Thursday, September 8, 2016

Pittsburgh and Birmingham, Comparative Mistakes! Trump The Builder Not Concrete Enough In Responses! Comey Blew It! AIPAC!

I have used a gender neutral
Obama should have appointed a dentist to head his State Department's foreign policy initiatives because his have been toothless. (See 1 below.)
A fabulous video on Pittsburgh:

My home birth town was Birmingham and  was called the Pittsburgh of the South. Birmingham, The Magic City, also  made the mistake of destroying much of its infrastructure and expanded to the suburbs which turned the city into a ghost town at night.  Birmingham, like Pittsburgh, is coming back having learned an important lesson, humans, by nature, are animals who like to congregate.
General commentary. (See 3 and 3a  below.)
Wednesday night I listened to the program at which Hillary and Trump answered questions regarding the military and the office of the president.

Trump is a builder but his answers are not 'concrete' enough. He needs to learn from a master like Newt.  Newt can answer a question and no matter how complex he can reduce it to language any man in the street can comprehend.

When Trump is asked about experience being president he could and should answer that he was Chairman of his own organization and though not the president , unlike his opponent, he hired and surrounded himself with talented no nonsense people who were creative and they collectively built things .  His opponent has never hired anyone to create anything and in fact the few she hired actually destroyed/smashed or wiped clean documents and Blackberry equipment and were willing to lie for her.

When you hear about Hillary being praised for  her experience once again Trump should recall for the listener that experience without success does not count for much and he should then tick off the following: hiding the Rose Law Firm Papers which suddenly reappeared and that behaviour  continues to this day with erased and destroyed documents after the court ordered they be saved, Healthcare Gate a failure, the White House Travel Gate episode another failure, the cattle future episode another act of lying and corruption and now we have a repeat with to Benghazi and Libya. Hillary's hallowed career has been one of failures, poor choices, lying, stealing furniture from the White House, which had to be returned, attacking women her husband abused. Is this experience that qualifies her to be president?

When Trump is asked about having to make a decision regarding putting military in harms way he should respond that he has proven he can appoint competent people and is capable of taking their advice and had the Benghazi situation occurred on his watch, even at 3AM, he would have done everything possible, sought the best advice, to save them rather than allow them to die in order to cover up the lie Obama and Rice concocted because of the upcoming election.

When asked about what he would do concerning  the Veterans Administration, he gave a decent response but he could have repeated the story about how he voluntarily came in and solved the ice rink issue in New York in several months, below budget that New York Bureaucrats had bungled for over two years. Not to be boastful but to show he knows how to get things done, below budget and cut through the bureaucratic crap.

Finally, when asked about his own qualifications and failures he should respond that executive talent is applicable in and transferable to many positions and that, like Babe Ruth, he has struck out but unlike his opponent, who only seems to strike out, he has hit some major home runs, been creative and provided legitimate work for thousands of people without regard to their color, ethnicity etc..

What I am getting at is that every time Trump is asked a "gotcha" question he should tie it to Hillary and be more direct, more succinct in his response. The other thing he should do is not run from his failures. We all have failures but the turtle only moves forward by sticking his neck out.

It is not easy to think on  your feet when you are under pressure but if you know in advance how you are going to frame every response it gives you a basis for responding that is more effective than resorting to randomness. A good trial lawyer knows how to do this and it can also be accomplished with humor, with self-deprecation all of which have a positive effect on the listening audience because it humanizes you.

I would love to have a half hour with Donald to help him prepare for the debates.  He is good but he is also rough around some edges and I would love to help smooth him. His greatest problem is his ability to self destruct and I believe it is because he allows his large ego to drive his responses when in fact he has an extremely high I Q and should use it more!

But then, who am I to criticize a man who slayed 16 dragons and , like Sinatra, did it his way.
Clever Putin, the peacemaker Obama failed at being.

This past Wednesday I attended an AIPAC meeting at which Elliot Mendes gave an excellent review of what is going on in The Middle Est and what is the issues AIPAC faces as a new Congress comes to office etc.

I  am not suggesting I know more than Elliot but I am conversant with just about everything he said but he did an extremely professional job in framing his review in excellent language and phrases.

I have been a member of AIPAC for over 40 years and, as I have noted previously , was urged to join by Sen. Sam Nunn. The purpose of AIPAC is to help maintain a strong relation between America and Israel.  I believe Israel is an important ally of America and an important resource for our nation. I also believe for Jews, Israel is critical.  Every oppressed people benefit by having their own strong nation..(See 4 and 4a below.)
Off to go out of town, returning Sunday.

Obama’s Toothless Foreign Policy

Eight years of almost no sticks and very few carrots has made the U.S. into a bystander.


As our dispiriting presidential campaign grinds on, the rest of the world is not standing still. And the news is not good.

At the G-20 meeting last weekend, Chinese officials treated the president of the United States and his senior aides with blatant disrespect. As Chinese nationalism surges, President Xi Jinping is asserting his country’s claims throughout the South China Sea, a move that episodic demonstrations of American naval power have failed to halt. Meanwhile, the linchpin of President Obama’s “pivot” to Asia—the Trans-Pacific Partnership—faces opposition from both presidential candidates and hangs by a thread in Congress. Its defeat would deal a heavy blow to American credibility.
In the Middle East, the Syrian civil war continues its bloody course, and the latest effort to negotiate a humanitarian cease-fire with the Russians has foundered over what the administration describes as “trust” issues. Mr. Obama’s prediction that Vladimir Putin’s use of military force would land him in a quagmire described his own state of mind rather than reality. Instead, at modest cost, Mr. Putin has restored Russia’s standing as a key player in the region, while our friends and allies see America in retreat.
In northern Syria, U.S.-backed Kurds have been the only effective fighters against Islamic State. But when Turkey sent its forces across the border, Mr. Obama sent Vice PresidentJoe Biden to Turkey, where he demanded that the Kurds withdraw from ISIS-held territory they had recently seized. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sees every manifestation of Kurdish nationalism, wherever it may occur, as a threat to Turkey’s domestic security.
The U.S. is under no obligation to agree with him, especially at the expense of one of the few reliably pro-Western forces in the region. Mr. Obama’s meeting in China with Mr. Erdogan did not yield an agreement. The administration’s brand of “realism” in Syria has ended in a damaging muddle.
Mr. Obama seems to have assumed that events in Syria, however awful to behold, would have no effect on core American interests. If so, he was badly mistaken. The flood of Syrian refugees has destabilized its neighbors in the Middle East and Europe.The group photo at the G-20 meeting spoke volumes. At one end, President Putin was speaking to President Erdogan, who listened attentively. At the other end, President Obama peered curiously at the colloquy. In the middle, President Xi smiled confidently. As the authoritarian entente cordiale flowers, the U.S. is reduced to a bystander’s role.
Anti-immigrant nationalism is on the rise throughout the Continent, and it contributed to June’s pro-Brexit vote in the U.K. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who initially welcomed the refugees, has been thrown on the defensive. In an election in her home state last weekend, her Christian Democrats finished third, behind the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party. Even Denmark, long regarded as a bastion of tolerance, is witnessing a backlash, and the anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party is now the country’s second-largest.
Weakness begets weakness. America’s response to Mr. Putin’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea was totally ineffective. When Hitler’s forces marched into the Rhineland in 1936, along the demilitarized border with France, England’s Lord Lothian remarked that this was no more than the Germans walking into “their own back garden”—never mind Germany’s treaty obligations not to do so.
It was not hard to discern similar undercurrents in the wake of Mr. Putin’s bold Crimea stroke and the U.S. failure to provide defensive weaponry to Ukraine after Russian-backed separatists struck again in eastern Ukraine.
Presidents often define their foreign policy in opposition to the most unpopular features of their predecessor’s. This seldom works out well: The opposite of a mistake is usually the opposite mistake.
And so it has been with Mr. Obama. He opposed George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq—rightly, in my view—and rode that opposition to the White House. But “no more Iraqs” turned out be an inadequate maxim, even (or especially) in the Middle East. His allergy to the use, or even the threat, of force has rendered U.S. diplomacy all but toothless. We have conducted an eight-year experiment in foreign policy with almost no sticks and very few carrots. The results are clear: The force of the better argument is seldom enough to prevail on its own.
Donald Trump’s election would make a bad situation worse, which is why most of the Republican foreign-policy establishment has deserted him. Some of them have already announced that they will vote for Hillary Clinton, who has emerged as the one champion of the traditional, muscular, often bipartisan approach to American foreign policy.
Despite its many mistakes, the U.S. remains the most credible guarantor of global peace and security. No invisible hand will secure this outcome. When we pull back, chaos results. And nothing in human affairs is worse.
2) Trump up, Hillary down, Obama out

Victor Davis Hanson

By Victor Davis Hanson

In most presidential elections, the two candidates spar over issues. The president campaigns for his party's nominee in hopes of continuing his legacy.

Democrats champion liberalism, Republicans conservatism. In numerous press conferences, journalists try to force newsworthy and embarrassing admissions from the two candidates.

Not this year.

Barack Obama, who less than two years ago dipped to 40 percent in approval rating, is nowhere to be seen. He seems to know that the more he is absent and quiet, the more the public likes the idea rather than the reality of him as president -- and his approval rating has risen to 51 percent.

In his self-imposed retreat, Obama makes no effort to defend the Affordable Care Act, which is all but disintegrating, as major insurers pull out and costs skyrocket.

Ditto the Iran deal. Obama is learning that it is better to be quiet about Iranian violations, ransom for hostages and provocations than to explain them away.

Obama months ago gave up mentioning how the crushing national debt has almost doubled to nearly $20 trillion under his watch. No one seems to be defending the Obama administration's lax immigration and border-enforcement policies.
He is also silent on his foreign policy -- "reset" with Russia, the abrupt pullout from Iraq, the intervention in Libya, the growth of the Islamic State, the disintegration of Syria, and the decision not to associate global terrorism with radical Islamism.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has kept a relatively low profile for someone who's running for president. She has not held a press conference in more than nine months, counting on a compliant press to keep giving her a pass on her email scandals.
Her campaign strategy is to agree to occasional one-on-one interviews with pre-selected friendly journalists, and to engage in chitchat on frivolous morning and late-evening TV talk shows. Clinton avoids large rallies, where she often grates rather than enthuses.

The Clinton strategy is to sit on her small lead in the last two months of the race, expecting that the mercurial Donald J. Trump will finally destroy his campaign with another outburst. She apparently assumes that nonstop fundraising, attack ads and an army of staffers will bury the amateurish Trump campaign.

Clinton doesn't talk much about the Obama record. Voters do not have any idea how -- or indeed if -- she would fix Obamacare.
Clinton talks tough about her future foreign policy. Does that mean she thinks Obama has been too complacent abroad?
Would she add to or reduce Obama's massive addition to the national debt?

Meanwhile, the frenetic 70-year old Trump cannot sit still. He talks to the press nonstop, anywhere, anytime.
He flies to Louisiana to inspect flood damage, to Mexico to joust with the Mexican government over illegal immigration, to a black church in Detroit to woo inner-city voters. Trump likes huge crowds at rallies where he bellows and at any moment can veer off-script.

Trump's effort is mostly a loud, public, solo affair. He tries to scrounge free TV and radio exposure. He is at war not just with Clinton but also with the Republican establishment and the so-called elites of both parties.

This weird election is coming down to just two factors:

One, the outcome on Nov. 8 is largely up to Trump.

Can he continue to widen his appeal and chip away at Clinton's lead? In other words, can a hyperactive Trump reinvent himself as "presidential" and assure voters who do not like Clinton that as a calm president he won't embarrass the country?

A Pass For Gaming the System?


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