2106 The Candidates The Issues The Media The Fiasco

White_House_Washington

I was watching Meet the Press this past Sunday and saw Chuck Todd interview Jeb Bush. The entire interview was about Jeb’s drop in the polls. Why was he dropping, why wasn’t he the frontrunner, what does this say about his future Todd kept asking. I kept longing for Todd to ask “how would you safely get us out of Afghanistan, Iraq and now Syria?” Or, “the numbers look good on the economy but they aren’t good for every day Americans, they are earning less working more and tens of millions of uncounted unemployed people, how specifically would you address this?”

But, no. All he asked were unimportant irrelevant questions. This is what our media has become. No substance, just about producing ratings. It is very much a shame in that the American people aren’t being educated so they can make informed make decisions. And, the candidates don’t have to talk about anything specific.

Everyone is talking about the CNBC debate and the GOP candidates getting together to make demands of the media before the next debate. This is an extremely dangerous situation. The news media is supposed to be the 4th estate of the U.S. government. They should never give in to the demands of any candidate. As President Obama said last night, how could these crybabies ever deal with Putin if they can’t deal with CNBC moderators?

So true.

The CNBC debate wasn’t as much of a fiasco as everyone has made it out to be. But, the debate itself was set up very poorly. Five or 6 different people asking questions? That’s too many people. Asking Trump if his candidacy was like a comic book character, asking Jeb why his numbers are dropping. See above. The audience wants substance, not BS.

The point is really no longer about if George Bush made the wrong decision invading Iraq (YES he did) or if Obama’s seemingly lack of strategy has made the situation worse (probably); the point is how do we fix it. How would each candidate fix the messes we are involved in. Sorry Mr. Trump, staring down your rivals won’t change anything.

If you look at the candidates from the GOP I am hard pressed to find one acceptable candidate. Sure, Trump and Christie make me laugh with the ridiculous things they say, but they aren’t suitable. Carly? How many times does this woman have to lie for people to get it. She shamelessly plays the gender card by saying ‘Hillary’ ever other word. Carson, Huckabee, Jindal, Cruz all just so full of bigoted hate and pandering to their bases. Unsuitable. The rest? Forgettable.

On the Dem side it’s a bit different since so few are running. Really the only two meaningful people left are Clinton and Sanders. Whereas I have not decided yet, Bernie talks a great game but can he win in a general election? Hillary is probably the most prepared and competent person to ever run for the presidency. It would be nice to see a strong experienced leader that doesn’t need the learning curve Obama and Bush needed.

There are so many things going on today that choosing our next leader is vitally important. Even if you just look at the Supreme Court, a Dem must win.

There are so many other issues as well. Actually being able to create real jobs that can pay enough for a family to live on. There is a reason why we have more people living in poverty than any other time in our history: because the newly created jobs, while impressive in numbers, are low paying, part time, and unacceptable. A dire warning to Hillary, if you keep up the Obama happy dance about the economy you will look out of touch and uncaring.

There are so many other issues from income inequality to education to legalized discrimination to Climate Change. And many many more. But we aren’t hearing any substantial conversations on any relevant issues, and, we probably won’t.

Right now this is a fiasco. Candidates running wild, trying to bully the news media. The news media unable or unwilling to ask candidates the questions to move our country forward and the worst of all; I don’t think there is one candidate running who has the American peoples best interest and the country’s best interest as their first priority. It’s all about them.

So, where does that leave us? In a shitty place. This is definitely not what our founding fathers wanted for the future of this country.  Together we must change everything.

Can We Learn To Tell The Truth For The Future of the Country

IMG_1684It amazes me when I read different news media and their completely factually incorrect articles they put out. The articles, of course, are to promote either Democrats or Republicans. Has anyone ever had the idea to promote articles, knowledge and experience that would help both parties and the entire Country?

It seems not, since I don’t ever recall seeing anything of this sort. We are one Country and we all have similar goals: making our lives better, safer and a better future for the next generation. Each side may have a different way of realizing the goals; but knowing we have the same goals is very important.

Let’s stop the lies and start working together to make things better. I just saw some posting about how George W. Bush squandered a $5.6 trillion dollar surplus. That is 100% inaccurate. Before people shoot their mouthes off they should do some research. That figure of $5.6T was an estimated figure if the economy continued to grow at the pace it was in the late 1990s. It didn’t. The burst of the dot com bubble was so severe not only did it eliminate any surpluses it also took away all of the value of the growth of the late 1990s.

Why is this important? Am I picking on Bill Clinton while propping up George Bush? No, it’s important because it’s factual information that we can learn from in the future. You need facts to build better policy, bills and laws for the future.

And this needs to be our goal. A better future by learning from all of the successes and failures of each administration. Ego has to be let go; our Country’s future is the most important goal.

Obviously George Bushes’s wars were both fiascos that won’t be finished for years and have put a very deep stain on the competency of the United States of America. President Obama has had to play clean up to get us out of these wars. My goal is for someone non-partisan to look at our invasion of Afghanistan and give a scenario of how we could have done better. Perhaps not targeting the whole Country, just al Qaeda. Yes hindsight is 20/20, but this isn’t about blame, it’s about what to do in the future. In my view, if we had just gone after al Qaeda we would not have had America’s longest war. We might have troops there still, but a small number with a limited assignment.

Iraq was another, is another, complete disaster. Rather than saying Bush was a fool (which wouldn’t be incorrect) what is the bigger lesson? How many troops were sent in? Why was the U.S. unable to tamp down the insurgency? Bush 1 sent 600,000 troops in 1990; Bush 2 sent 150,000 troops in 2003. Maybe this is the very reason Iraq was able to turn from mass insurgency to what it is today.

Each administration should look to the past to see what kind of help they can get to plan a better future. Perhaps Condi Rice has things to offer about Iran dragging their feet and stalling; perhaps she has something to offer about U.S. Russia relations. Of course she does. Contact her.

The only President in modern history that has been utilized for his experience by both Democrats and Republicans is Richard Nixon. Yes, surprising, but true. We need to do more of this. If H.W. has good advice, listen and takes notes. If Bill Clinton has good advice also listen also take notes. It can no longer be a tit for tat game. Country first.

The economy? My goal is for Mr. Obama and his aides (both D and R) look at all the info available at what invigorates the economy. What produces more higher paying jobs. Our economy is not in good shape as most polls have noted. Despite the promising figures people don’t feel positive about the economy. Why? Because most/all of the gains have gone to the .01% not the general public.

When people brag about the Obama economy they should really ask themselves a few questions first. One being, if everything Obama tried to do to stimulate the economy was obstructed who is responsible for the numbers that sound good today? The president who offered a few jobs packages, or the people that obstructed them.

The point? R’s and D’s need to drop their egos at the door and look to each other for what has worked and what could work in the future. From the economy to Russia, Iran. We have a vast quantity of knowledge, let’s utilize it for all Americans.

It Could Have Been Camelot 2, What Went So Drastically Wrong?

UnknownJackie Kennedy was brilliant, in her way, as shaping the legacy of JKF’s time in office as glamorous, the perfect time in history and something we should all long for in the future. She was asked shortly after the assassination, how she would describe the thousand days that President Kennedy was in office. Instead of answering, she said there was a song Jack always loved; from Camelot. Jackie wrote the everlasting impression of that time period. As we know from the years to come, Mrs. Kennedy was a master at using the media for her benefit and also the benefit of others.

2008 comes along, the American people are shell-shocked about what’s going on with the economy. We are in the midst of 2 failing wars and everyone is frozen; not knowing what to do.

As we know, 2008 was a presidential election year. It was presumed that Hillary Clinton would win. She had everything going for her, but one fatal error. Out comes Barack Obama who ends up winning not only the nomination but the election. Having Teddy and Caroline Kennedy both compare him to JFK had a huge impact. A young attractive couple, a man with lots of goals to better the Country and set it on a new path were extremely helpful in his winning the election. Probably more important was Hillary’s vote on the Iraq war. That vote lost her the presidency.

I should note here that the Bush administration did a brilliant job convincing the public of the looming threat from Saddam.  Mr. Bush deliberately held a vote in Congress right before a political election. What no one knew at the time was Mr. Bush wasn’t being honest with the American people; including Mrs. Clinton.

So, January 2009 was such an exciting time for our Country. Could it be Camelot 2? Barack Obama really started his presidency the day he was elected. He was in full force with the economy, trying to stop a second Great Depression. But that day, January 20, 2009 was invigorating. It felt like our Country was moving forward. We had elected an African American president, with a young attractive family and Mr. Obama was already working to fix our severe economic problems.

Everything seemed possible and positive that day. To most of us.

At that time the GOP was thought to be a party that was in free for all and wouldn’t survive. What we didn’t know at the time was that they were planning their comeback. They had no interest in what was best for the American public, they enacted a scorched earth policy to regain power. Mitch McConnell even said publicly that the main goal of the GOP was to make President Obama a one term president. He said this as the stock market was dropping almost in half. As the economy was in severe economic crisis. He and the GOP wanted to defeat Obama, not help the Country. As I have said many times, I see this as nothing short of treason.

Over the years the economic meltdown had devastating consequences. More and more people lost jobs, lost unemployment insurance. The next few years were miserable for many Americans. Every attempt Mr. Obama made for more stimulus, more job creation was obstructed by the GOP/tea party in Congress. They didn’t care about the American people, they just wanted the President to fail.

As more years went by many more jobs were created and the unemployment rate fell dramatically. What few people realize is that the newly created jobs payed much less than the jobs that were lost and a huge amount of those new jobs were part time. Why has the unemployment rate dropped so much? Because if you are a person who wants a job but are too discouraged to look you aren’t counted as unemployed. The Wall Street Journal has estimated that there are some 40 – 50 million people who fall in this category. That alone is devastating for the future of our Country. When you add in that the newly created jobs pay less and aren’t full time you must realize the devastating situation the U.S. is in today.

Where did it all go wrong? From a possible Camelot 2 to a crippling economy that both the news media and the White House ignore. Did Obama give up on Congress too soon? Did the tea party sink the economy? Is Mr. Obama just not the right personality fit for a POTUS?

And then there is race. Are the GOP trying to marginalize everything President Obama does because they want to regain power or because they can’t stand the thought of a Black man being POTUS? Or, both?

I saw a student from Harvard College on Bill Maher last night talking about why her generation doesn’t vote. Her response was very telling. She said that our government is controlled by outside interests and her generation doesn’t feel like who they would vote for would matter. Think about that. You know what? I feel the same way sometimes. Too many special interest groups have more power than what the American people want.

It’s time for all of us to stand up and take our Country back. We need to keep this Country a democracy and not a plutocracy. It will be a long hard fight. But we can do it!

Panetta, Obama, Gates, Clinton ** War ** What Is The Best Path Forward?

LRAs everyone knows Leon Panetta has written a book that is highly critical of President Obama’s decision to leave Iraq, his not wanting to hear recommendations from the military and just wanting to ‘get out.’

It surprised me, although I know it shouldn’t, that so many DEMS  dismissed Panetta’s observation as a ploy to sell books. This, to me, is close-minded thinking which I thought the DEMS were above that. You can’t listen to a 40 year loyal public servant, who had lead the Pentagon and the CIA? You think he would tarnish his impeccable reputation for the sale of a few more books? That just blows my mind.

To me, smart people look at every angle, look to see how they can improve, look to see how to make the Country more secure. In my mind people need to stop thinking Obama walks on water and can do no wrong. When you have a strong message like this from an insider it’s time to learn what can be done better. It really shouldn’t be political, but that is a pipe dream and will never happen. And, people who don’t want to know anymore information just go back to their partisan base.

This is a tragedy for our Country; now and in the future. We must learn from successes and failures. We are one Nation and we all want to be safe and secure. Villainizing disagreements will in the end only hurt us.

What Mr. Panetta wrote echoes what Bob Gates, Ryan Crocker and Hillary Clinton have said. If you can’t listen to the top security team around a president, who can you listen to? No one. Open your minds.

What Sec Panetta has said is that President Obama and his team were so eager to get out of Iraq that they ignored the military’s advice of leaving 24K troops in the Country and also the Obama administration abandoned political ties with Iraq. Those are both devastating accusations. Now we hear that the Prime Minister of Iraq was marginalizing the Sunni population, much like Saddam had with the Shia. Where was the United States to help change this?

My goal is for peace in the Middle East and peace everywhere in the world. Ignoring glaring mistakes will never get us there. What if, as the military recommended, Obama left those 24,000 troops. What if those troops were able to squash ISIL immediately and the U.S. didn’t have to go to yet another war and invade yet another Muslim State?

This is the entire point of this piece. Learn from mistakes, understand what is going on and get what will make our Country safer in the future. If you can’t imagine Mr. Obama being wrong you should consider yourself as intelligent as the tea party.

The Left and Right both need to drop their partisan leanings and deal directly with what will make our Country safe, economically stable and not be at war with each other.

President Obama a War Criminal? ** The White House Not Secure** Still Too Big To Fail

IMG_2194Kinda seems like the world is in complete chaos right now. Is there any where on earth where things are going well? From Russia and Ukraine, Syria/Iraq/ISIL, fence jumpers getting deep into the White  House and recently revealed from 2011 another intruder shot 11 bullets some going into the Presidential residence to banks that are still around, still too big to fail and still no investigation into exactly what happened in the crash and meltdown of 2008.

The Wall Street Journal says the crash of 2008 was more severe than the Great Depression. That tidbit of news was ignored by all media outlets.

The latest screaming allegation, from Democrats, is that Barack Obama has committed war crimes, just as George W. Bush did, by invading and bombing Syria without a UN resolution. However convoluted Bush’s invasion of Iraq was, he had strong backing of both branches of Congress. Mr. Obama has not chosen to call Congress back for an immediate vote on authorizing our efforts in Syria. Why? I don’t know, most likely it’s political. That being the worst reason in the world to go to war. Is Obama a war criminal, was Bush, I don’t know I am not a constitutional lawyer. I’d love to hear from one.

What is one to think when the Generals past/present from the DoD say that a) ISIL is not a threat to the United States of America and b) The plan of bombing alone will never result in victory? Whose idea is this?

Why are we all screaming about the threat from ISIL when the intelligence says they pose no threat. Why do we hear from the intelligence community that the threat of ISIL was told to the President over a year ago, and we hear from Mr. Obama the other night on 60 Minutes that the intelligence was faulty and inaccurate?

Doesn’t leave one with much confidence in anyone.

Then we have the very disturbing news of someone jumping the fence at the White House and getting deep into the mansion. Why did the Secret Service feel the need to outright lie to us, telling us that the intruder was tackled immediately upon entering the mansion; when in fact he got all the way to the East Room. The White House should be the most secure place in the Country. We have a President who has unfairly been accused of everything that has gone on, including the weather, and the White House isn’t secure?

That is completely and totally unacceptable.

So, it does seem like we really have a world at war. Any and every place is in turbulence or violence or threat of disease. Then, today’s New York Times has an article about the collapse of Lehman Brothers, one of the catalysts of the financial crash and meltdown of 2008 that cost so many so much.

Since that crash we have seen no investigations. We have seen no one jailed. We have done nothing to prevent it happening again. That, to me, is a disgrace. We should know what caused it to happen, how to prevent it and charge those that were behind so many trillions of dollars of wealth that disappeared. Why hasn’t this happened?

And today, 6 years later the biggest anxiety of the American public is the economy and keeping their jobs. It is obvious that there is no one looking out for the American people and their future interests. I think two voices have been heard wanting to make real change: Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

My challenge to you is to think about what would make our world a better place and do you see anyone trying to do that? I don’t. We need major change and it doesn’t come from drinking the kool-aid, it comes from having the right people in place.

Let’s change this. It’s us, and only we can make it better. Let’s do it!

Is It 2014 or 2003? Things Most People Have Missed

IMG_3969Looking through all of the top stories of the most respectable news organizations in the U.S. this morning it was obvious to see that each and every story had something to do with ISIL. U.S. attacks in Syria; U.S. has broad coalition of Arab states; U.S. targets al Qaeda in Syria; U.S. bombing in Iraq has not stopped the momentum of ISIL.

What was missing was a piece or 2 about why attacking ISIL might not be a good idea. This made me immediately flashback to 2003 where the media seemed to encourage the U.S. to invade Iraq. Today, as in back then, there were almost no pieces about not going to war.

President Obama has clearly stated that ISIL does not impose a credible threat to the United States at this time/George Bush pushed shoddy evidence about Iraq’s Saddam Hussein having WMD and an imminent threat to our ‘homeland.’ These two statements just struck me as so similar; so trying to scare the public into agreeing to continuing the ‘war or terror’ for an infinite amount of time.

What Bush said is that we face a clear and present threat. What Obama said is that we do not. If not, Mr. Obama, can you please explain why we are doing what we are doing?

The thing almost everyone has forgotten about, or conveniently don’t talk about is strategy. First, with the current strategy everyone in the military has said bombing alone won’t work. I wrote about my suggestions in my last blog posting, check there if you want to see them. But, if it’s not going to work, and we all know it, why are we doing it? To give the American public the oh so satisfying sense of revenge by seeing bombs dropping?

Secondly, and much more importantly, is that no one talks about the Bush strategy of 2003 in Iraq. This strategy has made the US look completely incompetent, not able to win a war, and a Country not to be feared. When President Bush Sr. went to war against Iraq in 1990/91 he sent 550,000 American troops and 200,000 coalition troops. And had the war completely paid for by our allies. We handily won that war. The a few months later Mr. Bush sent troops back into Iraq for a very limited time and objectives, then brought them home.

In 2003 Bush Jr sent in around 150,000 troops. What no one talks about and no one wants to learn from is that the United States wasn’t prepared for what was going to happen next and that the change of tide of that war happened in 2003. Why weren’t 500,000 American troops there? Before the insurgency struck hold there was tremendous looting of everything in Iraq. Why? Because the US didn’t have enough ground troops to stabilize the area. If Iraq was stable immediately after the fall of Hussein we would see a completely different situation on the ground now.

Now, don’t get me wrong, invading Iraq in 2003 was an asinine thing to do. But, what confounded the problem and made it unsolvable is the utter incompetence of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld to have a strategy that worked. This part of the story should be studied much more because it brings us right back to where we are today.

Our military tells us the bombing campaign alone won’t work. President Obama has ignored that. Ground presence is needed; we seem to think the ‘moderate’ Syrians will help us. No, they won’t. The so called moderate Syrian rebels are the ones that sold the American journalist who was beheaded. What makes people think the arms we give them won’t be stolen by ISIL like they were in Iraq?

I say, time for serious and truthful dialogue about what we face and what are our best options? I haven’t seen/heard of any.

If You’re Going to Do It, Do It Right ** On ISIL, Go Big or Go Home

photoSorry, had to throw in a quote from George Michael! After hearing non stop relentless coverage of ISIL and the American strategy to defeat it I am not impressed and need to speak out.

When you see or hear of a sickening group like ISIL you can take one of two options: the first being, they are not currently a threat to the United States of America, so let them keep killing themselves and let the Middle East fight its own war. Or the second option is to intervene.

Now, leaving them alone and letting the Middle East handle it could entail lots of changes to American policies. For instance, track people who are flying into the U.S. see where they were and if they had been in Syria or Iraq deny them access to the Country. You could give those people in-depth extra scrutiny, but no longer can just a passport into this Country allow you immediate access.  There are many other things the government could do, in applying pressure to our so called allies to stop funding ISIL to the occasional drone attacks like we do in other Countries.

Now, if you want to intervene, what president Obama is suggesting is laughable. The DoD, past and present, has said there is no chance of this plan working without people on the ground. They also say, and I completely agree, stop saying ‘no boots on the ground.’ Don’t ever tell the enemy what you have taken off the table. Because of George Bush’s massive fuck up in not only invading Iraq but also completely mishandling the aftermath the world no longer sees the U.S. as a powerful enemy to fear. They see us as bungling idiots. Because of Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama feels he constantly has to say ‘not boots on the ground.’

President Obama is not blameless here, not in the least. Why are we, the American public, just hearing now that the government in Iraq had been systematically discriminating against and alienating the Sunni population? If that was the case why didn’t the Obama administration step in 2 years ago. And there is always the lingering question of why Obama didn’t leave the 24,000 troops in Iraq that his generals recommended. Yes, I know, Iraq objected, but, could he have tried harder.

Getting back to my point. If you are going to intervene in the current crisis you need to go big or go home. Meaning, send 500,000 American troops into Iraq, get the situation done with and bring them home. Set clear goals and a clear time table that the troops would return. Three months, 6 months. No unending commitment, just go in and do the job. Like in the early 1990s, that much American force is a game changer and will get quick results.

This half way approach is basically a handoff to the next U.S. president since the air attacks are supposed to take at least 3 years. Again, do it right or stay out of it.

I find it particularly appalling that the other Middle Eastern states won’t commit any money or ground troops. Firstly, this is their fight, it’s in their neighborhood and they have the most to be worried about. Also, the U.S. paid for most of the militaries in the region and they are rolling in money. The absolute least Saudi Arabia could do is bankroll the U.S. efforts.

Hearing the UK say that they won’t stand for this and will bring the guilty to justice, but won’t offer any help. What is that? Put up or shut up.

The last place we want to be in as a Country is where we are baited by thug terrorists who release nauseating videos. We are the most powerful nation in the world. Anything we do should be at the time of our choosing and with the strategy we see as best.