on: July 29, 2015, 03:08:26 PM
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
The Trump Card — Ace of Anger Affirmation
Legitimate Concerns v Trumped-Up Rhetoric
By Mark Alexander • July 29, 2015
"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." —George Washington (1796)
(Publisher's Note: Trump supporters, before sending hate email, see the disclaimer posted below this column.)
Given that his celebrity name recognition and contentious remarks have landed billionaire Donald Trump at the top of pop-presidential polls, I'm now being asked by some grassroots leaders across the nation, "What about Trump?"
First, his support reflects very little about his qualifications, but a lot about how dissatisfied a growing number of disenfranchised grassroots conservatives are with Republican "leadership." Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have, in effect, underwritten Trump's rising stardom. Despite greatly increasing the numbers of conservatives in the House and Senate in the historic "Republican Wave" elections nationwide in both 2010 and 2014, the much-loathed "establishment types" still hold the reins. They continue to marginalize or ignore the concerns of the Republican base — grassroots conservatives — and we are rightly outraged.
Second, Trump can be brash, and he brings some much-needed debate, humor and levity to an otherwise distinguished but dry quadrennial Republican presidential field. Of course, he takes himself much more seriously than I take him.
And third, he has the potential of being a spoiler in 2016 if his campaign lasts beyond 2015, because Trump, like the current White House occupant, is a textbook pathological narcissist. He will, predictably, generate a lot of damaging fratricidal attacks against genuine Republicans and conservatives, rather than focus on Democrats.
As noted by George Will, “If Donald Trump were a Democratic mole placed in the Republican Party to disrupt things, how would his behavior be different? I don’t think it would be.”
Unlike Barack Obama however, if Trump makes it to the 2016 primary, he will rate low single-digits because, unlike Democrats, most Republicans still have the aptitude and acuity for discernment and can distinguish between a charlatan and a genuine conservative presidential candidate. However, post-primary, this egomaniacal celebrity might refuse to throw his residual support behind the party nominee. In a close election, that could hand the presidency to Hillary Clinton, assuming that enough low-information Democrat voters make this loathsome liar their nominee.
That is precisely what happened the last time a Republican billionaire entered the race when another lying Clinton was on the Democrat ticket.1
Can the nation survive four more years of Obama's failed domestic and foreign policies?
So who is Trump?
In the words of Samuel Adams, "The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men."
Let's take a look at this public man's character.
The 69-year-old was born into wealth just after World War II, the son of New York real estate mogul Fred Trump and his Scottish immigrant wife, Mary Anne. Trump attended the finest schools, though he was expelled from high school for "disciplinary violations." Like his contemporary, Bill Clinton, Trump dodged the draft with college student deferments, graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968 and then receiving a medical draft deferment.
“I had a minor medical deferment for feet, for a bone spur of the foot, which was minor,” said Trump. Minor indeed, given that he can't even recall which foot: “You’ll have to look it up."
He was handed the keys to his father's company in 1971 and renamed it The Trump Organization, amassing enormous wealth in real estate assets in the ensuing years. His worth is estimated at $4 billion today, with annual income of $250 million (Mitt Romney's entire net worth).
Trump presided over the failure of two marriages prior to his current administration.
In 1977 he married Czech immigrant Ivana Zelníčková, and they had three children. They were divorced in 1992 after Ivana discovered his affair with celebrity actress Marla Maples. He married Maples in 1993, and they had one child. They were divorced in 1999, and in 2005 he married Slovenian immigrant Melania Knauss. They have one child.
In 2003, he became host of the hit show "The Apprentice," where his fame reached new heights for yelling "You're Fired!" at contestants who fail. He even filed a trademark application for the term.
But Trump himself has presided over four major failures — Chapter 11 bankruptcies at his Taj Mahal casino (1991), Trump Plaza Hotel (1992), Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (2004), and Trump Entertainment Resorts (2009). (Note that the latter two came after his Apprentice fame. One wonders why he didn't fire himself.) Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago was also a financial disaster, but he was able to walk away from that one. Of those failures, Trump says, "I've used the laws of this country to pare debt. ... We'll have the company. We'll throw it into a chapter. We'll negotiate with the banks. We'll make a fantastic deal. You know, it's like on 'The Apprentice.' It's not personal. It's just business."
Unless, of course, you are one of his creditors or have your pension or savings invested in one of those businesses.
On his religious views, Trump says: “I’m a religious person. I go to church. Do I do things that are wrong? I guess so. [Seriously, he said "I guess so."] If I do something wrong, I try to do something right. I don’t bring God into that picture. ... When we go in church and I drink the little wine ... and I eat the little cracker — I guess that’s a form of asking forgiveness.”
So what exactly is the Trump appeal?
Well, as noted, it's celebrity, demagoguery and the fact he's clearly not from the Republican mold and brand.
But when announcing his candidacy, Trump hit this note on an issue that is a concern for millions of grassroots Americans: "The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems [to] us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
While most of the Republican field appear equivocal on the illegal immigration issue, as do Republican congressional ”leaders,” Trump is clear on his objections, which resonates with a lot of Americans.
Of the estimated 11.3 million illegals in our country, 8.1 million hold jobs. At the same time, there were an average of 9.6 million unemployed Americans in 2014. It's easy to understand the grassroots groundswell this issue generates for Trump.
And the recent murder of California native Kate Steinle on a pier in the "sanctuary city" of San Francisco by an illegal immigrant released once again after seven felony convictions and five deportations, rightly has stirred outrage across the nation. Her murderer is among more than a million illegal aliens who have committed crimes, some 690,000 of whom were charged with serious crimes but are today on the loose.
This, understandably, has kept Trump's immigration platform front and center.
McCain: POW in Hanoi
On the other hand, in his unmitigated arrogance, Trump has succeeded in alienating the handful of grassroots military Patriots who supported him.
Apparently forgetting that he himself was a draft dodger, Trump challenged the notion that Sen. John McCain deserves any recognition for his service in Vietnam. According to Trump, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”
Recall that as a naval aviator, McCain, the son and grandson of Navy admirals, asked for additional combat missions over Vietnam. After being shot down, a badly injured McCain refused his captors' propagandistic offers to leave his fellow POWs and return home — meaning he was a target for additional torture.
McCain responded brilliantly: “I think [Mr. Trump] may owe an apology to the families of those who have sacrificed in conflict and those who have undergone the prison experience in serving our country. ... In the case of many of our veterans, when Mr. Trump said that he prefers to be with people who are not captured, well, the great honor of my life was to serve in the company of heroes. I’m not a hero. But those who were my senior ranking officers ... those that have inspired us to do things that we otherwise wouldn’t have been capable of doing, those are the people that I think he owes an apology to.”
Trump's callous remarks fall into the "Hanoi Jane" Fonda category of slandering American POWs, and the rest of the Republican field rightly condemned Trump's remarks.
A Wall Street Journal editorial opined, “It came slightly ahead of schedule, but Donald Trump’s inevitable self-immolation arrived on the weekend when he assailed John McCain’s war record."
But as the inimitable humorist Mark Twain once quipped, "The report of my death was an exaggeration." And so it may be with Trump's campaign, as it continues to gain traction.
The real significance of Trump's campaign is that it's a barometer of just how deeply disgusted grassroots conservatives are with the Republican Party, and a litmus test of what issues motivate grassroots conservatives.
Historian Victor Davis Hanson concludes, "Trump is a transitory vehicle of the fed-up crowd, a current expression of their distaste for both Democratic and Republican politics, but not an end in and of himself. The fed-up crowd is tired of being demagogued to death by progressives, who brag of 'working across the aisle' and 'bipartisanship' as they ram through agendas with executive orders, court decisions, and public ridicule. So the fed-ups want other conservative candidates to emulate Trump’s verve, energy, fearlessness of the media and the PC police, and no-holds-barred Lee Atwater style — without otherwise being Trump.
Trump to Republicans
But the hard, cold fact is, Trump is all about Trump, and his record of public policy support is that of a big-government tax and spend liberal, who is far to the left of those much-maligned establishment Republicans, including his support for ObamaCare, raising taxes and a plethora of social issues abhorred by grassroots conservatives.
But the real test of Trump's legitimacy as a Republican is how he measures up against the Gold Standard of 20th century presidents, Ronald Reagan. Unlike the rest of the large Republican field, Trump doesn't even register on the Reagan scale.
On August 3, the nation would have gotten its first look at Trump on stage with genuine conservatives at the Voter’s First Forum in New Hampshire. However, after one of the event sponsors, the New Hampshire Union Leader, appropriately eviscerated Trump for his absurd remarks about John McCain, Trump backed out.
Charles Krauthammer laments, “This is the strongest field of Republican candidates in 35 years … and instead all of our time is spent discussing this rodeo clown."
Shame on Dr. K. for insulting rodeo clowns!
Oh, and the short answer when I'm asked about Donald: Remember the words of George Washington: "Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." Don't get Trumped. Tell him "You're fired!"
on: July 29, 2015, 01:51:16 PM
Started by ccp - Last post by Crafty_Dog
How Far Will Hillary Fall?
By DICK MORRIS
Published on TheHill.com on July 28, 2015
As Hillary Clinton's favorability drops week after week in the polls -- it's down to 43 percent -- the real question is: Will she start losing the support of those who are the core of President Obama's electoral strength?
In every poll of Obama's favorability or job rating, his positive numbers have never fallen below 39 percent. This is because his coalition of African-Americans, Hispanics, students, single mothers, gays and union people stand by him.
Regardless of events, reversals or failing conditions, the president never loses their support. His favorability is measured on a scale, not 1 to 100 but rather 40 to 100. Those first 40 points are like a golf handicap for our president.
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George W. Bush, by contrast, had no such safety net as president. When the Iraq War and then the economy fell apart, his approval rating fell to 27 percent near the end of his second term.
So, as Clinton's ratings drop, will she fall through the 40 percent safety net Obama has used to bolster his numbers? Phrased differently, will the Obama coalition stand by Clinton or abandon her as times turn tough?
This is, of course, the question on which the whole 2016 presidential election hinges.
The Obama base seems to be suspending judgment. Gallup polling shows a 7 percentage-point drop in Clinton's favorability rating since early May. She dropped from 50 percent to 43 percent in that timespan. But her unfavorable rating remained flat at 46 percent. No increase there. So the Americans in those 7 points moved from being Clinton fans to being undecided about her.
The initial indications are that Clinton cannot count on the loyalty of the Obama base and that the 40 percent threshold will not be a firewall for her candidacy.
While her overall favorability is not yet low enough to test the firewall, her ratings for being honest or trustworthy indicate that she can, indeed, drop below 40 percent without being rescued by the Obama base.
When Quinnipiac pollsters asked whether Clinton is "honest and trustworthy," only 33 percent of Iowa voters said she was. In Colorado 34 percent saw her as honest and trustworthy and in Virginia 39 percent. So, at least as far as integrity is concerned, the firewall is not holding.
Those who today say she is neither honest nor trustworthy but are undecided about their overall opinion of her are likely to come down on the negative side within a few months.
As the debates near, the impact of Clinton's diminishing popularity among Democrats will become clearer. When liberals see Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) live and in the flesh, embracing their programmatic fantasies -- a $15 minimum wage, a lower retirement age, a 90 percent top tax bracket, a single-payer healthcare system -- there will be no residual affection for Clinton to hold them back.
Democrats are likely to go through a process: First they won't trust Clinton, then they won't like her, then they will be undecided, and finally they will end up backing Sanders or one of her other rivals.
If the Obama firewall won't hold for Clinton, look for her to fall even further behind in head-to-head match-ups with Republican candidates.
Already, tracking polls in Iowa, New Hampshire and Virginia show her trailing the likes of GOP candidates Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. When she starts losing these swing states by double digits and begins to fall behind in national polling, the Democrats will get the clear message that Clinton can't win.
Their discontent will stimulate others to join the race. Vice President Biden will look at entering. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) may come in. Or Sanders could begin to beat Clinton in key states.
It is all unraveling for Clinton. So, will the Obama safety net hold? If it doesn't, we will have a Republican president.
on: July 29, 2015, 12:25:24 PM
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
on: July 29, 2015, 11:35:09 AM
Started by bigdog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
WDRB Opinion Page
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Hillview man arrested for shooting down drone; cites right to privacy
Posted: Jul 28, 2015 9:38 AM PST Updated: Jul 29, 2015 6:22 AM PST
By Ryan Cummings
William Merideth (Source: Bullitt County Detention Center) William Merideth (Source: Bullitt County Detention Center)
William Merideth explains what happened the day he shot down a drone flying over his property. William Merideth explains what happened the day he shot down a drone flying over his property.
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Hillview man has been arrested after he shot down a drone flying over his property -- but he's not making any apologies for it.
It happened Sunday night at a home on Earlywood Way, just south of the intersection between Smith Lane and Mud Lane in Bullitt County, according to an arrest report.
Hillview Police say they were called to the home of 47-year-old William H. Merideth after someone complained about a firearm.
When they arrived, police say Merideth told them he had shot down a drone that was flying over his house. The drone was hit in mid-air and crashed in a field near Merideth's home.
Police say the owner of the drone claimed he was flying it to get pictures of a friend's house -- and that the cost of the drone was over $1,800.
Merideth was arrested and charged with first degree criminal mischief and first degree wanton endangerment. He was booked into the Bullitt County Detention Center, and released on Monday.
WDRB News spoke with Merideth Tuesday afternoon, and he gave his side of the story.
"Sunday afternoon, the kids – my girls – were out on the back deck, and the neighbors were out in their yard," Merideth said. "And they come in and said, 'Dad, there’s a drone out here, flying over everybody’s yard.'"
Merideth's neighbors saw it too.
"It was just hovering above our house and it stayed for a few moments and then she finally waved and it took off," said neighbor Kim VanMeter.
VanMeter has a 16-year-old daughter who lays out at their pool. She says a drone hovering with a camera is creepy and weird.
"I just think you should have privacy in your own backyard," she said.
Merideth agrees and said he had to go see for himself.
“Well, I came out and it was down by the neighbor’s house, about 10 feet off the ground, looking under their canopy that they’ve got under their back yard," Merideth said. "I went and got my shotgun and I said, ‘I’m not going to do anything unless it’s directly over my property.’"
That moment soon arrived, he said.
"Within a minute or so, here it came," he said. "It was hovering over top of my property, and I shot it out of the sky."
"I didn't shoot across the road, I didn't shoot across my neighbor's fences, I shot directly into the air," he added.
It wasn't long before the drone's owners appeared.
"Four guys came over to confront me about it, and I happened to be armed, so that changed their minds," Merideth said.
"They asked me, 'Are you the S-O-B that shot my drone?' and I said, 'Yes I am,'" he said. "I had my 40mm Glock on me and they started toward me and I told them, 'If you cross my sidewalk, there's gonna be another shooting.'"
A short time later, Merideth said the police arrived.
"There were some words exchanged there about my weapon, and I was open carry – it was completely legal," he said. "Long story short, after that, they took me to jail for wanton endangerment first degree and criminal mischief...because I fired the shotgun into the air."
Merideth said he was disappointed with the police response.
"They didn’t confiscate the drone. They gave the drone back to the individuals," he said. "They didn’t take the SIM card out of it…but we’ve got…five houses here that everyone saw it – they saw what happened, including the neighbors that were sitting in their patio when he flew down low enough to see under the patio."
Hillview Police detective Charles McWhirter of says you can't fire your gun in the city.
"Well, we do have a city ordinance against discharging firearms in the city, but the officer made an arrest for a Kentucky Revised Statute violation," he said.
According to the Academy of Model Aeronautics safety code, unmanned aircraft like drones may not be flown in a careless or reckless manner and has to be launched at least 100 feet downwind of spectators.
The FAA says drones cannot fly over buildings -- and that shooting them poses a significant safety hazard.
"An unmanned aircraft hit by gunfire could crash, causing damage to persons or property on the ground, or it could collide with other objects in the air," said FAA spokesman Les Dorr.
Merideth said he's offering no apologies for what he did.
"He didn’t just fly over," he said. "If he had been moving and just kept moving, that would have been one thing -- but when he come directly over our heads, and just hovered there, I felt like I had the right."
"You know, when you’re in your own property, within a six-foot privacy fence, you have the expectation of privacy," he said. "We don't know if he was looking at the girls. We don’t know if he was looking for something to steal. To me, it was the same as trespassing."
For now, Merideth says he's planning on pursuing legal action against the owners of the drone.
"We’re not going to let it go," he said. "I believe there are rules that need to be put into place and the situation needs to be addressed because everyone I’ve spoke to, including police, have said they would have done the same thing."
"Because our rights are being trampled daily," he said. "Not on a local level only - but on a state and federal level. We need to have some laws in place to handle these kind of things."
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