Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Trump's Football

by Delta R Vines

Donald Trump has a habit of throwing his weight around in the business world.  He has been catered to in the political world of late, with apparent success of late.  All of this despite a lack of restraint on various commentaries making fun of reporters with disabilities, deprecating commentary regarding Meghan Kelly, the looks of Carly Fiorina, a lack of respect toward women, in general, and calling voters in a specific state "stupid".  Where the citizens of the U.S. would have at one time turned their back on such a candidate, they've stuck to this presidential candidate like glue.

Apparently he has been holding a BIG grudge against Meghan Kelly to the point of insisting to Fox News Network that she not be a moderator for the debate this Thursday (tomorrow) night.  He did not like the questions she asked him in the Fox News Network Debate on August 6, 2015.  They were not any harder than questions she asked the other candidates.

Reporters do ask hard question, regardless of the network for which they work.

Mr. Trump also did not like the tongue-in-cheek comments from Fox News which actually makes a pretty good point:
“We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president — a nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”

Donald has been pushing Fox News to drop Kelly as a moderator for the debate tomorrow night.  Fox has consistently refused to capitulate to his demands, as they should.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as written in the Bill of Rights states:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"   (emphasis mine)

If Fox News Network were to acquiesce to Mr. Trump's condition, they would be setting a negative precedence for reporters of news and their networks the world over.  Candidates, (and officeholders) would constantly be making demands of which reporters can report what.  No other network would in good conscience give in to similar demands; not ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, or any other.  

The U.S. has a free press system which at times can be frustrating even to the casual viewer.   

But, it's free of oppression.  It's free from dictates.  And it's free from oppressive dictates by a narcissistic presidential candidate - or possible subsequent presidential candidate.

Mr. Donald Trump has shown the type of leader of the United States he would be.  When a world leader doesn't do what Mr. Trump wants, he would threaten and cajoul, and pout when his demands aren't met.  

The press the world over is going to ask hard questions.  Our own congress will not just say "yes sir!" to whatever the president (whomever that may be) may say. As the Fox News comment pointed out, leaders of other countries will not agree with our president in all things. What would be his way of dealing with such conflicts?  Would he freeze all aid our country may contribute to that country (i.e. blackmail)?  That is one reason he is choosing to boycott the FNN debate - to see how much money Fox looses as a result.  

The way Mr. Trump deals with news networks and reporters is an indicator of how he would be if elected to the U.S. presidency.  "Taking your football and going home" is not a way to make America great again.  Instead it portrays Donald as a spoiled brat having a temper tantrum.  

The world would laugh at such.  The world would not have respect for that behavior.  I know I definately don't.  People want someone strong enough to face adversity with dignity.

Welcome to the real world, Mr. Trump!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Presidential Pains - Hillary Clinton

Since Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have been in a virtual tie, I waited a couple of days before writing this opinion. This was in hope of a more clear front runner coming forth. Instead, it's still a virtual tie.  Therefore, I'm going with the old adage of "ladies first" and starting with former First Lady and Senator, Hillary Clinton.

What positives has Mrs. Clinton accomplished?  As First Lady she jumped in feet first to the public eye and tried to establish policies during her husband's administration.  The most prominent project of Mrs. Clinton was to start a nation wide health care system.  She had a bully pulpit from which she spoke loud and often.  In many ways she reminded me of the title character in the musical "Evita". That project failed.  Mrs. Clinton however revamped, became much quieter, and was able to help establish an expanded health care program for children.

As New York Senator, Mrs. Clinton worked very hard after the WTC attacks on 9/11, (along with other members of Congress), to make sure first responders and their families had the care they needed.  (Of course, they did the same for the families of citizens who died or were injured in those attacks).  Also during her term as Senator, Mrs. Clinton worked for LGBT rights.

As Secretary of State she followed the dictates of President Obama and did her job well.  In 2012 Mrs. Clinton negotiated a (short-lived) stoppage to Hamas rockets daily being shot into Israel. She also championed women's rights in China. Mrs. Clinton was also a main architect in the sanctions against Iran.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Clinton also has a lot of baggage:

1. Using a private server for government emails and other information.  Much of the information was "top secret" and could have been hacked, thus compromising U.S. security

2.  Benghazi and the death of staff at the embassy there including Ambassador Chris Stevens because no military defense was allowed when the embassy came under fire. No pro-active actions taken to prevent such an occurrence when intel said it was a real possibility.

3. Over 15 women have accused Mr. Clinton of having one night stands, short term affairs, sexual assault, and rape.  One of those women have had the Clinton's settle out of court to the tune of high three figures. The question comes to mind is how could a President H.R. Clinton concentrate on her job as POTUS while wondering what her husband is doing.

Hillary Clinton is still ranking high in the democratic candidates polls despite the baggage following her.   She definitely has a great deal of experience in governmental issues. However, I'm not sure she can overcome the trust issues many voters have with her.  Plus there is the potential she will be tried for treason in regard to the emailed documents. 

It definitely gives food for thought, and reasons for prayer as voters consider for whom they will vote.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Presidential Pains - Donald Trump

by Delta R Vines

With all the activity in the 2016 U.S. Presidential political scene, I decided to write my own insights, opinions, etc. on my blog.  To keep things somewhat "organized", I'm using the sub-category of "Presidential Pains" to separate it from other writing as I focus on a candidate from the "list" of candidates in both main political parties. 

It seems appropriate to start with Donald Trump (GOP) since he is the front-runner on the GOP side of the aisle.  In any other election year Mr. Trump would probably be ignored by the press, and the voters.  Instead, the polls have him at the top, and the press seems to not be able to give him enough air time. 

This year, however, the people are angry.  That anger seems aimed toward President Obama, Congress, and the Supreme Court.  They are angry about jobs, about riots, about the economy, about the defense budget, about terrorism, about illegal immigration (not about those who are here legally), and the status quo in general.  Donald Trump are saying things that many people agree with.  He is also saying things many people dis-agree with.  However, it appears presidential candidate Trump is the candidate that says more things people agree with than disagree with.

He is also the candidate that surprisingly reminds me the most of our present Commander-in-Chief. That includes, but is not limited to:  

  • Little to no previous experience as a member of the U.S. government
  • Experienced as a "deal maker"- negotiates with/and will give in after putting forth good effort.
  • Doesn't listen to people; assumes he knows what is best.
  • Has a "dictatorial" personality: if it doesn't go his way, he'll make it happen.
  • Has changed his position on many issues more than once.*

Several of those points are proven out in welcoming the endorsement of Sarah Palin.  Personally I wonder how much he paid her for the endorsement or if he promised her a place as the VP candidate again.  Her endorsement of him causes me to look more closely at other candidates.

The announcement was made in ORU's Mabee Arena (a Christian University).  Palin professes to be a Christian.  Yet, at a Christian institution of higher learning, Palin made statements that I found disgusting. Examples: “Our candidate is ballsy enough to get out there..."  and “who will let them (the military) do their jobs and go kick ISIS’ ass.”  This is NOT a Christian example to put forth. Instead I would suggest Mrs. Palin needs her mouth washed out with a bar of soap.  

One thing Mr. Trump and Mrs. Palin share: using no filter in saying whatever they want.  Mr. Trump in the Oval Office would be a public relations nightmare.  Mrs. Palin apparently already is.

Mr. Trump should have vetted her better.  His PR folks should have insisted on reading her speech notes before she gave it.  It's poor judgement on his part.  

I remember when then Senator Obama said he was against gay marriage, and that Israel should be the undivided eternal capitol of Israel.  He changed his mind completely during his first term on those and other election promises made.  

In the same time frame of the eight years of President Obama's term in office, after announcing his presidential bid, Donald Trump has changed his stance from being pro choice to pro-life; from being liberal to being conservative, and from being a democrat to being a republican.  Could we trust a President Trump?  Would he govern from the West Wing of the White House any differently than President Obama?  Could he really have a better chance of beating former Senator Clinton for the office than all the other candidates?  Would our nation be any safer or less so?

These are part of the questions and concerns I hope we all pay attention to before casting a vote for any candidate to be the President-elect of the United States.