this problem are running out of money.  He stated that, “a fraction of the funding won’t get the job done.  You can’t solve a fraction of a disease.  Our experts know what they’re doing.  They need the resources to do it.”  He further said about the current House bill, “But that’s not a sustainable solution.  And Congress has been on a seven-week recess without doing anything to protect Americans from the Zika virus.”


“Every day the Republican leaders in Congress wait to do their job, every day our experts have to wait to get the resources they need,” the President said.  “That has real-life consequences:  Weaker mosquito- control efforts.  Longer wait times to get accurate diagnostic results.  Delayed vaccines.  It puts more Americans at risk.”


“We need more Republicans to act … because this is more important than politics.  Republicans in Congress should treat Zika like the threat that it is and make this their first order of business when they come back to Washington after Labor Day.  That means working in a bipartisan way to fully fund our Zika response.”  So far none of this has happened.


In addition, as of the present, no action has been taken on the hourly wage which remains at $7.25 an hour. And even the Republican National Candidate, Donald Trump, has mentioned raising it from $7.25 an hour to $10.00 an hour.  Also in the Republican Congress there has been no mention of requiring background checks on the purchase of firearms or limiting the size of weapon magazines.  Congress is currently in gridlock.  Will this change after the November Election if the Republicans remain in charge of the House of Representatives?  I suspect not.


On Saturday, August 27, 2016, President Barack Obama has stepped up the pressure on Congress for Zika

English: Breakdown of political party represen...

English: Breakdown of political party representation in the United States House of Representatives during the 112th Congress. Blue: Democrat Red: Republican This SVG file was originally hand-written. It contains comments suggesting how to amend it to reflect future changes in Congress. Inkscape reads this file as corrupted, thus changes must be made with a text editor or other program and checked with a browser. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

funding.  He has urged legislators “to make this their first order of business” when they return from a seven-week recess after Labor Day.


Their second order of business will be to fund the government past the September deadline. 


Congress will meet for the balance of September and then adjourn for November and then probably meet for another few weeks in December.  What will probably happen is a short term funding bill which will hand the problem over to the new Congress next year.  If the Tea Party Freedom Caucus refuses to go along with the rest of the Republicans in the House of Representatives then the Speaker, Paul Ryan, would be forced to work directly with the Democrats.  This, incidentally, was probably the main reason John Boehner, the former Speaker, was forced to resign.


And, of course, the Zika epidemic grows worse daily.


What will happen should be interesting, if not tragic.


The Weiner Component #162 = Part 3a: Thoughts on Donald Trump Since the Convention

On Thursday, July 28, the Democratic Nominating Convention ended and the two major candidates for the 2016 Presidential Election had been chosen.  The next day the Presidential Campaign was officially on.


In certain respects Donald Trump is a unique candidate.  There has never been another one like him.  Basically he is a bastion of ignorance with no idea of the responsibilities involved in being President of the United States.  His experience has been landlord, presumably setting racial boundaries to whom he rented, builder of hotels, casinos, and other types of structures where he has never fully paid his contractors, and TV performer, where his favorite statement, which he proudly copyrighted, was “You’re fired!.”  His business record, which is well documented, is pathetic, rich in bankruptcies, lawsuits, and nonpayment of bills.  He seems to see the presidency as an extension of himself and his nefarious methods.  If he were to extend those principles as President he would destroy the creditability of the United States.


Vladimir Putin, the current President of Russia, seems to want to gradually stretch Russia’s boundaries to where they were during the era of The Soviet Union.  Trump’s attitude toward foreign policy would legitimize Putin’s intrusions into Ukraine and other possible areas.


There have been numerous bizarre incidents with Trump, some of which make no sense at all.  First off, during the Republican Convention, Trump began laying the groundwork for his dealing with both enemy and allied nations.  He did this by making blanket statements to the press, stating that our allies in NATO were not paying their fair share and that when he were President he would see that their contributions of money was generously increased.  Actually I got the impression that he would charge our allies for the use of the American military to the point of making a profit.  This would enable him to increase military expenditures without having the U.S. pay for the increase. (Shades of Napoleon Bonaparte, having your so-called allies pay for your use of the military.)


Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, would love to see Trump as President of the U.S.  Trump has indicated that as President he would legitimize Russia’s take-over of parts of the Ukraine.  Putin has called Trump a genius and Trump has verbally admired Putin.  Russians hacked the Democratic National Committees emails and had them published just as the Democratic Convention began.  Was this an accident by Russian hackers or was it a plot to discredit the DNC?  Take your choice.


In addition Trump has numerously stated that (1) he will renegotiate all foreign trade deals, (2) charge a 35% tariff on all goods produced by American companies that are manufacturing goods overseas, (3) renegotiate the United Nations anti-atomic development treaty with Iran in which the United States was one of the many participants.  (4) He has also objected to paying back Iran the 40 million dollars that the U.S. government owed Iran.  (5) Trump has promised to bring coal mining on a large scale back to West Virginia.


If we think back thirty or thirty-five years ago, it was then argued that U.S. companies, usually in base industries, were moving overseas and it was vehemently stated by many people that these companies should keep these jobs in the United States.  If we go back even earlier it was argued that many companies in the North or Northwest were moving to Puerto Rico or the Southern United States where there was no tradition of unions.  Of course, eventually they would become unionized.  The problem then or the solution for the companies was that the result of moving these industries considerably cut the cost of production of goods and kept these companies competitive.  This would be true at first in the Southern States and Puerto Rico and later when the moved companies had become unionized and labor costs had risen; they would move overseas.  The cost then in keeping one of these companies at first in the North or Northwest and later in the Southern U.S. and Puerto Rico was in the thousands of dollars per worker in terms of the cost of the productivity of the worker.  If most of these companies were to stay competitive they had to reduce their costs.


There were and still are, of course, vulture capitalists, financial businesses like Bane Capital that will take over profitable companies and transfer the factories overseas to make them far more profitable.  Mitt Romney, while he was running for the presidency in 2012, invested millions with the former company he had chaired.  They bought control of an American factory, brought workers over from China to learn how to handle the machinery, then packed everything up and moved the factory to China, leaving all the former employees unemployed.  Their profits, even with transportation included, increased well over four times what it had been.


Trump wants to renegotiate all the foreign trade treaties that the United States has signed with other nations.  Attempting to renegotiate all the trade treaties signed over the last twenty-five years would probably terminate most if not all of them and generate Tariff Wars such as existed in the 1930s during the era of the Great Depression.  The result would be to limit trade between nations and raise the prices of a high percentage of the goods and services sold, making most people a lot poorer.


A 35% tariff on goods produced by American companies overseas would be unconstitutional.  We have ‘due process” in the Constitution, which means everybody is to be treated equally.  Trump could not pick on specific companies to punish.  Besides, most major companies are today international.  Virtually every automobile produced contains parts that were made both in the U.S. and parts that were manufactured overseas.  What specific percentage makes it an American produced automobile?  This is true of innumerable products.


In terms of the Iranian U.N Treaty there was Iran on one side and part of the Security Council of the United Nation plus Germany on the other side.  The United States is a permanent member of the Security Council.  For that matter so is Great Britain, France, China, and Russia.  Some smaller states rotated onto the negotiating group.  The treaty evolved over a two year period.  Iran has strictly adhered to her agreement in the treaty.  Upon what grounds could Trump reopen the negotiations?  The United States would be outvoted by the other nations that approved the treaty.


The 40 million dollars that the United States repaid Iran was a negotiation that had been going on well before the Iran U.N. Treaty.  While the United States was still friendly with Iran during the time of the Shay in the late 1980s the U.S. agreed to sell arms to the Iranian government.  Iran paid for those arms in advance.  After the revolution, the people in the American embassy there were seized and imprisoned for over a year.  The U.S. stopped the arms deal for which it had already been paid.  The 40 million dollars was the money that Iran had paid in advance and for which they received nothing.  The United States Government has been holding that money since the late 1980s.  This, of course, does not count the other funds in American banks that were then frozen and which have continued to be used by the American banks since then.  The same thing is true of Cuba and the Castro Revolution in the early 1960s.


Trump has also promised to bring back coal mining to West Virginia.  The promise is pure nonsense.  The old coal mines, where the miners went underground and dug in tunnels bring up the coal, are long gone.  So are mines run by such companies as Massey Energy, which used to have a large number of mines in West Virginia.  Instead what coal mining that exists today is done in open pit mining by steam shovels taking out a half ton of coal at a swoop.   One man driving a caterpillar does the work of a large number of teams in one day.  How could Trump bring back the past?


In addition coal is probably one of the dirtiest and most polluting sources of energy available today.  The coal can contain numerous minerals that go up with the smoke.  One of the most dangerous of these is sulfur which can mix with water vapor to create a mild form of sulfuric acid that people breathe.  There are many cleaner forms of energy available.  In terms of health it would be cheaper and healthier to pay the ex-miners a monthly stipend that go back to the extensive use of coal.


What emerges with Trump is that he seems to want to be president but he has spent his life being mostly concerned with Donald Trump and has missed what is going on in the rest of the world.  He is largely ignorant or just plain naïve.  I hesitate to use the word, stupid.  In addition Khizr Khan was probably correct when he said that Donald Trump had probably never read the Constitution.  And if he had read it in Jr. High it was so long ago that he didn’t remember it.  Many of his statements would indicate an ignorance of the contents of the document.


Trump has called the oncoming election rigged.  As far as he is concerned in any area where he doesn’t, according to the polls, have a majority, the election in unfairly rigged toward Hillary Clinton.  Because of all this Trump has also called upon many of his followers to volunteer to be poll watchers during the actual election.  His language has moved beyond the Republican Party’s call for specific identification requirements.  It has revived unfounded claims that the polls are rigged.  His warnings have been given in urgent and racially suggestive language.  He has implied that the only honest outcome would be his victory.


In addition Trump has suggest that Second Amendment People, gun owners, might take matters in their own hands since the election of Hillary Clinton would result in having their weapons taken away from them.


In Pennsylvania, which has had no Republican presidential candidate since 1988 and Trump is presently well behind Clinton in polls, Trump has stated that he could lose the race there.  He wants Republicans to sign up as poll watchers particularly in areas with heavy Black populations.  There is concern about voter intimidation.  Trump’s comment is that he wants to stop people from voting fifteen times or more.  There has been no evidence of voter fraud.


A Trump backer tweeted: “We gonna be watch’n for shenanigans…& haul ya away.”  Above the tweet was a photograph of a pickup truck with a cage in the truck bed.


A Pew Research Center survey demonstrated the 51% of Trump’s supporters have little or no confidence in the accuracy of the vote count nationally.  They automatically know it will be false if Trump loses.


An advisor to Trump has stated that “We are now living in a fake reality of constructed data and phony polls.”  How does he know all this?  The answer would be simply by instinct.  His reasoning, and also Trump’s, for that matter, would be: ‘It must be so because it is so.’


Trump’s campaign recently started a website urging people to sign up as election watchers.  All campaigns generally do this, but the people who do this are required to go through an extensive training program about what crosses the line and becomes intimidation.  Trump’s election watchers are not required to do this.


I would like to make a comment about Donald Trump which may or may not be wholly true.  Trump basically is an empty vessel that knows himself and how he functions.  He has never been interested in anyone or anything else.  He sees the world and everyone in it in terms of how he would respond.  In his mind he has defined Hillary Clinton’s values and beliefs as if they were his own.  Consequently everything she has done, does, or, for that matter, will do, is how he would behave if he were she.  To him there is only one value system that is real, his own.  Everything he accuses her of doing or believing is a projection of how he would or does behave.  And his negative behavior toward the world in general is well documented by his bankruptcies and over 2,500 lawsuits in which he has been involved.  In fact he is currently being sued about Trump University.  The are three lawsuits coming up, two class action and one by the state of New York.  The man is dishonest from his core and imagines the rest of the world has the same perspective of everything.


Lately the man has stated that he has misspoken on several subjects.  Outside of the illegal aliens living in the United States, who he was going to round up, all 11 million of them, and kick them out of the U.S.  This was a feat that it was estimated would cost four billion dollars over a five to ten year period and would also cut our GDP about ten billion dollars.  It seems he misspoke when he called Hispanics all rapists and thieves.  He was sorry he said that until Wednesday night, August 31st when he stopped being sorry and stated that he would kick them all out the day he assumed office.


He was also sorry he said other things.  But he hasn’t told us what the other things are.  This will allow him to flip-flop on anything he’s stated.  I thought that he was sorry he mentioned the multi-trillion dollar wall between the U.S. and Mexico but he also changed his mind again about that.


Even Glen Beck, who was dropped from Fox News for being too far on the right,

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

has verbally stated that Trump is a danger to the United States.                  *******************************

The November 2016 Election should make for an interesting if not colorful and dramatic Presidential Election!



The Weiner Component @162 Part 2: The 2016 Presidential Election Convention: The Democratic Convention

The 2016 Democratic National Convention was held at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from July 25 through July 28, 2016, Monday through Thursday.  They choose Hillary Rodham Clinton as their presidential candidate.  Bernie Sanders had a large following but Clinton gained more primary and caucus delegates.  She had 59.6% of the votes to 39.16% for Sanders.  He did have a strong influence, however, in writing the party platform.  Hillary Clinton was the first woman to be nominated by a major political party.  She choose Tim Kaine, the Junior Senator from Virginia, as her Vice Presidential candidate.


While Clinton’s position moved the party platform to the left of where it had been in 2012, Sanders influence pushed it further left making it the most progressive in Democratic history.  It contains specific planks, among others, on Wall Street reform, stronger financial regulations for banks, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and strict background checks on the purchase of guns.  In the social area there is criminal justice reform, an end to private prisons, expansion of social security, and the abolition of the death penalty.


The last state to give its roll call vote for the Democratic candidate was Vermont, which gave 4 votes for Hillary Clinton and 22 for Bernie Sanders.  By then Clinton had far exceeded the number of votes needed to become the Democratic candidate.  At this point Bernie Sanders rose and moved that the Convention vote by voice vote to acclaim Hillary Clinton as their candidate for the 2016 Presidential Election.  The motion was seconded and the Convention did so.


The Convention was not without controversy.  Either officially or unofficially Russian hackers released damaging emails that demonstrated, among other things, partiality for Hillary Clinton on the part of the National Democratic Committee.  They were supposed to maintain a neutral position.  Apparently Russia was taking a hand in the election in favor of Trump.  As a result of these emails the chairperson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned her position as chairperson of the NDC.


Another factor was that many Bernie Sanders people protested Clinton’s appointment as presidential candidate.  A poll determined that 80 plus percent of them would vote for Hillary Clinton but many of those that wouldn’t were very loud about their feelings.


Beyond the disparities the Democratic Convention was very positive.  It was a celebration of both America and Hillary Clinton.  “We’re going to empower all Americans to live better lives,” she said.  “My primary mission as President will be to create more opportunity and more good jobs with rising wages right here in the United States from my first day in office to my last, especially in places that for too long have been left out, left behind.”


There was a strong argument for gun control in the form of strict background checks from a mother from Orlando, Florida whose son was shot.  Another appeal from a daughter whose mother was murdered in Newtown, Connecticut.  Former House Representative Gabby Gifford, who was shot in the head by a crazed man, appealed for this type of change.  Others stated that five police officers were shot and killed in Dallas in July.  They all made excellent points.  This position is supported even by the majority of members the National Rifle Association.


General John Allen, joined by dozens of veterans made a dramatic presentation for Hillary Clinton as the new Commander and Chief of the military.


In fact we even had the beginnings of a movement of Republicans for Hillary which grows as we get closer and closer to Election Day.


Hillary Clinton has gone up well above Trump in the polls since the Conventions.  One of the reasons for this is that the Democratic Convention brought a level of unity among the Democrats.  This did not happen during the Republican Convention.


Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire and former mayor of New York City, who was a Republican and is now an Independent, gave a speech offering a scathingly indictment of Donald Trump as a “dangerous demigod” and “reckless” choice for president.


Blomberg stated that he had been both a Democrat and a Republican and was now an Independent.  He cast Trump as a failed businessman and risk to the country.  “Through his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders and contractors who feel cheated and his frustrated customers who feel ripped off.”  He commented:  “Trump says he wants to run the nation like he runs his businesses.  God help us.”


He took Trump to task for blasting trade deals while using overseas manufacturing to produce products bearing his name.  He accused Trump of gaming the U.S., the Visa system, and using illegal immigrants while vowing to deport them if elected president.  “Truth be told the richest thing is his hypocrisy,” he said.


Another speaker, who came right after Michelle Obama, was Elizabeth Warren.  She stated, among other things, that “Corporations are not people.”  She hammered Trump saying “Trump’s entire campaign is one more late night infomercial.”  “Other than about building a stupid wall                                                            … did you have any ideas?”  “Trump is a man who cares only for himself, every minute of the day.”  “What kind of man cheats students, cheats investors, cheats workers?  I’ll tell you what kind of man, a man who will never be president of the United States.”


She also stated that Republican lawmakers – namely the ones who have obstructed Democrats in Congress, Warren stated, “The American people are coming for you.”


The list of speakers was very impressive.  On the first night Michelle Obama spoke very effectively, followed by Senator Elizabeth Warren; Senator Cory Booker preceded the First Lady.  The final speaker of the night was Senator Bernie Sanders who strongly supported Hillary Clinton.


On the first night the theme was “United Together.”  For the second night it was “A Lifetime of Fighting for Children and Families.”  Former President Jimmy Carter gave a video address.  Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader of the House Democrats spoke; so did Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood.  Both former Attorney General Eric Holder and Senator Barbara Boxer made presentations.


The Keynote speaker for that night was former President Bill Clinton.  He related his wife’s biography to an enthusiastic audience both in the Convention and on TV.  She has had decades of work for children, women, and the needy.  He talked of her persistence in solving problems placed before her, of her role as a mother to their daughter, Chelsea, of her as a mother figure to the nation.  “She’ll never give up on you,” he stated.


Toward the end of his presentation Bill Clinton spoke of two Hilarys, the one he was talking about and the one the Republicans seemed always to speak about.  The Republican one, he said, was not real, she had been created or disparaged by the Republicans over the years.


Since 1993, when Bill Clinton became President and put Hillary in charge of a task force to come up with a Universal Health Care Plan the Republicans began a hate Hillary campaign both against her and the mission she was undertaking, Universal Health Care for all Americans.                                                               This hate Hillary campaign has persisted up to the present day, 23 years.  They have never given her credit for anything but early on dubbed her “Lady Macbeth from Little Rock.”


Vice President Joe Biden gave an impassioned speech in which he urged voters to turn their backs upon Trump.  “This is a complicated and uncertain world we live in.  The threats are too great and the times to uncertain to elect Donald Trump as President.”  And then later, “No nominee in the history of this nation has known less or been less prepared to deal with National Security … who has no plan to keep us safe… Donald Trump is a man who seeks to sow division in America for his own gain … a man who confuses bluster with strength.”  Later “He has no clue about what makes America great.  In fact, he doesn’t have a clue, period.”


The Reverend Jesse Jackson and Jill Biden spoke.  Former Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg denounced Trump as a business failure and cheat.


On the third night the theme was “Work Together.  On that night United States Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia accepted the Vice Presidential nomination.  He began by sharing his life story with the American people.  Then he stated that a number of Americans did not find Hillary Clinton trustworthy.  He then cited her record of advocating for families and children, her foreign policy achievements, her fight in Congress to secure funding for New York City after the 9/11/01 attack on the Twin Towers, and her foreign policy achievements as Secretary of State.  “With Hillary, it’s not just words, it’s accomplishments.”


Then he plowed into Donald Trump.  “You know who I don’t trust.  It’s Donald Trump.  The guy promises a lot.  He has a habit of saying the same two words right after he makes his biggest promises.  ‘Believe me.’  His creditors, his contractors, his laid-off employees, his ripped off students did just that, and they all got hurt.  Folks, you cannot believe one word that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth.”


The final speaker on the third day was President Barack Obama.  He strongly supported Hillary Clinton as a candidate who was fully prepared to take on the presidency, particularly against the pessimism of Donald Trump.  “America is already great.  America is already strong.  And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend upon Donald Trump.”


He touted Hillary Clinton as being better prepared for the presidency than he and her husband Bill Clinton had been.  In addition he said, “No matter how daunting the odds, no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never quits.”  In a manner of speaking Barack Obama was passing the baton on to a candidate who would carry on the Democratic tradition, both his and hers.


The theme for the fourth night was “Stronger Together.”  Both U.S Representative Tammy Duckworth, a Purple Heart veteran in Afghanistan, and Nancy Pelosi, the minority Speaker of the House of Representatives, spoke.


Outside of Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech the most dramatic speaker was the Muslim, Khizi Khan, who had his wife silently seated by his side.  The Khans had lost their son, Humayun S. M. Khan, an army captain, who, in 2004, had been killed in Iraq while saving the lives of both his men and a group of civilians.  He was killed by a car bomb while inspecting a guard post.  He spotted a taxi speeding toward the military compound.  Khan yelled for people to hit the ground as he ran toward the taxi.  The driver detonated the bomb before it hit the post or a nearby mess hall, where a large number of soldiers were eating breakfast.  He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.


Khizi Khan denigrated Trump for his attitude and his ignorance.  Mr. Khan accused Donald Trump of never having sacrificed anything.  He stated that “Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son the best of America.  If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been born in America.”  At one point he held up a small booklet which was a copy of the United States Constitution and accused Trump of never having read the document.  He then offered to lend Trump his copy.  It was a verbal attack by a Muslim citizen of the U.S. against the man who would close the nation to all Muslim immigration.


Against Khan’s accusation of never having sacrificed anything Trump response was that he had sacrificed by creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.  Equating profit making enterprise with sacrifice was a strange use of language or understanding.


The major speaker on Thursday, the fourth night, was Hillary Clinton, accepting the position as Democratic candidate for the 2016 Presidential Election.  Chelsea Clinton introduced her mother who was the final speaker at the Democratic Convention.


Hillary formally accepted the nomination.  She has been one of the best known women in the world since the early 90s.  From 1993, when her husband became President of the United States, there has been a hate Hillary campaign by the Republicans.  On the one hand she has in some respects, like her emails have been careless but on the other, she has probably worked harder than any other Secretary of State visiting and dealing with 113 countries while also sitting in the President’s Cabinet and being involved in the decision making process on major policy operations.  She was involved in the decision to get Osama bin Laden, the originator of the destruction of the Twin Tower on 9/11/01.  In fact she was involved in many of President Obama’s major decisions.


Hillary stated in her acceptance speech, “I get that some people just don’t know what to make of me.  So let me tell you.”  She then detailed the years she had spent in public service and her goals for a presidency.  She depicted Trump as unstable and unqualified for the office.


She accepted the nomination “with humility, determination and boundless confidence in America’s promise.”  In her nearly 60 minute address she said, “America is once again at a moment of reckoning.  Powerful forces are threatening to pull her apart.  Bonds of trust and respect are fraying.  And just as with our founders there are no guarantees….We have to decide whether we’re going to work together, so we can all rise together.”


“We’re going to empower all Americans to live better lives,” Hillary Clinton said.  “My primary mission as president will be to create more opportunity and more good jobs with rising wages right here in the United States, from my first day in office to my last day, especially in places that for too long have been left out and left behind.”


She presented a “stark” choice for voters on National Security at this time of international turbulence.  She ridiculed Trump’s statement that he alone can solve America’s problems.  “Americans don’t say, ‘I alone can fix it.’  They say ‘we’ll fix it together.”


Of Trump she said, “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man you can trust with nuclear weapons.”


Bernie Sanders was praised by Clinton.  “You’ve put economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong.  And to all of your supporters here or around the country, I want you to know I’ve heard you.  Your cause is our cause.”


Clinton’s historic role in breaking the gender barrier, a persistent theme of her campaign, drew some of the greatest applause.  “When there are no ceiling, the sky’s the limit.  So let’s keep going until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves.”


After Hillary had spoken the last moment of the Convention occurred and many thousands of red, white, and blue balloons dropped from the ceiling signifying the end of the Convention.  And America had its Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.


Of the two conventions the Republican one was thin with guests supporting it and dark with its outlook of America.  One of the TV Duck Dynasty minor luminaries appeared wearing an American flag bandana wrapped around his hair giving a short patriotic presentation.  Neither of the two living Republican former Presidents, George H.W. and his son George W. Bush appeared nor have commented publically about Donald Trump.  With the exception of Mitch McConnell, the current Senate majority leader and Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who both gave very lukewarm approval of Trump, saying he was preferable to Hillary Clinton, very few Republican members of Congress appeared.  It was a thin roster of so-called dignitaries.  The high point seemed to be the Trump children lauding the greatness of their father and Trump at the end giving a Hitler type speech where only he could save a disintegrating United States.


In the Democratic Convention there were so many political and Hollywood celebrities supporting Hillary Clinton that the Convention organizers had trouble getting them all to function during prime time.  There were the President and the First Lady, Bernie Sanders, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Vice President Nominee Tim Kaine, Joe and Jill Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, to name a small number who appeared.  From Hollywood: Lena Dunham, Elizabeth Banks, Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, Elizabeth Banks, and Paul Simon sang.  It was a glorious meeting of people.






The Weiner Component #162 – The Presidential Election Conventions: Part 1: The Republican Convention

The candidates for the 2016 Presidential Elections have been chosen.  The National Party Conventions are over; the balloons have all been dropped and the candidates are officially named.


The Republicans met in the second week of July 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio; the Democrats convened in the third week of that month in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Not surprisingly the Republicans chose Donald J. Trump and the Democrats picked Hillary Rodham Clinton.


Donald Trump and the Republicans tended at their Convention to present a dark picture of the United States being taken advantage of by both its allies and its enemies.  The Convention lacked major politicians like the two living former presidents, the Bushes, both father and son, or other political figures.  Minor TV reality performers and some actors made presentations to the Convention.  Trump seemed to be stage-managing on all four nights.  The House Speaker, Paul Ryan, and the majority leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, both gave conditional support to Donald Trump, stating essentially that given the choice, Trump was better than Hillary Clinton, who the Convention strongly verbally attacked from the first day on.  In fact one of the main themes at the Convention was denouncing Hillary Clinton and voicing a need to put her into jail or even executing her.


As the last speaker, on the first night, Trump had his wife, Melania, make a presentation.  She, in her speech, plagiarized statements that Michelle Obama had made in 2008.  It seemed that two professional speech writers had written a speech for Melania but she was uncomfortable with it and decided to write her own with the help of a friend who had helped Trump write one of his books.  The woman researched prior speeches for her and Melania produced her own presentation which no one saw beforehand.  She gave the speech and the plagiarism was almost immediately discovered and discussed on all the TV networks that covered the Convention.  In fact they played Melania saying that part of her speech on half the screen and Michelle Obama initially saying those words on the other half of the screen.


Melania did not reappear until the fourth night at the Convention.  The woman, who had helped her offered to resign.  Trump told her to forget it.  He initially denied that there had been any plagiarism.  It also helped to set a grim note to the overall Convention.


Still the four days which were supposed to set Trump up as the greatest individual possible as the next president but instead the Convention set up a grim tone about America as a country that had lost its prominence in the world, currently being taken advantage of by both its friends and enemies and run by a failed president.  It was a dark and dismal version, low on facts and rich in generalities.  Trump would be the savior of the United States.  He and he alone could save the country from where it presently was.


He strongly made the point that if Hillary Clinton were elected she would continue the “failed” policies of Barack Obama.


I found it interesting that the presidency of George W. Bush was never mentioned.  It was as though he never existed.  Presumably the country went from the time of William Jefferson Clinton to that of Barack Obama and nothing that had happened in those 16 years was positive, had helped the people in the United States in any way.


In 2009, when Barack Obama became President of the United States, he inherited from former President George W. Bush an economic calamity later called the Great Recession.  It was the complete collapse of the Housing Industry in the United States, which was at the point of taking down virtually all the major banking houses in the U.S. and Europe.  Had it occurred the industrial nations would have faced a depression greater than the 1929 Great Depression.  It would have totally destroyed banking in the United States and slowed the flow of money to a trickle.  Unemployment would have gone well over 50% of the work force.  And the probability is that we would still be there today.  In fact Trump’s hotel business would, among many other businesses, have probably gone under.


The Obama Administration saved the banks by lending them billions of dollars.  It also saved the American automobile industry by similar lending policies that kept them from going bankrupt.  And with the Federal Reserve the Obama Administration largely solved the housing crisis by purchasing and then discarding the millions of mortgage loan pieces which the banks had sold as hedge funds.


During his first two years in office President Obama had a Democratic majority in both Houses of Congress and was able to get the necessary legislation passed to do this.  In addition they brought Affordable Health Care (Obamacare) into existence.  After 2011 the Republicans by gerrymandering gained control of the House of Representatives and Obama was no longer able to get any legislation passed.  In fact under Ted Cruz’s leadership the House of Representatives closed down the government by refusing to pass the appropriate funding bills necessary to keep it functioning.  All this in attempts to force Obama to sign bills that they wanted, like doing away with Affordable Health Care or defunding Planned Parenthood.  They were successful in getting some things through, like Sequestration which attempted to bring across the board spending cuts.


One of the Republican goals was to reduce government spending by shrinking the Federal Government.  In a manner of speaking they were “penny wise and dollar stupid.”  By reducing the size of government during a period of Great Recession they helped worsen the unemployment situation in the country.  In addition to decreasing the number of Federal jobs they also cut the amounts of monies they sent to the states, thus causing the states to also cut their payrolls.  Not a clever thing to do during a period of depression.


During the Republican Convention President Barack Obama was charged with not passing the necessary laws to keep the country healthy.  The Republicans blamed him for what they themselves had not done.


In 2008, even before Obama took the oath of office, the Republican legislators from both Houses of Congress met in a two House caucus and all took an oath to make Barack Obama a one term president by not supporting any measure or program he put forth; and that is what they did.  The Republicans placed their political aims over what was necessary for the people of the United States.  They all ignored their oath of office for the next four years and beyond.


The Republicans met in their National Convention between Monday and Thursday, July 18 and 21 at the Quicken loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.  While Donald J. Trump was the clear winner of the state primary elections and caucuses there was some doubt among many Republicans whether he should be their candidate for the presidency.  The movement, however, failed and Donald Trump became the 2016 Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States.


A number of prominent Republicans announced that they would not be attending the Convention.  Among these were the former Republican presidents and many prominent Republican Congressmen, including John Kasich, the governor of Ohio, and Marco Rubio, who had run against him as presumptive Presidential Candidates.  Six major companies withdrew their financial support of the Convention.


The Platform Committee tended to move to the far right.  They came down on LGBT, taking a strict traditional view of social issues and ignoring Supreme Court decisions.  The Committee supported marriage between a man and a woman only, proposing a Constitutional amendment to bring this about.  They opposed abortion in every case.  They called for the appointment of only conservative judges who respected family values.  They wanted federal lands turned over to states so they could be privatized.  In foreign policy they were national security hawks, wanting increased military spending, a more isolationist approach, and called for a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.


On Monday, July 18th the Convention began with a voice vote to accept the platform with a loud protest from the anti-Trump opponents who wanted a roll call vote.  Donald J. Trump was nominated and won the presidential nomination on the first ballot with 69.8% of the delegates.  The Vice Presidential ballot was held immediately afterwards, choosing Indiana Governor Mike Pence.  Pence won by acclamation.


Trump had earlier vowed to bring showbiz pizazz to the 2016 Convention.  He stated that the 2012 one was boring.  Many of his speakers were minor or has-been figures: Don King, former Alaska governor, Sarah Palin and Tom Brady, a New England Patriots quarterback and other equally unknown or dimly remembered individuals.  Many prominent Republicans refused to attend the Convention.  Ted Cruz addressed the Convention but did not endorse Trump.  Marco Rubio finally released his 173 delegates to Trump and spoke via a short recorded video.


Some of Trump’s adult children spoke on different days telling how wonderful their father was.  Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives spoke on Tuesday giving Trump a limited almost negative endorsement; saying he was better than Clinton.  Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader of the Senate, did the same thing.  Both would later object to Trump’s criticism of the Gold Star Muslim Khan family.  Gold Star families are those who have lost a parent or child in the current wars in which the U.S. is currently involved.


On Wednesday the main speaker was Mike Pence accepting the Vice Presidential candidacy.  But Ted Cruz stole the spotlight by giving a rousing Republican speech which ended with him asking the Republicans to vote their consciences.  He did not endorse Trump.


Also on that night Chris Christy, the governor of New Jersey, gave a speech that was a mock trial of the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, in which the entire Convention served as the jury and he was judge and prosecutor.  Naturally they voted her guilty on every count.


I found this approach interesting because Christie may well have brought about the Bridgegate Case in his own state where traffic on the George Washington Bridge was purposely slowed to a crawl and Christie was either directly or indirectly involved.  That case is still slowly winding its way through the New Jersey courts and Chris Christie could conceivably be criminally charged before it’s over.


The highpoint of the Convention was Donald Trump’s final speech where he formally accepted the Republican position of candidate for the presidency of the United States.  Trump’s older daughter, Ivanka, introduced her father.  Trump spoke for 75 minutes; one of the longest acceptance speeches ever given at a nominating convention.  He emphasized the crisis the country was facing by attacks on the police and terrorist assaults in our cities, stating that he was the “law and order” candidate.  He promised to limit U.S. participation in global crises and to renegotiate international trade deals.  He continually attacked President Obama and Hillary Clinton, stating that the world had become less safe during their time in office.


Going back to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “forgotten man,” a term that Trump used, he offered, in addition, to support both Bernie Sanders’ supporters and those who were “down and out” by being their voice in Washington, D.C.


The speech had tones of the technique Hitler used in Germany in the 1930s.  It assumed powers for the leader that are not present in the Constitution.  Donald Trump presented an image of current gloom, saying that he was the agent of positive change while Clinton would continue, what he called, Obama’s failed presidency.


With the dropping of the red, white, and blue balloons the Republican Convention ended and Trump went on to campaign for the presidency.


As a sort of addendum or footnote on Donald Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, it should be noted that in her introduction of her father while she spoke of him bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. and other commendable things he will achieve as president she was wearing (or modeling) a dress which her company produced overseas in an Asian country like Vietnam where labor costs are very low compared to the United States.  I suppose one could argue that those jobs wouldn’t have to be brought back to America because they never existed there.  Therefore they could stay overseas.  Her company sells many millions of dollars’ worth of clothing every year.


It would seem that Donald Trump believes in projecting all his personal negative features onto his opponents.  He has had well over 2,500 lawsuits and out of court settlements so far in his lifetime, going from not paying taxes to New Jersey for his Taj Mahal Casino, where the state settled for seventeen cents on the dollar, after Chris Christie became governor, to not paying overtime to his employees, to not paying his bills or fully paying off his construction contracts, to innumerable other negative treatment of people, both employees and nonemployees.  The probability is that if he wasn’t rich and had a large number of lawyers working for him he could well be in jail instead of running for the presidency.  While he call Clinton “Crooked Hillary” she could easily call him “Disreputable Donald” or, since he seems to be a pathological liar, she could easily dub him as “Lying Donald.”