Saturday, July 30, 2016

One Minute MISmanager - DJT on going to war with ISIS

Excerpts from Trump/Pence 60 MINUTES interview

On going to war against ISIS...

Lesley Stahl: Let's talk about what happened in Nice, horrendous, carnage, horrible--

Donald Trump: Horrible.

Lesley Stahl: Horrible. You said you would declare war against ISIS. What exactly do you have--

Donald Trump: It is war. By the way, it is war.

Lesley Stahl: No, but does that-- when you say, "Declare war," do you want to send American troops in there? Is that what you mean?

Donald Trump: Look, we have people that hate us. We have people that want to wipe us out. We're gonna declare war against ISIS. We have to wipe out ISIS. These are people that--

Lesley Stahl: With troops on the ground?

Donald Trump: I am going to have very few troops on the ground. We're going to have unbelievable intelligence, which we need; which, right now, we don't have. We don't have the people over there. We are going to use--

Lesley Stahl: You want to send Americans--

Donald Trump: Excuse me-- and we're going to have surrounding states and, very importantly, get NATO involved because we support NATO far more than we should, frankly, because you have a lot of countries that aren't doing what they're supposed to be doing. And we have to wipe out ISIS. And speaking of Turkey, Turkey is an ally. Turkey can do it by themselves. But they have to be incentivized. For whatever reason, they're not. So we have no choice.

Lesley Stahl: But I still don't know if you're going to send troops over--

Donald Trump: Very little. I'm gonna--

Lesley Stahl: But declare war--

Donald Trump: --get neighboring states and I'm going to get-- we are going to
get NATO; we're going to wipe 'em out. We're gonna--

Lesley Stahl: But declare war?

Mike Pence: Lesley--

Lesley Stahl: What does that mean--

Mike Pence: This is-- this is the kind-- this is the kind of leadership that America
needs and it--

Lesley Stahl: But what--

Mike Pence: -and it begins with deciding to destroy the enemies of our freedom.

Lesley Stahl: How?

Mike Pence: And how we do that? I have every confidence. You-- you remember I served on the Foreign Affairs Committee. And I'm very confident that when Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, he'll give a directive to our military commanders, bring together other nations, and we will use the enormous resources of the United States to destroy that enemy.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

On the DJT watch - has Trump met Putin?

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Question of the hour - has Trump ever met Putin?

Well, not an easy question to answer.

If you went by what Trump told a 2014 National Press Club gathering,  he spoke "directly & indirectly with President Putin" during a visit to Moscow, that the Russian leader "could not have been nicer." 

During the 11/10/15 GOP debate, DJT told America, "I got to know him very well because we were both on '60 Minutes,' we were stablemates, and we did very well that night." 

Oh, wait - he moonwalked that one back after press called him on it.  He slammed the press, claiming he'd never said he'd MET Putin, only said segments featuring them were on the same 60 Minutes

God bless youtube!   

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Thank you, Howard Kurtz

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My thanks to Howard Kurtz for brushing off Donald Trump's comments about Russia finding HRC's e-mails as obvious sarcasm.  I get that.  He used a press conference to make a jest, a crazy bon mot that was meant by an entertainer to entertain.  He seemed to find that perfectly acceptable in someone running for POTUS. 

But Charles Krauthammer deserves praise, too, seeing DJT as "extremely clever," tricking the Clinton campaign into admitting that the missing e-mails were full of sensitive data, that her own words prove she should be indicted.  Donald Trump succeeds in doing what multiple House special committees bungled, in whupping her sorry ass where the FBI failed.  NAILED!  (please note the preceding drips with sarcasm)

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Let me see if I get this right.  Donald Trump made a brilliant political move by making an outrageous comment that seemed to invite Russia to play footsie with the American political system BUT was simply sarcasm designed to remind everyone about HRC's missing headlines while garnering headlines for himself.  Just kidding, folks, is what he's saying.

One of the many things I learned from West Wing is that press conferences are NOT the place for sarcasm.  Ever. 

Imagine Donald Trump winning the presidency.  How many oops moments are we in for because he has no concept of what is & isn't appropriate?

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Game changing mensch

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It is wonderful to respect & love Bernie - HE is the campaign's most unique force.  But don't go all Republicany,  giving feelings more power than facts. 

Bernie brought out the best in us, while Trump draws out the worse.  Trump will take the natural ill will at the DNC deep-sixing Bernie's campaign & turn it totally toxic. 

Bernie is the ultimate mensch - and he doesn't want his supporters to be played for a bunch of schmucks.

Last night, President Obama's speech hit it out of the ballpark.  But one of the things that gave it such soaring power were its shout-outs & respect for both Bernie & his supporters.  Our president, leader of the Democratic Party, made it clear to the world that Bernie is one of his own.  It does not heal the wounds of how Bernie was finagled by the DNC, will not touch those who are beyond being reached, but it offered salve to those who seek healing.

It would be nice to have a magic wand right now, to be able to show Bernie supporters HOW different this convention would have been without him being the game-changing mensch he's always been. 

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Bernie ran as a way to get his message out. 

He ran as a Democrat because he's always sat with the party's caucus, because it would give him a bigger podium for delivering his message. 

He ran to deliver us a message & he gave us more than a champion, he made it a race, turned the party more progressive than it's been in decades, was the force for good he's always been. 

Bernie is my hero for reasons far different than the rest of my friends, then most of America.  He is my hero because he showed that it is never too late to be bold.  At 74, he had the physical stamina to keep on going, the mental stamina to deliver his message as a clarion call, had the heart to win everyone over - if not their vote, he got their respect.  He's da man!

Love  Bernie, respect him.  And vote for Hillary.  This is not the election for casting protest votes or trying to build up a viable 3rd party or sitting it out. 

In 1968, when I was 16, when stay-at-home Dems handed Richard Nixon his first term. 

I was 48 when Dems' 3rd party votes opened the door to stealing the 2000 election, handing Bush-Cheney their first term. 

Does any Dem, Independent, Radical Centrist, or traditional Republican want to handle Donald Trump a first term?

Love Bernie.  Continue the revolution.  But save America first.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Adam Smith's capitalism married money with morality

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NEWS  FLASH!    Adam Smith saw capitalism as drawing together economics & morality.  He did not see it as an bare-knuckled, no-holds-barred approach to accumulating masses of money while leaving masses of victims in our wake.  In his world-shaking The Wealth of Nations, he laid out his theory that rational self-interest & free market competition are the best path to a nation's economic prosperity.  While his book laid the foundation of modern economics, he would have been horrified at the idea of making money for the sake of wealth alone. 

Smith wasn't a dewey-eyed idealist.  He realized that for every wealthy person, there were hundreds of poor ones, but saw the wealthy therefore had a natural obligation to help lift up the lives upon which their fortunes were based:
“It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”   

~  ~  ~

On extreme wealth inequality?
“No society can surely be flourishing and happy of which by far the greater part of the numbers are poor and miserable.

~  ~  ~

True role of government?
“Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.”  

On facts v. feelings?
“Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.”   
~  ~  ~

Paying forward to those with fewer blessings?
“Though our brother is upon the rack, as long as we ourselves are at ease, our senses will never inform us of what he suffers. They never did and never can carry us beyond our own persons, and it is by the imagination only that we form any conception of what are his sensations...His agonies, when they are thus brought home to ourselves, when we have this adopted and made them our own, begin at last to affect us, and we then tremble and shudder at the thought of what he feels.”   

“How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it.”   

Payment of sufficient wages for work performed?
“In regards to the price of commodities, the rise of wages operates as simple interest does, the rise of profit operates like compound interest. ~  Our merchants and masters complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price and lessening the sale of goods. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.”   

Morality in business & government?
“What is prudence in the conduct of every private family can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.”

Seeking a greater good as well as profit?
“Every individual is continually exerting himself to find out the most advantageous employment for whatever capital he can command. It is his own advantage, indeed, and not that of the society which he has in view. But the study of his own advantage naturally, or rather necessarily, leads him to prefer that employment which is most advantageous to society... He intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was not part of his intention”