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Tom Rinaldo

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Member since: Mon Oct 20, 2003, 06:39 PM
Number of posts: 16,861

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Our Economy is Buttressed by the Stability of our Political System

The Dollar is the default international currency because of it, and the world buys our bonds and finances our debts because the U.S. is seen as the ultimate safe harbor for investments. Our 240 year tradition of a peaceful transfer of political power from one Administration to another without mobs assembling to protest electoral losses - or worse - makes the United States virtually unique in that regard. If that is ever seriously called into question our key status in the world will be shaken as a result, and an international financial scramble to move vast assets outside of our borders will ensue, as wealthy individuals, corporations, and other nation states themselves move to hedge their bets on America.

Trumps threat, and a threat is exactly what it was, to not respect the results of our upcoming national elections has already been broadcast around the world, and it is being duly noted. It is hard to get a solid grasp on the number and manner of ways in which Donald Trump threatens our national interests and those of average citizens, who will ultimately bear the cost for Trump's outsized and hollow bravado.

We all know that Donald Trump projects. He knows that he should be locked up

When Trump says that it looked like Hillary Clinton was on some kind of drug during the last debate, he is describing himself. When Trump says Bill Clinton is a sexual predator, he is describing himself. When Trump claims that Hillary Clinton sexually assaults women, or course he is describing himself. And when Donald Trump says that Hillary Clinton believes that she is entitled to special legal treatment, again he is describing himself. Trump says Hillary should be locked up now because he knows there is ample cause for himself to now be imprisoned now; either for sex crimes or for tax fraud.

I think a lot of the impetus behind Trump constantly screaming that the system is rigged against him now is a threat, that he will bring it down violently if anyone moves against him legally. When Trump claims that Hillary should be locked up already, he is laying the groundwork for civil unrest if "the system" ever tries to lay a legal hand on him after Hillary allegedly "got away" with criminal behavior for years. It would become proof that the system is out to get him ad him alone

Trump is the one seeking legal amnesty, another of his pet "projection" issues. His goal is to make it too dangerous for any prosecutors to accuse him of any crimes. When Trump says that the current Administration called off the Justice Department from prosecuting Hillary Clinton for "political reasons", he is telling the next Administration to call off the IRS from prosecuting him for a chilling political reason - Trump will incite rioting and violence if he is legally held to account for his actions. He wants a free pass and he is willing to rig the mind set of his core followers to "spontaneously" rebel if anyone threatens to lay a hand on him.

Trump chose to define this election campaign as an examination of sexually related misdeads

He was too dumb to realize that you can't be too clever by a half and actually get away with it. Trump trotted out his sex scandal attack line against Bill Clinton and his allegedly enabling wife Hillary on dozens of occasions since he announced his candidacy for President. Then, while openly attempting to slime both of them over it, he kept repeating that he was still "holding back". Trump saying that he could have "gone there" during the first Presidential debate, but that he didn't because he was trying to protect Chelsea - was "going there" - while trying to earn bonus points for being such a gentleman.

Well Donald, you finally got the campaign you were asking for. Hope you are satisfied with it. People who live in glass towers shouldn't throw stones.

No it is Not "Better for America" if Trumps Drops Out. It's an Inverted Bait and Switch

Major Party Presidential candidates need to be fully vetted in front of the American people before we are asked to vote for one. What better poof of that is there than Donald Trump himself? If the Republican Party was too lazy to exercise due diligence in selecting their nominee for President, or more likely too craven to care about his obvious lack of qualifications, then they don't suddenly get to choose a fresh new horse when their candidate self destructs less than a month out from the election. The full nominating process is a critical aspect of our democratic system. Candidates need to first go out and actively earn the support of a large segment of the electorate in order to win a major party endorsement. And in the process they are usually subject to years spent in a keen public spotlight - not mere days.

Running for president opens a person up to an extended period of intense personal scrutiny - as well it should given the awesome responsibilities of that job and the trust that must be placed in our Commander in Chief by the American people. Those seeking the presidency must participate in numerous primary debates before they stand before a podium in a presidential one. Investigative reporters, and opposition researchers working for other candidates, are given months to comb through the background of those who would be president, not weeks. It takes time for the public to get to know a potential candidate well enough to know if they are comfortable inviting them into their living room for the next four years. Picking a president isn't a form of speed dating.

A last second candidate is an unvetted candidate - period. They might just as well be packaged with a bright red "NEW!" sticker - take one home before the novelty wears off. It doesn't matter if it is a two term governor like Mike Pence. Based for the most part on a single VP debate, he looks pretty good to a lot of folks right about now - compared to Donald Trump. But if you ask the citizens in his red home state of Indiana, where his novelty has worn off, his job approval rating is underwater. And what brought Pence to national prominence now? The approval of one man only; who just happens to be Donald Trump. History is littered with the political corpses of supposedly formidable Governors who quickly wilted on the national stage. Rick Perry anyone? Scott Walker? But even with those two men it took more than 30 days for their deficiencies to become fully apparent.

If America was an official one party state then it might be best for Trump to drop out now- if the only alternative was him becoming president. But Donald Trump will not win the election in November as the Republican candidate, America has other better choices. The Republican Party made their bed with Donald Trump, and now it's bed time for them. It is better for democracy that Trump gets soundly rejected in four weeks, than it would be to set a dangerous precedent by slipping in a last second ringer for Trump after it became obvious he was destined for defeat.

Hey Kelly, about your write in vote...

Have you forgotten that Mike Pence didn't win anything, not a single Republican primary, not a single Republican primary vote it seems.

The only thing Pence won was Donald Trump's latest beauty pageant. Pence is the guy who promised to love honor and obey Trump until an election does them part. Pence is the guy who defended Trump throughout his one and only national starring TV role during that VP debate. Pence is the guy who signed on to put lipstick on that pig.

And for that you are making him your next choice for president?

When the Republican Party backed a Democrat to stop their leading candidate

Republicans today can learn a lesson from the 1990 Louisiana race for U.S. Senator. This is from Wikipedia (but the bolding is mine)

"This election was viewed at the onset as potentially competitive, as Senator Johnston was viewed as vulnerable in light of Louisiana's economic troubles at the time and Senator Johnston's voting record viewed by Republicans as too liberal. The Republican Party leadership endorsed the (primary) candidacy of State Senator Ben Bagert...

...(David) Duke attracted national attention to the race with his involvement with white supremacist groups and his appeals to white resentment over affirmative-action programs. With Bagert failing to gain traction, the National Republican Senatorial Committee tried to recruit former Governor David Treen to jump into the race. When Treen passed, the effort turned from supporting Bagert to stopping Duke.

As the election drew near, polls showed Johnston firmly in first place, with Duke in second place and Bagert trailing far behind at third. National Republicans grew fearful that Bagert's candidacy would only serve to force a runoff and that a potential runoff election with Duke being the de facto Republican nominee would hurt the national brand. On October 4, eight Republican Senators endorsed Senator Johnston, with Senator John Danforth saying at the press conference that "all of us would be embarrassed and mortified to have to serve in the United States Senate with David Duke masquerading as a Republican." Bagert dropped out of the race the next day, announcing that "it became more and more apparent, that instead of forcing a runoff between myself and Bennett Johnston, I might very well be forcing a runoff between somebody else and Bennett Johnston." He (Bagert) announced he would "reluctantly" vote for Johnston. Bagert's name remained on the ballot, but under state law his votes could not be counted as part of the official tally. After Bagert dropped out, HUD Secretary Jack Kemp endorsed Johnston, saying "there's no place in the Republican Party for someone who has practiced and practices racism, bigotry and anti-Semitism."

Today's national Republican Party faces a similar moment of truth. Will they stand behind a candidate who boasts about assaulting women, or back the only plausible candidate - Hillary Clinton, who stands between Trump and the Presidency? I'm expecting an epic fail from them on this.

Beware of Overconfidence

Trump is having a melt down this week, he's had them before. Any breaking frightening hard news could wipe the slate clean and trigger another reset. Hillary has been smart to focus on what a disaster Trump is, but she needs to keep broadcasting a strong message of change also. This is a restless public election year.

In a nut shell, give Obama credit for rescuing our economy from the chasm and restoring us to growth - but stress that the mission now is making sure our economy works for all of us. Argue that the failed Bush economy set us back a decade. Now though we finally have the chance to do what Democrats historically do best - fight for and deliver economic well being for all Americans - not just the well connected. That is the change most urgently needed. We crawled our way back out of the pit - it's time to start building our future again.

If Trump Becomes President Will He Stop Doing Busness Wth Foreign Interests?

Will Trump "wind down" his business empire? Will he stop accepting investments from those in foreign nations? Refuse to accept credit and/or loans from foreign entities? Will he sell off his international properties so that threats against them can't be used to influence his foreign policy? At the very least will he resist all those who come offering him sweetheart deals and insist instead on paying above market rates to avoid any appearance of any conflict of interest?

Or does Trump plan to put all of his business assets into a blind trust controlled by his children with a word of honor fire wall preventing him from hearing about the deals they cut with Russian oligarchs?

Will the media even ask a tenth of the questions of Trump about the potential "pay to play" conflict inherent in an international business empire that profits him personally that they ask of Clinton when it comes to a Clinton linked Foundation that aids tens of millions in dire poverty?

I'm not sure of the answer to that last question. It is remotely possible that the media will ask Trump a tenth of the questions about potential conflicts of interest that they ask about Clinton. But only if he releases his taxes so that they find out what it is that they need to ask about.

Mika (from "Morning Joe") brutally and concisely missing the point.

While hammering a Democratic Congressman, who supports Hillary, on the show this morning over the potential that foreign Clinton Foundation donors were trying to buy favorable policies from the State Department - she kept repeating the phrase "doing business with them" to describe the relationship of the Clinton Foundation to those donors.

No, actually Mika, it is Trump enterprises that does business with foreign interests, and then covers up all records of those ties, and their implications, by refusing to release any tax returns. The Clinton Foundation is a charity with a mission to help suffering people around the world. It's a fine distinction, I know, but the ability to make it is why it is supposedly worth it for MSNBC to pay you millions.

Words matter. Make your allegations about influence peddling as you see fit, but the Clinton Foundation is not a business - it is a Non Profit Charity. Any punditry that can't even find time to make that aspect of "the story" clear represents "influence peddling" of an entirely different sort and needs to be exposed as such.

Fervent Clinton primary backers would do well to remember the PUMAs in 2008

It can be very difficult to redirect passions that are deeply felt and tied to strongly held ideals. I was a pro Clinton blogger during the 2008 primaries. While I was not impassioned in my support of Hillary then (she was my 5th choice that year, behind three potential candidates who did not run and Joe Biden - just edging out Obama) I knew a lot of folks who were. Some of them refused to accept Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee, both throughout the Democratic Convention and long after. When I threw my own support behind Obama as the inevitable nominee some of those Clinton supporters treated me virtually like a traitor, even though or perhaps because we had shared such strong common ground together in the recent past.

Some Democratic activists on forums like this felt those PUMAs betrayed the Democratic Party. A case can be made that some PUMAs betrayed the ideals of the Democratic Party by equating Obama with McCain. At the time though I know they felt they were upholding what they believed were the true ideals of the Democratic Party, by not rewarding Obama with their votes after his team ran a campaign that both deeply angered and offended them (whether they were right, wrong, or somewhere in between is not germane now to my point).

With time the ranks of PUMAs shrank though they did not completely disappear. Most of them ultimately voted for Obama with varying level of enthusiasm. And many of them are here with us now 8 years later, urging us all to vote Democratic in the Fall. I too believe that it is essential that Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump for the Presidency in November, although I strongly backed Bernie Sanders this time for the nomination. But I will say this; Hillary Clinton ad Barack Obama were always much closer together ideologically in 2008 than Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were throughout the 2016 primaries. And still there were lingering bitter divisions between some of the most ardent supporters of Barack and Hillary after that 2008 Democratic Convention.

Intensity does not drain off easily, nor can it be easily harnessed for alternate causes through some magic political water wheel quickly inserted into raging currents of political debate. In 2008 Clinton supporters at the very least never had reason to doubt that they were valued as an intrinsic integral part of the Democratic Party - Barack Obama was the insurgent then bringing new voices into the Party. Fortunately for Obama's "army" they prevailed that year and their place in the Democratic Party was assured with his crowning. How alienated might some of them have felt had their tsunami of enthusiasm smashed up against the walls of the prior Democratic "establishment", to be dissipated instead? And what if there were evidence that the deck was intentionally stacked against them from day one? How much anger might there have been?

Neither the Democratic Party nor our nation as a whole can afford to wage the fight for essential social change without doing all that we can to listen to, honor and engage all of the voices calling for, and showing a willingness to fight for, such changes. It is not always easy to get on the same page, but that is the challenge before us now. It is far too early, and far too dangerous, to irreparably turn our backs on potential allies because of divisions that still exist today.
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