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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Governor Paul LePage owes Maine people apologies

Maine's Governor Paul LePage created two Big Lies in recent weeks. 

"During his time as governor, LePage often has used anecdotes to make his points, but he has been proven wrong on several occasions."- Portland Press Herald

First he brought unfounded fear to employees of "unnamed" Southern Maine companies when he said one of the employers was about to lay off 600 people; but never verified this story, and the depressing occurance has, thankfully, yet to happen. Now, most recently, he's violating the confidentiality of Portland's Deering High School students by making untrue accusations about an incident that never happened. A school student and the Portland Police Chief have debunked this lie.
Gov. Paul LePage is standing by his account of a Deering High School student overdosing three times, and suggested Monday that Maine schools may not be reporting overdoses.
Maine Governor Paul LePage should try to stick to his job as a politician, instead of telling lies to misrepresent the practice of medicine and treating substance abuse with therapeutic interventions.
Letter to the editor: LePage disparaged Deering with false story of overdose- letter from high school student

I am a junior at Deering High School. I thought I could share my opinion on the recent contention by Gov. LePage that a Deering student overdosed and was revived three times in one week.

I know for a fact that we did not have an overdose here at Deering. And I also know for a fact that the hypothetical student was not given Narcan, considering that we do not have it in the building. If EMTs are not allowed to carry it, why would a high school nurse be able to? It simply does not add up.

The cold hard truth is that LePage apparently needed reasons for why he vetoed the bill (for naloxone to be sold without prescription), and he did not have a solid reason. Therefore, he constructed some elaborate story about a Deering High School student who does not exist.

What I believe happened is that he was either confused or changed what happened last year in Deering Oaks, where someone had overdosed. What I do not understand is why he would change what actually happened.

We have a great school here in Portland, and great city officials and teachers for when things go wrong. If a student did overdose, they would have been rushed to Maine Medical Center or Mercy Hospital, not given Narcan and sent back to class.

None of it makes any sense. And I wanted to voice my thoughts on the complicated predicament from an insider’s perspective.

Hanna Amergian

And more from Portland Maine's Police Chief:

Portland chief says LePage mistaken in account of overdoses at Deering High School 

Michael Sauschuck says the incident that LePage uses to oppose more access to Narcan involved a non-student at Deering Oaks, and lawmakers want an apology.

Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said Monday that Gov. Paul LePage was mistaken about an anecdote (ie "lie" IMO) he shared this month when he said a Deering High School student had overdosed and was revived three times before returning to class.

Sauschuck said the story the governor was told by Deering’s school resource officer, Steve Black, was about an overdose in Deering Oaks park and did not involve a student.

“I talked to Officer Black. The story was never about students. It was never about schools,” the chief said Monday night.

Sauschuck’s explanation came hours after LePage, appearing on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, doubled down on his claim and then went further by suggesting that perhaps schools were not reporting overdoses.

“I’m thinking of calling (U.S.) Attorney General (Loretta) Lynch and asking for her investigative arm to come up and look at the school systems in Maine,” LePage said. “I think it’s serious enough. I believe it happened.”

The “it” in question is an anecdote that LePage shared May 4 during a town hall meeting in Lewiston while explaining his opposition to expanding access to the drug Narcan, also called naloxone, which reverses the effects of an opiate overdose.

“A junior at Deering High School had three Narcan shots in one week. And the third one, he got up and went to class. He didn’t go to the hospital. He didn’t get checked out. He was so used to it he just came out of it and went to class,” LePage said.


Portland’s acting superintendent, Jeanne Crocker, and Deering High School Principal Ira Waltz immediately came out strongly against the claim.

“Unequivocally no. This did not happen at Deering High School,” Crocker said.

Waltz said the school doesn’t even have Narcan on campus.

On Monday, Democratic lawmakers from Portland ratcheted up pressure on LePage to apologize.

Deering doesn’t deserve to have its reputation maligned by the highest elected leader in our state,” said Senate Democratic leader Justin Alfond of Portland. “The governor owes it to our community to set the record straight. Donald Trump may double down on his lies when confronted with the truth, but we can’t sit by while Gov. LePage makes up hurtful stories about our community.”

Portland-area lawmakers had sent a letter to LePage on May 11 asking him to apologize privately. They said he has remained silent, which prompted them to go public.

“It’s another example of ‘Ready, Fire, Aim.’ I can’t imagine how the governor came up with this story about our students and our high school,” said Rep. Erik Jorgensen, D-Portland, whose district includes Deering High. “This didn’t happen, plain and simple. He should check his facts. But more than that, he owes the hardworking students and faculty of Deering an apology.”

But LePage appeared to dig in even more during his radio remarks Monday.Audio Player

“It was not fabricated,” he said. “This is an actual conversation I had.”

Adrienne Bennett, the governor’s spokeswoman, declined to comment Monday or elaborate on what the governor said on the radio. She said LePage was told the anecdote by a school resource officer and that the police chief was in the room. She declined to identify either officer, although Portland has only one police chief, Sauschuck.

The chief said the governor and Officer Black spoke during an event last fall at the police department. Sauschuck said he wasn’t there for the entire conversation, but Black told him about the exchange.

“They were talking about heroin and (Black) shared the story of a very public overdose in Deering Oaks park,” Sauschuck said. He said LePage may have been confused because Black is a school resource officer during the school year, but was in the patrol unit when the park overdose happened during the summer.


A Deering High student, Hanna Amergian, predicted the Deering Oaks connection in a letter to the editor last week.

“The cold hard truth is that LePage apparently needed reasons for why he vetoed the bill (for naloxone to be sold without a prescription), and he did not have a solid reason. Therefore, he constructed some elaborate story about a Deering High School student who does not exist,” she wrote. “What I believe happened is that he was either confused or changed what happened last year in Deering Oaks, where someone had overdosed. What I do not understand is why he would change what actually happened.”

Rather than provide additional details about exactly where LePage heard the false anecdote, Bennett provided data compiled by the state’s emergency medical services agency on use of naloxone. It showed that nine people under the age of 18 were administered the drug statewide in 2015, but it did not say where those cases were or whether they were in schools. Another 107 people aged 18-24 were given the drug, Bennett pointed out, suggesting some “may be high school students.”

“It is very concerning to our governor that our youth are being administered Narcan shots,” she wrote in an email. “This is the story.”

Asked in a follow-up email why the governor didn’t share that data rather than the Deering High anecdote, Bennett did not respond.


During his time as governor, LePage often has used anecdotes to make his points, but he has been proven wrong on several occasions.

In 2012, he was speaking about the problems in Maine’s public schools and how that affected college applications when he said this: “If you go to William & Mary, apply to William & Mary, before they’ll look at your application, if you’re from a Maine school, you have to take a placement exam to see if you qualify.”

A spokeswoman for the college quickly corrected the governor, whose staff later said that LePage was working off information he received in 2005 from an unidentified employee at the school.

In April 2013, the governor used an anecdote to bolster his opposition to wind power. He claimed that a wind turbine on the campus of the University of Maine at Presque Isle was run by a “little electric motor that turns the blades.”

A university spokesperson laughed when asked about the claim and then said it was not true.

Last year, LePage insinuated that Maine author Stephen King spent more time in Florida to avoid paying full property taxes on his Bangor home.

King took to Twitter to fire back.

“Governor Paul LePage implied that I don’t pay my taxes. I do. Every cent. I think he needs to man up and apologize,” King wrote.

The governor did not.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Immigrations stories - How they got here: The Guardian

Wonderful series in "The Guardian" about how immigrants became assimilated and contributed to improving their new homes.

Before I left Damascus I wondered: 'Trenton, New Jersey ... what is that?'
By  Syrian born Adel Korkor now an American citizen

"I made my way to the US from Syria in 1974. After some awkward moments along the way, I am now as American as anyone else..."

He held on to the telegram for a few minutes before opening it. 

The mail man delivered it in a grey, wrinkly envelope. The message was from America and it read “The medical residency program director agreed to offer you a position as an intern. I will see you soon.”

It was 1974, and was standing on the marble entrance hall to his apartment on Porto Alegre Street in Damascus. 

"My mother, who was baking in the kitchen, asked what the mailman delivered. I told her I got a job in America. She went on completing what she was doing and showed no emotions."

"I stood by the kitchen door pondering. I had really wanted to go to England. America was so far away and so big. I kept asking myself: Trenton, New Jersey, really, what is that? I was nervous."

I remember the final scene at the airport, before I left Syria for good. My family was waving goodbye. My mother wore a blue striped dress scattered with dark blue flowers. She was crying. Soon I was, too. I recalled what she had told me the night before: “I may never see you again, please do not forget us and write letters.”

When I landed in New York City, I remember thinking I had never seen so many lights in my life. They stretched miles and miles. What a massive place. I wondered how I would find my brother, who was going to pick me up. But most importantly, I asked myself how in the world I was going to navigate my life around this place. I left what I thought to be a big city, but my God, this was huge.

On my first day on the job, the medical staff office secretary took me to her office. She handed me a white coat and showed me the way around the hospital. She took me to the residents’ quarter. I stupidly pulled the hospital’s fire alarm thinking that I was opening a basement door. Very embarrassing. Trust me I have never done that since.

Soon after arriving, I went to the library. The librarian asked me if there was anything they could help with. Yes, I said. “I want to speak English like you do.” I told her I didn’t want to have an accent. I didn’t want people to realize that I am from a different country. It was hard enough for me to face the reality of me looking like an Arab. And my name is not John but Adel, which just makes things harder.

The librarian told me my English was really not that bad. I owed that to Maria, a sweet young lady who was the daughter of a patient. She had me record myself speaking so I could identify the areas that I needed to work on. She was terrific and one day she called me on the phone and said that I sounded just like her brother, who was born in the United States. I felt like I had just won the lottery.

In the hospital cafeteria, the food was odd, nothing looked familiar. I asked for a “kitchen” when I really meant “chicken”. Bacon smelled awful to me, I gagged every time I walked by the breakfast buffet. I lived on bread, cheese, potato, hard-boiled eggs and vegetable soup for months. I must have lost 10 pounds in the first year. I could not understand why people would want to drink “iced” tea and why they were fans of condiments like ketchup and mustard.

On my first date, initiated by a young lady I worked with, she assumed that I was different to other men. She shared that with the nurses on the floor. The unit secretary on the floor hinted that to me. The young lady apparently was disappointed that I didn’t make any advances. “Why wouldn’t a handsome man like you, who looks like Omar Al Sharif, not even try?,” the unit secretary asked. I didn’t know what to respond.

Standing in the immigration office in Milwaukee, to meet the examiner before I completed my citizenship test, was nerve-wracking. The examiner was an African American woman who proceeded to ask me questions about American history. I had read and practically memorized the books that I was given to read for the exam. Clearly she was impressed. When I was done, she smiled and very softly said: “Congratulations, welcome to America.” It was 1984.

The day of swearing in and pledging allegiance was rather emotional. I was stood in between hundreds of people who were doing the same. I wondered if America would be my new home forever. I was already married to an American girl. America had been good to me, but would it always be that way? I was still a foreigner, no matter how hard I worked on my English, people were still able to detect an accent. I wondered about Syria, where my heart was. I felt Syria would always be my home.

When my name was called and I walked up to receive my US naturalization certificate, I kept saying “Thank you sir, thank you sir” to the man who congratulated me and handed my me new document. I cried all the way to my car. I was excited, sad, confused and uncertain.

Years have gone by. My medical profession has taken me many places all over the United States of America and the world. It has been rewarding professionally, personally and financially. 

In fact, I can say that I have achieved the American dream. I have given back to America much of what America has given me. I took exceptional care of thousands of patients who loved me and are begging me not to retire. I created hundreds of jobs and established at least ten businesses, many of which are thriving.

When I landed in New York City, I remember thinking I had never seen so many lights in my life.’ Photograph: Adel Korkor

English is no longer an issue. The cultural challenges continue to poke up their heads here and there. I’m as American as the person next door whose parents’came to the United States 100 years ago. However, I'm still a foreigner in the eyes of many people – including and possibly primarily myself. 

(Sadly) Syria, or what is left of it now, is still where my heart beats. America is my home now, but yes, you can live with your heart in two places. That is not a conflict, but rather a strength. I love both very much.

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Ann Coulter has no moral compass she sold her soul to be a Trumpy

Without doubt, the "jenny one note" Ann Coullter would be vitriolic if Secretary Clinton had refused to release her financial and tax information. Nevertheless, she's now a Trumpy by defeding his decision to withhold income tax reports.  Hypocrisy is endemic in Coulter's personae. Obviously, Coulter is more concerned with promoting rabic conservatism than promoting fairness.  
Now, she was challenged to defend her hypocrisy. In fact, she failed to rise to the opportunity. Rather, she deflected the issue, spewing Donald Trump's stupid excuses for not releasing his income taxes. reports;

On MSNBC’s Hardball Monday, host Chris Matthews played a clip of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton demanding Donald Trump release his tax returns, then asked Trump supporter Ann Coulter why he wouldn’t release them if he had nothing to hide.

“I think the reason he hasn’t released them is exactly why he says he hasn’t — he’s under audit,” she said. “It’s legal for him to do so, just like it’s legal for someone on trial for murder to talk to the press — but their lawyers wouldn’t be happy about it.”
Donald Trump is a horror movie: No, really!
Donald Trump has a moral obligation to release his income tax information

“Poor baby,” Corn sarcastically replied, though whether he was referring to Trump, Coulter, or both was unclear. “Every other president has done that — including [Richard] Nixon, when he was also under audit. Because you can tell whether he’s hiding money offshore, [or] whether he gives money to charity.”

“Exactly,” Coulter said, seemingly not understanding Corn’s point. “Why should he do that?”Photo published for WATCH: MSNBC’s David Corn destroys Ann Coulter for defending Trump’s decision not to release tax...
David Corn challenges right wing diva Ann Coulture

“That’s good,” Corn replied, “you want a crook in the White House — that’s fine, Ann, you can go ahead and have that.”

Coulter argued that he’s “not a crook,” unwittingly summoning the ghost of Nixon for the second time in two minutes, to which Corn replied, “we don’t know if he’s a crook or not.”

“We don’t know if you’re a crook,” Coulter shot back, randomly, before noting that none of this matters to Trump supporters anyway.
(HELLO?  Ya'think? In fact, Ms. Coulter, you have no political soul. Obviously, you have covered politics enough to know an incompetent candidate when you see one #NeverTrump.)

Coulter is now an official Trumpy. Sad.
Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. 
Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at

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America must move beyond the 1990s and the Regressive Trump

"...Mr. Trump, saying he was concerned about 'the transnational emergence of almost radical populism, deep anger, a sense of dislocation'.....”- Ken Starr

Donald Trump has not published any cohesive public policies but he contineus to capture media attention on regressive subjects. Even former prosecuter Ken Star understands. 

Kenneth Starr, Who Tried to Bury Bill Clinton, Now Only Praises Him- in The New York Times
By Amy Chozick
Donald Trump has no public policies he can stand behind; rather, he's a muckraker about Secretary Clinton and her considerable accomplishments

An unlikely voice recently bemoaned the decline of civility in presidential politics, warned that “deep anger” was fueling an “almost radical populism” and sang the praises of former President Bill Clinton — particularly his “redemptive” years of philanthropic work since leaving the White House.

The voice was that of Kenneth W. Starr, the former Whitewater independent counsel, whose Javert-like pursuit of Mr. Clinton in the 1990s helped bring a new intensity to partisan warfare and led to theimpeachment of a president for only the second time in the nation’s history.

The presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, increasingly seems to be trying to relitigate the scandals that Mr. Starr investigated, dredging up allegations of sexual transgressions by Mr. Clinton to accuse Hillary Clinton — the likely Democratic nominee — of having aided and enabled her husband at the expense of Mr. Clinton’s female accusers.

But Mr. Starr expressed regret last week that so much of Mr. Clinton’s legacy remains viewed through the lens of what Mr. Starr demurely termed “the unpleasantness.”

His remarks seemed almost to absolve Mr. Clinton, if not to exonerate him.

“There are certain tragic dimensions which we all lament,” Mr. Starr said in a panel discussion on the presidency at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

“That having been said, the idea of this redemptive process afterwards, we have certainly seen that powerfully” in Mr. Clinton’s post-presidency, he continued, adding, “President Carter set a very high standard, which President Clinton clearly continues to follow.”

He called Mr. Clinton “the most gifted politician of the baby boomer generation.”

“His genuine empathy for human beings is absolutely clear,” Mr. Starr said. “It is powerful, it is palpable and the folks of Arkansas really understood that about him — that he genuinely cared. The ‘I feel your pain’ is absolutely genuine.”

For some time, Mr. Starr, a Christian who is now the president and chancellor of Baylor University, a private Baptist school in Waco, Tex., has sought to put his years as a political combatant behind him. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, some of his associates expressed regret that so much of the Clinton administration’s efforts had been spent fighting those battles rather than addressing the growing threat posed by Osama bin Laden. And in 2010, Mr. Starr told Fox News that he regretted that his investigation of Mr. Clinton had taken so long and that it “brought great pain to a lot of people.”

The panel discussion in Philadelphia was occasioned by the release of “The Presidents and the Constitution: A Living History,” to which Mr. Starr contributed a chapter on Ronald Reagan. The book’s editor, who wrote the chapter on Mr. Clinton, is Ken Gormley, who also wrote the 2010 book “The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr.”

“It’s sad that the chapter is so rooted in the unpleasantness, as I used to call it, the recent unpleasantness,” Mr. Starr said.

He did not mention any of the current presidential candidates by name in last week’s discussion. But Mr. Starr, 69, alluded to Mr. Trump, saying he was concerned about “the transnational emergence of almost radical populism, deep anger, a sense of dislocation.”

He also seemed to echo Mr. Trump, however, saying, “Our children are not going to do as well as we did or as our parents’ generation,” and pointing to demographic shifts as a source of “considerable instability.”

Then again, Mr. Starr also alluded to the danger posed by income inequality, a central theme of Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign. “We simply have not adjusted as a society to what seems to be the 1 percent and the 99 percent,” Mr. Starr said.

But it was Mr. Starr’s keening over the coarsening and polarization of American politics that seemed most noteworthy. He did not volunteer any responsibility for it — though Mr. Clinton, who in 2006 accused Mr. Starr of “indicting innocent people because they wouldn’t lie,” might well lay considerable blame at his feet.

A federal judge in the Reagan administration and the solicitor general under President George Bush, Mr. Starr was named independent counsel in 1994, taking over the investigation of the Whitewater real estate venture and the suicide of Vincent W. Foster Jr., a deputy White House counsel. He expanded the investigation to include the Paula Jones lawsuit and the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Mr. Starr’s conclusion that Mr. Clinton had committed perjury in sworn testimony denying having had “sexual relations” with Ms. Lewinsky eventually led to Mr. Clinton’s impeachment.

“Whether it’s Whitewater or whether it’s Vince or whether it’s Benghazi. It’s always a mess with Hillary,” Mr. Trump recently told The Washington Post.

Mr. Starr now is contending with criticism of his own leadership over Baylor’s handling of sexual assault charges leveled against several of its football players.

In the panel discussion last week, he reached back to an earlier presidency — that of Lyndon B. Johnson. Saying today’s divisiveness “deeply concerns me,” he recalled Johnson’s appealing for comity before a joint session of Congress.

“I remember this so vividly — he said, ‘Come, let us reason together.’ Can we talk with one another?” Mr. Starr said. “The utter decline and erosion of civility and discourse has, I think, very troubling implications.”

He quoted E. Gordon Gee, the president of West Virginia University, as saying, “The world has become a shouting match.”

“There are always places for shouts and strong feelings, but the genius of American democracy and of presidential leadership,” Mr. Starr continued, “is to bring unity out of our diversity. E pluribus unum — out of many, one. And we don’t seem to hear too many voices saying, ‘Let us find common ground.’ "

News media like Good Morning America tries to get to some truth about Never Donald Trump but his surrogates hurt our ears with rhetorical rants rather than answers, as was the case with Corey Lewandowski in a May 24th morning interview.  In fact, there are no substantial Trumponian policies, rather, only lies masked by fear, racism and stoking hate.  Wake Up  America!

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Monday, May 23, 2016

The Real Donald Trump portrait - a huge problem for America

This is exactly what a Donald Trump leadership portrait should look like. Wake Up America!


Trump's First Amendment problem- his words are threats

In a philosophical universe, where all that's possible can happen, the miserable preview of a Donald Trump leadership of America would include an out of the term "gate" violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.  So writes Michael Cohen in The Boston Globe, reprinted in "The Week" (May 27, 2016)

In fact, The First Amendent prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.
Cohen reports:
Greater coat of arms of the United States.svg
The United States Constitution guarantees Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press
Would Donaldl Trump be the first President to be indicted for violating the US Constitution?  I think so.....

Donald Trump's views on the free press should "terrify every American. While appearing on Fox News (aka Mock's News) last week, Trump complained bitterly that reporters at The Washington Post keep calling him with "ridiculous questions" and writing stories he deems as being negative, and are rumored to be working on a book about him he doesn't want to see in print.  

Then, Trump "pivoted to a darker place,"said Cohen.  He said, the Post was "owned as a toy" by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and that Amazon "is getting away with murder" and has "a huge antitrust problem."  Bezos, Trump continued in his paranoid fashion, is attacking him through the Post because "he thinks I would go after him for antitrust--- and "we can't let him get away with it."  Indeed, Trump has already said, "If I become president, oh, do they (Amazon) have problems.  They are going to have such problems." With his direct threats, Trump is clearly saying he would trample on the First Amendment and punish the Post---and other media outlets that incur hiswrath.  

Listen carefully to Trump's words. "He's basically giving us a preview of how he will buse his power (if he's God Forbid elected to lead the free world) as president.

(Certainly, Donald Trump doesn't want to be the first leader in the free world to be indicted for breaking the laws of his nation on the first day of holding office. Imagine, putting convicted President Trump in handcuffs where he'd receive Secret Service protection in a federal prison.)

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Religious leaders must educate Americans against Trumponian racism

"...undocumented immigrants contributed billions to Social Security and paid taxes though they did not necessarily receive the benefits of those contributions — a phenomenon that persists to this day...."

Bishop DiMarzio is a Roman Catholic Bishop who is calling on the US Presidential candidates (aka "Donald Trump") to be humanitarian and inclusive of immigrants to America.
Image result for bishop dimarzio
Bishop Nicholas Anthony DiMarzio

NEW YORK (Religious News Service) The Roman Catholic bishop of Brooklyn, one of the largest and most diverse dioceses in the U.S., is defending immigrants in a powerful essay that — without mentioning names — seems to take direct aim at Donald Trump and his supporters by ripping the “racist and xenophobic tendencies” in society and arguing that immigration in fact helps the economy.

“Those who are in favor of mass deportation seem not to have an understanding of what this might mean for our reputation, and the lives of those who are deported,” Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio wrote in his weekly column for the diocesan newspaper.

But besides the human toll, he argued, the “estimated costs of mass deportation would be $400 billion and [would] reduce the gross domestic product … by about $1 trillion.”

Trump, the brash New York real estate tycoon who is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has regularly disparaged immigrants, especially Latinos, and has vowed to deport millions of them and build a wall along the border with Mexico.

DiMarzio, whose ministry before he became a bishop focused on immigration and labor issues, wrote in his column on Sunday (May 21), titled “The Facts About Immigration,” that he dislikes the “current politicization of the issue of undocumented workers in our country.”

He stressed that human beings cannot be “illegal” and added that the question of undocumented immigrants is “not an issue that can be solved without addressing the racist and xenophobic tendencies that lay below the veneer of even just societies.”

Although the Bible’s words and Catholic teachings on welcoming immigrants, Bishop DiMarzio says his defense of immigrants “will not be a religious one” but would be based “on past research and present analysis of this issue.”

DiMarzio went on to note that his own research, when he did post-graduate work on immigrants and the economy back in the 1980s, found that undocumented immigrants contributed billions to Social Security and paid taxes though they did not necessarily receive the benefits of those contributions — a phenomenon that persists to this day, he wrote.

The bishop detailed how the immigration system has worked in the past by encouraging immigrants to enter the U.S. and then regularizing their status, and he said the current outdated system must be reformed to provide the same pathway to citizenship or another recognized and stable status.

“To exclude the undocumented from citizenship would be to return to a two-tiered society,” DiMarzio wrote. “We have enough experience with the exclusion of former slaves and their descendants to remind us that those who are members in our society should never be excluded from the full rights of citizenship.”

“We must put out into the deep recesses of our memory as a nation built by immigrants. We cannot forget the contributions of the past nor the present made by new Americans in building our society and our church.”

The Brooklyn diocese covers the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, and while it is geographically small it is one of the most populous of the 189 U.S. dioceses, with 1.5 million Catholics from around the world.

That diversity does not mean that DiMarzio will earn universal praise from his flock.

Image of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917) at the urging of Pope Leo XIII she came to the United States with six nuns in 1889 to work among the Italian immigrants.

In the New York primary in April, where, unfortunately, Donald Trump won convincingly, the GOP candidate did somewhat better in Brooklyn and Queens than elsewhere in the state, and he appeared to draw especially strong support from old-line Irish and Italian Catholic neighborhoods. (Ironically, in the recent past, the Irish and the Italian Catholics experienced discrimination - read the life of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.)

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Tump and the evil art of "the Big Lie"

"....if Trump came to power, there is a decent chance that the American experiment would be over..."

Ted Cruz called Trump a pathological liar, the kind who doesn't know the difference between lies and truth. 

Whatever the clinical diagnosis, we do appear to be getting, in place of the once famous Big Lie of the nineteen-thirties, a sordid blizzard of lies
The Big Lie- tell a bold like often enough and innoculate people to the truth - Trumponian pathological aversion to telling the truth (and entertainment media is buying it).

In fact, the Big Lie was fit for a time of lock step processionals, and nighttime rallies and films that featured them. 

By the time Nazism arose in Germany in the 1930s, anti-Semitism was nothing new. Rather, the J­ewish people had suffered a long history of prejudice and persecution. Although Nazis perpetuated centuries-old lies, this time those lies would have their most devastating effects. Like never before, anti-Semitism was manifested in a sweeping national policy known as "the Final Solution," which sought to eliminate Jews from the face of the Earth.

To accomplish this, Adolf Hitler and his minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, launched a massive campaign to convince the German people that the Jews were their enemies. Having taken over the press, they spread lies blaming Jews for all of Germany's problems, including the loss of World War I. One outrageous lie dating back to the Middle Ages claimed that Jews engaged in the ritual killings of Christian children and used their blood in the unleavened bread eaten at Passover [source: Landau].

Using Jews as the scapegoat, Hitler and his cronies orchestrated what they called "the big lie." This theory states that no matter how big the lie is (or more precisely, because it's so big), people will believe it if you repeat it enough. Everyone tells small lies, Hitler reasoned, but few have the guts to tell colossal lies because a big lie is so unlikely, people will come to accept it.

Trump’s lies arrive with such rapidity that before one can be refuted a new one comes to take its place. OMG- It wasn’t his voice on that tape of pitiful self-promotion (as mythical John Miller). O.K., ues it was—but he never mocked the handicapped reporter, he was merely imitating an obsequious one. The media eventually moves on, shrugging helplessly, to the next lie. Then the next lie, and the next. If the lies are bizarre enough and frequent enough, they provoke little more than a nervous giggle and a cry of “Well, guess he’s changed the rules!”

He’s not Hitler, as his wife recently said? Well, of course he isn’t. But then Hitler wasn’t Hitler—until he was. At each step of the way, the shock was tempered by acceptance. It depended on conservatives pretending he wasn’t so bad, compared with the Communists, while at the same time the militant left decided that their real enemies were the moderate leftists, who were really indistinguishable from the Nazis. The radical progressives decided that there was no difference between the democratic left and the totalitarian right and that an explosion of institutions was exactly the most thrilling thing imaginable.

The American Republic stands threatened by the first overtly anti-democratic leader of a large party in its modern history—an authoritarian with no grasp of history, no impulse control, and no apparent barriers on his will to power. 

Obviously, the right thing to do, for everyone who believes in liberal democracy, is to gather around and work to defeat him on Election Day. 

Instead, we seem to be either engaged in parochial feuding or caught by habits of tribal hatred so ingrained that they have become impossible to escape even at moments of maximum danger. Bernie Sanders wouldn’t mind bringing down the Democratic Party to prevent it from surrendering to corporate forces—and yet he may be increasing the possibility of rule-by-billionaire.

There is a difference between major and minor issues, and between primary and secondary values. Many of us think that it would be terrible if the radical-revisionist reading of the Second Amendment created by the Heller decision eight years ago was kept in place in a constitutional court; many on the other side think it would be terrible if that other radical decision, Roe v. Wade, continued to be found to be compatible with the constitutional order. What we all should agree on is that the one thing worse would be to have no constitutional order left to argue about.

If Trump came to power, there is a decent chance that the American experiment would be over. This is not a hyperbolic prediction; it is not a hysterical prediction; it is simply a candid reading of what history tells us happens in countries with leaders like Trump. Countries don’t really recover from being taken over by unstable authoritarian nationalists of any political bent, left or right—not by Peróns or Castros or Putins or Francos or Lenins or fill in the blanks. The nation may survive, but the wound to hope and order will never fully heal. Ask Argentinians or Chileans or Venezuelans or Russians or Italians—or Germans. The national psyche never gets over learning that its institutions are that fragile and their ability to resist a dictator that weak. If he can rout the Republican Party in a week by having effectively secured the nomination, ask yourself what Trump could do with the American government if he had a mandate. Before those famous schoolroom lines, Pope made another observation, which was that even as you recognize that the world is a mixed-up place, you still can’t fool yourself about the difference between the acceptable and the unacceptable: “Fools! who from hence into the notion fall / That vice or virtue there is none at all,” he wrote. “Is there no black or white? / Ask your own heart, and nothing is so plain; / ’Tis to mistake them, costs the time and pain.” The pain of not seeing that black is black soon enough will be ours, and the time to recognize this is now.

Wake Up America #NeverTrump

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Think Donald Trump is not a plausible presidential choice. God save America.

Wake Up America!
It's impossible to believe Americans (Republicans alert!) will choose to vote for a leader of the free world who's completely disrepected, and disdained by his own political party and world leaders alike.

Here's a "wake up" perspective from the Bangor Daily News from contributor David Treadwell:

Wake up America!

OK, the die is cast: The presidential election will pit Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton. Most people know how they’ll vote. Let me address the undecided, those who believe that Trump remains a plausible choice to serve as the president of the United States.

Are you troubled that the last five presidents United States who still are living (Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama) believe that Trump is unqualified to be president?

Can you casually dismiss Trump’s outrageous statements about Mexicans, blacks, Muslims and women?

Consider what Pulitzer Prize winning author Richard Russo had to say: “Donald Trump is speaking in a less coded way than some others in the Republican party, but he’s saying, ‘Make America White Again,’ not ‘Make America Great Again.’ And I think unfortunate working class people have bought that. And that’s why my heart is broken.”

David Duke, white nationalist and former Ku Klux Klan member, got the message. He said, “Voting against Trump is treason to your heritage.”

Sadiq Khan, London’s new Muslim mayor, offered his take on Trump: “Donald Trump’s ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe — it risks alienating mainstream Muslims around the world and plays into the hands of the extremists.”

How would Trump do in keeping America safe? Read what members of the Republican national security community wrote in an open letter: “His vision of American influence and power in the world is wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle. He swings from isolationism to military adventurism within the space of one sentence … He would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world.”

Concerning Trump’s position on nuclear proliferation, Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said, “Trump’s plan would sound half-clever if he was sitting on a bar stool.”

Conservative icon George Will minces no words: “Trump is a presidential aspirant who would flunk an eighth-grade civics exam.” There’s more: “Like all bullies, Trump is a coward, and like all those who feel the need to boast about being strong and tough, he is neither.”

Surely, Trump’s business experience would serve him well in dealing with America’s debt, right? Er, wrong. He said on CNN that as president he would find ways to renegotiate the public debt and pay less than 100 cents on the dollar if the economy went bad. Such commentary led Michael Strain, an economic policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, to say, “Mr. Trump doesn’t have a coherent idea of what he’s talking about. This is the bond market equivalent of ‘We’re going to build a wall and have Mexico pay for it.'”

You can’t pin down Trump on specific issues, because he changes his positions at the drop of a hat. There’s no there there with Trump. No True North. Is that the kind of person you want as president?

Had enough? No? OK, consider the character of those who strongly support Trump. Maine Gov. Paul LePage, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Fox News Commentator Sean Hannity, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. and convicted rapist Mike Tyson. How do you like them bedfellows?

During the McCarthy era, Maine Sen. Margaret Chase Smith bucked her party and castigated McCarthy in a ” Declaration of Conscience,” noting that, “We are Republicans. But we are Americans first.” Maine’s “moderate” Sen. Susan Collins has suggested that Trump must simply tone down his rhetoric to get her support. Sen. Collins, you are no Margaret Chase Smith.

New York Times columnist David Brooks, a moderate, says it well: “Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisors, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa.”

If you really think about it, the choice is clear. Either vote for Hillary Clinton or, if you just can’t do that, leave the top of the ticket blank.

Let’s get serious. There’s too much at stake. Otherwise, we’ll have to replace “God Bless America” with “God Save America.”

(Donald Trump is unqualified to be leader of the free world!)

David Treadwell is a Brunswick Maine writer.

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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Secretary Clinton gives caring speech in the face of Donald Trump

Donald Trump beamed like a demon as he accepted the miserable endorsement of the National Rifle Association (NRA) without any reference, whatsoever, about the thousands of innocent people who are harmed by gun violence in America.

Moms Demand Action logo.png
Mrs. Clinton wants to prevent injury, disability and death by gun violence

In fact, when Trump accepted the nefarious endorsement for his nomination, the photo op was more like an updated horses of the apocolypse image- with one outstanding being Representative Trey Gowdy being absent. Three men who believe guns don't kill people while thousands of morbidities, mortalities and emotional harm are inflicted on innocent people because of guns.

Thankfully, Secretary Hillary Clinton is speaking about gun violence to counter Donald Trump's miserable acceptence of the NRA's branding of approval:

The Hill Reports
Clinton to counter Trump's NRA speech by Evelyn Rupert
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton countered her GOP rival Donald Trump's fiery NRA speech with an address of her own at an anti-gun violence event, on Saturday.

Clinton spoke on Saturday at the Circle of Mothers Conference in Florida, an event put on by the Trayvon Martin Foundation, named for the Florida teenager shot and killed by a neighborhood watch member in 2012. Martin's mother invited Clinton to speak at the event.

According to CNN, Clinton was set to refute Trump's stance on guns — like ending gun-free zones, a promise he made to the NRA.

Clinton speaks frequently about criminal justice reform and legislation aimed at reducing gun violence.

Leading up to the NRA's endorsement of Trump, hr has stepped up gun-related attacks on Clinton, accusing her of wanting to "abolish" the Second Amendment. (Of course, once again,Trump is telling more lies. What Secretary Clinton proposes is to reduce morbidities, mortalities and emotional harm caused by preventable gun violence.)

Never Trump.

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Another terrorism strike leaves one less terrorist alive today

Mullah Mansour likely killed in airstrike, U.S. officials say

Washington (CNN) Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour was likely killed in an airstrike in Pakistan on Saturday, two U.S. officials told CNN.By Jamie Crawford
Photo published for Taliban leader Mullah Mansour likely killed in airstrike, U.S. officials say

Dead in apparent drone attack is Taliban terrorist Mullah Akhtar MohammadMansour 

One of the officials said the strike occurred around 6 a.m. ET Saturday morning in a remote area of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, southwest of the town of Ahmad Wal.

Mansour was the target of the strike, and a second adult male combatant traveling with him in a vehicle also was likely killed, the official added.

U.S. officials are still assessing the results, the official said. 

A second source, a senior administration official, said it would likely take days to get "physical confirmation" because of the remote location.

The strike was carried out by multiple unmanned aircraft operated by U.S. Special Operations forces. There was no collateral damage, the first official added.

President Barack Obama authorized the strike.
The Pentagon confirmed the strike in a statement but didn't say whether Mansour was killed.

"Mansour has been the leader of the Taliban and actively involved with planning attacks against facilities in Kabul and across Afghanistan, presenting a threat to Afghan civilians and security forces, our personnel, and coalition partners," 

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in the statement. "Mansour has been an obstacle to peace and reconciliation between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, prohibiting Taliban leaders from participating in peace talks with the Afghan government that could lead to an end to the conflict."

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the more hawkish Republicans in the Senate, welcomed the news in a statement and urged Obama to not withdraw troops from Afghanistan "until conditions on the ground permit their withdrawal."

"I'm glad to hear we decided to bring the leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, to justice. Mansour has terrorized the Afghan people as well as coalition forces," Graham said. "I appreciate President Obama for authorizing the attack. And job-well-done to the members of our military and intelligence communities who carried out the mission."

Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, added, "If verified, the death of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour would be an important victory in the fight against terror and welcome news to our military personnel in Afghanistan and the Afghan government."

The Taliban revealed last summer that Mansour assumed command following the death of longtime leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, who died in Pakistan in 2013.

Mansour formerly headed the leadership council of the Taliban and Islamic scholars, also known as the Quetta Shura, which is composed of longtime leaders who direct the Taliban's operations from Pakistan's Balochistan province, according to the Jamestown Foundation, a global research and analysis group.

According to the U.N. Security Council sanctions list, Mansour previously was the Taliban's minister of civil aviation and transportation and was considered "a prominent member of the Taliban leadership."

"He was repatriated to Afghanistan in September 2006 following detention in Pakistan. He is involved in drug trafficking and was active in the provinces of Khost, Paktia and Paktika in Afghanistan as of May 2007. He was also the Taliban 'Governor' of Kandahar as of May 2007,"the U.N. document said.

He was an active recruiter in the Taliban's fight against the Afghan government, and before his appointment as Omar's deputy in 2010, he was chief of military affairs for a regional Taliban military council that oversees operations in Nimruz and Helmand provinces, the United Nations said.

CNN's Elise Labott contributed to this report.

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Speech writer has a "short" word for Donald Trump

It's a miserable way to conduct a political discussion, but when the unstable protagonist degrades everybody imaginable, the only way to respond is to somehow get the attention.  Trumpy-Dumpty has driven political discourse to a "nose dive" low.

Winchester native Jon Favreau, a former director of speechwriting for President Barack Obama.
Jon Favreau has contributed to the cacophony of Trump adjectives
Former Obama speechwriter has a word for Trump

Now that he’s no longer working in the White House, onetime Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau is free to say — or tweet — whatever he wants. 

And he is. 

Friday, Favreau, who was born in Winchester, lived in North Reading, and graduated from Holy Cross, tweeted a list of what he doesn’t like about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. It included “Trump . . . Is a d**k.”

Favreau also alleges that Trump “profited off of 9/11,” “rooted for the housing crash,” “ran a fraudulent university,” and was “sued for tax dodging.” Favreau left the White House in 2013 and launched a communications consulting firm — Fenway Strategies — with Dedham native Tommy Vietor and Ben Schwerin, who’s from Wellesley.

(I don't think Favreau pushed his description.  I would qualify  his adjective with the word "short".)

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Secretary Clinton and 155 words about Donald Trump

Donald Trump folowers and his media apologists will have to explain this to future generations. Mrs. Clinton has already left her legacy and it's a good one (Joe Scarborough and Mark Halperin alert!):
Forget The Polls, Hillary Clinton Just Owned Donald Trump In 155 Words
Secretary Clinton is showing excellent executive leadership!
Forget The Polls, Hillary Clinton Just Owned Donald Trump In 155 Words

By Jason Easley on Wed, May 18th, 2016 at 7:58 pm

The Clinton campaign needed just 155 words to completely own Donald Trump.

"In this week alone, Donald Trump has jeopardized relations with a close ally before setting foot overseas; talked about building a relationship with a reckless dictator; called two diverse American cities more dangerous than war zones like Iraq; and released a list of suggested Supreme Court nominees that includes no people of color, but does include a judge who upheld a law requiring doctors to use scare tactics to impede reproductive rights and another judge who equated homosexual sex to ​’​bestiality,​’​ ​’​pedophilia​’​ and ​’​necrophilia.​’​ And it’s only Wednesday. At this point, it’s hard to keep up with the myriad reasons Trump should not be president, but the divisive policies and nominees, reckless and uninformed foreign policy positions and offensive views of Americans are just a few. Any one of these things would be troubling. All of them together, in just a few days, is further proof that Donald Trump is a risk we can’t afford.​"

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Nazi Kristallnacht and the Donald Trump deportation plan

In my opinion, only ignorant people will vote for Donald Trump. 
Former Massachusettes Gov. William Weld says "Never Trump".

Comparisoms between Naziism and Donald Trump's clarion call about "making America great again" continues to raise the spectre of the horrible series of events that led to Adolf Hitler's Holocaust. Indeed, "making American great again" is a euphamism for deportation of immigrants and genocide.

Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld waded into the murky waters of comparing current political events to the Holocaust on Thursday, when he likened Donald Trump's plan to deport millions of illegal immigrants to the Nazi Kristallnacht horror..

"I can hear the glass crunching on Kristallnacht in the ghettos of Warsaw and Vienna when I hear that, honestly," Mr. Weld told The New York Times, referencing the two-day assault against Jews by Nazis in 1938.

"My Kristallnacht analogy does evoke the Nazi period in Germany. And that's what I'm worried about: a slippery slope."

On Wednesday, Weld agreed to become the vice-presidential running mate of Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate and former governor of New Mexico.

Trump, in one of his most controversial proposals, has vowed to begin rounding up and shipping out undocumented immigrants if he becomes the commander-in-chief.

But Weld said he wouldn't call Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, a fascist or a Nazi.
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Anti-Semitism was exacerbated by Nazis
"I'm just saying, we have to watch it when we get exclusionary about people on account of their status as a member of a group."

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Donald Trump needs to prove mental competency

There's plenty of evidence about Donald Trump's mental instability coupled with inappropriate behavior. As a matter of fact, where's the evidence to prove his competence? Just because he's a rich buffoon, doesn't prove mental competency. In fact, Donald Trump shows symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder. 
Main Stream Media (MSN) must demonstrate how Donald Trump is qualified and mentally competent to be nominated to run for President of the United States
A personality disorder is a pattern of deviant or abnormal behavior that the person doesn't change even though it causes emotional upsets and trouble with other people at work and in personal relationships. It is not limited to episodes of mental illness, and it is not caused by drug or alcohol use, head injury, or illness. There are about a dozen different behavior patterns classified as personality disorders by DSM-IV (Psychiatric and Psychological Diagnosis and Statitcal Manual). 

All the personality disorders show up as deviations from normal in one or more of the following:
(1) cognition -- i.e., perception, thinking, and interpretation of oneself, other people, and events; (ie, birtherims)
(2) affectivity -- i.e., emotional responses (range, intensity, lability, appropriateness); ("fat pigs")
(3) interpersonal functio
ns; (serial philanderer)
(4) impulsivity. (pretending to be John Miller with a People Magazine reporter; pledging to build an immigration wall along the Mexican-US border; banning all Muslims)
Secretary Hillary Clinton justifiably raised awareness about Donald Trump's mental competency and lack of qualifications to be nominated to run for President of the United States.

Clinton questions Trump's 'steadiness.' Is that his kryptonite?
Christian Science Monitor (CSM)

Questioning the GOP candidate's steadiness is an obvious line of political attack, given Donald Trump's loose talk and lack of foreign-policy experience. But it remains to be seen if the critique can resonate with the 2016 electorate. By Peter Grier, Staff writer

WASHINGTON — Is steadiness in the context of foreign policy – or a perceived lack thereof – going to serve as Donald Trump’s kryptonite, a powerful argument against his election as president of the United States in the fall?

Probable Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton seems sure to use that as a main theme in the campaign, in any case. She aired it out today in one of her sharpest attacks yet on Mr. Trump, saying he is not fit to serve as POTUS.
Trump is “divisive and dangerous” and “unmoored,” said Mrs. Clinton in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
Recommended: What do you know about Donald Trump?

The former secretary of State pointed to his feud with British leaders, his questioning of the usefulness of NATO, and his offhand remarks that maybe more countries should have nuclear weapons, as evidence that Trump would be a danger to the nation.

In proposing to temporarily ban non-citizen Muslims from entering the US, Trump is slapping in the face US allies that are majority Muslim themselves, Clinton said.

“I know how hard this job is, and I know that we need steadiness as well as strength and smarts in it,” said Clinton.

You’re going to hear a lot of similar critiques in the months ahead. It’s a natural line of attack, given Trump’s penchant to pretty much say anything he wants at any time (IMO without the MSN demanding accountability!), and his evident lack of background on international relations. The “steadiness” angle brings up not just his foreign policy wavers but also his general character, so it’s a twofer. It’s a way, sotto voce, of calling Trump a clown.

But you know who else tried the steadiness angle? Jeb Bush, that’s who. Clinton’s words today could have been lifted verbatim from the late, teetering stages of Mr. Bush’s presidential bid. Back then it didn’t appear to peel off a single voter from the Trump parade.

In the GOP primaries it’s seemed that steadiness was, in fact, not a virtue. The very word seemed like the kind of thing a GOP elitist would say. Trump voters appeared to want the opposite of steady – action, excitement, and the explosion of the status quo.

They want things ripped up in Washington. Steadiness might not help that.

“He’s not just going to sit around and see what’s going to happen,” one Trump voter told the Monitor’s Patrik Jonsson earlier this month.

The question is whether the larger electorate in November will react differently, especially if anti-Trump forces pump cash into ads explicitly linking the steadiness question with war, peace, and nuclear weapons.

Trump with the button. That’s what the Clinton campaign wants you to think about when “steadiness” flashes on screen.

It’s a vision that’s already given former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates pause. Mr. Gates – a Republican who served both Presidents Bush and Obama – was asked Thursday if he’d be comfortable with Trumpian access to nuclear launch codes.

“Right now? No,” said Gates in an interview with Yahoo News.

Gates went on to say that he might change his mind if Trump appeared to grow in his understanding of complex international problems, and if he picked good advisers. You can bet that when the Clinton campaign uses the footage of this interview for an attack ad, they’ll edit that last part out (IMO, as they should.... because Donald Trump is clearly politically incompetent!).

Donald Trump's mental competency isn't his kriptonite, rather, it's his achilles heel. In the intensity of the Presidential Campaign, he'll reveal more decompensating behaviors. The problem is, will Americans wake up to realize how dangerous he is before it's too late?

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Donald Trump's "lie" problem- capacity for "self deception"

Trump unleashes his whoppers without any pushback, even as they criticize his manners and attitude.
Although Donald Trump claims to have a "white" Supreme Court all picked out, he's unable to launch an executive order to cerate his fantasy "bench".   In other words, he can't just create Supreme Court justices without Senate advice and consent.  These days, the Senate doesn't even do that, reference qualified Judge Merrick.
Image result for the ten commandments moses

As a matter of fact, the last I checked, The Ten Commandments are still a fundamental tenet of the august judicial system. Among those laws brought forth by Moses in the Old Testament is "Thou Shalt Not bear false witness...". The Ten Commandments are listed twice in the Hebrew Bible, first at Exodus 20:1–17, and then at Deuteronomy 5:4–21. Both versions state that God inscribed them on two stone tablets, which he gave toMoses. 

Nevertheless, Donald Trump continues to court the votes of Evangelical voters while he lies (See former blog).

Here's commentator Bill Moyers blog take on Donald Trump's "lie" problem.

Why Trump Can Lie and No One Seems to Care

By Neal Gabler on Moyers and Company

Donald Trump is a serial liar. Okay, to be a bit less Trumpian about it, he has trouble with the truth. If you look at Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning site that examines candidates’ pronouncements for accuracy, 76 percent of Trump’s statements are rated either “mostly false,” “false,” or “pants on fire,” which is to say off-the-charts false.

By comparison, Hillary Clinton’s total is 29 percent.

But if Trump doesn’t cotton much to the truth, he doesn’t seem to cotton much to his own ideas, either.

In fact, he waffles, flip-flops and obfuscates, sometimes changing positions from one press appearance to the next, as Peter Alexander reported on NBC Nightly News this past Monday — a rare television news critique of Trump.

I say “rare” because most of the time, as Glenn Kessler noted in The Washington Post this week, MSM — the mainstream media — just sit back and let Trump unleash his whoppers without any pushback, even as they criticize his manners and attitude.

In an ordinary political season, perhaps Trump would be under fire for his habitual untruths, like the one that Ted Cruz’s father might have been involved with Lee Harvey Oswald. This time around, though, neither the media nor the public — least of all his supporters — seem to care. Which leads to the inescapable conclusion that these days, as far as our political discourse goes, truth, logic, reason and consistency don’t seem to count for very much.

The question is why.

One simple explanation is that Trump has changed the rules. He is not a politician but a provocateur, and he isn’t held to the same standards as Clinton or Bernie Sanders or even Cruz, all of whom actually have policies. For Trump, policies are beside the point.

Another explanation is that long before Trump, social scientists observed that truth matters less to people than reinforcement, and that most of us have the ability to reformulate misstatements into truth so long as they conform to our own biases. 

We believe what we believe, and we are not changing even in the face of opposing facts (without this capacity for self-deception there would be no Fox News).

There is, however, another and even more terrifying explanation as to why the truth doesn’t seem to matter. It has less to do with Trump or our own proclivities to reshape reality than it has to do with infotainment — with the idea that a lot of information isn’t primarily about education or elevation, where truth matters, but entertainment, where it doesn’t. 

You might call it “the Winchell Effect.”

Walter Winchell, about whom I wrote a 1994 biography, was a hugely popular New York-based gossip columnist for the Hearst newspaper chain and an equally popular radio personality, although saying that is a little like saying that Michael Jordan was a basketball player. 

Winchell was the gossip columnist, with an estimated daily audience of 50 million. He practically invented the form, and the form was a long chain of snippets — rumor, prediction, innuendo — racing down the page, separated by ellipses.

Some of these snippets were scarcely more than a noun, a verb and an object: Mr. So-and-so is “that way” about Miss So-and-so. Does her husband know? In this way, Winchell became not only the minimalist master of gossip but also, quite possibly, the first tweeter – before Twitter.

If you are wondering how this is relevant to the 2016 campaign, in time Winchell turned his roving eye from entertainment to politics, deploying exactly the same arsenal to the latter as he had to the former. Thus did gossip leap the tracks from Hollywood and Broadway to Washington. In this, Winchell’s approach was a precursor of modern election coverage. He was obsessed with letting readers in on what was going to happen — the clairvoyance of rumor — rather than with what was happening or what it actually meant. 

That is, he was a horse-race handicapper long before horse-race coverage became the dominant form of political journalism.

One prominent example: At the behest of the White House, Winchell spent months floating trial balloons for Franklin D. Roosevelt and his ambitions for a third term. Basically, it was presidentially endorsed gossip.

But Winchell’s influence didn’t stop at conflating entertainment with politics — and this is where the indifference to truth comes in. Winchell reported dozens of tidbits of gossip each day. Presumably, that’s why people read him or listened to him on the radio; they wanted to be ahead of the curve. But the vast majority of these tidbits were unverifiable, and nearly half of the flashes that were verifiable turned out to be false, according to a survey conducted for a six-part New Yorker profile of Winchell by St. Clair McKelway. Since there was always a passel of new scoops every day, no one seemed to notice — or care — that he was usually wrong.

One can only assume this was because readers seemed to relish the excitement of the “news” more than they desired its accuracy. Or, to put it another way, gossip was entertainment, not information. Thus the Winchell Effect.

The Winchell Effect is alive and well in today’s politics in two respects. First, candidates can get away with saying pretty much anything they want without being held accountable so long as what they say is entertaining and so long as they keep the comments coming. Trump has been the major beneficiary of this disinclination by the MSM to examine statements. The blast of his utterances always supersedes their substance. And the MSM plays along.

To wit: Trump announced his tax plan way back in September 2015. With kudos to the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, which did look at his plan, it is just this week that most of the MSM are getting around to examining it — even as he changes it. (I may have missed it, but I still have yet to see a single story delving into Trump’s tax policies on the network news.)

Perhaps better late than never, but the fact that he could throw out wild schemes involving trillions of dollars without the media feeling the need to vet them means that primary voters had no way to understand his tax plan and see its flaws. Of course, from the MSM’s perspective, analyzing a plan would be tackling policy, not providing entertainment. And make no mistake, the candidate and the mainstream media are in the entertainment business.

And that is the second way in which the Winchell Effect changes our politics. If candidates are not accountable, neither are the political media. Like Winchell, they are not only besotted with strategies, polls, predictions, and — in the case of a few cable networks — wild, unverifiable charges, they are, like Winchell, seldom challenged when they get it all wrong.

They were wrong about Trump not being a serious candidate. They were wrong about Jeb Bush’s and Marco Rubio’s chances to get the nomination. They were wrong about the likelihood of a contested GOP convention. Since they won’t call one another out, no one callsthem out. In effect, they are implicated in the Winchell Effect as much as Trump is, which may be one reason why they don’t challenge him. Neither Trump nor the press has to be right. They just have to keep ginning up the excitement.

What this means is that our politics is no longer politics in the traditional sense of policy and governance. It is, as most of us realize, a show, a game, an ongoing reality TV saga. 

This is nothing new. The media have been bored with policy for a long time and have been pressing the horse-race narrative over real reporting for just as long. And when they do discuss policy, as The Huffington Post’s Jason Linkins observed, in a typically smart piece, they are likely to prefer the windy, absurd generalities of a Trump to the wonky policies of a Clinton. It makes better copy, and it has the added benefit that it doesn’t require any fact-checking.

Trump is the fullest flower of a non-political politics and the fullest product of the Winchell Effect. With their mutual lack of interest in the truth, Trump and the MSM deserve one another — a synergy of the showman and the gossip columnists. But do wedeserve them? Only if we allow our politics to become a way of amusing ourselves rather than the way to select a leader.

Meanwhile, Trump and the MSM will keep the misinformation coming, on the sadly correct assumption that many of us don’t really care about facts so long as we are being titillated.

NEAL GABLER is an author of five books and the recipient of two LA Times Book Prizes, Time magazine's non-fiction book of the year, USA Today's biography of the year and other awards. He is also a senior fellow at The Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California, and is currently writing a biography of Sen. Edward Kennedy.

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