Benghazi- A Libyan Perspective

This was first posted on October 24, 2015. I said that Obama was viewed very positively by Libyans.  A 2012 Gallup poll  proved me right-  90% of Libyan respondents viewed the US positively. The early statement of Susan Rice as the attack being a response to a video has also  proven to be pretty close, even though the Obama administration was really back peddling on this. An attack on the embassy  had been in the planning stages (nothing spontaneous) but the video help recruit Libyan so they could attack the embassy.  It was not as others claimed, including the Libyan government, that radical groups outside of Libya had attacked the embassy.  It was a fanatical group within Libya.

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Not many folks in Miami have been to Libya. I have been there twice, once in 2011 just before the civil war, and again in 2013, after the war was over. I was a petroleum engineer consultant to oil companies run by Libya, so I interacted with Libyans everyday. I was there when the civil war first erupted in February 2011 and came back in 2013, after the war was over By mid 2013, peaceful conditions had been established

In 2013, I worked in Tripoli, Libya. Frequently, I would walk to Martyrs’ square for shopping or a meal. There, in the Plaza, would be plywood replicas of coffins, each with photo of a Libyan who died in the 2011 civil war. An end of a civil war is both joyous and terribly sad. Streets leading up to Plaza were filled with the new flag of Libya. Books critical of Gaddafi…

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Phase III on Elections

We are almost into Phase III of the election.   All primary candidates gone, and just two candidates slugging it out until November.  We know Trump is it.  On the Democrat side, it sure looks like Hillary will be the one.  (Phase I- candidates announcing themselves,  Phase II – candidates withdrawing, Phase III – only 2 left standing, one Democrat and one Republican).

Now, the symmetry.  What Republicans are doing now, Democrats will do very soon.  Talk of party unity.  Tone down the rhetoric.  Seek forgiveness for all those people who you called stupid (is Trump paying attention).  It was all in the heat of the moment.  Plan for the pageant (sorry I meant convention).   It will go on for 3 days, but be boiled down to 3 minute spots on national “news” stations.

The stuff about who will be the VP nomination, is part of Phase III.   A whole slew of potential running mates will be suggested,  including Dave Barry, Christine Lagarde, and Harriet Tubman (I have this from a highly reliable unnamed source, although he didn’t tell me if it’s Trump, Hillary or Bernie’s short list). Can’t wait for this silliness to end.

As quietly as possible,  the two candidates will  focus in on the 7- 10 states that will be key to winning the election.   Florida is probably the biggest prize, as it has the most electoral votes.   So, it will be major sucking up times for both the Republican and Democrat candidate to get endorsements.  Plus anything that gets them  free air time (aka media coverage).  And,  you can expect a  few choice zingers from each candidate on a daily basis.

If you believe both candidates, you have to conclude that we have the two most inept people on the planet to run our government.  So by the end of the day,  many voters  might be wondering, “Why should I vote for either of these two losers?” which of course will be the topic of my upcoming blog.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

US Elections- No more landslides

The chance of a  landslide election is slim in a presidential election.  I define a landslide election as when the winner gets over 400 electoral votes.    I got most of my information from the website shown below, which I think is terrific:

www.270towin.com

There has been no landslide elections since since 1988 with Bush beating Dukakis.  Boy, did Dukakis get beat!  But that was 28 years ago.

I’ll define a double landslide at more than 400 electoral votes, and 60% of the popular vote.  Bush won in 1988  with just 53% of the popular vote- no double landslide.  Reagan’s victory against Mondale in 1984 was close to a double landslide, with 59% of the popular vote.  To get a real double landslide, you have to go back to 1972, when Nixon crushed McGovern with 520 electoral votes, and 61% of the votes.

I’ve just named three Republican presidents who crushed their opponents.   Democrats have had their share of landslide elections.  If I go back further in time,  Roosevelt was overwhelmingly elected three times in a row.

For a landslide victory to occur,  there has to be a large group of undecided voters which can be swayed by the candidate themselves instead of the party.    I guess this just  doesn’t   happen anymore.   The party platforms don’t change much either, so Republican voters have a pretty good idea of their candidate’s beliefs, and so do Democrats.

Texas will vote Republican.  California and New York will go to Democrats.   Deep South, from Georgia to Louisiana,  is Republican.  Midwest is solidly Republican.   New England is solidly Democratic, with the exception of New Hampshire, a swing state.

So,  the 2012 list of swing states still holds,  and Florida remains the largest of the 8- 10 swing states.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

Trump’s VP Nomination

Oops- Prior post referred to Governor Erst, she is a senator from Iowa- see comment.

I predicted it would be Senator Joni Ernst.   This was based on what Trump needs.   He needs a black, Hispanic, Asian woman,  taking care of  adopted children who has been a senator or a governor.  And who will deliver all 7 to 10 swing states.  And has no baggage and likely is charismatic.  Conservative credentials are good, but not too extreme.   Trump needs the independent vote.

Chris Christie comes with way too much baggage.  Bridgegate revealed that Christie can be very pushy at times- not a quality Trump would wants.   Governor Susanna Martinez of New Mexico, scores high, but doesn’t want the job.  Marco Rubio has great appeal, but Trump beat him in Florida and called him all sorts of names.   He’s out.     Newt Gingrich is the ultimate in what Trump says he’s looking for- someone that knows congress and can get legislation passed.  But he’s 72 years old, and comes with baggage.  Sorry Newt.  Trump may pick a governor instead of some from congress, because they come with less baggage. So, it could go to Governor Martinez.

Senator Erst

Gov Martinez would have been a close second.  I personally thought Kelly Ayotte  would score high, being she is in a swing state (minor point, NH has only 4 electoral votes) and a strong counter to “over the hill” Hillary.

Stay tuned,

Dave

PS:  5/7/16 Senator Ayotte said she would support the Republican nominee, but would  not endorse Trump.   That’s it- off  the Donald’s short list, for sure.

 

Just so you know

Man, I nailed it on May 4, 2016.  All but Joni Ernst- who is a senator not a governor.  I wrote “will pick”, when I meant “should pick.”    All the rest stays in place.  I am seldom wrong, and all mistakes are typos.   Further,  my convictions are made in America  iron clad.

——- Repost 5/4/2016 (Just so you know):

Here is what is going to happen:

  • Clinton will pick Senator  Tim Kaine as her VP candidate.
  • Trump will pick Gov.  Joni Ernst as his VP candidate.
  • Clinton will win the election.  It will be a close election.
  • Washington will be as dysfunctional as before- possibly worse.

Trump will push immigration/ security  and care for vets as his two central themes.   Thrown into the mix will be a hard line on drug use/ support for the police, and the fight against terrorism. Clinton will push her experience,  expanded education programs and helping the middle class.

Improving the economy will be a big one in Trump’s and Clinton’s campaign.  Trump will talk more about reducing government spending, since he can attack Hillary through Obama’s “reckless”  spending.

The conventions will be basically pageants-  3 days of non-stop promotion for each candidate.  Plus, well aimed zingers at the opposition candidate.  It will be well worth missing.  Or in my case, record and later delete.

Trump is the master of promotion- it is highly likely he will simultaneously appear in all 12 toss-up states, next to the governor of each state (if Republican), with all members of his family. just a few hours from the Republican pageant.   He will flood the news media, with lines such as, “You know what we just discovered about Hillary’s group of friends”,  and then go on to link her to conspiring with Ted Cruz’s father to kill JFK (just for example).

It will be old time Washington elite verses an outsider/ new blood.   Seems this worked for Barrack Obama and Jimmy Carter.

The wild card is the ongoing investigation in Clinton’s email. The FBI has not yet issued a final report.

The Republican states will predictably vote Trump and Democrat states will vote for Clinton.  All eyes will be on the 10-12 toss-up states of which, just like 2012.  Clinton needs to win some of the bigger toss-up states, like Florida and North Carolina  to win.

So, that’s it.  As the saying goes, I’m frequently wrong but never in doubt.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

Greatness and Goodness from the Donald

“Most Americans are close to total ignorance about the world. They are ignorant. That is an unhealthy condition in a country in which foreign policy has to be endorsed by the people if it is to be pursued. And it makes it much more difficult for any president to pursue an intelligent policy that does justice to the complexity of the world.”

― Zbigniew Brzeziński

It also means that presidential candidates can run on slogans rather than substance:

Trump’s head-spinning and secret plans for foreign policy

To be honest, I did not listen to Trump’s speech.  I have pointed out in the past, how crazy it would be to punish China for currency manipulations, then to solicit their help in pressuring North Korea to give up their planned nuclear weapons program.

Stay tuned,