In my opinion, the Obama foreign policy has been disastrous. Our enemies no longer fear us and our friends don’t believe they can count on us. Recent action toward Russia and Israel confirm this.
Countries like Russia and China have been going out of their way to poke a finger in our eye but we do nothing. Russia brazenly tried to alter the results of the presidential election by hacking. I don’t think their attempts made any difference but that’s not the point. Everyone, regardless of party, should be outrage that a thuggish dictator would try to influence the election. Obama actually took action but it was extremely mild. I expect he would have done nothing if Clinton had won.
This week Secretary of State Kerry launched a blistering verbal attack on Israel. The Obama administration hasn’t been that strident in going after Al Qaeda or ISIS. He seemed to put all of the blame on them for the lack of peace with the Palestinians. He referred to the Hamas terrorist group as “militants”.
If Israel wants a two state solution, building new settlements would be a hindrance. However, I don’t believe that is their aim. They tried trading land for peace with Gaza. That has resulted in thousands upon thousands of rocket attacks and countless acts of terrorism.
We will see a new administration in three weeks. I have a feeling I won’t like their foreign policy either.
I just finished rereading the wonderful biography of Joseph P. Kennedy by David Nasaw. Kennedy, the father of John F. Kennedy, has been pretty much forgotten. If he is remembered, it is a bootlegger and someone who worked with organized crime. Both charges are false.
He was born in East Boston at a time when the “proper Bostonians” looked down their nose at Irish Catholics. He graduated from Harvard and began his career in Boston. He moved to New York and made a fortune on Wall Street. Next he headed to Hollywood. At one point he was in charge of three different movie studios. With his fortune made, he moved to politics. He was a key advisor to Franklin Roosevelt. After serving in the administration, he was named ambassador to England. He was mentioned as a presidential candidate in 1940 if Roosevelt didn’t run for a third term. Eventually his views on appeasement destroyed his career. He then set about creating a political dynasty and perhaps the closet thing we have ever had to a royal family.
He certainly had his share of faults but his rise from East Boston to become one of the biggest movers and shaker of the 20th century is a compelling story.
Christmas has a number of meanings. For many it is an important religious holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus. It also is about families getting together, giving and receiving presents, decorations, music, food and much more. While food rates pretty highly with me, my favorite part is the spirit of Christmas. We may wish a stranger Merry Christmas that we might not acknowledge the rest of the year.
Most people recognize that it is both a sacred and a secular holiday. Some, in the name of Political Correctness, are trying to destroy it. Many schools ban the use of the word Christmas and all of its symbols. Stores are pressured to wish people happy holidays instead. I am all in favor of multiculturalism. My Christmas Eve was spent eating Bosnian food and listening to Bosnian music. We can welcome new cultures without obliterating our traditional culture. Let’s ignore these Scrooges and Grinches and enjoy the day.
It’s now official.Donald Trump will be our next president. Democrats need to get past their hurt and anger over the election and begin to rebuild their party. In the midst of this chaos, they have a real opportunity. Obama and, to a lesser extent, the Clintons have focused on themselves rather than building the party. There is a
role for them as party elders but, if the Democrats have any sense, they will
not be calling the shots. Here are some steps that I believe could begin the
1. Bring in new talent – Quick, name a prominent Democrat who is not an Obama, Clinton, or a leader in Congress. The one name that comes to mind is Elizabeth Warren and she is 67. In a recent interview Biden thought he, Obama, Pelosi and Schumer should set the course. That would be a huge mistake.
2. Be less elitist – Party leadership comes from a small group of elitists that listen only to themselves. They need to bring in people with varying backgrounds.
3. Expand the party – Democrats focused almost exclusively on two groups; dedicated liberals and those they convinced needed protection from evil Republicans. They especially need to reconnect with blue collar workers.
4. Be the party of Yes – They should work with Republicans when they can. When they can’t, they need to put forth positive proposals.
5. Enough of the racism charges, already – It seems that their primary strategy was calling Republicans names. Clinton told a quarter of the electorate they were deplorable and irredeemable. Trump and the GOP will provide them plenty of ammunition so they don’t need to resort to name calling.
D6. on’t be afraid of the middle – The party has been moving farther and farther to the left. Rather than catering to the extreme Left, move a little closer to the center. There are millions and millions of moderates that both parties are ignoring.
Some Democrats get it and will likely take some of these steps. Many others want
more of the same. We’ll have to wait and see who will set the future course for
One of the downsides to our modern technology is the prevalence of hacking. Some of it is fairly harmless, just some kids playing around. Often it can be much more serious, involving the theft of sensitive financial information or deliberate attacks on computer systems. We have seen the Democratic National Committee, State Department and Clinton campaign repeatedly hacked. The only reasonable conclusion is that someone was trying to alter the election.
Personally, I think it made little or no difference in the election. Hillary Clinton was dealing with a mountain of scandal so a few truckloads would hardly be noticed. Americans should be outraged. The preservation of our democracy is vastly more important than which candidate won the election. Interfering with this process must not be allowed to stand.
The CIA says that Russia is behind it. That makes sense to me. It’s the sort of thing Putin would do and Trump is clearly closer to him than Clinton. I applaud the efforts of a bipartisan group of senators who are trying to form a special committee to investigate the matter.
I am disappointed with the reaction of our President and President-elect. Months after this started, Obama is now talking tough by pledging retaliation. We all know that it is an empty threat, just like the red line in Syria.
Trump has attacked the CIA for saying Russia was involved. I can think of three explanations: he shot his mouth off without thinking; he believes his ill-informed opinion is better than CIA analysis or he is an apologist for Putin. He and his aides are beginning to acknowledge that Russia is to blame.
Every American should be outraged when another country tries to influence in our elections no matter the country or candidate being targeted.
I understand that many people are upset with the idea of Donald Trump being president. Some are running around trying to overturn the election by convincing Trump electors to change their vote. Nothing is going to alter the results. He will take the oath in 34 days. It’s time to accept the inevitable and move on.
Part of the problem is that the Left believed their propaganda. We will not see troops rounding up “undesirables”. I think most of it comes from the way we treat young people. The little darlings must have no disappointments so they get participation medals. When they get to college there are safe spaces, protection against “macroaggressions” and all kinds of other nonsense. When democracy produces a result they don’t like, they can’t cope.
My parents’ generation survived the Great Depression and went off to fight World War Two. Those people were tough. There were so many of us baby boomers that we were pretty much able to get our way. I have always believed that Americans were a unique people that could overcome any problem. I’m not sure if that is still true.
Life can be hard. I am dealing with some major health issues and the love of my life died last year. There are plenty of people worse off than me. We need to deal with our problems and get on with our lives.
Since his very gracious victory speech, Donald Trump has taken steps to gain a favorable impression. Unfortunately, his tweets often have the opposite effect.
Presidents have been taking their case directly to the people for generations. The rise of social media has created a very powerful tool. Most of his tweets are just fine. He often thanks people, praises his appointees, announces upcoming travel, etc. In the last two days he has had tributes for the victims of Pearl Harbor and John Glenn.
Sadly, he engages in personal attacks. He blasted a local labor leader involved in the Carrier deal. Not being satisfied, he went after the workers whose jobs he helped save. He has gone after corporations. Shortly after a story appeared that the Boeing CEO criticized his trade policy, Trump went after Boeing. To be fair, Trump says he hadn’t seen the story.
Even more serious is when he appears to be making policy on Twitter. He called for a law punishing flag burners. The Supreme Court has twice ruled that flag burning was protected speech. Undoubtedly he had given the matter little. Candidates can say any damn thing they want but presidents (and presidents-elect) need to be more responsible.
Most troubling is the Boeing tweet. Is gives the impression, whether fair or not, that executives exercising their First Amendment rights can be subject to retribution. This goes beyond what the notoriously anti-business Obama administration has done. His facts were totally wrong. He said there was a $4 billion contract to build a new Air Force One. The actual contract is for $170 million to determine its capabilities. The Pentagon has budgeted $3.2 billion to build two planes. He ends it by saying “Cancel the contract!” Does this mean that as president, he will use tweets to issue orders? I don’t want to see our government become a tweetocracy.
We all say stupid things but most of us have a filter. Trump says, or writes, whatever pops in his head. That is a very dangerous trait in for a president to have.
John Glenn died today at the age of 95. He was a true American hero. He served in both World War 2 and Korea, flying 149 combat missions. His nickname was “magnet ass” because of all the enemy flak he attracted. Later he became a test pilot and set a transcontinental flight record.
The world got to know him when he was selected as one of the Mercury Seven astronauts. It is hard for many to understand the excitement they generated. The thought of going into space seemed almost unbelievable. This was against the backdrop of the Cold War.
The Soviets were orbiting the earth while we were still doing suborbital flights. There had been many problems with the more powerful rocket. Glenn didn’t hesitate to volunteer and became the first American to orbit the earth.
After leaving NASA, he turned to politics. He served in the Senate for eighteen years and made an unsuccessful run for the presidency. He made history again when he became the oldest person to go into space.
I once had the opportunity to see him. He came to my town in 1968 to campaign for his close friend, Robert Kennedy.
He led an incredible life of service and hopefully will be remembered for many generations.
Note: I may occasionally revisit a topic but, with one exception, never copy an old post. That exception will be made every December 7th for as long as I am blogging.
Today marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was a devastating strike that resulted in 2,400 deaths. Virtually everyone in the country was affected. Millions traded work clothes for uniforms. Many women went to work in factories. Everyone had to cope with shortages.
We were woefully unprepared. Earlier that year maneuvers were held in Louisiana. Many men carried wooden rifles. A bill to extend the term of draftees was passed that summer by only one vote. It took almost four years but the war was won. Over 400,000 American soldiers never returned home.
Anyone that has the chance to go to Hawaii should go to Pearl Harbor. Visiting the memorial, built atop the Arizona, is an incredible experience. It’s hard not to think about the men permanently entombed below your feet. Nearby is the Missouri, the ship upon which the Japanese surrendered.
When I think of Pearl Harbor, I think of one young man. He was already in the service. He had a 30 day leave starting on December 6. Soldiers were held in such low esteem that he was told he couldn’t enter the dining car “until the people are done”. When he reached home, a telegram was waiting ordering him to return. Eventually he caught up with his unit. They were in a California desert since it was feared the Japanese would capture the coastal cities. Soon he was shipped out to Australia. On his second day he was in a truck accident and broke his back.
That man will turn 96 next week. He feels the effects of his injuries every day. Most call him Perry. I call him Dad.
Presidents have been putting their assets into blind trusts for some time. If they don’t know how their money is invested, there can be no conflict of interest. The election of Donald Trump brings about a unique situation. His money is tied up in an extremely complex business with over five hundred different entities.
Some have suggested he should sell. There is no way to unload everything in a short time at a fair price. Others have suggested that his children leave the business and they hire an outsider. It would be catastrophic if the business lost their CEO and top management team.
So what should Trump do? Legally he doesn’t have to do anything. I don’t have a problem with the kids running it. However, he must do everything possible to limit the appearance of impropriety. First of all, his children should have absolutely no involvement with the government. All three are on his transition team. That doesn’t make sense. He can’t have it both ways. They should also sell those segments of the business that present the greatest possibility for conflict of interest.
Many are out to cause him trouble. It’s in his best interest to do everything possible to avoid even the appearance of conflict of interest.