Trump – a nightmare for foreign policy

Republicans who served under George W. Bush recognized that the US had to play a leadership role in the world.  I like to say, “what goes around, comes around.”

Stronger together- really does work.  Make American Great through insults to our fiends (Mexico) doesn’t work.

Enough.  Donald Trump should not be President. He should withdraw.  As a Republican I hope to support someone who has the dignity and stature to run to the highest office in the greatest democracy on earth.

Condoleezza Rice,  Former Secretary of State under George W. Bush.

Nicholas Burns was undersecretary of state for political affairs under Bush.  Here is what he said today on CNN:

I hope she’s  [Clinton] going to be the president.  If it’s Donald Trump, I think all bets are off given his unorthodox and I think, very weak and very dangerous views about Russia.  I think we can say with some certainty that Vladamir Putin and the Russian government would like Donald Trump to be elected president because Trump has been denegrating NATo; he’ll make NATPO weaker. He won’t be the strong American leader in Europe that Europeans are accustomed to.  It is clear by their actions and words that the Russians support a Donald Trump candidacy.  Every other European government, and I’ve talked to a lot of them, desperately want Hillary Clinton to be elected because they want stability and a traditional American leader and a leader who is sophisticated enough to know how the US can be effective in that region.

 I think for most Europeans and East Europeans,  Trump is a real danger to them.

Republicans working for President Bush have either remained quiet or turned their back on Trump.  Here’s a sampling:

“If Donald Trump wins, he will, by definition, have created a new template of success for Republicans,” said Ari Fleischer, Mr. Bush’s first White House press secretary. “But if he loses, and particularly if he is crushed, it will reset the party back more in the direction of President Bush.”

Because Mr. Trump represents something far greater in the eyes of the Bush veterans than just an unfortunate party nominee, their determination to defeat him has become more intense.

The vast majority of the approximately three dozen veterans of Mr. Bush’s administration contacted for this article indicated that they would not cast a ballot for Mr. Trump.

“I can count on one hand the number of people I worked with who are supporting Trump,” said R. Nicholas Burns, a former Bush State Department official who has been calling his onetime colleagues to solicit support for the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.

R. Nicholas Burns :

Nicholas Burns (born January 28, 1956) is a university professor, columnist, lecturer and former American diplomat. He is currently Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a member of the Board of Directors of the school’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. At the Harvard Kennedy School, he is Director of The Future of Diplomacy Project and Faculty Chair for the programs on the Middle East and India and South Asia. He is Director of the Aspen Strategy Group, Senior Counselor at the Cohen Group and serves on the Board of Directors of Entegris, Inc. He writes a biweekly column on foreign affairs for the Boston Globe and is a senior foreign affairs columnist for GlobalPost.

This I promise you will be my very last post until after the election.   I also will post all comments on these issues.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

Trump Lies on the Benghazi

Republicans prepared a report  in June 2016 which none of the Democrats supported.  They issued their separate report.   But both Democratic and Republican reports and prior investigations state that the embassy in Benghazi was inadequately protected.  Hillary Clinton agrees with this assessment and as Secretary of State accepted all recommendations made at the time to improve security.  Of course, you are not going to hear this from Trump.

The big lie is that Secretary Clinton did nothing while 4 Americans were killed in Benghazi. Not even the Republican version of the Benghazi has any conclusion remotely similar to this.  The Republican report states it was impossible to save the two lives in the embassy.  The discussion is on the two lives while guarding the CIA annex.    This is all about an attack that lasted a total of 11 minutes.

Here’s the reporting from the New York Times, June 28, 2016:

“The Republican-led committee found no evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton, then the secretary of state.”

What the Republican version did, was to suggest, just possibly, more could have been done militarily to save the two lives and  suggest Leon Panetta and the Department of Defense.   acted too slow.  NYT reports:

 Senior Pentagon officials have consistently said that they were constrained by the “tyranny of time and distance” — that is, that the military could not have sent troops or planes in time to have made a difference.

NYT reports:

Even the report acknowledges the challenges facing the so-called FAST teams: These troops did not have their own planes, which meant delays waiting for flights; did not travel with their own vehicles (they would need to find some in Benghazi when they landed); and were designed to deploy before a crisis hit, not during hostilities.

Essentially, the hypothetical rescue mission would have been sent to save the lives of two servicemen guarding the CIA Annex.  More lives could have been lost in this mission.  And then the Pentagon, Obama, or even Secretary Clinton would have come under serious attack.

Full NYT article

The best summary I’ve seen on Benghazi is from Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Benghazi_attack

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

Hillary Clinton- Best Choice for President

As President, she will have a lot to deal with.  The most critical will be international policy, with the crises in Syria, being number 1.   Syria is a complex mess, and can only be put back together by cooperation from many countries, including Turkey, Iran and Russia.  Her slogan,  “Stronger Together”,  is the right path forward.

Obama and Bush have never found a way to persuade North Korea’s leader Kim Jung-un to halt his quest for nuclear weapons.   He is truly a scary leader.  Libya is battling ISIS, yet the country still in broken into various factions.

Donald Trump has demonstrated his ineptness with his insulting comments to Mexico.  It doesn’t take much to be friends with Mexico- but he blew it big time.  He seems to start little wars at the drop of a hat.  Even insulting Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz’s father  and many other Republicans.

It is not the time to elect a president who has zero knowledge of diplomacy.  This is not the job who calls our elections rigged when he’s behind in the polls. There is no on-the-job training program.

Vote for Hillary to keep our nation great by working with others to find solutions.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

What happens next Comey-wise?

Watching too much CNN recently.   But, what pretty much makes sense, is nothing happens.  Comey  can refuse to answer all questions of an ongoing investigation, so bringing him in front of a subcommittee would be pure political theater.  He could refuse to appear, and be served with a subpoena.

Director Comey could make a mad dash to complete the investigation in the next 5 days- but experts are saying this is not realistic.   So,  nothing is likely to be resolved before the election.  Afterwards, if Clinton is elected, it is a super mess, particularly if Trump fails to concede.

The reason emails were sent to Hillary’s aide laptop, was so she could print them off and give them to Hillary.  If a classified email was on Huma Abedin’s laptop, and subsequently used by Anthony Wiener,  all this was unintentional.   Director Comey will not recommend prosecution for Huma Adelin, Anthony Wiener nor Hillary Clinton IF  classified information not previously discovered on the server  is found on the laptop.    The information was not where it was supposed to be. But there certainly was no public disclosure of classified information, only the unintentional mishandling of information, which Huma nor Anthony Wiener likely did not know was classified, and will not be charged with any crimes.

So I think this is really a lot of fuss by the media over very little.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

Polls and Reality

I told my friend that pollsters give Hillary Clinton above 90% chance of winning.  I also said that unless something goes  incredibly wrong, she should win.

What could go wrong?    People believing the polls, and acting accordingly.  If you believe she can’t lose, then why vote?

Another words,  polls  work only if people do what they say they will.   So,  Hillary’s biggest problem may be complacency.

A 90% chance of winning does not mean Trump can’t win.   In fact, any probability greater than zero of an event occurring  is an affirmation that the event is possible.

So, if you believe in Hillary, vote for Hillary.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

 

Third Party Candidates

A number of polls show third party candidates may pull as much as  12% of the vote in some states.    I believe this is a result of the constant mudslinging between Trump and Clinton.  If someone truly believes in what Clinton and Trump are saying about each other, then we have two of the worst human beings for the presidency.  Hillary belongs in jail for dishonesty, and Trump also, for sex offenses.

The third party candidates get off  scot- free, because we all know they can’t win.   Interviews are much easier, because there’s no checks of prior statements.

But between Trump and Clinton,  a lot of the mudslinging is just not true:

http://www.factcheck.org/2016/10/trump-twists-facts-on-wikileaks/

Nice video on last debate:

http://www.factcheck.org/2016/10/video-town-hall-debate-fact-checks/

I did catch about 5 of the lies in the debate.  At least, I knew we were not energy independent, and never have been:

http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/09/investing/us-energy-independence-oil-opec/

By the way, if oil prices go down,  our dependence will go up.  I hope to post more on the US energy future.

Of course,  I knew there were NOT  bombs all over the apartment where the San Bernadino couple lived.  I just thought Trump had some source of someone seeing something suspicious in the apartment.  Nope!

Next debate, I will have my list of 10 top lies, before Jake Tapper or anyone else can post theirs.

Finally,  I think third party candidates are appearing move frequently in the media just to break up the monotony of the continual accusations between Trump and Clinton.  You can blame this on CNN and others, all day all news format.

Stay tuned

Dave

Who’s ahead in the election?

Hillary Clinton, as of Aug 5, has about an 80% change of winning this election.   This is strictly based state polls, and who will win the most electoral votes.   To figure out who will win, you have to follow the toss up states.   In fact, there are just 3 solid ones left- Florida, Ohio and North Carolina.

So what is toss up status?    It is generally when either Clinton or Trump have less than 65% and more than 35% chance of winning.  It is generally when the outcome of statewide polls show the difference in the candidates is less than the margin of error.  If several statewide polls show conflicting results,  it is a toss up.

Florida, Ohio and North Carolina have shown slim differences in polls, and conflicting results- so they are solid toss ups.   Some like the New York Times, believe Georgia is in the toss up camp.   Others think Georgia could lean Republican.  Arizona is considered toss up by some, or lean Republican.   Right now,  Nevada,  New Hampshire, Virginia, Colorado, Wisconsin and Iowa are generally considered to lean Democratic.  Clinton could win the presidency without winning either the popular vote or the most states.

My guess is Hillary Clinton will surpass the 270 electoral votes needed by 50 to 70 electoral votes.  I’m going to run a few simulations on this, and I’ll come up with the most accurate (or at least the most precise) number possible.

Frequently wrong but never in doubt.

Stay tuned,

Dave