Plain talk

I try to mute the campaign commercials, but sometimes they slip through. The truths often get overwhelmed by the narrative of the story. But, for some politicians, the truth is not a frequent guest in their house sans commercials. Here are few observations that I will call plain talk.

– One pro-Trump commercial says Joe Biden voted to send all the jobs to China. The truth is CEOs chasing cheap labor sent those jobs to China and to Mexico, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines.

– One pro-Senator Thom Tillis (NC) commercial said his opponent’s public health care option is government run healthcare and may close down 22 hospitals in North Carolina. First, like Medicare, it is publicly run insurance, not healthcare. Second, I have seen no reputable report that would support the conclusion a public option would close 22 hospitals.

– I see several commercials asking what happened to Senator Lindsey Graham (SC)? The answer is he has not changed much, with one key exception. He was good friends with Senator John McCain, who was more of a maverick. Graham would side with McCain on a few occasions. When McCain passed away, Graham continued down the path of sycophancy in support of Donald Trump.

– Tillis’ opponent Cal Cunningham is a very good candidate and has been ahead for much of the race. Then, it was confirmed he did something stupid as he was sexting with consultant to his campaign. My reaction is using a three letter synonym for the Democrat mascot with the word “dumb” in front of it. Will it affect the campaign? Likely.

– Speaking of the same phrase, Congressman Anthony Weiner not only destroyed his career by sending pictures of his private parts to young women, the fact his wife used the same server for some business for her boss Hillary Clinton, caused FBI Director James Comey to reopen the case and hand the election to Trump. So, Weiner’s less than prudent behavior destroyed two candidates and left us with the most corrupt and deceitful of presidents.

– What still amazes me is how Trump got elected after things that would have derailed others? The person is caught on audio tape bragging of his impunity as a rich, powerful person to groping women by their private parts, something he has been accused of by several women. Mike Pence had decided to drop out of the race, but was talked back into it, so when I see his puppy dog loyalty to this corrupt and deceitful president, I think back to when he almost remembered his conscience.

– Speaking of sexual misconduct, Bill Clinton was also famous for it, but not quite as prolific an alleged molester as the current president. It is interesting that both Trump and Clinton attended parties at Jeffrey Epstein’s. What I don’t get is Bill has an affair in the White House and his wife gets crap from the religious right for standing by her man? Mind you, Wild Bill deserved to jerked bald-headed as does The Donald. Maybe Melania and Hillary could video that for all of us to view.

Speaking plainly, the president is behind which means he will continue to get worse. His unproven accusations toward mail-in voting is just one example of his cornered-animal schtick. Believing anything Trump says is a fool’s errand. In addition to seeing Trump lose, I would love to see both Graham and Tillis lose. It appears Mitch McConnell will win, but he is the poster child for what is wrong with Congress. Until Trump brought his own swamp to town, I used to say Washington, but Trump is the new poster child.

End of week wanderings

With multiple topics rolling around in this older brain, here are a few end of week wanderings (or wonderings as the case may be). In no particular order:

It still amazes me that people in leadership still don’t know people record things. Congressman Anthony Weiner sends pictures of his Johnson to a teen girl and then is surprised when it goes public. Justin Trudeau talks in public about “he who shall not be named” and it goes viral. Boris Johnson denies being in the conversation, when we can see him in the conversation. And, “he who shall not be named” makes the same mistake later. Let’s face it, people talk about dealing with Trump as he is like trying to hold mercury in your hands. Just don’t play your hand where we can see (or hear) the cards.

I feel sorry for my friends in the UK as they have a choice between the same Boris above and Jeremy Corbyn. Neither person is a day at the beach, but Johnson has a Trump like propensity to be untruthful. He is just more glib than the US president. Brexit will likely occur and it won’t be pretty. The UK will be in the doldrums for several years as a result. In some respects it will be poetic justice if the folks who misled the public are in charge when the you-know-what hits the fan. I fully understand the Brexiters point of view, but the financials will not be pretty as forecasted by smarter people than me.

I am not sure if the Democrats will help or harm themselves by impeaching the president in the House. It is probably both. But, they still must do it. The US president is a national security risk with his modus operandi that has become apparent on Ukraine. Using shadow diplomacy to exploit a country for personal gain, not briefing the real diplomats on all the issues, covering-up a phone call and other key emails and obstructing justice (as also evident in the Mueller Report) and the US has a president that can be used for nefarious purposes. He would detest this word, but I feel he is a “stooge” for Vladimir Putin. The question is he an active participant in that role or is so uninformed, he will believe Putin if he gives Trump perceived victories. Yet, the other key reason for the impeachment is the president thinks he is a “king.”

By the way, the US president wants Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi and the Bidens to testify in the Senate. OK. If they do, I want Donald J. Trump, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Mick Mulvaney and Mike Pence to testify. I would like also to hear from Dan Coates and Sue Gordon as to why they were asked to leave the National Intelligence leadership. Trump will never testify as he has so much difficulty with the truth.

The Global Climate Summit is going on in Madrid. Progress must be made. Several US states and business are likely present, making up for the Trump stance. Good things are happening, they just need to happen faster and with the US leadership a part of the equation rather than what they are getting now.

We have all done dumb things

Let me first say, Ralph Northam, the governor of Virginia, must resign. He made a series of poor decisions in his past and has handled this whole escapade poorly. There has been a breach of faith with his constituents.

When incumbents dishonor the office, action must be taken. It need not always be resignation, but some formal censure or pulling of appointments to committees could be in order. It is vital to protect the auspices of the position. The Catholic Church failed to learn this regarding sexual assault and rape with Penn State and Michigan State Universities doing the same.

Unfortunately, my former party did not heed this lesson as the current US President should have been removed from the campaign when he confirmed what others had accused him of before the so-called “locker room talk” became public – sexual assault. Now he continues to defame the office with his untruths, bullying and demeaning of anyone who is in his way or he perceives to challenge his message.

Setting all of this aside, we have all done dumb things in our past. All of us, even the Pope. This is even more true when we were young and impressionable. We have done things in group settings, where we may not have been strong-willed enough to tell the group we should not be doing this or I choose not to do this. Three teen boys with free time is the makings of some poor decision-making.

The key in looking back is to come clean. Was this an isolated incident or a pattern of behavior? Are they otherwise exhibiting reputable patterns of behavior since that time? How is the person reacting to the resurfaced information? Did they fess up or go into protection mode as the governor has done?

What worried me about our newest Supreme Court justice is there seemed to be a pattern of behavior as a teen and young man that was troubling. Yet, once it got political, the truth was overshadowed by messaging. What also was overshadowed by accusers is his behavior since being a responsible adult. I would have liked all of this to have been handled more judiciously, yet I must confess the judge was in attack mode and the issues should have been raised much earlier before it became a crisis.

In a recent post, I mention the number 19 is the numerator of a favorite example. The person who does the right thing 19 times out of 20 is different from the person who has a less stellar track record. The President is untruthful 69% of the time and as Thomas Wells, an attorney who worked for him, said, “Trump lies every day, even about things of no consequence.” For the former person, you would tend to give him or her the benefit of the doubt.

Let me close with an observation we all need to consider. Not only have we all done dumb things, in today’s world, those things are recorded. For some reason, politicians tend to forget that things are recorded. Representative Anthony Weiner is a smart man, but doesn’t he know that sending a picture of his manhood is easily shared and not easily erased?

So, politicians or any officials need to come clean, preferably before they run.The sad part is since we are in a “gotcha” culture, people with pretty good records will choose not to run. And, that may be more harmful to our country.