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Bill USA

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Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 05:25 PM
Number of posts: 6,436

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates Says Trump Is ‘Beyond Repair’


Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who has served both Republican and Democratic presidents, sharply criticized Republican nominee Donald Trump’s ability to lead the United States, writing that the business mogul was “beyond repair” when it came to national security.

“At least on national security, I believe Mr. Trump is beyond repair. He is stubbornly uninformed about the world and how to lead our country and government, and temperamentally unsuited to lead our men and women in uniform. He is unqualified and unfit to be commander-in-chief,” Gates wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Friday evening.

Gates wrote that Trump was clueless when it came to the American military and foreign policy. Trump has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin repeatedly, threatened to not defend NATO countries, said he would “bomb the shit” out of ISIS and seemed unfamiliar with Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

“Mr. Trump is also willfully ignorant about the rest of the world, about our military and its capabilities, and about government itself. He disdains expertise and experience while touting his own—such as his claim that he knows more about ISIS than America’s generals,” Gates wrote. “He has no clue about the difference between negotiating a business deal and negotiating with sovereign nations.”

Sources: Bush 41 says he will vote for Clinton


(CNN)Former President George H.W. Bush said Monday that he will vote for Hillary Clinton in November, according to sources close to the 41st President -- an extraordinary rebuke of his own party's nominee.

The sources said this was not the first time Bush had disclosed his intention to vote for Clinton.

The comments came during a receiving line for board members of the bipartisan Points of Light Foundation when Bush was speaking to Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend, Robert F. Kennedy's daughter and the former Maryland lieutenant governor. There were roughly 40 people in the room, and it's not clear how many people heard him, though multiple sources did.

The Republican former president's embrace of the Democratic nominee represents a dramatic new chapter in the complicated three-decade-old relationship between the two most prominent families in American politics.

Trump used $258,000 from his charity to settle legal problems


Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents.

Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.

In one case, from 2007, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club faced $120,000 in unpaid fines from the town of Palm Beach, Fla., resulting from a dispute over the height of a flagpole.

In a settlement, Palm Beach agreed to waive those fines — if Trump’s club made a $100,000 donation to a specific charity for veterans. Instead, Trump sent a check from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a charity funded almost entirely by other people’s money, according to tax records.


Hillary Clinton Regains Momentum Against Donald Trump: NBC/SM Poll (FWIW)


Back on the campaign trail after being diagnosed with pneumonia and a subsequent break from campaigning, Hillary Clinton plugged her leaking lead against Donald Trump, according to this week's NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll.

She now enjoys 50 percent support among likely voters and Trump has 45 percent support.

As the first votes have already been cast via absentee and early voting in several states across the country, the NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll will now report out results using a likely voter screen instead of just registered voters. Previously, we reported out results among respondents who indicated they were registered to vote. For full details on our likely voter screen and methodology, please click here.

The race looks slightly narrower among likely voters than it does among all registered voters in a two-way match up. Among likely voters, 50 percent support Clinton and 45 percent support Trump. Among registered voters, she holds a 6-point lead over Trump — 49 percent to 43 percent. Last week, Clinton led Trump by 4 points among registered voters, 48 percent to 44 percent.


Norm Ornstein (AEI) Takes On The Media’s Election Coverage Failures


American Enterprise Institute scholar Norm Ornstein pointed to the flawed news judgment of political editors and cable news producers when it comes to election coverage in a series of email exchanges with The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, stating that coverage of Hillary Clinton stories related to the Clinton Foundation and her private email server have been “way overdone” while too much of the coverage of Donald Trump has focused on “his campaign and its tactics” rather than following up on the GOP nominee’s “deep conflicts of interest.”

Ornstein, long a prominent centrist intellectual, has since 2012 been a leading voice calling out the increasing radicalism of the Republican Party. He has been a harsh critic of the media’s coverage during this election cycle.

Several Media Matters studies and reports support Ornstein’s contention that the press has devoted substantial resources to flawed but negative stories about Clinton while failing to follow through on investigations into Trump.

In a series of exchanges with Cillizza, Ornstein criticized what he termed the “stupid” coverage of Clinton, which he said has focused too much on the Foundation and email stories to the exclusion of reporting on her tenure in government:

[div class="excerpt" style="border: solid 1px #000000;padding:10px;"] I think the coverage of Clinton has been stupid — an obsessive focus on press conferences, on the Clinton Foundation, on emails, the latter legitimate stories but way overdone, with almost nothing on her major policy proposals. There, it is the Times and AP, who are the serious actors.


You and your colleagues make value judgments about what you want to cover, based often on the stories' importance (see "Spotlight" but also what brings readers and eyeballs and clicks, and what brings recognition and prizes, and on gut judgments. The coverage of Clinton emails and the Foundation, measured not just in number of stories but in placement, allocation of resources and column inches (again, not WaPo) and in lead stories, minutes on air, is in my view over the top. And the fact that many stories have been wrong, in some cases because of a reliance on leaks from Republican staffers and members of the Benghazi Committee, or a rip and read of a Judicial Watch press release, makes it much worse.


Yes, her performance as secretary of state is a good, perhaps the best, indicator of how she would govern. And somehow, you and your colleagues in the media have decided that the emails and the Clinton Foundation are the be-all and end-all of her judgment and the indication of how she would govern. Not how she ran the State Department, how she structured and dealt with the team of people around her, how she interacted with the president, the secretar(ies) of defense, the national security advisers, the DNI, etc. Not what she accomplished and did not accomplish. Not her judgments on policy or other leaders. I should add, not all of those stories would be flattering or laudatory. I don't have the time or resources to count up the column inches since the nominations were decided that have been devoted to email and the Foundation, compared to the other issues above, but I would wager the ratio is, as they say, huge. The Post has been better than its competitors, but as I recall, even you, for example, bit on the ridiculous AP story making something sinister out of the meeting with Mohammed Yunus. The need to go on the Web immediately, the new world of traditional print journalism, has its own pathologies built into it.


Sunday News Shows Omit Coverage Of Trump Foundation Investigation, Conflicts Of Interest


Sunday morning political news programs neglected two major news stories that raise ethical questions about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s family charity and his business interests, including reports that Trump’s charitable foundation is under investigation by the New York Attorney General and the conflicts of interest the Trump Organization would raise in a Trump presidency.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a September 13 CNN interview that his office is investigating Trump’s charitable foundation over concerns that it “engaged in some impropriety” as related to New York charity laws. The investigation launched amid reports from The Washington Post that Trump spent money from his charity on items meant to benefit himself, such as a $20,000 oil painting of himself and a $12,000 autographed football helmet, and also recycled others’ contributions “to make them appear to have come from him” although he “hasn’t given to the foundation since 2008.”

In Newsweek’s September 23 cover story, Kurt Eichenwald reported that Trump’s business interests “will constantly jeopardize the security of the United States” if Trump wins the presidency and does not sever all connections to the Trump Organization. The Trump Organization, Eichenwald reported, has been “largely ignored” by media, yet would cause “serious conflicts of interest and ethical quagmires” in nearly all foreign policy decisions a president Trump would make. Eichenwald’s report explains that the Trump Organization’s enterprise includes “deep ties to global financiers, foreign politicians and even criminals,” and “reveals a web of contractual entanglements that could not be just canceled” which could conflict with major national security decisions and negotiations required by the presidential elect.

Yet none of the Sunday morning political news shows dedicated substantial coverage to either report on September 18.

Trump Tax Plan May Cost $1.5 Trillion More Than He Says


Trump released his tax plan last week — his third attempt to sketch out a workable proposal — telling voters to check his math. "It works," Trump promised, estimating the cost at $4.4 trillion and claiming that record-setting economic growth would prevent the cuts from increasing the deficit.

Trump was relying on estimates from the Tax Foundation, which supports lower taxes, when he pitched the plan to the public. But he left unclear a key detail regarding businesses that are classified as "pass-throughs." Mostly small businesses — but occasionally very large ones — incorporate so their profits are taxed as personal income, rather than business proceeds.

At issue is whether Trump's plan for a flat 15 percent corporate tax rate applies to so-called pass-throughs. The Tax Foundation said his campaign indicated to them those rates would not apply. But the National Federation for Independent Business told the New York Times the GOP's nominee's team assured them pass-throughs would get the lower rate.

The Trump campaign has not commented, forcing the Tax Foundation to issue two estimates. Should Trump allow pass-throughs to be taxed at 15 percent — instead of the 33 percent that many otherwise would be assessed — his plan would cost $5.9 trillion over 10 years, the analysis found. That's $1.5 trillion more than Trump predicts.

Letter From Former Government Officials (more than 50) Urges Trump to Detail Foreign Dealings

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/20/us/politics/donald-trump-business-reaction.html?rref=collection%2Fnewseventcollection%2FPresidential Election 2016&action=click&contentCollection=Politics&module=Collection®ion=Marginalia&src=me&version=newsevent&pgtype=article

More than 50 former government officials and national security and military figures have signed an open letter to Donald J. Trump, urging him to disclose details of his overseas business investments before Election Day.

The letter — signed by dozens of supporters of the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton — was drafted as Mr. Trump, the Republican pick who is reported to have extensive overseas entanglements, has refused to release his tax returns.

Michael J. Morell, a former acting director of the C.I.A., and Michael G. Vickers, a former under secretary of defense for intelligence, put together the letter with input from Samantha Vinograd, a former senior adviser to Thomas E. Donilon, a former national security adviser.

“Donald Trump still has not revealed to the American public his international business relationships, even as it becomes increasingly clear that his overseas ties could well constitute significant conflicts of interest when it comes to charting U.S. foreign policy,” the letter reads. “This is unprecedented for a candidate for the nation’s highest office. As such, we are calling on Mr. Trump to disclose, in full, the nature of his business relationships overseas — to include specifically who his business partners are and what and where are his foreign investments.”

Matt Lauer, typical M$M toady at work, depicting HRC as a singularly immoral monster

Why NBC’s candidate forum was such a disaster. (or.... an example of a M$M GOP toady at work, depicting Clinton as a singularly immoral monster and the GOP candidate as a tolerable rascal, in an attempt to conceal he's a dangerous, ignorant sociopath._B USA)

Last night, Clinton got 6 questions on her emails. Trump got zero on his Iraq lies

Political journalism trends toward equivalence. There is the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, and while they diverge in ideas, the media assumes they share their foibles and flaws, their minor and major corruptions, their grasping and opportunistic politicians. This is the foundational premise upon which political coverage rests: The policies of the two parties are different, but the institutions and personnel are broadly similar.

We can argue whether that’s true in any year (Matt Grossmann and David Hopkins’s Asymmetric Politics marshals considerable evidence that it isn’t, I think), but it’s definitely not true in this year. And that’s throwing media coverage of the campaign into chaos — with example A being last night’s candidate forum on NBC.

The problem, as I have written and as has been proven out again and again, is this election pits a normal political party and a normal presidential nominee against an abnormal political party and an abnormal presidential nominee. To put it in the simplest possible terms, one party chose a candidate who believes Vladimir Putin is praiseworthy, who thinks Ted Cruz’s father possibly participated in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and who is clearly feared and mistrusted by virtually all of the party’s top officials. The other party didn’t.

Some journalists have responded by tossing out the conventions of automatic equivalence, a phenomenon I wrote about here. But other journalists have tried to bring the candidates into rough alignment, no matter how absurd the result. On Wednesday, NBC’s Matt Lauer showed how that’s done — by recasting Clinton's tawdry, but fundamentally normal, behaviors as shocking while recasting Trump’s shocking behaviors as normal.

The reviews are in: Trump’s child care plan benefits wealthy, hurts middle-class families

The reviews are in: Trump’s child care plan benefits wealthy, hurts middle-class families

We can only assume the Trump campaign hoped last night’s child care plan rollout would be a promising turning point for Donald Trump. Instead, Trump rolled out a “’Mad Men’-era” proposal that would leave out men and adoptive families, hurt working mothers and benefit the rich.

The reviews are in, and they’re not good:

MSNBC: Donald Trump’s child-care ‘plan’ is hard to take seriously

“The proposal would exclude many families who need help the most; the Trump campaign’s numbers don’t come close to adding up; and for much of the country, the size of the candidate’s recommended tax credit would fall far short.”


NPR: Trump Campaign Sketches Out Family Care Plans; Questions Linger Over Funding

“That could come at a whopping cost. There are some 124 million households in the U.S., about 43 percent of which with children. That’s more than 50 million households. If all of those families put in $1,000 per year, it would cost the government $25 billion annually. Even if half of all families contributed to it, that’s still a big price tag, and the Trump campaign outlines no way to pay for it. Not to mention that that kind of benefit doesn’t help the families who can’t afford to put that much in per year.”

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