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Three Quick Facts That Should Unnerve Donald Trump

October 19, 2016

Mitt Romney won the South by 7.1 points over Barack Obama in 2012. Donald Trump is winning in the South too, but by a mere 1.2 points. This is typified by Texas, where Donald Trump is leading by a rather slim margin for a Republican. A University of Houston poll has him up a mere 3 points.

Election Day is still nearly three weeks away, but Paddy Power, an Irish bookmaker, announced that it is so confident that Hillary Clinton will win the U.S. election that it will pay out more than $1 million in winnings for bets made on her victory.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will face one another in their final presidential debate tonight. But the debate comes too late to change the minds of at least 2,064,538 confirmed voters. Early voting has been going on for some time now, and more than 2 million Americans have already cast ballots.

For Those Thinking Voting Third Party….

October 18, 2016

Hat Tip to Doug.

From Seth’s Blog

Ross Perot, the third-party candidate who ran against Bush and Clinton, cost Bush that election. The people who voted for Perot got Clinton, and it’s pretty clear that the Republicans learned nothing from this, as the next winning candidate they nominated was… George Bush.

Ralph Nader, the third-party candidate who ran against Bush and Gore, cost Gore that election. The people who voted for Nader got Bush, and it’s pretty clear that the Democrats learned nothing from this, as the next person they nominated was… John Kerry.

[I’m calling it a ‘problem’ because I have such huge respect for people who care enough and are passionate enough to support change. The problem is that since Gus Hall, and then John Anderson and then the more recent candidates, just about all the changes that third parties have tried to bring to national politics have foundered. It just isn’t a useful way to market change in this country.]

If enough people spent enough time, day after day, dollar after dollar, we could fundamentally alter the historic two-party system we have in the US. But it’s been shown, again and again, that the easy act of letting oneself off the hook by simply voting for a third-party candidate accomplishes nothing.

The marketing of the third-party candidate is: Teach those folks a lesson, plus, you’re not on the hook for what happens. But…

No one in government is learning a lesson.

And you don’t even get who you voted for.

The irony is not lost on me. A small group of voters who care a great deal are spending psychic energy on a vote that undermines the very change they seek to make. 

It’s a self-defeating way of letting yourself off the hook, but of course, you’re actually putting yourself on the hook, just as you do if you don’t vote at all

Wisconsin State Journal Headline About Election Should Concern All Citizens

October 17, 2016

Regardless of which side of the political aisle we call home or which candidate garners our support the following should be something all can agree about.

This election cycle has created enough outlandish headlines there is surely no one left feeling they now have not seen almost everything.  Then came the headline Monday morning on the top half of the Wisconsin State Journal that made he stop and pause and reconsider that notion.

As I peeled off the blue wrapper from the paper I read  “Pence: We will accept outcome”.   It was not a partisan twinge from the headline which I felt but instead a deep sense of dread about what is happening to our nation.  When did respecting the democratic outcome from the voters become old-fashioned?

Over the past months Donald Trump has ramped up his choice of words about the election process being rigged and that the results may then be in doubt.  There is no other major presidential candidate who has used this canard to lay the groundwork for rejecting the result of a national election.

There is a firm belief in this nation that the laws of the land guide us and bind us to one another.  It is this acceptance of invisible ties that allow for the peaceful transfer of power in our nation. Sure there have been moments when the better angels did not prevail as when John Adams left by carriage in the dark of night so not needing to attend the inauguration of his successor, Thomas Jefferson.   But in recent times we have watched how being an American supersedes politics when Al Gore gave a most gracious concession speech in 2000 after a frothy court challenge.

What the WSJ headline underscored was the attempt to undermine and delegitimize the winner in the presidential electoral college.  To attempt in any way to persuade voters that fraud is taking place in the election is playing dangerously at a very tense time in our country.  As the paper noted Monday a study by Loyola Law School found that out of 1 billion votes cast in all American elections between 2000 and 2014 there were only 31 known cases of impersonation fraud.

That there is no substance or statistical evidence to support such a line of rhetoric about voting fraud is but the least of the reasons every voter–regardless of party–should be concerned.

What is being stated for political purposes is not aimed at lifting the nation up but instead is being used for the most base and sinister of reasons. We have seen over the years how a totally inaccurate statement, if used over and over, will seem as a fact to a segment of the electorate.   That is bad enough when it happens regarding the creation of policy but to have such reckless assertions made repeatedly by a nominee of a major political party is nothing short of playing with lit dynamite.

To see the need for such a headline as the one in the paper is troubling for those who treasure the fact for more than two centuries there has been a smooth process where one president is replaced by a new leader.  Who can not marvel at the graciousness days after the election when the current president meets the president-elect at the door to the White House and welcomes the new family in for coffee as they talk about the transition?  It is after all, these types of norms that we have come to expect and the ones that keep our republic healthy and strong.

The method we have for electing leaders, when all is said and done, is not about one party or one person.  I was taught decades ago in civics that our political process for elections is designed so that anyone with the title of citizen has the power and responsibility to cast a ballot and make a choice.  For our nation to add chapters to our long and remarkable past we must stop the tearing down of the norms that have taken us this far.  We must realize this election is not about one person.

This election and the outcome is about us all.

Christopher Nixon Cox Wrong; Richard Nixon Would NOT Vote For Donald Trump

October 16, 2016

The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum reopened on Friday after a $15m overhaul, drawing family, friends, allies and a brass band to honor the 37th president.  This took place as Donald Trump was ripping the party that Nixon was so faithful to into shreds.

As I reviewed the ceremony that re-opened this library I was struck by a most odd and inaccurate statement.

The late president’s grandson, Christopher Nixon Cox, stated that Richard Nixon, if given the chance would have voted for Trump.   “He always supported the Republican ticket. I think he’d go straight down the line Republican.”

I simply disagree.

There is no doubt Nixon was a staunch party member and worked for many people who did not meet the smell test for the rest of the nation.  But Nixon was one of the most capable and brilliant minds regarding the formulation of foreign policy and would never have voted for Donald Trump who has stated his desire to see NATO gutted, nuclear weapons be spread to more nations, and a total disregard for the international standards which have governed diplomacy for decades.

I also add that the straight-laced Nixon would never hve countenanced the trashy side of Trump.  Never Ever!

Cox was surely paying lip service to some powerful monied interests who were in  attendance for the re-opening.  But by doing so he did a grave disservice to the former president.

I say that because there is nothing about the serious side of Nixon–the man who secluded himself with yellow legal pads and pens to write thought provoking books on international affairs–that would suggest under any circumstance he would do harm to internationalists with a vote for Trump.

This is not some idealized notion I have of Nixon–a man who I have read about and studied for decades.  Rather my views are a strong assessment of the facts as his life and writings which lead me to this conclusion.

Nixon wrote of and spoke often about the need for America to use skill to show our power is the best at preserving peace and promoting freedom. Nixon helped build some of the transatlantic partnerships following W.W. II and fully appreciated their value.  He fully grasped the requirement that a president have a keen sense of the world and the history which guides us still.

I wish to remind my readers–and others like Christopher Nixon Cox–that Nixon would have paled at the words of Trump regarding Muslims.  Let me pull off my shelves Seize The Moment and quote directly from the former president.

As we develop our policies to engage the Muslim world, we must begin with respect and understanding for peoples who feel they have been misunderstood, discriminated against, and exploited by Western powers.

Nixon also stated in that book “our civilization is not inherently superior to theirs“, meaning the Muslim world.

I could go on and on and pull volume after volume from the shelves that line this home office.  But I trust I have made my point.

I sincerely wish–and I say this with kindness–that Christopher Nixon Cox read more about his granddad and not place everything about the man in a partisan mindset.  As the years when Nixon live recede it is even more obvious he was a tremendous thinker who pondered the world in deeper ways than many perhaps are aware.

That pondering and reflection is what attracted me (a liberal Democrat) a long time ago to this historic figure.  There is much to learn from one who worked so hard after a political downfall to show his eagerness to still shape and mold the American future.

That is what I hope Cox can find.

As I write this post I thought of the Finlandia Hymn by Jan Sibelius which I heard not so long ago for the first time at a symphony performance.   May it guide us as a nation forward, too.

This is my song, O God of all the nations,

A song of peace for lands afar and mine.

This is my home, the country where my heart is,

Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine.

But other hearts in other lands are beating,

With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine. 

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,

And sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine.

But other lands have sunlight too, and clover,

And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.

O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,

A song of peace for their land and for mine.

This Was Spotted On Lake Monona Today

October 16, 2016


McDonalds May Sell Burgers Next To The Vatican

October 16, 2016

Plans to open a McDonald’s next to the Vatican has caused outrage among cardinals–several of the Princes of the Church- reside above the 6,000 square foot site owned by the church.

The fast-food chain wants to open a restaurant in a piazza to the right of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome which based on news reports would bring in 30,000 Euros (£27,000) a month in the proposed deal.  That would help settle some of the outstanding legal bills owed by the church for pedophile priests.

But the Princes are not going quietly into the night about this matter.  One angry cardinal has reportedly written a letter to Pope Francis urging him to intervene.

Being one always interested in compromise I suggest placing a finger of a saint on the wall of the fast-food business with a plaque reading ‘Just be thankful this was not found in your fries.”

By adding some humor and a few new items like deep-fried wafers I see this being a win-win for all parties involved.

Donald Trump Wants To Cancel Saturday Night Live

October 16, 2016

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the continuing rants that keep pouring forth from the mouth of Donald Trump.   He is my greatest asset this fall.

Could you give me direction as to which color fabric will work best in the chair and sofa selections for the Oval Office?

Thank you and Amen.





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