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Saturday, June 24, 2017

T r u m p ’ s L i e s

Many Americans have become accustomed to President Trump’s lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we have catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office.

Jan. 21 “I wasn't a fan of Iraq. I didn't want to go into Iraq.” (He was for an invasion before he was against it.)Jan. 21 “A reporter for Time magazine — and I have been on their cover 14 or 15 times. I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time magazine.” (Trump was on the cover 11 times and Nixon appeared 55 times.)Jan. 23 “Between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused me to lose the popular vote.” (There's no evidence of illegal voting.)Jan. 25 “Now, the audience was the biggest ever. But this crowd was massive. Look how far back it goes. This crowd was massive.” (Official aerial photos show Obama's 2009 inauguration was much more heavily attended.)Jan. 25 “Take a look at the Pew reports (which show voter fraud.)” (The report never mentioned voter fraud.)Jan. 25 “You had millions of people that now aren't insured anymore.” (The real number is less than 1 million, according to the Urban Institute.)Jan. 25 “So, look, when President Obama was there two weeks ago making a speech, very nice speech. Two people were shot and killed during his speech. You can't have that.” (There were no gun homicide victims in Chicago that day.)Jan. 26 “We've taken in tens of thousands of people. We know nothing about them. They can say they vet them. They didn't vet them. They have no papers. How can you vet somebody when you don't know anything about them and you have no papers? How do you vet them? You can't.” (Vetting lasts up to two years.)Jan. 26 “I cut off hundreds of millions of dollars off one particular plane, hundreds of millions of dollars in a short period of time. It wasn't like I spent, like, weeks, hours, less than hours, and many, many hundreds of millions of dollars. And the plane's going to be better.” (Most of the cuts were already planned.)Jan. 28 “Thr coverage about me in the @nytimes and the @washingtonpost gas been so false and angry that the times actually apologized to its dwindling subscribers and readers.” (It never apologized.)Jan. 29 “The Cuban-Americans, I got 84 percent of that vote.” (There is no support for this.)Jan. 30 “Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage” (At least 746 people were detained and processed, and the Delta outage happened two days later.)Feb. 3 “Professional anarchists, thugs and paid protesters are proving the point of the millions of people who voted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” (There is no evidence of paid protesters.)Feb. 4 “After being forced to apologize for its bad and inaccurate coverage of me after winning the election, the FAKE NEWS @nytimes is still lost!” (It never apologized.)Feb. 5 “We had 109 people out of hundreds of thousands of travelers and all we did was vet those people very, very carefully.” (About 60,000 people were affected.)Feb. 6 “I have already saved more than $700 million when I got involved in the negotiation on the F-35.” (Much of the price drop was projected before Trump took office.)Feb. 6 “It's gotten to a point where it is not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it.” (Terrorism has been reported on, often in detail.)Feb. 6 “The failing @nytimes was forced to apologize to its subscribers for the poor reporting it did on my election win. Now they are worse!” (It didn't apologize.)Feb. 6 “And the previous administration allowed it to happen because we shouldn't have been in Iraq, but we shouldn't have gotten out the way we got out. It created a vacuum, ISIS was formed.” (ISIS has existed since 2004.)Feb. 7 “And yet the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years, right? Did you know that? Forty-seven years.” (It was higher in the 1980s and '90s.)Feb. 7 “I saved more than $600 million. I got involved in negotiation on a fighter jet, the F-35.” (The Defense Department projected this price drop before Trump took office.)Feb. 9 “Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen. Blumenthal, never asked him about his long-term lie about his brave ‘service’ in Vietnam. FAKE NEWS!” (It was part of Cuomo's first question.)Feb. 9 Sen. Richard Blumenthal “now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?” (The Gorsuch comments were later corroborated.)Feb. 10 “I don’t know about it. I haven’t seen it. What report is that?” (Trump knew about Flynn's actions for weeks.)Feb. 12 “Just leaving Florida. Big crowds of enthusiastic supporters lining the road that the FAKE NEWS media refuses to mention. Very dishonest!” (The media did cover it.)Feb. 16 “We got 306 because people came out and voted like they've never seen before so that's the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.” (George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama all won bigger margins in the Electoral College.)Feb. 16 “That’s the other thing that was wrong with the travel ban. You had Delta with a massive problem with their computer system at the airports.” (Delta's problems happened two days later.)Feb. 16 “Walmart announced it will create 10,000 jobs in the United States just this year because of our various plans and initiatives.” (The jobs are a result of its investment plans announced in October 2016.)Feb. 16 “When WikiLeaks, which I had nothing to do with, comes out and happens to give, they’re not giving classified information.” (Not always. They have released classified information in the past.)Feb. 16 “We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban. But we had a bad court. Got a bad decision.” (The rollout was chaotic.)Feb. 16 “They’re giving stuff — what was said at an office about Hillary cheating on the debates. Which, by the way, nobody mentions. Nobody mentions that Hillary received the questions to the debates.” (It was widely covered.)Feb. 18 “And there was no way to vet those people. There was no documentation. There was no nothing.” (Refugees receive multiple background checks, taking up to two years.)Feb. 18 “You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?” (Trump implied there was a terror attack in Sweden, but there was no such attack.)Feb. 24 “By the way, you folks are in here — this place is packed, there are lines that go back six blocks.” (There was no evidence of long lines.)Feb. 24 “ICE came and endorsed me.” (Only its union did.)Feb. 24 “Obamacare covers very few people — and remember, deduct from the number all of the people that had great health care that they loved that was taken away from them — it was taken away from them.” (Obamacare increased coverage by a net of about 20 million.)Feb. 27 “Since Obamacare went into effect, nearly half of the insurers are stopped and have stopped from participating in the Obamacare exchanges.” (Many fewer pulled out.)Feb. 27 “On one plane, on a small order of one plane, I saved $725 million. And I would say I devoted about, if I added it up, all those calls, probably about an hour. So I think that might be my highest and best use.” (Much of the price cut was already projected.)Feb. 28 “And now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that.” (NATO countries agreed to meet defense spending requirements in 2014.)Feb. 28 “The E.P.A.’s regulators were putting people out of jobs by the hundreds of thousands.” (There's no evidence that the Waters of the United States rule caused severe job losses.)Feb. 28 “We have begun to drain the swamp of government corruption by imposing a five-year ban on lobbying by executive branch officials.” (They can't lobby their former agency but can still become lobbyists.)March 3 “It is so pathetic that the Dems have still not approved my full Cabinet.” (Paperwork for the last two candidates was still not submitted to the Senate.)March 4 “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” (There's no evidence of a wiretap.)March 4 “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!” (There's no evidence of a wiretap.)March 7 “122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision!” (113 of them were released by President George W. Bush.)March 13 “I saved a lot of money on those jets, didn't I? Did I do a good job? More than $725 million on them.” (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)March 13 “First of all, it covers very few people.” (About 20 million people gained insurance under Obamacare.)March 15 “On the airplanes, I saved $725 million. Probably took me a half an hour if you added up all of the times.” (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)March 17 “I was in Tennessee — I was just telling the folks — and half of the state has no insurance company, and the other half is going to lose the insurance company.” (There's at least one insurer in every Tennessee county.)March 20 “With just one negotiation on one set of airplanes, I saved the taxpayers of our country over $700 million.” (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)March 21 “To save taxpayer dollars, I’ve already begun negotiating better contracts for the federal government — saving over $700 million on just one set of airplanes of which there are many sets.” (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)March 22 “I make the statement, everyone goes crazy. The next day they have a massive riot, and death, and problems.” (Riots in Sweden broke out two days later and there were no deaths.)March 22 “NATO, obsolete, because it doesn’t cover terrorism. They fixed that.” (It has fought terrorism since the 1980s.)March 22 “Well, now, if you take a look at the votes, when I say that, I mean mostly they register wrong — in other words, for the votes, they register incorrectly and/or illegally. And they then vote. You have tremendous numbers of people.” (There's no evidence of widespread voter fraud.)March 29 “Remember when the failing @nytimes apologized to its subscribers, right after the election, because their coverage was so wrong. Now worse!” (It didn't apologize.)March 31 “We have a lot of plants going up now in Michigan that were never going to be there if I — if I didn’t win this election, those plants would never even think about going back. They were gone.” (These investments were already planned.)April 2 “And I was totally opposed to the war in the Middle East which I think finally has been proven, people tried very hard to say I wasn’t but you’ve seen that it is now improving.” (He was for an invasion before he was against it.)April 2 “Now, my last tweet — you know, the one that you are talking about, perhaps — was the one about being, in quotes, wiretapped, meaning surveilled. Guess what, it is turning out to be true.” (There is still no evidence.)April 5 “You have many states coming up where they’re going to have no insurance company. O.K.? It’s already happened in Tennessee. It’s happening in Kentucky. Tennessee only has half coverage. Half the state is gone. They left.” (Every marketplace region in Tennessee had at least one insurer.)April 6 “If you look at the kind of cost-cutting we’ve been able to achieve with the military and at the same time ordering vast amounts of equipment — saved hundreds of millions of dollars on airplanes, and really billions, because if you take that out over a period of years it’s many billions of dollars — I think we’ve had a tremendous success.” (Much of the price cuts were already projected.)April 11 “I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late. I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve.” (He knew Steve Bannon since 2011.)April 12 “You can't do it faster, because they're obstructing. They're obstructionists. So I have people — hundreds of people that we're trying to get through. I mean you have — you see the backlog. We can't get them through.” (At this point, he had not nominated anyone for hundreds of positions.)April 12 “The New York Times said the word wiretapped in the headline of the first edition. Then they took it out of there fast when they realized.” (There were two headlines, but neither were altered.)April 12 “The secretary general and I had a productive discussion about what more NATO can do in the fight against terrorism. I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change, and now they do fight terrorism.” (NATO has been engaged in counterterrorism efforts since the 1980s.)April 12 “Mosul was supposed to last for a week and now they’ve been fighting it for many months and so many more people died.” (The campaign was expected to take months.)April 16 “Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over!” (There's no evidence of paid protesters.)April 18 “The fake media goes, ‘Donald Trump changed his stance on China.’ I haven’t changed my stance.” (He did.)April 21 “On 90 planes I saved $725 million. It's actually a little bit more than that, but it's $725 million.” (Much of the price cuts were already projected.)April 21 “When WikiLeaks came out … never heard of WikiLeaks, never heard of it.” (He criticized it as early as 2010.)April 27 “I want to help our miners while the Democrats are blocking their healthcare.” (The bill to extend health benefits for certain coal miners was introduced by a Democrat and was co-sponsored by mostly Democrats.)April 28 “The trade deficit with Mexico is close to $70 billion, even with Canada it’s $17 billion trade deficit with Canada.” (The U.S. had an $8.1 billion trade surplus, not deficit, with Canada in 2016.)April 28 “She's running against someone who's going to raise your taxes to the sky, destroy your health care, and he's for open borders — lots of crime.” (Those are not Jon Ossoff's positions.)April 28 “The F-35 fighter jet program — it was way over budget. I’ve saved $725 million plus, just by getting involved in the negotiation.” (Much of the price cuts were planned before Trump.)April 29 “They're incompetent, dishonest people who after an election had to apologize because they covered it, us, me, but all of us, they covered it so badly that they felt they were forced to apologize because their predictions were so bad.” (The Times did not apologize.)April 29 “As you know, I've been a big critic of China, and I've been talking about currency manipulation for a long time. But I have to tell you that during the election, number one, they stopped.” (China stopped years ago.)April 29 “I've already saved more than $725 million on a simple order of F-35 planes. I got involved in the negotiation.” (Much of the price cuts were planned before Trump.)April 29 “We're also getting NATO countries to finally step up and contribute their fair share. They've begun to increase their contributions by billions of dollars, but we are not going to be satisfied until everyone pays what they owe.” (The deal was struck in 2014.)April 29 “When they talk about currency manipulation, and I did say I would call China, if they were, a currency manipulator, early in my tenure. And then I get there. Number one, they — as soon as I got elected, they stopped.” (China stopped in 2014.)April 29 “I was negotiating to reduce the price of the big fighter jet contract, the F-35, which was totally out of control. I will save billions and billions and billions of dollars.” (Most of the cuts were planned before Trump.)April 29 “I think our side's been proven very strongly. And everybody's talking about it.” (There's still no evidence Trump's phones were tapped.)May 1 “Well, we are protecting pre-existing conditions. And it'll be every good — bit as good on pre-existing conditions as Obamacare.” (The bill weakens protections for people with pre-existing conditions.)May 1 “The F-35 fighter jet — I saved — I got involved in the negotiation. It's 2,500 jets. I negotiated for 90 planes, lot 10. I got $725 million off the price.” (Much of the price cuts were planned before Trump.)May 1 “First of all, since I started running, they haven't increased their — you know, they have not manipulated their currency. I think that was out of respect to me and the campaign.” (China stopped years ago.)May 2 “I love buying those planes at a reduced price. I have been really — I have cut billions — I have to tell you this, and they can check, right, Martha? I have cut billions and billions of dollars off plane contracts sitting here.” (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)May 4 “Number two, they’re actually not a currency [manipulator]. You know, since I’ve been talking about currency manipulation with respect to them and other countries, they stopped.” (China stopped years ago.)May 4 “We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world.” (We're not.)May 4 “Nobody cares about my tax return except for the reporters.” (Polls show most Americans do care.)May 8 “You know we’ve gotten billions of dollars more in NATO than we’re getting. All because of me.” (The deal was struck in 2014.)May 8 “But when I did his show, which by the way was very highly rated. It was high — highest rating. The highest rating he’s ever had.” (Colbert's “Late Show” debut had nearly two million more viewers.)May 8 “Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows- there is ‘no evidence’ of collusion w/ Russia and Trump.” (Clapper only said he wasn't aware of an investigation.)May 12 “Again, the story that there was collusion between the Russians & Trump campaign was fabricated by Dems as an excuse for losing the election.” (The F.B.I. was investigating before the election.)May 12 “When James Clapper himself, and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt, says there is no collusion, when does it end?” (Clapper said he wouldn't have been told of an investigation into collusion.)May 13 “I'm cutting the price of airplanes with Lockheed.” (The cost cuts were planned before he became president.)May 26 “Just arrived in Italy for the G7. Trip has been very successful. We made and saved the USA many billions of dollars and millions of jobs.” (He's referencing an arms deal that's not enacted and other apparent deals that weren't announced on the trip.)June 1 “China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. So, we can’t build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement. India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020.” (The agreement doesn’t allow or disallow building coal plants.)June 1 “I’ve just returned from a trip overseas where we concluded nearly $350 billion of military and economic development for the United States, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.” (Trump’s figures are inflated and premature.)June 4 “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’” (The mayor was specifically talking about the enlarged police presence on the streets.)June 5 “The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.” (Trump signed this version of the travel ban, not the Justice Department.)June 21 “They all say it's 'nonbinding.' Like hell it's nonbinding.” (The Paris climate agreement is nonbinding — and Trump said so in his speech announcing the withdrawal.)June 21 “Right now, we are one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.” (We're not.)

  From:
 https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/23/opinion/trumps-lies.html?_r=0 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Emasculating the ACA

  The Republican  senators are in the process of  emasculating the ACA.  They are doing it in a disgraceful, unprecedented way.  They are meeting behind closed doors and preparing to spring it on the American people.  There will be no hearings and no debate.  In contrast, before the ACA was passed there were over 100 hearings.  Republicans proposed   numerous amendments which were put to a vote.  Even though the the meetings are done in secret, this much we know.  Their proposal will deny medical coverage to millions, primarily the poor.  It will deny accessible medical care for children.  It will deny accessible health care to millions of women.  The list goes on.
      Senator Stabenow explained the rationale behind the Republican evil plan.  They will cut tens of billions of dollars from the medicaid budget.  They will then have plenty of funds to pass a massive tax cut which will benefit primarily the top 1% of tax payers.  In other words this is a massive takeaway from the poor to give to the rich.
       I simply do not get how they can sleep at night, but I guess they do.  This bill is opposed by every major medical organization in the United States.  Among those are the AMA and the AHA.  Senator Stabenow told a group of supporters that the AARP has its "hair on fire" over this bill.  It is inconceivable to me that none of the Republicans are listening to these groups, not to mention their own citizens.  Senator Stabenow truly believes there is a possibility of stopping this runaway train through massive public opposition.  I have been supplied with a list of Republican Senators who may be on the fence.  I implore you to call, write or e mail.  There is very little time left.  I have found that by and large the staffers are very polite, even those working for the worst of the worst.  Once you make the calls, you will feel great.  There is no law against calling all Republican senators if you want.  When I make my calls I emphasize the opposition of all major medical organizations as well as the AARP.
      Even though most Senators accept calls from non residents of their states, the most effective calls are those which come from their own constituents.  This e mail reaches people in about 7 states.  If you are not citizens of the states of the senators listed below, please go through all of your contacts to see if you know anyone from the states below.  You can pass on this e mail.  If we show these birds, that there is  massive opposition to their plan, there is a possibility of winning.  One more thing,Senators Flake and Heller  are up for reelection in 2018.  So here is the list:
                         1. Shelley Moore Capito, West Virgina
                             172 Russell Senate Office Bldg
                              Washington D.C. 20510
                              202-224-6472
                              capito.senate.gov

                          2. Susan Collins, Maine
                              413 Dirkson Senate Office Bldg.
                              20510
                              collins.senate.gov

                           3. Cory Gardner, Colorado
                               354 Russell Senate Office Bldg. 20510
                               202-224-5941
                               gardner.senate.gov

                           4.  Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
                                522 Hart Senate Office Bldg
                                202-224-6665
                                murkowski.senate.gov

                            5. Rob Portman, Ohio
                               448 Russelll Senate Office Bldg
                               202-224-3353
                               portman.senate.gov

                            6. Dean Heller, Nevada
                                324 Hart Senate Office Bldg
                                202-224-6244
                                heller.senate.gov.

                            7. Bill Cassidy, Louisiana
                                703 Hart Senate Office Bldg
                                202-224-5824
                                cassidy.senate.gov

                            8. Jeff Flake, Arizona
                                413 Russell Senate Office  bldg
                                202-224-4521
                                flake.senate.gov

                            9. Ben Sasse, Nebraska
                                136 Russell Senate Office Bldg.
                                202-224-4224
                                sasse.senate.gov

      Our country can survive this monstrous era if we continue to speak out.  Thanks in advance.
          

--

                                                                           Richard

Monday, June 12, 2017

Comey testimony

    I was lucky enough to watch the entire Comey testimony.  It was riveting.  Today's New York Times and Washington Post are filled with professional  analyses.   Let me give my layman's view.
       Comey was a compelling witness.  His testimony was filled with nuggets which can lead to Frump's demise.  I would not give Comey a "ten", however.  I think at times he was overly kind to Frump.
     I think one of the most striking parts of his testimony was when he described a meeting with top deputies in the FBI.  They were trying to decide on how to respond to Frump asking whether he was under investigation.  One top deputy felt that they should not say he was not under investigation.  Comey overruled his deputy.  I think the deputy was right.  Comey could have said that Frump was not under investigation at that time , but he could not predict where the investigation would lead.  He also could have said it at the hearing. Now Frump claims that Comey completely vindicated him.  That is, of course, a lie.  But I wish that Comey had not given Frump the opening.
     For me, highlights were the opening and closing statements by Chairman Burr.  He could not have been more solicitous to Comey.  His praise of Comey was spectacular.  In fact, all of the Republicans seemed to give Comey the highest respect.  This was true even after Comey called Frump a liar in no uncertain terms.  
        I could go on and on, but I am sure you have seen and read  many of the analysis.  I want to finish with Nancy Pelosi's appearance on Morning Joe this morning.  She was spectacular.  If you did not see it, try to find it on You Tube.  Here are a couple of nuggets.  She said that shortly after the inauguration top congressional leaders from both parties meet with the newly elected president.  It is generally a feel good meeting with outward cordiality.  Pelosi had attended these meetings with Bush and Obama.  Frump opened the meeting by declaring that as everyone knows, he won the popular vote.  Pelosi responded by saying there was no evidence of that.  How bizarre was that.
      She said that starting with George H. W. Bush and going through every president, their first foreign visits were either to Canada or Mexico.  Why in the world did Frump chose Saudi Arabia?
     She said that Frump observers have described how he tries to get his way.  First, he tries to charm you.  If that doesn't work, he tries to bully you.  If that doesn't work he walks away.  And if that doesn't work, he sues you.  Pelosi was asked if she has been charmed by Frump.  She said that she finds his charm repulsive.  There was much more to the segment.  It is a must watch.
       To sum up, Comey gave Frump and his sycophants some talking points.  But the substance of his testimony amounts to more nails in the coffin of Frump's only term in office.  If  someone flip's on Frump, he's toast.  If the Russian investigation turns out collusion, he's toast.  If the Russians are found to be blackmailing him, he's toast.  I think all of those are possibilities.  Stay tuned.
      
           --

                                                                           Richard

Monday, June 5, 2017

Debbie Stabenow

    Michigan is blessed with two outstanding senators,  One, Debbie Stabenow is up for reelection in 2018.  As much as we hate the prolonged election process, it is a fact of life. The evil forces attempting to defeat Debbie have already ramped up.  So must she.
      On Friday Debbie addressed an overflow crowd in a town hall type meeting in Petoskey.  She was great, as always.  She spoke elequantly 
 about a number of issues.  Foremost were health care, protecting the Great Lakes, providing for the less fortunate,caring for the elderly and children, refocusing the economy toward the future and not the past.  Regarding the Great Lakes, I hope you all saw Debbie's put down of Mike Mulvaney when he gave his explanation for defunding efforts to save the Great Lakes.  It was classic.
      Her disdain for the president was palpable.   She explained how a number of his policies are totally disastrous.  She gave hope that Republicans may peel off him when they see their reelection prospects are in trouble.
      A highlight was in the Q and A.  She was asked whether in the privacy of Congress, away from the cameras, Republicans are expressing their concern with Frump.  She said, "absolutely".  She has heard discussions among Republicans about the 25th amendment which provides a mechanism for removal of the president;  She never in her senatorial career expected to hear such talk.
     She stated that as of Friday, there was only one announced Republican candidate for her seat.  That would be Lena Epstein.  I have followed Ms. Epstein's brief and horrible foray into politics.  She headed the Michigan for Trump campaign.  When the access Hollywood tape came out, her response was that she wouldn't want Trump to be her child's Sunday school teacher, but he wasn't running for Sunday school, he was running for president.  Ms. Epstein is not a stupid person.  But her politics are horrible.  On a personal note, I  often look at the world through a Jewish perspective.  I always look for Jews in the worlds of sports, arts and politics. All other things being equal, I would like to support Jewish politicians.  In Ms. Epstein's case, there is not a chance in the world that I could support this person.
      Debbie is one of ten Democratic senators up for reelection who are in states that voted for Trump. The Koch brothers have targeted Debbie.  In addition she vociferously opposed Betsy DeVos.  The DeVos family and its cronies have limitless amounts of money to spend against Debbie.  I firmly believe that raising the most money is not the sine quo non for winning elections. Our candidate will win because of the quality of the person. On the other hand, there must be a sufficient amount of money to respond to the vicious attacks which are sure to come.  
    Kathryn and I had hoped to be done with politics once Hillary got elected.  So much for our best laid plans.  Over the course of the next year and a half we will be doing whatever we can to make sure that Debbie remains our beloved senator.  I hope you will as well. Take care all.


                                                                           Richard

Thursday, June 1, 2017

2018 midterm elections



"OK, America, let me explain a few things before this impeachment euphoria gets too out of hand. No, Republicans are not simpletons who can't see Trump is a freakish caricature of a president. They don't care about Trump. If he hangs by his own petard, so be it. Or, if he is pushed off the impeachment cliff, it matters not to them. He is a useful idiot who will help them replace two or three more Supreme Court justices, one of their four sacred goals.

First, the GOP wants to move the Supreme Court to be permanently conservative, something they can easily accomplish in the next four years. Then, the GOP wants to gut every New Deal and Great Society social program, which means killing Medicaid, privatizing Social Security, and weakening Medicare. Their third goal is to enact regressive taxes that make corporate taxes even more avoidable and remove any tax that doesn't redistribute wealth to the wealthy. Finally, their fourth goal is to decimate the regulatory power of the Federal government, including its control over public lands, healthcare, education, labor law, unions, postal services, civil rights, and voting protections. Basically, their dream of shrinking the Federal government is within their grasp.

So, Trump twisting in the wind is just a party favor for them as they tear down the temple. Imagine the GOP torching the Capitol, then barricading all roads to stop firemen from getting close enough to fight the fires. They need Trump in office long enough to get their bills signed and when the inevitable happens, they get Pence, a smoother, smarter vandal than Trump.

So, stop begging Republicans to interrupt their orgy of right-wing looting and pillaging. They aren't listening to you or any of your protests! The only thing that can stop them is the 2018 midterm elections! And even then, they have gerrymandered to the point that only a complete electoral shift and Democratic Party tsunami to the polls will change the outcome. They don't think Trump is endangering America. He is their boy while they "save" America by destroying the Federal Government.

When more than half the registered voters thought email servers, Russian fake-news plants, Bernie bros, Clinton fatigue, and sheer apathy were worth staying home for, we elected Trump. He isn't the problem. An unchecked, feckless GOP is the problem!

Unless 2018 gives the Senate to the Dems and erodes the GOP death grip on the House, you can kiss America goodbye and stop calling our nation the Leader of the Free World. And for all you third-party supporters who say the two-party system is a failure, hope you enjoy a one-party system. Why? Because America is just 18 months away from finding out what that's like....unless you begin the work of getting out the vote."

From David M. Roos (who worked at Democratic Party of Virginia and studied at Florida Atlantic University):
 

John McCain

   I am on the opposite end of the political spectrum from John McCain.  There is however much to admire about him.  Despite Frump's comment, McCain is a hero.  He did not take an offer to leave the Hanoi prison until all prisoners were released.  He rebuked a supporter for making a racist comment about then candidate Obama. He is standing up to Frump more than any of his chickens*** colleagues in the senate.  Now for his wisdom.  He said that he considers  Russia a far greater threat to our democracy than ISIS.  This is a less than subtle attack on Frump.
      Perhaps President Franklin Roosevelt's most memorable speech was"we have nothing to fear but fear itself" Roosevelt's words helped calm a frightened nation.  Winston Churchill did the same for Great Britain.
        I listened to Frump's speech in Saudi Arabia.  He did nothing but fear monger.  Almost the entire speech was devoted to terrorism.  This is consistent with his unconstitutional travel ban.  Frump's words are in direct contrast to not only Roosevelt and Churchill,  but also to George W. Bush after 9/11. Rather than confronting fear, he promotes it. 
        I don't want to minimize the threat of terrorism.  There are truly evil and/or deranged people who revel in killing innocent people.  I think that terrorism will be a fact of life for the foreseeable future.  But let's put it in perspective.  The death toll for 9/11 was 2997.  From 2002 to 2014 there has been a total of 53 people killed in the United States by terrorist attacks.  Without a doubt our security services haveand will continue to thwart terrorist attacks.  While such attacks are a fact of life, we should not succumb  to fear.  If we do, the terrorists win.  Another way to put this in perspective. there have been 440,000 deaths from gun violence in the United States between 2001 and 2014.  
      I recently heard from a woman who would not go to Paris because of the recent acts of terrorism.  If everyone felt that way, the terrorists win.  The Paris metropolitan area has a population of more than 10 million people.  The chance of being injured or killed in a terrorist attack, whether in New York, Boston, Paris, Brussels or Manchester is infinitesmal.  The people of Manchester have demonstrated that they will not be cowed by fear.  Kathryn and I visited New York shortly after 9/11.   Everywhere we went people expressed gratitude for us being there.  New York has rebounded incredibly to the body blow it took.
       So this brings me back to the wisdom of McCain.  He is exactly right.  Russia has interfered with the core of our democracy.  Frump dismisses the threat from Russia and revels in the hateful rhetoric of fear.  I have heard  a couple of Republican Senators agree with McCain.  If the ongoing investigations into the Frump/Russia connection are serious, maybe we are seeing the beginning of the end.  Let's hope.
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                                                                             Richard Lenter

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Trump in Saudi Arabia

  There is so much news about Frump everyday that by the time I get around to sending an email there are multiple new stories to write about.  So this is a two day old email that has been bouncing around my cranium.
       I took anti nausea medication and listened to most of Frump's speech.  I thought his speech  was as good as he could do.  This is, however, a very low bar.  He was not bombastic.  He stayed on script, reading as best he could  from his teleprompter.  He actually mentioned Netanyahu as well as the State Of Israel.  
      My praise of Frump ends there.  His entire speech was almost entirely about fear mongering.  Basically all he spoke about was terrorism.  He could not have been more effusive in his praise for Saudi Arabia.  He said he was not going to lecture about how the Saudis should act.  This was a code  for not addressing human rights.  For that reason I have attached an article about women's rights in Saudi Arabia. It is chilling. In addition to denying women basic human rights, Saudi Arabia does not have anything resembling democracy,  It has nothing resembling a decent legal system.  In fact it practices an extreme form of Sharia law.  It jails dissidents.  It does not allow freedom of speech and assembly.  It still blames women who are victims of rape.  Its death penalty rate is sky high.  And we can never forget that the roots of 911 are in Saudi Arabia. I could go on.
      For me the worst part of Frump's speech was his hateful demonization of Iran.  I recognize that Iran does bad things.  Iran, however, has a system which is much closer to being a democracy than Saudi Arabia.  Look at the results of its last election. Its women  have much higher levels of education than in Saudi Arabia.  Its women are actually allowed to drive. Irani  women are not required to have a male guardian from the time they are born to the time they die, as in Saudi Arabia. Its young  people have shown time and again that they want better relations with the United States. There is clearly a second revolution taking place in Iran. President Obama was brilliant in trying to bring Iran into the  the world order rather than radicalizing the country.  If that continues we can have a more peaceful planet.   Frump continues the lie that the Iran nuclear deal was a disaster.  Frump bragged at an AIPAC convention that he knows more about the nuclear deal than anyone.  Many of the delegates could barely contain their laughter.   I wish I could bet right now that Frump could not name the countries which were signatories to the Iran Nuclear deal, let alone recite any of its provisions.  Fortunately, up to this point, Frump has not carried through his threat to rip up the Iran deal.  Hopefully,  it will be one more example of his disingenuousness.   
       Frump's speech did nothing to assuage my fear of what the future holds under this crazy man.  The news between the Saudi speech and today, however, suggest that his time in office may be short lived.  Let's hope.  Take care.

                                                                                    Richard