Words Matter In Diplomatic Relations

Lots of words are uttered by world leaders every day.  Some of them would not be fit for print.

But there are also those times when a leader makes a statement that should have been known from the instant it was bounced around in the brain to be utterly unacceptable.  So it was with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

Dutere has now expressed regret over his ‘son of a bitch’ remark while referring to President Obama.  Now in a public statement he said his ‘strong comments’ to certain questions by a reporter ‘elicited concern and distress, we also regret it came across as a personal attack on the US president’.

I frankly do not accept that statement or the apology that I guess I am to infer from it.

There is no way under the sun that anyone can not think the cuss language was for any purpose than for a very direct political point within his own nation.  That word choice–and it was a choice–is just unacceptable on the world stage.

Dutere can curse and slander in private all he wants.  But when it comes time to speak as an elected official he needs to find the diplomatic language that makes the world operate.

I am most pleased that President Obama shunned Dutere and did not grant him a visit.

This Is Why Donald Trump Can Not Win

Take this to the bank.  It is a point made over and over around our dinner table.

“Donald Trump has run head-first into an electoral wall,” Politico reports.

“In poll after poll, Trump isn’t even close to winning a majority of the vote. While he’s narrowed the gap between his campaign and Hillary Clinton in recent weeks, in the past 21 national polls conducted using conventional phone or internet methodologies over the last five weeks, Trump’s high-water mark in a head-to-head matchup with Clinton is 44 percent.”

“And when third-party candidates — Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein — are included, Trump’s highest poll score is only 40 percent, well below Clinton’s high of 50 percent.”


Gretchen Carlson Wins Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Regarding FAUX News’ Roger Ailes

FAUX News has agreed, on behalf of Roger Ailes, to settle Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit for a stunning $20 million, Vanity Fair reports.  We all can agree that Roger Ailes is a scumbag.

Though Carlson’s case is against Ailes personally, Fox is essentially his insurer for any settlement, according to two people familiar with the arrangement, and discussions between Ailes’s legal team and 21st Century Fox’s legal team became very tense regarding how much Ailes might pay in a settlement. (At press time, it was unclear how much Ailes was personally on the hook for.) As part of the language at the end of the settlement, numerous people with knowledge of the deal told me, Carlson has agreed not to bring any further legal action against other executives at Fox News, or against the company itself.


The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members

Drum roll, please……

1. David Jolly, R-Fla. (13th District)

Jolly, who spent most of the year running for Senate, climbs from No. 3 to No. 1 in his re-election race against former Gov. Charlie Crist. He’s pledged not to solicit campaign donations, and he’s unlikely to get any help from the National Republican Congressional Committee in this heavily redrawn seat.

2. Rod Blum, R-Iowa (1st District)

With the NRCC adding him to its Patriot Program for vulnerable incumbents and reserving ad time in the district, Blum slides down from first to second. He had much more cash on hand at the end of the second quarter than Democrat Monica Vernon (with plenty of personal money to bolster that coffer if he wants). But as a member of the House Freedom Caucus in a district Obama carried by double digits, his re-election still looks daunting.

3. Frank Guinta, R-N.H. (1st District)

With Trump polling poorly in the Granite State, Guinta slides up one spot. Despite his FEC troubles, he looks more likely to survive his Sept. 13 primary than he did several months ago. Democrats would be glad to see him win because he still has high negatives that will dog him in a general election.

4. Cresent Hardy, R-Nev. (4th District)

Hardy was back on the trail last week just days after suffering a minor heart attack. Also last week, he had an awkward “don’t-endorse-but-support” Trump moment. But with the GOP presidential nominee faring relatively better in the Silver State than elsewhere, and Rep. Joe Heck running a strong race for Senate, Hardy falls two spots. Trump will still be a factor in this race, though, especially with a Hispanic Democrat challenging Hardy in a district Obama twice won by double digits.

5. Robert J. Dold, R-Ill. (10th District)

Dold is credited with running the kind of campaign he should be to outperform Trump in a heavily Democratic district. But the last time Dold ran against Brad Schneider in a presidential year, he narrowly lost. And with Trump expected to do worse in this Chicago-based seat than Mitt Romney, Dold is staying put at No. 5. 

6. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla. (26th District)

Like Dold, Curbelo has carved out a moderate path, saying he won’t vote for Trump. Also working in his favor? Democrats didn’t get their preferred candidate in the Aug. 30 primary. But Trump’s effect on a heavily Hispanic district that became slightly more Democratic in redistricting leaves Curbelo in a tough spot. He moves up two spots. 

7. John Katko, R-N.Y. (24th District)

Katko drops a spot. Trump may be less of a drag on down-ballot candidates in upstate New York than other places. Katko ended the second quarter with 16 times more cash on hand than Democrat Colleen Deacon, who had to spend in the primary. Still, he’s vulnerable in a Democratic district that Obama twice carried by double digits.

8. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine (2nd District)

Poliquin climbs a spot. He hasn’t done himself any favors by continuing to dodge questions about his support for Trump, and Democrat Emily Cain has been outraising him lately. Polling shows a tight race. But Poliquin has a $1 million campaign cash advantage (as well as a lot of personal wealth) in a rural district that might be more receptive to Trump than some of the others on this list.


9. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y. (1st District)

Zeldin drops two spots in his race against Anna Throne-Holst, over whom he had a huge cash advantage after her primary. Supporting Trump may actually not be much of a drag on down-ballot candidates here, and Zeldin knows it. But some of the freshman’s comments (like calling Obama a racist) could still come back to haunt him. 

10. Will Hurd, R-Texas (23rd District)

This is where the rankings get fluid. Any number of lawmakers, including Democrats like Bera — whom recent GOP polling has shown in a very tight race — could arguably occupy this spot. But Hurd takes the honor because he’s running in a heavily Hispanic district against a former incumbent who’s achieved closer fundraising parity than many other challengers. Iowa Rep. David Young, who previously held this spot, is still very vulnerable in a district Obama twice carried, but he had a significant financial edge over his opponent at the end of the second quarter.

The Older Version Of Ann Coulter Dies

Phyllis Schlafly, the outspoken conservative who helped defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and founded the right-wing Eagle Forum political group is no more.  She is dead at 92.

Those who love history know it was her efforts which led to Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona earning the 1964 GOP nomination.   But it was her mindless tirades over the ERA and ‘radical feminists’ that earned her lasting fame.

Her Eagle Forum is not hard to define–it prattles on about the same conservative issues that dominate any three-thumb convention.  Low taxes, a strong military and English-only education.

I really can not think of anything kind to say about Schlafly simply because there is nothing nice to say.  The following is just more proof as to why I feel this way.

Caller: The question I have is, how is it that no one has taken the ACLU to task in the courtroom and basically charged them with subversive activity?

Schlafly: Well, personally, Dr. Corsi, I think we need a new House Un-American Activities Committee.

Anyone with an ounce of knowledge about the horror that followed the actions of the HUAC would never utter such a profoundly idiotic remark. Yet she did.  There were countless other such examples over the decades.

Those crazy remarks have now ended.

How The Race For White House Stands Today

Here is how the race for the White House stands the morning after Labor Day.