Friday, June 24, 2016


Image result for donald trump images
A Very Spotty Leopard Indeed
        Call it wishful thinking, call it blind loyalty, call it naivety, call it sheer stupidity, call it what you will, for anyone seriously to think that Donald Trump’s speech on Tuesday represented any kind of instant metamorphosis in the Republican nominee is utterly ridiculous.
        It was ludicrous to hear Joe Scarborough on his program the next morning hail the speech as a turning point for a candidate whose arrogance, vulgarity, and superficiality have been disgustingly evident from the very start of his campaign.
        Trump was reading from Teleprompters a speech most of which others had written for him, quoting from the usual discredited sources. He was less awkward using the Teleprompters this time, and it will be interesting to see if he uses them more often in the future. Maybe, but I have a feeling we haven’t seen the end of the real Donald Trump, who will have a hard time keeping on script.
        Of course the Republicans were delighted to hear their nominee launch his barrage of lies about Secretary Clinton. They have been applauding their candidate’s more “presidential” persona and predicting that this new line of attack will generate the kind of financial support he needs to compete in the general election.
        But the fact remains that a leopard can’t change its spots (see Can a Leopard Change Its Spots?leopard), and Donald Trump is still Donald Trump, a very spotty leopard indeed.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


       The historic sit-in of the Democrats that is continuing in the House of Representatives as this article is being written is a powerful reminder of where the blame should be placed for the failure of Congress to deal with gun violence.
        Throughout the current campaign, political commentators and the public in general have been speaking derogatorily but erroneously of the ineptitude of our Ado-nothing@ Congress. It has been not Congress but the Republicans in Congress who are to blame for the Federal Government=s failure to deal with gun violence, immigration reform, our crumbling infrastructure, and other pressing problems.
         It is outrageous that Speaker Paul Ryan has refused to allow a reasonable gun legislation bill with recommendations approved by more than 90% of Americans to be put to a vote in the House.
         In the wake of the worst mass shooting in our nation=s history, for any elected official to refuse to act immediately on desperately needed measures to reduce gun violence is inexcusable. Shame on you, Republicans!
         You are the ones to blame for the problems we are facing in America. How clever of you, and how dishonest of you, to try to pass the blame to President Obama, or the Democrats, or anyone else. You have blocked every progressive piece of legislation that has come before you, refused to cooperate with your counterparts across the aisle, and criticized the President for taking executive actions within his authority to deal with the problems you refused to address.
        The Democrats who are protesting your obstinate and I must say cowardly refusal to deal with gun violence are putting you to shame. How can you live with yourselves?
        Again I say, shame on you!
PS    And with respect to gun legislation, shame on you few Democrats, too, who for fear of your pro-gun constituents have sided with the Republicans on this issue.  

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Bernie is still fanning the flame.
        In his live stream message to his followers tonight Bernie Sanders gave them no reason to want to support Hillary Clinton.
        If the interviews afterward with some of those who had gathered in groups to listen to the telecast are any indication of how his constituents are feeling, it is obvious that they are still enthusiastic about keeping "the revolution" alive, while some may be naively nourishing a vain hope that Senator Sanders can still somehow pull off a win at the Democratic National Convention.
        Regardless of whatever realistic acceptance they may be secretly harboring of the fact that their candidate was soundly defeated in the primaries, they exhibited no enthusiasm whatsoever for getting behind Secretary Clinton. Maybe it is too early to expect that of those who are still "feeling the Bern," especially when their leader is still fanning the flame.
        But it is not too early for Senators Sanders to change his rhetoric. His message tonight was just  another campaign speech, a kind of composite of all his other speeches. We've heard it all before.  Except for two or three brief reference to his recent meeting with Secretary Clinton, with whom he had to point out that he still has strong differences, and the need to defeat Donald Trump, there was nothing in his message to persuade his followers to think differently about his former Democratic opponent, of whom he had been so consistently critical.
        If the Senator from Vermont really does want to see Donald Trump defeated, he needs to change his tune. I was hoping it would happen tonight.
        It didn't.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


        Muhammed Ali was buried yesterday in Louisville, Kentucky.
       The world has been remembering his remarkable life and mourning his death. Everyone who ever met him has a special story to tell. I never met Ali or even saw him in person, but I followed his amazing career, watched many of his fights on television, laughed at his antics, had mixed emotions about his changing his name and switching religions, was impressed by his sense of justice and principled stand against the Vietnam War, and admired his many contributions to humanitarian causes.
        But for me the most memorable moment of Ali's storied career was not the famous "rumble in the jungle" and his stunning knockout of George Foreman, nor any of his other victories in the ring, nor any of his quotable rhymes or defiant statements. For me it was his lighting of the Olympic flame at the start of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. 
        His participation in the ceremony had been a carefully guarded secret, and when he appeared on the elevated stand where the light was to take place, visible to all on the huge screens, held high the torch in his trembling hands, and then lit the Olympic flame, as his entire body was shaking from his advanced Parkinson's disease, the roar of approval from the momentarily stunned spectators was deafening. I suspect that among the millions around the world who were watching the event on television, many were struggling hard to hold back the tears.
        I was one of them.

Monday, June 6, 2016


Senator Bernie Sanders
        I know you are a sincere, totally committed, genuinely concerned public servant. You have a passionate sense of justice, and you care deeply about the glaring inequalities to which you have called our nation’s attention. You have been an articulate champion and an electrifying spokesperson for the causes you believe in, and have tapped into the critical idealism and the dissatisfaction with the status quo of many Americans, including especially the younger generation.         
        But it’s time for you to face the facts. If you really mean what you say about preventing Donald Trump from becoming the next President of the United States, why do you continue to attack the person who will be opposing him in the general election?
        Of course, you think that person should be you, not Hillary Clinton, notwithstanding the fact that she is leading you in pledged delegates, in total delegates (including super delegates), and in the popular vote count by some three million votes! That figure doesn’t include Secretary Clinton’s primary wins in Nebraska and more recently in Washington, a fact which you and your supporters conveniently overlook, when you boast about your big wins in those two states.
        Only 26,299 votes were cast in the Washington caucus, which you won by an impressive 72.7%, representing 12,019 voters. Compare that with the more than 660,000 voters who participated in the Washington Democratic primary, in which Hillary bested you by six percentage points and some 40,000 votes! Fortunately for you, the delegates had already been awarded, but you lost your bragging rights for that state, the majority of whose voters actually favor Mrs. Clinton over you!
        The same thing is true about Nebraska. You won the caucus by 14.2%; Mrs. Clinton won the primary, representing far more voters, by 19%! Again, fortunately for you,  the delegates had already been awarded in the caucus,  Maybe you shouldn’t complain so much about the “rigged system”!
        You keep pointing out that some polls are showing you with a bigger favorability lead than Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. That’s your main argument for thinking her super-delegates should switch over to you. Given her strong lead among voters and pledged delegates, plus the fact that you have not yet been subjected to the kinds of attacks she has had to endure from Republicans as well as from you and your surrogates, or the kind of scrutiny she has received from the media,  such a transfer of loyalty would be totally unreasonable and unfair. With all due respect for your desire to be President, you haven’t yet been through the vetting mill, and for all the enthusiasm of your young supporters, you haven’t earned the right to represent the Democratic Party, of which you have been so critical.
        So, how about it, Senator Sanders, why not do the right thing for the country and for your adopted party, and throw your support wholeheartedly behind the person who has actually won the right to be the standard bearer of the Democratic Party and who many people feel is far more qualified for the office of the presidency than any other candidate from either party —maybe ever!

[PS to my readers: For one of many lists of Hillary Clinton's qualifications click here and of her accomplishments click here.]

Saturday, June 4, 2016


June 2, 2016 - Hillary Clinton delivers foreign policy address
       Hillary Clinton knocked it out of the ball park this week with her deft demolishing of Donald Trump’s presidential qualifications, character, and demeanor. In her address on Thursday she masterfully used her Republican opponent’s own words against him, leaving scant room for rebuttal.   
        And to any reasonably objective observer what a contrast she presented between her own intelligent, decisive, rational style and the bombastic, barbarous, bullying braggadocio of the self-proclaimed multi-billionaire.
        While defining Mr. Trump as unqualified and unfit to be President of the United Sates, Secretary Clinton was herself quite presidential in her bearing and in the content of her message. Her remarks were substantive, specific, and well documented. Despite his screaming accusations to the contrary, fact-checkers have verified the accuracy of Hillary’s quotes from his speeches and interviews.  
        Republican commentators along with Trump himself predictably labeled Mrs. Clinton’s address a political campaign speech rather than a foreign policy statement, as it was billed to be. It was clearly both, political in that she was distinguishing herself from her Republican opponent, and foreign policy related because in pointing out the serious adverse consequences of her opponent’s expressed views, she was indicating her own positions on those issues. 
        The Hillary haters faulted her for not referring in her address to what they consider to be her own failings as Secretary of State, but the charge is ridiculous.
She feels no further need to defend herself against the false accusations of her opponents, nor was that ever the purpose of her address. Mrs. Clinton was on the offense and she had every right to be. Her purpose was to distinguish herself clearly and completely from Donald Trump and that she did most effectively.
       Secretary Clinton’s address was by no means a routine or ordinary political speech. It was seminal! It represented a turning point in the current presidential campaign. That is already evident in the way Donald Trump himself responded to her withering denunciation. His arrogant, blustering style was on full display and will continue to be whenever he speaks from now on. Every time he opens his foul mouth he illustrates Mrs. Clinton’s point: Donald Trump is not fit to be President of the United States!