An October Surprise is a partisan action taken shortly before the election designed to significantly alter the results. The term arose after Henry Kissinger prematurely announced peace in Vietnam. A typical example was the disclosure that George W. Bush had once been arrested for drunk driving.
As we all know, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to key congressional committee heads that the FBI was reviewing additional information related to the Clinton email investigation. While looking into the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, emails were found on a computer he shares with his wife, Clinton confidante Huma Abedin. This raises questions regarding Comey’s behavior and what effect, if any, this will have on the election or the investigation.
I believe Comey is a straight shooter. He was appointed to the FBI by President Obama but also served in the Bush Justice Department. His work involved law enforcement, not politics. Both parties are behaving like hypocrites. Many Republicans “knew” Clinton broke the law even though they had no knowledge of the laws involved. Now Democrats are screaming bloody murder. Harry Reid is saying Comey may have broken the law.
In my opinion, this announcement will have little effect on either the election or the investigation. So much has been said about the email scandal that this news won’t change anybody’s mind. To quote Shakespeare it is “sound and fury signifying nothing”.
Naturally the FBI will always look at new information on any investigation. I seriously doubt a few emails will make much difference. If there is confidential information that could possibly create problems for Abedin.
Since there was no partisan intent, I don’t consider this an October surprise. The real surprise is that we are stuck with such lousy candidates.
Many Americans are horrified at the thought of Donald Trump in the Oval Office. However, who wins the election is far less important than maintaining our democracy and our precious liberty. Well over a million soldiers have died so that we can remain free. It is important that we follow the process. Unfortunately some seem to disagree.
It is no secret that virtually all of the mainstream media vote Democratic. That can lead to slanted news. We have never seen anything like the media bias that is going on now. Some openly admit they are deliberately distorting the news. Others are working directly with the Clinton campaign. A self-appointed elite who feel that they should select our next president is counter to what we stand for.
Others are taking more direct action. They have tried to disrupt Trump campaign rallies. In some cases Trump supporters have been beaten. I support their gathering and holding demonstrations. That is their constitutional right. If they try to take away others’ rights, they should suffer the full consequences of the law.
There have been so many outrageous remarks during the campaign that it is hard to be surprised. Filmmaker Michael Moore outdid Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” remark by saying that Trump voters were “legal terrorists”. He then compared Trump to a child molester who needs to be separated from society. It sounds like in his ideal world those that disagree with him would be jailed. I’m sure he and others like him would welcome a dictatorship provided the right (or should I say left) person is in charge.
Our country has survived wars, hard times and other challenges during its 240 years. It will survive even if Trump is elected. It will also survive idiots like Michael Moore.
I am absolutely sick and tired hearing about the presidential campaign. I certainly don’t want to write about it. So I will choose other topics.
Tonight the Cubs have a chance to make it to the World Series for the first time since 1945. No other team has ever gone this long without making an appearance. That’s nothing compared to their 108 year streak of not winning the Series. Being a math nerd, I calculated that they should have won 5.4 Series during that period if it was purely random. Any team can go through a bad patch but 108 years means generations of incompetent management.
There’s more to say than what long suffering fans have been saying for over a decade:
Historians generally consider Truman, Eisenhower and Reagan to be the best presidents since World War 2. There are some interesting similarities in their stories.
Truman grew up in Missouri and is closely associated with Independence. His father made some bad investments that prevented Truman from attending college. He had a number of clerical jobs before working on his grandparents’ farm. He tried a number of schemes to make money but they failed. He memorized the eye chart to pass the vision test and fight in World War 1. After the war he opened a clothing store that failed. He was elected as a county commissioner. He achieved such acclaim that he became a U.S. Senator. This led to the vice presidency and succeeding Franklin Roosevelt.
Eisenhower grew up in Abilene, Kansas. Like Truman, there was no money for college. He was accepted at West Point. He was a football star until a knee injury but his academic and disciplinary record was mediocre at best. He was unable to get into World War 1. His record was good but not spectacular. In the 1920’s he served under a general named Fox Connor. Connor mentored Eisenhower and helped to propel him on the path that led to future greatness.
Reagan grew up in a number of small towns in Illinois. It was a tough childhood with poverty and an alcoholic father. He attended tiny Eureka College. He found work as an announcer for several radio stations before heading to Hollywood. He was a successful actor but never a major star. Eventually his career dried up but he found work on television. He gained national attention in 1964 for his speeches on behalf of Barry Goldwater. This led to his political career.
Like Lincoln, these men knew failure and disappointment. They had to struggle to get ahead. They had a good feeling for what the common man was like because that is where they came from. Even if someone has a patrician background, they can still have these same qualities. Kennedy had to cope with major health problems (he was given last rites several time) and the loss of a brother and sister. His experiences in World War 2 put him in touch with people he otherwise would have never known.
Unfortunately, these experiences are lacking in both presidential candidates. Each one has lived for decades inside a protective bubble. Rather than representing us, they want to do what think is best for us.
In just over two weeks we will be celebrating Halloween. It is fun day full of monsters, pumpkins and, most important, candy. Traditionally it was a time for children of all ages to enjoy a good scare.
One organization is so worried about people being traumatized that counselors will be standing by 24/7 to treat the poor victims. Is this a preschool? An elementary school? No, it’s the University of Florida. They are concerned that a costume which they deem to be racist, sexist or homophobic could cause damage. And by the standards of the day, that could include almost any costume.
As a white, straight male to the right of Bernie Sanders, I imagine some will find anything I say to be offensive. If I sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, the line describing the color of the fleece shows me to be a racist. “Baa Baa Black Sheep” is even worse. “This Little Piggy” is probably insensitive to those that are overweight.
Intolerance of anyone because of a group they are in (including groups the Left openly despise) is counter to our values and should be condemned. All this silliness does is to further divide us.
I’ve been travelling so haven’t had a chance to comment on the release of the tape Trump made in 2005. This relates to the bigger question of the role a person’s morality should play in the selection of candidates for public office.
Much of the fuss has to deal with some of the words he used. I find this just plain silly. We all use words in private that we wouldn’t wish the world to hear. Saying a particular word years ago should have no bearing on whether someone should become our next president. More concerning is him talking about pursuing an extramarital affair and bragging about groping women. I have known men who brag about cheating on their wife whether they actually do or not. Perhaps that was what Trump was doing. Given his history, it would not be surprising if he were telling the truth. He has been bringing up Bill Clinton’s past indiscretions but that doesn’t excuse his behavior.
Hillary Clinton has her own ethical issues. She has lied time and time again. When she is caught in a lie, she tells another lie. I don’t think she thinks in terms of honesty and dishonesty. She says whatever is politically expedient at the moment. Whether it is true or not is irrelevant.
There is a lot of hypocrisy in the outrage people have expressed. Much of it is politically motivated. Many who condemn Trump excuse both Clintons and vice versa.
So what do we do? In an ideal world our presidents would lead moral, upstanding lives. In my opinion, the ability to lead the country far more effectively is far more important. If being a good person made someone a good president, Jimmy Carter would be the greatest president in history. There is no evidence that Washington or Lincoln ever strayed. If they had, would anyone argue that we would have been better off without them?
Sadly, we are stuck with a choice between two deeply flawed people. We need to pick the one who will be the best president and ignore their personal failings.
Voters are faced with choosing between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the two worst candidates we have seen in a long, long time. Trump is loathsome as a person and is totally unqualified to be president by temperament and experience. After running his business like a medieval fiefdom, there is no way he would respect our democracy. Clinton is an unpleasant person who I trust as far as I can throw Chris Christe. She does have experience but not much to brag about. She was in charge of the failed Clinton health care initiative and the disastrous Obama-Clinton foreign policy.
Nonetheless, we need to make a choice. Not voting or voting for a third party candidate is a copout. However, I have an idea that could make our choice more palatable and guarantee victory for the party follows my advice. All they need to do is flip the ticket and have Mike Pence or Tim Kaine at the top. They don’t have anywhere near the negatives of their running mates. Both are more experience, having served as governors and in Congress.
I admit this isn’t a serious proposal. They may not make good candidates because of a lack of charisma. It’s a real shame we choose our candidates the same way we choose movies and TV shows.
The New York Times generated a lot of attention when it printed portions of Donald Trump’s 1995 tax return. While many have denounced Trump, my outrage is reserved for the Times. This once great paper has made Trump’s defeat a priority over journalistic excellence. While going out of its way to go after Trump, it deliberately omits news unfavorable to Clinton.
I don’t believe any organization should print anything which was illegally obtained. According to the Washington Post, they may have committed a felony. The tax return falls in the same category as the leaked DNC emails. That is more outrageous because a foreign power, Russia, was trying to influence the election.
I also dislike shoddy journalism. One of the reporters said it came from the Trump organization because it had a Trump Tower return address. I suppose if I mailed them a letter and used 1600 Pennsylvania as a return address, they would say it is from President Obama. Many have reported Trump didn’t pay any taxes for eighteen years. This is totally false. He even paid taxes that year despite losing nearly $1 billion.
Finally, I don’t like the way people are misrepresenting what the return means. 1995 was a horrible year for him. He suffered devastating losses from his casinos and other ventures. Some claim this means he is a bad businessman. Great people often fail; Lincoln did so repeatedly. Many have claimed this as a loophole used by the rich to dodge taxes. The same rules apply to billionaires and owners of hot dog stands. If they lose money, they can carry the loss forward.
Please don’t interpret this as an endorsement of Trump. I find him despicable as a person and a candidate. We should speak out when someone is mistreated irrespective of how we feel about them.