Thursday, November 17, 2016

Demwit's Next Fund Raiser Should Be For Hearing Aids - Tone Deaf Party! Eleven Ideas! Safe Zones For Wimps!



Guest column: 11 ways to improve U.S. elections

By Marshall Frank
It was 20 months ago that Republican Sen. Ted Cruz first announced his candidacy, in March 2015. Since then, according to current statistics, candidates for president expended $1.3 billion. That’s a lot of food, housing and medicine that won’t reach homeless people who need it.
Canada’s longest election cycle ever was 10 weeks (not months). Most countries in Europe are even less. In the United States, news cycles are virtually saturated 24/7 by politics, which make one wonder what else is going in the world that we’re missing.
Presidential campaigns are an absurdity that has mushroomed out of control, not to mention the waste of billions of dollars. Can they be fixed? Well, anything is possible, so long as our leaders are unselfish and willing.
Here are some ways to streamline our political campaign system:
1.     Set six months as a limit from official launch of a campaign to Election Day. Many candidates serving as governors and senators are virtually extracted from their elected responsibilities while campaigning.
2.     State primary voting should all take place on the same day, not scattered, and scheduled three months after the start of campaigns.
3.     Following party conventions, presidential campaigns should extend no more than three months, including debates and speeches. Nominees also should submit to a minimum and equal number of unscripted press conferences in that period.
4.     Change Election Day to Sunday (like Brazil) or create a national holiday every other year when elections are held on Tuesday.
5.     In federal elections, voting rules and laws should be uniformly applied in every state, including eligibility, personal identification, registration process and using of identical equipment.
6.     Photo I.D. should be uniformly required for all federal elections. There is nothing racist about that. Arguments against photo I.D. open the door to voter fraud. 
7.     Election fraud, such as votes cast by dead people, casting multiple ballots and being registered in more than one state, should result in penalties. Same with providing access for non-citizens to vote.
8.     A sitting president and other elected politicians should be prohibited from using federal taxpayer funds to stump on the campaign trail, as in Air Force One.
9.     Campaign ads and videos that espouse provable untruths about other candidates should be established as a misdemeanor.
10.  Media conflicts of interest should be closely monitored and deterred.
11.  Last but not least: Pass a constitutional amendment to prohibit individual and corporate campaign contributions, and establish a taxpayer system by which an Honesty In Government fee is assessed on every federal tax return. There are 240 million tax returns filed each year. If taxpayers paid a $25 fee, that would raise $6 billion a year, more than enough to fund campaigns for president, and senate and house seats as well. That way, congressmen will no longer spend half their elected time raising money for the next election. And, it will keep candidates free from any perceptions of dishonesty and corruption.
Wouldn’t that be novel?

My message to The Demwits:  "Let it all hang out, face the consequences and when in a hole keep digging."  (See 1 below.) and
The Demwits are tone deaf. Their next fund raiser should be for hearing aids.
An Harvard echo. (See 2 below.)
Repeating: Right click on link then left click on Google and on the top video.

 This was prepared specifically to address concerned  Jews but I believe it is worth listening to for anyone who claims to be objective.
Yesterday, I commented Merkel could lose her re-election bid because of her ties to Obama.  Now the WSJ reports the same. (See 3 below.)

I believe most pollsters and op ed writers make the critical mistake of extrapolating a current result beyond the circumstances that might have given rise to it.

Trump won because voters were angry with Obama's policies and his arrogant assumptions he could do whatever he wished in total disregard of our Constitutional form of governance.

Perhaps four years from now the current political atmosphere will have changed and what worked now may not apply. 

Trump proved telling voters what they know makes sense, even if done in a crude manner at times, is a winning strategy because voters know when they are being pandered and lied to, are being insulted and taken for granted and, worst of all, are being typed/profiled because of their beliefs.

Trump leveled with voters in language they could relate to and Hillary persisted in unconvincing  trite, obsequious, insulting and angry outbursts.  Thirty years of Hillary already had defined who she was in the minds of an overwhelming number of potential voters and she never was able to shake voter convictions, she was stiff, unliked and, above all, untrustworthy.

Four years from now an entirely different set of circumstances and political atmosphere could well become the  background demanding different candidates with different messages and compelling different deliveries and styles.  Time will tell.
Have a great weekend and show compassion to a crying student in their safe zone. One day they will/might grow up, hopefully, and be called upon to defend their own generation.

The Democrats Double Down

The lesson the party is learning from its loss is that it didn’t spend and regulate That is precisely what Democrats are doing. The party is falling in line to install a Minnesota radical, Rep. Keith Ellison, as head of the Democratic 

By Kim Strassel
National Committee. No one seems concerned that Mr. Ellison is a progressive to make 
even Mrs. Warren blush, utterly out of tune with the concerns of  average Americans.
The party’s only real interest? Mr. Ellison is black and Muslim, which checks the 
diversity boxes. But might not the party help itself more by electing a Latino leader? 
Maybe even a Latino woman? This is exactly the approach that Mrs. Clinton pursued by practicing identity politics and catering to specific blocs of voters, while alienating 
whites and ignoring core issues.
Nancy Pelosi in 2010 oversaw the loss of 63 Democratic House seats, the biggest 
wipe out in 70 years. After last week, her third failure to retake the House, that net loss 
figure remains virtually unchanged. Her response was to make another run for House 
minority leader, though Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan announced Thursday that he will challenge 
New York’s Sen. Chuck Schumer this week attained his dream of ascending to lead his 
party in the Senate, and rumors are that he didn’t always agree with the obstructionist 
tactics of his predecessor Harry Reid. So he has already reached out to Mr. Trump. Sen. 
Schumer has an interest in doing so, if only to try to save the skins of the 10 Democrats up
for re-election in 2018 who hail from states that Mr. Trump won—among them, Indiana, 
West Virginia, Montana and North Dakota.
But this assumes that Mr. Schumer will be running the show. The party’s two super-
senators, Ms. Warren and Bernie Sanders, have other ideas. Both intend to rally the furies 
of the progressive movement to oppose any Republican reform. Even Mr. Schumer’s 
polite outreach to Mr. Trump provoked a progressive meltdown, with screams that Senate Democrats are already “selling out.” This might be why Mr. Schumer, in penance, threw 
his support behind Mr. Ellison to lead the party.
A few lone dissenters are shouting in the gale. Boyd Brown, a Democratic National 
Committee member from South Carolina (and therefore a dying breed), told Politico this 
week: “When you have Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer making the sale 
for you, that dog don’t hunt. It’s time to reshuffle the deck and get some younger folks in 
there with some more diverse backgrounds.” Mr. Boyd is likely to be ignored, and for 
reasons that go beyond his folksy reference to hunting dogs.
That’s because Democrats right now look a lot like the House Republicans of the early 
2000s, who became ever more desperate to hold on to power in the face of scandal, 
laziness and a loss of principle. As more voters abandoned them, the GOP became ever 
more interested in culturally catering to a shrinking circle of supporters, in particular the 
religious right. Remember the explosion over Terri Schiavo? That was the GOP version 
of executive orders on transgender bathrooms.
Republicans had the benefit of a broad grass-roots movement in the Tea Party that soon 
after defined the terms of the party’s re-election: If it wanted power again, it would have 
to embrace a reform agenda for a center-right country. It would have to give up earmarks 
and self-dealing, focus on fixing taxes, entitlements, health care. The GOP took back the 
House in 2010.
In Mrs. Clinton’s defeat, progressives see their chance to finally run the Democratic Party.
And they may run it—in the minority—for a very long time.

A Harvard student's open letter to the delicate flowers of the Ivy League

ByJacob Russell

So your candidate lost. You have a right to be upset, frustrated and angry, 
but you also have an obligation to be respectful to others and to the will of 
the American people. Intellectual hypocrisy continues every day on 
campuses, where opinions that are not the norm are vilified or silenced.
Imagine if you treated people of different races as you treat people with 
different opinions. There would be a tremendous outcry! But somehow it is 
fine to discriminate against those with different views.
Did it ever occur to you that this may be why people voted for Trump? That it 
might not have been the “racist proclivities” of the U.S. or the “dangerous nationalism” of the people, but that it was people who tell them not to think 
or speak the way they do.
Trump won, and he did not overthrow the government or kill people to 
silence them. He won in the standard fashion — by getting 270 votes in the Electoral College. As I said, you have a right to be upset, but what we have 
on our hands now is an embarrassment.
Trump won, and he did not overthrow the government or kill people to silence them. He won in the standard fashion — by getting 270 votes in the Electoral College. You have a right to be upset, but what we have on our hands now is an embarrassment.
And this does not lie only with the undergrads. Universities themselves are 
making all types of provisions to coddle those who have been traumatized by the will of the American people. At Harvard, the Introduction to Economics 
midterm was made optional; the reason provided was that the election results came in too late, but we all know it would have been mandatory if Clinton had won 
by 10 p.m., as expected.
If the faculty was worried about students not getting enough sleep the night 
before the exam, then the exam should have been scheduled for a different 
day. A note to all faculty: If you did not know, the election is the first Tuesday 
after the first Monday in November. It was going to go one way or the other, 
and the undergrads and faculty should have known that and been prepared 
for any result. The Economics Department’s decision to make the midterm 
optional has set a bad precedent. Does this mean that whenever someone is upset, he/she can opt out of taking an exam? If you had the hubris to make the 
midterm the day after the election, you should have stuck with your decision 
instead of capitulating to the hysteria of the Flowers.
Now protests are popping up at universities all over America. What are you protesting … the democratic process? There are calls for changing the 
Electoral College to just a popular vote; but, of course, if Hillary had won the electoral vote and lost the popular vote, you would be reprimanding those 
who called it an injustice.
Protesting the orderly transfer of power under the Constitution is a head-
scratcher. Maybe we can trace the root cause of this behavior to our 
generation receiving participation trophies while growing up. Many never 
learned how to be graceful in defeat, much less handle it.
The election is over. The people have made their decision. You can be angry,
 happy or indifferent, but above all you can be polite. have some etiquette. 
There is a difference between political correctness and politeness etiquette, 
and unfortunately one has taken over universities while the other has been 
It's time to put away your Play-Doh (yes, some universities are actually 
handing out Play-Doh to help students cope), move on and do what it takes 
to better our nation, because we are all on this ship together.

Jacob Russell is a sophomore at Harvard College studying history.
3) Populist Tide Puts Angela Merkel on the Defensive

Trump victory and anti-immigrant sentiment across Europe boost opponents of German chancellor and her refugee policy

MAGDEBURG, Germany—The night after Donald Trump won the presidency, hundreds of backers of an anti-immigrant party whose success has shaken German politics gathered in the biting cold in this eastern German city and celebrated a new reality.
“Bravo, Mr. Trump, you get it!” state party leader AndrĂ© Poggenburg shouted from the stage last Wednesday, framed by the dark hulk of a 500-year-old Gothic cathedral. “Today, I must say, it is truer than ever: Merkel must go!”
Merkel muss weg! Merkel muss weg! Merkel muss weg!“ the crowd chanted in response. “Merkel must go!”
Mr. Trump’s election is the second upset populist victory in the West this year, after last June’s anti-establishment Brexit vote in the U.K. With it, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe’s most influential defender of postwar internationalism, finds herself further under siege.
The Continent’s populist tide has reached Austria, where an anti-immigrant candidate is polling strongly ahead of next month’s presidential election, and Italy, whose center-left premier could lose a constitutional referendum on which he has staked his career. Aides to Ms. Merkel think in France, nationalist, anti-immigration leader Marine Le Pen could win next year’s presidential election. At home, lingering discontent with Ms. Merkel’s handling of the refugee crisis could spoil her Christian Democratic Union’s re-election bid next fall.
Of all Europe’s mainstream politicians fighting populist insurgencies, Ms. Merkel is in the strongest position. She has relatively high approval ratings and a healthy economy. Allies and opponents agree, though, that she must persuade skeptical voters she can meet a growing pile of political, economic and security challenges at home and beyond.
Ms. Merkel, 62 years old, declined through a spokesman to comment for this article. Aides and allies said in interviews her playbook for pushing back the populist tide includes a reaffirmation of values such as the right to asylum, an admission of past mistakes and the pursuit of pragmatic steps to fix them.
Ms. Merkel is widely expected to announce in the coming weeks she will seek a fourth term in next fall’s election. Current polls show she would be favored to win, although she faces some of the same forces that carried Mr. Trump to victory
Formerly a political outsider who grew up behind the Iron Curtain, Ms. Merkel has come to embody Germany’s political mainstream, supportive of European integration and American-inspired values of democratic rights and free markets. She faces mounting anger over immigration, security, stagnating wages and sentiment that the political, business and media elite are exploiting the common man.
Last fall, Ms. Merkel opened the country’s doors to thousands of mainly Middle Eastern migrants stranded in Hungary. Many Germans embraced the newcomers. Then, at 12:50 a.m. on Jan. 1, police overseeing revelers at the Central Station in Cologne encountered a crying woman who told them she had been groped. A later government report described a spree of sexual assaults and robberies by migrants that night.
The assaults helped drive an anti-Islam message for parties across Europe. Ms. Merkel’s approval ratings dropped, and the Alternative for Germany, an upstart party critical of Ms. Merkel’s refugee policy, scored unprecedented gains in three state elections in March.
In July, as the refugee stream slowed to a trickle, there were two terrorist attacks by migrants in the space of a week: a teenager injured five people with an ax and a suicide bomber at a music festival injured 15.
“Is Germany now colorful enough for you, Frau Merkel?” populist leader Frauke Petry posted on Facebook in the aftermath. “What more do those in positions of responsibility need in order to open their eyes and recognize what is happening now in Germany?”
When Ms. Merkel held her traditional summer news conference, she repeated her mantra: “We will manage this.”
This month, Ms. Merkel’s approval rating stood at 52%, down from more than 70% in the summer of 2015, according to pollster Infratest Dimap. Her party is polling in the low-30% range, after winning 41.5% of the vote in a 2013 federal election.
“People have a diffuse fear,” said former Bavarian Premier Edmund Stoiber, an elder statesman of German conservatism and a Merkel critic. “You cannot simply address this feeling of insecurity with rational answers. You have to give the people an emotional answer as well.”
Ms. Merkel was unprepared for the intense emotions stirred by the refugee crisis. “What we learned in the last year is that fundamental achievements of the European Union can be quickly placed into question,” said someone close to her, “and that national animosities can suddenly reappear that we thought were in the past.”
Germany enjoys close to full employment, and its industry has thrived despite economic turmoil elsewhere in Europe. In a recent survey by polling firm Allensbach, more than four-fifths of Germans age 30 to 59 described the quality of life as good or very good. But the share of people who saw the future with fear or skepticism rose to 42%, from 30% last year, while those who looked ahead with hope shrank 14 points to 43%. Their biggest fears were xenophobia, terrorism, the large number of refugees and rising right-wing extremism.
The government counted 10,373 suspected hate crimes in 2015, nearly doubled the prior year’s tally. It blamed the increase mainly on rising xenophobic crime and online hate speech.
In Ms. Merkel’s hometown of Templin, an hour’s drive north of Berlin, Mayor Detlef Tabbert rattled off problems with the new residents: bicycling on the sidewalk and noise late into the evening, challenges in learning German and asylum applicants who can’t even read and write in their native languages.
A local soccer club canceled a trip to Oktoberfest in Munich because of terrorism fears, and the police recently investigated three Afghan asylum applicants for allegedly groping a teenage girl, he said.
Two months ago, mounting criticism of Ms. Merkel within her own party seemed to strike home, people close to her said. Her conservative Christian Democratic Union had just finished behind a populist party to its political right for the first time ever in a state election.
As the results trickled in, Ms. Merkel was in China, fueling critics’ accusations that she is indifferent to the concerns of regular Germans. The next day, Ms. Merkel stepped away from an international meeting to dial into a conference call with her party’s executive board.
Deputy Finance Minister Jens Spahn said the party wasn’t getting through to the people, and suggested that Ms. Merkel had to start showing more empathy for their fears, according to two people familiar with the call. She responded by arguing that support for the party might be stronger if its politicians backed her more visibly.
Within days, Ms. Merkel’s rhetoric began to change. Previously, she had stuck to a twin-track strategy: working to reduce arrivals while exhorting her compatriots to embrace refugees as a positive development for Germany. Now, she began to acknowledge mistakes in her initial handling of the crisis.
Addressing parliament in September, she said, “Germany will remain Germany, with all we cherish and value about it.” Speaking to reporters after the Berlin election later that month, she said she would stop using her much-criticized we-will-manage mantra because it had become “a simple motto, an empty formula.” She even managed a semi-apology for not having seen the refugee crisis coming.
“If I could, I would turn back time many, many years to be able to better prepare myself and the whole government and all those in positions of responsibility for the situation that met us rather unprepared in late summer 2015,” she said.
A crisis team formed in Ms. Merkel’s Chancellery last year to manage the logistics of sheltering the hundreds of thousands of new arrivals is now working to get many of them out of the country. The group has in recent weeks examined increasing the number of days authorities are allowed to keep a rejected asylum seeker in pre-deportation detention, according to a person involved in the deliberations.
The government is betting Germans are more unnerved at the idea of the state losing control of the situation than they are hostile to refugees. Success, not just in reducing the number of arrivals but also in deporting rejected asylum seekers, would show Ms. Merkel is firmly in charge.
Despite the pivot, she stuck to her line that blocking all refugees or all Muslims would contradict not only “the German constitution and our country’s duties under international law, but also, above all, the ethical foundations of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany and my personal convictions.”
On the morning after Mr. Trump’s election, Ms. Merkel and her aides wrote what even they realized was an unusual message for the German chancellor to deliver to the future leader of the U.S.
“Germany and America are connected by values of democracy, freedom, and respect for the law and the dignity of man, independent of origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or political views,” Ms. Merkel said. “I offer the next president of the United States close cooperation on the basis of these values.”
Throughout the U.S. campaign, Ms. Merkel was quietly pulling for Hillary Clinton, whom she knows and respects, people close to the chancellor say. But she never said so publicly, and unlike many other European leaders and members of her own government, she avoided criticizing Mr. Trump.
Ms. Merkel is unruffled by Mr. Trump’s broadsides against her in the campaign, said one of the people close to her. (He called her “insane” for accepting refugees, among other things.)
At the rally of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party last week in Magdeburg, hours after Ms. Merkel’s subtle rebuke of Mr. Trump, her opponents welcomed a new ally in the world’s most powerful office.
“Something became possible today that many people believed was impossible,“ said senior party official Beatrix von Storch. “Everything is possible. We can accomplish everything, even the completely unthinkable.”

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