Closing Thought–22May18

I am posting this because there way too many people that think I hate everything that our president does….that is not accurate…..just as I did not agree with everything Obama did…..

I have been a staunch opponent of the Electoral College for many years….I really started bad mouth this archaic practice after the 2000 election.

Recently Trump has made a comment about the EC……a comment that I can agree with……

Pres, Trump argued that he’d rather see the presidential election be determined based on the popular vote than the current Electoral College system, claiming it would be “much easier to win.”

“They also like to always talk about [the] Electoral College. Well, it’s an election based on the Electoral College. I would rather have a popular election, but it’s a totally different campaign,” Trump said during an interview with “Fox & Friends.”

“It’s as though you’re running — if you’re a runner you’re practicing for the 100-yard dash as opposed to the one mile,” he continued. “The Electoral College is different. I would rather have the popular vote, because it’s — to me, it’s much easier to win.”

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/385022-trump-i-would-rather-have-presidential-election-based-on-the-popular

Given his track record lately he may change his tune next week….but for now I can agree with what he has said…

May your day be good and safe…..chuq

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Closing Thought–18May18

The war torn nation of Iraq has held their most recent election…..I gave my readers a rundown on the what’s what with this vote…..

https://lobotero.com/2018/05/14/democracy-comes-to-iraq/

Back during the dark days of the 2003 invasion and occupation America’s biggest opponent was an Iraqi cleric, al-Sadr…..and with this election he has risen to the top of Iraqi political process…..

Widespread disillusionment with Iraq’s current political class appears to have helped the political coalition of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr become the early front-runner in national elections marked by record low turnout. Partial returns of the 2018 vote—the first since Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State group—were announced late Sunday by the Iraqi electoral commission and put al-Sadr’s political alliance in the lead in four provinces, including Baghdad. Al-Sadr is a strong Iraqi nationalist—he is critical of any outside influence in the country—and campaigned on a platform that criticized Iraq’s current political leadership as deeply corrupt. He rose to prominence in Iraq after the 2003 US-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein when he commanded a militia that fought American troops. He also commanded paramilitary forces in the war against ISIS.

The election came as the country deals with the disenfranchisement of the country’s Sunni minority. Of more than 2 million Iraqis displaced by the war, the majority are Sunnis. Also at issue is the influence of Iran on the country: Iranian-backed Shiite militias who played a key role in defeating ISIS and were allied with the Shiite-led Baghdad government made significant electoral gains. Al-Sadr did not run for a seat in parliament and therefore cannot become prime minister. However, if his alliance wins the most seats, a member of his bloc will be tasked with forming a majority government and will appoint the country’s next prime minister. Despite not holding an official office, al-Sadr exercises strong organizational control over his followers, per the AP.

It will be interesting to see how he plays with the American forces this time around…..this Iraqi institution is very fragile and will be attacked politically from all sides.

Will his government survive?

Closing Thought–16May18

Most other countries in the world has a wide array of candidates in their elections we here in the US usually have 2 major candidates a couple 3rd party ones ……2018 is the mid-term elections here and this time we have a wide array ourselves….we have right wingers, neo-nazis and a bunch of criminals….

How did the Republican Party — once known as the party of “law and order” — become a party that could provide space for lawbreakers and extremists, thugs and criminals, hoodlums and hate groups? This astonishing transformation can only be attributed to the presidency of Donald Trump, whose words during the 2016 campaign and during his term in the White House helped make America safe for extremists.

White supremacists, Infowars conspiracy theorists and convicted criminals are running, some as viable candidates, on the GOP ticket on the state and federal level, something which would have been unheard of only a few years ago.

Such individuals are not barred from putting their hat in the ring and aspiring for elected office, but it is remarkable that party leaders have by and large not shown the backbone to condemn them. But in a way that’s not surprising in a party where extremism and intolerance are mainstream GOP fare, and its standard bearer runs an ethically challenged administration mired in criminal investigations. Trump said he would drain the swamp, but he is the swamp, and he is sending swamp-dwelling creatures to the Senate, Congress and the state house.

https://www.laprogressive.com/extremist-republicans/

The GOP really needs to clean their party up a bit…….

The mid-terms may prove to be quiet entertaining…..

The Nader Speaks

Back in the day when Ralph Nader was running as a 3rd party candidate I accused him of being a media whore.  Why?  Because every time you turned around he was on the TV spouting some crap that few Americans wanted to hear….not saying that I disagreed with him just he was everywhere…..today that would be nothing new for it is standard operating procedures for a politico.

Even though I did not think much of his constant natterings I admit that I do agree with some the old dude has had to say about the Democrats…..

If Democrats are wondering why they lost to reality television star Donald Trump and the deeply unpopular GOP in the 2016 elections—and why their advantage in 2018 polling continues to slip—longtime consumer advocate Ralph Nader argues the party must stop searching for scapegoats and start fighting for a bold and progressive agenda.

With a rare invitation to appear on cable news, Nader told MSNBC host Ari Melber, Nader said that instead of blaming third party candidates like himself and other external factors for losses that resulted from their own incompetence and inability to articulate an inspiring platform, Democrats must embrace widely popular ideas like Medicare for All and a living wage if they are to oust the “corporate indentured” Republican Party.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/05/11/ralph-nader-decrepit-democrats-stop-scapegoating-and-embrace-bold-agenda

Like I said…I agree, at least this time…….the Dems are spending too much time and energy scapegoating….and I think all that crap will not turn the lever in their favor come the next elections.

Democracy Comes To Iraq?

With ISIS on the run Iraq has held a round of election trying to find a truly workable government….

Iraq’s electoral law is a complex and idiosyncratic method of securing proportional representation in Parliament. The system tends to favor the largest parties and solid voting blocs using a process so arcane that virtually no one outside of professional politicians and statisticians really understands how it works.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-05-11/iraq-elections-are-sure-to-leave-a-mess

Since the fall of Saddam Iraq has been suffering from sectarian divide and its politics are the battlefield…..can they move past this?

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a Shiite, has not limited his campaigning for this week’s elections based on traditional sectarian considerations. He has traveled to predominantly Sunni areas such as Salahuddin province about 100 miles north of Baghdad and Anbar province about 70 miles to the west of the capital. He is the most prominent Shiite leader striving to win votes of residents in areas known for strong sectarianism, areas which the Islamic State (IS) invaded in 2014 as the group ultimately settled in about one-third of the country.

In the predominantly Sunni province of Salahuddin, the list of alliances includes diverse ethnic and sectarian names in which 332 candidates from 15 electoral alliances will compete.

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/05/iraq-election-sectarianism-shiite-sunni.html

Iraqis head to the polls on May 12 to elect a new parliament, after which legislators will choose a speaker, president, and prime minister. The elections come at the end of four tough years for Iraq, with the Islamic State seizing a third of the country in 2014 and the Kurds making a strong push for independence last September.

Despite the turmoil, Kurdish-Arab violence has been minimal, and the numerous victors of the war against IS are all hoping to turn their battlefield triumph into votes. Chief among them is Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is seeking reelection and a stronger mandate to govern. The numerous Shia militias who fought IS have formed a political coalition that is expected to do well. Yet the electoral prospects are uncertain for the Kurds, whose independence referendum and subsequent military and political setbacks have diluted the goodwill they gained by fighting IS in the north.

http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/iraqs-elections-red-flags-and-opportunities-for-inclusion

With all the past fighting and destruction and past political in-fighting there are some green shoots of democracy creeping into the Iraqi political scene….

In March 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq, and in June 2004, it tendered sovereignty of the country back to the Iraqis. Iraq’s first elections took place in January 2005 with images of purple fingertips marking the milestone, but elections alone do not make a democracy. The record of the U.S. in fostering Iraqi democracy has been mixed, but despite the errors and setbacks, the U.S. still has an important opportunity to support something unusual: a stable, Arab democracy.

One of the early U.S. errors was the 2003 decision to order de-Ba’athification. This meant that nearly anyone that was part of the government during the Saddam Hussein regime lost their jobs. Those in favor of de-Ba’athification argued it was the only way to remove the Hussein-tainted operatives from the levers of power. Hindsight shows that critics of this decision had the better argument. With de-Ba’athification, the security situation in Iraq worsened, and since Ba’athists were largely Sunni, ethnic tensions amongst Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds were exacerbated.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/05/11/green_shoots_of_democracy_in_iraq_113433.html

WE will just have to see how the election turns out….personally as long as there is any sectarian divide democracy will always be a dream on unfulfilled.

Is There A Resurrection In Progress?

As Easter approached the term “resurrection” becomes more and more popular in our society and what better time to offer an political opinion than now?

The big news of the week is the election of a Dem in Western Pennsylvania a deep red district……..

It is still officially too close to call, but Conor Lamb has declared an against-the-odds Democratic victory in the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District. He was introduced as “Congressman-elect Lamb” at a Hilton Inn campaign party, even as officials were counting hundreds of absentee ballots, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. “It took a little longer than we thought, but we did it. You did it!” said Lamb, whose Republican opponent, Rick Saccone, has not conceded. Unofficial results put Lamb ahead by around 600 votes. The margin is narrow enough for supporters of either side to get a recount if they can find three voters in the same precinct who attest to error or fraud, the AP reports.

The district voted for President Trump by 20 points in 2016 and has been so reliably Republican in recent years that Democrats didn’t field a candidate in the 2014 and 2016 House races, meaning the result will be a major worry for the GOP heading into the midterms even if it ends up as a narrow Republican win, the New York Times notes. Trump campaigned in the district and Republican-aligned outside groups spent more than $10 million on the race, even though the winner will only hold the seat for eight months. “The real impact of this race has to do more with the symbolism of the outcome as a harbinger of things to come, and as a reflection of President Trump’s popularity,” pollster Chris Borick tells the Post-Gazette.

And of course the media is painting it as a “blue wave” year coming in the November mid-terms…..but to me the humorous story to come pout of this election is that Lamb is a Repub….(I know…say what?)…..

the RNC and its supporters reversed course and seized on a false talking point that Lamb’s victory was unusual because he was “pro-life” and basically ran as a Republican.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) told reporters that the result was not a “big surprise” because both candidates “ran as a pro-life anti-Nancy Pelosi conservative.”

(think progress)

Brings a smile to my face and as moronic as his statement sounded……. deep down Ryan may have a point…..

WTF, Professsor?

Lamb sounds like a “Blue Dog Democrat”….(I will pause here for all the people that have NO idea what I am saying to hit the Google button)…..(Times up!)

A Blue Dog Democrat is a member of Congress who is moderate or more conservative in their voting record and political philosophy than other, more liberal, Democrats in the House and Senate. The Blue Dog Democrat, however, has become an increasingly rare breed in American politics as voters and elected officials become more partisan and polarized in their beliefs.

To make it easier to understand…..A Blue Dog Democrat is one who views himself/herself as being in the middle of the partisan spectrum and as an advocate for fiscal restraint at the federal level

The preamble to the Blue Dog Caucus in the House describes its members as being “dedicated to the financial stability and national security of the country, notwithstanding partisan political positions and personal fortune.” (sounds like a Repub to me)

Members of the Blue Dog Democrat coalition listed among their legislative priorities a “Pay-As-You-Go Act,” which require that any legislation that requires an outlay of taxpayer money cannot increase the deficit. (still smells like a Repub)

They also supported balancing the federal budget, closing tax loopholes, and cutting spending through the elimination of programs they feel don’t work.

For further information on Blue Dogs…..

http://content.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1913057,00.html

I give all this information to my readers for I see a return of the Blue Dog Democrats……Dems finding  a way to win elections in an ever expanding conservative base….Clinton-esque crap of the Democratic Leadership Council……

Are We Sick Of Clinton Yet?

It seems that we may never get a rest from all things Clinton.

A year and half after the 2016 general election and we are still explaining what happened that allowed Hillary Clinton to lose her race.

She lost because of the Russians or was it the FBI or was it because of her message or maybe she was just an inferior candidate.

In my book she was a terrible candidate that was running against a horrible candidate and horrible won out.

And since November 2016 pundits have been explaining her loss and it is still being told to whoever will listen.  Even books about her and her loss are still being published…..

New York Times reporter Amy Chozick has a new book on Hillary Clinton and the 2016 election, and one anecdote in particular from it was getting attention on Friday. It’s from election night, when Chozick writes in Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling that it finally became clear somebody had to break the news to Clinton that she was going to lose to Donald Trump. The task fell to “Robby Mook, the drained and deflated campaign manager,” per an excerpt in the Times. And when he finally did so, Clinton “didn’t seem all that surprised,” writes Chozick. Then the key Clinton quote: “‘I knew it. I knew this would happen to me,’ she said, now within a couple of inches of Mr. Mook’s ashen face. ‘They were never going to let me be president.'”

The Daily Beast has more on the book, including what would have been the “nut graf” of the Times story on a Clinton victory under the six-column headline “Madam President.” The paragraph would have begun, “No one in modern politics, male or female, has had to withstand more indignities, setbacks and cynicism.” And it would have ended: “But if she was guarded about her feelings and opinions, she believed it was in careful pursuit of a dream for generations of Americans: the election of the country’s first woman president.” The Washington Post review of the book details Chozick’s recollection of dealing with sexism from male Clinton staffers. And it has a quibble: “Unfortunately, too much of the book is devoted to Chozick’s worrying and whining—’Jesus did I whine’—about her status at the Times,” writes Carlos Lozada.

The Dems need to move past the Clinton loss and find the best candidate for 2020…..focusing on Clinton will not produce a good candidate.

Please stop all the whining and accept the loss and move on……politics has become sloppy and worthless…..time for a political revolution…..time to flush the governance toilet as it were.