Thursday, July 30, 2015

Go and FInd Yourself a Message

Los Cruces,  NM- About 20 years ago, the state of Texas was not the deep, dark, bleeding-red Republican state is today. But in 1994, George Bush Jr. wanted to bring down the immensely popular governor of Texas, Anne Richards and replace her with himself. A lot of people thought it could not happen. But, with what senator Ted Cruz called “an almost inhuman commitment to staying on message” Bush won.
Such an “inhuman” commitment would well serve many of the Republicans who say they are running for president.
It served not only Bush in 94’ but also, much more recently, just this year, in Britain, another conservative, David Cameron, was running for reelection to the prime minister of the United Kingdom. He campaigned relentlessly on the fact that he had created a thousand new jobs a day during his administration, and that the Labor Party, his opposition, had in its last span in office, a thirteen year span, at that, had run the country out of money. Cameron repeated those facts until, whether they were true or not, every British person had heard them, and enough believed it to give Cameron a stunning victory.
But in 2015, with Republicans having a field so large that someone would want to try to keep pounding their message until it got into the thick scull of the American voter, only a few seem to be doing it. In fact, only a couple of members of the GOP Field have managed to define themselves, and not in a good way.
Donald Trump has defined himself as a loud mouth and an annoying person. Jeb Bush has defined himself as someone who might win but without much enthusiasm. For the others, they still seem to be fighting for a definition
 Although it would seem that by now Rand Paul would be pretty well branded as a libertarian, many still question his serious far-right credentials. Marco Rubio has established that he is a real conservative, but many are still unsure about him, and he really does not have a national brand at this time. His message is unclear. He says things like "fix America" but he has yet to lay out a way he will do that.
As for the rest, Ted Cruz, for better or worse, true or not, is known as a crazy man by many. Yet that doesn’t tell Americans much about what he plans on doing should he become president. But even that label stands out in a field full of the likes of George Pataki, John Kasich, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum etc. Candidates who, it seems, the last time they really articulated their message was on the day they announced they were running, if they even did it then.
You don't generally win just by saying empty things like "bring back the American dream" "restore America" etc. That is all good and well, but that is not a vision, and eventually people will want to get past all of the sugar candy and find some real message, and most of the candidates aren't doing that, so they aren't going anywhere in the polls.
Donald Trump is doing it, which is why is having such great success. Everyone from Rick Perry to Lindsey Graham would do well to take at least one lesson from the Donald, and that is to find yourself a message, and stick with it.

Andrew C. Abbott

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Preparing for the Debates: What to look for

San Antonio, TX- We are now one week away from the first GOP Debate. In Ohio the top ten in the polls will come in from the fields and mount the stage. Instead of yelling about each other, all of these men and the one woman running will have a chance to yell at each other. There are several things to look for.
Firstly, the interesting thing is who is going to be there. Many, such as Rick Santorum, are very unhappy about FOX’s new format of only allowing the top ten in the polls to participate. And there is still some confusion about who will be there. FOX has not said exactly which polls they will average, nor how they will average them, nor even what they will do if there is a tie.
If they were rounding numbers, on Debate Day, they might be as many as twelve candidates on the stage, as Rick Perry, Chris Christi, and John Kasich are all very close to each other at the bottom end of the GOP Ladder.
One of the other interesting things to watch is can Donald Trump behave himself? Will he act like a real candidate, talk about substantive things, and show his vision for America? Or will he call the other candidates idiots, pound the podium, and argue with the moderator? If he does, it will make for great television, but also most likely bring about the long expected dive in Trump’s poll numbers.
Another person to watch is Jeb Bush. By this time he was supposed to be riding high, but instead he has been overshadowed by the wild rhetoric of Trump and the enthusiasm of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul supporters. Jeb is not doing well in the early state polls, and the debates will be a good metric of whether he can give some shots, let Donald Trump run his way out, and use the Bush money machine to gravel over any gap in enthusiasm.
But perhaps the person with the most to lose on the sixth of August will be Scott Walker. Polling well in early states, he lacks the perceived craziness of Trump and the money of Bush, but he still remains strong in early voting states, and nationally. There remains among some questions about Walker’s intelligence because he dropped out of college and won’t say if he believes in evolution. A mistake that by another candidate would simply be glossed over or completely missed could potentially be blown way out of proportion as “proof positive” that Walker is not intelligent enough to be president.
And, last but not least there is the question of the unknown candidates. The guys people have only heard about but don’t really know, or those who are doing poorly in the polls, but could have a strong debate showing. These include Ted Cruz, a great debater in his college days-who could do well. Also Marco Rubio, is still doing relatively well in the polls, but has lost traction as the Trump juggernaut began to get rolling. With Rubio’s great debates in the race for Florida Senate under his belt, he could conceivably use the debates as a staging his grounds for healing his beleaguered campaign. There is Kasich, Christi, Perry, and Carson, all of whom could do something unexpected and take a climb.
Anything can happen in debates. In 1960 they cost Richard Nixon the presidency, and in 2012 they all but destroyed Rick Perry when he said “oops.” Crazy things could happen. Trump might stay calm, Bush might lose it, Cruz could call someone a liar and lose any hope of establishment money, Walker might say the wrong thing, or Rand Paul might admit he is still an isolationist.
Either way, it will be fun to watch.
Andrew C. Abbott

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Defund Planned Parenthood

Houston, TX – In recent months, hundreds of millions of Americans across the country have been horrified by images of police brutality in locals as different as South Carolina, Florida, and California. We have watched in disgust as we have seen men and women mercilessly beaten, and sometimes tragically killed by those who are supposed to protect them. And now, again, another scandal is rocking the nation.
This scandal goes beyond skin color. It is about those who are being discriminated against and killed not because of their ethnicity, but because of their size, and their status as unborn children.
Just as most of us knew, before the videos that portrayed the deaths of such men as Walter Scott, shot in the back by a police officer is South Carolina, that there was police brutality, the shocking images on the evening news forced us to stop ignoring it. So in the same way we all know that abortion on demand, the greatest mistake ever propagated by the American Supreme Court when it upheld Roe v. Wade, happens, and that unborn children are killed because they are unwanted every day. However, the recent videos, purportedly showing members of Planned Parenthood, America’s most powerful abortion provider, speaking of killing unborn children, and crushing parts of their bodies to save other parts, have horrified and sickened many, as indeed they should.
But this group, founded by Margaret Sanger, which aids in abortions which roughly half of the nation finds reprehensible, and, like me, believes should be outlawed, rakes in our tax dollars, to the tune of roughly 500,000,000 dollars last year. (Five hundred million.) This was something even Bill Clinton, in his book My Life, protested against, saying he didn’t believe that Americans should be forced to pay for something that they didn’t believe in.
Currently, we have a Republican Majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Republican Party is the party whose platform states they are opposed to abortion, and nearly if not every single Republican member of both houses of congress say they are pro-life. If they are indeed pro-life, then perhaps the best thing would be for them to start saving life.
Neither the congress nor the president can overturn Roe v. Wade, only the Supreme Court has the power to do that, but statistics show that when Planned Parenthood gets less money, a great deal fewer babies are aborted. So it would seem logical, if Republicans loved life so much, that they would back Rand Paul’s bill that would defund Planned Parenthood.
The American Government wastes a lot of money every year. We waste on agencies that do nothing, we waste on agencies that do the wrong things, and we waste it on agencies that don’t what they are supposed to do. But here is a half of a billion dollars we could save, and save easily.
So let’s Defund Planned Parenthood. And let’s not vote for any presidential candidate in the senate that doesn’t vote to do that.

Andrew C. Abbott

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Governor John Kasich: Late to the Party, way too late

Houston, TX - The train has already left the station. The dance floor is already at maximum capacity, and the fire marshal is wondering how soon he’ll need to start pulling people out before something bad happens. And here comes this guy. This…John…Kasich? Ever heard of him? Well, he’s the Anglican, sixty-three year old governor of Ohio with two daughters, and he’s running for president.

But, for Kasich, it’s probably already too late. All the action is already in full swing. There is the king of the prom, Donald Trump, throwing his own money like candy as everyone asks the hired help to throw him out, but for some reason a lot of people love him.
There is Jeb Bush trying to act smart and intelligent and not be too obvious that he is one of the rich kids, the kids everybody envies, and nobody likes. There is Carly Fiorina, the only girl who somehow made it into the this corner, and she’s having a hard time even holding her own. And there are all those young jocks from the senate, Rubio, Cruz, Paul, who everyone is watching, but so far their dance cards aren’t full yet. And that guy, Carson, ("I think he dropped in on the party on his way out from the lab, but I hear he’s leaving soon," someone whispers.)
And those other guys. Graham and Santorum. We don’t know what to say about them, but somebody said that they can't dance as good as they think they can. They have some hard core followings, but they are really small.
There are the governors, (you know, that club of smart guys who meet over in building C every other Friday and all say they're doing the best job, and that their state is the best,) Walker, Pataki, Huckabee, Rick Perry, Jindal, Chris Christi, and now John Kasich. He’s like the kid with braces that doesn’t even want to be here. But his mom dragged him by the ear out of the house and into the car and now he’s here and all the girls are already taken.
It’s so bad for Kasich that even in his own home state, Ohio, where the first GOP Nomination Debate is going to happen; he might not even make it in. According to the nonpartisan polling site Real Clear Politics, Kasich is in 11th place at 1.5%. In Iowa, Kasich is running in at least 13th place with less than 2% among likely voters, according to a Monmouth University Poll.
When it comes to the money, one has to wonder where Kasich’s is going to come from. The answer might be nowhere.
So, to sum up Kasich, he is a back of the pack mediocre candidate with little in the way of high flung rhetoric and practically no base to speak of. While he has arguably performed well as governor and indeed won with a large victory in his campaign, the truth is that the most likely reason Kasich is running is because he isn’t getting any younger, and knows that you can’t hang out as a wallflower forever. So its understandable that he would kick up his heels and do something. Its a fun time, you get into the history books, you get to write a book and make some money, your names gets out there for a possible cabinet position, or if you are really lucky, VP. And hey, who knows, if it all goes down, if the whole thing blows up, you just might be president. So yeah, Kasich thinks he'll just run out into the middle of the floor.
Let’s just hope he doesn’t embarrass himself too bad out there.

Andrew C. Abbott

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Confederate Flag: Stop and Think

One of the most controversial flags in the world at the moment

Houston, TX - There is flag that still flies in this nation. A flag that has every right to fly and indeed should have every right, even though, once, it flew above the heads of those who were outright racists. The flag offends me, I would never fly it, but some do. I’m not talking about the stars and bars, I’m talking about the flag of the New York Yankees.
The flag once flew over the heads of racists because once the Yankees, along with every other Major League Baseball Team, in the dark days of segregation, refused to allow blacks to play on their team, no matter their skill level. The reason the flag offends me, however, is because I’m a Los Angeles Dodgers fan, and the Yankees have beaten the Dodgers in more than one World Series.
As the argument about the Battle Flag of the ill-fated Confederate States of America rages across our country, it is important to always remember that while a flag or a symbol may have once meant something to someone, it does not necessarily mean that any longer to everyone.
For instance, the swastika is now the sole preview of the disgusting sub-human class of being known as racists, however at one point in time, apparently the symbol stood for good luck. This can work both ways. So while all rational people would agree that the majority of those who once stood under the Confederate Battle Flag were racists, just because someone flies the flag today, we should not automatically brand them as racist, and we certainly should not beat them up.
The main focal point of the argument over the CSA Flag was whether or not it should fly over South Carolina. Whatever you believe about the Confederate Flag, you cannot but agree that the CSA was another country, and that it fought a war with the US. Some say that because South Carolina was once a part of the CSA, then, as a part of their history, they should still fly the flag. But I wonder what those same people would say if Washington DC were to decide that because this nation was once a part of Britain, over the Capitol Dome we were once again going to raise the Queen’s Colors. There would probably-no, there would certainly be riots and mayhem from the Florida Keys to the San Francisco Bay. And yet it is the same argument made about the CSA Flag.
Symbols can be divisive things. Ask early Christians who were burned to death for making the sign of the cross or tracing out the simple sign of the fish in the sand. However, no matter where you stand on the issue of the modern day CSA Flag, none of us in our right minds can agree with those who say we ought to ban the flag altogether. Taking it off of public grounds is one thing, refusing to fly it atop our state houses is something we can argue about, but just because we don’t like something does not mean we can get rid of it.
Burning the American flag is something real American Patriots who love liberty and America’s great history find reprehensible, but yet the Supreme Court has found that it is an expression of free speech. We can no more ban the CSA Flag than we can public burning of the American Flag. Banning things because we don’t like them is the first step to a nation in which we decide what people think, and order what they are to believe.
As the war of words rages on, let’s not forget the New York Yankee Flag, and how just because a symbol means something for you, doesn’t mean that everyone who uses that symbol believes the same thing.
But while it may sound tempting to ban the flag, and while it may be tempting to throw everyone who flies it under a bus of stereotypical norms, stop and think: am I falling into the same sin of over generalizing that brought the very racism I'm attacking in the first place? And stop and think, is a nation that bans things because the majority of its citizens don't like them truly free? The answer, of course, is no.

But that doesn't mean we need to fly the rebel flag. The Stars and Stripes does quite nicely, thank you very much.

Andrew C. Abbott

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Cruz Kazoo

GOP Nominee Hopeful, Ted Cruz, Sen. R.-TX
Austin TX- Ted Cruz, the Jr. Senator from Texas and a candidate for the GOP Nomination for President says his first memory, is as a young child, blowing a kazoo in the supermarket. His mother, having a lot on her mind told him to stop the racket. He wouldn’t do it. She warned him again, but he kept right on blowing loudly and making a noise. She took the young Ted Cruz home and spanked him.

Fast forwarding now to the present day and not much has changed. Cruz still will not be quiet, despite many people asking him to keep it down.

Take for example, the very book that the anecdote about the kazoo is taken from. Entitled A Time for Truth, it is the usual book of a modern Republican candidate running for the nomination. He tells his story about his life, attempting, (with some limited success) to remain humorous while at the same time portray (in Cruz case truthfully) his story as one of rags to riches. Then later in the book he lays out his plans for what he would do if he were to gain the Oval Office, while making the obligatory references to how good Republicans are, how bad Democrats are, and how much he loves Reagan.
On the face Cruz’s book does not seem to be anything of note. Its Political Pulp writing, books cranked out every four years by everyone who is running for president, or sometimes even by those running for senate. That is to say, there wouldn’t be a story here if the author of the book were not Ted Cruz, the man who has filibustered for more than twenty hours on the floor of the senate, the man who publicly challenges people from all corners of the political spectrum, and consistently bucks the leadership of his own party.
So of course, Ted Cruz, someone who even his own party members call a “Wacko Bird” and who has received flack about everything from making a joke about Vice President Joe Biden right after his son died to his “disrespect” of leadership, when Cruz writes a book, it’s going to be controversial, and it was. The New York Times refused to put Cruz’s book A Time For Truth on its bestseller’s list, saying that Cruz had bulk-purchased it to make the sales look like they were something more than they were.
That ignited a firestorm, with Times saying they were trying to be true to their standards, and many conservatives saying they were simply hating on Cruz.
After much fighting, Times finally put the book on its list, although they did not admit any wrong doing. Cruz’s book came onto the list in seventh place, although he had earlier argued it should be in third.
But of course, all of the controversy is not hurting the Republican from Texas. Right-wing Americans historically don’t trust the mainstream media anyway, and many really don’t like the most revered newspaper in our history, The New York Times. What is hurting Cruz, many insiders agree, is Donald Trump.
Not only is Trump taking away the air from all the serious Republicans in the field, he is also taking the position as the party loudmouth, for better or for worse, and for Cruz, it is for worse. For while Cruz, a Latino himself, of course disagrees with Trump’s racist and ignorant comments, it also means that Cruz cannot hold the title as the party’s maverick, or as the “Wacko Bird.”
Cruz is doing better these days in raising money than many thought he would, but he still is polling at the bottom of the pack of serious contenders, in 8th place at just over 5%. However, for the madman of the Republican party there is one glimmer of hope.
In this packed field, Trump has already shown that screaming your head, no matter how stupid the stuff you are screaming is, it will get you attention and cause your poll numbers to rise.
There is certainly no question Cruz knows how to make a loud noise, just ask his mother. And so, going into the debates, which Cruz will certainly be getting into, his best bet is to try and get himself noticed, and start going wild. It probably won’t help him in the long run, in fact it will probably hurt him, unless he is able to make such a noise he wins Iowa, steals New Hampshire, and then just runs away with it. At the moment there doesn’t seem to be much chance for Cruz in that alley. But the guy has been counted out before, and Trump is already showing that making really, really loud noises helps in the nomination process. So in other words, when he comes to the GOP Debates, Cruz needs to bring along his kazoo.

Andrew C. Abbott


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Scott Walker: One Man who might win

Governor Scott Walker

Dallas, TX - It wasn’t supposed to be this way. On Monday, 47 year old Evangelical Christian Scott Walker, former college dropout was not supposed to be able to announce, as he did, that he was running for the nomination of the Republican Party for the Presidency of the United States of America. The reason it wasn’t supposed to happen was because by this time Scott Walker should have been a dead meat forgotten about politician without a career.

Scott Walker did all the things you don’t do if you want to become president. He dropped out of college before he finished his degree to go and work for the Red Cross. And then he decided to become a far-right conservative, the sort of thing that doesn’t generally get you very far in a nation where the established ideal is many different variations of go-along-to-get-along.
Walker has gone through 14 different elections in his career, and he’s won 12 of them. Along the way he has gotten through a recall election partway through his first term as a coalition of labor unions in his home state united in attempts to destroy him after he passed laws which harmed the collective bargaining rights of some unions. Walker shouldn’t have survived that test, just as by the numbers he probably shouldn’t have won the election for governor in the first place in the liberal state of Wisconsin, and Democrats move hell and high water to try and be certain that in his third election in four years, in 2014, Walker would finally lose. Many thought he would, but he once again the balding governor came out on top.
Through all of this Walker has kept his sights on the ultimate prize in politics, the Oval Office, and now he is moving towards it with his official announcement. And the truth is that in a field of 14 other candidates, Walker has one of the best chances.
No one else besides perhaps Bush and Trump have Walker’s name recognition, and Trump is known for being a reality TV Star with lots of hair and Bush is known as the brother of one president and son of another.
Walker is known for so, so much more.
His fight with unions has raised his conservative credentials in many people’s eyes, as has his recent signing into law of prolife bills in his state. Walker, while being highly conservative, has managed to remain above the “crazy conservative” side of the party, and the fact that he is not a southerner may very well be a great selling point for him.
Walker has been accused by some, the New York Times included, of lacking intelligence and sophistication. While Walker may not have an IQ of 180, he certainly must be a highly intelligent man to have won so many campaigns and now be running for president. Being a governor, and with Walker, economically at least, being a relatively good one, isn’t for the dense or the idiots. Most Americans probably know that, and the fact that he doesn’t have a college degree probably won’t hurt Walker too much except in place like California and the East Coast, places he never was likely to win anyway.
What any candidate in this race needs, and what Walker has, is a folksy air that shows him or her off as a candidate of the people, and no one can deny that Walker is at the same time personable and dignified. Even Walker’s former opponent in a race well over a decade ago, Mary Jo Baas, said of Walker “When he talked to a group of people, people felt like he was one of them. He knew what connected, what resonated."
Lots of people don’t like Bush, lots of people don’t like Trump, some think Rubio is too young, Cruz too crazy, Carson too mild, Christi too corrupt, and Rand Paul too libertarian for their vote. There are other people running, but nobody knows who they are. So the only left for those people seems to be Scott Walker, which may be the reason that he is polling in first in Iowa.
Walker has skeletons in his closet, to be sure. That’s sort of the way in politics. But the people in Wisconsin know about them, the stories of supposed corruption, of his close staffers being accused of wrong doing, every true story and many that probably weren’t have been paraded against Walker, but still, in the blue state he was able to win. So apparently the skeletons aren’t bad enough to cause his downfall.
As of this morning, according to the nonpartisan poll averages site Real Clear Politics, Walker is behind Bush and Trump with nearly 10% of the vote for third place.
The field is very crowded, and the debates have not yet come. But it can be said of Walker. Even at this early junction while his own campaign is not yet 72 hours old. He is a man who could, possibly, maybe, and with a side order of we really don’t know, pull out a win.

Andrew C. Abbott


Monday, July 13, 2015

Donald Trump: Loud Wrong

The Donald

Almost all of us are dumb in some area. The world is full of dumb people. But some dumb people are more famous than others. Yes,  I’m talking about Donald Trump.
Vin Scully, the famous baseball broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers who called Jacky Robinson’s 1955 Word Series, the first one a black man played in, once said that he (Vin) often prays “Lord, I know sometimes I’m going to be wrong, but please don’t let me be loud wrong.” Donald Trump has turned being loud wrong into an art.
It was crazy. A joke, everybody was laughing, holding their sides with pain as Donald Trump, comedian-slash billionaire announced he was running for president. But things have gotten serious very quickly. It started with Trump’s tackling illegal immigration, and saying things that many, if not most of the nation views as racist.
But suddenly, Trump has begun to climb in the polls. Ever the calculator, Trump ramped up the rhetoric and the insanity, suing Univision for dropping his Miss America Pageant, (while getting cut by lots of other business in the process), calling Jeb Bush’s wife an illegal immigrant, (she’s not), and generally saying the first thing that comes to his mind, which usually is something pretty bad.
But for all this, Trump keeps climbing. In North Carolina he is in first place.
Trump has recently even sought the Christian vote, saying he will stand up for religious liberty, and many are now backing him, thinking they have found the man they are looking for.
It’s not a joke anymore. Trump is going up. And up, and up. Many are saying we should be concerned about Trump, and we should, but not in the way most think. For despite all the hype and the excitement, at some point it’s all going to crash, the roller coaster ride that is shooting towards the top right now will hit the hump and start coming down the other side, and then the ride will end, all his supporters will have to get off, and with heads held low scurry around to find a real candidate to vote for. So we still don’t need to worry about Trump getting the nomination.
But what we do need to worry about is our friends, our neighbors, our fellow members of the Republican Party who would even dream of saying they like this guy. We need to worry that our party, anyone in our party would even think seriously for more than five seconds about backing a man who, for all his money and obvious business acumen, doesn't care if people think he is a racist, and would rather bash Latinos than worry about actually coming up with ideas for fixing our nations problem.
Some people say “Trump is just saying what we all believe, but are too afraid to say” if that is so, than you should check out what you believe, and probably change it. Donald Trump would not make a good president, clear and simple. He is divisive, he’s erratic, he’s not really pro-life, and he seems much more concerned about himself and his vendetta than about our nation.
The roller coaster is a lot of fun, but in politics it has no place, it’s all about entertainment. It just gives people a platform to scream their heads off, enjoy the clown show, waste a lot of money and generally be really loud wrong. That’s no way to run a country.

Andrew C. Abbott

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Red Meat and Nonsense

Presidential hopeful Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL
A few months ago, while in a hotel room in Wisconsin, my brother and I were forced to laugh while watching Marco Rubio’s speech announcing he is running for president. While neither of us have a lot against the junior Senator from Florida, Rubio did something that many politicians do: said something that meant nothing. “When America fails to lead, global chaos always ensues!” He might be right part of the time, but certainly not “always” and Rubio never said he would be doing anything about it. He was throwing out red meat.

It happens all the time and you will see it in nearly every political speech you hear. Rubio is by far not the only offender, or the worst. Politicians from Mike Huckabee to Hillary Clinton say things that make the crowd scream and lose their minds and say afterwards “I’m voting for that one,” and of course, that was what the speaker, either Jeb Bush or Donald Trump, was trying to do. But if you look back at the statement that created all the ruckus, it often was either untrue, misleading, or simply pointless.
Hillary Clinton shouting “we are the party of people!” and the crowd goes nuts. But what on earth does that mean? The party of people? Animals aren’t allowed to vote? I doubt that’s what she was talking about, but she never did clarify. Or Republicans saying “I stand for traditional values!” and people say later “He is anti-gay marriage, I’m voting for him.” But of course, the politician never said whose traditional values he’s backing, or how he will make sure they are protected.
Donald Trump making his racist , disgusting, and desperate comments in the last few weeks is a prime example of rhetoric gone wild as politicians, (yes, Donald is one, whatever he may say) screaming nonsense hoping someone will like it enough to vote for him. Nobody likes illegal immigrants coming here and killing American citizens, so Trump is lying when he says some people do want it.
And Donald Trump doesn’t really believe that Jeb Bush’s wife is an illegal immigrant, like he has said. But those out there who are Trump supporters love it. And the sorry excuses for human beings in this country who are racists like it too. So the Donald screams nonsense to bait them to his side.
When choosing a candidate in the coming months, be certain you watch out for those on both sides of the aisle who will say things without meaning or talk about fixes they can’t deliver, in hopes of getting your vote.
Politicians who throw red meat (pandering to the far wing of their party with high flown rhetoric) aren’t dumb, they are really smart, like Bernie Sanders, a Socialist, who knows he can’t possibly deliver on his promises of free college for all, but says he can hoping for votes. But when someone throws red meat to you so you’ll bark and go crazy, they aren’t worthy of your vote anymore. They just treated you like a dog.

Andrew C. Abbott

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The American Speeches


Today our nation turns 239 years old. We've had a wild ride to get here. World Wars and Civil War, terrorist attacks and massive economic upheaval. And through it all we remain committed to the ideals of our founders, that we "are, and of a right ought to be free" and that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

We have our differences. Some still fly the Confederate Flag, maintaining that it is a symbol of honor, while other deride it. And some fly the Rainbow flag. And yet through it all we remain, all of us, Americans.

Throughout our history, from the time when Patrick Henry stood and shouted "give me liberty or give me death" we have been a nation roused by great speeches. In the darkest days of the Civil War, the only time, somewhat surprisingly, when we stopped arguing with each other and started killing one another, Abraham Lincoln gave the nation hope with his speech at Gettysburg. George Washington gave his speech convincing his generals not to overthrow congress and make him king, and Martin Luther King Jr. stood and shouted "I have a dream." We don't all agree with the content of all the speeches, or even with what those who gave them stood for. But below are some of America's greatest speeches, sometimes given by actors, because they couldn't television cameras in to film John Adams.

John Adams, from the film John Adams, "While I live, let me have a country-a free country!"

Jumping a long way forward, we come to John F. Kennedy, one of the great beloved presidents of all time. In this speech he let it be known to the world that America had chosen to keep the 1900s as the American Century.

While the constitution gave liberty to all those enfranchised, not everyone was included, and even after the Civil War the great divide remained. In the 1960s, a new generation of great Americans carried the banner a few more steps up the mountain. Martin Luther King Jr., "I have a Dream!"

Ronald Reagan: "We must fight!" One of the speeches that continued to inspire Americans not to stop pressing in the face of the Cold War.

And, almost finally, Barak Obama. He's not my all time favorite president, but the power of his speech at the DNC in 2004, creating the beginnings of the wave he would ride into the White House in a historic presidency must not be underestimated. Whether or not you believe the president has fulfilled the words he spoke here, it is difficult to disagree that we ought, indeed to be the United States of America. Obama, "We are the United States."

Finally, movies, fiction, our fantasies, dream, and fears, cannot be ignored in their power to move us, and to create a future, wether good or bad. Many American films have had speeches, often as good or even better than ones given in real life. Below is one of the greatest. A look into the future. And, after all, its a speech such as a president should give, isn't it? Armageddon, "The Dreams of the Planet."

Happy fourth of July everyone. God Bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Chris Christi: Let's NOT Hire this one

The Love-Gov, Chris Christi

Yesterday, after a lot of speculation and a hard ride which took him from media favorite to nobody’s first choice, Chris Christi, the 52 year old Catholic two-time governor of the state of New Jersey announced he is running for president.
The volatile and loud mouthed governor famous for screaming at people in town hall meetings to “shut up” is polling at only roughly 4%, behind even Donald Trump. Christi comes into the 2016 race with the scandal of Bridgegate still hanging over his head, and with a problem; actually its everybody’s problem in the race, but since Christi is an establishment-moderate candidate himself, for him the problem is even bigger, and of course its named Jeb Bush.
Jeb Bush is soaking up donors left and right, and he’s not taking the type that Ted Cruz or Rand Paul are going after. He’s getting the money of the old Republicans, the ones who still look at the world as it was before the clocks changed to 2,000 AD. But those were supposed to be Christi’s big take away, and now they are disappearing.
Christi has little chance at this point of winning in Iowa, as other candidates have been working there for months, and also because the state’s grassroots members tend to be more conservative than the guy from Jersey. So the governor is instead aiming his sights at the number two state, New Hampshire, where he is already working to get support.
Another big problem Christi has is that he probably would do pretty well in the general election. He’s moderate, nobody would ever accuse him of being a real hardcore conservative, and he’s willing to compromise. While compromise is not a bad thing, and has been used with great dignity and good effect by the likes of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and other great American names, among them Henry Clay, in recent years it has become popular for far-right conservatives to scream on the stump “I will not compromise!”
Real statesmen like Winston call compromise what it is, a part of governing. It’s often rational, like when the constitution, a great compromise, was written up. But Republican Primaries are not the most rational place. (Remember when Newt Gingrich said he would set the price of gas at 2.50 and people believed him?)
While Chris Christi has stances that could be seen by conservatives as real problems, such as his questionable stance on abortion, as he formerly called himself pro-choice, but has since switched to saying he is pro-life without doing much about that stance as governor, or his horrible stance of surveillance, if Christi loses, and most feel he will, it will not be because of Bridgegate or his weight issues or even screaming at people to shut while he’s talking. It will be because he hugged President Obama a few years ago, with all the cameras rolling, and because Christi is willing to understand that Republicans and the TEA Party are not alone in this nation, and nearly half of the people an American President would have to represent would be Democrats.
At this point we are still too far off to tell exactly what the final lineup will look like, or who will stand on the stage at the Republican National Convention, but I neither hope nor really believe that the man or woman who stands there that night telling all of us “I accept your nomination” will be a two term governor from New Jersey named Chris Christi.

Andrew C. Abbott