What Donald Trump Has In Common With Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Christine O’Donnell

it would be the height of understatement to say that billionaire Donald trump is a colorful character.  It would be more accurate and specific to describe “the Donald”, as he is called, is an egotistical loudmouth “P.T. Barnum”-style showman, who has refined the use of arrogance to high artistic level.

Over a year ago he grabbed the spotlight by declaring that he was considering a run for president of the USA.  He began making public appearances and political speeches at fundraisers, and definitively led the media to believe that it was a foregone conclusion that at the end of this period of “consideration”, no one would be surprised with his decision, which he coyly led the world to believe would be that he would, indeed, be a presidential contender.

When the dust of this “period of consideration” had cleared, “the Donald” announced that would not be running for president, after all…at least not right now.  The reason is clear:  he was never really serious about considering a real run for the White House.  Instead, he was doing what he does best and totally loves doing:  sucking the oxygen out of the room.  or put another way, he was dancing in the limelight while the media and almost everyone else was focused on him and his antics.  “The Donald’ just totally loves this sort of media suck.

However, while he was playing “thinking about it”, he did make a huge issue of president Barack Obama’s place of birth.  Since at the time Obama was secretly authorizing the demise of Osama Bin Laden, he simply released his long-form birth certificate from the state of Hawaii.  When the certificate was publicized, “the Donald”, having no idea that Obama had bigger fish to fry (which he did ultimately fry), seized upon that action to publicly pat himself on the back as if he had just saved a billion people from starvation and disease.  After that, the subject of Obama’s birthplace faded into the background.

Now, a year later, “the Donald” has resurrected the issue, claiming repeatedly that “his people” have been to Hawaii and have uncovered “unbelievable evidence” that that birth certificate is a forgery. even though the state of Hawaii has repeatedly certified it. He never explained what that “unbelievable evidence was.

In an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN yesterday (May 29, 2012), Blitzer made that point to Trump.  Trump’s response was that the governor of Hawaii was a democrat and therefore an Obama supporter, making the implication that the governor falsified the documentation.  Later in the interview, which you can read and/or listen to HERE, Blitzer made the point that the governor of Hawaii is actually a republican.

HMmmmmm…..

It seems that “the Donald” needs to steal the spotlight once a year, but because outside of the cut-throat business world he does not seem to be particularly bright, he needs to invent an issue, hone it to its maximum media and public appeal, and then stand as tall as he can and repeat it over and over and over until the less gifted of the masses begin to believe it….not on its merits, but on its repetition.

When Sarah Palin was running as McCain’s running mate for vice-president in 2008, she made numerous statements that had no basis in reality, such as that as governor of Alaska, she was well versed in foreign affairs and foreign policy because Alaska was bordered to the east by Canada (a more polite and far more socially advance nation than the USA), and to the west by Russia.  In fact, as an added knowledge bonus, she made the point that from a certain Aleutian island of Alaska, she could actually SEE Russia!  She never explained how having Canada on one border and being able to see Russia from a remote island made her a foreign policy expert.

When Michele Bachmann was running for president in 2011, she made so many statements linking her view of America to the bible, that they are too numerous to list here.  She also repeatedly claimed that if she was elected president, gasoline price would go down to $2.00 a gallon.  She made that claim repeatedly, even though she never explained how that would happen.  And she never explained the logic behind her biblical connection with the USA.

And finally, Christine O’Donnell made a ton of unsubstantiated claims when she ran for the US senate in Maryland in 2010.  She never explained how someone who had dabbled in witchcraft was still qualified to be a senator, and in fact, never explained the logic of anything she said or any claim she made.  She just made the claims….over and over and over.

Palin, Bachmann and O’Donnell all lost their elections.  Thus, it’s fair to say they are losers.  They tried to sell snake oil to the public, and that makes them untrustworthy.

Just like “the Donald”.

GOP’s Latest Focus: Their Delusional “Birthers”

From Google comes the following definition:

Delusion:  (noun)?/
1.  An idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder;

2.  A fixed belief that is either false, fanciful, or derived from deception.

Perhaps one of the greatest defects in human beings is the propensity to believe in the irrational, the unproven, the illogical and scientifically and empirically contradicted.   When certain people want something false to be true, they will simply decide to believe that it is true, and then they will misinterpret and twist cold reality into “proof” that supports their delusion

Put another way:  just because logic, empirical evidence and confirmed results say that something doesn’t exist is no reason not to believe that it does exist…especially if you’re a conspiracy fanatic…or a “birther”.

When Barack Obama ran for president of the USA in 2008, it was revealed that his father was a Kenyan and his mother was an American.  Someone who had a twisted idea of the requirements set forth in the US constitution started the rumor that the future president was therefore ineligible to run for for president of the USA because his father was a Kenyan.

Of course, the US constitution does not set requirements for a candidate’s parents;  it only sets a requirement that the candidate himself/herself be a natural-born American, i.e. a person whom, at birth, carried US citizenship by virtue of having been born either in the USA or one of its territories or possessions; or having been born in a foreign country, was born of two American citizens.

Not to be phased by facts, these right wing conspiracy theorists now known as “birthers” modified their story’s details to claim that Barack Obama himself was born in Kenya.  Since both of his parents were not American citizens, this meant that Barack Obama was also not a natural-born US citizen”, and thus was ineligible to become a US president.

Over the course of the following three years, researcher after researcher verified that Obama born a US citizen in Hawaii.  In fact, in 2011, Donald Trump, while appearing to be a possible candidate for president himself, made the claim that Obama had not produced a long-form birth certificate from Hawaii and thus his citizenship was in question.  In response to this ridiculous media grab by Trump, Obama released his long-form official Hawaii birth certificate, which resulted in Thump’s acceptance of Obama’s natural-born US citizenship.  Days later, Obama authorized the super-secret Navy Seals mission that killed Osama Bin Laden.

After Trump acknowledged Obama’s right to be president (citizenship-wise, at least), the birthers seems to fade from view until the ultra-extremist immigrant-hating sheriff of Maricopa county, Arizona, claimed that his “posse” of investigators had determined that Obama’s long-form birth certificate from Hawaii was a forgery.  That breathed new live into the birther loonies so that at this point, they actually threaten to take over the republican party mainstream, much to the utter horror of the mainstream GOP.  Some examples:

*  The Arizona secretary of state recently made headlines when he threatened to exclude Obama from the 2012 presidential ballot in Arizona, unless Hawaii sends him a certified copy of Obama’s birth certificate.

*  The Iowa state GOP has written a plank into their convention platform which demands that presidential candidate must prove they are natural-born US citizens, starting this year. (They admit it’s an anti-Obama tactic!)

*  Republican members of Several GOP congresspeople from Florida (Rep. Cliff Stearns), Colorado (Rep. Mike Coffman) and Missouri (Rep. Vicky Hartzler) have recently commented on the “questionable” status Obama’s citizenship.

*  A republican candidate for  US congress from North Carolina raised suspicion about Obama’s citizenship.

…and on and on.

The campaign of Mitt Romney, the republican nominee-to-be for president, as well as the Republican National Committee (RNC) is trying to back the birthers out of the limelight for two important reason.  The first is that issue is stealing oxygen from the issue the Romney campaign and the RNC want to focus on:  The slow economic recovery, which is the GOP’s best issue to win the votes of independents.  But the lunatic extremist conspiracy “birthers” are pushing them away!

The Romney campaign as well as the RNC recognize this problem, but they haven’t figured out how to shut the deluded segment of their party up yet.

Well….how about this fact:  Before a candidate for national office gets any traction at all, he/her is vetted by the intelligence assets of the USA – the US Secret Service, the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), and perhaps even the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), the NSA (National Security Agency), the NSC (National Security Council) and any other black ops agency that the rest of us don’t know about.

Ignorance causes delusion.  Delusion causes failure.

The democrats are loving this.

And so is We, the People!!      🙂

Mitt the Pitt-Bully

Over this past week it was revealed that presumed republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney committed at least one well-documented act of bullying in 1965 when he was a senior at Cranbrook School, a prestigious and expensive prep school.  According to multiple witnesses, Romney did not like the hair style or hair color of another student suspected of being gay.  As a result, Romney organized a “posse”, found the other student and forcibly held that student down while he cut off the student’s hair.

Romney’s actions constitute assault and mostly likely battery as well.  These are violations of criminal law and are either misdemeanors or felonies, depending upon the specific circumstances.

When Romney was confronted by the media regarding this event, he said that he couldn’t remember it.  However, he did NOT deny it and for good reason, considering the number of witnesses there are.  After all, Romney is running for president of the USA.  If he can’t remember an incident wherein he chased, caught, pinned, immobilized and traumatized a weaker student, then perhaps Mitt has serious memory issues that would negatively impact a commander-in-chief.  That’s a fact the American voters deserves to know before the election.

However, if, on the other hand, Romney actually remembers the incident and is lying about his recollections, that, too, is something the voters have a right to know:   Mitt will lie through his teeth when he deems it convenient.

Either way, the most heinous fact is that Romney committed an act of bullying against someone who he saw as different simply because of a hair style and hair color, as well as most likely gay.

Bullying is a brutal and traumatizing act of force and often violence that often causes its victim emotional scars that often last a lifetime.  It is actually a form of torture:  Someone with superior force subjugates someone weaker with physical or emotional pain, or both. Most civilized people condemn torture.

However, there are those whom see bullying as a natural and normal part of “growing up”.  Most of those folks who believe that are generally very conservative.  many of them grew up in an unsophisticated environment where the strong were expected to dominate the weak.  To them, bullying is nothing to make a fuss about.  After all, they say, bullying has been around since the beginning of humanity, and yet here we all are.

Most people are aware of incidents of bullying that they either committed, participated in,, were the victims of, witnessed directly, or were witnesses to the consequences when they were younger.  Recently the media has been reporting on the all-too-frequent teenage suicides resulting from repeated merciless bullying of a victim who could no longer endure the abuse and its resulting shame, rejection, fear, hatred and negative self-image that the bullying caused.  it has resulted in many organized efforts to eliminate bullying in our schools and social networks.

As an act of violence, it is difficult to believe that anyone would “forget” knowledge of these acts.  But Mitt Romney makes that very claim.  He has, in fact, apologized for his “pranks” as a student at Cranbrook School in the 1960’s.  But as a candidate for president he clearly has not gone far enough.  He had the unique opportunity to come out forcefully against any kind of bullying anywhere.  Instead, he remained totally silent on the issue, as if to lend tacit approval to the idea that bullying is a normal part of growing up and a part of the natural order of things.

After all, as founder and CEO of Bain Capital, Romney oversaw the buying of companies that were split apart and their components sold off for profit, causing thousands of workers to lost their jobs.  That’s clearly a form of economic bullying, isn’t it?

And finally, perhaps more troubling concern about Romney’s 1965 bullying incident at Cranbrook School, which was organized and led by Romney himself, is about the victim being gay.  It seems Romney singled him out because of his perceived sexual orientation, which says much about Romney’s view of this group of people.  He evidently is intolerant of them and anyone else who is “different”.

Because of his millions, Romney is one of the “strong” who can prey upon the weak.  Clearly, the Cranbrook school incident demonstrates that he is capable and willing to do so, and that makes Romney questionable at best as a commander-in-chief and policy-maker for the USA.  Unfortunately, there are many voters who don’t see this and/or who agree with intolerance toward those that are weaker:   gays lesbians, minorities, the poor, etc.

Luckily, the USA has a sitting president who is the exact opposite of Romney when it comes to diversity, acceptance, integrity and  character.

Now all we need is to reach intelligent, open-minded, computer-savvy, fact-driven investigative voters to explore the real Mitt vs. the real Barack.

Those voters are out there…..somewhere…aren’t they?                          🙂

 

North Carolina Approves “God’s Design” of Discrimination

The US state of North Carolina voted yesterday to amend their state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage, legal status for civil unions and even certain domestic-partner rights for unmarried couples.  The vote was 61% in favor to 39% opposed. The vote made North Carolina the 31st state to pass state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Specifically, North Carolina approved the following language in their constitutional amendment:  “Marriage between one man and one woman is the ONLY domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized.”  Thus, in one fundamentally-religiously-based action, North Carolina voters not only made reasonably certain that the state’s already existing same-sex ban would be protected in perpetuity, but it also dismantled all other state and local statutes and ordinance that presently allow certain legal rights for same-sex couples and even unmarried heterosexual couples, such as hospital visitation, child custody issues and the prosecution of domestic violence.

Certain faith-based organizations, such as the ultra-right wing Family Research Council supported this amendment.  So did Vote for Marriage NC, whose chairwoman, Tami Fitzgerald, said after the vote, “”We are not anti-gay; we are pro-marriage.  And the point — the whole point — is simply that you don’t rewrite the nature of God’s design for marriage based on the demands of a group of adults.”

She obviously does not believe in the separation of church and state, just as she seemingly does believe that the USA is a “Christian nation”, conceived in the bible and dedicated to the proposition that all born-again and evangelical Christian-Americans are created equal…as long as they support a fundamentalist agenda.  As for the the rest of the citizens…well…evidently they are not quite as equal.

On the other side of this issue, six states have legalized same-sex marriage:  Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.  So has the District of Columbia.  Washington state and Maryland also have laws allowing same-sex marriage which have yet to be implemented, pending possible challenges from the extreme right.  And Maine and Minnesota are set to vote on the issue, as is Colorado.

Of all the social conditions of humanity, same-sex couple living happily together is probably one of the most innocuous.  It hurts no one, costs the nation nothing, and doesn’t try to impose its philosophies on others.  If they are married, the law allows these same-sex couples the same legal and contractual monetary rights and responsibilities as any other married couple under civil law.  After all, from a purely legal point of view, civil marriage is no more than a legal contract between two people primarily involving money, but also providing a legal framework for inheritance, child custody, and other non-religious legal matters.

Tragically, the born-again, evangelical fundamentalist crowd doesn’t see it that way.  Instead, they see marriage as “God’s design” for a man and a woman to have sex (but not before marriage!!!), which is “God’s design” for having children.  This is part of the reason many fundamentalist oppose contraception, or, put another way, sex for fun.  They also are steadfast in their belief that the purpose of sex (which, remember, is only permissible in marriage) is solely to produce offspring.  Thus,evidently single or divorced or widowed post-menopausal women should NEVER marry, since they can no longer become pregnant.  And since they can’t have any more children, they better not be having sex with anyone, either!

These same beliefs help to explain why these folks are opposed to same-sex marriage:   same-sex couple cannot produce offspring…or, at least, not by themselves.

The disconnect between the distinct characteristics of civil marriage vs. religious marriage is directly caused by fundamentalist belief that the bible is a higher authority than any constitution and/or federal, state and local laws.  Thus, these folks have continuously tried to modify constitutions and laws at all levels to match their religious belief systems.  The fact that not everyone in the USA agrees with them is no issue, since non-believers are not as “equal” as they are.

Sound familiar?  Isn’t this exactly what the Taliban believe about those they view as “non-believers”?

As bad as this fundamentalist “my religion is your law” philosophy is, it is far more dangerous since becoming “married” (if you’ll pardon the pun  🙂  ) to politics, which the fundamentalists have successful done since the early 1980’s.  They forced the republican party way over to the extreme right towards uncompromising intolerance of anything they disagree with.  One end-product of this intolerance is the lack of bipartisanship which today permeates congress. And in light of the lopsided approval of North Carolina’s anti-gay, pro-intolerance constitutional amendment, they’re energized for the coming presidential election as well.

But wait!

Uh oh!

President Obama just endorsed same-sex marriage in an interview with ABC News!  Seems Obama finally figured out that “no more Mr. Nice Guy” works best with these intolerant clowns.

Game on!!!!   🙂

Big Oil Subsidies: Like Food Stamps For Bill Gates!

Unless you live on an asteroid and never use gasoline for anything, you’re certain to have noticed that the price of this commodity has been steadily rising during the first quarter of 2012.  And while it’s easy to blame the oil companies that take crude oil out of the ground, most of the blame truly lies elsewhere….such as with Wall Street’s psychotic overreacting to every mention of Iran…or with those self-same Wall Street market speculators and all the other “middlemen” who buy and sell off crude oil and its distillates, such as gasoline, long before you ever see a drop of it at the pump.

Nonetheless, the big oil companies (“Big Oil”) are still making huge profits of their own.

Take, for example, Exxon-Mobil, which recently reported a 2012 first quarter net profit (that’s after-taxes & expenses profit for the first three months of the year) of US$9.45 billion.  And they were disappointed with that because it represented a profit drop of 11%!

To put that profit into context, it equals US$315 billion a month, or US$105 million a day!  Nice work if you can get it.  Exxon-Mobil is a global company, as is Shell Oil, also known as Royal Dutch Shell.

In that same first quarter of 2012, Shell reported net profits of US$7.3 billion.  Unlike Exxon-Mobil, however, they were not disappointed at all, since their profits were up by 15.9%.  And on and on it goes with other oil companies.

Regardless of anyone’s political or economic philosophies, it is clear that a net profit of US10.5 million a day, as in Exxon-Mobil’s case, or even a measly, paltry US$81 million a day, as in Shell’s case, is humongous bucks, regardless of how one tries to spin it.  So it truly defies all reason and logic that on top of these facts, the taxpayers of the USA are also financing huge tax breaks for these self-same big oil companies.

Late last month, the Obama administration, along with senate democrats, attempted to pass legislation that would end the US$4 billion per year tax breaks that Big Oil enjoys.  Simply put, if Exxon-Mobil makes US$32 billion net profit in one year (and they’ll probably make more than that,), then ending this insane US taxpayer-financed subsidy for Big Oil would reduce Exxon-Mobil’s net yearly profit to perhaps US$31 billion!

How could anyone survive on only US$31 billion when they were expecting US$32 billion???

But wait!!! There’s MORE!!!

In the first quarter of 2012 alone, Big Oil donated half a million dollars to congressional incumbents and candidates of office (but, significantly, not for president..yet).  Take a look at this chart from publicampaign.org:

It’s important to note that fully 93% of that money went to republican congressional incumbents and candidates.  Of the US$501,500 in donations as seen above, only US$33,000 went to non-republicans, (possibly to the four dems that voted against ending the oil subsidies).

Based upon these figures, Big Oil is using US$2 million a year to fund republican political congressional campaigns.   These are just the first quarter figures, and they don’t include money to the Romney or Rove anti-Obama Super-Pacs, either   How much more of the US$4 billion yearly subsidies will be divided between donations to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and various republican governors’ elections is anyone’s guess.

Oil industry subsidies have been around for a long time.  The first federal subsidies for oil came into being in 1916, with another round introduced in 1926.  They were necessary at the beginning of the oil industry’s development to allow for survival and growth, yet they’re both still in existence.

But it was in 2005 that some really big tax breaks were given to Big Oil by the GW Bush and his gang of Big-Oil-loving republicans.  And while Big Oil gets those 4 billion bucks a year from the federal government, it really gets anywhere from US$133.8 billion to as much as US$280.8 billion a year if one includes all taxpayer-provided sources, including from state and local governments.

When one really looks carefully at this debacle, it defies logic how anyone justifies tax breaks for the most profitable industry on Earth.  It’s like your neighbors putting together an emergency food basket at the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen and taking it to Mitt Romney’s house.  These subsidies have long since outlived their initial need and have now become an unnecessary tax break for the very wealthiest of private enterprises at the expense of middle class taxpayers and possibly even deficit reduction.  And the republicans, who claim to love deficit reduction, are the ones preserving the oil subsidies and thus preventing deficit reduction!

Meanwhile, they want to drastically reduce the food stamp program for the nation’s poor, as if that could possibly be justified in the face of the oil industry’s obscene hundreds of billions of dollars in yearly profit!

Isn’t this a little like telling people that if their house is on fire, they should pour gasoline on it (because buying gasoline is good for the economy)?