Archive | November, 2016

77. Reflections Post-Elections

10 Nov
I am mostly concerned here with reasons for the Democrat losses.
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There is a tendency to blame the president for everything that happens to the country. Hillary was viewed by many as an extension of Pres. Obama, who was wrongly blamed for a lack of progress, even though it was mostly GOP obstructionism that was at fault.
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It is hard to prove, but the Democrat loss could be the result of FBI Director Comey pronouncements at critical times.  The first problem was his assessment of Hillary as “extremely careless.”  He has no baseline for comparison.  Maybe if other leaders were examined in detail, they would have been worse.  The next problem was his announcement of additional email investigation, 11 days before the election — violating agency rules.  The election was very close, and without Comey’s electioneering Hillary might have won.  Comey and many FBI officials are Republicans.  It is well established that there were FBI-agent leaks and excessive investigative actions.
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I really like Hillary, but I felt from the beginning that she was not the best choice in the primaries.  Hillary is a popular person, has a good organization, and would make a good president, but subjectively, does not fit the picture that most people have of a powerful leader.  The primary process does not always work in the best way, and we need to figure out how to improve it.
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It is not her fault, but an old woman is going to appear weak compared to an old man.  Leaders just have to look strong.  Her husband once said that it is better to be strong than right.  I really think she could have done better, 20 years younger.
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Another factor is that Hillary is a good speaker, but not a great one like her husband and Pres. Obama.  Her answers about emails and other issues were OK but could have been  better.
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Hillary may have spent too much time criticizing Trump and not enough time detailing her plans for America.  She could have presented charts comparing herself with Trump on major points.
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Republicans were very clever in repeating investigations and negative characterizations almost continuously for the entire time of her presidential candidacy.  If a large group of people keep saying that you are bad, even if not true, it can have an effect.
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Many people have rigid beliefs that interfere with good judgment.  They often start with a simple belief that Republicans are good and Democrats are bad.  Then if you want change, you are stuck with Trump as the only Republican that really promotes new ways.
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The press, in their efforts to make money, tend to cover exciting people like Trump, more that reliable people like Hillary.  There also seemed to be a fear factor: reporters often avoided asking Trump the really important questions and instead focused on insults and revenge.  Really challenging Trump could banish you from certain types of coverage, and/or you could suffer other effects of infamous vengeance.
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It is sad to say, most people everywhere, here and abroad, do not have the ability to tell truth from fiction, do not really research candidates, and rely on biased sources of info, such as Fox News.  Only a small percentage of the population has the ability to process election facts and info, and to draw the best conclusions.
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I am not going to add much on problems going forward with Trump’s leadership.  But one thing really stands out in my mind, and that is the re-writing of history.  If Trump or his administration makes a mistake, he will simply deny or change the facts to make it look like someone else’s fault (judging from past strategies).  Or he will intimidate agencies to alter their data and/or analyses.  This could keep him and destructive governmental leaders  in power indefinitely.  Rich donors and leaders (our USA royalty class) are firmly entrenched in our society, now, and probably well into the future.
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76. Actually, Rigged FOR Trump

3 Nov
Trump has complained that everything is rigged against him.  But if you examine the facts, you will actually see that almost everything is rigged for him.
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Tax laws are rigged for rich folks like Trump: loopholes, low effective rates, etc.
Banks are rigged to provide loans for very rich and powerful folks like Trump.
Rigged for Trump: a US Constitution that allows him meet his needs by lying.
Fraud laws are rigged to go easy on creators of fraudulent universities.
Republican FBI director breaking rules to tarnish Hillary;  rigged for Trump.
Capitalism rigged so that Trump can afford the best lawyers and accountants.
Social and legal rules are rigged to support a sexual aggressor like Trump.
Financial laws favor non-payment of contractors, the way Trump does it.
Bankruptcy laws are rigged to provide profits for Trump types.
Rigged press avoids asking really tough questions of people like Trump.*
Laws related to inheritance are rigged for Trump types.
Better investment systems like Hedge funds are rigged for rich folk like Trump.
Debate rules are rigged to favor a bully like Trump, who often interrupts.
Lobbyist laws and rules favor rich folks who can afford to pay them.
Influence with Congress is rigged for rich donors like Trump.
Campaign finance laws are rigged to favor folks like Trump.
Draft laws provided five deferments for Trump, others served to protect.
Trump’s father: rigged to provide him millions for a good start.
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The GENERAL ELECTION IN MANY WAYS IS RIGGED TO FAVOR TRUMP.
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But he is not quite clever enough to take full advantage of it (so far). He is defeated by his ego, lack of knowledge, poor social skills, misogyny, prejudices, and temperament. He  probably will lose, but not by much.  With some really good “presidential” behavior and social skills, he could have won (of course, at this time, it is still remotely possible).  His children and advisors tried to help him but he always reverts to his spoiled and crude self.
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*Some tough questions:  Why does your tax plan lower taxes for the very rich? How could Hillary fail in so many ways over 30 years, as you say, when the President and Congress make all of the major decisions? How can you blame your “Birther”movement on Hillary?  Why does the KKK support you?  Why did you lie about what was said about the wall, in  your meeting with the Mexican President?  Why did you say nothing was gained by the Iran Nuclear Deal when it provided for loss of Uranium, dismantling of  equipment, inspections, etc.?

75. Reflections on the Elections

3 Nov
The following are some of my election concerns that have not been included or were not appropriate for recent blogs.  Frankly, in my entire long life, I have never seen such a bizarre and uncivil election process.  Here are the concerns:
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(Just added)  The utility industry is sabotaging solar panel usage, costing tax payers money, promoting pollution, eliminating panel jobs, and thwarting clean-energy progress.  A good source of info on this is Forbes.com, search: sabotage of solar panel usage.  Nevada and Florida are some areas affected. Please vote for candidates like Clinton that recognize the importance of clean energy.
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Many of us are concerned that the election process is too long, too expensive, and there is not enough effort to discuss issues of real importance, and in sufficient detail.  I totally support the press, but sometimes they contribute to election problems by emphasizing trivia and neglecting substance. There is also a justified fear in asking tough questions of certain macho male candidates.  It is also a sad fact that reporters make too many mistakes and report unsubstantiated info as if facts.  But any solution to this problem may affect their freedom, and we definitely need them.
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The original writers of the constitution were aware that many citizens do not have the intelligence to make good voting decisions.  Unfortunately this is still true today.  So they developed the electoral college so that more substantial citizens could make the final decisions.  But the current procedure no longer works well and is maintained by those who find it advantageous.
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Traditional “debating” is a contest with simple rules designed to determine a winner.  But for elections, we need something much more constructive. The current rules of debates are not adequate for really explaining positions and their basis; and inadequate to immediately evaluate the veracity of a statement.  Use of brief video clips to prove a point could help.  In this remarkable age of the Internet, why are the participants and moderator unable to flash a quote and its source on a screen.  A plan, such as a budget,  could be summarized on a screen and the debaters could reference the screen in their discussion.
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The greatest voter error stems from the belief that one political party is always right and candidates must be affiliated with that party.   Many Republicans chose Trump as the great “changer” when the ideas of Bernie Sanders were most applicable.
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Pres. Obama has done a remarkable job in improving our country. Republicans by their own admission have done everything they could to destroy his effectiveness in office.  In spite of this, when he took charge, unemployment was about 10% and has decreased to about 5%.  The markets are now way up. Although “ObamaCare” is not perfect, 15 million more people now have insurance coverage.  Much more positive info is discussed in my previous blogs.  Also see:  http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/obamas-numbers-july-2016-update/
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Given the incredible amount of scrutiny that Hillary was subjected to, it is amazing how little of negative substance was found.  She is much less flawed than other politicians.  Everything negative is either political only, untrue, trivial, or simply the kind of mistake that an ordinary person would make.
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Hillary has been very successful at making money.  So what?  Most intelligent people are successful in that way.  There is absolutely no proof that any paid endeavor has affected her policy decisions.  She has been transparent and released her income tax returns for many years.
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When Republican FBI director Comey said that Hillary was “extremely careless”, what baseline was used? What population was she compared to.  Was anyone else in a similar position, ever scrutinized to the extent of Hillary ??  Three minor email errors out of more than 30,000 may actually be a very good performance.  Also note, the emails in question were missing the classification banner at top of page. There is no evidence that there was hacking of her emails.  The recent letter by Dir. Comey to Congress regarding Hillary email investigation, just a few days before the election, certainly is highly inappropriate and possibly illegal under the Hatch Act.  The excuse is that the investigation would have been leaked anyway.  NOT a good argument, because an official letter is taken much more seriously than a rumor, and can be much more damaging.
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For those who think Hillary will not be progressive enough, if she is elected, I am sure that she will be consulting with Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pres. and Mrs Obama, and many others.  She will provide a reasonable government and, if possible, effective changes.
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Trump accused Hillary of 30 years of no progress in any area.  Apparently, he is unaware that almost all major military decisions are made by the President, and that almost all domestic issues are legislated by the Congress.  The Secretary of State provides information and opinions, is in charge of embassies and related, but does not make important national  decisions.  Trump also seems unaware that while Hillary was a Senator, she only had one vote.  Also see web site:
http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feed/seven-hillary-clintons-biggest-accomplishments/
and others sites.

74. Best Hillary Endorsement

2 Nov
Hillary Clinton, candidate for President, has received numerous excellent endorsements.  To name only a few endorsers:  President and Mrs. Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and even ex-President Bush may be voting for her.  And all the major endorsers have done so with enthusiasm. (Most of Trump’s endorsements by elected officials were apathetic.)
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But to me, the most impressive and meaningful endorsement comes from an unlikely source. In an interview by Rachel Maddow, Libertarian Party Vice President candidate Bill Weld says “She deserves to have people vouch for her other than members of the DNC, so I’m here to do that.” An endorsement from a competing party candidate is remarkable. He also says that the FBI examination of her emails is “incomprehensible and there’s nothing there”.  When I first saw an interview of the Libertarian candidates, I felt that Bill Weld was the more capable of the two.
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Furthermore, regarding the release of Comey’s investigation information, Weld says:  “I have on my former Justice Department hat. And I’m outraged by what’s going on here because it’s such a violation of Justice Department policies [and] procedures.”  This is wonderful support for Hillary and justly accuses Director Comey of electioneering.
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I have followed the entire career of Hillary Clinton and fully trust her to do a good job as President.   None of the accusations made by Republicans has merit — it’s all distortions of unfortunate events and normal mistakes that anyone would make.  You could look at the life of any Republican leader in great detail and find actions that can be interpreted in a sinister way.  And what great strength is shown by Hillary in fending off all the insults and running a very vigorous campaign.
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