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STRAIGHT TALK

In Uncategorized on June 24, 2017 at 11:25 am

Time to put minutes on my Straight Talk phone http://straighttalk.reloadcodes.com 😀

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Our Oncoming General Elections in a Nutshell

In Politics, Social on May 4, 2016 at 10:15 pm

Donald Trump Against Hillary Clinton

(…a reality television show star versus a real political star)

Our Oncoming General Elections in a Nutshell

Ah, the fresh air of stink of our political process… It has never in recent memory stench more than this year elections, I must say. The primaries seem to be coming to an end and the surprise of the century is how the GOP voters has overwhelmingly chosen to vote for a reality TV personality rather than to choose an experience professional politician for this year contest. Unbelievable outcome, right?. I never thought I’d see the day dumb would become dumber… But here it is… The oncoming election is gearing to become a battle between a reality TV star and a real political royalty. And who will win will say a lot about what this country has really become. I cannot wait for the results.

I will not yet pledge to leave the country and move to Africa or Canada, as I’ve seen some do, if Donald Trump becomes our next president. Being a minority myself with a territorial background, (I was born in the US but both my parents were from Puerto Rico), my position has always been of an outsider, a pariah. I have been treated as one my whole life, and although I consider America my native culture, there always have been something missing on me that make all my brethren treat me as the Cinderella of the story most of the time. But quietly and always obliging I have always being as analytic as I have been judgmental. Always feeling the proverbial stick on my shoulder, and that I am always running against the odd, I’ve tried to excel in whatever I do and try to educate myself in as many topics and subjects as I have had the chance to do, politics being one of my favorites ones. I am 60 years old now. And one of the measures I have always use to gauge my beloved nation is the leaders that we have chosen especially and specific throughout my lifetime. I first started getting interested in politics right after the assassination of our beloved JFK. Throughout the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson all the way through Richard Nixon I became a political news junkie that could never get enough about Vietnam and all the political news of the era. My fascination has never ceased. I did vote for Jimmy Carter in 1978, my first cast ever, but I became one of the so called “Reagan’s Democrat” in his second term run in 1988 (I did vote for Mondale in 1984). However, I have been leaning more toward the democratic candidates since then mostly because of the GOP archaic social agenda and their constant insistence in moving it even further back, and also because of how bad they have shown me to be handling our (tax) money and the country’s finances. (I am an accountant by trade).

And because of that, I have had a few heart aches throughout the years. As I said, I liked Mondale-Ferraro in 1984, but not much Dukakis as implied earlier. I swore by then VP Al Gore and I also though that current Secretary of State, John Kerry was a better candidate that George W. Bush in 2004. Bill Clinton in my opinion has been the best president of my generation and I consider Barack Obama one of our proudest and best ambassador to the World, a real man of State among men of State. And one more thing that I do not like about GOP’s politic that has become worst as time has passed by is their unhealthy refusal to accept the nation’s choice for president, as they’ve blatantly done with President Obama, and their insistence of keeping battling and playing partisan politic 24/7/365. As an American I feel ashamed of the way the GOP people has disrespected Mr. Obama and with that, the whole office of the President of the US. Like many, I think that that has to do a lot with race than anything else, and that is a lot to say about the state of GOP in the 21 century. Nonetheless, one of my proudest moment of being an American was when we as a nation elected Barack Obama. Make that two of the proudest moments for his re-election also felt very right. Now we are at it again. It is time for us to choose our next leader and so far it seems that is going to be a battle versus Mr. Trump, in the GOP side, and Mrs. Clinton for the Democrats.

I have been of the line of thinking that the nation has been ready for a woman president since Geraldine Ferraro ran for VP so, for me, the fact that Mrs. Clinton is running it is a much bigger deal that it seem to be right now for the news media covering the elections. As for the contestants themselves, this issue of having our first woman ever as a presidential candidate, has been treated predictably with the people on the right calling it Clinton’s calling card and with Mrs. Clinton taking full and total ownership of the fact, as she proudly should. There is no shame for her to ask people to let her be our first female president. Mrs. Clinton has the experience and she has earned the political stripes to be able to plead her case effectively. Instead of worrying about Mrs. Clinton owning her gender the republicans should be worrying about the lack of experience, and class, of their own candidates, Mr. Trump, and to certain extend, Mr. Cruz. It wasn’t long ago that right in the middle of one of this year’s campaign debate that Mr. Trump was gloating about the size of his penis and that Mr. Cruz was proclaiming to the whole world that he would never copulate with a guy like Mr. Trump. I pity the members of the republican party that have to make a decision between these two. It is like deciding which of your two pets would keep the sty cleaner, your pig or your rat. And when these two GOP candidates try to talk about the real issues facing the nation they say outrageous things like “…carpetbagging-bombing whole nations.”, and “…banning whole religions from entering the USA”. There is no shame with these two candidates. The whole GOP party seem very particular and have a tendency of raising non-issues onto the mainstream just for the sake of red-herring the most extremist factions of their constituents out to vote. Ted Cruz’s, and North Carolina governor, republican Pat McCrory’s, latest trick, for example, is gender-based bathroom habits. Trump, on his end, and probably because of the advise from some of his handlers, has started an effort to start sounding “more presidential”, whatever that means in GOP language. And as of today I should say that I’ve seen mixed results from his efforts. Just a few days ago he was addressing a group of his followers in California while a group of protesters were causing havoc outside and Mr. Trump was talking about how in the old days, protesters like that were shot at to silence them sort of suggesting again, for is not the first time he does this, for his followers to take these protesters in a violent way. Not much presidential sounding. However, today, in an interview with Fox-News’ Chris Wallace Trump was asked about his response to President Obama ribbing on his persona on last night Annual White House Press Correspondence Dinner (AWHCD) and Mr. Trump response was uncharacteristically in good spirit, especially coming from a republican. He even praised the President for his performance, and fittingly because President Obama’s comic timing last night was impeccable, his best of all his AWHD performances, and he did deserve the praise. Bu t it did catch me by surprise because I have become accustomed to Trumps responding in-kind and doubling down in nastiness when someone try to make fun of him. The fact that he restrained from jabbing back at the president show some discipline and I would consider that progress.

Nonetheless, Trump’s GOP followers love the fact that Trump is not politically correct. “That’s one of his main assets…”, they claim. “He’ll talk about everything and says things that others won’t”. they say. He does say things that others won’t alright… He insults one of our friendlier neighbor nation when he talks about how the rapists and the drugs peddlers comes from Mexico… And he talks of how stupid our current leaders are.. Or about how smart he is, since he went to Wharton Business School, apparently the finest of the country, according to Donald Trump. He never talks about his bankruptcies though, of which there are plenty of them… Or of how he uses his name brand, his own last name, to lure cities into deals that he has nothing to do with other than he leases his name sake for a profit to the companies doing the actual contracting work. Or of how he has been married 3 times all of these by dumping older women for younger models leaving the old brides with kids they mostly have to raise on their own. Or of how he has mastered the art of what really amounts to “political payola” and which he cunningly calls “The Art of the Deal”.

Does anyone realize that this guy is just a cunning marketeer? Or at least that’s what his business exclusively does right now. Donald Trump is not a builder!!! He once was, and at the beginning of his short career as such he had some successes, mostly because, number 1) He had a one million dollars loan and a line of credit from his millionaire father; and number 2) His dad had a reputation in NYC as an honorable man and that opened some doors for Donald that otherwise he would not have access to them. He took these two assets and used them to get some city development contracts and he was able, through his dad’s construction company, to fulfill these contracts and built a couple of landmark buildings right in the middle of NYC at a time no one wanted to do anything with New York because the state was in the verge of being declared bankrupt, which it never really happened and he got some credits for being part of the renaissance that bought the city back to its old glory. After that initial success or since, Donald Trump has been mostly a model of “How Not To Do Things…” for real estate developers and investors. Succinctly put, basically every single project he took after his midtown Manhattan successes went kaput. He was famously bailed out by New York’s tax payers and the NYC banks that held his loans that rather than lose millions with the bankruptcy they decided to help Trump re-structure his debts giving him a second chance rarely afforded to others in the same exact situation. In others words, Trump was lucky he didn’t end up homeless. After that, and many other smaller failures, no one wanted to go near Donald Trump much less do any projects with his companies. What saved Donald Trump was his original decision to plaster his namesake in front of some of a few projects he created, like the Trump’s Plaza, and the now defunct Trump’s Shuttle and the Trump’s Taj Mahal. Some call that decision a masterful decision but my feeling is that he didn’t do it thinking that it would help him in the future but rather as way to gloat. Nonetheless, the fact that his name was now recognizable and associated with these big metropolitan projects gave Trump his new career as a reality TV show personality and with that also has come another way for Trump to generate income by leasing his namesake to other upcoming builders and buildings around the US and the World for a fee. If you have a chance to look at Donald Trump’s income taxes for the last 15-20 years you’ll see that Donald Trump is not a builder as he alleges. And he doesn’t create or generates jobs or too much money for that matter. His annual income is quite modest, some television royalties, namesake copyrights and the bulk comes from some very tepid return on investments from his inheritance. Plain and simply put, Donald Trump is a reality TV show celebrity, (same as Kourtney or Khloe Kardashian or Honey BoBo) with some money he mostly inherited and keeps in safe investments. The one distinct difference between Trump and the other reality TV stars we have come accustomed to watch is that Donald Trump has use his television popularity and persona to somehow catapult himself into the spotlight of our political arena. And he has done so by saying the most outrageous ridiculous things that are the natural fodder for today’s so called right-media outlets (i.e, Fox-News, Rush Limbaugh, etc.), which by the way, were the ones that gave him access to that arena.

It is funny how now some of these same right-media pundits that gave Donald Trump air time and allowed or afforded him the luxury to give political opinions about issues he didn’t know anything about it are now some of the exact same people who are upset that the GOP voters are coming out in drones to vote for him. They are the one that gave him the exposure for God sake!!! The ones that created the “Trump Mania” phenomena, the monster, by giving him (of the “You’re Fired” phrase fame) a platform for him to spew his no sense for years. Where were the GOP media critics when Trump was saying outrageous things then and saying blatant lies like alleging that some of his private detectives have found “irrefutable evidence” that President Obama was indeed not born in the United States? I tell you where… They were giving Trump validation while at the same time trying to convince GOP voters, through lies and deceit, that our President somehow wasn’t a legit American. These pundits never thought of the consequences of their actions then. There were focus only in one thing only, on having Mitt Romney win the election not matter at what cost.

Anyhow, as we all have noticed all the way through the primaries, there nothing that Donald Trump would do or say that would change the mind of his fans. Donald Trump couldn’t say it better himself when he once said in a rally that he could kill someone and these people would still vote for him. And who are these people, we may ask? Well, the records seem to show that they are mostly uneducated white males, to what I would add, and avid listeners to right-wing media shows, and easily impressionable with celebrity, wealth and fame. They definitely are not deep thinkers and they all probably believe that “American Exceptionalism” means that we as a race are superior to other races. That’s why you have White Supremacist groups salivating at the notion that Trump is “one of them” although throughout the years the Donald has demonstrated over and over that Trump is only about Trump.

He is such a savvy media man that when deciding which logo to use for his campaign he chose to use Ronald Reagan 1984’s “Let’s Make America Great Again”, knowing that in republican lore there is no one more revered and respected than the Ronald Reagan legend. He also takes to Twitter as if his life depended on it. He tweets and re-tweets at all time of the day, including very late at night when everyone else is sleeping. Some of his more controversial positions have come from tweets that he has received and re-tweeted to later find out that the original information was either from a non very reliable source and/or not true at all, just a blatant lie. Lies and innuendos are a way of life in both Trump’s and Ted Cruz’s campaigns. And there has been calls from several and various groups, including right-wing groups, for Trump to apologize, more than to any politician ever in the history of our nation, however it always has been to no avail. Donald Trump doesn’t apologize not matter what. He even once said that he has never asked God for forgiveness ever because he has never done or said anything wrong in his life that he would think he needed to ask for God forgiveness. Yet, not only he is the leading GOP candidate, he is the number one candidate among the Evangelicals. These fans of Trump seem to love the fact that he is defiant even against God! And put attention to his so called position and policy statements… Are they really policy positions and statements, or just red meat fodder for the most extremist faction of the right wing constituents? Listen when he talks about immigration for example. He doesn’t really have a well-thought, well-layout plan! It is all about scaring his followers by telling them about crimes committed by immigrants, which statistically, although they do happened, they are few and rare and not above any other group in average but rather well below. He talks about putting a wall which in my opinion would be another failed project of his for anyone smart enough knows that no wall will stop committed people to use a rope to go over it. A wall will be only for show, as most of Donald Trump’s lifestyle is… He flies a big plane and a flashy helicopter with his name embossed on it all over the place that’s also for show. For that is what he really is, “a showman”.

Another of a joke of a policy position is his strategy to defeat ISIS. That one is all over the place depending on what side of the bed he does get off that particular morning. First he wanted to ban all Muslims from entering the country, then he succumbed to criticism, that came even from the neoconservatives on his own party, and he started to make a few exceptions here and there. Another day he woke up and started talking about torturing ISIS soldiers and their family members as a way to scare them out of attacking us. Then he suggested letting Russia and Bashar Al-Sadat’s army take care of the problem and staying out of their way. And he has something similar to that in mind for North Korea. “Let’s pressure China economically to deal with the North Korea problem”, he quipped. He doesn’t want to support NATO anymore. Nor he want to honor none of the bilateral treaties as pertained to the security of Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He wants re-structure these security deals and have all these country pay our armies for the privilege of us protecting them, as if our army was a group of soldiers of fortune and as if we would never need Germany, England, France, Italy and the rest of these countries to help us with our own security needs. The Donald, as much of his followers has this misconception that we as a nation are so powerful and almighty that we don’t need no one but everyone needs us. That line of thinking shows how little about our history as a nation he really knows. It is unbelievable with this guy, and yet we see this almost every day. All these mistakes and misconceptions. When he talks about policies as related to our veterans, again his main line is, “…immigrants are treated better that our own veterans”. Again, red-meat, nothing really substantive that can be implemented, measure and analyze. He is all over with women health issues and treat women and talk about them as objects and not as fellow human beings. You go to Trump’s website and what you find are vague policy ideas mostly founded under false premises. I keep getting the feeling that he is being waiting all this time for the political equivalent of a salvo coming from the republican party that it would help him have a real platform he could call his own. It is like he went head first into this presidential race with no idea of what was required other than putting his face on a poster. At the very beginning he even has problems putting his name on the ballots on some of the States. And I am sure that you have heard him complaining about the political system being “rigged” which in reality what he is saying is that he is confused and know nothing about the process. But he seems to be destined to become the republican party candidate for presidential race in 2016. He has consistently being the front runner almost from the beginning and his star power seems to be growing by the day.

On the other hand, on the democratic side we have two clear choices of experienced policy makers and public advocates. Hillary Clinton seem to be gearing up to become the next democratic nominee something she and her followers started to put together the day she lost the nomination to Barack Obama in 2004. One only has to watch and compare the debates on both side to clearly see the difference between what arguing the real issues facing the nation is and what is not. The GOP debates mostly have been a display of candidates taking cheap personal shots at each other, exaggerating or blatantly manipulating facts or lying, occasionally peppered with the ever popular within the right quips about Obama bashing, Obamacare smashing and a foreign affair panache of Clinton’s Libya lack of policy and, of course, Benghazi, or as I call it, the favorite topics of the Fox-News’ paparazzi. I have one word to define the GOP debates, embarrassing!! And what was that all about 17 candidates? It reminded me when we were kids playing make believe Cowboys and Indians, no one wanted to be the Indians but only the chief. And the kiddie table debate, what was that? They should sentence to death whomever came with that idea. I truly believe that this whole situation with the insane number of wanna-be president and this up and down kiddie table format is the main reason of why GOP, when everything was done and said, have ended up with these two phenomenons, Trump and Cruz. I think that the GOP voters got so frustrated with such a display of political greediness laced-up with utmost incompetence that they all came together to what I’d call “the pluck it” conclusion that they don’t want anything to do with professional politicians and they want outsiders to take over the party.

And this has generated a grand dilemma in our political process that’s spilling to the other side as well. Why do you think it has taken Hillary so long to put away the Bern? People first started getting frustrated on the GOP side and as with everything on this nation of our the fever is spreading all over the place. People seem to be voting against rather than for something. There are still the well-read, the intellectuals that although they have had a lot of troubles explaining the phenomena, they still like myself have a lot of faith that at the end calmer heads would prevailed and that we will elect accordingly the best person for the job. The elderly in the GOP tribe are trying to reserve the right to send what they think would be the best candidate on their end without undermining the general sentiment and resentment their constituents are feeling right now but at this point I believe that would be a to a tall task to surmount. Cruz and Trump not only are masterful persuaders but in their followers have taken to this with a war cry that is going to be very hard to rail in come convention time in June in Cleveland. Both candidates have already say that they would not take a takeover by the elderly laid down. Trump even predicted violence to occur if the party leaders strip him of this opportunity to be the nominee. On the democratic end the dust has already started to settle down with Hillary trying to re-direct her resources toward fighting the GOP agenda rather than Sanders, and with Sanders wisely and quietly is starting to push to put his stamp to try to influence what would become the overall general election democratic party platform. It is his own way of giving away the nomination without giving away on his movements and all the people that have invested their money and time trying to move the party line to the rightest side of the pendulum. On the republican side, Cruz, who has gotten kudos all throughout the process for being well organized at ground level in most of the beltway states is using his organization to also influence the steering committees that are going to be in charge of the setting the platform and rules of the republican convention but for the wrong reasons. He is still talking and hoping for a contested convention and his using all what’s left of his political cloud to try to pull his biggest trick yet, outsmart and outrank Donald Trump. But this is becoming clearer and clearer for anyone but Cruz that as Trump keep beating him State by State by ever larger margins that that’s just a pipe dream that will end up unfulfilled.

Is definitely going to be Donald J. Trump against Hillary R. Clinton for the 2016 presidential election. The former real estate developer turned reality television personality, versus the former lawyer turned First Lady of State, turned First Lady of the United States, turned US Senator, turned Secretary of State. TV royalty against political royalty. And who as a nation we would end up electing that fateful November day will say a lot about the status of our country. Are we really a nation of selfish couch potatoes that watch too much TV and spend most of our time gossiping about conspiracy theories and popular culture with no regard to law and order and no interest in sharing and spreading our wealth and goodwill with the rest of the World? Or, we are, like we like to tell the rest of the World, a nation of law abiding God fearing people, one of the main pillars of the World and the shining beacon of hope of Humanity? On November 8th 2016 the people will tell. Am I going to end up embarrassed and disappointed? I certainly for love of God hope not.

The Republican collusive primaries: An illusion of a campaign

In Politics, Social on February 17, 2012 at 7:19 pm

After listening to Newt Gingrish’s concession speech in Florida, I finally got convinced! The Republicans are not running primaries to select their candidate for president. They are actually running a mock presidential campaign for their already chosen candidate, zillionaire Mitt Romney. The always angry, bullish and sarcastic Gingrish didn’t even bother to mention Romney nor about Romney’s convincing victory. He was sparring listeners of what he knows is the obvious. He is not running against Romney or, for that matter, none one else in these primary campaigns. Nor are the other two dummies candidates left, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum. They all have been running a presidential election campaign with Romney as their chosen appointee. This has been the republican strategy since day one after losing the last presidential election in 2008.  It has been their agenda with every single move… From their every legislative vote in the house and the senate to their mid-term so-called “tea party movement” revolt, all the way to their pre-choreographed illusion of a primary, their main focus all along has been to regain the White House at all cost; and they know that is going to cost them good money to pull such a stunt. So… who better to cover all these costs than the wealthiest of them all?

There is no internal division within the Republican Party between moderated and conservatives; and there are no significant philosophical or political differences among any of the participants of their primary race. They are all cut-off from the exact same mold. Moreover, if we put closed attention to the discussions in the debates we can also conclude that none of the candidates has any substance in term of the issues that they discuss and that are apparently affecting the country. Most of their rhetoric goes into attacking each other and at taking cheap shots at their similarities with president Obama’s agenda. The whole focus is, as always has been, to avenge as a group the loss of power from the 2008 election bid.

Now, knowing their horrible record for when they were in power last, they know that the only way for them to have a chance at defeating the incumbent is by running a smearing campaign against him. However, there is no much material out there to do such. Most of the criticisms that they have been able to put together have to do with the rather tempered economic recovery the country has been experiencing. A recovery that the republicans know that we, the American voters, know in our hearts, it was triggered by the horrendous decisions they did make while in power four years ago. It is a slow recovery, as we can obviously see, because the mess they left behind was that big.

Nonetheless, the country is being systematically brought back into shape; and one big problem the republicans are facing is that right now, at this very moment of an election year is when the economy is starting to look very good. After only three years of implementation, the Obama administration has finally started to right a ship that was certainly heading to utter disaster. And remember, the main issues for the republicans in 2008, the apparent inexperience of Mr. Obama with foreign affairs and national security matters? Well… it happens to be that it has been in these two areas where Obama has shown to be at his best.  So what is left to criticize, the deficit? Are we are to believe that all those trillions of billions of dollars were allocated and expended by this administration alone in the last 3 years? Not even the dumbest of the dumb could or would believe such a suggestion.

So, how the republicans can convince the country to put them back in power? Well, of course there always was the option to do what was right for the country and to show some guts through their congressional work and try to create and pass legislations that would help even more the nation recovery. However, that would have been misunderstood or misconstrued as coming from a strong leadership by the incumbent Commander in Chief and they could not take such a chance. After all, their agenda from day one, as I said earlier, it has only been to regain the White House, not to fix the problems facing the nation. So, what is plan B then? What is the alternative? How can they try to dethroned and regain power? Well, desperate circumstances call for desperate measures and my argument is that they all have been trying to do such since day one after election year 2008 by shamelessly forming an ongoing collusion from within their own party. I call it an ongoing collusive effort because no matter what the issues are or how high or low the stakes are, the obvious has become to be, well, too obvious. Everything the members of this party do have a single-minded goal, and that is to make our president look bad. Why I call it shameless? It is because they do not deny it, and they love to brag about it. This new generation of republicans thinks so little of the overall moral values of our country that they do not care to expose themselves for what they have been doing all along.  Which is conspiring to usurp the presidency for their own party gain, no matter the consequences or how wrong or how stupid their actions to do so may look or be.

Never has been such a precedent in American politics before. This is unique to this generation of politicians breeding up in Washington now and it has gotten worse and worse in the last 10 or so years. They do not care about the country or about us the lowly constituents anymore. All they want is power, unlimited power. No matter if, as voters, we try to distribute wisely the seats among people from different economic or racial backgrounds to try to create a picture more to our liking. The partisanship disease has inflicted and affected both our two major political parties. As an American, I feel ashamed with the status of our democracy. I, as many of my fellow Americans, cannot believe that we are paying all these politician salaries while they expend all their time arguing and fighting between each other. I have one desperate recommendation… more of a call for help. I suggest, that as part of the pledge that all these senators and representatives take when they get appointed into office, that they should not only be mandated to make an allegiance to our flag and our people, but also to the office of the president of the US, whoever that may be. We as a people elect the president in what is considered the fairest of elective process that exist in the World right now. Why not further validate our choice by mandating for all these pawns to pay upmost respect to that person. Let have all the senators and representative pledge that they are going to leave the politicking and political bickering behind up to election years and work in trying to compromised. I know that this sounds like fairy tale story but as I said, desperate situations call for miracle prayers. This is too much. We should also prohibit news organizations to engage on these types of tactics, no politicking on the media but only for election years. That will be the day that we will start to prosper again… as one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all… God help us all.

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