One comment on “Quote of the week

  1. “Make America Great Again” ?

    I didn’t vote for Donald Trump. I find Donald Trump himself, his demeanor, his positions on the issues, indeed, his entire campaign and his administration, offensive.

    Donald Trump called undocumented immigrants from Mexico criminals and rapists in June 2015. Trump insulted former POW senator John McCain for being captured in July 2015. Trump mocked a disabled New York Times journalist in November 2015. Trump encouraged violence against protesters at his rallies in February 2016. Trump promoted waterboarding and “hell of a lot worse” forms of torture in February 2016. Trump refused to disavow support from white supremacist leader David Duke in February 2016. Trump accused a Latino federal judge of bias due to his race in June 2016. Trump insulted the Gold Star Khan family in June 2016. Trump implied Second Amendment supporters could shoot his opponent in August 2016.

    For the past forty years, it’s tradition that presidential nominees of both major parties release multiple years of their tax returns. They do this in part to guarantee to the public that there are no conflicts of interest.

    Donald Trump is refusing to, hiding behind a phony excuse that he can’t until the IRS finishes auditing him, a claim directly refuted by the IRS. What’s worse, in 2012, Trump was leading a call for the Republican presidential candidate that year, Mitt Romney, to release his own tax returns. As usual, Trump doesn’t want to be held to the unforgiving standards by which he judges other people.

    Five Famous Republicans Who Didn’t Want to Vote for Trump

    Mitt Romney

    Mitt Romney gave a whole speech on why Trump is basically the worst. The former Massachusetts governor went after Trump for his economic plans, ludicrous statements on foreign policy matters, his supposed business prowess, and his use of scapegoats as punching bags. Even when Romney and Trump agree, they disagree. Romney stated:

    “Now not every policy Donald Trump has floated is bad. He wants to repeal and replace Obamacare. He wants to bring jobs home from China and Japan. But his prescriptions to do these things are flimsy at best. At the last debate, all he could remember about his healthcare plan was to remove insurance boundaries between states. Successfully bringing jobs home requires serious policy and reforms that make America the place businesses want to plant and grow. You can’t punish business into doing the things you want. Frankly, the only serious policy proposals that deal with the broad range of national challenges we confront, come today from Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich.”

    Jeb Bush

    He indicated during his campaign that he would support the eventual Republican nominee, but Jeb Bush has not followed through. (And who can blame him?) In a Facebook post congratulating The Donald on his successful primary campaign, Jeb added that, oh yeah, Trump is also the literal worst person the party could have nominated.

    “The American Presidency is an office that goes beyond just politics. It requires of its occupant great fortitude and humility and the temperament and strong character to deal with the unexpected challenges that will inevitably impact our nation in the next four years.

    “Donald Trump has not demonstrated that temperament or strength of character. He has not displayed a respect for the Constitution. And, he is not a consistent conservative. These are all reasons why I cannot support his candidacy.”

    I fear that it is precisely these qualities — the shooting from the hip and replacing reason with purely emotional appeals — is what’s driving the Trump Republicans in the first place.”

    George Will

    Conservative columnist George Will worried about what Trump would do to the Republican brand; in particular, the effect he’d have down ballot. Will predicted a cascade of losses that will not only give the House to the Democrats, but ultimately give the Supreme Court a liberal majority for a generation.

    “Trump would be the most unpopular nominee ever, unable to even come close to Mitt Romney’s insufficient support among women, minorities and young people. In losing disastrously, Trump probably would create down-ballot carnage sufficient to end even Republican control of the House. Ticket splitting is becoming rare in polarized America: In 2012, only 5.7 percent of voters supported a presidential candidate and a congressional candidate of opposite parties.”

    The fallout from a Trump presidency, as Will saw it, required that conservatives band together to blow this election.

    “Were he to be nominated, conservatives would have two tasks. One would be to help him lose fifty states — condign punishment for his comprehensive disdain for conservative essentials, including the manners and grace that should lubricate the nation’s civic life. Second, conservatives can try to save from the anti-Trump undertow as many senators, representatives, governors and state legislators as possible.”

    Ben Sasse

    Sasse, the junior senator from Nebraska, was in the front lines of the anti-Trump wing of the Republican party from the beginning. Sasse called Trump “a megalomaniac strongman” on the floor of the Senate and traveled to Iowa before that state’s caucus in an attempt to stop the Trump Train before it left the station. In a Facebook post on the subject in February, 2016, Sasse explains his opposition to a Trump presidency:

    “Mr. Trump’s relentless focus is on dividing Americans, and on tearing down rather than building back up this glorious nation. Much like President Obama, he displays essentially no understanding of the fact that, in the American system, we have a constitutional system of checks and balances, with three separate but co-equal branches of government. And the task of public officials is to be public ‘servants.’ The law is king, and the people are boss. But have you noticed how Mr. Trump uses the word “Reign” – like he thinks he’s running for King? It’s creepy, actually. Nebraskans are not looking for a king. We yearn instead for the recovery of a Constitutional Republic.”

    He invoked President Obama’s name when discussing Trump? That’s the conservative equivalent of dropping an f-bomb in front of your grandparents. This guy must be serious. He hasn’t backed down, either. Sasse has reinforced his disdain for both Trump and Hillary Clinton and his desire for another option.

    Christine Todd Whitman

    Chris Christie was the New Jersey governor getting all the attention for his support of Trump, but that support is much to the chagrin of former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman. Whitman, who endorsed Gov. John Kasich, said that she dislikes Trump so much that she’d probably vote for Clinton in the general election. Of Christie’s support, she said

    “I am ashamed that Christie would endorse anyone who has employed the kind of hate mongering and racism that Trump has. I would have thought being from a diverse state would have given him more awareness and compassion.”

    Whitman also penned an essay for Politico that compared Trump to bullies and dictators. She recognizes that language has power and that giving anyone the kind of platform to spout hate that Donald Trump has is dangerous.

    “Language shapes behavior. Hateful language gives susceptible people permission to act on their fears. Preying on the marginalized who are scared of the future is the time-honored tactic of bullies and dictators. When times are difficult, people always look for someone to blame: It is easy to pick out a target. Today it is Muslims, but tomorrow it could be anyone. Hatred knows no bounds. As a Republican, I am particularly concerned by the rise of hate rhetoric within our party. We cannot ignore it, and we can no longer dismiss it as a passing fluke. The damage it is inflicting and the behavior it is inciting can last for years to come.”

    Points against Trump

    1. Donald Trump:

    wants to ban all Muslims from entering the United States

    wants to build a wall along the U.S. – Mexican border

    uses misogynistic language and personal insults

    believes global warming is a hoax

    calls for waterboarding and other forms of torture

    First there was the time he outraged prisoners of war by doubting the heroism of Vietnam veteran John McCain, because he allowed himself to be captured. Then there was the first television debate, where he appeared to accuse Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly of asking him tough questions because she was menstruating.

    If POWs, Fox News and women were not enemies enough, Trump has also accused Mexican immigrants to the U.S. of being rapists; claimed that a Black Lives Matter protester who was violently ejected from a rally deserved to be “roughed up”; appeared to mock aNew York Times journalist for his disability and then accused the journalist of “grandstanding ” on that disability in his response; falsely accused Muslim Americans of cheering on the 9/11 attackers; and agreed with suggestions that Muslims should have their names tracked on a database.

    And just as critics began to argue that such comments about Muslims were brutal, racist demagoguery verging on fascism , Trump’s Twitter account recirculated racially charged but falsified crime statistics from an actual Nazi sympathizer.

    2. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly joined the chorus of individuals criticizing GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposed ban on all Muslims coming into the U.S., telling Trump that he finds his plan counterproductive.

    “If you say no Muslims can travel here from overseas, you’re hurting the United States’ position against ISIS,” O’Reilly told Trump in a wide-ranging interview. “We need the friendly Muslim nations.”

    But the Republican contender wasn’t willing to back down, saying that he disagreed — and that he knows that his proposal is “not politically correct,” but that “somebody had to bring it up.”

    “You can vet them, but you can’t insult the whole religion,” O’Reilly said.

    3. Military veteran Sean Sorbie said:

    “The man who criticized John McCain’s war record and tried to have veterans removed from outside his Fifth Avenue Trump Tower put on a media event that was pure exploitation of veterans for his own political interests, all because he didn’t want to debate his Republican rivals on Fox News.

    “Trump boasted about the almost $6 million his event raised for veterans — but the organization, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, has an abysmal record of supporting veterans’ causes. Over the most recently disclosed six-year period, less than one-sixtieth of the money the Donald J. Trump Foundation contributed to charitable causes was allocated to veterans’ groups.

    “Instead of being distracted by political games, our country should look at the harmful policies Republicans have proposed that would hurt vets.

    “To his cheering crowd, Trump vowed to get rid of Obamacare — which would lead to reduced mental health services for veterans. He claimed we’re ‘a country that doesn’t win anymore’ and that the rest of the world ‘laughs at our stupidity’ — while touting a reckless foreign policy agenda that would send our soldiers right back into harm’s way.”

    4. VoteVets.org similarly said:

    * Donald Trump is an unabashed torture apologist. In fact, he called Ted Cruz a coward for taking a stand against waterboarding.

    * He shares discredited stories — favorably — about an American General dipping ammunition in pig’s blood before executing Muslim prisoners in the Philippines.

    * He has been the most vocal candidate in either primary about escalating our war in the Middle East.

    …on military and veterans issues, he is super vulnerable. And there is no organization better positioned to take him to task than VoteVets.

    5. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s office said:

    “Donald Trump doesn’t think he’s the problem. He shrugs off his offensive statements and blames his critics for being too “politically correct.”

    Trump couldn’t be more wrong. America was built on tolerance. Even when we disagree, we don’t resort to crude insults or fear-mongering tactics aimed at alienating women and minorities. Not ever.”

    6. Polls in early 2016

    Clinton: 48% to Trump: 44%

    7. Bernie Sanders himself said in early 2016:

    “The American people will not support a candidate trying to divide us up by where we came from. They will not support a candidate who does not favor raising the minimum wage and who thinks wages in this country are too high. They will not support a candidate who thinks climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese. And they will not support a candidate who wants to give huge tax breaks to billionaires like himself. It would be an extraordinary campaign, and one I am confident that we will win.”

    8. The Huffington Post routinely ended articles on Trump in 2016 with the following message:

    “Editor’s note: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.”

    9. Among the Trump voters polled in South Carolina in 2016:

    Nearly 75 percent think the Confederate flag should be flying over the State Capitol.

    38 percent wish the South had won the Civil War.

    80 percent support banning Muslims from entering the United States.

    62 percent support a national database of Muslim in the United States.

    33 percent believe Islam should be illegal in the United States.

    31 percent support banning LGBT people from entering the United States.

    Donald Trump was given four opportunities to disavow David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan, but was reluctant to do so. At one point he claimed he didn’t know who David Duke was, even though years earlier he said in a video he left the Reform Party since it was being taken over by David Duke and others.

    10. Faithful America, a Christian organization, says:

    “Donald Trump is holding himself out as a strongman whose toxic stew of racism and fear-mongering will ‘make America great again.’

    “This is idolatry, plain and simple. Christians follow a savior who suffered death on a cross, not a ‘winner’ who espouses violence and domination as the path to national salvation.

    “Jesus told us to welcome the stranger and the refugee. Trump wants to build a giant wall and ban all Muslims from America. Jesus fed the poor and hungry. Today, politicians run for office with the Bible in hand while trying to take away food stamps. Jesus was a great healer – and yet today, every single ‘Christian’ candidate for the Republican nomination wants to strip Americans of their healthcare. Our Lord and Savior welcomed all to his table, stood up to corrupt authorities, brought good news to the poor and dire warnings to the rich. But in America, Christianity has become synonymous with vandalizing mosques, shooting up Planned Parenthood clinics, and gay-bashing.”

    11. Conservative Christian pastor Max Lucado commented on Trump:

    “He ridiculed a war hero. He made mockery of a reporter’s menstrual cycle. He made fun of a disabled reporter. He referred to the former first lady, Barbara Bush as ‘mommy,’ and belittled Jeb Bush for bringing her on the campaign trail. He routinely calls people ‘stupid,’ ‘loser,’ and ‘dummy.’”

    And the pastor wasn’t done there. He continued, “Such insensitivities wouldn’t even be acceptable even for a middle school student body election. But for the Oval Office? And to do so while brandishing a Bible and boasting of his Christian faith? I’m bewildered, both by his behavior and the public’s support of it.”

    12. Conservative Christian Matt Walsh similarly blogged:

    “He’s a serial adulterer who abandoned his family (twice) to shack up with younger women. His ex-wife once alleged that he ripped out chunks of her hair and violated her. We don’t even need to get into alleged ties to the mob or financial scams or his confession that he bribes politicians. He can’t speak semi-coherently about the Bible, he has no understanding of basic Christian teaching, he thinks Christianity does not require us to ask for forgiveness, and our relationship with Christ can be measured using polling data, but does he otherwise carry himself as anything resembling a Christian?

    “I see a guy who lies constantly and blatantly. I see a man who changes his positions and his principles at the drop of a hat. I see a deeply immature man who insults people on Twitter but lacks the courage to face them in person. I see someone who fashions himself ‘politically incorrect’ but is really just a cruel and bitter old man who thinks it’s funny to mock the disabled. I see a man with no honor who launches vulgar attacks on women and then lies about what he said. I see a phony who brazenly exploits the fears of the American public. I see a guy whose recklessness and greed drives his businesses into bankruptcy, and I see a guy who tries to silence journalists when they report on it. I see a guy who jazzes up the crowd at campaign rallies by bragging about his money and threatening to throw protesters out into the cold without their coats. And so on.”

    Democrats don’t deny we’re at war, they just hesitate to call it “radical Islam” because the term indirectly demonizes all Muslims. It’s like referring to the Ku Klux Klan as “Christians” when they clearly do not speak for all of Christianity. Democrats take their cue from *Republican* George W. Bush who never used the term “radical Islam.” After 9-11, George W. Bush told the American people our quarrel is not with Islam but with a radical faction within Islam known as Al-Quaeda. Shortly after 9-11, George W. Bush visited a mosque: something Barack Obama was unable to do until late in his presidency, as Islamaphobic “birthers” were labeling him a “Muslim” even though Article VI, Section 3 of the Constitution clearly states: “No religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Taunted by Republicans to declare war on “radical Islamic terrorism,” Democrats are turning to an unlikely ally: George W. Bush.

    President Barack Obama, under pressure to be more aggressive on terrorism, regularly cites his predecessor’s refusal to demonize Muslims or play into the notion of a clash between Islam and the West. It’s a striking endorsement from a president whose political rise was predicated on opposition to the Iraq war and Bush’s hawkish approach in the Middle East.

    As Hillary Clinton put it, “George W. Bush was right.”

    Laying out her plan to fight domestic terrorism, Clinton reminded voters in Minneapolis of Bush’s visit to a Muslim center six days after the Sept. 11 attacks. She even quoted his words from that day about those who intimidate Muslim-Americans: “They represent the worst of humankind, and they should be ashamed of that kind of behavior.”

    Bush, of course, was not referring to the 2016 Republican presidential field. Clinton certainly was.

    Jeb Bush has also said the U.S. should follow his brother’s lead, arguing that “we can’t dissociate ourselves from peace-loving Muslims.”

    During the 2001 mosque visit, one of several occasions Bush denounced anti-Muslim bias, he stood alongside Muslim leaders and quoted the Quran about evil-doers being ultimately defeated. He insisted that intimidation against Muslims in America would not stand.

    “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam,” Bush said.

    Donald Trump wants to ban ALL Muslims from coming to the United States. He’s not singling out the extremists, rather he’s castigating all Muslims. Even Bill O’Reilly was critical of Donald Trump in this regard, telling him, “If you say no Muslims can travel here from overseas, you’re hurting the United States’ position against ISIS,” O’Reilly told Trump in a wide-ranging interview. “We need the friendly Muslim nations. You can vet them, but you can’t insult the whole religion,” O’Reilly said.

    Even Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front who once compared Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation, thinks Donald Trump has gone too far. Asked in a television interview about Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, Le Pen said the idea was too much. “Seriously, have you ever heard me say something like that?” asked Le Pen, who has been accused of encouraging Islamophobia in France. “I defend all the French people in France, regardless of their origin, regardless of their religion.”

    I’ll vote for the candidate with the best record on animal issues. Bernie Sanders has a 100 percent voting record from the Humane Society Legislative Fund, whereas Hillary Clinton’s record is 83 percent. But Chelsea Clinton and Bill Clinton were vegan for years, whereas animal activist Belle Stafford lamented in 2016 that Bernie Sanders, a revolutionary, doesn’t take on the livestock industry, like taking on the fossil fuel industry, saying instead that Americans like their bacon.

    But Bernie Sanders is calling for increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, whereas Hillary Clinton initially only wanted to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour. In one of the Democratic presidential debates, Bernie Sanders said he would have voted for an initiative on the ballot in Nevada to legalize marijuana. Bernie Sanders endorsed the California marijuana initiative, saying, “I believe that we have to end prohibition regarding marijuana.” It isn’t a radical statement to admit that the Prohibition of alcohol in the United States failed and that we really ought to end marijuana prohibition as well. Nearly 75 percent of the drug war is directed solely at marijuana which is safer than alcohol and/or tobacco. Barack Obama himself has admitted marijuana is not more harmful than alcohol, but Hillary Clinton is too cautious, saying more research is needed.

    Hillary Clinton was qualified in terms of experience. I’m reminded of 1988, when Bush Sr. ran as Reagan’s heir apparent, saying he was the man most qualified for the presidency based on his own record of experience. And his single term in office was effectively Reagan’s third term. Hillary Clinton was more knowledgeable on foreign policy than Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton had a better record on gun control than Bernie Sanders, although Bernie Sanders quickly pointed out he represents Vermont, a rural state, with a tradition of firearms, and quickly points out that he’s gotten a negative rating from the NRA. But many on the left saw Hillary Clinton as too hawkish and too corporate.

    In their first joint campaign appearance in the summer of 2016, President Obama said that he was “ready to pass the baton” — and the White House — to his former rival, Hillary Clinton. Obama made the case for Clinton as a brilliant, “level-headed” stateswoman who could lead the country in tumultuous times. “I’m ready to pass the baton,” he said at the end of his remarks.

    Although some on the political left viewed her as too corporate or too hawkish, Hillary Clinton was definitely qualified in terms of experience. I’m reminded of 1988, when Bush Sr. ran as Reagan’s heir apparent, saying he was the man most qualified for the presidency based on his own record of experience. Accepting the Republican nomination in 1988, Bush Sr. said:

    “A President must be many things. He must be a shrewd protector of America’s interests; And he must be an idealist who leads those who move for a freer and more democratic planet. He must see to it that government intrudes as little as possible in the lives of the people; and yet remember that it is the nation’s character. And he must be able to define – and lead – a mission.

    “For seven and a half years I have worked with a President – and I have seen what crosses that big desk. I have seen the unexpected crisis that arrive in a cable in a young aide’s hand. And I have seen problems that simmer on for decades and suddenly demand resolution. I have seen modest decisions made with anguish, and crucial decisions made with dispatch. And so I know that what it all comes down to, this election – what it all comes down to, after all the shouting and the cheers – is the man at the desk. My friends, I am that man.”

    And Bush Sr.’s single term in office was effectively Reagan’s third term.

    I saw Hillary Clinton’s qualifications along these lines. I’m a liberal Democrat, but Republican women I’ve spoken to agreed that Hillary Clinton was definitely qualified in terms of experience.

    In 2008, the Democratic Party hungered for change. Barack Obama represented change, whereas Hillary Clinton represented the Democratic Party establishment. Hillary Clinton lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primaries. In 2016, Bernie Sanders won 22 states and around 40 percent of the votes in the Democratic primaries. Neither would have happened if the system were “rigged” in favor of the Democratic Party Establishment candidate Hillary Clinton.

    And Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump in the popular vote with over three million votes: initial counts showing her winning 47.7 percent of the vote to Trump’s 47.5 percent. A razor-thin margin, to be sure, but it indicates Trump does NOT have a mandate from the American people to push a conservative agenda.

    Hitler blamed Germany’s economic woes on the Jews, and Trump blamed Mexicans and Muslims, but a more accurate comparison is not Hitler, but Ronald Reagan. The 2016 election reminds me of 1980. The Democrats underestimated Reagan, dismissing him as a B-movie actor, a hack, with no real political knowledge, like dismissing Trump in 2016 as a reality TV star. Reagan was making gaffes, saying it takes three dollars to deliver one dollar of welfare (actual figure, 12 cents!), saying trees cause more pollution than industry, not knowing the meaning of the word “parity,” and saying we were in a “depression” when it was actually a recession. Like Trump in 2016, Reagan in 1980 talked about abolishing the Department of Education. I was a senior in high school, and my friends and I talked about moving to Canada if Reagan were elected.

    Reagan won a landslide only in the Electoral College; not in the popular vote against Jimmy Carter. Republicans ran on Reagan’s coattails, and the country appeared to be shifting rightward. The Reagan administration represented corporate interests over the environment, labor unions, and the working class, and Trump has similarly packed his cabinet with billionaires representing corporate interests. Reagan went on to select persons like anti-environmentalist James Watt for Secretary of the Interior, and Trump considered anti-environmentalist Forrest Lucas for the position. In 1980, Reagan was the oldest person ever elected president. In 2016, that distinction went to Donald Trump. Reagan, like Trump, was once a liberal Democrat. The parallelism between Reagan and Trump is uncanny.

    The comment that “Michelle Obama only cared about taking vacations at our expense…” is untrue. As of October 6, 2017, Trump spent 85 days of his 258 days in office on vacation. That’s a third of his presidency he’s wasted. And remember, during the 2016 campaign, Trump pledged not to take vacations, saying, “I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president who took time off.” Since taking office, Donald Trump has taken nonstop, luxury vacations — and we the people are paying for it! His trips are so expensive that they have bankrupted the Secret Service! He’s urged Republicans to cut Medicare and Social Security in the name of “balancing the budget.” But meanwhile, he’s perfectly happy to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on luxurious golf outings at Mar-a-Lago. It’s time for this corruption to stop. Since taking office, Donald Trump has visited his own golf courses over 67 times. If Trump is really as wealthy as he makes himself out to be, he should pay the government back immediately. Hardworking Americans should not empty their pockets for the Trump family’s pleasure.

    The Ted Cruz campaign put out a nude photo of Melania in 2016 and warned conservative Republicans: “Your next First Lady.” Dr. Jordan similarly comments online: “How can you compare a nude uneducated model to a Ivy League graduate who has a law degree? It is sad to see how prejudice and ignorant you people can be.” While the media was taking note of what Trump later dismissed as “locker room talk,” at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama was practically in tears, warning her fellow Democrats and the American people in general, “We need an adult in the White House.”

    Not just the Democratic Party platform, the mainstream media and all politicians should support: Animal Rights, Defending the Affordable Care Act, Ending Citizens United, Ending Marijuana Prohibition, Giving Greater Visibility to Pro-Life Democrats, Gun Control, Net Neutrality, Raising the Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour, Responding to the Scientific Consensus on Global Warming, and a Sustainable Energy Policy.

    Democrats for Life of America, 10521 Judicial Drive, #200, Fairfax, VA 22030, (703) 424-6663

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