Tag Archives: 2016

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.

 

 

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.

 

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

 

 

 

Trump – Does He Really Know How to Be President – 237 days and counting

Nobody told me about it.  You hit me with it yesterday. These are Donald Trump’s excuses for not attending the GOP Debate in Salt Lake City, Utah, which was scheduled for March 21, 2016. Another fabrication from Mr. Trump. According to an article on Fox8live, published on March 11, 2016, Trump said that even though he’d had enough of the political face –offs, he was, “ok,” with taking part in the next two debates.

All three candidates have dropped out of the upcoming Republican Debate, according to CBSnews.com. Trump and Cruz have chosen to speak at the 3-day AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) Conference, which will take place in Washington D.C.

The cause of Trump’s denial may also be that he inherited his father’s  Alzheimer’s gene. According to Wikipedia, Trump’s father suffered from Alzheimer’s. Born in 1946, Trump will be 70 when the election rolls around. This may sadly be the beginning of it for him,  and may explain some of his erratic behavior.

No doubt, Trump is getting an onslaught of primary votes, because some are tired of “the establishment,” who mainly help low-income households or the wealthy.  The problems of these demographics are an easier fix.

Surprisingly, it’s not just the white supremacists who support him. Trump also appeals to some minority voters according to a D.C. Whispers source.  They believe Trump’s business acumen will help fix the ills of this country.

It’s a well-known fact that Trump hasn’t been a businessman in years. Trump is a brand and a celebrity, not a politician, and certainly not a civil servant. Trump lends his name for a price. The Huffington Post, reported that he has filed for bankruptcy four times since 1991. This is more than other corporations.

Remember, you can’t file Chapter 11 with the U.S. debt.

What these constituents don’t realize is: Trump, like most politicians, doesn’t write policy for and probably won’t tackle, the issues of the middle class, who get saddled with U.S. bills, while the low-income continue to pay very little tax, and the wealthy and corporations, receive several tax deductions.

Most campaign promises center around easy fixes. Trump is no different and his campaign promises are vague. Below are five of his 76 Campaign Promises that cannot be kept.

  1. According to Trump, he does tackle middle class issues. He pledges higher tariffs on products from companies who produce their goods outside the U.S, claiming this will bring jobs back to the United States.  The likely scenario is: higher taxes imposed on these goods will pass off higher costs to the consumer. The money from the tariffs will not go into the American pocket.

There is not a profit-sharing plan in the U.S. A government cannot be run exactly like a corporation. It’s more complicated than that.

  1. Building a wall along the Mexican border and making the Mexican government pay for it won’t fix the economy, and it’s a promise Mr. Trump will not be able to keep. First, the Mexican government will not foot the bill for a 2,000 mile wall that will cost tens of millions of dollars, according to an article on cnbc.com.  As a point of reference, the Berlin wall was 96 miles long.

Even if Trump agreed to pick the bill up himself, there are a host of environmental and engineering obstacles to overcome, according to the Washington Post.  Not to mention, it would bring on multiple legal battles from ranchers along the four states, who graze their cattle on the land. It’s their land and, private property, not U.S.-owned.

  1. Students at Wofford College in South Carolina, where Trump attended a Town Hall will have jobs after graduation. What about all the other college graduates, and what about all the other Americans who need jobs?
  1. No longer charge tax to individuals who make less than $25,000 or couples who make less than $50,000. This is a bill that will never make it through the House of Representatives and Senate, but also low-income families already have many tax breaks, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Many people just don’t take advantage of them.
  1. Ensure that Americans can still afford to golf. Not all of us like to golf.

While Trump would like us to think that he is invincible, and what he says will become law, remember that he filed Chapter 11 four times, and the President of the U.S. is not a dictator. Laws have to be passed through the House of Representatives and the Senate. Even if a President signs an Executive Order, they can be contested in a court of law, as is the current state of President Obama’s Dream Act.

Americans beware. Trump will surely send America backwards and sink the country into a depression.

America will become a military, de-regulated country. This is proven by his recent threat to cause civil unrest.  According to Bloomberg, Trump “warned of “riots,” if power-brokers deny him the nomination at the convention.”

He is threatening the lives of the people of the United States of America. Isn’t this treason and terrorism?

According to U.S News & World Report, the non-partisan Tax Policy Center and The Tax Foundation, Trumponomics would increase our national debt by $11 trillion by 2026, and increase by 80% of GDP in the following decade.

There would be aftershocks from  Trumpterror, a risk Americans can’t and shouldn’t be willing to take.

 

Who’s Ready To Rally? 252 Days and Counting

Where the political landscape stands on this Super Tuesday is in limbo. Candidates are high on hopes that the up-for-grab delegates from each of the 11 states will belong to them.

There will be fodder shed, in particular for the Republican Party whose campaign efforts have seemed more like a High School Student Counsel Election than a U.S. Presidential one. With all the sideshow, up-close-and personal antics, where bickering and airing of dirty laundry has been the rule, they have more than worn out their welcome of their 15 minutes of fame.

Pundits and reporters alike have given their views on what each candidate will need to survive. The Republican Party is trying to regain composure after being Trumpetized. Trump’s constant guilt-free attitude and recent refusal to disavow David Duke has given them fuel to withdraw their support.

Who will rock and rule Super Tuesday isn’t really a mystery. It’s no secret that Hillary Clinton will come out on top for Democrats. Trump will probably still win, despite the hard core humiliation message the Republican Party is trying to send to him.

Republicans, however, should hope for Kasich, as he is their only viable candidate, sane and Presidential in the sea of their insanity.

Prediction: A brokered convention for Republicans

 

 

 

 

 

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

There are 449 days until the 2016 Presidential Election. Here are 11 things to think about as November 8, 2016 approaches.

Candidate Intent

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.

2016 Candidate Predictions

Hillary Clinton – Democrat

John Kasich – Republican