Archive for the ‘#clinton’ Tag

Why Do We Focus on A Person Instead of What Matters?   1 comment

When Bill Clinton was president,  he was taking the country in a direction that many of us were uncomfortable with. This created push-back. The conservative movement had been around for a long time as a group of writers and commentators who mostly talked among themselves, but hadn’t real political power over the 20 years of its existence. In the prior few years since Reagan had set aside the decidedly-unfair Fairness Doctrine, conservative talk radio had given them a larger voice and wakened up a lot of people to the difference between what they valued and what Bill Clinton wanted.

Image result for image of donald trumpThe conservative push-back against Bill Clinton resulted in the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives for the first time since 1940. And for a brief exciting time, we saw principles being discussed. As a young mother struggling to raise our daughter while my husband was in school, it was exciting to hear that those on welfare would now be expected to work if they wanted to receive benefits and that there would be limits set on how long they could receive those benefits. I could hope my taxes (what the government was stealing from my paycheck to give to these deadbeats — and yeah, they were deadbeats) might go down eventually.

But something happened. The conversation shifted from principles (reducing government, spending less, taxing less, taking responsibility for your own life) to a person – Bill Clinton. Make no mistake, Bill Clinton isn’t a good guy. He’s a sexual predator. There’s certainly been plenty of evidence looked at and ignored over the years that he and Hillary are crooks. That is not my point. I want to understand why we started talking about what he was doing while president rather than about how his policies were affecting us and why we needed to change those policies?

I think it has something to do with the danger to the State of that line of thinking. The last thing any president wants is to have his power curtailed and that’s where the conservative conversation would have eventually led. As people rediscovered the Founders and read the Constitution, people were beginning to understand that the power of the presidency had grown incredibly over the last 100 years. And understanding that might lead to the people demanding the presidency be scaled back to Founding Era power levels.

The co-opting of the conservative movement was subtle and it certainly had help from Bill Clinton’s sexual immorality, but we’ve not really moved beyond that dynamic. When Bush 2 was president, the liberal-progressives mostly talked about him. They hated him, even though it is hard to see why. He expanded federal control over the local education systems. He expanded Medicare. He gave them a lot of pet projects they’d been dreaming of since the 1994 Contract of America had set them back on their heels. But despite him giving them what they wanted, they hated him.

The other day on Twitter someone posted that “evangelical Christians have gotten over Trump’s sinful ways, but they still haven’t gotten over Obama being black.” I called baloney on that. I never cared about Obama being black. I don’t know any (white) evangelical Christians who are racists and cared about the color of his skin. They objected to his policies and you can be against the policies of a president without it being racial. Obama’s policies STANK for the middle- and working-classes. We were drowning and he was throwing us anchors that shut down the businesses that paid us to work for them rather than lifelines that would keep us afloat until the economy recovered. That had nothing to do with the color of his skin and everything to do with how his policies were affecting us.

So, now Donald Trump is president. I don’t like him personally (which is why I didn’t vote for him). But some of his policies seem to have had a great effect on the economy and that helps many evangelical Christians who are working- and -middle-class. So many of them are willing to ignore who he is as a person and support him because of his policies. Heck, if this economy continues, he might get my vote in 2020.

But probably not simply because there are other policies of his that I object to and I am a policy voter. I didn’t vote for Mitt Romney because his policies didn’t match my values. Did I think he would be better for the economy than Barack Obama? No, not really. He would have gone even further into Obamacare and probably tweaked it so it “succeeded”  until most people began to think they couldn’t live without it. I’m all about people being responsible for themselves, so I didn’t like Mitt Romney, the Republican socialist, so I didn’t vote for him.

I do have a point with this post. The problem with politics is not really with who we have in the White House. It’s taken a long time for me to get to this place, but I’ve come to understand that the presidency itself is the problem with government and has been pretty much from the beginning. It has too much power. It can write its own laws through executive orders. It has so many loopholes where it doesn’t have to work with Congress to get things done. It doesn’t matter if there’s a Republican in the office or a Democrat. Both have too much power and they follow policies that harm people. It’s a problem with the Institution of the Presidency not with the guy or gal who sits in the leather seat behind the nice desk in the uniquely shaped office.

Sanctions? For What?   2 comments

I didn’t vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but the main reason I would have voted for Donald Trump rather than Hillary Clinton (for example, had I had a gun to my head and was required to vote for one or the other) was because of his relaxed stance toward Russia.

I have an 18-year-old son and a 24-year-old daughter, both now eligible for the draft — though the daughter has not yet been required to register. Thank you, President Obama, for balancing the ying-yang of male-female relations and requiring both genders to be killed in wars you start. That retroactively confirmed why I was right not to vote for you. I thought it was because you admire Marxist African dictators and have zero understanding of economics, but in reality, I voted against you because you’re a warmonger who never saw an 18-year-old you didn’t want to die in a war … unless, of course, they are your daughters.

But back to the moment ….

President Trump came into office talking strong defense without going to war. Okay, if I hadn’t had a third option who actually would have been a good president, that was a bit of weight in his direction since Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State had encouraged the Obama administration to advance two wars and get involved in four others and then bragged about it in her book Hard Choices. That was a recipe for my children being killed in one of her dirty little wars and so, if I hadn’t of loathed her before, I would not have voted for her in 2016. Disliking Trump’s misogyny simply didn’t outweigh Clinton’s warmonging and utter lack of diplomatic skills, which would likely endanger my children’s lives.

So, now, having won in part because of his stated desire to get along with the Russians (if not China), President Trump is now eager to sign sanctions against the country and says he will do so as soon as Congress forwards them to him.

I was encouraged when, after the election, Donald Trump decided to get along with China. I figure getting along with other countries is a better choice than not getting along with them and it’s really not our business what they do within their own borders … just as it is not their business what we do within ours.

So, whatever happened to getting along with Russia? Well, the Democrats (and there is increasing evidence that the Obama White House and Hillary Clinton were involved) cooked up an excuse for their anointed queen to have lost the 2016 election. It couldn’t be her hawkish war stance, her lack of any economic understanding, her attacking the women her husband assaulted, or her calling 40% of the electorate irredeemable deplorables. No, it had to be something far more insidious … like Russian operatives “interfering” in the election.

Let’s be clear about this. The backed emails came from Julian Assange of Wikileaks, who has never claimed anyone gave him that information. His organization has proven itself quite capable of doing its own hacking.

Moreover, there is no evidence that our actual election system was hacked. It would be virtually impossible to do so anyway. There are only three states with electronic voting machines. Those have had issues in the past, but an investigation showed they worked fine in 2016. One of the glories of our now-crippled federalist system is that elections are statewide affairs … even for the President of the United States. Ballot box stuffing is possible at the precinct level, but modern election practices would catch most of those.

So Wikileaks released information ahead of the US Presidential election that showed Hillary Clinton in a bad light. It’s recently come to light that Russia was the source for an anti-Trump report that came out around the same time. Both blocks of information served to improve the knowledge of the American public of the inner workings of the two major candidates for president. That’s a good thing! That’s what journalists are supposed to do and don’t. Assange and those mysterious Russian hackers did us a favor by informing us of information we the people had a right to know.

That’s not interference. That’s education.

So, now Trump wants to impose sanctions about Russian for “interfering in the election.” What does that tell us? That he didn’t have a deal with Russia to swing the US election in his favor? Perhaps. But more, it shows that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Instead of being friendly with Russia, President Trump has decided to risk a war with them instead.

Good going, Mr. President. You’ve fallen for the same stupidity that every other president since 1945 has fallen for. Let’s start another war that we don’t have the economic capacity to win. Let’s consume more young lives and end maybe set off World War 3. And, why?

Because, according to the elites in Congress, the American people apparently have no right to know the truth about their candidates, so it’s worth going to war to prevent such “interference” in our elections.

And, of course, journalists stroke the “Russia did it” line because they don’t want the American people to notice that Julian Assange did their jobs for them. But in case you’re wondering – Assange addressed this issue of Russian hacking the day of the election, before we even knew who the winner would be … when most of the opinion polls were showing that Hillary Clinton would be the winner.

https://wikileaks.org/Assange-Statement-on-the-US-Election.html

The FBI and Hillary Clinton   1 comment

Judge Andrew Napolitano

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/04/andrew-p-napolitano/the-fbi-and-hillary-again/

Last weekend, The New York Times published a long piece about the effect the FBI had on the outcome of the 2016 presidential campaign. As we all know, Donald Trump won a comfortable victory in the Electoral College while falling about 3 million votes behind Hillary Clinton in the popular vote.

Related imageI believe that Clinton was a deeply flawed candidate who failed to energize the Democratic Party base and who failed to deliver to the electorate a principled reason to vote for her. Yet when the Times reporters asked her why she believes she lost the race, she gave several answers, the first of which was the involvement of the FBI. She may be right.

Here is the back story.

Time to buy old US gold coins

In 2015, a committee of the House of Representatives that was investigating the deaths of four Americans at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, learned that the State Department had no copies of any emails sent or received by Clinton during her four years as secretary of state. When committee investigators pursued this — at the same time that attorneys involved with civil lawsuits brought against the State Department seeking the Clinton emails were pursuing it — it was revealed that Clinton had used her own home servers for her emails and bypassed the State Department servers.

Because many of her emails obviously contained government secrets and because the removal of government secrets to any non-secure venue constitutes espionage, the House Select Committee on Benghazi sent a criminal referral to the Department of Justice, which passed it on to the FBI. A congressionally issued criminal referral means that some members of Congress who have seen some evidence think that some crime may have been committed. The DOJ is free to reject the referral, yet it accepted this one.

It directed the FBI to investigate the facts in the referral and to refer to the investigation as a “matter,” not as a criminal investigation. The FBI cringed a bit, but Director James Comey followed orders and used the word “matter.” This led to some agents mockingly referring to him as the director of the Federal Bureau of Matters. It would not be the last time agents mocked or derided him in the Clinton investigation.

He should not have referred to it by any name, because under DOJ and FBI regulations, the existence of an FBI investigation should not be revealed publicly unless and until it results in some public courtroom activity, such as the release of an indictment. These rules and procedures have been in place for generations to protect those never charged. Because of the role that the FBI has played in our law enforcement history — articulated in books and movies and manifested in our culture — many folks assume that if a person is being investigated by the FBI, she must have done something wrong.

In early July 2016, Clinton was personally interviewed in secret for about four hours by a team of FBI agents who had been working on her case for a year. During that interview, she professed great memory loss and blamed it on a head injury she said she had suffered in her Washington, D.C., home. Some of the agents who interrogated her disbelieved her testimony about the injury and, over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, asked Comey for permission to subpoena her medical records.

When Comey denied his agents the permission they sought, some of them attempted to obtain the records from the intelligence community. Because Clinton’s medical records had been digitally recorded by her physicians and because the FBI agents knew that the National Security Agency has digital copies of all keystrokes on all computers used in the U.S. since 2005, they sought Clinton’s records from their NSA colleagues. Lying to the FBI is a felony, and these agents believed they had just witnessed a series of lies.

When Comey learned what his creative agents were up to, he jumped the gun by holding a news conference on July 5, 2016, during which he announced that the FBI was recommending to the DOJ that it not seek Clinton’s indictment because “no reasonable prosecutor” would take the case. He then did the unthinkable. He outlined all of the damning evidence of guilt that the FBI had amassed against her.

This double-edged sword — we won’t charge her, but we have much evidence of her guilt — was unprecedented and unheard of in the midst of a presidential election campaign. Both Republicans and Democrats found some joy in Comey’s words. Yet his many agents who believed that Clinton was guilty of both espionage and lying were furious — furious that Comey had revealed so much, furious that he had demeaned their work, furious that he had stopped an investigation before it was completed.

While all this was going on, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton’s closest aide, Huma Abedin, was being investigated for using a computer to send sexually explicit materials to a minor. When the FBI asked for his computer — he had shared it with his wife — he surrendered it. When FBI agents examined the Weiner/Abedin laptop, they found about 650,000 stored emails, many from Clinton to Abedin, that they thought they had not seen before.

Rather than silently examine the laptop, Comey again violated DOJ and FBI regulations by announcing publicly the discovery of the laptop and revealing that his team suspected that it contained hundreds of thousands of Clinton emails; and he announced the reopening of the Clinton investigation. This announcement was made two weeks before Election Day and was greeted by the Trump campaign with great glee. A week later, Comey announced that the laptop was fruitless, and the investigation was closed, again.

At about the same time that the House Benghazi Committee sent its criminal referral to the DOJ, American and British intelligence became interested in a potential connection between the Trump presidential campaign and intelligence agents of the Russian government. This interest resulted in the now infamous year-plus-long electronic surveillance of Trump and many of his associates and colleagues. This also produced a criminal referral from the intelligence community to the DOJ, which sent it to the FBI.

Yet this referral and the existence of this investigation was kept — quite properly — from the press and the public. When Comey was asked about it, he — quite properly — declined to answer. When he was asked under oath whether he knew of any surveillance of Trump before Trump became president, Comey denied that he knew of it.

What was going on with the FBI?

How could Comey justify the public revelation of a criminal investigation and a summary of evidence of guilt about one candidate for president and remain silent about the existence of a criminal investigation of the campaign of another? How could he deny knowledge of surveillance that was well-known in the intelligence community, even among his own agents? Why would the FBI director inject his agents, who have prided themselves on professional political neutrality, into a bitterly contested campaign having been warned it might affect the outcome? Why did he reject the law’s just commands of silence in favor of putting his thumb on political scales?

I don’t know the answers to those questions. But the American public, and Hillary Clinton, is entitled to them.

Posted June 9, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in politics, Uncategorized

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#Free #Giveaway Continued   Leave a comment

Hullabaloo Front CoverThe giveaway for Hullabaloo on Main Street continues through the weekend.

For a committed democrat, it sure does suck when you lose an election.

You know what I mean?

Nearly half the country refuses to listen to the other half. We think we know what the other side means, but we never venture outside our own bubbles to actually find out.

#Libertarian Connor infiltrates both bubbles in a Midwestern town on Election Wednesday 2016 and brings readers along for a wry non-partisan tour of the “Bubble Battles.” He even offers a solution … not that any bubble dwellers will listen.

This #novelette is a work of #fiction based upon real-life events. Any resemblance to yourself or people you know is purely coincidental.

#Political #satire from a #nonpartisan perspective.

Are We About to Experience a Coup?   Leave a comment

We’re taught in school that America doesn’t suffer coups or revolutions because we have a great system. I’m starting to doubt that as I watch the run up to the Electoral College.

First, let’s be clear. I don’t care if Donald Trump becomes President of the United States. I don’t like him, but I don’t think he could do a worse job than Presidents Bush (both of them), Clinton (who was saved by Congress) and Obama (who doubled the national debt and turned Congress into a toothless reality show). I didn’t vote for Trump because I don’t want him to be president, but I don’t think the world is ending because he won.

Image result for image of coupOn the other hand, I care a great deal if Hillary Clinton becomes President of the United States. I have a son turning 18 this coming week and I don’t want to see him, and probably his 24-year-old sister too, marching off to war so HRC can wrap herself in glory. She has already proven with Libya that she is a warmonger seeking personal aggrandizement from sending men and now women into the line of fire.

This is reality. In keeping with the US Constitution, 51 states (including DC) held elections for President. Doing elections this way acknowledges the regional diversity of the United States and prevents widespread election fraud because no single agency controls the voting. It’s simply not possible to “hack” the US voting system because there are literally hundreds of voting systems because some states decentralize their elections to the county level. Donald Trump won the popular vote in 30 states, in keeping with the Constitution.

The “national popular vote” is a media fantasy. It doesn’t happen. What we see is 51 statewide popular elections for president. The media tries to create a false impression of a national popular vote, but it doesn’t exist. We have 51 statewide popular elections for President.

And Donald Trump won the Constitutional popular election in 30 states, so CONSTITUTIONALLY,  he was elected president.

Image result for image of obama as a dictatorA part of writing the Transformation Project series has involved researching organizations like the NSA, the CIA, and the FBI, going back to my foreign policy training back in college.  The CIA (them of the yellow-cake uranium) doesn’t do cyber spying to the degree that the NSA does. Yeah, that’s why Edward Snowden got the information he had while working as an NSA contractor, not back when he worked for the CIA.

As I watched President Obama arrogantly strut about talking about how he didn’t do anything against Russia for their alleged hacking of the DNC BEFORE the election, but now he “has to do something,” I thought “ah, here comes the coup.”

 

Obama, like all the elites, expected Hillary Clinton to win the election. Having been surprised by reality, they had to decide what to do next. When the Washington Post first published the accusations of the Russian hack of the DNC, I suspect it was the first step in a planned false flag operation by the DC machine to reverse the Constitutional election and keep power in the hands of the elite as represented by Hillary Rodham Clinton. She lost the election because she was the most despised presidential candidate in US history. People, perhaps made aware of her evil by the leaked emails of people like John Podesta, willingly went to the polls and voted against her. But, now, she’s whining that the Russians did it and the card-carrying members of the elite in both political parties are calling for a bi-partisan investigation.

 

 

I don’t really care if the Russians hacked Podesta’s email or the DNC because the emails that were put out there needed to be put out there. Hillary and her co-conspirators actually wrote those things and the voters had a right to know about that. They shouldn’t be faulted for voting according to what they learned from reading those emails. Their votes certainly shouldn’t be set aside because of it.

Actually, we know the Russians didn’t do the hack of either the DNC or John Podesta because the real cyber-intelligence experts at the NSA told us that the Russians weren’t behind the hack. That was in the Washington Post’s article, by the way.  Furthermore, if the FBI had evidence of someone participating in the hack on behalf of the Russians, that person would be under arrest, but nobody is. If Obama had any actual evidence, he should have produced it at the time, not waited until four days before the Electoral College meets to “reveal” this supposition in an attempt to influence the election.

So will the Electoral College gives the progressive elites what they want? I don’t know. But I do know that if they do it, it will be a coup … and the prelude to a already building revolution in this country. If you don’t placate the people with the ballot box, you risk sending them for the bullet box. This country is on edge and an unConstitutional seizure of power may well be the spark that sets us to shooting at one another. I don’t wan to see that, but if the elites are going to manipulate the elections process to take away the power of the people ….

What else are ordinary people left with if the elites won’t allow us to pick our master every four years.

 

Gender Betrayal   3 comments

Image result for image of hillary clinton in defeatThere are all sorts of reasons given for why Hillary Clinton didn’t win the presidency and Trump did. Prior to the election, I was pretty certain that Trump’s disgusting behavior toward women would cost him the election. I was wrong. Trump won white women by 53%.

What?! Yeah! You read that right. White women. by 53%.

Many progressives are venting their spleens on Huffington Post, Slate and elsewhere, claiming these women are traitors to their gender.  I’ve even been told I’m a traitor to my gender for voting for Gary Johnson. How dare a woman vote for a man when there was a woman running!

“White women sold out the sisterhood and the world by voting for Trump.” Slate Headline

A former communications director for the Clinton campaign told MSNBC that “internalized misogyny” led white women to support Trump.

Wow, climb out of your safe spaces and confront reality. If progressives want to blame women for Clinton’s lost, they should start with Hillary Clinton.

Clinton repeatedly misled the public about her off-the-books email system and became the first candidate in history to be under FBI investigation while campaigning to be president. That’s her fault. I didn’t do that. She did!

Clinton positioned herself as the anointed inheritor of President Barack Obama’s third term. She didn’t craft her own identity in an obviously anti-establishment year. She ran on all the policies Republicans opposed in previous elections, policies that led to the GOP winning record numbers of state legislative chambers, governors’ races, and control of Congress. That’s her fault. White women didn’t do that. She did!

Clinton never set foot in the state of Wisconsin, even though it’s home state to the Republican National Committee Chairman, the well-liked GOP speaker of the House and a governor who beat the labor unions in a contentious right-to-work battle. According to NBC News, Trump spent 50% more time in battleground states in the last 100 days of the election. That’s her fault. Nobody else did that.

Clinton ran a misguided campaign filled with miscalculations. Don’t say Clinton was disadvantaged because she was a woman, because as a Clinton she had every advantage possible. She had money, the staff, the ads and institutional support needed for a successful run. She squandered all those advantages and she lost.

Instead of reflexively blaming women, Democrats should ask themselves what they did to make Clinton more competitive.

While, both candidates and their campaigns were deeply flawed, there is a gaping difference between the way Republicans and Democrats.discussed those flaws. You can do a media study to prove this to yourself. Many Republicans spoke out consistently and repeatedly about their candidate’s flaws, using their public platforms to challenge the party to be better. The Democrats didn’t.

Even Clinton’s chief primary rival Bernie Sanders stood on the debate stage and refused to hold Clinton to account for her “damn emails.” And let’s face it – a 70-odd-year-old SOCIALIST senator made a credible run and beat the heavily favored front-runner in critical Midwest states. That should have jolted the Clinton team out of their “it’s my turn” stupor, but it didn’t. The Democratic Party protected Clinton like a fragile butterfly every step of the way. In hindsight, it’s no wonder she didn’t break the highest, hardest glass ceiling. She was treated as if she wasn’t strong enough to do so.

Maybe the Clinton camp honestly believed disgust for Trump would magically propel Republican voters to her. They underestimated conservative voters dislike of Clinton. She was a non-starter with actual conservatives a long time before she announced her candidacy. I knew I wouldn’t vote for her for President when she was still the First Lady. I was never tempted to vote for her just because I didn’t like Trump.

I’ve been asking why some of my friends who disliked Trump voted for him instead of her and this is what they say:

  • Clinton refused to call anything a terror attack even as the murderers yelled, “Allahu Akbar!” while committing heinous acts around the world.
  • She, and the Democrats, kept saying, “Obamacare is working!” while American families were being slammed with huge premiums and deductibles increases along with shrinking networks.
  • She didn’t seem to realize that the US economy has only “recovered” if you’re a member of the elite, really wealthy or a government-benefit recipient. For all the rest of us, the recession is still going on.
  • She refused to enforce US laws by promising amnesty to those who flout them.
  • She promised more taxes, spending and regulation even though our government is awash with debt, waste and bureaucracy.

This election proved that voters had bigger problems than Trump’s sexism, such as genuine fear of the future for themselves and their families. The “suck it up, buttercup” caucus prevailed and yes, our country will survive.

I’m not saying I’m not unsettled by Trump’s treatment toward women and minorities. It bothers me to know that a man who has displayed such disrespect for women in both his personal and professional life will soon be leader of the free world. I worry about my daughter, trying to make her way in this world, with a misogynist at the helm.

On the other hand, politics are full of compromises and ups and down and every 2 to 4 years, we get to correct the direction of the country … if it turns out the collective wisdom of the electorate was wrong. Trump won for reasons other than his misogyny and maybe we just need to wait a while and see. If he’s a sexist whose policies pull the economy out of the eight years of morass it’s been stuck in … all, then sexism is a tolerable flaw. I’m not married to him, after all.

The way I look at it, I’m not a traitor to my gender because I didn’t vote for Clinton. Alaska’s electoral votes wouldn’t have changed the election outcome anyway. I voted the way I voted because I have bigger issues than sexism to deal with. I worry about surviving in the coming economy, about whether my son is going to have to march off to war along with his sister. The black President proved what I already knew. The outside package of a candidate means a whole lot less than their policies do in how they will be as President. We need a President who wants to fix what’s wrong. We need a President who … isn’t Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but we didn’t get that this time, so ….

What will we decide to do in 202o? I hope we’ll be wiser than we are this time, but I doubt it.

Posted December 2, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Political Philosophy

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What If the Fix Was In?   1 comment

By

July 21, 2016

What if the folks who run the Department of Political Justice recently were told that the republic would suffer if Hillary Clinton were indicted for espionage because Donald Trump might succeed Barack Obama in the presidency? What if espionage is the failure to safeguard state secrets and the evidence that Clinton failed to safeguard them is unambiguous and overwhelming?

What if President Obama never really liked his former rival whom he appointed as his secretary of state? What if he had no real interest in seeing her succeed him because he and his wife simply could never trust her?

What if, when Clinton suggested to the president that the U.S. wage a secret undeclared war against Libya, the president went along with it as a no-lose proposition? What if he assumed that if her secret war succeeded he’d get the credit and if her secret war failed she would get the blame?

Source: What If the Fix Was In?

  1 comment

I finally finished it. Whenever a Presidential candidate has written a book, I try to read it. I read both of Obama’s books prior to the 2008 election and Obama’s own words (or his ghost writer’s) were the reason I didn’t vote for him.

So, Hillary Clinton wrote “Hard Choices” about her time as Secretary of State. I had previously (back when Bill was King) read “It Takes a Village”. The statist tyrant I found within those pages was one reason I came out early as a “NeverHillary”. But, despite that, I still read “Hard Choices”.

This primary season has been a great example of historical blindness. I winced during the primaries when Republican candidates promised to “kick ass” in Iraq, make the “sand glow” in Syria, and face down the Russians in Europe. The Democratic aspirants came off as a little more measured, but they generally share the pervasive ideology that America has the right and duty to order the world’s affairs. Without us, the world would go to hell in a hand-basket. Yah! Roar!

Hillary Clinton takes on a certain messianic quality when she routinely quotes former Secretary of State Madeline Albright’s line about America as “the indispensible nation” whose job is to lead the world. At a rally in Iowa, she said “Senator [Bernie] Sanders doesn’t talk much about foreign policy, and when he does, it raises concerns because sometimes it can sound like he really hasn’t thought things through.”

She was absolutely correct. Sanders considers foreign policy to be an afterthought to his signature issues of economic inequality and a national health care system. Now she’s aiming the same criticism toward Donald Trump, who also considers foreign policy to be secondary to the economy and border security. What I noted was the implication that she has thought things through. Having just finished her book, I don’t think she has. (Note here – my minor in college was political science with a foreign policy emphasis so I read the book from that perspective).

Hard Choices covers Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State and tracks a litany of American foreign policy disasters: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Georgia, Ukraine, and the “Asia pivot” that’s dangerously increased tensions with China. Maybe she didn’t realize that was what she was doing.

At the heart of Hard Choices is a version of “American exceptionalism” that claims the right of the U.S. to intervene in other countries at will. She attempted to construct a coherent rationale for interventionist foreign policy and to justify her decisions as Secretary of State. The evidence she presented was unconvincing, perhaps because it is built on a shaky rationale.

I think Clinton is intelligent. I don’t think she’s an idiot, so I was surprised at how remarkably shallow the book was. It wasn’t thoughtful in any way. She admitted to some regret for her vote to invade Iraq, but then quickly moved on. She failed to examine how the U.S. had the right to invade and overthrow a sovereign government that hadn’t attacked the US. For Clinton, Iraq was only a “mistake” because it came out badly.

The book shows a deep inability to see other people’s point of view. The Russians are portrayed as aggressively attempting to re-establish their old Soviet sphere of influence rather than reacting to the steady march of NATO eastwards. She utterly ignores that the first Bush administration explicitly promised Russia that NATO would not expand eastward if the Soviets withdrew their forces from Eastern Europe.

In this, Clinton is not different from most of the Washington establishment. They fail to understand that Russia has been invaded three times since 1815 and lost tens of millions of people. Of course, they’re a little paranoid about their borders. Yet, in Clinton’s book, there is no mention of the roles U.S. intelligence agencies, organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy, and openly fascist Ukrainian groups played in coordinating the coup against the elected (if corrupt) government of Ukraine.

Clinton takes credit for the Obama administration’s “Asia Pivot,” which she boasted “sent a message to Asia and the world that America was back in its traditional leadership role in Asia.” While she’s patting herself on the back, she doesn’t consider how this returned emphasis might be interpreted in Beijing.

Truthfully, the United States never left Asia. The Pacific basin has long been home to major U.S. trading partners, and U.S. military presence in Japan, Korea, and the Pacific is huge. To the Chinese, the “pivot” means the U.S. plans to beef up its military presence in the region and construct an anti-China alliance system. The US has done both.

Clinton often characterizes military intervention in the philosophy of “responsibility to protect,” but her application is selective. She takes credit for overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, but in her campaign speeches, she avoids mentioning the horrendous bombing campaign being waged by Saudi Arabia in Yemen. She cites “responsibility to protect” (identified as R2P in the book) for why the U.S. should overthrow Bashar al-Assad in Syria, but is silent about Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Bahrain against the majority Shiite population’s demands for democracy.

Clinton, Samantha Power (the U.S. ambassador to the UN) and Susan Rice (National Security Advisor) has pushed for muscular interventions without considering the consequences, which have been dire.

Afghanistan: Somewhere around 220,000 Afghans have died since the 2001 U.S. invasion, and millions of others are refugees. The U.S. and its allies have suffered close to 2,500 dead and more than 20,000 wounded. You can’t just blame the Bush administration for this. Obama has had seven years to get us out of the war, but it is far from over. The cost to the US Treasury is around $700 billion, not counting long-term medical bill for disabled veterans that could run as high as $2 trillion.

Libya: Some 30,000 people died and another 50,000 were wounded in the intervention and civil war. Hundreds of thousands have been turned into refugees, who are now invading Europe. The cost to Washington was only $1.1 billion, but the war and subsequent instability created a tsunami of weapons and refugees and, though the media has moved on, the fighting continues. To me, nothing epitomizes Clinton’s lack of morality than her tasteless remark regarding Gaddafi: “We came, we saw, he died.” The Libyan leader was executed by having a bayonet rammed up his rectum. Nobody deserves that.

Ukraine: The death toll now exceeds 8,000, some 18,000 have been wounded, and several cities in the eastern part of the country have been heavily damaged. The fighting has tapered off, although tensions remain high. And, yes, the US CIA under Clinton’s watch destabilized the legitimately elected government of Ukraine, which set off the unrest.

Yemen: Over 6,000 Yemenis have been killed and another 27,000 wounded. The UN reports most of the killed and injured are civilians. Ten million Yeminis don’t have enough to eat, and 13 million have no access to clean water. Yemen is highly dependent on imported food, but a U.S.-Saudi blockade has choked off most imports. The war is ongoing.

Iraq: Anywhere from 400,000 to over 1 million people have died from war-related causes since the 2003 invasion. Over 2 million have fled the country and another 2 million are internally displaced. The cost is close to $1 trillion, but it may rise to $4 trillion once all the long-term medical costs are added in. The war grinds on as a bloody turf war with the Islamic State, which emerged from the Sunni insurgency against the U.S.-installed government.

Syria: Over 250,000 have died in the war, and half the country’s population has been displaced. Something like four million Syrian refugees have invaded Europe, destabilizing the EU. The country’s major cities have been ravaged. The war continues.

There are other countries like Somalia we could add to the butcher’s bill, but what concerns me more are the countries that reaped the benefit from the collapse of Libya. Weapons looted after the fall of Gaddafi largely fuel the wars in Mali, Niger, and the Central African Republic.

We can’t yet calculate the cost of the Asia Pivot for the United States and the allies we’re recruiting to confront China. Since the “Pivot” got underway prior to China’s recent assertiveness in the South China Sea, we could start by asking a “which came first” question: Is the current climate of tension in the Pacific basin a result of Chinese aggression or U.S. provocation?

To be fair, Hillary Clinton is hardly the only politician who thinks American exceptionalism gives the U.S. the right to intervene in other countries. That point of view is pretty much bi-partisan. Sanders voted against the Iraq War and has criticized Clinton’s eagerness to intervene elsewhere, but the Vermont senator backed the Yugoslavia and Afghan interventions. The former re-ignited the Cold War and the latter just never ends. At least Sanders seems to recognize what the problem is. He observed, “I worry that Secretary Clinton is too much into regime change and a bit too aggressive without knowing what the unintended consequences may be.”

Since she is running for President, it is fair to ask if she would be more aggressive in the Oval Office than other candidates might. The book suggests she would certainly be more aggressive than Obama and Bush. Clinton pushed the Obama White House to intervene more deeply in Syria, and was far more hardline on Iran. On virtually every foreign policy issue, Clinton led the charge inside the administration for a more belligerent U.S. response. As aggressive as the Obama administration was while she was Secretary, it would have been more aggressive had she been in charge.

Clinton has said she’s proud to call Iranians “enemies,” and attacked Sanders for his entirely sensible remark that the U.S. might find common ground with Iran on defeating the Islamic State. Sanders, perhaps intimidated by her “credentials”, backed off and said he didn’t think it was possible to improve relations with Tehran in the near future.

The danger of Clinton’s view of America’s role in the world is that of old-fashioned imperial behavior wrapped in the humanitarian rationale of “responsibility to protect”.  Her rhetoric is more politic than the “make the sands glow” atavism of the Republicans, but it’s still death and destruction in a different packaging.

So, I’m still a member of the Never-Hillary camp because I don’t think we need another warmonger in the White House. The national treasury can’t afford it and increasingly, the government’s muscularity is making things more dangerous here at home. We the people can’t afford Hillary.

I also have no intention of voting for Trump for entirely different reasons. I honestly believe he is not interested in conducting wars around the world because he recognizes that would be bad for trade. That’s not enough reason for me to vote for him, but it’s a plus in his column.

I remain committed to voting for the lesser of available potential tyrants – which remains Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party.

Intellectual Dishonesty in US Politics   Leave a comment

Can we talk frankly?

Probably not, but I will and you can consider or reject my proposal as you will.

This is the best of times and the worst of times in American politics. I want to shoot off bottle rockets that the American people are finally angry enough with the statist elites to stop listening to them. That is a righteous response to tyrannical government administrations that tell half the country to “sit down and shut up” while it fundamentally changes the world you live in because “elections have consequences.”

GOOD FOR YOU!

I might wish you’d chosen a better standard bearer for expressing your awakening than Donald Trump, but I’m going to put that down to having just woken up. You need some political coffee to start to see things clearly. Donald Trump is not an elitist and that’s a VERY GOOD thing, but he wouldn’t make a good president either. There’s the womanizing, the bigotry, the bankruptcies …. Bill Clinton already did the womanizing and LBJ had the bigotry well-covered (I can back up that statement if you need me to). And, bankruptcy is not a stellar qualification for running one of the largest economies in the world.

BUT ….

Not liking Donald Trump for president is NO excuse for electing another liar-in-chief and that’s what you’d be doing if you vote for Hillary. There is a reason 68% of the country’s voters say they don’t trust her and it’s not bad press. Hillary has a long and well-reported history of … obfuscating, hiding the truth, denying the truth, LYING. After putting state secrets out of an unsecured email server in violation of State Department policies, she rightfully should do time in jail. She had at least the potential for doing far more harm to the country than Bradley Manning did, so a nice cell cozied up next to him would suit her just fine.

It really comes down to this … if you elect a liar to the highest office in the land, you cannot expect anything approaching transparency. And if you elect a crooked politician who is in bed with Wall Street to the Oval Office, you will end up with corrupt policies with a Wall Street flavor coming out of said den of power.

So, what’s your choice?

Door #1 is – Hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils.

Is there a lesser evil of the two? I’ve weighed and measured them and I can’t see one. On the left you have Hillary Clinton, former first lady who wishes to be Queen, whose entire “political career” has been predicated on following her husband’s coattails in the White House, who is deeply in coitus with Wall Street, who lies and schemes and commits treasonous acts …. On the right, you have Donald Trump, a hardnosed aggressive businessman who says what’s on his mind and doesn’t back down and who has bankrupted his company four times. Monarchy on the left, dictatorship on the right – Clowns and jesters … oh my!

Door #2 is – Don’t vote.

You rather silence yourself when you don’t vote and you let others decide for you who will rule you. Might as well have a monarchy or a dictatorship if that’s what you’re going to do … oh, wait … Queen Hillary and You’re Fired Donald — is there a difference?

Fortunately, there may be a Door #3 – Vote 3rd Party.

I don’t believe that the world will suddenly be a better place if you vote for Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party. For one thing, this is Gary Johnson, who would not have scored as high in the GOP primaries as Jeb Bush. But … BUT … if you’re looking for a candidate who will do less harm to the country than the two main party idiots, Johnson deserves a look.

Think about what Libertarians stand for.

Smaller government, less regulation, less intrusion in to the lives of individuals. They tend to not like war, mainly because it drives up spending and therefore taxes, but also because they (generally speaking) don’t like coercion and violence as a means to accomplish things. They are fiscal conservatives who also tend to be socially liberal.

So take a look at Johnson himself.

He attended the University of New Mexico from 1971 to 1975 and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in political science. It was there that he met his future wife, Denise “Dee” Simms. While in college, Johnson earned money as a door-to-door handyman. His success in that industry encouraged him to start his own business, Big J Enterprises, in 1976. When he started the business, which focused on mechanical contracting, Johnson was its only employee. His major break with the firm was receiving a large contract from Intel‘s expansion in Rio Rancho, which increased Big J’s revenue to $38 million. He eventually grew Big J into a multimillion-dollar corporation with over 1,000 employees.[14] By the time he sold the company in 1999, it was one of New Mexico’s leading construction companies.[15]

He entered politics for the first time by running for Governor of New Mexico in 1994 on a fiscally conservative, low-tax and anti-crime platform.[16] During his tenure as governor, Johnson became known for his low-tax libertarian views, adhering to policies of tax and bureaucracy reduction supported by a cost–benefit analysis rationale. He cut the 10% annual growth in the budget: in part, due to his use of the gubernatorial veto 200 times during his first six months in office.[17] Johnson set state and national records for his use of veto and line-item veto powers:[17] estimated to have been more than the other 49 contemporary governors combined,[18][19] which gained him the nicknames “Veto Johnson” and “Governor Veto”.[20][21]

Johnson successfully sought re-election in 1998. Fielding a strong Hispanic candidate in a 40% Hispanic state, the Democrats were expected to oust Johnson,[29] but Johnson won by a 55%-to-45% margin. In his second term, he concentrated on the issue of school voucher reforms,[22] as well as campaigning for marijuana decriminalization and legalization, and opposition to the War on Drugs. Johnson’s accomplishments in office were described as follows: “no tax increases in six years, a major road building program, shifting Medicaid to managed care, constructing two new private prisons, canning 1,200 state employees, and vetoing a record number of bills”.[23] According to one New Mexico paper, “Johnson left the state fiscally solid”, and was “arguably the most popular governor of the decade… leaving the state with a $1 billion budget surplus.”[40] The Washington Times reported that when Johnson left office, “the size of state government had been substantially reduced and New Mexico was enjoying a large budget surplus.”[26]  Term limited, Johnson could not run for re-election at the end of his second term. After leaving office, Johnson founded the non-profit Our America Initiative in 2009, a political advocacy committee seeking to promote policies such as free enterprise, foreign non-interventionism, limited government and privatization. He endorsed the Republican presidential candidacy of Congressman Ron Paul in the 2008 election.[21]

In terms of stage presence, he’s not an exciting candidate, but his record shows dedication to some exciting ideas and the willingness to make some hard choices and carry through with them. The fact that he was a veto governor and still won reelection should tell you something about his mentality. He is not a progressive like Clinton or Trump, and he left New Mexico in a much better fiscal state than when he became governor.

Johnson’s views have been described as fiscally conservative and socially liberal[109] with a philosophy of limited government[110] and military non-interventionism.[111][112] He has identified as a classical liberal.[113] Johnson has said he favors simplifying and reducing taxes.[114] During his governorship, Johnson cut taxes fourteen times and never increased them.[115] Due to his stance on taxes, political pundit David Weigel described him as “the original Tea Partycandidate.”[116] Johnson has advocated for the FairTax, a proposal which would abolish all federal income, corporate and capital gains taxes, and replace them with a 23% tax on consumption of all non-essential goods, while providing a regressive rebate to households according to income level. He has argued that this would assure transparency in the tax system and incentivize the private sector to create “tens of millions of jobs.”[117] Johnson supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership.[118]

Johnson has said that he supports balancing the federal budget immediately.[119] He has stated he supports “slashing government spending”, including Medicare,Medicaid, and Social Security,[114] which would involve cutting Medicare and Medicaid by 43 percent and turning them into block grant programs, with control of spending in the hands of the states to create, in his words, “fifty laboratories of innovation.”[119] He has advocated passing a law allowing for state bankruptcy and expressly ruling out a federal bailout of any states.[110] Johnson has expressed opposition to the Federal Reserve System, which he has cited as massively devaluing the strength of the U.S. dollar, and would sign legislation to eliminate it. He has also supported an audit of the central bank, and urged Members of Congress in July 2012 to vote in favor of Ron Paul’s Federal Reserve Transparency Act.[120]

In his campaign for the Libertarian Party nomination, he stated he opposed foreign wars and pledged to cut the military budget by 43 percent in his first term as president.[112] He would cut the military’s overseas bases, uniformed and civilian personnel, research and development, intelligence, and nuclear weaponsprograms.[121][122] He has stated his opposition to US involvement in the War in Afghanistan and opposed the US involvement in the Libyan Civil War.[123] He has stated that he does not believe Iran is a military threat, would use his presidential power to prevent Israel from attacking Iran, and would not follow Israel, or any other ally, into a war that it had initiated.[124]

Johnson is a strong supporter of civil liberties and received the highest score of any candidate from the American Civil Liberties Union for supporting drug decriminalization while opposing censorship and regulation of the Internet, the Patriot Act, enhanced airport screenings, and the indefinite detention of prisoners.[125]He has spoken in favor of the separation of church and state, and has said that he does not “seek the counsel of God” when determining his political agenda.[126]Johnson endorsed same-sex marriage in 2011;[127] he has since called for a constitutional amendment protecting equal marriage rights,[127] and criticized Obama’s position on the issue as having “thrown this question back to the states.”[128] On the other hand, Johnson opposes Roe v. Wade, believing states should decide the matter. He has been a longtime advocate of legalizing marijuana and has said that if he were president, he would remove it from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act as well as issue an executive order pardoning non-violent marijuana offenders.[129]

Johnson has stated his opposition to gun control and has said, “I’m a firm believer in the Second Amendment and so I would not have signed legislation banning assault weapons or automatic weapons.”[130]

Johnson is a Lutheran and has stated that his belief in God has given him “a very fundamental belief that we should do unto others as we would have others do unto us.”[149]

The most important criteria I find in Gary Johnson is not found it either of the two idiots running in the major parties. He appears not to want to be a dictator. He wants to try something different to try and repair the damage that has been done to the country.

He may not be the lesser of two evils, but he is surely the lesser of three.

Loretta Lynch-Clinton Meeting Gross Violation of Constitution   Leave a comment

Loretta LynchLoretta Lynch’s meeting with Bill Clinton was a gross violation of the constitutional protection for a fair trial … which perhaps we need to be reminded, swings both ways.

The prosecution and the defense (or heaven forbid the defendant!) are not allowed contact during an investigator for a reason.

I once sat a jury where one of the other jurors, unbeknownst to her, was good friends with a family friend of the defendant. She didn’t know the defendant, the friend wasn’t telling her how to vote, but it required that juror to be removed from the jury.

My best friend growing up — her dad was a district court judge in a small town. He frequently had to recuse himself from cases because he knew someone involved. To not do so would not only give one party or the other a right of procedural appeal in that case but, he explained, could result in every case in his 45 year career being opened for reexamination.

Clearly, the people cannot expect a fair ruling from Loretta Lynch. She’s been legally tainted. She should remove herself from the case and, frankly, an independent prosecutor should be appointed.

Especially since it is reported that the FBI ordered “no photos” on the meeting, it is clear that Loretta Lynch (a lot like Hillary Clinton) is not at all transparent, is unaware (or doesn’t care) that she is violating the clear and long-established law of the land, and is planning to rule in Clinton’s favor.

Reporter Claims the FBI Ordered ‘No Photos, No Pictures’ of Lynch/Clinton Meeting

 

Posted July 1, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Common sense, Uncategorized

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