The Moderate Voice http://themoderatevoice.com An Internet hub with domestic and international news, analysis, original reporting, and popular features from the left, center, indies, centrists, moderates, and right Sat, 28 May 2016 22:16:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.7 http://themoderatevoice.com http://themoderatevoice.com/media/favicon.ico The Moderate Voice Trump blasts judge in civil case: pours scorn on media http://themoderatevoice.com/trump-blasts-judge-in-civil-case-pours-scorn-on-media/ http://themoderatevoice.com/trump-blasts-judge-in-civil-case-pours-scorn-on-media/#comments Sat, 28 May 2016 21:49:49 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216545 Trump points angrily at members of the news media, whom he characterized as “slime.”

Trump blasts judge in civil case; pours scorn on media by Donald Harrison SAN DIEGO – Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump on Friday, May 27, lashed out at a San Diego federal judge presiding over a civil suit in which Trump is a defendant, and also heaped scorn upon the news media, particularly representatives [...]

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Trump points angrily at members of the news media, whom he characterized as “slime.”
Trump points angrily at members of the news media, whom he characterized as “slime.”

Trump points angrily at members of the news media, whom he characterized as “slime.”

Trump blasts judge in civil case; pours scorn on media
by Donald Harrison

SAN DIEGO – Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump on Friday, May 27, lashed out at a San Diego federal judge presiding over a civil suit in which Trump is a defendant, and also heaped scorn upon the news media, particularly representatives of the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Sarah Palin at Trump rally in San Diego, May 27, 2016

Sarah Palin at Trump rally in San Diego, May 27, 2016

Anger at the media also was expressed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the unsuccessful GOP vice presidential nominee in 2008, who additionally criticized U.S. President Barack Obama for spending Memorial Day Weekend at Hiroshima, Japan, rather than at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Trump’s outspoken criticism of U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel came the same day that the judge announced he planned to rule “very soon” on a motion by the Washington Post to unseal hundreds of pages of documents in the case on the grounds that because Trump is the presidential nominee they were now a campaign issue and a matter of important public interest.

The trial on the merits of the case is set for Nov. 28 in San Diego, and Trump said he plans to be in court to win it, even if he is the U.S. President-elect.

Attorneys for plaintiffs in the law suit argue that Trump failed to disclose that Trump University was not accredited, nor did he disclose that he was not personally involved in hiring the professors who were said to be experts in their fields.

At the San Diego Convention Center on Friday, Trump angrily told his side of the case. He accused the law firm that brought the action against him of running a scam, and Judge Curiel of being a “Donald Trump hater.” He said that the university had served approximately 10,000 students who all were asked to fill out surveys rating their satisfaction on a scale of 1-5. Most, he said, gave the university scores of 4 or 5, with 5 being the top of the scale. These signed ‘report cards” he said, should have been sufficient to have the case thrown out with a summary judgment for the defense.

“I am getting railroaded by a legal system that frankly they should be ashamed of ,” Trump declared to a wall-to-wall, standing-room-only crowd at the estimated by police to be between 7,000 and 10,000.

“I could have settled this case numerous times but I don’t want to settle cases when we’re right,” he added. “I don’t believe in it. You start settling cases, you know what happens? Everybody sues you because you get known as a settler. One thing about me, I am not known as a settler.”

Describing Curiel as a “very hostile judge,” he noted that the jurist was appointed by President Barack Obama and added: “Frankly I think he should recuse himself because he has given ruling after ruling after ruling, all negative.” At another point, Trump identified Judge Curiel as “Mexican,” but quickly added he thought that was okay and that he expected more and more Mexicans would support him for President if they realized he plans to create more jobs.

Latinos for Trump

Latinos for Trump

If the Trump University case goes to trial—and is not dismissed—Trump said he wants a jury trial.

Discussing another suit against Trump University filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Trump accused Schneiderman of accepting a campaign contribution from the law firm that is suing him, and then meeting President Obama the next day in Syracuse, New York. Following that meeting, Trump told the crowd, Schneiderman filed the lawsuit.

Turning his ire on the news media, Trump said the Washington Post has assigned 22 reporters to write a special section about him to appear in August. He said that the owner of the Washington Post—Jeff Bezos—as a former chief executive of Amazon is concerned that Internet sales may be taxed and is using his political power to try to prevent that from happening.

“In the meantime,” said Trump. “the department stores are all going out of business. There’s unfair competition. So now he’s got a threat in terms of monopoly. I am the only one who says it; the politicians are afraid to say it.”

Turning next to the New York Times, he said a Sunday front-page piece addressing his relationship to women maliciously misquoted women who competed in beauty pageants, and highlighted a complaint from a former female construction boss, who he said left his company and then wrote numerous emails to his secretary asking to come back. Her complaint, he said, was that at one time he said to her, ‘maybe you shouldn’t eat that candy’ a comment she took as an adverse comment about her weight.

“Give me a break! Our country is becoming so politically correct we are dying from within,” Trump said to cheers.

Expanding his attack to the general media, he pointed to the stand where reporters from various media outlets were required to remain and said, “These people are very dishonest; the New York Times, the Washington Post, most of the people up there. Now, some of them are fine, not too many of them. You have to fight back. When somebody hits you, you have to fight back.”

Sarah Palin clearly agreed with those sentiments. Warming up the crowd before Trump’s arrival, she complimented Trump for “not giving a flying flip about Wall Street, special interests nor political correctness nor those sheep in the media. Their heads are still spinning. What you have tried to do to Donald Trump and all of his supporters—it’s only proven that we were right. Do you know how thoroughly distrusted you are, mainstream media? Well he is now ‘We the People’s nominee, so suck it up, cupcake! Go see the pundits; they are still so very confused. I guess they did not realize that we meant what we said when we said ‘Enough! The status quo has got to go!’”

Turning to President Obama’s Asian tour, she said “stupid thinking is it is okay on Memorial Day weekend for the Democrat leader to take another U.S. apology lap – this time dissing our vets with claims of the Greatest Generation perpetuating the evil of World War II… that our troops were wrong to end a war that we didn’t start.” Instead of being at Hiroshima, Japan, this weekend, she said, President Obama should have been at Pearl Harbor.

Veterans from various wars stood behind Donald Trump at his May 27 rally

Veterans from various wars stood behind Donald Trump at his May 27 rally

The rally was dedicated to veterans, many of whom hoisted “Veterans for Trump” signs that were distributed by the campaign staff. Pat Smith, mother of Sean Smith, a U.S. State Department official who was killed in the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, led the Pledge of Allegiance. Robert Smith (no relation) who has been blind since birth, sang the National Anthem.

Trump called up a group of veterans to stand behind him and be recognized, among them Republican U.S. Congress Members Darrell Issa and Duncan Hunter, both of whom have endorsed him. Another elected official who spoke in Trump’s behalf was Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez of Riverside County, a U.S. Navy veteran.

U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa

U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa

Amplifying on Trump’s demand to have Mexico build a wall to keep illegal migrants from crossing into the United States, Maria Espinoza, national director of the Remembrance Project, introduced two mothers who told of their sons being killed in traffic accidents by undocumented immigrants.

Among the thousands of attendees were Bruce Herbert, a Campo resident, who said of Trump: “He loves America and he loves the military. I think he will be good all around. He’s a well-educated man, a successful businessman, and that is what this country needs. This country needs someone to turn this country around and I think Trump is the man to do it.”

Debbie Abel of El Cajon confided that she likes Trump a lot, especially since “he sounds exactly like my father, he really does. I am originally from New York, and he has the same inflections.” Besides that, she added, “I like what he is all about. He is a no-nonsense guy and I think he will make America great again. I believe in him; I really do.”

Her friend, Tim Ashby, said Trump “seems to be for the common man. I think he is speaking my language. I want to clean up the immigration system.”

From left, Tim Ashby, Freda Lee and Debbie Abel voice signify their support for Donald Trump

From left, Tim Ashby, Freda Lee and Debbie Abel voice signify their support for Donald Trump

Likewise Freda Lee from Rancho Bernardo opined that Trump “is standing up for the silent majority. We’ve been told to sit down and shut up for so long, we don’t have a voice in anything. Whatever we vote for gets turned over by the Congress or whomever. Our country needs this change.
“I am a legal immigrant to this country from Northern Ireland,” she said. “So I know what it took for our family to get into our country way back when. America is not what it once was; it’s not the land of opportunity anymore. We need to get back to being that; we need to get to the top of the mountain again!”

Protester Robert Dillinger with a TRUMP anagram

Protester Robert Dillinger with a TRUMP anagram

Outside the convention center, where a variety of groups protested, including those led by the Democratic party and another group, primarily of Mexican-Americans who had assembled at Chicano Park, there were greatly different ideas.
One, expressed by Democrat Robert Dillinger of San Diego, was spelled out on a sign he carried spelling out the acronym Trump. It read Tyrannical; Reckless; Unhinged; Maligner, Plutocrat.”
Of the Democratic race to oppose Trump – expected to be settled by California’s June 7 primary election—Derringer said, “I am not a fan of Hillary but I’ll hold my nose and vote for her.”
Police officers and Sheriff’s deputies were out in force in front of the Convention Center on Harbor Drive as well as inside the meeting place. There were a couple of protesters inside who were escorted out, and a reported three arrests outside during or immediately after the rally. While most attendees and protesters dispersed quickly and quietly, some lingered to taunt and shove each other and, in some cases, the police. That resulted in a reported 35 arrests.

Photos by Shor. M Masori

Harrison is editor and Masori is a staff photographer for San Diego Jewish World. They may be contacted respectively at donald.harrison@sdjewishworld.com and shor.masori@sdjewishworld.com. This article is reprinted from San Diego Jewish World which, along with The Moderate Voice, is a member of the San Diego Online News Association.

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Top 10 Prince tracks http://themoderatevoice.com/216544/ http://themoderatevoice.com/216544/#comments Sat, 28 May 2016 19:39:16 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216544 qerqr

(Taken from my blog, Chocolate Bites.) It’s funny. Until fairly recently, I routinely sneered at people who grieved over celebrities they had never met. That was until Michael Jackson died in 2009. I grieved for Michael like he was a close family member – it was surprisingly, deeply upsetting and I thought I’d never feel [...]

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qerqr

(Taken from my blog, Chocolate Bites.)

It’s funny. Until fairly recently, I routinely sneered at people who grieved over celebrities they had never met. That was until Michael Jackson died in 2009. I grieved for Michael like he was a close family member – it was surprisingly, deeply upsetting and I thought I’d never feel that weird pain ever again.

Then Prince died.

Frankly, I still don’t believe it. And, like Michael, I don’t even understand it – how can Prince be dead? He is immortal, right?

One of the biggest regret of my life was never seeing Prince live, I had the chance to (twice), but I never took it and I’ll live with that for the rest of my life.

Anyway, instead of feeling sad and mournful, I thought I’d put together my top 10 favourite Prince songs. The mad thing about writing such an article is that it’s harder than it looks. Prince, unlike any other artist that I can think of, including the greats such as Michael, The Beatles, Dylan and so on, has B-sides that are lightyears better than his A-sides. Shit, he has songs that he never released that are better than many songs from world class artists.

10 – I feel for you

“Baby baby when I look at you, I get a warm feeling inside”

This song is indicative of the Prince style I love most. I guess like most people my age, I heard the Chaka Khan version first, which is cool, but this feels like a completely different beast.

The song has absolutely no right to be as funky as it is, as at its core its a traditional pop track. I mean the funk, together with the syrupy sweet melody tips it over the edge for me.


9 – If I was your girlfriend

“If I was your one and only friend, would you run to me if somebody hurt you, even if that somebody was me?”

If someone asked me to chose one song to show that Prince was an exceptional songwriter I would choose this song. The concept is weird, surreal, and oddly romantic.

I remember the first time I listened to this track I absolutely hated it, but slowly its genius started to shine through. It is utterly unique and I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a song quite like it since.

8 – International Lover

“If for some reason there is a loss in cabin pressure. I will automatically drop down to apply more.”

I love this song because, well, I find it hilarious and ballsy. I wish I had Prince’s confidence. I don’t think many artists could get away with the over-the-top nature of this song. With other artists it would sound cheesy, but with Prince it works.

I have always envisioned Prince conceiving this song on a piano, dressed in a purple robe and behind him, a bed full of women.

7 – Private Joy

“I strangled Valentino. You’ve been mine ever since. If anybody asks you. You belong to Prince.”

My heart says that this song should be higher on the list, either way this song is just sheer heaven. I can’t tell you where it falls – it’s not funk, it’s not just a disco track or a pop track. It sits in a musical limbo where only few artists get to play.

One thing I haven’t been able to get my head around is why this song isn’t one of Prince’s hits? My understanding is that he barely performed it and it has never appeared on a ‘greatest hits’ package. It’s a shame because this song is fantastic and severely underrated.

6 – New Position

“I can make you H-A-P-P-Y. I can make you feel good.”

This song is essentially about Prince suggesting a way to revive the passion of a failing relationship, but you’d never guess it because it is one of the funkiest, fun, funniest and sexiest song you’ll ever hear. Ever.

And it’s so minimal that it gives When Doves Cry a run for its money on the lack of instrument side.

Oh, and it has the dopest use of the steel pan I have ever heard.

5 – Head

“But I’m just a virgin and I’m on my way to be wed. But you’re such a hunk, so full of spunk. I’ll give you Head.”

How Prince got a way with this song, I’ll never know. What makes me smile is that it didn’t produce nearly the same amount of controversy (ha!) as Darling Nikki, which was released four years later. Nikki is tame compared to the goings on in this song.

This is where Prince seduces a bride-to-be and convinces her to give him… well, head. And that didn’t lead to a congressional hearing and it didn’t lead to the parental advisor sticker?

Head is an absolutely fearless, pumping funk track and just as important, it represents Prince at his purest minimalist funk essence. It is brilliant.


4 – Purple Rain

“I never wanted to be your weekend lover. I just wanted to be some kinda friend”

It’s almost boring to put Purple Rain here and I toyed with leaving it off the list, but that would not only be wrong, but it would be dishonest.

I always compare Purple Rain to Michael’s Billie Jean, simply because they’re totally distinctive (most people would identify both songs from the first 5 seconds), they transcend genres and they’re iconic artistic statements.

Most will call Purple Rain a ballad but I have always seen it as a gospel track – only because I can’t help but put both my hands in the air, close my eyes and sing along as loudly as I can when the second chorus kicks in.

It’s a beautiful, thrilling and very empowering song that never fails to make me emotional.

3 – Little Red Corvette

“Girl you’ve got an ass like I’ve never seen”

Little Red Corvette is a better song that Purple Rain, When Doves Cry and Kiss. I would say that in a court of law, or in front of god (whichever one).

This song is severely underrated. It’s a genius track which has no business being as great as it is. There are so many tempo shifts in this song to count, but they feel seamless and makes this song feel like the musical equivalent of a rollercoaster. The guitar rhythm and the shuffling thud of the drums still make the hairs on the back on my neck stand up.

And here is Prince, a black r’n’b star who dabbles in funk and pop, going toe-to-toe with the big hair, white power rockers of the time (1980s) and completely smashing it.

Let me say again, Little Red Corvette IS a better song than many of Prince’s commercial hits and don’t let anyone tell you any different.

And the lyrics, the story of this song, the metaphor is so deceptively simple it masks the genius of this man. This is not only a song about a one-night-stand, it’s a song about Prince weighing up the risks of such an encounter. Running through the doubts he has in his mind about the ‘corvette’ and whether he has what it takes to please her.

Again, Little Red Corvette IS a better song than the majority of Prince’s wonderful discography and I struggle with not putting it at the top of my list.

2 – Electric Intercourse

“Don’t you wanna make love?”

This son-of-a-bitch never released this song. I only heard it less than 3 months ago and I have absolutely no qualms putting it number two on my list.

Simply put, it is not only one of the best Prince songs, it is one of the best songs I have ever had the pleasure of listening to.

On it’s surface it is your average seductive, playful and metaphorical Prince number, but what makes it so different is that it is utterly beautiful. This song isn’t driven by Prince’s charisma or sex appeal, it stands tall because it’s flipping beautiful and surprisingly sincere considering its subject matter.

It’s a wonderfully crafted song. It deserve to be a song book standard.

There isn’t a funk note to be heard here. The progression of the piano driven melody is familiar but takes wonderful detours at odd moments in the song.

I am still absolutely flabbergasted not only because it took 29 years for me to listen to this song but because this song was never officially released.

Madness.

1 – She’s always in my hair

“Maybe I’ll marry her, maybe I won’t”

There’s something about this song that I just can’t shake. It has haunted me for years.

She’s always in my hair is one of those rare things that always manages to make me feel the exact same way every time I experience it. Every time I hear this song, it’s pure joy.

But there has always been a nagging question at the back of my mind, is this really a love song? I have always read it as a love song. It feels like a love song but the title has always giving me doubt. Also, the way he describes the woman who is always entangled in his hair, well, she sounds like a nagging wife – which isn’t a bad thing.

Despite my doubts about the true nature of this song, what has never left me is the view that I am a much better person because this B-side (!!!) is in my life. It was my gateway drug to Prince (it was on his ‘Hits/ The B-Sides’ collection) and without it, I am not sure I would be as big of a fan of Prince as I am.

@biteschoco

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Memorial Day: Once More, ‘Splendidly’ http://themoderatevoice.com/memorial-day-once-more-splendidly/ http://themoderatevoice.com/memorial-day-once-more-splendidly/#comments Sat, 28 May 2016 19:14:00 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216541 Flags In 2016

Bob Kunzinger: "From that green hill, from that perspective on such honorable sacrifice, I could see what bought our freedom. I could count the crosses, the sum of which cannot be measured, whose cost cannot be calculated."

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Flags In 2016

Flags In 2016

In my humble post on the significance of Memorial Day, I explained how difficult it is to come up with “fresh, new words” to express one’s respect for those who we honor this weekend.

I also mentioned — fully aware of my literary limitations — that my message would “compete” with those “by thousands of others voicing or writing much more eloquent and powerful memorials — remembrances.”

In fact, just at the beginning of this Memorial Day weekend there has already been an abundance of heart-rending essays reflecting on the grief and horror of war, “on the cost of our freedom.”

In my opinion, the most powerful, emotive commentary I have had the opportunity to read this weekend is an amazing essay by Bob Kunzinger at the Washington Post.

Copyright issues prevent me from quoting in its entirety what Kunzinger “saw from a green hill at Arlington.”

I hope the reader will have the opportunity to read the entire article here.

The following are a few haunting fragments of what Kunzinger writes he recently saw while standing on that tranquil hillside at Arlington National Cemetery, and how what he saw made him “reflect on the cost of our freedom.”

From his “unassuming spot,” across the green fields and in all directions, Kunzinger saw “thousands upon thousands of marble markers, all carefully carved with the names of veterans and spouses, their birth and death dates, battalion or division and rank and conflict, a cross or a star, variations of both. A flag.”

He saw “century-old oaks… [m]agnolias and dogwoods [shrouding] headstones like commanders keeping their soldiers safe.”

From his “simple view” Kunzinger saw birds “perched upon headstones” reminding him of the battlefields and cemeteries “from Winchendon, Mass., to the Texas Coastal Bend, before these battles took their toll, and men — boys — were buried in the wilderness.”

Kunzinger continues:

From this tear-soaked soil I could see Vietnam, its rivers and forests where death kept too close to birth, whose beauty and wilderness taught men to pray and made brothers of them all. I could see the village battles between unknown enemies and blameless boys who should have been home riding bikes and reading books. I could see the more than 50,000 Americans never to become authors or professors, scientists or librarians, gathered beneath this field where their legacy is our common charge.

Beyond the Potomac, Kunzinger saw “Korea, the Philippines and New Guinea. The voices of spouses still crying for a husband to come home, women, standing alone too young, holding the small hands of children starting their fatherless flights toward tomorrow… the medals and markers, veterans hugging veterans above a brother’s eternal assignment, saying, ‘It should have been me.’ ‘He gave it all.’ ‘He saved my life.’ ‘He was too young.’”

He also saw “Normandy…the parachutes falling under the cover of night…rows upon rows of men who marched side by side through shallow, blood-filled, mine-laden water toward the only hope left…the hillside and the secured toehold…the American flags on Omaha Beach and Utah Beach…the graves of those forever beneath foreign soil and the ships returning with thousands of heroes.”

But from his vantage point, Kunzinger could also “hear taps, the prayers of priests, the commanders’ thank-yous, the nation’s solace” and see into the “sacrificial fields” in France, the “heirs of Lexington and Concord…Saratoga and Yorktown…”

Kunzinger concludes, in part:

From that green hill, from that perspective on such honorable sacrifice, I could see what bought our freedom. I could count the crosses, the sum of which cannot be measured, whose cost cannot be calculated.

Thank you, Mr. Kunzinger!


Lead photo: Soldiers pay their respects after placing a small American flag in front of a headstone during “Flags In,” an annual event before Memorial Day honoring our nation’s fallen service members at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., May 26, 2016. DoD photo by Marvin D. Lynchard

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Cartoons: Revisionist history on GOPbay http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-revisionist-history-on-gopbay/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-revisionist-history-on-gopbay/#comments Sat, 28 May 2016 16:49:20 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216539 RJ Matson, Roll Call

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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RJ Matson, Roll Call
RJ Matson, Roll Call

RJ Matson, Roll Call

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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More factless Trump: says there is no California drought http://themoderatevoice.com/new-factless-trump-says-there-is-no-california-drought/ http://themoderatevoice.com/new-factless-trump-says-there-is-no-california-drought/#comments Sat, 28 May 2016 16:18:09 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216533 California drought

Republican presumptive Presidential nominee Donald Trump breezed into California like a wiff of wind from the San Diego County dump and educated Californians on the REAL facts about the drought that has led to water restrictions, financial hardship for farmers, and a slew of news stories and analysis about how bad the situation is. He, [...]

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California drought
California drought

California drought

Republican presumptive Presidential nominee Donald Trump breezed into California like a wiff of wind from the San Diego County dump and educated Californians on the REAL facts about the drought that has led to water restrictions, financial hardship for farmers, and a slew of news stories and analysis about how bad the situation is. He, in effect, yelled “”NOT!”

According to Trump, there is no California drought. It’s apparently part of a conspiracy. To save a fish.

These people are seemingly akin to the ones who he suggested over the years helped Barack Obama hide his REAL Kenyan birth, helped stall the (not true) revelation that Ted Cruz’s dad hung out with Lee Harvey Oswald, or conspired to bring Justin Bieber to the United States.

Is Ted Cruz’s dad the one with his hands on California’s water tap? Or will he any day suggest it was Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren? USA TODAY:

California suffered one of its driest years in 2015. And last year the state hit its driest four-year period on record.

But Donald Trump isn’t sold. The presumptive GOP nominee told supporters in Fresno, Calif., on Friday night that no such dry spell exists.

Trump said state officials were simply denying water to Central Valley farmers to prioritize the Delta smelt, a native California fish nearing extinction — or as Trump called it, “a certain kind of three-inch fish.”

“We’re going to solve your water problem. You have a water problem that is so insane. It is so ridiculous where they’re taking the water and shoving it out to sea,” Trump told thousands of supporters at the campaign event.

Welcome to 21st century politics, where media types now simply state and do not decry the toxic impact Trump has had on our political discourse. For centuries politicians have been accused of distorting the facts and lying — but no one has pulled non facts out of the air like Donald Trump. He repeats them over and over despite fact, checks and then his followers do, too, as does some of the conservative political entertainment media.

Repetition of these political mantras turns it into a kind of perception of reality. Except is not supported by facts or science, which apparently are also part of some big conspiracy are akin to the ones that helped Barack Obama hide his Kenyan birth, helped out Lee Harvey Oswald, or conspired to bring Justin Bieber to the United States.

The U.S. Drought Monitor keeps tabs on the California drought. But here’s what a recent graphic shows for May:

20160524_ca_none

Anyone who has a .9877% interest in getting the facts can spend about 10 seconds doing a Google web search on “California drought” and they’d get this.

Or they could spend another 10 seconds looking up “causes California drought” and get this.

But Trump doesn’t take time to do this kind of search, although he apparently does read the National Enquirer, and whatever emails Roger Stone sends him.

Susan Wright, in a diary on the popular conservative website Red State writes:

Yes. That’s an easy one. Just open up the water. I’m sure California’s lawmakers are hearing this and feeling pretty ridiculous, about now.

For the past five years, the state of California has been struggling with drought conditions. Lawmakers and environmentalists have struggled with finding solutions to the water shortage issue.

While local officials try to find a way to direct water to the area farmers, environmentalists insist on fighting to preserve an endangered species of fish.

Personally, that would be one gone fish, but… California.

While House Republicans have fought to have water from the San Joaquin River Delta redirected to the farming areas of the Central Valley, Democrats have cited endangered species protections as their reasoning for blocking the measure.

It’s a complicated political mess, with neither side willing to compromise.

…Maybe Trump can make a deal with the weatherman and between the two of them, they can end California’s drought?

140214190554-tsr-marquez-dnt-farmers-facing-drought-disaster-00020826-horizontal-large-gallery (1)

But there you have it. A fact-free, political mantra and name calling political campaign — one that could indeed propel him into the White House.

Resistance may indeed be futile. And Trump is making it clear he is going to run his general election campaign the same way he ran in the primaries.

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Mike Peters Guest Cartoon: Bernie supporting Hillary http://themoderatevoice.com/mike-peters-guest-cartoon-bernie-supporting-hillary/ http://themoderatevoice.com/mike-peters-guest-cartoon-bernie-supporting-hillary/#comments Sat, 28 May 2016 07:29:35 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216531 MP-2016-05-20

Bernie Supporting Hillary by Mike Peters OF RELATED INTEREST: —Sanders demands Dems dump CT Gov. Malloy and Barney Frank from convention gig —When Will Sanders Start to Help His Party Heal? –-Die-Hard Bernie Sanders Backers See F.B.I. as Answer to Their Prayers —The System Isn’t ‘Rigged’ Against Sanders: Clinton’s winning because more Democrats want her [...]

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MP-2016-05-20

Bernie Supporting Hillary
by Mike Peters

MP-2016-05-20

OF RELATED INTEREST:
Sanders demands Dems dump CT Gov. Malloy and Barney Frank from convention gig
When Will Sanders Start to Help His Party Heal?
-Die-Hard Bernie Sanders Backers See F.B.I. as Answer to Their Prayers
The System Isn’t ‘Rigged’ Against Sanders: Clinton’s winning because more Democrats want her to be the nominee.

Mike Peters is recognized as one of our nation’s most prominent cartoon artists for his outstanding work as both a political and comic strip cartoonist. His favorite expression “WHAT A HOOT” certainly sums up his outlook on his life and work which are inexorably entwined. Mike’s warm, easygoing and zany demeanor is evidence that his personality matches his creative talents. As so eloquently phrased by a colleague — “Mike is the Peter Pan of the cartooning world; he’s boyishly charming, good with a rapier and doesn’t spend a lot of time on the ground. And he doesn’t seem to want to grow up”.

The Comic Strip Mother Goose & Grimm appears in over 800 newspapers worldwide and consistently places in the top 10 most popular ratings. Licensees distribute Grimmy products all over the world, and the Grimmy TV show continues to air in several countries. Mother Goose & Grimm is included in the Toon Lagoon theme park at Universal Studios that opened in July 1999. This copyrighted cartoon is licensed to be run on TMV and is from his website.

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All the Presumptive Nominee’s Men (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/all-the-presumptive-nominees-men-guest-voice/ http://themoderatevoice.com/all-the-presumptive-nominees-men-guest-voice/#comments Sat, 28 May 2016 06:57:46 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216530 25549297376_7c998d91fb_z (1)

All the Presumptive Nominee’s Men For a guy who yells about Washington and Wall Street money in politics, Donald Trump sure has a lot on insiders on his team. By Michael Winship Right after Barack Obama’s election in 2008, I flew off to Australia and New Zealand to attend a conference and take some vacation [...]

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25549297376_7c998d91fb_z (1)

25549297376_7c998d91fb_z (1)

All the Presumptive Nominee’s Men
For a guy who yells about Washington and Wall Street money in politics, Donald Trump sure has a lot on insiders on his team.
By Michael Winship

Right after Barack Obama’s election in 2008, I flew off to Australia and New Zealand to attend a conference and take some vacation time. At the end of the long flight, when I got to Sydney, I picked up one of the local newspapers and read that the president-elect had chosen Rahm Emanuel, poster boy for corporate Democrats and the status quo, to be his chief of staff.

Uh-oh, I thought. If Obama was choosing him to guide his administration, we probably could say goodbye to any dreams of a New Deal-style, aggressive agenda to cure the ills of our country. Emanuel was less the type to Keep Hope Alive and more the guy who holds Hope at arm’s length with a blackjack threatening in the other hand.

You will know our presidents and presidential candidates by the company they keep. Just as Obama had Rahm and a gaggle of Wall Street Democrats advising him how to step away from the fiscal crisis without putting any of the guilty banksters in jail, so, too, have all our chief executives and nominees had their coteries. Andrew Jackson had his kitchen cabinet, FDR his Brain Trust, JFK and LBJ their Best and Brightest, Nixon his Palace Guard – even Warren Harding had his poker pals, although that den of thieves reportedly led him to complain to the famous newspaper editor William Allen White, “I can take care of my enemies all right. But my damn friends, my goddamned friends, White, they’re the ones who keep me walking the floor nights!”

And now, here comes Donald Trump, presumptive Republican presidential nominee and thug-in-a-nice-suit. If for some reason you aren’t already appalled by the specter of a con artist occupying the Oval Office, a man who would lie about what he had for breakfast, look to those with whom he has chosen to surround himself. Start with political dirty trickster and sleaze merchant Roger Stone, the man first introduced to Trump by Joe McCarthy acolyte Roy Cohn. Stone has had a thirty-year, on-again, off-again relationship with the candidate and was publicly fired from Trump’s campaign staff last summer but still seems to be an unofficial advisor and mouthpiece.

Then there’s the abrasive campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, best known for that March incident with now former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields who said he roughly grabbed her when she tried to ask Trump a question. A charge of simple battery was dismissed.

But Stone and Lewandowski are small potatoes compared to some of the new hires Trump has brought aboard since he clinched the nomination and expressed the desire to appear more presidential.

Let’s start with Steven Mnuchin, now national finance chairman, chief fundraiser for a man who used to claim his campaign was totally self-financed and that he would not need money from outsiders. Mnuchin is a banker and chief executive of the Dune Capital Management hedge fund – remember, Trump has lashed out at hedge funds, calling them “guys that shift paper around and they get lucky.” He’s also a former Goldman Sachs employee and Trump has gone after Goldman, too, including Hillary Clinton’s association with it.

Among his other accomplishments, The Wall Street Journal reported, with its characteristic wonder at such financial legerdemain, “Mr. Mnuchin turned one of the biggest bank failures ever, IndyMac Bank, into a very lucrative investment for himself and a consortium that included some of the billboard names on Wall Street, including [George] Soros, hedge-fund manager John Paulson, and J. Christopher Flowers. IndyMac Bank, based in Pasadena, Calif., collapsed in the summer of 2008 as customers grew concerned about its souring mortgages and withdrew deposits. It was the third-largest bank failure in U.S. history at the time. The group bought IndyMac from the government for about $1.5 billion in early 2009 and eventually sold it to a larger bank for a more than $3 billion gain.”

But at The Nation magazine, Peter Dreier says there’s more to the story: “The FDIC was so desperate to unload IndyMac that Mnuchin and his colleagues were able to obtain, as part of the purchase deal, a so-called ‘shared loss’ agreement from the FDIC which reimbursed these billionaires for much of their costs for foreclosing on people unlucky enough to have mortgages from IndyMac.Within a year, the group that the Los Angeles Times called a ‘billionaires’ club of private financiers’ had paid themselves dividends of $1.57 billion. In other words, the FDIC took much of the risk by subsidizing the bank’s troubled assets, while Mnuchin and his colleagues pocketed the profits.”

Dreier notes, “Both Trump and Mnuchin have run businesses accused of widespread racial discrimination, and they both represent the excessive wealth and greed of the billionaire developer and banker class.”

But Mnuchin’s deeds pale compared to Trump’s new campaign chairman and chief strategist Paul Manafort, a longtime veteran of Republican politics, and a poobah of the lobbying industry that has helped make Washington the swell, dysfunctional place it is. Roger Stone was one of his partners in the lobby biz (and it was Roy Cohn who introduced Manafort to Trump, too). So was the late, infamous Lee Atwater, the brutal, take-no-prisoners GOP strategist who gave the world the Willie Horton ads attacking Michael Dukakis and slickly dragged the smear and whispering campaign to new lows. (He repented on his deathbed.)

Their company, as described by Franklin Foer at Slate, was “a new style of firm, what K Street would come to call a double-breasted operation. One wing of the shop managed campaigns, electing a generation of Republicans, from Phil Gramm to Arlen Spector. The other wing lobbied the officials they helped to victory on behalf of its corporate clients. Over the course of their early years, they amassed a raft of blue-chip benefactors, including Salomon Brothers and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.” And Donald Trump.

Manafort and his cronies got into trouble during the Reagan years, when, as Foer explains, the firm “hired alumni of the Department of Housing and Urban Development then used those connections to win $43 million in ‘moderate rehabilitation funds’ for a renovation project in Upper Deerfield, New Jersey. Local officials had no interest in the grants, as they considered the shamble of cinder blocks long past the point of repair. The money flowed from HUD regardless, and developers paid Manafort’s firm a $326,000 fee for its handiwork. He later bought a 20 percent share in the project. Two years later, rents doubled without any sign of improvement. Conditions remained, in [Washington Post columnist] Mary McGrory’s words, ‘strictly Third World.’ It was such an outrageous scam that congressmen flocked to make a spectacle of it. Manafort calmly took his flaying. ‘You might call it influence-peddling. I call it lobbying,’ he explained in one hearing. ‘That’s a definitional debate.’” You know, potato, potahto…

The scandal barely left a scratch and Manafort’s ambition soon stretched far beyond America’s shores. Steven Rosenfeld at AlterNet notes a new report from the American Bridge 21st Century PAC, funded by Democratic donors and founded by David Brock of Media Matters. It states that Manafort “was responsible for representing some of the world’s most unsavory clients on behalf of what the press called the ‘Torturers’ Lobby.’”

Among those he billed were Lebanese-born arms dealer Abdul Rahman El-Assir, Zaire’s dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, Nigeria’s Sani Abacha, Kenya’s Daniel arap Moi, Somalia’s Said Barre, and Angolan guerilla leader Jonas Savimbi. “Savimbi and his UNITA army engaged in a decades-long civil war that terrorized and murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians,” the American Bridge report states, “with UNITA engaging in bodily mutilations, sexual slavery, child kidnapping, and witch burning. Savimbi funded his role in the gruesome civil war with proceeds of smuggled diamonds, aid from apartheid South Africa, and aid from the United States.”

Especially cozy was Manafort’s relationship with former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukoyvch. “Some in the West felt Yanukovych could be an ally,” The Washington Post reported, “but ultimately he pursued ties to Russia and fled Ukraine amid violent clashes.”

Manafort was a political and media adviser to Yanukoyvch (as was Bernie Sanders consultant Tad Devine) and set about gilding the image of a man another consultant described as “a kleptocratic goon, a pig who wouldn’t take lipstick.” According to Franklin Foer in Slate, Manafort had the Ukrainian leader rail against NATO to gain political advantage, and when told by US Ambassador William Taylor that what he was doing flew in the face of official American policy “bluntly announced that he wouldn’t ask Yanukoyvch to dial back the rhetoric. It polled too well.”

Clearly, this is the perfect man for Donald Trump. But wait, there’s more. Manafort has brought along some of his other buddies, Ken Vogel and Isaac Arnsdorf of Politico report, “including several whose lobbying histories seem to epitomize the special-interest influence against which the candidate rails.” Among them are Laurance Gay, “who worked with Manafort on an effort to obtain a federal grant that one congressman called a ‘very smelly, sleazy business,’” – that was the aforementioned HUD deal. There’s also Doug Davenport, “whose firm’s lobbying for an oppressive Southeast Asian regime became a liability for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.” And don’t forget a “former Manafort lobbying partner named Rick Gates, who was identified as an agent of a Ukrainian oligarch in a 2011 racketeering lawsuit that also named Manafort.”

These guys shouldn’t be running a campaign, they should be bumping off jewelry stores or appearing in yet another remake of Oceans 11. They’re much better suited to a heist movie. If you needed further proof of Trump’s hypocrisy when it comes to Wall Street and government, money and politics, look no further than this gang of wheeler-dealers, flim-flam consultants and Washington insiders, the Goodfellas of American politics.

With friends like these…

####

Michael Winship is the Emmy Award-winning senior writer of Moyers & Company and BillMoyers.com, and a former senior writing fellow at the policy and advocacy group Demos. Follow him on Twitter at @MichaelWinship. This article is reprinted from Billmoyers.com
Cartoon by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

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Willie, Dylan and “standards” http://themoderatevoice.com/willie-dylan-standards/ http://themoderatevoice.com/willie-dylan-standards/#comments Sat, 28 May 2016 04:19:29 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216528 Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan

Amazon Prime streaming brought me Bob Dylan’s latest songbook, Fallen Angels. I flashed immediately to 1978 and Willie Nelson’s Stardust. I don’t know if Willie’s was the first cross-over standards treatment, but it was my first. Willie and Dylan (funny how I think of them, firstName, lastName) both come from the tortured-not-pretty-voice side of musical stardom. Both have [...]

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Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan

Amazon Prime streaming brought me Bob Dylan’s latest songbook, Fallen Angels. I flashed immediately to 1978 and Willie Nelson’s Stardust. I don’t know if Willie’s was the first cross-over standards treatment, but it was my first.

Willie and Dylan (funny how I think of them, firstName, lastName) both come from the tortured-not-pretty-voice side of musical stardom. Both have deep roots as songwriters. In Americana. And on the surface there would seem to be little similarity between the Jewish boy from Minnesota and the older, Depression-era son of Texas.

~~~

Willie’s Red-Headed Stranger (1975) began tugging me back to the music of my childhood, country and gospel. I thought I’d escaped the legacy of Hank Williams and The Statler Brothers. My turntable featured The Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper, Elton John, The Eagles, The Doobie Brothers, Harry Chapin, Doctor John, Carly Simon, Led Zeppelin.

And yet Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain (1947) remains one of my all-time favorites.

When my dad died in December, I realized that he was only five years older than Willie.

But Stardust, Stardust is possibly my favorite Willie Nelson album. I was not alone in my appreciation. Stardust was on the Billboard Country Album chart for 10 years.

For me, Dylan is synonymous with Blowin’ in the Wind. His music has been on the periphery of my life, whereas I’ve heard Willie in concert a half dozen times. From a 2005 review:

But beyond his musical magnetism, Nelson deals in a comfortably democratic, fully American kind of populism almost totally lacking in mainstream pop culture today, country or otherwise. He’s a legend and all that, but that pompous designation doesn’t really get at his appeal. Punkoids with mohawks, yuppies with ponytails, and spaced-out hippies alike shed their self-consciousness. The mood was unlike any show this size that I’ve ever seen. Under a bombastic Lone Star banner, this Kucinich supporter embodied what it really means to be a uniter, not a divider. He closed with a new song, a 12-bar rocker that kicked off with the lines “Too many pain pills, too much pot/ Trying to be something that I’m not/ I’m not Superman.”

And here they are, Willie and Dylan, in 1993. Performing Pancho and Lefty.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Unlike Stardust, which was Willie performing some of his favorite standards, Dylan continues to channel Frank Sinatra, as he did on his prior release Shadows in the Night. 

Turns out that my immediately thinking of Stardust shouldn’t be a surprise.

From that pre-release interview (he did only one):

I’ve been thinking about [making this record] ever since I heard Willie [Nelson]’s Stardust record in the late 1970s. All through the years, I’ve heard these songs being recorded by other people and I’ve always wanted to do that. And I wondered if anybody else saw it the way I did.

I was a little stunned to learn that this man who is almost 15 years older than me and from the mid-west listened to the Grand Ole Opry while growing up! And The Staple Singers (gospel cross-over). Those powerful radio stations had quite an influence, didn’t they?

~~~

The first thing I noticed with Fallen Angels was the electric steel guitar (Young at Heart).

I agree with this reviewer:

(Fallen Angels) arrangements recall a time and place that never existed—a mythical dive halfway between a resurrected smoky East Village club and, when drooping pedal steel figures dominate the action, a Texas barroom. When creaky cellos and horn soloists crop up, Tom Waits’ more muted ’00s output comes to mind.

The tempo of Fallen Angels is slow. At times almost ponderous. Dylan’s voice, in the main, is simpatico with the arrangements. From The Independent:

Dylan copes remarkably well for one so routinely criticised as a vocalist. Even when he strains to keep in key or pitch, he manages to make a virtue of his shortcomings, bringing a sense of long-distance exhaustion to “All The Way”, and applying a sort of Gallic shrug to “All Or Nothing At All”, in stark contrast to the jauntier tone of Frank Sinatra’s and Billie Holiday’s interpretations.

And finally, Rolling Stone:

His phrasing remains spectacular, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hilarious, and the playing is sublime…Songs date mostly to the ’40s and ’50s, with a spotlight on rhyme animal lyricist Johnny Mercer.

Definitely worth a listen, you Amazon Primer’s. I doubt that I’ll open my wallet (so to speak) but I have added the album to my Amazon Prime Library. I’m guessing that with additional listens I will warm to it even more. Because, standards.

Fallen Angels

  1. Young at Heart (1953), music by Johnny Richards with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh
  2. Maybe You’ll Be There (1947), music by Rube Bloom with lyrics by Sammy Gallop
  3. Polka Dots and Moonbeams (1940), music by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics by Johnny Burke
  4. All the Way (1957), music by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics by Sammy Cahn
  5. Skylark (1941), music by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics by Johnny Mercer [not recorded by Sinatra]
  6. Nevertheless (1931), music by Harry Ruby with lyrics by Bert Kalmar
  7. All or Nothing at All (1939), music by Arthur Altman with lyrics by Jack Lawrence
  8. On a Little Street in Singapore (1939), music by Peter De Rose with lyrics by Billy Hill
  9. It Had To Be You (1924), music by Isham Jones with lyrics by Gus Kahn
  10. Melancholy Mood (1939), music by Walter Schumann with lyrics by Vick R. Knight, Sr.
  11. That Old Black Magic (1942), music by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Johnny Mercer
  12. Come Rain or Come Shine (1946), music by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Johnny Mercer

Stardust

  1. Stardust (1927), music by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics by Mitchell Parish
  2. Georgia on My Mind (1930), music by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics by Stuart Gorrell
  3. Blue Skies (1916), music and lyrics by Irving Berlin
  4. All of Me (1931), music and lyrics by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons
  5. Unchained Melody (1955), music by Alex North with lyrics by Hy Zaret
  6. September Song (1938), music by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson
  7. On the Sunny Side of the Street (1930), music by Jimmy McHugh with lyrics by Dorothy Fields
  8. Moonlight in Vermont (1944), music by Karl Suessdorf with lyrics by John Blackburn
  9. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (1940, 1942), music by Duke Ellington with lyrics by Bob Russell.
  10. Someone To Watch Over Me (1926), music by George Gershwin with lyrics by Ira Gershwin

 

 

 

 

 

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World of Trumps: What bombastic Donald Trump-style demagogues would look like in your country http://themoderatevoice.com/world-of-trumps-what-bombastic-donald-trump-style-demagogues-would-look-like-in-your-country/ http://themoderatevoice.com/world-of-trumps-what-bombastic-donald-trump-style-demagogues-would-look-like-in-your-country/#comments Sat, 28 May 2016 00:53:22 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216526 australia

It’s official; as per a count on Thursday, Donald Trump has officially claimed enough delegates to clinch the GOP nomination. For the millions of non-Americans gazing in stunned silence at the sudden rise of Donald Trump, it may be comforting to think that their own countries are immune to such a figure. But while wall-building [...]

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australia

It’s official; as per a count on Thursday, Donald Trump has officially claimed enough delegates to clinch the GOP nomination. For the millions of non-Americans gazing in stunned silence at the sudden rise of Donald Trump, it may be comforting to think that their own countries are immune to such a figure. But while wall-building protectionists…

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Cartoons: Pocahontas http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-pocahantas/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-pocahantas/#comments Sat, 28 May 2016 00:44:22 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216523 cjones05282016

Pocahontas by Clay Jones There’s a Trump Patch. What it does it prevent withdrawals for cartoonists when they go more than one day without drawing a Donald Trump cartoon. The side affects are it makes the cartoonists draw cartoons about slow TSA lines, and Goofy as the Veterans Administration. Believe it or not, my last [...]

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cjones05282016

cjones05282016

Pocahontas
by Clay Jones

There’s a Trump Patch. What it does it prevent withdrawals for cartoonists when they go more than one day without drawing a Donald Trump cartoon. The side affects are it makes the cartoonists draw cartoons about slow TSA lines, and Goofy as the Veterans Administration.

Believe it or not, my last six cartoons did not have anything to do with Donald Trump. Amazing right? I could only quit for so long and the Orange One gave me plenty of topics to choose from.

He has just acquired the 1,237 delegates required to secure the GOP nomination. He’s back to warring with women, from New Mexico’s Republican governor Susana Martinez, to Hillary Clinton, to Elizabeth Warren. He said he’s willing to debate Bernie Sanders if it will provide $10 million to charity, never mind whatever happened to the donation last time he claimed he raised money for charity (this could be a clue why he’s audited every year). He’s been dredging up conspiracy theories from the 1990’s, such as the Clinton’s being behind the death of Vince Foster (and then saying he doesn’t believe it should be in the campaign discussion after he’s the one who brought it up). There was even another riot at a Trump rally. Trump even expressed his hope that a statue of his likeness is erected in D.C. Why even wait for the election?

My favorite though is Trump referring to Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas.”

Trump has been in a Twitter spat with Warren, and she’s been trolling him royally and taking him to school. Trump has called her “goofy” and a failure as a senator and has been repeating the nickname and slur “Pocahontas.” He thinks it’s clever. I’m still waiting for him to pivot to presidential.

Trump held a little press conference in North Dakota to celebrate acquiring the magic number of delegates, and once again he spoke of Warren as “Pocahontas.” North Dakota is a state rich with Native Americans. Trump probably didn’t know that. A reporter, of indigenous descent, informed him that it was offensive. For a split second Trump seemed kinda humble and replied “oh it is?” and then he repeated the slur. Nice double down.

Referring to Warren as “Pocahontas” is just as offensive and racist as it would be if Trump had referred to New Mexico’s governor as “Speedy Gonzalez.” We should probably be thankful that while he was feuding with Ben Carson that he didn’t slap the name on him of that character from Tom Sawyer.

And yet, Trump is totally mystified why white supremacists are endorsing him. Being this clueless should be a disqualifier from the presidency.

I think I made my point with this cartoon, not that someone with Trump’s intellect will get it.

This cartoon and post by Clay Jones are from his website www.clayjones.com

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You’ll soon be banned from bringing ‘trophy animals’ into N.J. http://themoderatevoice.com/youll-soon-banned-bringing-trophy-animals-n-j/ http://themoderatevoice.com/youll-soon-banned-bringing-trophy-animals-n-j/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 22:38:44 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216520 assetContent (3)

TRENTON — It looks like importing, selling, and owning “trophy animals” will soon be against the law in New Jersey. Both the state Senate and Assembly voted Thursday to make New Jersey the second state in the U.S. to ban parts and products that come from the hunting of African big-game animals and other species [...]

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assetContent (3)

TRENTON — It looks like importing, selling, and owning “trophy animals” will soon be against the law in New Jersey. Both the state Senate and Assembly voted Thursday to make New Jersey the second state in the U.S. to ban parts and products that come from the hunting of African big-game animals and other species threatened…

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Snowflake College Students http://themoderatevoice.com/snowflake-college-students/ http://themoderatevoice.com/snowflake-college-students/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 20:00:15 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216501 Snowflake American

Snowflake college students are the subject of a lengthy article published by The New Yorker. In The Big Uneasy, author Nathan Heller introduces his readers to the snowflake students who attend Oberlin College, a place where, according to Heller, the norms run left of Bernie Sanders. Just how flaky are these particular snowflakes? Well, during [...]

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Snowflake American

Snowflake college students are the subject of a lengthy article published by The New Yorker.

In The Big Uneasy, author Nathan Heller introduces his readers to the snowflake students who attend Oberlin College, a place where, according to Heller, the norms run left of Bernie Sanders.

Just how flaky are these particular snowflakes? Well, during one semester at Oberlin, states Heller, “More than thirteen hundred students signed a petition calling for the college to eliminate any grade lower than a C for the semester, but to no avail.” Why were they making such a request? Answer: They were too busy with extracurricular activism to study well enough to make decent grades.

One student there was upset because he was made to take written exams instead of being allowed to take oral exams. Heller quotes the student as saying the following:

Because I’m dealing with having been arrested on campus, or having to deal with the things that my family are going through because of larger systems—having to deal with all of that, I can’t produce the work that they want me to do. But I understand the material, and I can give it to you in different ways. There’s professors who have openly been, like, ‘Yeah, instead of, you know, writing out this midterm, come in to my office hours, and you can just speak it,’ right? But that’s not institutionalized. I have to find that professor.

Such desire to be coddled extends to exposure to diverse thought. Heller quotes one Oberlin employee as saying, “People are so amazed that other people could have a different opinion from them that they don’t want to hear it.”

One student tells what happened after he advocated for more precise language in Oberlin’s sexual-harassment policy:

A student came up to me several days later and started screaming at me, saying I’m not allowed to have this opinion, because I’m a white cisgender male.

Heller quotes a leader of the Oberlin student government as saying, “I do think that there’s something to be said about exposing yourself to ideas other than your own, but I’ve had enough of that after my fifth year.”

One faculty member had to dissolve a course mid-semester and let students do independent study. Why? Answer: “Students went cold when they had to engage with anyone outside their community.”

This aversion to exposure to diversity of thought is addressed in an article published by The Atlantic. In it, authors Greg Lukiaoff and Jonathan Haidt state, “Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense.”

Lukiaoff and Haidt elaborate:

The current movement is largely about emotional well-being. More than the last, it presumes an extraordinary fragility of the collegiate psyche, and therefore elevates the goal of protecting students from psychological harm. The ultimate aim, it seems, is to turn campuses into “safe spaces” where young adults are shielded from words and ideas that make some uncomfortable. And more than the last, this movement seeks to punish anyone who interferes with that aim, even accidentally. You might call this impulse vindictive protectiveness. It is creating a culture in which everyone must think twice before speaking up, lest they face charges of insensitivity, aggression, or worse.

Psychiatrist Keith Ablow gives his own diagnosis of the snowflake students:

We have created a nation filled with too many perpetual children — Peter and Patty Pans — who were brought up getting trophies for participating in sports, instead of winning, protected from the supposed horrors of being ranked by grades and scores and sold corrosive message by the likes of Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton that everyone deserves every kind of support, regardless of the level of education they have or the work they put forward. We have hobbled a generation, or two.

One wonders how these snowflake college students will survive once they leave the safety of their campus and enter the heat of the real world.

Snowflake American

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Has Johnny Depp Lost His Way? http://themoderatevoice.com/has-johnny-depp-lost-his-way/ http://themoderatevoice.com/has-johnny-depp-lost-his-way/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 17:32:36 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216518 18592265610_3057a3453e

Johnny Depp is having a run of bad luck—first came the escalation of his feud with the Australian government and now the news has broken today that his marriage has literally gone to the dogs. But to many celebrity watchers, the fact that Amber Heard has filed for divorce from the Hollywood star after just [...]

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Johnny Depp is having a run of bad luck—first came the escalation of his feud with the Australian government and now the news has broken today that his marriage has literally gone to the dogs. But to many celebrity watchers, the fact that Amber Heard has filed for divorce from the Hollywood star after just 15…

photo credit: Johnny Depp via photopin (license)

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Cartoons: Hillary Clinton http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-hillary-clinton/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-hillary-clinton/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 17:22:06 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216516 Marian Kemensky, Slovakia

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Marian Kemensky, Slovakia
Marian Kemensky, Slovakia

Marian Kemensky, Slovakia

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Clinton email report won’t help candidate with credibility woes (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/doyle-mcmanus-clinton-email-report-wont-help-candidate-with-credibility-woes/ http://themoderatevoice.com/doyle-mcmanus-clinton-email-report-wont-help-candidate-with-credibility-woes/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 16:31:21 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216514 27010020630_13c9d5a380

Donald Trump isn’t the only presidential candidate with credibility problems. The State Department’s inspector general delivered his report on Hillary Clinton’s emails Wednesday — and it wasn’t good news for the presumptive Democratic candidate. In spare bureaucratic language, the inspector general, an Obama appointee, said the former secretary of state clearly violated State Department policies [...]

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Donald Trump isn’t the only presidential candidate with credibility problems. The State Department’s inspector general delivered his report on Hillary Clinton’s emails Wednesday — and it wasn’t good news for the presumptive Democratic candidate. In spare bureaucratic language, the inspector general, an Obama appointee, said the former secretary of state clearly violated State Department policies when…

photo credit: @ (at) – Symbol (red) via photopin (license)

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Graduation Time at Our Service Academies (Update) http://themoderatevoice.com/military-weekend-graduation-time-at-our-service-academies/ http://themoderatevoice.com/military-weekend-graduation-time-at-our-service-academies/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 14:30:18 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216455 Coast Guard commencement

Update: If you click quickly here, you may see Defense Secretary Ash Carter addressing graduating midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy commencement ceremony in Annapolis, Md. Original Post It is that time of the year… When jubilant high school seniors receive their diplomas and look forward to attending the college of their choice — a [...]

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Coast Guard commencement

Coast Guard commencement

Update:

If you click quickly here, you may see Defense Secretary Ash Carter addressing graduating midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy commencement ceremony in Annapolis, Md.

Naval Acedemy grad.

Original Post

It is that time of the year…

When jubilant high school seniors receive their diplomas and look forward to attending the college of their choice — a few perhaps hoping to be accepted by one of our U.S. Service Academies.

When more reflective college graduates flip their tassels from one side of the mortarboards to the other and look forward to their first employment — some nervously, some anticipating the “big bucks.”

When Service Academies and College Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) graduates proudly render their first salute as commissioned officers, equally jubilant toss their hats into the air, but even more reflectively consider the solemn oath they have just taken:

[to] support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; [to] bear true faith and allegiance to [that] Constitution; …[to] well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which [they are] about to enter. So help [them] God.

They will in fact go on to serve and defend the Constitution in a changing nation and globe. Many will lead men into battle in distant places and, sadly, some will make the ultimate sacrifice.

MilGrad Reflection


More than 950 cadets in the U.S. Military Academy’s Class of 2016 receive their Bachelor of Science degrees at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y., May 21, 2016. Vice President Joe Biden gave the commencement address. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Vito T. Bryant)

My commissioning ceremony was relatively simple. No hats tossed into the air. No President, vice-President or Secretary of Defense delivering an earth-shaking commencement address.

We did get our shiny second lieutenant bars pinned on by girlfriend, bride or mother. We did get to kiss our girlfriend, bride or mother — but not more than two of the three — and we did give out a (silver) dollar to the first uniformed military to salute us.

I did go on and did my best to protect Country and Constitution, sometimes performing hazardous duties, but never in combat and, thank God, still here to write about these other more fancy, more jubilant, more solemn graduation or commencement ceremonies.

I regularly write about these inspiring ceremonies.

Not being “an Academy Graduate,” I do so perhaps with a little envy, perhaps because I only went through six months of hell instead of four years, but I always do so with the highest respect for these young men and women who survive the hell and go on to become our future military leaders.

That respect goes out to every one of those graduates, including the traditional “Goat,”(below), as someone has to be last even in such a distinguished group. Keep in mind, even the last one in the cream of the crop is still the cream of the crop.

Fletcher is the Goat for U.S. Military Academy Class of 2016

Vice President Joe Biden smiles as Army Cadet Alex Fletcher celebrates being named the Goat of the U.S. Military Academy’s Class of 2016, in West Point, N.Y., May 21, 2016. The Goat is the last-ranking cadet to graduate and usually receives the loudest applause from the class. Biden delivered the speech at the academy’s commencement ceremony. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Vito T. Bryant

Talking about a changing nation, a changing world, two graduation events accentuate that.

First, for the first time in more than 40 years after Air Force and Navy ROTC programs left Yale University amid protests over the Vietnam War, 18 men and women received their commissions in a ceremony at Yale’s New Haven, Connecticut, campus.

SD attends Yale University ROTC Commissiong Ceremony

Defense Secretary Ash Carter administers the oath of office to Air Force and Naval ROTC students during a commissioning ceremony at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., May 23, 2016. DoD photo by Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

Addressing the 10 new Navy ensigns and eight new Air Force second lieutenants, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, himself a Yale graduate, commended the new graduates for helping “bridge a divide that has persisted for too long,” noting that some of their classmates had not met members of the military before.

“People think differently about the world when a former roommate is managing the nuclear reactor on a submarine, or a former organic chemistry classmate is serving as a combat medic, or a fellow programmer is defending our nation’s cybersecurity,” Carter said.

Finally, in another sign of the changing times, the U.S. Naval Academy, on May 27, will graduate the first 27 cyber operations majors as part of the class of 2016.

“These cyber operations majors have the technical understanding of what’s happening behind the screen, and additionally they understand the broader implications of what a cyber act’s effects can be,” Paul Tortora, director of USNA’s Center for Cyber Security Studies. “I think that USNA is on the leading edge of this at the undergraduate level.”

US Naval Academy cyber operation

Vice Adm. Walter E. Carter, superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, observes a team of midshipmen during the 15th annual Cyber Defense Exercise hosted by the National Security Agency. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tyler Caswell)

According to the U.S. Naval Academy, “After completing USNA’s cyber operations program, future officers can enter advanced study or potentially choose assignments with various military cyber-related forces in support of national security.”

Our congratulations to all the graduates and Godspeed.

CODA: The graduation ceremony for the United States Air Force Academy Class of 2016, will take place at Falcon Stadium on Thursday, 2 June 2016. The commencement speaker will be President Barack Obama.

Below, the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Class of 2015 tosses their hats in celebration as the Thunderbirds roar over Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 28, 2015. Over 800 cadets graduated and became second lieutenants.

AF Acadey graduation 2015

Lead photo: The U.S. Coast Guard Academy Class of 2016 graduates and receives their commissions as officers from DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson during their commencement ceremony May 18, 2016. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cory J. Mendenhall.

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Memorial Day: It Is All About Honoring and Remembering http://themoderatevoice.com/memorial-day-it-is-all-about-remembrance/ http://themoderatevoice.com/memorial-day-it-is-all-about-remembrance/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 14:09:39 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216503 Mem Day 2016 Memorial Day visit

memorial : 'created or done to honor a person who has died or to remind people of an event in which many people died'

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Mem Day 2016 Memorial Day visit

Mem Day 2016 Memorial Day visit

This is the ninth Memorial Day in a row that I have the privilege and opportunity to write a few words honoring the men and women who have given it all for our country in military service.

It is the eighth year in a row that I try to find fresh, new words to express my respect for the more than one million fallen American heroes of past and present wars.

There are only so many ways to honor and to express grief and respect — to remember.

However, one does not want to be repetitive as one’s message — sincere as it may be — is in a way “competing” with those by thousands of others voicing or writing much more eloquent and powerful memorials — remembrances.

Yet, since Memorial Day is all about remembering and since repetition is “the mother of all learning,” repetition can only help us remember longer and better.

So, this Memorial Day I would like to repeat — in full this time — the emoting, haunting words of Civil War-era orator, Robert Green Ingersoll, a Colonel in the Union Army.

These heroes are dead. They died for liberty – they died for us. They are at rest. They sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows, and the embracing vines. They sleep beneath the shadows of the clouds, careless alike of sunshine or of storm, each in the windowless Place of Rest.

Earth may run red with other wars – they are at peace. In the midst of battle, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death. I have one sentiment for soldiers living and dead: cheers for the living; tears for the dead.

Ingersoll’s “Earth may run red with other wars…” certainly was prophetic. Our troops have been sent to fight and die in a score of wars, battles and conflicts since the Civil War.

One of those wars was the “War to end all wars” or Word War I.

As part of a national effort to formally remember the more than 4,000,000 men and women from the United States [who] served in uniform during World War I” and the more than 116,000 who died in that war, the World War One Centennial Commission will be building a “National World War I Memorial” in our nation’s capital.

After an international design competition that saw more than 360 design proposals, the Commission, on January 26, selected the design concept “The Weight of Sacrifice” by the design team of Joe Weishaar & Sabin Howard, below.

National WWI memorial

It is expected that the Memorial will be opened to the public by Nov. 11, 2018, the centennial of the Armistice.

The Weishaar-Howard project overview describes how “the raised figurative walls” of the Memorial visually express a narrative of the sacrificial cost of war.

In part:

The fall sun settles on a soldier’s etched features, enough to alight the small girl patting his horse. Above him 28 trees rise up from the earth, flamed out in brazen red to mark the end of the Great War. He stands on the precipice of the battlefield, surveying the rising tide which has come to call his brothers from their havens of innocence. The figures before him emerge slowly, at first in low relief, and then pull further out of the morass as they cross the center of the wall. They all trudge onward, occasionally looking back at the life that was until they sink back in and down into the trenches.

This is a moment frozen in time, captured in the darkened bronze form which has emerged from the soil to serve as a reminder of our actions. Along the North and South faces we see the emblazoned words of a generation gone by. 137 feet long, these walls gradually slip into the earth drawing their wisdom with them. Around the sculpted faces of the monument the remembrance unfolds. Each cubic foot of the memorial represents an American soldier lost in the war; 116,516 in all. Upon this unified mass spreads a verdant lawn. This is a space for freedom built upon the great weight of sacrifice.

The monument, as is Memorial Day, is all about honoring and remembering.

Joe Weishaar, the young lead designer of the Memorial, remembers “100 years ago young Americans just like me were about to head off to fight in WWI, and they fought for the ideals that would go on to define the American century.”

So, how to honor their sacrifice?

How about designing a National World War One Memorial.

Young Joe Weishaar did exactly that.

In his own words:

The building of this memorial sends a signal, a signal to your families, children and grandchildren that courage, honor and sacrifice still mean something. It is a message to our current and future veterans that they will not be forgotten when their time comes.

It is all about honoring and remembering.

At the top and below are some repeat — yet unforgettable — images of past Memorial Days.

Memorial Day ceremony, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti

Air Force Master Sgt. Tiffany Robinson kneels in front of a battlefield cross following a Memorial Day ceremony at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 26, 2014. The cross was created with combat gear representing each of the five U.S. military branches to commemorate fallen service members. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Eric Dietrich

Mem Day2013 Riderless Horse

A soldier from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard,” leads a riderless horse during the Memorial Day parade in Washington, D.C., May 27, 2013. The riderless horse carries a soldier’s boots reversed in the stirrups. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Teddy Wade

Mem Day Flags is

At Arlington National Cemetery, members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, or The Old Guard, place American flags at every grave in remembrance of those who died in service to our country. Religion, race, etc. does not matter…(Photo DOD)

Lead photo: Brittany, left, and her son, Christian, 4, spend time at the grave of her husband and his father, Marine Corps Sgt. Christopher Jacobs, in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., May 25, 2015. Christian wore his father’s cover during the Memorial Day visit. Army photo by Rachel Larue

For a listing of VA National Cemeteries that will have Memorial Day ceremonies, please click here.

To learn more about the National World War I Memorial and to support this wonderful project, please click here.

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Cartoons: Hillary Clinton’s Prayer http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-hillary-clintons-dream/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-hillary-clintons-dream/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 02:28:07 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216497 unnamed (6)

Mike Slosberg is a cartoonist and novelist. He lives with his wife and hundreds of drawing pens on the Upper Westside of Manhattan, New York. You can see more of his cartoons and learn about his books by going to: mikeslosbergbooks.com

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unnamed (6)

unnamed (6)

Mike Slosberg is a cartoonist and novelist. He lives with his wife and hundreds of drawing pens on the Upper Westside of Manhattan, New York. You can see more of his cartoons and learn about his books by going to: mikeslosbergbooks.com

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SAN DIEGO GAY CHORUS ACCEPTS PADRES’ APOLOGY, ASKED FOR FIRED DJ’S REINSTATEMENT (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/gay-chorus-accepts-padres-apology-asked-for-fired-djs-reinstatement-guest-voice/ http://themoderatevoice.com/gay-chorus-accepts-padres-apology-asked-for-fired-djs-reinstatement-guest-voice/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 02:23:32 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216495 music notes

San Diego Gay Chorus Accepts Padres’ Apology, Asked for Fied DJ’s Reinstatement by Miriam Rafferty SAN DIEGO – Previously, we reported on the uproar that occurred when the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus took the field to perform before a Padres game last week. Their microphones were turned off inexplicably and a woman’s voice singing [...]

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music notes

music notes

San Diego Gay Chorus Accepts Padres’ Apology, Asked for Fied DJ’s Reinstatement
by Miriam Rafferty

SAN DIEGO – Previously, we reported on the uproar that occurred when the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus took the field to perform before a Padres game last week. Their microphones were turned off inexplicably and a woman’s voice singing the Star Spangled banner blared over the loudspeakers instead.

The incident made nationwide news, sparked outrage in the gay community and prompted Major League Baseball to announce it is investigating the situation.

Now the Padres have responded, indicating that although their investigation found no evidence of malicious intent, the mistake and oversight failure prompted the Padres to fire the contractor responsible and discipline an employee.

The Padres stated, “We once again sincerely apologize to members of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, their families and those who came out to support their Pride Night performance. The Padres organization is proud of our longstanding commitment to inclusion – within both our sport and our community. We deeply regret that a mistake on our part has called this into question, but accept full responsibility.”

The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus met with Padres CEO Mike Dee and issued a statement applauding the Padres efforts to “bring our communities together with constructive, positive change.”

In addition, the choral group called on the Padres to give the DJ at DJ ARTFORM his job back, recognizing “his support for the LGBT community and equality for all people.” The group’s statement adds, “Everyone deserves a second chance.”

The Padres have not yet indicated whether or not they will reinstate the DJ.

Veteran journalist Miriam Rafferty is editor-publisher of the award-winning website East County Magazine which, along with The Moderate Voice, is a member of the San Diego Online News Association. This article is reprinted from that website.

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Cartoons: JURY BY JELLO http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-jury-by-jello/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-jury-by-jello/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 02:17:07 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216493 cjones05252016

Jury by Jello by Clay Jones They say a president’s legacy are his appointments to the Supreme Court. I believe that. George H. W. Bush has a shameful legacy with his placement of Clarence Thomas to the highest court in the land. Thomas replaced a Civil Rights pioneer so it’s ironic he was the lone [...]

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cjones05252016

cjones05252016
Jury by Jello
by Clay Jones

They say a president’s legacy are his appointments to the Supreme Court. I believe that. George H. W. Bush has a shameful legacy with his placement of Clarence Thomas to the highest court in the land.

Thomas replaced a Civil Rights pioneer so it’s ironic he was the lone dissenter in a case regarding racial bias regarding jury placements. SCOTUS reversed the capital conviction of a black man from Georgia because the prosecution used its peremptory challenges to strike all the black members of the jury pool. Prosecutors actually made notes on the potential jurors who were black by placing a “B” by their names.

There are staunch conservatives on the Supreme Court and each of them voted to reverse the conviction, except for Thomas. Thomas argues that the case was one for state law, not federal. It’s kinda bizarre that the right to a fair trial isn’t an issue for the federal government in Thomas’ eyes. Thomas also failed to see any problem with excluding potential jurors based on race.

I believe in a fair justice system. Call me naive, but I also believe everyone deserves a fair trial, no matter how heinous the crime, especially when a life is at stake.

I don’t know if an all-white jury would help Bill Cosby in his upcoming sexual assault case, but I’m sure a bunch of Republican dudes who can’t provide the definition of rape, and who also like Jello, wouldn’t hurt.

This cartoon and post by Clay Jones are from his website www.claytoonz.com

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Paul Ryan’s soap opera with Donald Trump http://themoderatevoice.com/216491/ http://themoderatevoice.com/216491/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 02:09:44 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216491 days-of-our-lives-logo-2014 (1)

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday night, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump disparaged New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, probably the most prominent Hispanic Republican officeholder in America, saying at a rally in Albuquerque that she has a bad record and “she’s got to do a better job.” At the same rally, where windows were smashed and [...]

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WASHINGTON — On Tuesday night, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump disparaged New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, probably the most prominent Hispanic Republican officeholder in America, saying at a rally in Albuquerque that she has a bad record and “she’s got to do a better job.”

At the same rally, where windows were smashed and Trump and his supporters clashed with demonstrators, the candidate also mocked Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s claim to Native American roots by repeatedly calling her “Pocahontas.”

And House Speaker Paul Ryan, sitting down with reporters on Wednesday, wanted to talk about policy? It wasn’t going to happen.

The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis, noting Trump’s attack on Martinez, asked Ryan, “Do you have a partner who’s interested in party unity?”

“She’s a friend of mine, and I think she’s a good governor. I will leave it at that,” the speaker replied.

Would the speaker’s policy agenda include plans for deporting millions of people, as Trump has suggested?

“That’s not in our agenda,” Ryan said.

Should Trump apologize for belittling prisoners of war, the physically disabled and women’s appearances?

“I’m focusing on what we can control here in the House,” Ryan said.

And what he can control is, well, not much. Ryan had wanted a sit-down with reporters for a “pen and pad” session to talk policy. But, unbeknownst to the speaker, his staff released a flock of photographers into the room just as questions were starting.

“Jeez. Good grief. Goddamned,” Ryan said with a laugh when the barrage of shutter clicks began.

He can probably blame Trump for that, too. Late Tuesday, Trump campaign officials leaked word that Ryan, who had said he wasn’t ready to endorse Trump, would indeed be endorsing Trump as soon as Wednesday. This, like much of what comes out of Trump’s campaign, was false. But it turned Ryan’s policy session into another installment of his soap opera with Trump.

“I don’t know where all this got from,” he pleaded when CNN’s Manu Raju asked whether he had made a decision to back Trump. “I have not made a decision and … I have nothing more to add.”

What the speaker did have to contribute was an albatross of a metaphor.

“We’re a big-tent party with lots of different wings of the Republican Party, and we [he and Trump] clearly come from different wings of the Republican Party — there’s no two ways about that,” he said. “The question is, if we’re going to unify, can we figure out what is the common foundation that ties all these wings together?”

Actually, if you tie a lot of wings together and attach them to a foundation, it’s pretty obvious what will happen: That bird won’t fly.

“Republicans in the House have said, look, Paul Ryan eventually has to endorse Donald Trump,” Fox News’ Chad Pergram informed the speaker Wednesday. “Why not just rip the Band-Aid off?”

Replied Ryan: “I’m really focused on my day job.”

But he surely has to be focused on a momentous calculation: He could withhold support, potentially costing Trump the presidency and perhaps losing his House majority. Or he could support Trump and have Trump define conservatives, and Republicans, for years — even if it’s with isolation, trade wars and racial strife.

“My worry,” one top Republican official remarked during the primary campaign, “is not that Trump will lose the general election. It’s that he could win.” Cementing the alienation of women, immigrants and non-whites would shorten the fuse on the demographic time bomb underneath the GOP.

Ryan seems to be hoping that Trump, in exchange for the speaker’s endorsement, will offer him a token concession: some sort of blessing of his agenda of economic growth, national security, health care, anti-poverty measures and limits on presidential power. “We need to normalize these ideas,” the speaker said.

But there is no way to finesse this, no fig leaf big enough to cover the gap between them.

How does he square Trump’s expansive view of executive power with his own plan to limit such power?

“That is one of my big concerns, not just with Donald Trump but with whoever the next president may be.”

Is he concerned that Trump doesn’t share his views on entitlements?

“We’re going to focus on our own proposals.”

Is Ryan disappointed there aren’t more discussions with Trump?

“I can control what I can control.”

But Ryan can’t control Trump, nor win real concessions from him.

As the highest-ranking Republican in America, he has a stark and binary choice to make: tie his and his party’s future to Trump, or walk away.


Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank. (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

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Trump Gets Delegates To Clinch Nomination http://themoderatevoice.com/trump-gets-delegates-to-clinch-nomination/ http://themoderatevoice.com/trump-gets-delegates-to-clinch-nomination/#comments Fri, 27 May 2016 01:13:21 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216489 gop

Donald Trump reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican presidential nomination, the Associated Press reports. While the New York real estate magnate has been the presumptive GOP nominee since his last remaining rivals dropped out of the race several weeks ago, he was pushed over the top Thursday when a small number [...]

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gop

Donald Trump reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican presidential nomination, the Associated Press reports. While the New York real estate magnate has been the presumptive GOP nominee since his last remaining rivals dropped out of the race several weeks ago, he was pushed over the top Thursday when a small number of…

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In politics, it’s not what you say but how you say it, acoustical analysis shows http://themoderatevoice.com/politics-not-say-say-acoustical-analysis-shows/ http://themoderatevoice.com/politics-not-say-say-acoustical-analysis-shows/#comments Thu, 26 May 2016 17:30:12 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216478 screamingman

Even with very different messages, politicians may sound the same, new research finds. Scientists who analyzed the vocal stylings of four presidential contenders in the 2016 race — Hillary Clinton, Carly Fiorina, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump — found that all four candidates altered their voices in similar ways, depending on the audience. The findings, [...]

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screamingman

Even with very different messages, politicians may sound the same, new research finds. Scientists who analyzed the vocal stylings of four presidential contenders in the 2016 race — Hillary Clinton, Carly Fiorina, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump — found that all four candidates altered their voices in similar ways, depending on the audience. The findings, described…

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Cartoons: Donald Trump HEILshtag http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-donald-trump-heilshtag/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-donald-trump-heilshtag/#comments Thu, 26 May 2016 17:00:45 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216476 Osmani Simanca, A Tarde, Salvador de Bahia, Brasil

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Osmani Simanca, A Tarde, Salvador de Bahia, Brasil
Osmani Simanca, A Tarde, Salvador de Bahia, Brasil

Osmani Simanca, A Tarde, Salvador de Bahia, Brasil

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Whiteness Nothing To Apologize For http://themoderatevoice.com/whiteness-nothing-to-apologize-for/ http://themoderatevoice.com/whiteness-nothing-to-apologize-for/#comments Thu, 26 May 2016 17:00:01 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216471 Black and White

Lately, I have observed a lament being made by some non-white Americans about the whiteness of white Americans. Their lament goes like this: “Your whiteness gives you privileges that non-whites do not have, and you should apologize for it.” The first half of that lament is reasonable. Historically, whiteness has enabled white Americans to gain [...]

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Black and White

Lately, I have observed a lament being made by some non-white Americans about the whiteness of white Americans. Their lament goes like this: “Your whiteness gives you privileges that non-whites do not have, and you should apologize for it.”

The first half of that lament is reasonable. Historically, whiteness has enabled white Americans to gain things more easily than they would if they were non-white.

The second half of that lament is nonsense.

Me apologize for being privileged? Really? If you want to know what kind of privileges I had while growing up, then watch the movie The Outsiders. That movie is about the real class-warfare that existed in my hometown during the 50s and 60s. The poor white kids in the movie are the Greasers, and the Greasers are my heritage.

Back in high school, we poorer white boys wanted to cut out the little alligators on the Izod shirts worn by the wealthier white students, and we wanted to cut out the alligators with a knife while the Izod shirts were still being worn. Yeah, to us poorer kids, privileges were for the wealthier kids. Indeed, we poorer white kids had far more in common with our black classmates than we did with our richer white classmates.

When I was in high school, privilege was seen as a result of wealth. Students from wealthier families had the privilege of wearing Izod shirts, while students from poorer families had to make do with clothing of lesser quality.

Nowadays, one is privileged if one can afford to send one’s child to a private school. From the viewpoint of people living in the slums of Third-World nations, one is privileged if one is able to live in a home that has hot and cold running water. Non-white Americans usually live in homes that have those. So, should they apologize for their privilege?

Black and White

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Take a Wild Guess Which Political Party is Imperiling Babies (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/216480/ http://themoderatevoice.com/216480/#comments Thu, 26 May 2016 15:24:25 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216480 Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com

Take a Wild Guess Which Political Party is Imperiling Babies By Dick Polman We all know by now that Republicans are well practiced at the art of magical thinking — massive tax cuts balance the budget, human-induced climate change isn’t real, Donald Trump is a normal candidate — but the delusion that tops them all [...]

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Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com
Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com

Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com

Take a Wild Guess Which Political Party is Imperiling Babies
By Dick Polman

We all know by now that Republicans are well practiced at the art of magical thinking — massive tax cuts balance the budget, human-induced climate change isn’t real, Donald Trump is a normal candidate — but the delusion that tops them all is their apparent belief that the Zika virus will slow its pace and take its cues from the ideological cheapskates on Capitol Hill.

Way back on Feb. 8, President Obama — acting on dire warnings from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — requested that the Republican Congress pony up nearly $1.9 billion to head off an impending public health emergency. The mosquito-borne Zika virus was nearing American shores and imperiling pregnant women, who, if infected, could give birth to babies with abnormally small heads and severe brain defects. What could be more prudent than to pump sufficient money into preventive mosquito control, vaccine research, and public education?

Sixteen weeks later, the Republican Congress has passed squat. With no end in sight. It simply refuses to spend the money that health experts know is necessary.

I had long assumed that, for all their hostility to governance, Republicans at minimum believed that protecting American families was paramount. (You know, family values.) I now stand corrected. Apparently, even babies are to be sacrificed on their ideological altar.

The Republican House wants to give the NIH and CDC only $622 million — roughly one-third of what Obama requested. That money would come from the funds that were OK’d in 2014 to fight the Ebola outbreak (we’re still fighting Ebola, in Africa). The Republican House also says that the $622 million would basically expire in September, and at that point Obama would have to ask for more. Meanwhile, the Republican Senate wants to provide $1.1 billion — roughly half of what Obama requested. It toyed with the idea of financing the Zika fight by taking money out of Obamacare, but it finally passed the bill without doing something that stupid.

No doubt you’ve spotted the big problem: The Republican House and the Republican Senate are far apart on how many pennies should be pinched, and that stalemate is expected to last well into the summer. That should give the Zika virus more time to infect more people — unless, of course, the virus agrees to abide by the Republican timetable. More than 1,300 cases have already been confirmed; most are pregnant American travelers and citizens of Puerto Rico.

Public health experts can’t fathom why Congress is behaving this way. Dr. Peter J. Hotez, at the Baylor College of Medicine, recently said, “I’m very worried, especially for our U.S. Gulf Coast states … It’s like refusing emergency preparedness funds for an approaching hurricane.” Even the GOP-dominated National Governors Association pleaded for Congress to act, warning in a statement this month that “the nation is on the threshold of a public health emergency.”

Best of all, we have Marco Rubio. Freed of the need to pander, the lame duck senator — mindful of Zika’s threat to Florida — is clanging the alarm.

“Do we (spend) now before it becomes a crisis, or do we wait for it to become a crisis?” Rubio asked “Congress is going to have to explain to the people why it is we sat around and did nothing on something of this magnitude.”

And let’s not kid ourselves here. The main reason they’ve been sitting around since February is because the request came from Obama. Saving babies is a lower priority than hating Obama.

Two years ago, in the early days of the Ebola crisis, Republicans said that Obama wasn’t doing enough to keep the disease away from American shores. Yet today, with Obama doing everything he can to keep Zika away from American shores, Republicans don’t like that, either. And if, as expected, the Zika cases mount after the virus hits here, rest assured they’ll try to blame Obama.

But like Rubio, a few rare Republicans prefer to be rational. Earlier this month, House member Vern Buchanan — mindful of the virus threatening his Florida district – announced his support for Obama’s money request, and cited medical research which shows that Zika “eats away” at the brain and “destroys the ability to think.”

Destroys the ability to think…

Sounds like a Zika mutation has already infected his colleagues.

——-

Copyright 2016 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Dick Polman is the national political columnist at NewsWorks/WHYY in Philadelphia (newsworks.org/polman) and a “Writer in Residence” at the University of Pennsylvania. Email him at dickpolman7@gmail.com.

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Trumpism: Made in Europe http://themoderatevoice.com/216472/ http://themoderatevoice.com/216472/#comments Thu, 26 May 2016 14:48:39 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216472 3194518434_e2e0849a30

WASHINGTON — Here’s the irony of Donald Trump’s “America First,” immigrant-bashing, free-trade-averse, make-us-great-again nationalism: It is a European import. The American right has typically been anti-government, reverent of the Constitution, suspicious of political strongmen and resolute in insisting that “American exceptionalism” makes us different from other nations. But Trumpism is not an American original. Almost [...]

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WASHINGTON — Here’s the irony of Donald Trump’s “America First,” immigrant-bashing, free-trade-averse, make-us-great-again nationalism: It is a European import.

The American right has typically been anti-government, reverent of the Constitution, suspicious of political strongmen and resolute in insisting that “American exceptionalism” makes us different from other nations.

But Trumpism is not an American original. Almost every plank in the candidate’s vaguely defined platform is derivative of the European far right. It is gaining ground on the basis of opposition to immigration, fears of terrorism and crime, economic nationalism, and promises of a government wielding a muscular hand against the forces of disorder.

While one would like to think that the copycat nature of Trump’s ideology will, in the coming months, make it increasingly less attractive to American voters, his rise is no less disturbing for being emblematic of what’s happening across so many democracies.

Trump’s emergence is a symptom of a larger democratic distemper roiling the world’s political parties on the center-right and center-left that have underwritten free government since 1945.

For all their differences, these parties have shared a commitment to institutions that combined liberty with welfare; created a reasonably well-distributed prosperity; respected the power of democratic government to do good but also accepted its limits; and embraced the need for compromise.

The weakness of these parties was brought home dramatically this week in Austria where Norbert Hofer, the candidate of the far-right Freedom Party that has explicit roots in the Nazi past, nearly won the country’s presidency.

Yes, it was good news that Hofer was edged out by Alexander Van der Bellen, who was backed by the Green Party. But Van der Bellen’s margin was unsettlingly small — he won 50.3 percent of the vote to Hofer’s 49.7 percent.

The fact that the alternative to the far right came from the Greens reflected the decline of the two parties dominant in Austrian politics since World War II. The candidates of the center-right People’s Party and the center-left Social Democrats didn’t even make the runoff. (BEG Between them, they mustered only 22.4 percent in the first round of voting. Imagine an American election in which Republicans and Democrats were, together, reduced to little over one-fifth of the total.

The voting patterns in Austria closely resembled those visible on our side of the Atlantic. Polls commissioned by ORF, Austria’s public broadcaster, showed that Hofer (like Trump in the primaries and in the polls) led handily in rural areas, among men and among manual workers. Van der Bellen swamped the right-wing candidate in the big cities and among women, while also leading him among white-collar workers.

Mainstream parties, which can be infected by complacency, certainly bear some responsibility for what’s happening. The defection of working-class voters to the far right is a cross-democracy electoral phenomenon that reflects a serious failure on the part of social democratic and progressive parties whose historical task had been to represent citizens in blue collars.

At the same time, the moderate conservative parties have seen some of their own natural constituents drawn away by rising anti-immigrant feeling — this has hurt German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union — aggravated by Europe’s refugee crisis.

Here again, the Trump analogy holds: Mainstream Republicans winked and nodded toward a hard line on immigration; Trump has embraced it whole with his calls for a border wall and a temporary ban on admitting Muslims to the country.

Thus another cross-Atlantic similarity: Opinions that were once far outside the normal political discourse on immigration and nationalism are now expressed routinely. Katya Adler, the BBC’s Europe editor, captured this trend by pointing to the German word (BEG ITAL)salonfaehig(END ITAL), which literally means “passable for your living room,” i.e., socially acceptable.

Trump’s relentless attacks on “political correctness” are intended to break the barriers against what had once been beyond-the-pale sentiments on immigrants and race. His crude approach to campaigning (on Tuesday, he called Hillary Clinton “this low life”) reflects an indifference to norms that reinforces popular contempt for politics and traditional politicians.

Standing up against the new far right should be a shared task across the old political divides in all democracies. But Republican politicians are falling in line one-by-one behind Trump, choosing to ignore the threat he poses to political decency and his challenge to democratic values themselves.

The United States should not look to the European far right as our model. The land of opportunity and freedom with a long tradition of welcoming newcomers should be leading the resistance to the new authoritarianism.

E.J. Dionne’s email address is ejdionne@washpost.com. Twitter: @EJDionne.(c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

photo credit: Europe sept. 1938 via photopin (license)

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The outrageous handcuffing of public defenders must stop (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/outrageous-handcuffing-public-defenders-must-stop-guest-voice/ http://themoderatevoice.com/outrageous-handcuffing-public-defenders-must-stop-guest-voice/#comments Thu, 26 May 2016 14:31:29 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216430 800px-Handcuffed_hands_(line_drawing) (1)

The outrageous handcuffing of public defenders must stop by Stephen Cooper The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that a “deputy public defender found herself in handcuffs Monday [May 23] as she tried to keep a client out of jail.” Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Conrad Hafen “said he wanted to teach the lawyer about courtroom [...]

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The outrageous handcuffing of public defenders must stop
by Stephen Cooper

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that a “deputy public defender found herself in handcuffs Monday [May 23] as she tried to keep a client out of jail.” Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Conrad Hafen “said he wanted to teach the lawyer about courtroom etiquette,” so he directed his courtroom marshal to handcuff public defender Zohra Bakhtary, a lawyer who has appeared weekly in his courtroom for the last year to defend poor people charged with crimes.

Bakhtary was cuffed and made to “sit in the jury box, alongside inmates wearing jail clothing, while the judge finished hearing the case at hand.”

According to Judge Hafen, Bakhtary’s offense in advocating for her client not to go to jail for an alleged probation violation on petit larceny charges was that Bakhtary “talk[ed] over” him and was interrupting him as he made his ruling.

As reported by The Washington Post, a virtually identical situation occurred in D.C. in the fall of 2007, when I was working as a trial attorney at the D.C. Public Defender Service. One of my colleagues, an exceptional attorney and passionate, dedicated woman of color like Bakhtary – was, just like Bakhtary, advocating against the imprisonment of her poor client – when a D.C. Superior Court judge summarily ordered the marshals to “step her back,” where she “was searched, shackled, and detained.” The Post reported “transcripts show[ed] the trouble took place during a protracted back-and-forth at a hearing” where my colleague was trying to inform the judge “that a client she was representing was ‘homeless and poor.’”

Almost two years after this volatile and disturbing episode, The Legal Times quietly noted in its blog that the Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure publicly reprimanded the judge because the circumstances “did not approach the rare circumstances in which the extraordinary exercise of judicial power would be warranted.”

Taking a decidedly different view of the indistinguishable brouhaha between himself and public defender Bakhtary, Judge Hafen in Las Vegas said “he thought handcuffing the lawyer may cure the problem,” insisting, “And it did. We went on with the rest of the calendar, and everything was fine.”

Earth to Judge Hafen: everything is assuredly not “fine.”

No different from the case involving my colleague in D.C., where the Judicial Commission found the judge “violated the judicial canon that instructs judges to ‘be patient, dignified and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, and others'”, Judge Hafen clearly let his umbrage at being talked over cloud his judgment. While it’s too early to know, discipline for Judge Hafen and a public clearing of the record should, mimicking what happened in D.C., likewise follow.

Are these incidents of public defenders, particularly women public defenders, being disrespected and trussed up like they robbed a bank few and far between? It sure doesn’t seem so.

In March, a just-released report authored by the Office of Citizen Complaints opined on a January 2015 incident stating, “San Francisco police officers wrongly arrested a deputy public defender and handcuffed her after she questioned why they were photographing one of her clients outside a courtroom.” When asked by the media about what happened, the brave public defender in that case “said her reputation was harmed and that she was embarrassed as a result of her courthouse arrest.”

Her boss said: “Public defenders represent people with little money and even less power. It is contempt for the poor that results in routine disrespect of public defenders. In the face of this contempt, Jami never wavered in her duty to her client. That’s because the right to counsel is a shield to protect ordinary citizens from intimidation.”

Can I get an ‘Amen’ anyone? How about a ‘Hallelujah’?

Being a public defender is tough. It’s grinding, under-compensated, unappreciated, physically and emotionally draining work. It takes fierce heart, thick skin, formidable stamina, and a deep-seated desire to help the least fortunate among us.

The time is now for all judges, police officers and other repeat players in the criminal justice system – not to mention the society at large – to give public defenders what they so richly deserve: Respect.

Stephen Cooper is a former federal and D.C. public defender. He has contributed to numerous magazines and newspapers in the United States and overseas. He writes full-time and lives in Woodland Hills, California.

Graphic by Vectorportal (Vectorportal.com). [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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‘Simpsons’ Characters Provide Life Advice in Commencement Speech http://themoderatevoice.com/simpsons-characters-provide-life-advice-in-commencement-speech/ http://themoderatevoice.com/simpsons-characters-provide-life-advice-in-commencement-speech/#comments Thu, 26 May 2016 04:11:39 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216469 Hank-Azaria-Commencement-Speech-screenshot-Tufts-University-326x176

Universities usually have a single commencement speaker, but Tufts got more than it bargained for: Comic Book Guy, Moe Syzlak the bartender, Quick-E-Mart manager Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, and Police Chief Wiggum all showed up to speak to the students-channeled through actor Hank Azaria, who voices the characters on “The Simpsons”. WATCH: Bill Gates Touts Power Of [...]

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Universities usually have a single commencement speaker, but Tufts got more than it bargained for: Comic Book Guy, Moe Syzlak the bartender, Quick-E-Mart manager Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, and Police Chief Wiggum all showed up to speak to the students-channeled through actor Hank Azaria, who voices the characters on “The Simpsons”. WATCH: Bill Gates Touts Power Of Optimism…

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Cartoons: BERNIE’S LITTLE DROPS OF LOVE FOR LITTLE DEBBIE http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-bernies-little-drops-of-love-for-little-debbie/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-bernies-little-drops-of-love-for-little-debbie/#comments Thu, 26 May 2016 03:05:14 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216462 Coast Guard commencement

Bernie’s little drops of love for little Debbie by Clay Jones A lot of people are really unhappy with the job Debbie Wasserman Schultz has performed as chair of the Democratic Party. The one person who is probably the most unhappy with her is Bernie Sanders. One thing sitting Senators and Congressmen do not do….ever, [...]

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Bernie’s little drops of love for little Debbie
by Clay Jones

A lot of people are really unhappy with the job Debbie Wasserman Schultz has performed as chair of the Democratic Party. The one person who is probably the most unhappy with her is Bernie Sanders.

One thing sitting Senators and Congressmen do not do….ever, is endorse a primary opponent against a current sitting representative in their own party. Guess what Bernie did. Bernie Sanders has endorsed Wasserman Schultz’s primary opponent. He has also stated that if he’s elected president that she will no longer be the chair of the DNC. Ouch! Feel that bern, baby.

Sanders even sent out an email for her opponent, Tim Canova, soliciting campaign donations, which apparently brought in a lot of cash.

Sanders feels Wasserman Schultz has favored Hillary Clinton throughout the Democratic primary. She actually worked on Hillary’s 2008 campaign so he might have a point. Other evidence he points to that shows she favors Clinton is her use of super delegates, which is like giving Clinton a running start. There were also closed closed primaries in several states which prevents independents from voting, which is very undemocratic for a party called the “Democratic party.” Worst of all, Wasserman Schultz scheduled very few debates, with some of those happening on Saturday nights. I’m really shocked Wasserman Schultz didn’t schedule any for 4:00 am Thursday morning on C-SPAN. Apparently the more people get of Hillary Clinton the less they like her. It’s probably the laugh. For me its’ the laugh and the Big Bird pants suit she wore for one of the debates. Obviously, her campaign is staffed entirely with yes people. Yes, ma’am, that suit is fabulous and not ridiculous looking at all.

Will Sanders’s support of Cavona against Debbie have any impact? I doubt it. In the Florida primary Hillary Clinton won that particular congressional district by 37%.

Even if these complaints against Wasserman Schultz weren’t out there in the political atmosphere, I would still believe she should be knocked out of the chairmanship. It’s a conflict of interest. She’s a sitting member of Congress. That’s her job. Not the blanket partisanship of chairing the party. We can blame President Obama for that as he’s the one who appointed her, which was probably done to appease Hillary after he thrashed her in the 2008 primaries.

Bernie may have “berned” some bridges in the Democratic Party. But what does he really care? He only recently became a Democrat as he’s spent his entire legislative career as an independent. He’ll probably go back to that status after the election.

Bernie’s birds pooping on Debbie’s hair would suck. But at least they’re not making a nest in it. I believe that’s physically possible.

This cartoon and post by Clay Jones are from his website www.claytoonz.com

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Is Trump’s Campaign Chairman Hurting His Fund-Raising Efforts? http://themoderatevoice.com/is-trumps-campaign-chairman-hurting-his-fund-raising-efforts/ http://themoderatevoice.com/is-trumps-campaign-chairman-hurting-his-fund-raising-efforts/#comments Wed, 25 May 2016 21:06:25 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216453 paul-manafort-trump-convention-manager-newday-00000000-full-169

By hiring Paul Manafort, first as his convention manager and now as his campaign chairman, Donald Trump may have hoped to install a seasoned and respected political hand to round his youthful, unorthodox campaign team into place. But Manafort, a veteran of the Ford, Reagan, Bush and Dole campaigns, appears to be raising more and [...]

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By hiring Paul Manafort, first as his convention manager and now as his campaign chairman, Donald Trump may have hoped to install a seasoned and respected political hand to round his youthful, unorthodox campaign team into place. But Manafort, a veteran of the Ford, Reagan, Bush and Dole campaigns, appears to be raising more and more questions as the campaign searches for answers, particularly about how it will raise the needed funds to take on the vaunted Clinton finance machine.

Manafort, a long-time lobbyist and international deal-maker, has been scrutinized for his connections to foreign dictators and the so-called “torturers’ lobby.” He has been questioned by authorities conducting an investigation into an international money laundering ring.

But perhaps most disturbing for supporters of Donald Trump may be allegations that Manafort is deliberately sandbagging pro-Trump fundraising efforts in an effort to expand his control and personal profits.

According to sources who claim direct knowledge of the situation, Manafort has been working through back channels to push donors away from existing fundraising vehicles, hampering their efforts. The goal, these sources say, is to ensure failure of the current finance operations in support of Trump, enabling Manafort to steer money to an as-yet unnamed PAC or committee that is controlled by his allies, who — these sources allege — could then funnel big backdoor money to him after the election.

A former colleague of Manafort from the Reagan and Bush campaigns alleges that such tactics are consistent with Manafort’s modus operandi. Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, the source was unequivocal, saying, “Paul Manafort cares about one thing: Paul Manafort, He will do whatever it takes to ensure his power and make a buck. Even if it undermines and damages his clients.”

I am not placed to assess these claims – and invite Manafort to exercise his right to reply – but it is clear that the allegations are themselves newsworthy, coming as they do at a very sensitive time for Trump.

After largely self-funding his primary campaign, Trump’s fundraising operation appears to be far behind that of Hillary Clinton. Perhaps Trump has an opportunity now to close ground on Hillary while she is engaged in her intra-party fight till the DNC in early August, but that it not very far into the future.

“Every day squandered by these games is a major setback in electing Donald G Trump president,” continued the source. “They need to stop.”

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On this day … a commitment to science, technology and space http://themoderatevoice.com/216451/ http://themoderatevoice.com/216451/#comments Wed, 25 May 2016 19:36:04 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216451 Earth from the oom

And humanity. On this day, 55 years ago, President John F. Kennedy challenged Congress and Americans to think big, to look beyond the stirrings of conflict in the developing world, to “turn recession into recovery”, and to turn our eyes to the stars. Unemployment was 7.1%, the peak of the recession. And the recovery he led — [...]

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And humanity.

On this day, 55 years ago, President John F. Kennedy challenged Congress and Americans to think big, to look beyond the stirrings of conflict in the developing world, to “turn recession into recovery”, and to turn our eyes to the stars.

Unemployment was 7.1%, the peak of the recession.

And the recovery he led — a testament to Keynesian economics — was “the second longest economic expansion in U.S. history.”

Part of that recovery included investment in science and technology as well as a vision that captured the nation’s imagination:

I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish… But in a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the moon–if we make this judgment affirmatively, it will be an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there. (emphasis added)
~ President John F. Kennedy, 25 March 1961

What were key parts of Kennedy’s economic plan?

Wages

  • Extend the minimum wage to a larger pool of workers
  • Increase the minimum wage from $1.00 per hour to $1.15 immediately; $1.25 per hour within two years. And $1.15 in 1961 is equivalent to $9.20 today. Today’s federal minimum wage is $7.25; it was set in 2009 and that sum is equivalent to $8.09 today. In other words, someone making the minimum wage in 2009 would need to make $8.09 today to break-even.

Unemployment and eduction

Social net

  • Raise the minimum monthly social security benefit from $33 per month to $43 per month
  • Pay actuarially-reduced benefits beginning at age 62
  • Extend social security benefits to a larger pool of people
  • Extend disability insurance protection after a worker has been totally disabled for 6 months
  • Early payment of life insurance dividends to veterans of World War I and II

It’s deja vu, all over again

Does any of this sound familiar? It should, if you’ve been following the presidential nomination process.

Through the bulk of the JFK/LBJ expansion of the 1960s, the top marginal tax rate in the U.S. was 70%. Today it is 39.6%.

Today’s corporations pay an “average effective rate” that is “about the same” as the 25.5% paid by corporations around the world. That’s about half the corporate tax rate in 1961.

And this is the result:

Income Inequality, graphed;cbpp.org

The increase in income concentration since the 1970s reverses the prior, long-term downward trend in concentration.

 

We need a visionary to lead our country … someone who rejects more-of-the-same politics which have brought us to this place in time where the gap between the very rich and everyone else is wider than at any time since the Roaring 1920s … who brings people together rather than wields words as swords to set them upon one another.

 

:: Cross-posted from WiredPen
:: Follow me on Twitter

 

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Hillary Clinton did not comply with federal email policy, watchdog finds http://themoderatevoice.com/hillary-clinton-did-not-comply-with-federal-email-policy-watchdog-finds/ http://themoderatevoice.com/hillary-clinton-did-not-comply-with-federal-email-policy-watchdog-finds/#comments Wed, 25 May 2016 17:04:43 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216449 U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the IBEW union hall in Commerce, California, U.S., May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

By Jonathan Allen NEW YORK (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while U.S. secretary of state broke government rules and was not approved by State Department security officials, according to an internal government watchdog’s report released on Wednesday. Clinton’s use of the private email server in her home [...]

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U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the IBEW union hall in Commerce, California, U.S., May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the IBEW union hall in Commerce, California, U.S., May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the IBEW union hall in Commerce, California, U.S., May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while U.S. secretary of state broke government rules and was not approved by State Department security officials, according to an internal government watchdog’s report released on Wednesday.

Clinton’s use of the private email server in her home in Chappaqua, New York, for government purposes has prompted several investigations, including an ongoing probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The email controversy has hung over her campaign for months.

The report by the department’s inspector general cited “longstanding, systemic weaknesses” with State Department records that predated Clinton’s tenure, and found problems with the email record-keeping of some of her predecessors.

But it also singled out Clinton, the front-runner in the race to become the Democratic presidential nominee, for her decision to use a private email server for government business, apparently without seeking authorization.

“OIG found no evidence that the Secretary requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal email account on her private server,” the report said, using an abbreviation for the office of inspector general.

The report said she should have discussed the arrangement with the department’s security officials. Officials told the inspector general’s office that they “did not – and would not – approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct Department business.” The reason, those officials said, is because it breached department rules and presented “security risks.”

There was no immediate comment from Clinton or her predecessors as secretary of state.

Officials in the inspector general’s office interviewed John Kerry, the current secretary of state, and predecessors Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright for the report, which was released to the media by lawmakers on Wednesday. Kerry asked the inspector general to investigate after Clinton’s email arrangement came to light last year.

Clinton, who served as the nation’s top diplomat from 2009 to 2013, and her deputies, including Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan and Huma Abedin, declined to be interviewed for the inspector general’s investigation, the report said.

Republicans have used Clinton’s email practice to suggest she was trying to hide government records from scrutiny under public-access laws.

“It was a systemic, plotted-out plan to avoid the security that we should maintain for those kind of records,” U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a supporter of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, told Fox News on Wednesday.

Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman, said that the report’s key recommendations have already been acted upon.

“As this report underscores, agencies across the Federal Government are working to adapt decades-old recordkeeping practices to the email-dominated modern era,” he said in statement.


(Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu, Patricia Zengerle and Arshad Mohammed in Washington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)

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To Better Conserve Wildlife, We Must Consider All Kinds Of Animals http://themoderatevoice.com/to-better-conserve-wildlife-we-must-consider-all-kinds-of-animals/ http://themoderatevoice.com/to-better-conserve-wildlife-we-must-consider-all-kinds-of-animals/#comments Wed, 25 May 2016 15:22:26 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216442 image-20160512-16410-yjnz4o (1)

Travis Gallo, Colorado State University For close to a century, the dominant method of conserving wildlife in the United States has been to protect and manage the areas where animals live. Millions of acres of public and private land across the United States are managed at least partly to serve as wildlife habitat. But land [...]

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Travis Gallo, Colorado State University For close to a century, the dominant method of conserving wildlife in the United States has been to protect and manage the areas where animals live. Millions of acres of public and private land across the United States are managed at least partly to serve as wildlife habitat. But land managers’…

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Trump Attacks the GOP’s Most Prominent Latina http://themoderatevoice.com/216440/ http://themoderatevoice.com/216440/#comments Wed, 25 May 2016 15:19:22 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216440 Susana Martinez

Apparently (I don’t watch the circus anymore), Trump in Albuquerque last night really blasted New Mexico Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, blaming her “for the state’s economic problems, for the growing number of food stamp recipients and for not doing more to reject Syrian refugees” and heaped on other “niceties.” Martinez is the country’s first Latina [...]

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Susana Martinez

Susana Martinez

Apparently (I don’t watch the circus anymore), Trump in Albuquerque last night really blasted New Mexico Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, blaming her “for the state’s economic problems, for the growing number of food stamp recipients and for not doing more to reject Syrian refugees” and heaped on other “niceties.”

Martinez is the country’s first Latina governor and the first female governor of New Mexico.

While the governor, through her press secretary, pretty much destroyed Trump’s outburst:

Apparently, Donald Trump doesn’t realize Governor Martinez wasn’t elected in 2000, that she has fought for welfare reform, and has strongly opposed the President’s Syrian refugee plan. But the pot shots weren’t about policy, they were about politics. And the Governor will not be bullied into supporting a candidate … Governor Martinez doesn’t care about what Donald Trump says about her – she cares about what he says he will do to help New Mexicans. She didn’t hear anything about that today.

…James Hohmann at the Washington Post takes it seven steps farther listing and discussing “seven reasons why last night’s comments are deeply problematic…” and in doing so in effect presents seven reasons why this demagogue’s candidacy itself is problematic and, in addition and in my opinion, why this clown is so deeply flawed in so many ways.

Here are the seven reasons:

1. The riff underscored the hollowness of Trump’s promises to unite the fractured Republican Party.

2. Attacking the most prominent Latina in his party will make Hispanic outreach even harder.

3. Last night’s rally further illustrates why Trump is on track to get clobbered among women.

4. Even with the nomination wrapped up, Trump remains thin-skinned and lacks self-discipline.

5. Party unity is further out of reach than conventional wisdom suggests.

6. Trump’s willingness to go after Republicans who aren’t getting on board showcases the perils for GOP candidates who distance themselves.

7. As Trump snipes at fellow Republicans, he continues to galvanize the left.

The reader can find Hohmann’s excellent rationale for each one of these reasons here. However, one reason — reason “number 3″ — deserves quoting the author’s full explanation, as Trump’s disgusting comments about, and attitude towards, women cannot be detailed often enough. Keep in mind, these were this misogynist’s offensive outbursts at just one event:

Martinez is not just Hispanic; she’s also the first female governor of New Mexico. Tellingly, she was not the only target of Trump’s ire. Several other women were in his crosshairs, as well, and his language was quite gendered.

Trump called Hillary a “low-life” and then went on to imitate the way she talks, raising his voice to a high-pitched yell. “I will never say this but she screams and drives me crazy,” Trump said. “I can’t listen.”

He once again referred to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as “Pocahontas,” a reference to her claims of Native American heritage. “She is probably the senator that’s doing just about the least in the United States Senate,” he said. “She’s a total failure. She said she was an Indian. She said because her cheekbones were high, she was an Indian.”

The most offensive language, though, came from one of the warm-up speakers. David Chavez, a former state lawmaker, compared voting for Clinton because she’s a woman to drinking bleach because it looks like water. “I’ve heard people say: I don’t know who to choose: Trump or Hillary. Even Bill Clinton chose other women. So you should, too,” Chavez said. (Jenna, our reporter in the room, says the crowd laughed and applauded…)

Finally, and most ironically, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez was suggested by none other than Fox News “stalwart and Trump’s vanilla milkshake partner in crime,” Bill O’Reilly, as the “only choice” for Trump’s running mate.

According to Mediaite.com, “‘There is only one choice if he wants to win the White House, only one person,” O’Reilly said at the time. ‘[Martinez] cuts across all the ethnic boundaries. She’s very bright. She is a Republican conservative.'”

Apparently these rare words of possible wisdom by O’Reilly could not get through the Don’s coiffure and into his ears.

Gov Martinez’ photo courtesy http://www.governor.state.nm.us/Meet_Governor_Martinez.aspx

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Can Split Government Work? http://themoderatevoice.com/can-split-government-work/ http://themoderatevoice.com/can-split-government-work/#comments Wed, 25 May 2016 11:06:27 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216436 shutterstock_146820596

There is a Democratic president in office with Republican controlled House and Senate. Can they work together to make government function well? The right-wing’s hostility to President Obama has interfered with government operations since his inauguration. It appears to have only worsened with time. Instead of putting country over party, conservative Republicans have played to [...]

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shutterstock_146820596

shutterstock_146820596There is a Democratic president in office with Republican controlled House and Senate. Can they work together to make government function well? The right-wing’s hostility to President Obama has interfered with government operations since his inauguration. It appears to have only worsened with time. Instead of putting country over party, conservative Republicans have played to their base, trying to make life difficult for the president and not allow him any victories.

The Senate’s refusal to confirm Obama’s candidate to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, a centrist judge with impeccable credentials, is another example of Republican partisanship, ignoring past precedent. The Republican action is pure politics. No other nominee for the Supreme Court has ever been rejected in a president’s last year in office, but the Republican right-wing is unmoved and wants to wait to choose a candidate when Obama is out of office. GOP Senators are afraid that Garland would tip the Court to the left, when Scalia had been strongly conservative, as had the Court itself been for decades.

With the Court now split between four conservatives and four liberals, four to four rulings are coming from the Court and will continue, resulting in judicial paralysis. Though a majority of Americans want the Senate to vote on Garland up or down for the Court, the Republicans are turning a deaf ear to this desire. The rulings made by Federal Courts of Appeal will often stand as law, until a ninth Supreme Court Justice is finally confirmed by the Senate whose Republican members do not care about the judicial gridlock.

As bad as the rejection of Garland by Republicans has been their obstructionism in filling federal court appointments recommended by Obama, causing difficulties in the courts’ ability to function, with heavy caseloads for justices and long delays in handling cases. As of February 2016, eleven federal district court nominees were awaiting votes by the full Senate and twenty-five judicial appointments had not yet passed the Judicial Committee. The battle between Obama and the Republican Senators over federal court nominations at the appeals court level was ongoing even before Scalia’s death opened up the Supreme Court seat.

With the GOP regaining control of the Senate in January 2015, Republican Senators blocked Obama’s attempt to fill vacancies on regional federal courts of appeal. The senators refused to approve of candidates for judgeships in their states ahead of formal nomination, the process that had previously been in place and almost automatic. Right-wing conservative groups and commentators had pressured senators not to allow Obama to make any more appointments to the upper ranks of the judiciary, as these judges often are the final arbiters in cases that the Supreme Court does not review.

There are also one hundred and forty three nominees for non-judicial federal jobs awaiting confirmations by the Senate, with the Republicans using their majority to delay the installation of Obama’s choices. Some of these are important bureaucratic jobs that deal with national security and terrorism. Included was Secretary of the Army for which Eric Fanning was nominated in September 2015 and finally confirmed in May 2016. Numerous ambassadorial appointments remain in limbo as well for partisan reasons, some of them to large nations with which relations with the United States had been problematic. And some GOP members of Congress want to impeach the head of the IRS over issues that were present before his appointment, claiming that he lied to them in testimony.

The fact that the federal court system is backlogged and not functioning well has not seemed to move highly partisan Republican senators to act. The fact that a number of the federal government’s agencies are not operating optimally also has had no effect on the GOP. More important to them is making Obama and the federal government look bad to Americans. Politics is more of an impetus to Republicans than having the government work.

Resurrecting Democracy

www.robertlevinebooks.com

photo by shutterstock

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Four months after announcing it, Trump JUST gave $1 million to veterans group http://themoderatevoice.com/four-months-after-announcing-it-trump-just-gave-1-million-to-veterans-groups/ http://themoderatevoice.com/four-months-after-announcing-it-trump-just-gave-1-million-to-veterans-groups/#comments Wed, 25 May 2016 04:16:56 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216431 trump-veterans-701x359 (1)

Isn’t it time to just come and and state the facts? Republican to-be-sure 2016 Presidential nominee Donald Trump lied when he skipped the Fox News debate in January, ran a televised fund-raiser event at the same time to benefit veterans, and announced that he had personally given $1 million to veterans groups. According to the [...]

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Isn’t it time to just come and and state the facts? Republican to-be-sure 2016 Presidential nominee Donald Trump lied when he skipped the Fox News debate in January, ran a televised fund-raiser event at the same time to benefit veterans, and announced that he had personally given $1 million to veterans groups. According to the Washington Post, he donated the money MONDAY NIGHT as the clamor (especially from the Post, which has a long record of journalistic fearlessness) over what happened to all the big bucks he announced he had raised for veterans grew.

No matter how you twist it, donating the money four months later isn’t what he said in January. He had said he donated it then. The Post:

Almost four months after promising $1 million of his own money to veterans’ causes, Donald Trump moved to fulfill that pledge Monday evening — promising the entire sum to a single charity as he came under intense media scrutiny.

Trump, now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, organized a nationally televised fundraiser for veterans’ causes in Des Moines on Jan. 28. That night, Trump said he had raised $6 million, including the gift from his own pocket.

“Donald Trump gave $1 million,” he said then.

As recently as last week, Trump’s campaign manager had insisted that the mogul had already given that money away. But that was false: Trump had not.

Please note: this will make zero difference to Trump supporters. They will jump through all kinds of hoops to insist, well, he really gave it. but let’s run that line again:

“Donald Trump gave $1 million,” he said then.

As recently as last week, Trump’s campaign manager had insisted that the mogul had already given that money away. But that was false: Trump had not.

I was a reporter for a good many years, and when a story that isn’t flattering takes on “legs” the targets of those stories will try several things: 1)don’t return phone calls (a bad idea) 2)deny everything and then have to back track later, 3)admit the unflattering report is true (too difficult for most) and 4) do something quickly to try and deflate the story.

#4 is what is going on here:

In recent days, The Washington Post and other media outlets had pressed Trump and his campaign for details about how much the fundraiser had actually raised and whether Trump had given his portion.

The candidate refused to provide details. On Monday, a Post reporter used Twitter — Trump’s preferred social-media platform — to search publicly for any veterans groups that had received Trump’s money.

By Monday afternoon, The Post had found none. But it seems to have caught the candidate’s attention.

Later Monday evening, Trump called the home of James K. Kallstrom, a former FBI official who is chairman of the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. The charity aids families of fallen Marines and federal law enforcement officers.

Trump told Kallstrom that he would give the entire $1 million to the group, according to Kallstrom’s wife. Sue Kallstrom said she was not sure whether the money had been transferred yet.

The Post notes that other big fundraisers had given their gifts before.

But the Trump campaign is truth challenged, and the sad fact is that a somewhat a media that has relaxed its 20th century journalistic standards and downsized during this campaign season has not been up to the challenge of dealing with Trump’s repeated falsehoods.

Trump, his followers and spokespeople brush off fact checked facts about his assertions like flakes of dandruff falling from a scalp covered by an expensive hair weave.

Trump had told the Post he had to vet the organizations, but in this case:

For this particular donation, it would seem that little new vetting was required because Trump already knew the recipient well. The Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation had already received more than $230,000 in donations from the Donald J. Trump Foundation — a charity controlled by Trump but largely funded by others. Last year, the group gave Trump its “Commandant’s Leadership Award” at a gala in New York.

When asked Tuesday whether he had given the money this week only because reporters had been asking about it, Trump responded: “You know, you’re a nasty guy. You’re really a nasty guy. I gave out millions of dollars that I had no obligation to do.”

That’s the best defense is a good offense, a tactic Trump (and so many on the left and right use in comments on the Internet) uses often.

Trump’s call on Monday night stood in contradiction to an account given Friday by campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. “The money is fully spent,” Lewandowski said then. “Mr. Trump’s money is fully spent.”

On Tuesday, Trump said Lewandowski would not have been in a position to know that. “I don’t know that Corey would even know when I gave it out,” he said.

In the same interview, Trump said the fundraiser had raised about $5.5 million for veterans overall. He said he was not sure how much of it remained to be given away.

That also contrasted with the account last week from Lewandowski, who said that about $4.5 million had been raised and that Trump’s effort had fallen short of the promised $6 million because some unnamed big donors had backed out.

There’s more in the Post article.

What continues to be notable is how there are no consequences for Trump. It could be that we’re in a new century with a new kind of politics: truth-free politics. Repeating assertions, old conspiracy theories that proved to be excreted bull meals more than 20 years ago, name calling — it all is more effective than aggressively discussing issues. And most of the media is indeed complicit in this: most don’t challenge as the Washington Post is doing here, and the cable channels see Trump as a ratings and cash cow so they let him get on when he wants to — and while doesn’t always get softballs, but has had enough softball interviews to provide softballs for all of the schools in California.

It’s a hyperactive media: the big story was Trump defying Fox News, having a fundraiser that raised $6 million. Now, then asked about the money, the Trump campaign responds in effect: “Well……..” And, on balance, gets away with it.




















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The Trump train is fueled by conspiracy (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/216428/ http://themoderatevoice.com/216428/#comments Wed, 25 May 2016 00:54:51 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216428 412px-Socktroll_conspiracy_theorist (2)

The Trump train is fueled by conspiracy by Michael Gerson Washington Post Writers Group Columnist WASHINGTON — Watching the excellent documentary “Ebola in America: Epidemic of Fear” is to relive the confusion and controversies of the summer of 2014: the initial public health mistakes, the divided and unclear responsibilities, the hysterical coverage on cable TV. [...]

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The Trump train is fueled by conspiracy
by Michael Gerson
Washington Post Writers Group Columnist

WASHINGTON — Watching the excellent documentary “Ebola in America: Epidemic of Fear” is to relive the confusion and controversies of the summer of 2014: the initial public health mistakes, the divided and unclear responsibilities, the hysterical coverage on cable TV. But it is the political role played by Republicans and conservatives that stands out, and not in a good way.

At every stage, elements of the right made a reasonable, science-based response to Ebola more difficult. Against the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie quarantined a nurse returning from West Africa who had tested negative for the disease. Some conservative media outlets spread false information about the disease to exaggerate an impression of public health incompetence.

But it was Donald Trump who led the opposition. He tweeted: “The U.S. must immediately stop all flights from EBOLA infected countries or the plague will start and spread inside our ‘borders.’ Act fast!” And: “Ebola is much easier to transmit than the CDC and government representatives are admitting.”

Health officials were not lying. Travel to and from West Africa was essential for medical personnel and aid workers to defeat the disease at its point of origin. Trump’s ban would have made Ebola materially more likely to spread beyond control.

What kind of politics is ascendant in America? A distrust of institutions that borders on conspiratorial. Here is Trump again: “Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn’t feel good and changes — AUTISM.” And: “I am being proven right about massive vaccinations — the doctors lied.” And: “So many people who have children with autism have thanked me — amazing response. They know far better than fudged up reports!”

Lying doctors. Fudged reports. It would all be disturbing — if it were not conspiratorial nonsense. No connection has ever been demonstrated between vaccinations and autism. And this particular nonsense is potentially deadly. Trump is undermining a consensus for vaccination that builds up “herd immunity” and saves the lives of children.

Who else is plotting against us — I mean, other than public health officials and your local pediatrician? Well, the Mexican government, because “they send the bad ones over because they don’t want to pay for them.” And how does Trump know the “cunning” Mexicans are purposely exporting criminals? Because some unspecified “Border Patrol people” told him.

Even more disturbingly, there are the “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey who Trump claims celebrated after the Twin Towers collapse. For proof of this, he linked to an article at the Infowars website, run by Alex Jones, who has famously argued that the U.S. government was behind the 9/11 attacks. Trump has pledged that, if he is elected, “you will find out who really knocked down the World Trade Center.”

And then there are the black criminals who are responsible, according to a Trump retweet, for 81 percent of homicides against whites. Except that this turned out to be a racist myth from a white supremacist source.

And then there is the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. “They say they found a pillow on his face,” responded Trump, “which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow.”

Does Trump really believe that liberals may have ordered a hit on a Supreme Court justice? Who knows? We do know he finds such ideas useful. Trump emerged in conservative circles by questioning Barack Obama’s citizenship, and thus the legality of his presidency. This required the existence of a conspiracy to hide the circumstances of Obama’s birth. “They cannot believe what they’re finding,” he said of “people that have been studying it.” Having actually discovered nothing, Trump doubled down on a deception.

As a leader, Trump has succeeded by appealing to stereotypes and ugly hatreds that most American leaders have struggled to repress and contain. His political universe consists of deceptive experts, of scheming, of criminal Mexicans, of lying politicians and bureaucrats and of disloyal Muslims. Asked to repudiate David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan, Trump hesitated, later claiming a “bad earpiece.” Asked to repudiate the vicious anti-Semitism of some of his followers, Trump responded, “I don’t have a message to the fans.” Wouldn’t want to offend “the fans.”

This is not flirting with the fringes; it is French kissing them. Every Republican official endorsing to endorse Trump should know: This is the company he keeps. This is the company you now keep.


Michael Gerson’s email address is michaelgerson@washpost.com. (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

Photo b7 Durova (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Cartoons: Bernie, Hillary and Trump http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-bernie-hillary-and-trump/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-bernie-hillary-and-trump/#comments Tue, 24 May 2016 21:20:43 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216425 Patrick Chappatte, The International New York Times

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Patrick Chappatte, The International New York Times
Patrick Chappatte, The International New York Times

Patrick Chappatte, The International New York Times

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Pseudo Reporter Michelle Fields Returns http://themoderatevoice.com/pseudo-reporter-michelle-fields-returns/ http://themoderatevoice.com/pseudo-reporter-michelle-fields-returns/#comments Tue, 24 May 2016 21:00:12 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216416 Michelle Fields vs SNL

Although The Hill calls her a reporter, Michelle Fields plays the part of a pseudo reporter with a political ax to grind. That is the takeaway from a story in The Hill. Reporter Michelle Fields on Monday said Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign cannot treat Donald Trump as the former secretary of State’s equal. “You see [...]

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Michelle Fields vs SNL

Although The Hill calls her a reporter, Michelle Fields plays the part of a pseudo reporter with a political ax to grind. That is the takeaway from a story in The Hill.

Reporter Michelle Fields on Monday said Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign cannot treat Donald Trump as the former secretary of State’s equal. “You see the Hillary Clinton campaign, they need to make sure that they don’t treat Trump as serious candidate,” she told host Chris Hayes on MSNBC’s “All In.” “[It is] not to normalize Donald Trump. Treat him as though he is just this reality show star that’s unfit to be president.

By declaring Donald Trump unfit to be President, Fields has dropped all pretense of being a serious reporter. Instead of reporting the news, Fields is playing the part of Zara in William Congreve’s play The Mourning Bride: “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”

Fields was scorned when Trump’s campaign manager stopped her from asking Trump a question. Fields was scorned when her former employer Breitbart didn’t immediately support her claim about what happened with the campaign manager. She was scorned when prosecutors declined to prosecute the campaign manager.

So, Fields is now working for the Huffington Post, as reported by Politico: “The Huffington Post has hired former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, the site announced on Sunday. Fields will be on the political team covering presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, an interesting position for Fields considering her history with the campaign.”

Were there no openings for her at conservative-leaning media outlets? As much as Bill Kristol loathes Trump’s candidacy, why didn’t he put her to work for the Weekly Standard? Didn’t Erick Erickson have a place for her at Red State?

Perhaps Fields expects Huffington Post press credentials to enable her to cross boundaries that reporters aren’t supposed to cross, just as she did in the incident involving Trump’s campaign manager.

Regardless of the reason for her joining the Huffington Post, her doing so will signal to political conservatives that Fields is a pseudo conservative who probably should never have worked for Breitbart.

Granted, one doesn’t have to be a conservative in order to be a good reporter as long as one maintains some semblance of journalistic ethics. Only time will tell if Fields is capable of doing so. If she can’t, then perhaps she can take lessons from Robin Roberts, the latter being a journalist of fine repute.

* * * * *

As noted in a Mediaite article, Michelle Fields still complains about Trump’s response to what happened between her and his campaign manager.

Fields said it was absolutely bizarre to see the candidate of her own party “lying about me repeatedly on television.”

Her own party? Is that why Fields wants Hillary Clinton to win?

Anyway, Fields is in the public spotlight because she crossed a security boundary that other reporters refrained from crossing. The act of her doing so without apology reminds this writer of the Millennials who were lampooned in a 2015 Saturday Night Live skit. Salvator La Mastra explains the skit in The Blaze commentary ‘SNL’ Mocks Self-Absorbed Millennials.

“SNL” started the sharp sketch focusing on the millennial generation’s feelings of entitlement. A young girl, frantically texting on her iPhone, approaches her boss and, without looking up, asks for a promotion. The boss, who had spent his whole life working his way to the top of the company, asks how long the girl had been there, to which she replies, “Three days.” She goes on to say she would like to be directer of communications or “pictures” because she is good at photoshop. The boss just looks at her like she’s an entitled and uneducated brat.

Of course Michelle Fields was entitled to go up to Donald Trump, touch his arm and ask him a question, even though the other reporters stayed back as instructed.

By the way, Trump didn’t want to be touched by Fields. Isn’t unwanted touching grounds for a charge of assault?

Michelle Fields vs SNL

Personal Note: This writer doesn’t favor any presidential candidate. Seeing who the candidates are, this writer would like to sleep in until year 2020, and there are probably plenty of Americans who would like to do the same thing.

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First time in 130 years: young adults living with parents now the norm http://themoderatevoice.com/216422/ http://themoderatevoice.com/216422/#comments Tue, 24 May 2016 19:01:20 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216422 strawberry-blonde

If you hear of a young adult living with parents and picture a twentysomething “slacker” lounging in his pajamas in mom’s basement, well, get with it. The new reality is that, for the first time in more than 130 years, residing with parents is now the most common living arrangement for young adults. Adults ages [...]

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strawberry-blonde

If you hear of a young adult living with parents and picture a twentysomething “slacker” lounging in his pajamas in mom’s basement, well, get with it.

The new reality is that, for the first time in more than 130 years, residing with parents is now the most common living arrangement for young adults.
Adults ages 18 to 34 were slightly more likely to be living in their parents’ home than they were to be living with a spouse or partner in their own households, according to a new Pew Research Center study.

Pew’s analysis of census data through 2014 found that 31.6% of young adults were living with a spouse or partner in their own household, while 32.1% were living in the home of their parent(s). Some 14% were heading up a household in which they lived alone, were a single parent, or lived with one or more roommates. The remaining 22% lived in the home of another family member (such as a grandparent, in-law or sibling), a non-relative, or in group quarters (such as college dormitories).

The change in living arrangements over the past 50 years is stark: In 1960, nearly two-thirds of the nation’s 18- to 34-year-olds were living with a spouse or partner in their own household, and only one-in-five were living with their parents.

While the economy is certainly a major factor in this 21st Century phenomenon, the growing tendency of delaying or avoiding marriage among young people is also key. Young adults without a college degree are more likely to live with parents than their grad counterparts. And the number of young black adults living with a family member rather than a spouse or “significant other” is through the roof.

Here are some highlights of the Pew study:

* In 2014, 28% of young men were living with a spouse or partner in their own home, while 35% were living in the home of their parents. Young women are still more likely to be living with a spouse or romantic partner (35%) than they are to be living with their parents (29%).
* By 2014, 36% of 18- to 34-year-olds who had not completed a bachelor’s degree were living with their parents, compared with only 19% among college graduates.
* Record-high shares of black and Hispanic young adults (36% for each group) lived in the home of their parents in 2014, compared with 30% of white young adults. Only 17% of blacks between 18 and 34 were living with a spouse or romantic partner in 2014.

Photo: PublicDomainPictures.net

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Clinton Needs a Crash Course (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/clinton-needs-a-crash-course-guest-voice/ http://themoderatevoice.com/clinton-needs-a-crash-course-guest-voice/#comments Tue, 24 May 2016 15:39:34 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216419 Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

Clinton Needs a Crash Course By Peter Funt If Hillary Clinton wants to be president — and for nearly a decade that hasn’t been in doubt — she’s got to change her act in a very major way. It must be beyond sobering to the Clinton forces that Donald Trump has gone from can’t-be-nominated to [...]

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Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle
Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

Clinton Needs a Crash Course
By Peter Funt

If Hillary Clinton wants to be president — and for nearly a decade that hasn’t been in doubt — she’s got to change her act in a very major way.

It must be beyond sobering to the Clinton forces that Donald Trump has gone from can’t-be-nominated to could-be-elected within weeks. He trails Clinton by just 3 percentage points in the latest Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll. And it’s not even June.

The most radical thing Clinton should do to get her campaign back on track is compel her husband to step back — way back. Bill Clinton is a plus among voters who will vote for Hillary no matter what. But, among those who have pushed her “unfavorable” rating off the chart, Bill is a negative.

Even those who admired his presidency believe enough is enough. They don’t want a co-presidency. They don’t want Clinton’s foundation muddying up global affairs. And they don’t want to think about Bill trolling through the West Wing looking for interns to befriend.

The Clintons should announce publicly that Bill will have no role in Hillary’s administration. In fact, say he’ll divide his time, living in Chappaqua and visiting the White House on weekends.

Next, Hillary Clinton should stop declaring herself the nominee, even if math and logic indicate so. It’s part of the “entitlement” scenario that has many voters angry. Wait until the convention confirms it in July.

She should name Elizabeth Warren as her running mate. It’s a somewhat flawed choice in governance but necessary to win over Bernie Sanders’ supporters.

Then, stop attacking Trump. If Trump’s incredible rise has shown anything it’s that attacks against him don’t work. Clinton should leave the Trump bashing to Warren and other surrogates, as needed.

Clinton must also take Bernie Sanders and his supporters seriously. Don’t just pay him lip service; start actually praising him. The guy can’t win the nomination, right, so why not boldly state in interviews that “Bernie Sanders is a great American from whom we can all learn a lot.”

Give Sanders a prime slot at the convention and incorporate as many of his ideas as possible in the Democrats’ platform.

And then, work with a speaking coach and fashion stylist immediately. Yelling from the podium doesn’t work for everyone — Sanders, yes; Clinton, no. So be more conversational and let the microphone do the work.

Start dressing like a business person. It’s not sexist to say that appearance counts; it’s a fact. The dowdy outfit Clinton wore the other day on “Meet the Press” set an all-time low. Clinton should let her ideas stand out, not her wardrobe.

Finally, get a new slogan, and not necessarily “We Are Stronger Together,” which has been kicked around. Something like, “America Matters.” Short, sweet and focused entirely on the voters.

Months ago it was thought that Hillary Clinton was the Democrat who could most easily defeat Trump. Now, it seems she might actually be the one he could most easily beat. Unless she changes her act. Fast.

——-

Peter Funt can be reached at www.CandidCamera.com

Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, “Cautiously Optimistic,” is available at Amazon.com and CandidCamera.com. © 2016 Peter Funt. Columns distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate.

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What tax tricks doesn’t Trump want us to see? http://themoderatevoice.com/216417/ http://themoderatevoice.com/216417/#comments Tue, 24 May 2016 15:34:18 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216417 24403455422_89e958c4c8 (1)

WASHINGTON — A generation after Ronald Reagan denounced the “welfare queen,” the Grand Old Party is evidently on the verge of nominating its first welfare king. Four years ago last week, the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, famously wrote off the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes. Romney, secretly recorded [...]

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WASHINGTON — A generation after Ronald Reagan denounced the “welfare queen,” the Grand Old Party is evidently on the verge of nominating its first welfare king.

Four years ago last week, the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, famously wrote off the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes. Romney, secretly recorded at a fundraiser, said the 47 percent “who are dependent upon government” won’t vote for him because “I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Now, just one presidential cycle later, Republicans have settled on a presumptive nominee who is himself among the 47 percent of non-taxpayers. Trump has been refusing to release his tax returns, and we have a pretty good idea why: He has been feeding at the public trough.

The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell reported that, for at least two years in the late 1970s (the last time Trump’s tax information was made public), Trump paid no federal income taxes. Several tax experts I spoke with said it’s entirely possible that Trump has continued to report negative income — and therefore not pay taxes — because of loopholes and dubious deductions that benefit powerful real estate interests. They say it’s likely that whatever taxes he does pay would be at a rate lower than the average worker pays.

That’s typical for Trump’s line of work. Because of depreciation, the deductibility of interest and other tax breaks, the effective tax rate on the real estate sector is lower than most industries, and in some cases negative.

There is no shame in being on public assistance. The earned-income tax credit, which subsidizes low-income workers and has helped millions out of poverty, is the main reason for the 47 percent (though they still have state, payroll and other taxes). But the corporate welfare Trump receives is nothing to be proud of — not least because Trump has claimed to represent the American worker and has condemned corporate executives who “make a fortune” but “pay no tax.”

Investors such as Trump can write off depreciation of investment properties even if those properties actually increase in value, and because most real estate development is financed with debt, they can deduct the interest. Instead of selling buildings, they can incorporate them and make “like kind” exchanges that defer capital-gains taxes indefinitely. Trump, depending on how he structures his taxes, may also be avoiding taxes by amortizing his name as an intangible asset. And, because his brand is his main asset and his business interests are far flung, he could argue that virtually all of his expenses are business related, and therefore deductible.

“I’d be shocked if he isn’t pretty much writing off his whole life,” says Bob McIntyre, head of Citizens for Tax Justice. “When you can write off your income and write off your consumption, you’re in a Leona Helmsley situation.” The late Helmsley, who also had a real estate fortune, is remembered for observing that “only the little people pay taxes.”

Trump, who would be the first presidential nominee in 40 years not to release his returns, says he’s refusing because he’s being audited. But an audit doesn’t prevent him from releasing returns, and he won’t release returns from years not under audit, either. “It’s not because he’s being audited,” said Roberton Williams of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. “My sense is he’s got something in those tax returns that doesn’t look good.”

He may have less income than believed, potentially undermining his standing as a good businessman. He may be avoiding taxes by shifting profits overseas — a practice he denounces. But whatever other reasons he has, there’s a good chance that his returns would show that he pays a lower tax rate than the typical working American.

The middle 20 percent of Americans pay about 14 percent of their income in all federal taxes. To them, Trump’s zero-percent rate could be a cause of some resentment.

The typical wage slave can’t donate his golf course for a conservation easement, or take a low salary so that his income is taxed at the capital-gains rate of 15 percent rather than the regular rate of 39 percent. The average worker can’t skirt rules on loss limitation by arguing that he’s a material participant and not a passive investor, or use “flow-throughs” to convert ordinary income into capital gains. “Real estate is notorious for having a lot of different deductions,” said Steven Rosenthal, a longtime tax lawyer now with Urban-Brookings.

The only limitation Trump has faced is how creative and aggressive he wants to be — a likely explanation for his wish to keep his returns hidden.


Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank. (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

photo credit: 2015 Tax Form 1040 Being Filled Out via photopin (license)

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The rise of far-right parties across Europe http://themoderatevoice.com/the-rise-of-far-right-parties-across-europe/ http://themoderatevoice.com/the-rise-of-far-right-parties-across-europe/#comments Tue, 24 May 2016 07:09:57 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216414 3982427969_d4034f49d4

Berlin (dpa) – Far-right parties are gaining strength and being voted into power in many European countries. Their typical hot button issues include keeping out refugees and scepticism towards the European Union. AUSTRIA: Freedom Party (FPOe) candidate Norbert Hofer entered the Austrian presidental run-off race as the favourite after winning the first round of elections [...]

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Berlin (dpa) – Far-right parties are gaining strength and being voted into power in many European countries. Their typical hot button issues include keeping out refugees and scepticism towards the European Union. AUSTRIA: Freedom Party (FPOe) candidate Norbert Hofer entered the Austrian presidental run-off race as the favourite after winning the first round of elections in…

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Cartoons: The Trump Evolution http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-the-trump-evolution/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-the-trump-evolution/#comments Tue, 24 May 2016 06:58:04 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216412 Marian Kemensky, Slovakia

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Marian Kemensky, Slovakia
 Marian Kemensky, Slovakia


Marian Kemensky, Slovakia

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Jewish pioneers of TV history on display in new show http://themoderatevoice.com/jewish-pioneers-tv-history-display-new-show/ http://themoderatevoice.com/jewish-pioneers-tv-history-display-new-show/#comments Tue, 24 May 2016 06:37:23 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216410 mrs-goldberg

BOSTON — Half a century after a young Barbra Streisand wowed American television viewers in “Color Me Barbra,” her velvety rich, powerful voice and bold production still pack a dazzling aural and visual double-punch. In the one-hour broadcast that kicked off CBS television’s 1966 first full-color season, Streisand belted out song after song, dancing around [...]

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mrs-goldberg

BOSTON — Half a century after a young Barbra Streisand wowed American television viewers in “Color Me Barbra,” her velvety rich, powerful voice and bold production still pack a dazzling aural and visual double-punch. In the one-hour broadcast that kicked off CBS television’s 1966 first full-color season, Streisand belted out song after song, dancing around the…

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Cartoons: Idiocracy http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-idiocracy/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoons-idiocracy/#comments Tue, 24 May 2016 06:25:35 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216408 Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

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Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune
 Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune


Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Democrats, seeking unity, give Sanders say in party platform http://themoderatevoice.com/democrats-seeking-unity-give-sanders-say-in-party-platform/ http://themoderatevoice.com/democrats-seeking-unity-give-sanders-say-in-party-platform/#comments Tue, 24 May 2016 06:22:00 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216406 U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally in Los Angeles, California, United States May 23, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

By Jonathan Allen NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Democratic Party said on Monday it would give U.S. presidential contender Bernie Sanders a prominent say in writing its platform this year, a gesture that could ease tensions between Sanders’ camp and party leaders, whom Sanders has accused of favoring rival Hillary Clinton. Sanders has remained steadfast [...]

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U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally in Los Angeles, California, United States May 23, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally in Los Angeles, California, United States May 23, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally in Los Angeles, California, United States May 23, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson


By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Democratic Party said on Monday it would give U.S. presidential contender Bernie Sanders a prominent say in writing its platform this year, a gesture that could ease tensions between Sanders’ camp and party leaders, whom Sanders has accused of favoring rival Hillary Clinton.

Sanders has remained steadfast in his long-shot battle with Clinton for the Democratic nomination for the Nov. 8 presidential election, even though he lags her in the delegate count with only a few state contests remaining. The divisiveness among the Democrats stands in contrast to the Republicans, whose party leaders are slowly rallying behind Donald Trump, their presumptive nominee.

Sanders’ tenacity appeared to be paying off. The U.S. senator from Vermont will be allowed to name five members to the 15-member committee that writes the platform at the Democratic National Convention in late July in Philadelphia even if he is not the nominee. Clinton will name six.

The party said in a statement the split was based on the results of state votes to date “in an effort to make this the most representative and inclusive process in history.”

The party’s chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, will name the committee’s final four members.

The Democratic Party’s rules allow the chair to name all 15 members, suggesting the party was trying to accommodate Sanders and his fervent supporters, who still pack rallies by the thousands as he campaigns in California, which will hold its primary on June 7.

Sanders did little to dispel the acrimony between himself and the party, which he joined only last year after more than two decades in Congress as an independent, when he said over the weekend he was endorsing Wasserman Schultz’s Democratic opponent in her Florida congressional district.

On Monday, he repeated some of his criticisms of Clinton, who he has suggested is vulnerable to influence by corporate donors to her campaign, which she denies.

Sanders also told the Associated Press in an interview that if Democratic leaders open the convention’s doors “to working-class people and young people and create the kind of dynamism that the Democratic Party needs, it’s going to be messy.”

“Democracy is not always nice and quiet and gentle but that is where the Democratic Party should go,” he added.

The Clinton campaign said it was pleased to see Sanders represented, describing the party as a “big tent.”

“Hillary Clinton is committed to continue welcoming different perspectives and ideas,” spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement.

Sanders, who has criticized Clinton for being too biased toward Israel, has named a pro-Palestinian activist and a prominent environmentalist among his picks for the committee.

CLINTON TURNS ATTENTION TO TRUMP

Clinton has said she now considers herself the de facto Democratic nominee. Increasingly, she has turned her attention to attacking Trump as a “bully” when speaking at campaign events while urging Sanders supporters to rally to her side.

She told labor union members in Detroit on Monday that if elected, she would embrace issues important to Sanders’ supporters, including reform of campaign financing and reducing income inequality.

Underlining Clinton’s confidence that she will become the Democratic candidate, her campaign said on Monday she would not participate in a debate with Sanders in California, despite having previously agreed to attend the event hosted by Fox News.

Trump is steadily escalating his criticism of both Hillary and Bill Clinton’s relationship with women, using rhetoric that has little precedent in U.S. presidential politics.

On Monday, Trump circulated a new online video that shows images of Bill Clinton, the former president, as voices of women play on the soundtrack saying he had assaulted them, before ending with the sound of Hillary Clinton, his wife, laughing.

Although none of the women are identified in the video, one of the voices is that of Juanita Broaddrick in an NBC interview from 1999 in which the former nursing-home manager accused Bill Clinton of raping her in a hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1978.

The Clintons’ lawyer, David Kendall, said in 1999 that the accusation was false. The Clintons have declined to discuss the accusation and are ignoring his personal attacks, with Hillary Clinton saying instead she will defend vulnerable Americans from the consequences of Trump’s proposals.

“Trump economics is a recipe for lower wages, fewer jobs, more debt,” she told the union members on Monday. “He could bankrupt America like he bankrupted his companies. I mean, ask yourself: How can anybody lose money running a casino, really?”

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Additional reporting by Susan Heavey and Eric Walsh in Washington; Editing by Leslie Adler and Peter Cooney)

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Eugene Harold Robinson – Journalist. (An Appreciation) http://themoderatevoice.com/is-eugene-harold-robinson-a-journalist/ http://themoderatevoice.com/is-eugene-harold-robinson-a-journalist/#comments Tue, 24 May 2016 02:06:48 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216404 Eugene Robinson

As I believe many on this site do, I love journalist Eugene Harold Robinson, presently a respected columnist at the Washington Post’s opinion pages and ranked by some as “one of America’s most distinguished journalists.” Robinson, a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University, has [...]

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Eugene Robinson

Eugene Robinson

As I believe many on this site do, I love journalist Eugene Harold Robinson, presently a respected columnist at the Washington Post’s opinion pages and ranked by some as “one of America’s most distinguished journalists.”

Robinson, a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University, has been a journalist at The Washington Post for more than 30 years, part of a life that has taken him “from childhood in the segregated South—on what they called the ‘colored’ side of the tracks—to the heights of American journalism,” including winning the coveted 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary.

I devour almost every column written by Robinson and appreciate The Moderate Voice’s regular reprinting of his columns.

Many of the reasons why I like and admire Robinson’s journalism can be found in The News Manual’s “A Professional Resource for Journalists and the Media.”

In answer to the question, “What is a Journalist?” and after describing some of the jobs journalists do (reporters, editors, feature writers, etc.), the piece lists some of the reasons people want to become journalists. Among them:

• The desire to write
• The desire to influence for good
• The desire for knowledge

Under “What does it take?” the article summarizes:

There are many reasons for becoming a journalist and several kinds of journalists. It is a career with many challenges and rewards.
Journalists must:

Have an interest in the world around them.
Love language.
Have an alert and ordered mind.
Be able to approach and question people.
Be polite but persistent.
Be friendly and reliable.

From what I have read, heard and seen, Mr. Robinson fits these qualities of a “journalist” to a “T” and fully deserves the following accolade:

In his three decades at The Washington Post, Robinson has been city hall reporter, city editor, foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires and London, foreign editor and assistant managing editor in charge of the paper’s award winning Style section. He has written books about race in Brazil and music in Cuba, covered a heavyweight championship fight, witnessed riots in Philadelphia and a murder trial in the deepest Amazon, sat with Presidents and Dictators and the Queen of England, thrusted and parried with hair-proud politicians from sea to shining sea, handicapped three editions of American Idol, acquired fluent Spanish and passable Portuguese and even, thanks to his two sons, come to an uneasy truce with hip-hop culture.

Of course, in addition to his opinion columns, Robinson is well-known for his participation in clearly-so-labeled political panels, analyses, radio and TV shows — activities that have earned him “both fans and brazen critics,” including claims that he is not a journalist.

Good enough reason for this non-jourmalist to come to Mr. Robinson’s defense.

Not that he needs it. His record speaks for itself.

Please read more about this amazing Journalist here.

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LGBT Community Not Happy With San Diego Padres Baseball Organization http://themoderatevoice.com/lgbt-community-not-happy-with-san-diego-padres-baseball-organization/ http://themoderatevoice.com/lgbt-community-not-happy-with-san-diego-padres-baseball-organization/#comments Tue, 24 May 2016 00:53:37 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=216401 Rainbow1

This is a follow up to Miriam Rafferty’s timely reporting on the botched national Anthem before a San Diego Padres baseball home game involving the Gay Men’s Chorus (GMC) and why the LGBT community is angry. Quick painting: the mic before the game to the Men’s Chorus was not active and instead a solo female [...]

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Rainbow1

Rainbow1

This is a follow up to Miriam Rafferty’s timely reporting on the botched national Anthem before a San Diego Padres baseball home game involving the Gay Men’s Chorus (GMC) and why the LGBT community is angry.

Quick painting: the mic before the game to the Men’s Chorus was not active and instead a solo female artist tape was played for the Star-Spangled Banner.

I listen to parts of Carl DeMaio’s local radio show on a daily basis at KOGO AM 600. Carl is a gay Republican in San Diego who lost an election to Bob Filner (D) for San Diego mayor.

Today, Carl had the head of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (Bob Lehman) on as a guest. It was a good back story to Miriam’s reporting

Mr. Lehman shared that he was surprised by the ferocity of the reaction by the LGBT community to the happenings. In his view, it signals on ongoing animosity between the Padres baseball team and the LGBT community in San Diego. He appeared to be politely holding back.

To my ear, Lehman was openly hopeful that the Padres organization and the DJ working the game would be exonerated of sabotage by Major League Baseball in an independent investigation.

Prior to the game, Mr. Lehman tried to negotiate with the Padres about their policy requiring all volunteer performers to purchase tickets to the game on the night they do the National Anthem.

The members of the MGC did not know Mr. Lehman was involved in those negations. Today he said that the members didn’t need to know and wanted all of them to remain positive. Apparently about 50 of the 100 men scheduled to perform had tickets. Due to negations that stalled, the night before the game he was not sure if the SDGMC performance was on or off.

By Lehman’s account, during the week before the night game in question ‘somebody’ from the Padres organization commented on the SDGMC website criticizing the Chorus, saying that because they had all not purchased tickets they were not supporting San Diego Pride. Not good.

MGC is thirty years old and has a deep record of supporting San Diego Pride but work on a limited budget. .

Lehman reports getting an apology from a San Diego Padre representative about the comment on the web site well before the game.

Clearly there was some tension in the week before the game.

The DJ gave a mea culpa type apology directed at Lehman after the game.

Bob Lehman was magnanimous and hopeful; but there is some healing that needs to be done.

Look for Major League Baseball to get involved in a big way. That is not to say that I expect the DJ was malicious but I do expect more heads will roll within the Padres organization _and_ this is going to be another landmark point in time when it comes to professional sports teams in America and treatment of individuals (athletes and non athletes) and LGBT groups associated with professional sport franchises.

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