Although I am no fan of Roy Moore, I was skeptical when the first accusation of sexual impropriety was lodged against him. Given the level of partisanship, an allegation dating back nearly forty years doesn’t seem too credible.
A lot of has changed since then. There are now five accusers, one a Trump supporter. One produced a high school yearbook signed by Moore when he was in his thirties. Moore gave a weasely answer when asked if he dated underage girls. Like most I believe the accusers, not Moore.
So what happens now? Most Republicans are telling him to drop out. Someone arrogant enough to believe they can ignore federal court orders will likely decide to stay in. Dropping out would be an admission that the charges are true.
There has been talk of Republicans pushing a write-in campaign. Splitting the Republican vote would give the seat to the Democrats. The best that the GOP can hope is for Moore to win and then expel him from the Senate. The Constitution requires a two-thirds majority to do so. Assuming all Democrats vote against him, it would only take nineteen Republicans. Then the election cycle would start over.
A Democratic senator from Alabama? That sounds as likely as Donald Trump winning a presidential election.
Harvey Weinstein’s long history of brutality to women had been an open secret in the movie industry. Now sixty women have come forward with accusations ranging from unwanted advances to rape. Hollywood predators like he and Bill Cosby deserve everything they get.
The behavior of Weinstein and others has long been covered up by the entertainment industry, even by women. Whoopi Goldberg was part of a group seeking to have charges dropped against director Roman Polanski. He fled the country after being accused of raping a thirteen year old girl. She claimed it wasn’t “rape rape”.
I do have a couple of concerns. One is just a matter of linguistics. The term sexual assault is used for everything from a slight touch to rape. We need to be more accurate in our language.
Men seeing their careers harmed and potentially destroyed over unproven accusations is much more serious. I believe that most of the women are telling the truth. However, this is the perfect opportunity for someone wanting to settle a grudge or gain some publicity. Sex crimes are the hardest to prove since consent is the key question. Nobody consents to be mugged, burglarized or murdered. Fairness is one of the core beliefs of our society whether it is in the courtroom or the workplace.
We have made great strides in our society over the last sixty years. Airing Hollywood’s dirty little secret is a step in the right direction.
An off-year election was held yesterday. There were scattered races across the country but gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia generated the most attention. Democrats came out on top in both races. New Jersey was no surprise. It is a Democratic state and the Republican incumbent, Chris Christie, is very unpopular. It was closer in Virginia but the winner had led in the polls. The DC suburbs are turning it into a blue state. It will be interesting to see what lessons Democrats will take from it. There was the Trump bashing and charges of racism we saw last year but the winner ran on a moderate platform.
News outlets are hungry for election news so they made a big deal out it. There was talk of it being a referendum on President Trump and what it portends for next year’s mid-term election. The results will soon be forgotten and of no importance unless you live in New Jersey or Virginia.
The worst political analyst of all was President Trump. He tweeted that the Republican would have won in Virginia if he embraced Trump. Trump lost the state and has a horrible approval rating.
It would be nice if we had clues about next year. In politics, a year is a lifetime.
When Donald Trump announced he was running for President, most assumed it was a publicity stunt like his past attempts. One of the pivotal events in his campaign was the endorsement of Jeff Sessions, the first senator to do so.
He nominated Sessions as Attorney General. It has been downhill ever since. Sessions recused himself from the Russian collusion investigation. He really had no choice since he had a number of conversations with Russian officials as part of his senatorial duties. That earned him considerable public scorn from Trump.
Now Trump has gone a step further. He has threatened to fire him if he doesn’t start investigating Hillary Clinton and the DNC. Clinton’s controversies are well known. The DNC is in the news since it actively supported the Clinton campaign when it was supposed to be neutral. All the talk of rigging the primaries is ridiculous. They behaved badly but didn’t tamper with voting machines or bribe voters.
The real problem was a huge misunderstanding between the two men. Sessions assumed Trump was looking for an Attorney General, not a fixer who covers up scandals and jails Democrats. If Sessions has any self-respect left, he should resign. I’m sure he regrets giving up his safe Senate seat.
This makes it clear that if you have Trump as a friend you sure don’t need any enemies.
Both political parties love a good scandal; provided that it happens to the other party. Democrats feasted on Watergate and Republicans made the most of Bill Clinton’s extracurricular activities.
Waiting for a scandal isn’t good enough anymore. Now parties create them by making them up or dredging up the past. The most egregious example is the Texas district attorney who has indicted a number of prominent Republicans. The supposed collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign has been investigated for nearly a year now. The only evidence so far is the phony dossier that the Democrats bought and paid for. The indictments this week had absolutely nothing to do with the campaign.
Presumably the Republicans are investigating Hillary Clinton as payback. There is some questionable behavior on her part. However, using government resources to punish a past foe is a waste of money. It is also stupid politically. She is yesterday’s news and going after her won’t get the GOP a single vote next year or in 2020.
I was a lifelong Democrat but am now totally disgusted with both parties. I believe there are millions of people that feel the same way. So far we haven’t found someone to speak for us but eventually we will be heard.
Many are deeply concerned about the environment and try to live their lives accordingly. Others seem more interested in appearances. Years ago a prominent actor and environmental activist was asked about starring in a movie that glorified car racing. He didn’t think that was relevant.
Corporate America is not immune to putting appearances over substance. A large computer maker boasted of being carbon neutral. It accomplished this by having someone else assemble the computers in China and buying a rain forest. Undoubtedly the process was less energy efficient and likely relied on electricity produced by coal. More energy was used to transport them across the Pacific.
The most ridiculous example is electric cars. The Obama administration spent billions on their development. Remember Solyndra? Granted you don’t smell any fumes when they are running. It’s a different story at the power plant, many of which use coal.
If they really want to promote their cause, they should be more interested in being green rather than looking green.
Hard-core conservatives are in a mood to party. Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican, announced he will not seek reelection next year. Flake is very much a traditional conservative but that’s not good enough for the Right. They have continually attacked him even though they need his vote to pass the Trump agenda.
It looks like the GOP will nominate Kelli Ward, a former state senator. She opposed John McCain in 2016 and declared his and Hillary Clinton’s positions to be nearly the same. When he developed brain cancer, she urged him to resign and offered herself up as a replacement. Sounds like she took lessons in class from Donald Trump. Her likely opponent is Kyrsten Sinema, a three term member of Congress. She is a moderate who has even won the support of the Chamber of Commerce. I would say that Republicans stand a good chance of losing a seat.
This is the continuation of a pattern. The Right went after Luther Strange, the Alabama senator chosen to replace Jeff Sessions. Even though Strange is a solid conservative, he lost in the primary to Roy Moore. As Alabama Chief Justice, he used state funds to build a monument promoting his religion and defied a federal court order to remove it. He may win, but his Democratic challenger is making a race out of it.
In 2012 they gleefully defeated Richard Lugar. Their candidate declared that Social Security is unconstitutional and it is God’s will that a pregnant rape victim bear the child. They lost a seat they held for thirty-six years.
I don’t understand their thinking. They don’t seem to care about getting their agenda passed or even staying in power. Their full focus is on destroying the so-called Establishment. To borrow a term used for those with a blind hatred for President Trump, they seem to suffering from Establishment Derangement Syndrome.
Each party is moving further to the extreme and showing political ineptness. I think there is a reasonable chance of a new party forming in the next twenty years and one of the existing parties becoming a fringe group third party.
The last few months have been a time of real tragedy for our country. Hurricane Harvey dumped up to 50 inches of rain on Texas resulting in eighty-nine deaths and around $70 billion in damages. It is estimated that 80 percent of damaged homes did not have flood insurance. Hurricane Irma was an incredibly powerful storm that left ninety people dead. Maria killed fifty-two and devastated Puerto Rico. More recently we saw the worst mass shooting in our history result in the deaths of fifty-eight people in Las Vegas.
We live in an era of short news cycles. The shooting is still in the news but we hear nothing about the storms. An untold number of people are mourning the loss of loved ones, recovering from injuries or dealing with damaged or destroyed homes. They still need our help.
Last week I had a vivid reminder of one of these disasters. I was in Las Vegas. The area around the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign has been turned into a memorial complete with fifty-eight crosses, flowers and other items. Plywood covers the broken windows at Mandalay Bay. The concert venue is still an active crime scene. It is hard to witness that and not be moved.
We all have problems. Before feeling sorry for ourselves, we need to remember those who have it much worse.
Will Rogers once said “I am not a member of an organized political party. I am a Democrat.”. They certainly have their share of problems. For a party that controls the White House and Congress, things are pretty chaotic with the Republicans.
It looks like General Kelly has put a stop to the fratricide in the Trump administration. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to rein in President Trump. He seems to make decisions based on limited knowledge. He recently threatened to take away NBC’s license. With all of his exposure to the industry, you would think he would know that the local stations need to be licensed, not the network.
He seems bound and determined to create chaos. He has publicly disagreed with cabinet members and criticized them. He is constantly feuding with members of Congress. Then there are the tweets.
The chaos continues in the Senate. They have not been able to reach a compromise to repeal Obamacare. President Obama got it through without a single Democratic senator voting no. Meanwhile, some are calling for Mitch McConnell to be ousted as their leader.
Meanwhile, many hard core conservatives have declared war on the party. Steve Bannon is leading a group to challenge the “Establishment”. They will likely knock off a few incumbents in the primaries and replace them with candidates that can’t possibly win. Remember the lady that wasn’t a witch and the guy who said a woman’s body “shuts down” during a rape?
Despite all this discord, they have an ace in the hole. It looks like Democrats will continue with the strategy that has the party in the worst shape since the 1920s.
We face a number of challenges in the world. None is more problematic than North Korea. It is developing the capability to launch nuclear missiles on the United States. It also has one of the world’s largest armies. A whole bunch of artillery pieces are heavily fortified and aimed at Seoul. To make matters even worse, it is ruled by a man who quite possibly may be insane.
Past presidents have tried negotiation. Their promises weren’t worth the paper they were written on. President Trump has responded with a number of belligerent threats. One of the ways Kim Jong-um stays in power is by talking about the US as an aggressor. Every time Trump spouts off, he gives Kim more ammunition.
So what are we to do? First of all, Trump needs to stop the threats. If war broke out, Seoul, a city of over ten million people, would be in ruins. It’s impossible to negotiate with someone who has members of his family killed. However, talking never hurts. We need to maintain a strong military presence but not one that threatens Kim. We must make sure there is no way a missile could ever reach the United States. Finally, we need to keep the pressure on China but realize there is only so much they can do.
Dealing with North Korea requires a nuanced approach. That is not the way Trump operates so we have to hope he will listen to his advisors.