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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Mitch, leading from behind

Senator Mitch McConnell wants so much to go down in history as a statesman and martyr for the Republican Party. He was sidelined by the Tea Party, and yet that faction of the GOP may be lost in the fog of Election 2016, giving rise to his voice on matters.

McConnell's role is often as the insider commentator.

Sen. Mitch McConnell: "Trump clearly needs to change, in my opinion, to win the general election. What I’ve said to him both publicly and privately: 'You’re a great entertainer. You turn on audiences. You’re good before a crowd. You have a lot of Twitter followers. That worked fine for you in the primaries. But now that you are in the general, people are looking for a level of seriousness that is typically conveyed by having a prepared text and Teleprompter and staying on message.' So my hope is that he is beginning to pivot and become what I would call a more serious and credible candidate for the highest office in the land." 
http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/politics/2016/06/28/mitch-mcconnell-on-donald-trump.html

If you are so hot and knowledgeable, Senator McConnell, why did you not seek the highest office?

Outside of the bourbon state, he hasn't been popular. In fact, he has, at times, been one of the least popular politicians in America. He lacks charisma and charm. He is a professional politician who clings to his office by the thread of a majority of constituents.

His publicly advising Donald Trump won't make a bit of difference. Suggesting that Trump can pivot away from his bigotry is like trying to hide the raising of the Confederate flag in a Zika bill amendment. Gotcha.


Mitch McConnell and the 'good old boys'



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Trump Buffoonery and NAFTA

Donald Trump, is that anyway to act on the presidential stage?

Recall that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a product of diplomatic negotiations dating back to 1990 among the three nations, U.S. President George H. W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas.  They spearheaded and promoted the agreement which was ceremonially signed on December 17, 1992. The agreement then needed to be ratified by each nation's legislative or parliamentary branch.

It was passed onto Bill Clinton's administration for approval following Congressional action.

The House of Representatives passed the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act on November 17, 1993, 234-200. The agreement's supporters included 132 Republicans and 102 Democrats. The bill passed the Senate on November 20, 1993, 61-38.[6] Senate supporters were 34 Republicans and 27 Democrats.

One could say that this was a Republican-led initiative that was ultimately accepted by a Democrat president.

Upon further review, NAFTA has done more good than harm. However, it is surely time for review and revision as most agreements and laws are eventually revisited.

What makes Trump's approach alarming and disruptive is his unnecessary bravado and hostility that accomplishes nothing in the absence of diplomatic tenor.

"Trump says he will renegotiate or withdraw from NAFTA 
Donald Trump on Tuesday said he will demand a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada.
If those other countries refuse the renegotiation, Trump said he would withdraw from the trade pact, which would cause tariffs on imports from those countries and exports from the United States to rise." 
The Hill


Photo credit: Robyn Beck / APA / AFP

Battleground States for Clinton and Trump

Election 2016 could not be more serious because the choices are between a dispersed and broken political party that is the Republican Party, and a dispersed, yet coalescing one that is the Democratic Party. To restore functionality to the Democratic Republic requires two functioning parties. It appears that Americans will have only one, and that may not have disappointed George Washington. He didn’t want political parties.

The choices at this point include Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Donald Trump for Republicans. Many Republicans have already announced that they will vote for Clinton instead.

According to the polls, the hold-out states include the following: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

For different reasons, here is how this analyst calls it.

Intellectual states: Colorado and New Hampshire will turn to Clinton.

Middle American states: Ohio and Pennsylvania will come around to Clinton.

Farm states: Iowa and Wisconsin might turn the lights on for Clinton if they see the lights come on Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Contagion theory will be at work.

“Polls show tight Clinton-Trump race in 2016 battlegrounds 
By Jonathan Easley - 06/28/16 06:21 AM EDT 
Battleground state polls show Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton locked in a tight race for the White House with just more than four months to go before Election Day.
Clinton has so far failed to pull away in the 10 states likely to determine the outcome of the 2016 election, even as Trump has suffered through what some political observers describe as the worst stretch they’ve seen a major presidential candidate endure.” 
http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/285110-polls-show-tight-clinton-trump-race-in-2016-battlegrounds



(Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein, Getty Images)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Propensity for collaboration and consensus

What do presidential candidates say about this topic?

In a diverse and eclectic world, the only way to get along peacefully is through collaboration and consensus. Because the planet's capacity to support humanity is limited, and because the population has exploded to levels that threaten human existence, it is essential to adopt a positive way ahead. The foundation for that is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

No matter what your culture, no matter what your faith, and no matter what your present form of government representation, the path forward for human existence must be in the adoption of the UDHR.

The way ahead, no matter what the starting position, is through respect for diverse participation that is suggested by pluralistic democracy.

The means by which different people move ahead is via collaboration and consensus whereby governments define the rules.

"Hillary Clinton Has Long History of Collaboration With GOP on Foreign Policy 
Jon Schwarz
Mar. 13 2016, 10:14 a.m. 
Several members of the Republican foreign policy elite recently announced they’ll refuse to vote for Donald Trump if he’s the Republican nominee – with some going so far as to say they’d rather vote for Hillary Clinton" 
https://theintercept.com/2016/03/13/hillary-clinton-has-long-history-of-collaboration-with-gop-on-foreign-policy/

Some say that Trump has collaboration skills.

"The one thing you get with Trump is his willingness to work things out — a new concept for Republicans, but it might be worth a try. If you’d been hoping for Cruz over Trump, be careful what you hope for. Perhaps a better solution would be to just say Hillary." 
http://lasvegassun.com/news/2016/may/05/at-least-trump-has-collaboration-skills/

Collaboration skills are a requirement.


MintPress News Photo



How would you amend the Second Amendment?

What do presidential candidates have to say about the Second Amendment?

"Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Should we ask Constitutional scholars to address and to debate issues regarding the purpose and meaning of the Second Amendment in these modern times? As citizens it is our responsibility to know and understand the laws that are written for comprehension by everyone. I have questions.

First, understand that the conditions under which Amendment II was written are enormously different today than at the time of its authoring. By due process, our laws and regulations, including the Constitution must be revised to reflect contemporary needs and circumstances. The nation has vastly matured since 1791.

"The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms and was adopted on December 15, 1791, as part of the first ten amendments contained in the Bill of Rights. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the right belongs to individuals, while also ruling that the right is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices. State and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing this right per the incorporation of the Bill of Rights." 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Individuals may own guns. However, gun ownership can be regulated.

Just as people must be licensed to drive an automobile, they should be licensed to own guns. Gun training and safety should be a prerequisite. The standards for that should be federally regulated and state administered.

Who should not be permitted to own guns?

  • Convicted felons
  • Mentally ill persons
  • Persons on terrorist watch lists
  • Persons who have committed violence against spouses and anyone else
  • Illegal aliens 
  • Visitors to America from foreign nations

All other persons should be certified and licensed to own firearms.

Should all firearms be treated the same? There is a vast difference among handguns and rifles, for instance. The differences include the caliber, magazine load capacity, and rate of firing, among other factors.

What is the purpose of owning a gun? Recreation, personal safety, and what else?

There is a notion that gun ownership is intended to offset abuse by government. Is that a valid idea in modern times?

There is a notion that personal gun ownership augments the safety that is intended from having police and national security protection. Is that a valid idea in modern times?

What are the risks and benefits? What does the data say about gun ownership and the commission of violent acts of crime from gun users?


Image from Forbes.com


'Due Process,' the process is due

What do presidential candidates say about gun control?

House Speaker, Paul Ryan had this to say, "People have a guaranteed right to Second Amendment rights,' Ryan said. 'We’re not going to take away a person’s constitutionally guaranteed rights without due process.” Alright, the process is to draft bills and to let members vote on them. The bills have been written. However, the Speaker is refusing to let members vote. That act by the Republican-controlled Congress is thwarting the due process.

In reaction to being thwarted, Democratic Members of the House of Representatives are staging a protest. They simply want a bill on which to vote.

The majority of Americans want stricter gun control legislation, and the current subject is to restrict persons on suspected terrorist lists from purchasing guns. That is reasonable in the wake of American gun violence and massacres, don't you think?

Here is what Donald Trump thinks.

"Keep enemies of the state away from guns

Q: You've talked about wanting to keep the terror watch list but, under current law, individuals on the terror watch list and the no-fly list have been allowed to buy guns and explosives. Are you OK with that?
TRUMP: We have to have a watch list, but we have the laws already on the books as far as Second Amendment for guns, if people are on a watch list or people are sick, this is already covered in the legislation that we already have,
Q: But under current law people on the watch list are allowed to buy guns.
TRUMP: If somebody is on a watch list and an enemy of state and we know it's an enemy of state, I would keep them away, absolutely.
Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 22, 2015
Gun-free zones are target practice for sickos

The gun-free zones are target practice for the sickos and for the mentally ill. They look for gun-free zones. The six soldiers that were killed. Two of them were among the most highly decorated, and they weren't allowed on a military base to have guns. And somebody walked in and shot them, killed them. If they had guns, he wouldn't be around very long. I can tell you, there wouldn't have been much damage. I think gun-free zones are a catastrophe. They're a feeding frenzy for sick people.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 1st-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015
Gun ownership makes US safer, not more dangerous

Q: You have a concealed weapons permit. Why?
TRUMP: Because I like to have myself protected.
Q: In the context of current gun violence, would you advise people to get that?
TRUMP: Well, I'm a big Second Amendment person. As an example, for the horrible thing that just took place in Oregon had somebody in that room had a gun, the result would have been better.
Q: So, should people get armed the way you are?
TRUMP: Well, that's up to them.
Q: What about teachers?
TRUMP: I think that if you had the teacher, assuming they knew how use a weapon, which hopefully they would, you would have been a lot better wh
Source: CBS Face the Nation 2015 interview by Bob Schieffer , Oct 11, 2015
Mental health more important than gun control

TRUMP: No matter what you do, guns, no guns, it doesn't matter. You have people that are mentally ill. And they're going to come through the cracks. And they're going to do things that people will not even believe are possible. And whether it's the school shootings, which are really very prevalent in this country. They seem to be more prevalent in this country.
Q: What's your explanation?
TRUMP: They're just sick people. They are mentally imbalanced.
Q: Do you think we have more mentally ill people than other countries?
TRUMP: I think what we have is I think we have copycats. I think they watch it and they see it here maybe more than other places.
Source: Meet the Press 2015 interview moderated by Chuck Todd , Oct 4, 2015
Laws are ineffective in preventing gun violence

Q: Should there be a sense of urgency on gun control?
TRUMP: The way I look at it, you take Chicago, you take Baltimore, you take various other places where you have tremendous gun violence and death, right? The strictest laws in the United States-- in the world-- for guns happens to be Chicago where they have a lot of problems. Baltimore, a lot of the places where you have the biggest problem is where they have the strongest laws. So I don't think it's about laws.
Q: But local laws without a national floor are pointless.
TRUMP: It really is mental health problem.
Q: You don't believe that we have too many guns?
TRUMP: Well, for example, the school at which the last mass shooting occurred was a gun-free zone and you were not allowed to have guns there. You could make the case that it would have been a lot better had people had guns because they could fire back."

http://www.ontheissues.org/Celeb/Donald_Trump_Gun_Control.htm

Here is what Hillary Clintons says about gun control.

FactCheck: 33,000 gun deaths includes suicides & accidents

Hillary Clinton asserted, "90 people a day die from gun violence in our country. That's 33,000 people a year." Is that true? We checked and found that her statement was technically true but misleading.
The federal CDC publishes statistics on causes of death for all Americans. Here are the figures from their 2013 update:
21,175 suicide by gun
11,208 homicide by gun
505 accidental discharge of firearms
32,888 total deaths by firearm

So Secretary Clinton is technically correct about her figures. The misleading aspect is that voters interpret "death from gun violence" as "murder". Self-inflicted and accidentally-inflicted deaths should not count in a political discussion about restricting firearms (or at least, should be counted differently). Clinton chose to use the misleading statistic because it is more persuasive than saying "11,000 deaths from intentional gun violence against others". We rate Clinton's statement as "true but misleading."
Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on 2016 NBC Democratic debate , Jan 17, 2016
I support Brady Bill and closing the Charleston loophole

CLINTON: I have been for the Brady bill; I have been against assault weapons. I have voted not to give gun makers and sellers immunity. And I would hope that [others] would join the Democrats who are trying to close the Charleston loophole. We need to move on this consensus that exists in the country. It's no longer enough just to say the vast majority of Americans want common sense gun safety measures including gun owners.
OnTheIssues explanation: "The Charleston loophole" refers to a recent shooter in Charleston S.C. who legally purchased the weapon he used in the shooting because of a "default proceed" rule. That rule means, if the FBI does not notify the dealer within three days, the purchase can proceed. In the case of the Charleston shooter, he WAS on the FBI list due to previous arrests, but due to a clerical error by a county jail clerk reporting his arrest with the4 wrong agency, he was allowed to purchase the weapon.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. , Dec 19, 2015
Arming more people is not appropriate response to terrorism

O`MALLEY: Secretary Clinton changes her position on this every election year. When ISIL does videos that say the easiest way to get a combat assault weapon in the US is at a gun show, we should all be waking up.
CLINTON: Guns, in and of themselves, will not make Americans safer. We lose 33,000 people a year already to gun violence, arming more people to do what I think is not the appropriate response to terrorism. The first line of defense against radicalization is in Muslim-American community.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. , Dec 19, 2015
Reverse gun manufacturer immunity; let them get sued

Q: You say that Senator Sanders took a vote on immunity that you don't like. So if he can be tattooed by a single vote and that ruins all future opinions by him on this issue, why then isn't he right when he says your wrong vote on Iraq tattoos you forever in your judgment?
CLINTON: I said I made a mistake on Iraq, and I would love to see Senator Sanders join with some of my Senate colleagues in addition the Senate that I see in the audience. Let's reverse the immunity. Let's put the gun makers and sellers on notice that they're not going to get away with it.
SANDERS: Let's do more than reverse the immunity.
Q: Was that a mistake, Senator?
SANDERS: Let me hear if there's any difference between the Secretary and myself. I don't know that there's any disagreement here.
Source: 2015 CBS Democratic primary debate in Iowa , Nov 14, 2015
Don't shield gun manufacturers from lawsuits:I vote that way

Q: For a decade, you said that holding gun manufacturers legally responsible for mass shootings is a bad idea. Now, you say you're reconsidering. Which is it: shield the gun companies from lawsuits or not?

SANDERS: Bernie Sanders has a D-minus voting rating from the NRA. Back in 1988, I told the gun owners of Vermont that I supported a ban on assault weapons. I have strongly avoided instant background checks, doing away with this terrible gun show loophole. And I think we've got to move aggressively at the federal level.
Q: Is Bernie Sanders tough enough on guns?

CLINTON: No, not at all. We have to look at the fact that we lose 90 people a day from gun violence. This has gone on too long and it's time the entire country stood up against the NRA. The majority of our country supports background checks, and even the majority of gun owners do."

http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Hillary_Clinton_Gun_Control.htm


Democratic House Members staging a sit-in for gun control legislation
thwarted by the Speaker of the House

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Scoring Cory Booker

When one considers possible vice presidential candidates, the criteria is the same as suggested for evaluating presidential candidates. The vice president is the back up to the president and should be equal to or greater than the president regarding qualifications.

Why would a vice president candidate ever be more qualified than a presidential candidate? A presidential candidate may have widespread support while a more qualified vice presidential candidate may have less exposure. A self-confident presidential candidate may choose to mentor a replacement, helping the sponsoring political party to nurture a future incumbent.

Senator Cory Booker is rumored to be one of Hillary Clinton's possible vice presidential nominees. His resume shows that he is exceptionally intelligent and academically accomplished. He applied his talent to worthy causes in assisting persons in need of counseling and legal services.

He dedicated his life to becoming a professional politician. By the standards that I suggest in my book, How to Select an American President (c) 2016 All Rights Reserved, experience as a successful chief executive is important. Booker doesn't have that other than as having been a large city mayor. That experience surely counts as having been a government enterprise executive of a culturally diverse community. However, it is not the same as having been a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, for instance, nor is it the same as having been a state governor.

Being 47 years of age is not advantageous in the absence of other significant achievements that have had a positive impact on millions of Americans. Voters let Barack Obama slip by that requirement, and that is to his detriment and that of the country. Obama's lacking CEO experience shows in America's government and economic performance.

Hillary Clinton's experience as the senior executive of the U.S. State Department, combined with that of having been a U.S. Senator, First Lady, and more aims higher toward what Americans might expect.

Being a CEO of a private enterprise, such as Donald Trump, emphasizes that the type of enterprise also matters. Being CEO of a family-owned enterprise is different from being CEO of a diversified global manufacturing company for instance.

Cory Booker is far superior in academic accomplishments to Marco Rubio and comparable with that of Ted Cruz, however, none of these possible candidates measure up to what should be expected of a presidential or vice presidential candidate. They lack substantial experience.

Cory Booker
United States Senator from New Jersey
Incumbent
Assumed office October 31, 2013
Mayor of Newark, New Jersey
In office July 1, 2006 – October 31, 2013
Member of the Newark City Council from the Central Ward
In office July 1, 1998 – June 30, 2002
Personal details
Born    Cory Anthony Booker
April 27, 1969 (age 47)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party    Democratic
Alma mater    Stanford University
Queen's College, Oxford
Yale Law School
Religion    Baptist 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cory_Booker


Credit: AP/Julio Cortez

Religion and assessing presidential candidates

Here is how I addressed the topic of religion as a factor in considering presidential candidates in my book, How to Select an American President by James George (c) 2016 All Rights Reserved. The topic comes up because Donald Trump ushered it to the forefront in attempting to demean Hillary Clinton's devoutness to Methodism.

According to the Christian Bible scriptures:

"Matt. 7:1 'Do not judge, or you too will be judged.'"

"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." 

Here comes Donald Trump, galloping forward, again.

"Trump questions Clinton’s religion 
By Jonathan Easley 
Donald Trump questioned Hillary Clinton’s commitment to her Christian faith on Tuesday, saying that little is known about her spiritual life even though she’s been in the public eye for decades. 
Speaking to a group of top social conservative evangelical Christian leaders at a gathering in New York City, Trump said, “we don't know anything about Hillary in terms of religion.” 
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/284281-trump-questions-clintons-religion

In the United States of America and under our Constitution and Bill of Rights, citizens have freedom of religion that is to believe and belong as they wish, including the option to not believe or belong.  Religion is separate from government, and public institutions operate under laws and regulations that separate politics from religion and vice versa.

Therefore, when considering presidential candidates, how should religion be treated? My solution is to give equal value to religion no matter to what the candidate subscribes.

For instance:

  1. Religious and belongs to a church: 1 point
  2. Spiritual in non-traditional ways: 1 point
  3. Not religious nor spiritual: 1 point

Now, if citizens wish to place more or less emphasis on this factor, they can add 1 point or subtract a point such that the maximum score for a candidate about faith is 2, and the least score is zero.

All of the factors in scoring scheme amount to a total of 83 possible points. Therefore, the maximum weight for faith is 1/4%.

The question is, so what, Donald Trump, and furthermore, let's investigate your faith? Not that your faith is important, but that you have cast the stone.


Trump has previously called out the Pope. Now he is after Hillary Clinton.
Clinton is in good company.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Making the Republican Party viable

While the political headlines today are about the "Dump the Trump" effort aka "Anybody but Trump," the prerequisite concern ought to be about making the GOP a viable party again. It is most probable that the political party that is least divided internally will win the national election, even if the candidate isn't as desirable as constituents might want.

Recognizing the problem for what it is, that's the first step.


  1. The problem is that the GOP's party platform isn't aligned with a sufficient number of voters to win national elections.
  2. Second, the GOP's candidates' manifestos are not aligned with their political party's platform.
  3. Third, the GOP's mechanism for recruiting, nurturing, vetting, and fielding superior qualified candidates is most deficient.


A renegade has run away with the process and has stolen the Republican brand, only to tarnish it with hate and bigotry. All of the noise created by Donald Trump has drowned the sound and messages that constitute the second party that is essential to a bipartisan government.

“The Daily Trail: Why the latest plan to stop Trump in Cleveland is different
By Rebecca Sinderbrand June 17 at 9:54 PM 
Republican leaders thought they'd put the prospect of convention chaos behind them weeks ago. But in the GOP right now, the past isn't over. It isn't even past.
"Dozens of Republican convention delegates are hatching a new plan to block Donald Trump at this summer’s party meetings, in what has become the most organized effort so far to stop the businessman from becoming the GOP nominee," reported Ed O'Keefe. "...a growing group of anti-Trump delegates are convinced that enough like-minded Republicans will band together in the next month to change party rules and allow delegates to vote for whomever they want, regardless of who won state caucuses and primaries.” 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/paloma/the-daily-trail/2016/06/17/the-daily-trail-why-the-latest-plan-to-stop-trump-in-cleveland-is-different/57646d60981b92a22d1162f0/?wpisrc=nl_trail&wpmm=1

Redbubble.com Image



Friday, June 17, 2016

Republicans oppose gun research by medical doctors

What should be done about violence in America that includes lone wolf terrorists and criminals using guns? That question is for Presidential candidates and all elected officials? Should the problem be studied by medical researchers?

Republican legislators are so corrupted by the NRA that they can't even conceive the idea to fund medical research into gun violence. You can't determine the causes and factor in gun violence without researching the issue. The GOP is blocking free speech by prohibiting freedom to study the problem.

"GOP rebuffs doctors on gun research 
By Sarah Ferris - 06/17/16 06:00 AM EDT 
The American Medical Association’s new push to unfreeze federal funding for gun research is hitting a wall of resistance in the Republican Party. 
In the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando, the nation’s leading doctors group announced Tuesday it plans to “actively lobby” against a nearly 20-year-old budget rule that has prevented federal researchers from studying gun-related deaths." 
http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/283833-gop-rebuffs-doctors-on-gun-research

It is up to voters to decide to put an end to incumbents who are so archaic in their thinking. No one knows what the findings of objective research might be. However, Republicans object to anyone thinking about something that might disrupt their foregone conclusions.

"It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance. Thomas Sowell" 
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/ignorance.html

“Doctors Condemn The NRA-Fueled Ban On Gun Violence Research
“It is 100 percent a public health problem.” 12/07/2015 12:27 pm ET | Updated 2 days ago 
Erin Schumaker  
Senior Healthy Living Editor, The Huffington Post 
The American Medical Association labeled our nation’s chronic gun violence a “public health crisis” on Tuesday, vowing to actively lobby Congress to overturn legislation that has blocked government gun research for two decades. Currently, under the Dickey Amendment, there is a restriction on federal funding for research on the consequences of gun violence.” 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dickey-amendment-gun-violence-research-ban_us_56606201e4b072e9d1c4eaaa 



Huffington Post Image

State Drives Military Defense: Syria Instance

Does President Obama need to modify his strategy toward Syria? What do the presidential candidates say?

The U.S. State Department want President Obama to direct the Department of Defense to attack the Bashar al-Assad forces in Syria because the Assad regime has violated ceasefire terms and it is exacting a toll on rebel forces that are intent on replacing him.

"U.S. Diplomats Rebuke Obama On Syria And Call For Strikes On Assad
The State Department diplomats signed an internal memo criticizing Obama’s policies on Syria. 
06/16/2016 11:04 pm ET | Updated 3 hours ago
SANA SANA / REUTERS 
WASHINGTON, June 17 (Reuters) - More than 50 State Department diplomats have signed an internal memo sharply critical of U.S. policy in Syria, calling for military strikes against President Bashar al-Assad’s government to stop its persistent violations of a civil war ceasefire." 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/diplomats-obama-syria-assad_us_5763668ce4b0fbbc8be9e7ed?section=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Morning%20Email%20061716&utm_content=The%20Morning%20Email%20061716+CID_c473106b2500272d70d1a584b0148cb0&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=Reuters

Listening to some unnamed sources that are familiar with the sentiment inside the State Department, Obama needs to change his strategy, or the current course might undermine Hillary Clinton's affinity with the department and weaken her standing.

We know that the U.S. can successfully strike targets in Syria. The Russians have done it as well as the U.S. and allies. Such attacks must be precise and based upon intelligence for which there is an abundance.


Assad
SANA SANA / REUTERS


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Effective Presidents don't 'go it alone'

The news today from CNN Politics is that Donald Trump is weighing the possibility of having to move on in his campaign without the Republican Party. Conversely, some Republicans are still pondering a way forward without Donald Trump as their brand bearer. The question is, can a political leader in a pluralistic democratic republic like the USA go it alone and be a competent manager?

"We have to have our Republicans either stick together or let me just do it by myself. I'll do very well. I'm going to do very well. OK? I'm going to do very well. A lot of people thought I should do that anyway, but I'll just do it very nicely by myself," Trump said, though he did not elaborate on what doing it "by myself" would mean. 
http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/15/politics/donald-trump-republican-leaders-by-myself/index.html

In my book, How to Select an American President (c) 2016 All Rights Reserved, I address the importance of allegiance. A presidential candidate must demonstrate allegiance to the nation. What are some of the sources and evidence of that?


  • Having served in the U.S. military
  • Having served in a government capacity with your life on the line
  • Having paid your fair share of taxes
  • Having been a loyal spouse
  • Being loyal to your political party and aligned with its platform
  • Being loyal to your constituents


When working for PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) as a consultant, the organization emphasized the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and consensus building. It underlined the value of diversity and the importance of participation with different viewpoints.

In an organization of the style of Trump, those qualities are not present.


Image from Politico

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Trump declared war on America

This week, even Joe Scarborough has said that Trump should be disqualified from running for president.

After reading a story from The Hill today that said Trump pulled press credentials from the Washington Post in retaliation for a story that he didn't like, the act punctuates that Trump is at war with America.

"The Trump campaign revoked press credentials for The Washington Post on Monday, initially objecting to a headline regarding remarks he made about President Obama and the mass shooting in Orlando." 
http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/283508-a-new-phase-for-trumps-media-war

The press is free as I am as an independent journalist to tell it like it is. How many different ways has Donald Trump declared war on America? Here is a list.

  1. Attacking the press and free speech
  2. Attacking women
  3. Attacking minorities of all kinds
  4. Attacking freedom of and from religion
  5. Deriding government by the people
  6. Seeking to impose his dictatorial style of leadership in a pluralistic democratic republic


Do you want proof?

“Trump launches all-out attack on the press
By Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Updated 5:14 AM ET, Wed June 1, 2016 
New York (CNN)Donald Trump on Tuesday went on a sustained frontal assault against the media during a contentious news conference. 
The billionaire had called the news conference to announce an accounting of his at least $5.6 million in fundraising for veterans groups, but spent most of the 40 minutes criticizing and insulting reporters -- collectively and at times individually -- as "dishonest," "not good people," sleazy, and among the worst human beings he has ever met.” 
http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/31/politics/donald-trump-veterans-announcement/

“Donald Trump: How He's Used Twitter to Attack Women
By SUMMER FIELDS Aug 8, 2015, 2:40 PM ET 
In one of many memorable Donald Trump moments at Thursday's first GOP debate, moderator Megyn Kelly honed in on the presidential candidate for the disparaging comments he’s made about women on Twitter. 
"You've called women you don't like fat pigs, dogs, snobs and disgusting animals," she said. 
“Only Rosie O’Donnell,” the real estate giant interjected with a smirk, unleashing a burst of raucous laughter from the crowd. He later cited his impatience for "political correctness" as justification for his many remarks.” 
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trump-times-twitter-attack-women/story?id=32955313

“Trump Trashes Religious Freedom
By ROD DREHER • December 7, 2015, 7:17 PM 
This is disgusting. I believe that it is reasonable to be restrictive about Islamic immigration to the US, and I despise the way the mainstream media has always gone out of its way to avert its eyes from domestic Islamic radicalism. But there is nothing reasonable about banning travel to the US on the basis of religion. What kind of respect does Trump have for religious freedom? It’s a relief to know that should Trump become president and try to implement such a plan, the Supreme Court would shoot it down in a heartbeat. Still, that a leading presidential candidate would take such a stand is profoundly disturbing.” 
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/trump-trashes-religious-freedom-muslim/


Not for America.

Image from The American Conservative

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

GAO raises questions about performance management

Is it possible that executive staffers in government are as good as their performance ratings indicate? An article from the Washington Post Federal Insider says that the federal government performance management system is called into question because too many professional staffers receive too high of ratings. GAO suggests that the system isn't credible when 99% of the staffers are rated highly.

The article points to several possibilities or combinations thereof.

“The system is obviously not working in that it’s not providing meaningful differentiation between solid employees and truly exceptional ones,” said Max Stier, president and chief executive of the Partnership for Public Service, which studies the federal workforce. “It’s not being implemented consistently or with the original intent of what it means to be ‘outstanding’ or ‘fully successful.’” 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/06/14/report-says-99-of-feds-fully-successful-or-better-at-work-is-that-credible/?wpisrc=nl_politics&wpmm=1

  1. Supervisors are not honest or accurate in their evaluations
  2. Definitions of what constitute "outstanding" are too lenient
  3. Specific performance measurements are lacking quantification and qualification


Dr. James Rodger and I addressed this topic as part of our book, Smart Data, Enterprise Performance Optimization Strategy (c) 2010 Wiley Publishing.

The trouble begins from the top down. The federal government provides legislated services from organizations and systems that are the products of Congressionally enacted laws and regulations. The Executive branch makes the operational and staffs and equips systems with people and technology. The outcomes are usually well-defined and can be attributed with specific performance measurements.

Specific performance measurements are distributed among all of the people and organizations that perform work, and that includes accountable results from management, i.e., executive staffers.

Managing the federal government performance requires knowledge about the law, systems engineering, and performance management. Those things are part of the requirements for evaluating and selecting presidential candidates, and all elected officials.

Federal Insider 
Report says 99% of feds ‘fully successful’ or better at work. Is that credible?
By Joe Davidson | Columnist June 14 at 7:00 AM

Is it likely that 99 percent of staffers in any workplace are “fully successful” or better?
That’s how highly federal employees are rated, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), as my colleague Lisa Rein reported. 
GAO looked at 2013 ratings for almost 1.2 million staffers, not including Senior Executive Service (SES) members. The study found that only 0.3 percent were rated as minimally successful and 0.1 percent as unacceptable. 
“The transparency and credibility of the performance management process is enhanced when meaningful performance distinctions are made — it helps ensure that promotion, pay, bonus, staffing, and other rewards and recognition decisions are based on employees’ performance and results,” GAO said. 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/06/14/report-says-99-of-feds-fully-successful-or-better-at-work-is-that-credible/?wpisrc=nl_politics&wpmm=1


GAO Analysis via The Washington Post


Smart Data, Wiley


Monday, June 13, 2016

Needed is an FBI that is predictive

The FBI is copiously analyzing what happened in Orlando. However, they must not be permitted to become victims of paralysis by analysis as they used to call it. That is overanalyzing and missing the requirement to become more predictive and less reactive.

"The FBI closed out that probe in May 2014 after Mateen, during the course of two FBI interviews, told agents he had made those statements “in anger” because he thought his co-workers were discriminating against him and were “teasing him because he was a Muslim,” Comey said. 
Comey revealed those details — as well as evidence uncovered during a second aborted FBI probe of Mateen that took place just a few months later — during the course of a news conference at bureau headquarters. He told reporters that the FBI’s investigation has uncovered “strong indications” that Mateen had become radicalized and potentially inspired by foreign terrorist groups. 
But, he added, “so far, we see no indication that this was a plot directed from outside the United States, and we see no indication he was part of a network.” 
And, Comey emphasized, the investigation is far from over. “We are going through the killer’s life, especially his electronics, to understand as much as we can about his path and whether there was anyone else involved, either in directing him or in assisting him.” 
https://www.yahoo.com/news/fbi-probed-orlando-terrorist-for-10-months-now-sees-strong-indications-of-radicalization-182537518.html?nhp=1

The question of whether or not someone outside the U.S. influenced Omar Mateen to commit the Orlando massacre is relevant. However, more valuable is learning why the FBI failed to use the information that it clearly had about him to work with law enforcement to prevent his criminal act of terrorism.

Citizens expect the FBI and National Security Agency to be predictive and to accurately anticipate harmful circumstances such that they can be stopped before they happen.

The current pattern of agency analysis isn't improving performance one bit.

The question is, what do presidential candidates believe can be done to improve the predictive management capabilities of agencies such as the FBI and CIA as well as Homeland Security?


President Obama and FBI Director, James Comey

Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Clinton's substance versus self-adoration

While Donald Trump attempted to exploit tragedy with self-praise, Hillary Clinton addressed the subject with sensitivity and substance.

"the Orlando terrorist may be dead, the virus the poisoned his mind remains very much alive and we must attack is with clear eyes, steady hands, unwavering determination and pride in our country and our values." 
"As president, I will make identifying and stopping lone wolves a top priority," Clinton said. "I will put a team together from across our government, the entire government, as well as the private sector, and communities, to get on top of this urgent challenge and I will make sure our law enforcement and intelligence professionals have all the resources they need to get the job done." 
Clinton also called out American allies for allowing their citizens to sponsors terrorism by telling "the Saudis, the Qataris and the Kuwaitis and others" that it was "long past time" that they stop "their citizens from funding extremist organizations." 
"I believe weapons of war have no place on our streets," Clinton said. "We may have our disagreements about gun safety regulations, but we should all be able to agree on essential things: If the FBI is watching you for a suspected terrorist links, you shouldn't be able just to go buy a gun." 
http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/13/politics/hillary-clinton-plan-to-stop-isis-trump/index.html

First, she described how she would address the need for the formation of a comprehensive team, and she would do this with a sense of urgency.

Second, she would demand that Middle Eastern nation states put a stop to funding terrorist organizations.

Third, she would act to remove automatic weapons of war from gun owners.

Those things are sensible and actionable.


USA Today VPC Image

Specifically, Donald Trump, what is your solution?

Blather and incomplete notions are not actionable.

Generalities, bigotry, accusations, and undefined solutions don't cut it, Mr. Trump. Specifically, what are your solutions to preventing and protecting Americans from attacks on home soil?

"'I happen to think that he just doesn't know what he's doing, but there are many people that think maybe he doesn't want to get it, he doesn't want to see what's really happening,' Trump said. 
Trump has repeatedly blasted Obama's handling of terrorism, and in February accused the president of apologizing to Muslims after the president visited a mosque to combat rhetoric against Muslim-Americans." 
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/283246-trump-on-obama-and-islam-theres-something-going-on

Trump's campaign rhetoric continues to ring hollow and incomplete.

Trump on "Homeland Security":
  • "I don't want to be politically correct: Islam hates us. (Mar 2016)
  • Snowden was a spy; if Russia respected us, they'd deport him. (Mar 2016)
  • Charge rich countries like Germany more to defend them. (Feb 2016)
  • How did W keep us safe? WTC came down during his watch. (Feb 2016)
  • Bring back waterboarding and a hell of a lot worse. (Feb 2016)
  • 9/11 was horrific, but New York handled it beautifully. (Jan 2016)
  • Benghazi was a disaster; Gadhafi couldn't have been worse. (Dec 2015)
  • People saw New Jersey Muslims celebrating after 9/11. (Nov 2015)
  • Bring back waterboarding and other interrogation methods. (Nov 2015)
  • Surveil mosques but don't close mosques. (Nov 2015)
  • New Jersey Muslims cheered on 9/11. (Nov 2015)
  • We worry about Iranian nukes but why not North Korean nukes? (Nov 2015)
  • We have a problem with radical Muslims. (Sep 2015)
  • Fix veteran's hospitals, and pay private doctors for them. (Sep 2015)
  • Enhanced interrogation a non-issue, compared to terrorism. (Aug 2015)
  • 1964: Deferred Vietnam draft for four years while in college. (Jul 2015)
  • 1968: Classified 1-Y, medically disqualified for Vietnam. (Jul 2015)
  • Our nuclear arsenal doesn't work; it's 30 years old. (Jun 2015)
  • Increased Veterans Day parade audience from 100 to 1 million. (Jun 2015)
  • Defeat ISIS and stop Islamic terrorists. (Jan 2015)
  • American interests come first; no apologies. (Dec 2011)
  • All freedoms flow from national security. (Dec 2011)
  • Business students should read Sun Tzu's "The Art of War". (Apr 2010)
  • 3% of GNP for military is too low. (Jul 2000)
  • Missile defense is inappropriate; focus on terrorism. (Jul 2000)
  • Prepare for bio-terrorism attack. (Jul 2000)"

http://www.ontheissues.org/Donald_Trump.htm


Incomplete
Photo from Mother Jones


Appropriate Response to Orlando Massacre

What should America do about the nation's shooting massacre problem?

The American-born shooter, Omar Mateen, is apparently a radicalized Islamic extremist who is aligned with ISIS. Raised by Afghan immigrants as a Muslim, he emerged as an individual as a racist and with documented violent behavior. Police and the FBI were aware of his danger to the extent of having conducted at least two investigations. His parents intervened once to rescue his wife from their son's brutality.

Mateen's violent behavior is not supported by their faith, according to spokespersons for a community of Muslims in Orlando.

Questions
  1. What prevented law enforcement from intervening more aggressively in the investigation?
  2. What actions are available to law enforcement to address individuals with a propensity for committing violent acts?
  3. How did Omar Mateen obtain the AR15 automatic rifle and ammunition when his profile should have prohibited his acquiring them?
  4. How did the ISIS, Islamic extremism factor operate in this circumstance?
  5. How did anti-gay bigotry operate in this circumstance?

From reading the reports, the community of people who worked with Omar Mateen was certainly aware of his propensity for violence, racism, bigotry, and radicalism.  Apparently, what happened here is that the community, his parents, and social services, and law enforcement that is government failed to protect society against this individual with violent behavior.

To this analyst, Islamic extremism is only one factor, and with all of the other evidence is an incidental trigger. For politicians such as Donald Trump, to extrapolate and exploit the incident to something greater is incorrect.

There is also the question of immigration policy. Our nation permits immigration from countries in which we are engaged militarily and from which citizens there are endangered and some of which have acted in support of our troops. They have been allowed to enter America by legal means.

Immigration policy remains an open issue for which the U.S. Congress has failed to act, even when one party controls both chambers.


U.S. Congress has failed to act appropriately

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Capitalism not just Wall Street in question

The Hill's headline says that Wall Street is in the 2016 crosshairs.  Wall Street may be the symbol of capitalism, and what is the truer issue? The priority of any government is to ensure economic viability. If that fails, then resources are deficient in keeping a nation secure.

I wrote Sustainable Economics, America's Path Toward Economic Regeneration by James A. George and James A. Rodger (c) 2016 All Rights Reserved. The work was produced in anticipation that Americans and the world would soon realize that the deficiencies in or absence of sustainable economies are the principal cause of global insecurity that manifests in impoverishment, displaced populations, and terrorism.

Dr. John Ikerd researched and wrote extensively about the necessity to make capitalism sustainable. He did not reject the model completely, however, suggested radical surgery.

A cornerstone for course correction is the adoption of the renewable energy paradigm as the driver for a new economic model. I am not so certain that capitalism is worth rescuing per se. Protecting individualism and promoting policies that support invention and business creation are good ideas that must be developed around the balance among three dimensions:
  1. Economic responsibility
  2. Social responsibility
  3. Environmental responsibility
Ask presidential candidates what they believe about the necessity for a sustainable economy, and about what they believe is the current situation?

“Wall Street in 2016 crosshairs 
The right and left increasingly have one thing in common: neither wants to be seen as friendly to Wall Street.

Eight years since the financial crisis, big bank bashing remains very much en vogue in Washington.” 
http://thehill.com/policy/finance/283098-wall-street-in-2016-crosshairs

Friday, June 10, 2016

Candidate kidnaps party and holds it hostage

How is it that candidate Trump kidnaped the Republican party and is holding it, hostage? 

There are few rules and defined expectations for political parties in the United States. They have meandered and morphed throughout history and voters appear to have been too busy with their lives to comprehend their role and purpose.

Donald Trump could have run as an independent or to adopt a political party. He chose to take Republicans on the condition that they are nice to him and to let him do as he wishes.

He adopted strategy and style that are befitting his personality. He started telling people years ago how he intended to garner a majority of American voters by essentially telling them what they want to hear. It doesn't matter that the message is racist or offensive because many people are aligned with the loose ideology and behavior. The approach has worked to corral like-minded people, even if doing so is askew and misaligned with American values and those held by some members of the Republican Party.

In the quest to win, many GOP members decided to support Trump as he is the only viable candidate remaining from the slog to the national convention. The trouble is that compromising to adapt to Trump undermines the integrity and erodes that for which some believe the party stands.

Political parties have a role to play at every level in the American political system that includes:


  1. Recruiting and nurturing candidates
  2. Vetting qualifications and credentials
  3. Establishing standards for the office
  4. Producing party platforms
  5. Gaining alignment between the party platform and individual candidate manifestos


Doing these things as a service helps voters to make more intelligent choices. It raises the standards for public office.

Now, since these things aren't going so well, it is time for political parties to audit their performance. It is time for parties to address how this work gets accomplished and the relationship between parties and their constituents and their candidates and incumbent office holders.

"Donald Trump's 5 Most Outrageous SpeechesMar 25, 2016 
Donald Trump is easily the most unprecedented and admittedly entertaining political force America has seen in a very long time. Citing his being "very rich" as a credential when kicked off his White House bid in 2015, the real estate tycoon is a walking, talking sound bite machine." 
http://www.epictimes.com/03/25/2016/donald-trumps-5-outrageous-speeches/


epictimes photo

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Capacity to absorb knowledge and wisdom

Just wondering today about the human capacity to absorb knowledge and wisdom.

David Russell Schilling wrote an article several years ago in which he estimated that "knowledge doubles every 12 months and may soon double very 12 hours."

"Knowledge Doubling Every 12 Months, Soon to be Every 12 Hours 
By: David Russell Schilling | April 19th, 2013." 
http://www.industrytap.com/knowledge-doubling-every-12-months-soon-to-be-every-12-hours/3950

Yesterday, in an FB conversation with my friend, Dr. Ralph Marienello, he quoted Alfred Lord Tennyson, "methinks would be enjoyment more than in this march of mind, in the steamship, in the railway, in the thoughts that shake mankind." I responded with, "The march of the human mind is slow," completing Tennyson's thought.

Most people are busy attending to the task of managing sustainable households. At the lowest level of the economic rung, poor and less advantaged people must work incredibly hard at low wages just to make ends meet if they can. They have little discretion for personal and professional development.

Personal and professional development includes the acquisition of knowledge, skill, and proficiency that prepares them for advancement.

At the next level in society is the middle class where discretionary time and resources might increase, however, with growing families and needs, discretion is focused upon necessities such as attending all aspects of their children's development. If parents don't do that, they are likely sacrificing children for self-importance.

At the higher end of the middle-class and entering the wealthy class, people may increase discretionary resources by buying time through the acquisition of assistance to do some of the work.

Now, the reason for this discussion originally stemmed from considering how much time and resources citizens can devote to self-government, that means engaging their government in a democratic republic.

In a sense, when citizens elect representatives such as Members of the House and Senators, that is their way to get some help to engage government. Therefore, devoting time and attention to selecting quality candidates should be a high priority. Another way that citizens can get help in the process is from their political parties. That is why citizens can ill-afford political parties that fail to produce highly vetted and superior qualified candidates.

In the continuing age of the knowledge explosion, it is difficult to find time to become wise about the American political system and the corresponding government.


industrytap.com

Cotton superior intellect, deficient achievement

Senator Tom Cotton possesses superior intellect, demonstrated allegiance to the nation, and also deficient achievements. Attention to the Senator from Arkansas comes for mixed reasons:


  • He is intelligent and outspoken.

  • He is a Republican conservative.

  • Some advocate his promotion.


Using the criteria suggested in my book, How to Select and American President (c) 2016 All Rights Reserved, here is how Senator Cotton scores as a prospective presidential candidate. (He is not a candidate now, though some suggest his ascendancy.)

Pre-Presidential Tom Cotton

Evaluation Criterion/Score/Value

Voter’s additions: Voters may add 2, 1, or 0 additional points to the weighting to reflect their importance.
Qualifications Required by Law: 1

Home state or location from which the candidate is from: 1

IQ: H-3, M-2, L-0: 3

College Graduate BS/BA: 1

GPA: H-3, M-2, L-0: 3

Academic Honors and Distinctions: 1

Post Graduate – Masters: 2

PhD: 0

Certifications: Bar, CPA, Cert. Engineer, MD: 2

Occupation/Vocation: Law/CPA/Professional, 2: 2
CEO, 2

Other, 1

Health: Excellent, 2; Good, 1; Poor, 0: 2

Affected Class: 0

Character: 3

Leadership: 3

Continuing Education and Training: 1

Knowledge: 3

Skill: 3

Life History: 0

Platform/Agenda: 1

Relationships +1, -1, 0: 1

Political Party: 2

Values: 3

Military Experience: Veteran, 3; Officer, 2; None, 0: 3

Public Office: Vice President: 0

Public Office: Judge: 0

Department Secretary: 0

Governo: 0

U. S. Senator: 2

U. S. Representative 2: 2

Mayor: 0

State Legislator: 0

Other Public Office: 0

Private Sector CEO/President: 0

Private Sector VP: 0

Private Sector Director: 0

Manager: 1

Entrepreneur: 0

Inventor: 0

Memberships: 0

Religion: Matters, Irrelevant, Private: 1

Incumbency: Acceptable-10, Unacceptable, 0

Pre-Presidential Candidate Score: 48/83

Like other professional politicians, he has entered government without having accomplished anything in the private sector, and without having demonstrated the ability to lead a large and complex enterprise. Also comparing with Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, he has entered politics too early and there is nothing that he can do in government to enhance his credentials.

“Tom Cotton loses sight of what public service is all about 
06/07/16 09:26 AM—UPDATED 06/07/16 09:29 AM 
By Steve Benen 
Just last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was eager to pat himself on the back for a job well done. Thanks to his fine work, the Republican leader boasted, “there is no dysfunction in the Senate anymore.”

There’s quite a bit of evidence to the contrary. Consider, for example, the New York Times’ Frank Bruni’s report on Cassandra Butts’ nomination to serve as the United States ambassador to the Bahamas.

After “decades of government and nonprofit work that reflected a passion for public service,” Butts received a nomination from President Obama to a diplomatic post for which she was well qualified. Her confirmation should’ve been easy, but the Senate kept putting her nomination on the back-burner – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), for example, blocked her as part of a tantrum against the Iran nuclear deal.

And then there’s Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who blocked Butts and the nominees for the ambassadorships to Sweden and Norway. 
Cotton eventually released the two other holds, but not the one on Butts. She told me that she once went to see him about it, and he explained that he knew that she was a close friend of Obama’s – the two first encountered each other on a line for financial-aid forms at Harvard Law School, where they were classmates – and that blocking her was a way to inflict special pain on the president. 
Bruni’s report added that Cotton’s spokesperson “did not dispute Butts’s characterization of that meeting.”

Butts died recently at age 50 of acute leukemia, which she didn’t know she had until her life was nearly over. She waited 835 days for the Senate to vote on her nomination, but the vote never came.” 
http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/tom-cotton-loses-sight-what-public-service-all-about


Image credit: 21stcenturywire.com

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Losers Can't Win

Racists are losers and today's leader is Donald Trump. No, he is not alone. His outrageous campaign has culled American society, segregating between the civil and the disobedient, between the hateful and the victims, between intelligent and the ignorant or most ill-informed.

Proven is that racist bigots can find a home in different segments of society.  They can be in the party of Lincoln, at church, and even in the party of FDR.

Now, however, people had a choice to decide to compromise their integrity by rejecting racism and selecting better candidates. Instead, they permitted the Republican Party to embrace a political direction that is counterintuitive to Americanism. Racism is a brand that doesn't wear off. Senator Robert Byrd from West Virginia could not remove the tarnish. Neither can those who took a dip in integrity with Donald Trump.

You can't turn it around.

“hateful messages Republican leaders are trying so hard to disavow appeal to a large portion of the Republican base” 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-racist republicans_us_57579f6be4b08f74f6c099b0
THE BLOG 
Republican Post-Civil Rights Racism - From a Whisper, to an Obama-induced Scream 05/24/2016 05:04 pm ET | Updated May 24, 2016 
Leonce Gaiter 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leonce-gaiter/republican-postcivil-righ_b_10021960.html 


Image from The Huffington Post

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

How to Select an American President: Ryan and McConnell fell for Trump

How to Select an American President: Ryan and McConnell fell for Trump: A headline from The Hill this morning reads: "Ryan walks tightrope with volatile Trump,"   http://thehill.com/homenews/house/...

Ryan and McConnell fell for Trump

A headline from The Hill this morning reads:

"Ryan walks tightrope with volatile Trump,"  
http://thehill.com/homenews/house/282421-ryan-walks-tightrope-with-volatile-trump

The GOP may be a high-wire or more like a trapeze act. If it were a high-wire act, Ryan has fallen from the rope many times. While swinging up there on the trapeze with Donald being the catch, Trump let the slippery Speaker of the House go on purpose. When Ryan finally got the message, Trump hung onto him for the moment before Ryan swung away again.

As for McConnell, he's just standing at the ready position. He has said that he supports the nominee that is Trump. McConnell enjoys being in the popcorn gallery as much as swinging with the best of them.

Maybe he believes that once Ryan and Trump fall from the heights of the circus tent, someone will say, "Hey, that's McConnell up there; maybe he can save us?"


Mitch McConnell (Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

Why Hillary and not Bernie

Having written a book, How to Select an American President by James A. George, (c) 2016 All Rights Reserved, I researched extensively to understand what it takes to be an effective president of the United States in these times of great challenge. To be commander-in-chief in a democratic, pluralistic society like America, it takes persons with superior qualifications and credentials to manage a very large and complex public enterprise that is the U.S. federal government.

Being a dictator doesn't cut it. Being a racist and bigot won't cut it either.

Bernie Sanders possesses some very good ideas and values that should be embraced and incorporated into the Democratic platform. However, a small town mayor and Senator whose life has been politically misaligned require compromise and collaboration. Sanders has not demonstrated the collaborative behavior necessary to govern.

One of the most important first tasks is for the incumbent to form and staff the cabinet with people who can manage the bureaucracy while engaging Congress to get essential work accomplished. The new president must restore functionality to the government, and that means bipartisanship.

Clinton is tough enough and sufficiently skilled and experienced to get the job done, whereas, Bernie just has some good ideas.

“AP: Clinton secures delegates needed for the nomination.” 
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/282432-clinton-secures-delegates-need-for-nomination


Getty Images

Monday, June 6, 2016

How to Select an American President: Why Vets should never be jobless or homeless

How to Select an American President: Why Vets should never be jobless or homeless: Should Vets ever be jobless or homeless? The answer to that question begins with a higher order question: Should any American be jobless, h...

Why Vets should never be jobless or homeless

Should Vets ever be jobless or homeless? The answer to that question begins with a higher order question: Should any American be jobless, homeless, or impoverished?

By the will of the people and a responsive Congress and President, poverty should be outlawed in America. While Lyndon Johnson declared "war on poverty," ending poverty never became a Congressional imperative.

Having a large segment of Americans living in poverty is costly to economic development. Needed are sufficient job opportunities and essential upward mobility that is supported by assistance for those seeking personal and professional development.

Dedication to economic development requires a public and private partnership to optimize return on national resources whereby government policies, laws, and regulations create a healthy environment for business and industry, and commercial enterprise engages responsibly.  As Bill Gates has said often, private enterprise will not embrace social responsibilities without a clear balance of consequences that provides incentives and penalizes deficient behavior.

The story is that veterans are often a large subset of impoverished people in America. That should not happen because Congress should be funding a transition program that prepares exiting soldiers for entry into the workforce with a high degree of certainty. Furthermore, a grateful nation should afford appropriate benefits to make the transformation from soldier to citizen easier. Veterans should never be without a home or assistance whenever they need it. It is a matter of national commitment and a moral responsibility.

What do candidates for president say about ending poverty in America and about assuring veterans that they are never left to impoverishment?


"The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states that the nation's homeless veterans are predominantly male, with roughly 9% being female. The majority are single; live in urban areas; and suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders." 
http://nchv.org/index.php/news/media/background_and_statistics/


Image: Truth and Action