Who not to vote for (Republican candidates only)

Rule #1:  Don’t vote for someone who has never held a single elected or appointed position in government.  

So, rule #1 means forget Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump.

Ok.  I’m in favor of fresh blood, but not that fresh.  Donald Trump can sell.  He’s been selling his whole life.  If you put up a luxury condominium, you have to sell it for top price- and this is what Trump has doing for the last about 30 years.   These days,  he pushes Trump  brand.

All I hear from Trump is marketing.  Great marketing and maybe it’s enough for domestic consumption.  He isn’t capable of building international cooperative agreements.  He’s thinks way  too much in terms of power relationships as dividing the world into friends and enemies.   This was the great Bush/Cheney failure.

Carly Fiorina was CEO from 1999 to 2005.  The board fired her when  HP stock plummeted after  the takeover of Compaq.  Arianna Packard wrote:

“I know a little bit about Carly Fiorina, having watched her almost destroy the company my grandfather founded,” she wrote.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/five-things-to-know-about-carly-fiorina/

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-08-07/fiorina-s-debate-performance-invites-new-scrutiny-of-hp-tenure

Dr. Carson is admired as a superb physician.  He became a Republican in 2014 and has no experience in any elected or appointed position.

He would make a terrific professor of medicine or preacher, but not the necessary experience for US President.

So cross off Trump, Fiorina and Carson,  right now, as unqualified.

Stay tuned,

David Lord

 

 

 

 

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Trump vs. Chiller- Tough Choice

I watched Trump for a bit last night.  Pretty frightening stuff.  My wife turned the channel to Chiller, which showed make believe blood.  Probably a better choice.

Trump was attacking Caroline Kennedy, Ambassador to Japan, who according to many in the country, has been an excellent ambassador.    Why?  Because she keeps to the mission of an embassy, as the personal representative of the US Government and its policies, in the maintenance of good diplomatic and business relations.

Trump thinks ruthless take-over specialists, like Carl Icahn, would be best for these positions.   Get in your face type negotiations might work in Trump’s work, of spreading the Trump brand around the world.  But if a diplomat tries this,  they get expelled from the country.

As I clicked through the channels,  there was Marco Rubio, praising Trump (his normal feigned praise)  for capturing the frustration and anger of Americans.  What Trump was really doing, was playing on the stupidity of Americans, and Marco wanted some of his ratings.  Little dog following big dog syndrome.

Then, Fox News chimed in, saying Trump was speaking for the silent majority.   This was too much.  If I want something scary,  there’s always chiller.

The real silent group are thousands of diplomats within the State Department and other agencies, working along side diplomats of other countries, to promote better relations.  It’s called quiet diplomacy and given a chance, it works pretty well.

In Latin America, Quiet Diplomacy Bears Fruit

Stay tuned,

David Lord

 

 

Iran Deal- Sen. Schumer vs Fareed Zakaria

The following will happen in September:  (1) A bill will pass both the House and Senate, making certain President Obama can not lift sanctions against Iran and (2) President Obama will veto this bill.    Then, all eyes will be on the over-ride of the veto. I am hoping this vote fails and  the Democrats in the Senate stand by the deal.

Defector #1 is Senator Schumer.  He will vote against the deal.  If he pulls enough Democrats along with him, the deal fails.

Sen Schumer’s position

Fareed Zakaria,  host of CNN’s GPS program, and Washington Post Opinion writer, provides a good point by point rebuttal:

Fareed Zakaria’s Position

I am sure few people have read and understood the deal better than either Senator Schumer or Fareed Zakaria.    A lot of people think we give Iran billions of dollars, just so we can have inspections of their facilities.  As Zakaria points out,  this is just not true.  The first step is a massive de-activation by Iran at two sites:  Fordow nuclear facility and the Akar  reactor.

If this is true, wouldn’t Israel be overjoyed, at seeing these initial steps?  Part of Netanyahu’s lobbying efforts with Republicans  is strictly political.  Anything that appears to reduce the threat of Iran to Israel, is a threat to military aid to Israel.   See the most recent news story:

Is Iran a threat to Israel? New signs military is at odds with Netanyahu. 

The Democrats need 34 votes to block the over-ride, and it looks like they are now up to only 20 committed votes right now.   All eyes are on Harry Reid.

Stay tuned.

David Lord

 

Liberalism- and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz

Love me, love me, love me  I am a liberal, Phil Ochs,  great satire.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

Liberals- 10 degrees to the left of center in good times and 10 degrees to the right of center if it affects them personally. You might hear that liberals, socialists and others left wingers have ruined this country.  Or that it is the  narrow minded right wing conservatives which have ruined this country.

We’re still doing pretty well, despite the rhetoric on both sides.

When  the head of the Democratic Party, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz  was asked how she would define Democratic Socialism as used by Bernie Sanders,  she hedged and fumbled. It was painful.

I hate socialism and liberalism.  Not the idea, the words.  Socialism, you know, like Lenin and Stalin.  Socialism to Republicans is a polite form of communism.    Liberalism- yeh, back to the 60’s, gay marriage and pot smoking.  Everything is ok.

But, I hate Rand Paul too.  The great libertarian, who personally owns a copy of the Bill of Rights.  Ok, I am joking.  His rants on how illegal everything Obama does, is, well, tiring.  In case, Paul didn’t notice, the Supreme Court twice upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare, with the conservative Chief Justice Roberts (Reagan appointed) writing the opinion.

But, Rand (if he were around at the time)  would have impeached President Lincoln for going to war with the South.   His predecessor, James Buchanan, thought fighting with the south over succession was beyond the powers of the president.  Paul definitely would have impeached Lincoln for the Emancipation Proclamation.  And like Buchanan, Paul would have vetoed the Morrill Act as a blatant act of government excesses.   Morrill act allowed the purchase of land by the Federal government for colleges.  Rand Paul like his father hates any role of the Federal government in education.  He’s 150 year too late!  Lincoln got a lot done because the Democrats (the conservative party then) had all left Congress.  Thank you Justin Morrill,  and thank god they included in the A+M schools the M for  “mechanical arts”  – hence engineering.

So, I digress like usual.  What should Debbie Wasserman-Schultz have said?  That her party is the  “smart progressive” party.   It is progressive because it pushes forward on good causes that help the middle class in the long term and smart because it is not going to fund every good cause that comes about.  It is the party of realism, knowing how to make deals with our enemies to avoid conflicts.   It is a party that understands global cooperation is the road to the future.

Being one country of many may not be Donald Trump’s idea of victory, but there is victory in negotiations which involves compromise.  Compromise is how our constitution got enacted.   The Constitution  is a negotiated deal among the states.   “Jaw-jaw is better than war-war”  to quote Churchill.  Or David Cameron more recently when he introduced the Iran deal to Parliament.  Unlike the US, both Conservative and Liberal parties support it.

If Bernie has wants to call it by another name, fine,  a rose is a rose.  Get rid of the labels and go for substance.

It is not a matter of  up or down, left or right, but now forward or back.  So, Debbie should have proclaimed herself as a  forwardist not backwardist.

Fair enough?

David Lord

 

Death to America

Not a nice thing to chant in the public square.   But does Iran really hate us?   The website, Irpedia.com, states, “Iran, the land of civilized and friendly people.”   Chants of “Death to America”  certainly doesn’t sound friendly.

Iran Travel

I have traveled extensive through the Middle East (Lebanon, Kuwait, Algeria, Libya, Syria, to name a few places) and I have been amazed at how outgoing the people have been to me.  This image of crazy Moslems ready to string up Americans, might play out in Representative Ted Poe’s district in Texas, but the reality is just the opposite.

So, what’s all this death talk about?  I think the New Yorker did a great job of talking to Iranians, particularly Dr. Nasser Hadian, a US educated Professor of Political Science, who says the slogan dates backs decades and is generally meaningless.  See quote below:

He went on, “For others, it’s part of a religious ritual. But the élite who use it exploit the term for political reasons. Poll after poll shows that Iranians are greater supporters of America than any other Muslim country in the region. “So whom does America want to rely on to judge public opinion?” Hadian asked. “The twenty per cent who do shout ‘Death to America!’ or the eighty per cent who don’t?”

New Yorker

In an interview, the Foreign Minister, Mohammad Zarif,   was asked why Iranians still repeat the chant.  He replied that Iranians do not hate Americans but they don’t like the way the US seems to meddle in the affairs of other countries.   So, why not change the chant to, “Stop US meddling, Please.”   I added the “please” because Iran is a country of civilized and friendly people.  I know this chant won’t be replacing the death one anytime soon.

There is some anti-American sentiment in any country.  You can’t avoid it.  Actually, you can.  It never hurts to brush up on you Canadian, remembering to end each sentence in “eh.”    Or tell people your from Malta- nobody speaks Maltese.

Lonely Planet is one guide book which really gets the inside scoop, of what to see in countries not on the well beaten path of tourists. Their secret is to recruit well seasoned travelers who know the particular country.

Their latest headline is:

If travel is most rewarding when it surprises, then Iran might just be the most rewarding destination on Earth.

Exactly why is pretty well explained in www.lonelyplanet.com/iran

I’m hopeful that Ted Poe is a dying breed of dinosaur.  His interrogation of Sec’y Kerry was shameful:

Rep Poe’s questions to Secy Kerry

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Poe

And hopefully,  the lawmakers can separate rhetoric from substance, and the nuclear deal gets signed.

And some Americans spend time in the ski resorts outside of Tehran.

David Lord

August 11, 2015