OPINION: Fear To Criticize Israel

Separating the country of Israel from Judaism must be done

Separating the country of Israel from Judaism is important if we expect meaningful conversations

OPINION: Fear To Criticize Israel

By David Shadrick and D.S. Mitchell

Lawrence Tribe said in a 3/10/19 tweet: “I’m Jewish. So were my parents. My cousins were born and live in Israel. But every fiber of my being rejects Netanyahu’s ugly embrace of second-class status for non-Jewish citizens, including Palestinians. MY people do not believe in oppressing or dispossessing others. Period.”

The Furor

Ilhan Omar has become a lightening rod for political debate

Ilhan Omar has become a lightening rod for political debate

I’m writing this post in response to the current furor around recent remarks made by Representative Ilhan Omar.  I read her remarks.  Omar’s remarks were clearly directed at U. S. Congresspersons who rubber stamp votes in favor of Israel.  All the power of the right-wing political machine are labeling Omar’s comments as  anti-semitic. In addition to her recent tweets, the moral righteousness of the Republican party is attacking previous videos where she pointedly asked similar questions.

Two Sides Of Their Mouths

I am amazed that Republican has the gall to call out anyone as racist or bigotted.

I am still amazed that Republican alt-right has the gall to call out anyone for racist comments.

With all the anti-Muslim, anti-Latino, anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, and anti-POC rhetoric coming from the right, I was amazed to see the uproar from the Republicans.  Seriously, I mean seriously. I wonder how anyone from that side dares even open their mouths? Who are these hypocrites that now raise up on their hind legs and call for a fellow congressperson’s head and her ouster from the House?  Trump is already peppering his speech and tweets with attacks against Omar and the Democrats as “Jew haters.” Remember, this is the same guy who identified the Charlottesville Jew haters who rallied with torches “really fine people.”

Don’t Like To Hear It 

Israeli PM Netanyahu has perpetrated human rights violations

Israeli PM Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu

Israel under “Bibi” Netanyahu is no place for the non-Jew. So, upfront the United States is in support of an oppressive regime dehumanizing and disenfranchising the Palestinians on the West Bank and participating in an illegal land grab. The United States does a great deal of business with Israel and have been the spine of Israel for decades. It is the unwavering support of the United States, that allows Israel to wear big-boy pants and swagger around the Middle East.

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HANLON’S RAZOR: Cutting Through the Hype

President Trump is unwelcome in many areas of the world

President Trump is unwelcome in many areas of the world as demonstrated by this protest in London

HANLON’S RAZOR: CUTTING THROUGH THE HYPE

T.K. McNeil

A “culture war” by American definition implies a conflict between those values considered traditionalist or conservative and those considered progressive or liberal. It is most obvious when urban and rural American values come into clear conflict.

Origins

Little is known about the originator of Hanlon’s Razor, Robert J. Hanlon. To the point that it came to be thought that it might have been a misspelling of the famous science fiction author Robert J. Heinlein. Although this similarity proved to be purely coincidental. Originally composed as an entry for a writing contest based on the largely satirical “Murphy’s Law”. An axiom which states that anything that can go wrong invariably will. Though, Hanlon’s philosophy is generally more optimistic. Showing a modicum of faith in human nature. Attributing seeming misconduct to human frailty and incompetence rather than inherent cruelty.

Hanlon’s Razor

Much of the rhetoric based on gross exaggerations may not be  intentional manipulations of the truth. Hanlon’s Razor states, A truth most clearly expressed in the political aphorism known as Hanlon’s Razor.  Hanlon’s Razor states, “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.” Or as former British press secretary Bernard Ingham rephrased it: “Cock-up (screw up) before conspiracy.”

Hope In Odd Places

When you consider Hanlon’s Razor, today’s politics do not have to be this way. Politics have become objectively more fraught but largely based on a false premise. That the opposition, as defined by those who disagree, are acting with malice. It is difficult to believe otherwise, given the violence involved. Though violence, even fatal violence, does not always come from a place of malice. Violence can be enacted out of a sense of righteousness and even positive intention. Especially when enacted against a perceived enemy.

Cold Civil War

FDR described himself as a liberal Democrat

FDR described himself as a liberal Democrat

America is in the throws of a Culture War. Since we don’t apply Hanlon’s Razor, polling statistics show a gap between Democrats and Republicans unseen since the American Civil War. Slowly moving ever further  away from the deceptively bipartisan past beginning in the 1920-1930’s.

Conservative Democrats and Liberal Republicans

It was a time when “conservative Democrat” and “liberal Republican” were generally understood and popularly used terms.  The “conservative Democrat” was most often from the south in pre-1965 politics. Self-defined liberal Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his 1933 “New Deal” put together an unlikely coalition, by today’s standards, that of southern whites, labor unions, minorities, and liberal/intellectuals.  Hanlon’s Razor allowed different viewpoints to come together during a decade of national tumult.

Things Get Ugly

Newt Gingrich was instrumental in blowing up bi-partisanism

Newt Gingrich was instrumental in blowing up bi-partisanism

After the Civil Rights legislation of the mid 1960’s the assumption became that the opposition was giving away the farm.  Due to the rise of the civil rights movement, southern white voting block broke to the Republicans in the manifestation of the GOP’s “southern plan”.  Instead of Hanlon’s Razor assuming that some of the transitional legislation was unintentionally flawed, the people assumed that America no longer cared.

It Gets Uglier

But it wasn’t until the 1990’s when any remaining gentility in American politics died, sending Hanlon’s Razor out the window.  Republican’s “Contract with America” declared war on anything liberal, focused on less regulation, tax cuts, term limits, and balanced budgets.

Actual Malice

The move toward the right was led by chaos creator extraordinaire, Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.  Before his retirement, Newt was sanctioned by the House of Representatives. He was fined $300,000 for election fraud and ethics violations. He left the House in 1999.  However, Hanlon’s Razor took a blow because sometimes it really is malice.

Violence Increase

Heather Hyer died in Charlottesville, VA protest

Heather Hyer died in Charlottesville, VA protest

A protester at a Milo Yiannopoulos event in Seattle was shot in the stomach, surviving only because of immediate medical attention and extensive surgery. Then there was the wide-spread civil disobedience in Berkeley and several potentially fatal bludgeoning attacks with a bike-lock. 2018 was not much better.  All of these situations assume malice rather than the Hanlon’s Razor’s assumption that these events were never planned to incite violence.

Some One Died

We need to apply Hanlon’s Razor now before things get out of hand. While there is not yet open combat, there have been fatalities, beginning with the death of Heather Heyer at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA in 2017.

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Social Communication: “I Love Twitter, I Hate Twitter”

 

It's all about sharing and social communication. Right?

It’s all about sharing & social communication. Right? Or, is it a mud wrestling match without winners?

SOCIAL COMMUNICATION: I Love Twitter, I Hate Twitter

By D.S. Mitchell

Social Communication 

Computers and cell phones keep us socially connected

PC’s & cell phones keep us socially connected

I love Twitter. I hate Twitter. Love Twitter. Hate Twi….I know. If I sound a bit confused in my base emotions surrounding this global social sparring arena, I am.

Bad Relationships

My relationship with the Twitter platform reminds me of a couple bad relationships I’ve had in my life. I hate you, I love you, I apparently, “love to hate you”.  When things are going great, heaven couldn’t be closer. However, when going sour, I would rather be at the collision of two planets.

Twitter Effects

I am sure social communication in the 21st century effects many of us the same way. There is something to be said about raging high adrenaline brought about by a nasty Tweet from Twitter, however it is usually like placing a pile of important documents on a table and turning on a fan.  I forgot who said that, but I think it is applicable.

The Caring

To all the clear thinking, intelligent, brilliant folks that hope for a more tolerant and inclusive world, that I have met “thru” Twitter I am so grateful for our friendship. I love tossing tweets back and forth with you, and I love you all. There are so many caring and committed people wanting to do everything they can do, to advance the Progressive agenda.

Spread of Belief

Using social media, using a variety of social platforms as well as Twitter to spread their heartfelt beliefs is the future of Progressivism. It is amazing how the Resistance formed within hours of Trump’s election and it has been primarily fueled by social media. Seventy per cent of us know that there is a better way for government to relate to its citizens than the current administration. Our goal is to use social communication to create a better life for the citizens of our country and the world.

Russian Trolls

I love Twitter, I hate Twitter, I love Twitter, I hate...

Not all vicious attacks come from Russian trolls

The ‘I hate’ side of me, comes out when somebody in the audience decides to suddenly join in by launching a vile attack.  Why would someone choose to do that?  Hmmm. Good question.

Other Sources

Not all vicious attacks come from paid Russian trolls, I have decided. Many such Twitter ambushes are led by probably semi-normal human beings. The first thought is that the assailant is a natural-born bully. But that explanation, of course, does not cover the majority of cursing Grand Dads.

So What Is It?

Is it because the offender didn’t get any nookie last night, or did Mom yell at him, was he passed over for a promotion, did he have a fender bender, did his wife just leave him, or has he, or in some cases, she been drinking the orange Kool Aid?

Hard To Know

Many times it’s hard to know. I mean seriously, how can I tell? Leaving me often wondering what my best response should be. Each condition would demand a different response if I were in the same room and knew the underlying motives it wouldn’t be a media experience, it would be a one to one social experience.

The Words We Speak

Our words are our legacy? Maybe, maybe not.

Are our words are our legacy? Maybe, maybe not.

Who, the Hell knows?  Are the angry emotions propelling those rapid little finger hits on the phone keys  subverting the medium itself. Or, is it the deep intent of the medium creators, to stimulate backroom brawls.   The very fact that I can’t see you, so you can’t see me, is powerful spinach for the online Popeye’s. So, you or I will say something disgusting and revolting because there are no consequences for our actions.

Our Excuses

Maybe it’s just a response to our over regulated world that makes up yell at each other on Twitter. Whatever excuse we come up with for ourselves that excuse makes no sense if you are a person with a moral compass.  Each of us are the words we speak, our words are our legacy. That sounds good, but how can we live by that?

Eye To Eye

It’s easier to be thoughtless and insulting, when an individual doesn’t have to look an opponent in the eye. I can tell by the tone of the tweets when things begin to go off the rails. Many of the folks in the cyber world are capitalizing every word in their response to me.  I know at that moment someone, somewhere, on this rocky world are red-faced, white knuckled, and jaw grinding angry.

Always Be Nice?

Am I responsible for a calming, soothing approach toward an individual brandishing a sword and armed with an explosive device? Sometimes, the grandma in me wants to just sit down next to the person and put my arm around them and say something warm and fuzzy.

Baking or Boxing

Sadly, my grandma’ing experience is limited, but my brawler DNA is well-toned and fired-up most of the time. So, I intentionally take a break and bake a cake, or paint a picture. My intentions are good, if not all my Twitter responses.

Get It Out

Try dog walking, or volunteering.

Try dog walking, or volunteering.

All I’m saying is that,  if someone is angry, they should be able to find enough self-control, to re-channel that rage, turn it to energy and go run a couple of miles, go for a swim, clean out the garage, wax the floors, do the laundry, walk the dog, VOLUNTEER. Get that unhealthy anger out, through exercise and accomplishment, and not attacking someone 5,000 miles away that you will never see. And I promise to do the same, EXCEPT when related to Donald Trump. Quite honestly, in the case of Trump, I refuse to make any such promise.

Play Fair, No Need To Bully

Being a bully, whether at work, on the playground, or on the web, is just ugly.  It’s inexcusable. It is disgusting and it needs to stop. If you are angry and you want to increase the value of your argument, speak intelligently by knowing your facts, not just going with the last Facebook post you read. Be thoughtful in your comments, there is in most cases, two sides to every story.  People will listen.  People are ready for fresh and inspirational ideas and solutions. Make your social communication time count.

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OPINION: Anti-Intellectualism in the Trumpian Era

OPINION: Anti-Intellectualism in the Trumpian Era

by Amaya Oswald

Isaac Asimov was a Russian born writer who immigrated to the United States in 1923.

Isaac Asimov was a Russian born writer who immigrated to the United States in 1923 as a child.

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti- intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” — Isaac Asimov

A Cult Of Ignorance

In this country, we have free speech and the common belief that we are all entitled to our own opinions — a phrase I am sure you have heard many times. We use free speech as a defensive rebuttal when someone poses the question, “Why do you think America is the best country in the world?” and we voice our uneducated opinions because we have the right to. Free speech and embracing opinions is undoubtedly what makes America great, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t something about how we are conditioned to believe all opinions are valid that has also made room for “a cult of ignorance.”

Fake News

"Fake News" "Enemy of the people" are go to phrases for Trump

“Fake News” “Enemy of the people” are “go to” phrases for Trump.

Anti-intellectualism is most prominently bred into present day American politics through Fake News. Donald Trump coined the term to reference factual news reporting that he doesn’t agree with, and as the term became more popular, the concept has been normalized. It is more commonplace than ever to disengage with opinion pieces or news stories that you don’t like, claim all kinds of facts, statistics, and journalism as incorrect, and disregard factual information when forming opinions. In this way, Donald Trump has popularized anti-intellectualism.

Arrogant Beliefs vs. Democratic Behavior

The idea that my opinion is always valid, even when I have few facts to back it up is what spurs America’s embrace of anti-intellectualism, and it’s embarrassing. According to Issac Asimov, we’ve falsely notarized democracy to mean my ignorant vote is just as good as your fact-based vote, and he’s right: that is simply arrogant, not democratic. In America, we protect anti-intellectuals and people who spread real falsehoods through opinions by saying, it’s just what he believes. Some Trump Lovers have even committed hate crimes (such as, The Pittsburg Synagogue Massacre) bred from anti-intellectualism. Trump supporters hold the arrogant position of what I think is the absolute answer and no one else’s opinion is worth considering. The President displays the same behavior — even though you made a smart point, you are wrong because I am right, and what I believe is always right.

Selective Anti-Intellectualism

By being selective, Trump pushes his own agenda

By being selective, Trump pushes his own agenda.

Of course, wanting to win an argument is not the same as anti-intellectualism, ignorance, or arrogance. It is important to be confident and persuasive; but to never actively consider someone else’s viewpoint is a problem. For example, Trump constantly rejects statistical evidence that doesn’t fit into his ideas. One statistic he quotes often is the economy’s improvement since he took office, which is true — at least it was before the shut down. However, if someone mentions his approval rating, he will attempt to degrade its legitimacy, despite the rating being factually true in the closest way that statistics provides. This is a key example of how our president has selective anti-intellectualism, which could be even worse than typical anti-intellectualism. By being selective, Trump pushes his own agenda more forcefully, rejecting the truths of the opposing party and comforting those who follow him.

Normalizing Extreme Beliefs

Jamali Maddix "Hate Thy Neighbor" docuseries asks questions about hate

Jamali Maddix “Hate Thy Neighbor” docuseries asks questions about hate

For two decades, we as a country were moving to cautious speech when in public. We had become increasingly politically correct in our language. Over the last two years that trend has taken a reverse course. People with more extreme beliefs have been increasingly vocal about their beliefs as anti-intellectualism strengthens its roots in this country. Alt-right extremists have felt protected by the President’s beliefs. In Jamali Maddix’s docuseries Hate Thy Neighbor, a “national socialist” in the film remarked that he felt Trump had made him feel as though he could be more open about his anti-Semitic views.

Democracy is About Considering Other Viewpoints

Stuck in their own beliefs and belief systems, these white neo-nazis sport swastikas, burn Jewish books, and report that “there should be another genocide.” (“America’s Far White,” Hate Thy Neighbor. Viceland. January 23, 2017. Television.) If the national socialists showed in Jamali Maddix’s docuseries had considered a different viewpoint or wanted to openly learn about other perspectives, their beliefs would certainly have changed at least a little. When Maddix asks a father of two white children if he would have loved his children if he had had them with his previous half-Indian wife, a woman he had loved before he became invested in “white nationalism,” this is clear. “I’m not speechless over that… I’m just trying to digest it,” he said. “I’d like to think no matter what color, what origin of a child, I’d have their back.” (“America’s Far White,” Hate Thy Neighbor. Viceland. January 23, 2017. Television.)

Stop For A Moment

Adolf Hitles is white supremacist's hero

Hitler is white supremacist’s hero

A racist, xenophobic white nationalist who salutes Hitler every day had actually considered for a moment what Maddix was asking, subsequently changing his thought process slightly. By talking to another person with a different viewpoint, he let himself think openly enough to perceive something in a different way than he had before — through a lens of love, rather than hatred.

Political Intellectualism

So, what is intellectualism? Being open to learn and think in a different way; being more empathetic to other people’s situations and lives; considering ideas outside your realms.

Regression Is A Part of Progression

Over the past few years, it may have seemed as though America is regressing more than we are progressing. However, I don’t think I believe this. Instead, I believe in what President Obama said in a speech a few years ago: sometimes things progress a lot and then go back a little just before progressing a lot more. The regression we see today is necessary for growth, and while it is clear that we have had a spike in anti-intellectualism these past few years, there has always been a strain of anti-intellectualism throughout America’s history. Fake news and the rejection of both facts and opinions against our own viewpoints have always been here. It is only 2016 that brought it to the surface.

“ROGER STONE DID NOTHING WRONG”

Roger Stone is arrested in his Florida home by 17 FBI agents in full swat attire

FBI arrests Roger Stone in early morning raid. Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicts Stone on 7 felony charges.

“ROGER STONE DID NOTHING WRONG”

By Ross Turner

 

Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong

Roger Stone models t-shirt he wore when arrested by the FBI on 7 felony counts related to Russian investigation

Roger Stone models T-shirt he wore when arrested by the FBI on 7 felony counts related to Russian investigation

January 25th, 2019.  Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Pre-dawn.  Heavily armed men file out of a caravan of black SUVs.  Swarming the Mediterranean-style home, a bearded man pounds on the door: “FBI.  Open the door.”  Within moments, a grey-haired, shoeless figure emerges.  He appears briefly confused, but, given the circumstances, unfazed.  He puts his hands in the air as he turns around, submitting to his arrest with perfunctory calm.  Twenty minutes later, being led back into his home by federal agents, security footage captures the text of the suspect’s t-shirt, one that perfectly encapsulates the man in question.  It reads: “Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong.”

What’s In A Shirt?

We may never know whether Stone put on that shirt deliberately for the occasion, but anybody familiar with him knows he probably would have.  It’s very existence speaks volumes of his sordid career, a winking reference to his infamous reputation.  It is, let’s say, not the fashion statement typical of an innocent man.  Robert Mueller, Special Counsel to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, would tend to agree.  Stone has been indicted on seven criminal charges, including one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, one count of witness tampering, and five counts of false statements.  Stone himself is probably disappointed to be arraigned on such lame charges, given how many juicier bits of wrongdoing there are to choose from.

WikiWoes

Roger Stone is suspected of working hand in hand with Julian Assange of Wikileaks to attack Clinton and Podesta in 2016 Presidential campaign

Roger Stone is suspected of working hand in hand with Julian Assange of Wikileaks to attack Clinton and Podesta in 2016 campaign.

The allegations stem from his involvement in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, where he is believed to have been in contact with Julian Assange of Wikileaks.  Days before Wikileaks released troves of stolen e-mails from John Podesta, chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign, Stone posted mocking tweets aimed at Podesta and Clinton: “It will soon [sic] the Podesta’s time in the barrel,” and, “Wednesday Hillary Clinton is done. #Wikileaks.”  Despite this plainly damning evidence and the fact that he formerly acknowledged establishing a back-channel with Assange, Stone claimed to have had no advanced knowledge of the data breach or its publishing.  His legal troubles originate from the consequent lies and obstruction committed after this fact.  He has, adorably, pleaded not guilty.

Who is Roger Stone?

Stone's flamboyancy and verve for style is matched only by his immorality and taste for duplicity

Stone’s flamboyancy and verve for style is matched only by his immorality and taste for duplicity

For Stone, a self-described “dirty trickster” and “agent provocateur,” it must be surprising that this took so long.  His long career as a political consultant, lobbyist, strategist, and “fixer” has been built on an ethical flexibility rarely seen so openly in American politics.  He combines the political philosophy of Machiavelli, the cartoonish villainy of The Joker, and the fashion sensibility of Tim Gunn.  He has a tattoo of Nixon on his back.  He doesn’t, as a rule, wear socks.  He was friends and business partners with Paul Manafort (before it was cool.)  He claims to own over 100 silver neckties.  His flamboyancy and verve for style is matched only by his amorality and taste for duplicity.  He is the living embodiment of “the ends justify the means.”  He is also strangely charming and, again, a fabulous dresser.  But where did a character such as Stone come from, and how did he get to be this way?

Lunch Line Lies

Turns out, he was always like this.  In fact, style and trickery appear seared into his DNA, preceding his political leanings.  As a young boy, Stone favored John F. Kennedy because his Catholic parents had a “certain sympathy” for him, but also because “Kennedy’s hair was so much better than Nixon’s hair.”  Consequently, in the run up to a mock election in his elementary school, Stone went through the cafeteria line and told every kid he found that Nixon had proposed having school on Saturdays.  Kennedy won “in a landslide.”  Stone recalls, “For the first time ever I understood the value of disinformation.  Of course I’ve never practiced it since then.”  This tendency – to admit to scheming while cheekily denying it – would become Stone’s modus operandi.

Dealing in the Black Arts

Stone said of his part in the 1972 presidential campaign, I'm officially a scheduler by day, but by night I'm trafficking in the dark arts."

Stone said of his part in the 1972 presidential campaign, “I’m officially a scheduler by day, but by night I’m trafficking in the dark arts.”

Stone made his political conversion to conservatism only two years later after reading Barry Goldwater’s The Consciousness of a Conservative.  In 1972, at the age of twenty, he dropped out of George Washington University to help with Nixon’s reelection campaign where he played a minor role as a junior scheduler.  But it wasn’t long before he put his unique skill-set to work.  One early act of sabotage was contributing money to an opponent of Nixon in the name of the Young Socialist Alliance,  and then handing the receipt to the local newspaper in order to portray Nixon’s rival as a dirty commie.  He also hired spies to infiltrate the campaigns of George McGovern and Hubert Humphrey.  Though officially a scheduler by day, “by night, I’m trafficking in the black arts,” said Stone.

PAC Man

Stone remarked, "NCPAC is transformative in the sense that we really pioneered negative advertising in massive doses to win elections."

Stone remarked, “NCPAC is transformative in the sense that we really pioneered negative advertising in massive doses to win elections.”

In 1975, Stone helped found the National Conservative Political Action Committee for the explicit purpose of circumventing recently imposed campaign contribution limits.  They exploited the loophole of ‘independent expenditures,’ which allowed the PAC to advertise on behalf of (or against) a candidate as long as there was no ‘coordination’ with the campaign.  This was the first of many “super PACs” that dominate our elections to this day.  Stone remarked, “NCPAC is transformative in the sense that we really pioneered negative advertising in massive doses to win elections.  Up to that time it really hadn’t been done.”  In fact, one of “Stone’s Rules” – his personal words to live by – is, “Hate is a stronger motivator than love.”

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KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND: Saint or Scammer

Junior NY Senator Kristen Gillibrands has announced her candidacy for president.

Junior NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has announced her candidacy for president. 2020 has boat load of  Dems running.

Kirsten Gillibrand: Saint or Scammer

By D.S. Mitchell and T.K. McNeil

 

The Pendulum Swings

Any of the last 6 Westminster champs could probably do as good a job as Trump

Any of the last 6 Westminster champs could probably do as good a job as Trump

It seems like each new each day brings us a new candidate for the job of president of the United States. At the beginning of Trump’s third year, anyone able to walk and talk at the same time, thinks they can do a better job than Trump. In fact, not to bring peels of laughter from the audience, I am sure that I could do a better job. Being able to do a better job than Trump however could probably be accomplished by any of the last six Westminster champions.

Blinded By Desperation

There are those who say there is no way Trump can win in 2020.  Didn’t everyone say that about Trump in 2016? The prognosticators also said George W. Bush couldn’t win in his second term in 2004. Single term presidents do occur, although not often. In every case such losses occurred it was due to a compelling opponent. The most recent instance, when relatively unknown Arkansas governor Bill Clinton ran against, and beat George H.W.Bush. Who was, by all accounts, in line for a second term.

A Champion Shall Rise?

Kirsten Gillebrand has tossed her hat in the 2020 presidential fray

Kirsten Gillibrand is married to a British national, Jonathan Gillibrand and has two sons.

If the Republicans stick with tradition and name Donald Trump their nominee for 2020. The key to victory for the Democrats will be selecting the right candidate. Someone with a specific set of attributes that appeal to the base, as well as making them impervious to Trump’s already proven attacks and tactics. One of a bevy of Democrats to recently throw their hat into the ring is second-term New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Upper Middle Class Life

Kirsten Gillibrand is a child of American privilege. Not a Kennedy or a Rockefeller by any means, but both her parents were attorneys. Her father also worked as a lobbyist.  Kirsten Gillibrand was born Kirsten Elizabeth Rutnik in 1966. She attended a private girl’s school, the Emma Willard School. When she graduated she went on to Dartmouth where she graduated Magna cum Laude in 1988 with a degree in Asian studies. After Dartmouth she attended UCLA School of Law and passed the bar exam in New York in 1991.

Philip Morris

Kirsten Gillibrand worked on several important Philip Morris criminal and civil lawsuits

Kirsten Gillibrand worked on several important Philip Morris criminal and civil lawsuits

Gillibrand went to work for Davis, Polk and Wardwell, as an associate. While at Davis she served at defense attorney for Philip Morris defending them in at least three major lawsuits, including civil and criminal racketeering and perjury cases. Her work for Philip Morris and later large financial contributions to her from the company has created multiple and lingering questions about that relationship. Gillibrand says associates don’t get to choose their client load. Comments by Davis insiders refute that, insisting associates always have a choice. She counters with her work at Davis and later at Boies, Schiller & Flexner allowed her to take on pro-bono work (no charge cases) defending poor and abused women, injured tenants against negligent landlords, and other clients with social justice issues.

The Clinton’s

Hillary Clinton has reportedly had a big impact on Gillibrand

Hillary Clinton has reportedly had a big impact on Gillibrand

During the last year of Bill Clinton’s presidency Kirsten Gillibrand served as Special Counsel to Secretary of HUD,  Andrew Cuomo.  In 1999 Gillibrand began working for Hillary Clinton’s 2000 N.Y. senate run. Clinton and Gillibrand became close and Gillibrand gave a $12,000 donation to the campaign. Gillibrand later said that Hillary Clinton had been an inspiring mentor to her.  Furthermore, she said Clinton was the principle reason she had decided to enter politics.

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Extreme Measures: Late Term Abortion

Trump giving State of the Union Address on Tuesday 2/6/2019

State of the Union on 2-5-19 Trump proved he is one of the most vulgar tone deaf presidents in American history.

TRUMP’S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS, MORE LIES 

Extreme Measures: Late Term Abortion

 

By T.K. McNeil

An annual national event, the State of the Union Address. A carefully choreographed and historic obligation of the President of the United States. A lot of pomp and ceremony. A chance for the chief of the executive branch and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces to tell the Congress and the nation his assessment of how the country is doing. Time to have a moment of reflection and even humility when necessary, as a president evaluates the actions of his administration in terms of domestic and international events. At least that is what is it is supposed to be.

A Vulgar Display

"Walk softly but carry a big stick," Teddy Roosevelt

“Walk softly but carry a big stick,” T. Roosevelt

President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday, February 5th , 2019 was one of the most vulgar displays of tone-deaf arrogance in Presidential history. Including Theodore Roosevelt’s statement about “speak softly and carry a big stick” and Richard Nixon’s earnest assertion that “if the president does it, it is not a crime.”

So Many Gaffs So Little Time

There were many moments that stand out. There was his surety that the female congressional representatives were applauding for him when he mentioned that that they existed. As well as his infuriating claim that over 300 women and girls were rescued at the border. Many of the young female migrants who had already been victimized by sex traffickers on their way to the U.S. and then locked in  dog runs when they arrived here.

Counter-Factuals

Virginia governor, Ralph Northam (democrat)

Virginia governor, Ralph Northam (D)

Most egregious from a factual stand-point, were his statements about late-term abortions. His complete ignorance on the subject was quite clear. Made worse by the fact Virginia Governor, Ralph Northam Trump referenced is a qualified pediatric neurologist. As a wise man once said: “There are few more dangerous than the fool who thinks themselves a genius.”

As Soon As Possible

Despite implications by some with an agenda, late-term abortions are exceedingly rare. According to records provided by Planned Parenthood, termination occurs in the first trimester in 91 percent of cases. This only stands to reason considering the reduction of risk and negative effects from pharmaceutical terminations performed during this early period. There are almost no late-term abortions. According to the Mayo Clinic website: “A medical abortion doesn’t need surgery or anesthesia and can be started either in a medical office or at home with followup visits to your doctor. It’s safer and most effective during the first trimester of pregnancy.”

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