Category Archives: Presidential Elections

She Still Rises – 1 day and counting

It’s always been challenging for women to excel, but it’s particularly difficult to be a Superwoman in the United States in 2016.

Some Americans are being merciless about keeping a lady from leading the country. What are they afraid of? Change?  There have been women leaders all around the world, but for the United States, which continues to hold onto the traditional roles, a woman in the White House would mean a change in the social fabric.

Despite the backlash, Hillary Clinton still rises above it all.

For Clinton, her ascent to the Oval Office is a path she’s been carving her whole life, a natural progression of a life-long dedication to public service.

She didn’t stop at First Lady. For most, that role is enough of an achievement. It’s an endorsement to give speeches and write books that will keep you financially set for a lifetime.

On the contrary, Clinton didn’t see herself spending days at book signings, philanthropic events, the occasional parade and ribbon cutting, and speaking to groups of people. Instead, she still rises. She wrote a book, ran for senator of New York and won. Then became Secretary of State.

No doubt if she becomes president, after she leaves office, she will carry on, serving the U.S. in some function. Great leaders like her never rest.

However, there are people bent on stopping her in whatever way they can, by creating chaos.

It would seem that her Republican opponent’s rhetoric from the inception of his campaign has incited the cavalcade of violence that has ensued since June 16, 2015, when he declared his candidacy for President of the United States.

Yet, he continues to point his finger at Clinton as the fault for all the ills of the world. It’s easy to blame someone else for the civil and global unrest, and  particularly a woman, when many of your followers are people whose views of the world have remained unchanged for decades.

Yet, Clinton still rises above, and doesn’t blame anyone, for all of her challenger’s and the Republican Party’s unfounded accusations.

The Republican Party continues to mention her email, and has persisted in criticizing her for using a personal server, when many people in the Bush administration did the same. Yet, very little was ever said about it.

She doesn’t blame anyone for the baseless complaints about the Benghazi attacks. Recently, Trey Gowdy, a Republican Leader, admitted altering documents. He said “It was the Republican Party’s year-long investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of Benghazi and email that has been nothing more than an attempt at influencing her poll numbers in the 2016 election.”

She doesn’t blame anyone for her contender’s groundless claim that she is a co-founder of ISIS. Although, it was actually George W. Bush who signed the agreement to leave Iraq by 2011.

Clinton doesn’t blame anyone for the hecklers at her rallies. She doesn’t incite violence.

She doesn’t blame anyone for the barrage of superfluous and unwarranted insults and allegations.

She rises above it all.

One thing is certain, unlike the Republican candidate for President, she isn’t overly critical of the country where she grew up, which gave her opportunities to achieve. She rises, because that’s what great leaders do. They look at the path in front of them. Despite all the obstacles set by others, they climb, carry the weight of all their followers, and together they rise.

You can also find this post on The Huffington Post website.

Trump Revealed – America His Next Mark – 73 days and counting

Donald Trump has already repudiated Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power, a book by Washington Post reporters, Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher.

Kranish and Fisher have culled dozens of articles from Post reporters and others, as well as spent 20 interview hours with Trump to create this unauthorized biography. The book begins with his 2008 travel to Scotland to visit the house in which his mother grew up. He went inside and spent a total of 97 seconds.

Trump Revealed also provides vignettes of his childhood exploits. A next door neighbor tells the story of how she briefly left her toddler in the yard, and returned to find a six year old Trump throwing rocks at her baby.

Trump himself recounts a story about how he punched a teacher, and gave him a black eye. On the teacher’s deathbed in a hospice he heard that Trump was considering running for President and said, “When that kid was ten, even then he was a little shit.”

Surprisingly, Trump describes himself as “aggressive.” When he was growing up, Westside Story was a Broadway hit. He and his friend liked to pretend they were gang members mimicking the play, and they begin to buy knives. “At first the knives they used were six inches long, but they graduated to eleven-inch blades as they became more daring.” Soon after this event, Trump was sent to military boarding school.

Even though, we’ve heard some of these stories, and facts and figures many times in the last few months, Kranish and Fisher’s prose in Trump Revealed is chockfull of illustrative images and is, at times, powerful. The recounting of his childhood escapades,   the string of his disastrous business failings and unpaid bills, as well as his propensity for lawsuits, might be enough to make some supporters change their minds.

However, since there’s very little written about Trump’s family, there’s an obvious lack of transparency about his life. Most of the stories in the press are the fodder of the family drama, or ones he manufactured. It makes the line between real and deception murky. When people try to dig in, he’s a master at distracting those who believe in him.  He won’t disclose his tax returns. No one seems to remember him at Wharton.

As pointed out in the book, despite his countless insults, his financial instability, that most of the Republican Party has rejected him, defense experts have called him a threat to national security, that most of his business endeavors have fizzled, and his understanding of foreign policy and the global economy is non-existent, people still bask in his shadow, blindly, and follow him like the Pied Piper.

It’s clear Trump has a talent for picking a mark. His attitude is obviously all’s fair in business and politics. This time, as the Republican Presidential Candidate, he’s going for the high stakes and making his mark America. Let’s hope he fails at this as well.

You can also find this post on The Huffington Post website.

 

 

Reprint – What To Think About as the 2016 Presidential Election Approaches – – 85 days and counting

449 Days And Counting – What To Think About as the 2016 Presidential Election Approaches

Why is the candidate running for President? Do they have a history of public service? Do they really have America’s best interest in mind?

Polls/Surveys – Is It Gallup or Undefined

When you hear a percentage mentioned, whether it’s by a candidate, a news station, a publication or blog, make sure it’s attached to a legitimate poll and defines the cross-section of people questioned.  Polls can be skewed to validate a person’s viewpoint. If you poll 20 of your friends, they will say you’re a great person. What happens if you poll exes, are they going to give you the same review?

TV Stations Have Political Leanings

A TV Stations news and the programs they broadcast host people who support their views.  They will also poll people who back their opinions.  Keep this in mind as you watch TV and as you read articles about the elections.  If it mentions a specific TV station survey, again, is it official or slanted?

Make Sure To Fact-Check

Politicians will exaggerate. As everyone knows, America’s first amendment is freedom of speech.  Sometimes candidates will propagate fabrications about other candidates with negative advertising.  Remember, just because the targeted politician ignores it, doesn’t make them guilty. Also, just because something negative is repeated and reiterated and repeated again does not make it true.

Bullies Do Not Make Good Presidents

Theodore Roosevelt’s expression, “Walk softly and carry a big stick”  are words to strongly consider. The loudest person in the room may get the most attention, but this may actually mean that they are the weakest candidate. What candidates have diplomacy and executive qualities? Think about the last 30 years of US Leaders.  Who brought America up and who brought America down?  Then draw your own conclusions.

Intelligent Candidate or Not

It’s true anyone can be President in America, if you’re at least 35 years old and a natural born US citizen. No one ever says it, but in order to be President, you must be intelligent.  As the election approaches, think about the smart Presidents and the not-so-smart ones.  Who did the better job?

Big Picture vs. Extreme Thinking

A President cannot have extreme views.  The old cliché applies here: Are they part of the solution/the present and the future or are they part of the problem/stuck in the past?

Track Record, Track Record, Track Record

Just because a candidate makes a promise doesn’t mean they will keep it. Who has followed through in the past and helped make the United States and the world a better place and who has not?

House of Representatives And The Senate

Keeping election promises also depends on The Congress and The Senate. These offices are very important.  A candidate may make election declarations, but will the Senate and House pass bills, or will they (for political reasons) just block a President who belongs to the opposite party?

Religion Belongs in the Place of Worship

Separation of Church and State. If you want to be Christian or Catholic or Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist or Lutheran or 100’s of other religions, then be them, but candidates should not interject their religious beliefs into the government.

Are you registered?  Contact your local election board if you need to register or if you’ve moved since the last time you voted. Do vote in the mid-term elections.  You can affect the future of your country.  Your vote does matter. And for young voters or just young at heart, here are 10 Reasons why you should vote.

 

POTUS – Call To Duty – 90 days and counting

While Hillary Clinton continues to run a sincere presidential campaign, Donald Trump has turned the election into a mockery and impugned a sacred event.

Many Americans caught up in Trump’s master media manipulation have forgotten that the government is not Hollywood, and you can’t lead a country like a blockbuster movie character, or a reality TV show host. As it stands, the requirements to become President of the United States only ask that you be 35 years of age, a natural born citizen to at least one parent, and have lived in the U.S. for a minimum of 14 years.

This doesn’t seem in-depth enough for a person who will have a national security clearance, meet with world leaders and effect the future of the U.S and the globe.

In 1776, when the constitution was written, there were no nuclear weapons, maneuvering trade and economic agreements was more straightforward, technology as we know it was non-existent, and deals could be made with the exchange of food and basic goods.

What once worked when the country was young, 250 years ago, doesn’t seem like it will anymore.  The world is more complicated than it used to be.

This begs the question of whether the eligibility requirements of who can run for President of the United States need updating to include relevant levels of work and educational experience.

Here are some ideas for possible requirements:

  • Has dedicated at least 10 years of their lives to serving the country in some political office, including governor, senator, representative, cabinet member, government official and veteran
  • Pass an in-person exam that includes information about current laws, history of the U.S., foreign policy, the economy, and a 1000 word essay as to why they want to be president
  • Credit and background check
  • Share taxes from the last ten years
  • Physical, mental health exam and drug testing

Americans have the right to know who they are electing to lead their country. The office of President of the United States should be a call to duty, not a call to notoriety.

abc

 

Politics As Usual: Kelly v. Trump – 172 days and counting

There has been a lot of fuss and commotion about Megyn Kelly’s interview with Donald Trump, which aired on a Fox News Special on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.

The interview raised numerous questions. When should a journalist apologize and when does a subject get a second chance? What were Kelly’s motivations? Was the interview scripted just to get ratings for Fox? Was the feud a publicity stunt from the beginning?

It’s no secret that journalistic impartiality and integrity are key when reporting a story.  Megyn Kelly is not the only journalist to endure ridicule from peers. Over the years, journalists have made mistakes and had to apologize, while becoming the punchline in many newsrooms.

Brian Williams lied about how he was shot down in a helicopter in Iraq. The tall tale ended his celebrated career.

The New York Times was highly criticized when three reporters covered a story about six students who were killed, when a balcony collapsed at a party at Berkeley. The story focused on the party issue, rather than taking into account that six lives had been lost, and the devastating effect the deaths would have on students, colleagues, friends and family.

David Monagan had wrongly described Irish President Michael D. Higgins as an “acknowledged homosexual”” in Forbes Magazine. Monagan had to plead for forgiveness.

Ahmen Khawajai from the BBC mistakenly tweeted that Queen Elizabeth II had died. The reporter faced an investigation among other disciplinary actions.

And, of course, there is the well-known story about Stephen Glass, formerly of The New Republic, who fabricated several articles to raise his notoriety. A movie “Shattered Glass,” recounted Glass’s deception.

While Megyn Kelly, unlike the aforementioned, hasn’t done anything unethical, her motive to even interview Trump is perplexing, since he spent countless hours demeaning and verbally abusing her, via Twitter, as well as in interviews.

Criticism regarding Kelly’s actions has made headlines, and has been fodder for nighttime talk show hosts. The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah called the interview “Couples Therapy.” In response to this accusation, Kelly tweeted, “So grateful I have men like @Trevornoah 2 advise on how to deal w/gender attacks- I’m sure his life experience (sic) far better than mine on this!”

One thing is certain, not everything needs or even deserves a reply, particularly when you’re a public figure.

Megyn Kelly has an impressive journalistic track record. America wanted to cheer her on while she stood up to the man who refused to participate in a debate, because she was the moderator, who had insulted her, degraded women, Mexicans, Muslims, and many others over the last few months.

Instead of facing him, Kelly leaned in during the interview, treating him with kid gloves, allowing him to make excuses, as if he was fragile and sympathetic. Trump’s explanations of campaign strategy and dragging others into character debate as deflection, is no justification for racism, slurs and offensive language.

As stated by Kelly: It’s true, it’s up to each individual how they handle attackers. However, it’s particularly important when you’re a public figure to set an example. She’s an intelligent person and a tenured journalist. She could have had a great impact culturally.  She did not.  She chose to do the exact opposite.

Why was she trying to help Trump rehabilitate his image?

For many who have been bullied or abused, watching the interview was disturbing and a huge letdown, as described by Emily Crocket on Vox.com.

It’s important for a reporter to live up to certain journalistic standards. There were a lot of missed opportunities here, as pointed out by several of Kelly’s critics.

 

Why Your Vote Matters! – 204 days and counting

Hillary Clinton, John Kasich, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have been traveling across the U.S. since super Tuesday, waving their credentials and debating with each other.

In the last few weeks, candidates have met their fans and supporters at rallies, town halls, fundraisers and meet and greets all across the state of New York.

Tomorrow’s primary is an historical event and could be pivotal for both Democrat and Republican candidates as they vie for the state of New York’s delegates. The remaining primaries and caucuses across the country, which last through the beginning of  June are consequential.

Here are five reasons why you need to get out and vote in the primaries, and in the general election in November:

Important To Vote

Don’t like any of the candidates? Vote for the one you least despise. It’s better than having the one you dislike the most win.  Whoever wins has the power to effect your life.

Government Impact

The government (president, congress, senate, Supreme Court) affects the economy, taxes, education, immigration, transportation, the military, foreign policy, religious freedom, women’s issues, children’s issues, healthcare and many other aspects.

It’s Your Money

The president and other government officials (county commissioners, governor, state treasurer, legislators and Congress) you vote for will decide how to spend your money. Candidates give money to causes you care about: youth programs, the environment, HIV/AIDS, cancer research and others.

If you don’t vote, someone else will. It will influence how decisions are made on matters like pay equity, fairness in hiring, and workplace safety; environmental concerns – the air, the land, and water; crime prevention – laws and law enforcement; safe and affordable homes; traffic patterns; schools, parks and recreation.

The Future

It affects the future. What happens today reverberates down the road. If the economy goes into a recession, it will take decades to rebuild.

History

  • 14th Amendment– All persons born within the U.S. are citizens and guaranteed rights and privileges (1868)
  • 15th Amendment– No citizen denied the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude (1870)
  • 19th Amendment No citizen shall be abridged of their right to vote based on sex.
  • (1920)
  • 24th Amendment – No poll tax is allowed or failure to pay any other tax shall prevent a person from voting (1964)
  • 26th Amendment – All persons 18 or older shall not be abridged of their right to vote (1971)
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965 –Applied a nationwide prohibition against the denial or abridgment of the right to vote on the literacy tests on a nationwide basis.

 

To help you make your decision please follow the link to each candidates website.

Hillary Clinton

Ted Cruz

John Kasich

Bernie Sanders

Donald Trump

Interesting Election Facts:

How many delegates each candidate currently has –  Delegate counter

Voter turnout since 1789 –  Voter turnout

Interesting Presidential Election Facts –  Presidential race facts

Follow the link to the –  Upcoming Primaries

 Image result for your vote your voice 2016

Higher Education Costs – 211 days and counting

With the crisis of ballooning college costs and student debt in the U.S., 2016 presidential candidates are looking for ways to tackle this monumental issue. It is a looming problem that stunts economic growth and makes it difficult for some parents to buy houses, save for their children’s education and their own retirement.

While legislation has been passed to lower interest rates, the current amount for student loan debt is $1.2 trillion dollars. In part, the debt is rising, because there are more students going to college and they’re borrowing more money.

While interest rates have dropped in recent years, the average for each borrower is $29,000.  Students who attend private colleges could owe $100,000 plus.

Below is each candidate’s higher education plan:

Hillary Clinton – The New College Compact

  • Tuition-free community college
  • Debt-free public four-year college
  • Cutting interest rates on federal student loans
  • Government student loan refinancing for borrowers with existing federal loans
  • Making income-based repayment the default plan for all borrowers
  • Expand work study program for students

Clinton would pay for her plan by closing tax loopholes for the wealthy.

Ted Cruz – Deregulate Education

In 2014, Cruz voted against letting borrowers refinance their federal loans with the government.

John Kasich -State Education 

  • Downsizing the U.S. Department of Education and reallocating education funding to states
  • Expanding high school students’ access to courses that provide college credit
  • Tying government funding for public colleges and universities to graduation rates

Throughout the presidential campaign, Kasich has advocated for stronger state involvement in education issues and a reduced role for the federal government.

Bernie Sanders – Debt-free College

  • Tuition-free public college
  • Cutting interest rates on federal student loans
  • Government student loan refinancing for borrowers with existing federal loans

Sanders would fund his program by imposing taxes on certain stock, bond and derivatives trades.

Donald Trump  – No Government Profit

  • Reforming the federal student loans system so the federal government doesn’t profit from student loans
  • Cutting the Department of Education’s budget

Results for each plan

If we followed Senator Ted Cruz’s and Donald Trump’s plans, it would mean defunding all Pell grants, there would be no new federal student loans and no Title IX enforcement. It would cause several colleges to close, due to of the lack of federal money, and less people would be able to attend college.

It would also mean going back to the guaranteed lending, or as it’s known in Washington DC., corporate welfare. However, it should be noted that The Department of Education subsidized the banks when this system was in place.

Governor John Kasich’s strategy places the burden on the states, so there would be pressure for tax increases.

Senator Bernie Sander’s plan: funding free college is unrealistic. The cost is $70 billion per year and, as with other government entitlements, it will drive up taxes and ultimately the national deficit.

Hillary Clinton’s proposal addresses affordability concerns and demands accountability at the institution and state level. However, it doesn’t target relief to the borrowers who need it the most.

Since strategies from the Democratic and Republican candidates are very different, it’s not likely either party would be receptive to the other’s policies. Once again gridlock would halt progress.

College Funding Sources

The Foundation Center 

College Scholarships

US News & World Report College Scholarship Tips

Lebron James and others may pay for your college

How to get strangers to pay for your college