Friday, July 29, 2016

Mocking Gold Star Families - What the Trump GOP has become...

During the last night of the Democratic National Convention there was an incredibly moving speech by Khizr Khan, the father of U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in 2004 in the Iraq war. All the major networks except one, showed Khan's remarks in full. Can you guess which one didn't?

Fox News ignored a speech by the father of U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in 2004 in the Iraq war, instead opting to air commercials during the speech. Fox later went live to a song by pop singer Katy Perry after the speech.
During the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA, Khizr Khan spoke about the honor he felt to be present at the convention with his wife, “as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.” Khan’s speech was preceded by a video that showed Hillary Clinton calling Captain Khan “the best of America” and explaining the circumstances of his death, for which he was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Not only did Fox keep it's panel of pundits talking over  the speech, but then  they  cut to a commercial from a Donald Trump super-pac that uses  the terrorist attack on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.  Clearly  there was an editorial decision made at FOX that the speech didn't fit  their anti-Muslim, pro-Trump narrative.

 If that wasn't enough, there was this response, during the speech, from Conservative celebrity and Donald Trump enthusiast Ann Coulter.

The first tweet referenced a speech by respected CNN and Washington Post Journalist Fareed Zakaria, (whose name Coulter  apparently couldn't spell...), and the second  was Coulter's usual inability to contain her own racism  and insulted Captain Khan's mother.

This is what the Republican Party and  American conservative movement has become.  A pathetic gaggle of internet trolls who are so consumed by racism and bigotry that they attack a Gold Star family  because of their faith.

In case you missed it,  THIS is what FOX News was determined not to show their viewers, and what sub-human gargoyle, Ann Coulter was attacking..

Republicans,  if you have any, and I mean ANY sense of decency, love of country or respect for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation;  You will vote for Hillary Clinton in November,  this is no longer an election, it is an intervention.

The Republican Party we saw on display last week in Cleveland Ohio, the Party of Donald Trump and Ann Coulter, is an affront to everything our nation stands for.    It is cancerous growth on our Republic and must be removed. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Okay, I Get it... You Don't Like Hillary.

I get it, you don’t like her…

You “feel” she is dishonest, you say she lied, (about what exactly, you never actually specify…but I get it..) Setting aside the fact that she is the most investigated Presidential candidate in American history, by both the Media, and her political opponents.

Setting aside Millions of Dollars and hours of government resources have been spent repeatedly investigating her and had found no crimes, ever. Setting aside that she sat and testified for 11 hours about a tragedy that happened on her watch, and yet the men whose lies took  America into the war that created the terrorists responsible for that tragedy,  have never even been questioned under oath.

Setting all that aside… I get it, you don’t like her.

Setting aside the fact that there has been an entire cable news network that for the last twenty years has been near singularly dedicated to accusing her (with no evidence or proof whatsoever) of everything from bad fashion sense, to first degree murder. Setting aside the fact that she is the most experienced and qualified candidate to seek the Presidency in a generation. Setting aside the fact that she is held to a standard of public transparency and critique that NO male candidate for the same office, has ever been held to…

Settling all that aside… I get it, you don’t like her.

I know you feel Bernie was robbed, and you know what? He wasn’t. I have a news flash for you . The overwhelming majority of American voters don’t do what the DNC subliminally tells them to. Hillary Clinton won more votes. It’s not a rigged system it is math. Even without “Super-delegates” (Which we all agree are stupid and are now being reformed, thanks to Senator Sanders…) She still would be the nominee, because (again.. math,) she won the most delegates.

Setting ALL that aside…. I get it, You don’t Like Hillary Clinton

I know you feel both parties are part of a rigged system that deliberately excludes third and more parties. You are right. It does, and you are correct in saying it is wrong. But guess what? There is no way whatsoever that this system,( rigged against the Libertarians and Greens though it may be), is going to change in the next 84 days between now, and first week of November.  So the reality is, neither Gary Johnson or Jill Stein have a snowballs chance in hell of winning the election, assuming even they are able to get on the ballot in all 50 states.   

So like it or not the choice is between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (Who, I get it… You don’t like. ) But it doesn’t change the fact that, these are your choices. 4 years (at minimum) of President Clinton or President Trump. Where there will be at the very least one, if not two or more appointments the United States Supreme Court, in addition to the current vacancy. 

I know you tend to tune out when people talk about the Supreme Court, because it is very abstract. But as you apparently are willing to accept at least 4 years of a Trump/Pence administration, you should at least be intellectually honest about that means in real life terms.

The following are taken directly from the 2016 Republican Party Platform:

Appoint anti-choice Supreme Court justices:

"Only a Republican president will appoint judges who respect the rule of law expressed within the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, including the inalienable right to life and the laws of nature and nature’s God, as did the late Justice Antonin Scalia.”

Appoint anti-LGBT and anti-Obamacare justices:

“Only such appointments will enable courts to begin to reverse the long line of activist decisions — including Roe, Obergefell, and the Obamacare cases — that have usurped Congress’s and states’ law-making authority.”

Legalize anti-LGBT discrimination:

"We endorse the First Amendment Defense Act, Republican legislation in the House and Senate which will bar government discrimination against individuals and businesses for acting on the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman."

Make Christianity a national religion:

"We support the public display of the Ten Commandments as a reflection of our history and our country's Judeo-Christian heritage and further affirm the rights of religious students to engage in voluntary prayer at public school events and to have equal access to school facilities."

Privatize Medicare, the health plan for seniors:

“Impose no changes for persons 55 years of older. Give others the option of traditional Medicare or transition to a premium-support model designed to strengthen patient choice, promote cost-saving competition among providers."

Support traditional marriage but no other families:

"Children raised in a two-parent household tend to be physically and emotionally healthier, more likely to do well in school, less likely to use drugs and alcohol, engage in crime or become pregnant outside of marriage. We oppose policies and laws that create a financial incentive for or encourage cohabitation."

I could go on and on.   This stuff  is just the tip of the right wing fundamentalist iceberg. But I hear you cry that Trump, really doesn’t believe all that far right claptrap, so we don’t have to worry about it! So…. You are saying Trump is lying when he says he supports the GOP platform “100 Percent”. Funny, I thought it was because she was liar you didn’t like Hillary?

Then there is the fact that Donald Trump has already indicated he cant be bothered with the day to day aspects of being President. All that stuff he plans to farm out to the Vice President, while he is busy “Making American Great Again”

From the New York Times:

One day this past May, Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., reached out to a senior adviser to Gov. John Kasich of Ohio… according to the Kasich adviser (who spoke only under the condition that he not be named), Donald Jr. wanted to make him an offer: Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history?

When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?

“Making America great again” was the casual reply.

So it is not an unreasonable assumption to make, that it is a Vice President,  Mike Pence who will essentially be picking who fills any vacancies on not just the Nation’s highest court, but up down the federal judiciary.  Where you may like to think Trump doesn’t really believe the right wing stuff in the GOP Platform , you can be sure Pence is a true believer, and he will want the populate the federal bench with like-minded gargoyles

Setting aside all the other issues we could talk about, like immigration , climate change, consumer protection, or the fact that a Trump / Pence supreme court would issue rulings that make Citizen’s United look like child play. Let’s just take one issue; Donald Trump has pledged that, if elected, he would appoint justices who would reverse the landmark Supreme Court decision establishing marriage equality nationwide. "It has been ruled upon. It has been there. If I’m elected I would be very strong in putting certain judges on the bench that maybe could change things, but they have a long way to go," he said on Fox News Sunday. "I disagree with the court in that it should have been a states' rights issue.

I get it, you don’t like Hillary Clinton, but how do you feel about me? 

Because voting for Donald Trump, or voting in a way just to vote against Hillary Clinton, you are either way, voting FOR Trump, Mike Pence and the entire GOP platform. Which in turn is a full throttle commitment to use the power of government to dissolve my marriage, and declare that discrimination against me in  public accommodation is a protected form of Religious expression.

In very real and practical terms you are voting to put my civil rights up to a public vote, and even if that vote in your state says I should have equal rights, discrimination against me in employment, housing or any other sort of public accommodation should be perfectly legal, if someone feels their “God” thinks Gay people are icky.

But I get it, the fact you “feel” you can’t trust Hillary is waaaayy more important than my being able to one day move back to the US with my Spouse,  or my having the same civil rights as you ... I get it, the fact that a Trump Presidency would do untold damage to our nation’s economy, global standing, national security, and environment is just the price we need to pay to give the Libertarian Party a serious shot at 2020!

I get it, the fact that women’s reproductive rights, minority voting rights, and consumer protection rights and access to affordable health care for millions of Americans will all be wiped away in the first year of a Trump Administration isn’t nearly as important as showing you didn’t “Sell out the Revolution!” and were not co-opted by the party machine!

So by all means, “be unsure” of whether or not you can “bring yourself to vote for her”. I get it… you don’t like her…. Or lots of other Americans either, ...apparently,

Friday, July 22, 2016

Donald Trump's Fairy Tale Moment...

Maybe it was a sixth sense that something truly awful was happening… But around 3 am here in London I found myself wide awake, wrestling with a bout of acid re-flux and insomnia. So I got up, quietly made my way down the hall from the bedroom to the living room and turned on CSPAN.

The stage was set in  ALL CAPS glory with “TRUMP! “emblazoned in larger than life letters above a wall of American flags. After a graceful and well spoken introduction by his daughter, "The Donald" came out. Soaking up the adulation of assembled masses of Republican National Convention delegates.     Clearly savoring the moment, Donald Trump smiled, and began his speech, accepting  the Republican Party's  Presidential Nomination.

After watching  the speech,  my first impulse was to sit down at this keyboard and  write a massive, detailed point-by-point rebuttal  of everything Trump said last night that was either an out and out lie or at best, wildly contorted half truths taken deliberately out of context.    But you know what?   It doesn't matter.  

 The past three days, watching the sad, very very angry spectacle that was the 2016 GOP convention, one thing has become all too clear;    People who support Donald Trump for President of the United States don't care that he is lying.    The reason is  very simple,  they like the lies.    The lies affirm their world view and confirm their beliefs.     

The victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary is the culmination of the shift  of the Republican Base away from facts.  Well, OK,  not all facts.  But away from ANY facts or information that doesn't support their existing view point.   When confronted with facts that contradict those views they simply ignore them, if  facts don't match the talking points, they simply don't exist,  or are part of an "elitist  conspiracy" to discredit their point of view, obviously.

This isn't new. What we saw this week in Cleveland is just the end result of what has been happening on the American Political right since 2008.

For the GOP base, if you believe President Obama is a foreign born Muslim, even his actual birth certificate will never convince you .  It must be a fake, because your belief in the Birther conspiracy  is more important to you than the truth,  so you can never accept the fact that the President of the United States is an American, born in Hawaii and a practicing Christian.    

For the GOP base the talking point that both the deficit and national debt  have "skyrocketed" under President Obama is so sacrosanct  as to even defy Math. The fact that the numbers prove otherwise simply doesn't matter,  "Math clearly has a "liberal bias".  

Likewise If you believe the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi was the result of  "Hillary Clinton hating America", and was the worst attack on Americans since Pearl Harbor,  there is no amount of facts or logic  that will dissuade you of that notion.  Even nine Republican led investigations, clearing Clinton of any negligence isn't credible to you .  They all must have clearly been co-opted by  "The Clinton Machine".

Unemployment must be up, (it is down). Violent Crime must be on the rise (it isn't, it has fallen).   America clearly IS the highest taxed nation in the world (actually No, we rank 30th out of 34 industrialized  nations).  

I could go on and on but  why?    If you really want to see for yourself the Washington Post has an excellent fact check of Trump's speech here.     But what's the point?  Trump voters  have no interest in reality. 

Last night has shown the world, that in 2016,   the Republican Party has adopted  willful and aggressive ignorance,  as their overarching  political ideology. 

The New York Times is reporting that should he be elected, Donald Trump plans to hand all responsibility for  domestic and foriegn policy off to  his Vice President, and his role would be, (according to his son) simply to "Make America Great Again".  

"One day this past May, Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., reached out to a senior adviser to Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who left the presidential race just a few weeks before. ... according to the Kasich adviser (who spoke only under the condition that he not be named), Donald Jr. wanted to make him an offer nonetheless: Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history?

When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?

“Making America great again” was the casual reply."

Did you catch that? Let's be clear here, because this is important. If you are voting for Donald Trump this November, you are voting to elect Mike Pence as essentially  American Prime Minister with Trump as some sort of ceremonial head of state / constitutional monarch.

Friends of mine on both sides of the Atlantic have been asking me on a near daily basis what I think is going to happen come November.   They  nervously point  out that no one expected Trump to get this far, and ask me to seriously handicap the possibility of a Trump victory in Novmember.

I take a deep breath, and remind them that winning the GOP nomination and winning the General election are two very different things.  I dutifully point them to Nate Silver's careful and detailed  assessment, of polls, voter demographics, social and economic trends.  All of which give Trump about a 20 to 25 percent chance of winning.    Honestly though,  who knows?   I would like think that the great mass of the American electorate sees Donald Trump for exactly what he is;  A narcissistic sociopath  with delusions of political grandeur.     

Which then begs the question, of those who are voting for Donald Trump.  Why? If you are a Trump voter, I can only surmise that you clearly have decided that facts do not matter,  and you want to see Trump  set fire to American democracy,  just to watch it burn. 

No plans,  no policies  other than banning all Muslims and building a wall.   No answers other than "believe me, it will be great!"


What the world saw in Cleveland, Ohio last night will either be the death knell of the Republican Party as we have always known it.  Or, the death knell of American Democracy as we have always known it.  Either way,  it  will be the triumph of willful ignorance over common sense.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Hitting the "Mute" Button for a Bit...

Hey there Everyone...

Like so many others, I am going to take a break from Social Media for a bit. I will undoubtedly re-join the great virtual debate a few weeks, but for now, I am just tired.

Tired of hearing people say that mass shootings have nothing to do with Guns. Tired of hearing people say that I have to choose between supporting law enforcement, and the idea that Black Lives matter just a much as everyone else’s.

I am tired of hearing that another deluded madman has gone and killed dozens of innocent people and in doing so perverted and polluted the faith of millions of Muslims around the globe.

I am tired of watching Republican cowards stand idly by while a bloviating, racist idiot, destroys the credibility, viability and legacy of their Party. I am tired of hearing a disgraced serial adulterer man-whore on his third marriage, claim that MY marriage is a threat to America .

So it’s time to hit the “mute” button for a bit. Not indefinitely, but for a week or so. Instead of reading  my news feed and getting a headache, I plan to take my husband’s hand and go for walk. We live in a magnificent city. It’s time to get out and enjoy Summer in London   (Yes we do have Summer here, this year I think it is on a Thursday…)

That way I will be refreshed and recharged and ready to comment on what happens next week in Cleveland and two weeks after that in Philadelphia.

Happy Summer everyone.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

What to expect next week in Cleveland, Ohio...

Here now,  is an exclusive sneak peak at the 2016 Republican National Convention, in Cleveland, Ohio..

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Happy Fourth of July

Wishing all of my fellow Americans, no matter where in the world they may be,  a Happy Independence Day.