Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Vets Vote

They are no longer being neglected:

"In Iowa, Trump goes after McCain’s war record" by Catherine Lucey and Steve Peoples Associated Press  July 18, 2015

My print copy was bylined New York Times, and that has also been rewritten.

AMES, Iowa — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized Sen. John McCain’s military record at a conservative forum Saturday, saying the party’s 2008 nominee and former prisoner of war was a ‘‘war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.’’

The comment drew some boos from some in the audience — and quick condemnation from rivals who have been waiting for such an opening to rein in the outspoken reality television personality. Trump has surged in polls recently, frustrating many in his party concerned that he has hijacked the 2016 Republican primary and damaged the GOP brand.

Look at the terminology to describe trump! He's terrorizing the party!

Trump and McCain traded barbs earlier this week. McCain said Trump’s controversial comments about immigrants had ‘‘fired up the crazies’’ at a rally in Phoenix. Trump retorted that the Arizona Republican was ‘‘a dummy’’ who graduated at the bottom of his class at the U.S. Naval Academy.

McCain’s war record was a cornerstone of his 2008 bid for president. A Navy pilot during the Vietnam War, he was captured after his plane was shot down. He was held for more than five years as a prisoner of war.

On Saturday, speaking at a conference of religious conservatives, Trump was pressed on his description of McCain as ‘‘a dummy.’’ The moderator, Republican pollster Frank Luntz, described McCain as ‘‘a war hero.’’

‘‘He’s not a war hero,’’ Trump said. ‘‘He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.’’

During a news conference after his appearance at the Family Leader Summit, Trump did not apologize but sought to clarify his remarks.

‘‘If a person is captured, they’re a hero as far as I’m concerned. ... But you have to do other things also,’’ Trump said. ‘‘I don’t like the job John McCain is doing in the Senate because he is not taking care of our veterans.’’

He's right about that.

A spokesman for McCain, Brian Rogers, had no comment when asked about Trump’s remarks.

Trump said he avoided service in the Vietnam War through student and medical deferments. He said he got a medical deferment for a bone spur in a foot, but could not remember which foot. He added that he did not serve because he ‘‘was not a big fan of the Vietnam War. I wasn’t a protester, but the Vietnam War was a disaster for our country.’’

The comments about McCain drew rapid criticism from other 2016 hopefuls. Some have been at the receiving end of Trump insults themselves.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who recently retired from the Air Force, said early state voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina would dispense with Trump soon enough.

‘‘Here’s what I think they’re going to say: ‘Donald Trump, you’re fired,’’’ Graham said, borrowing a line from Trump’s reality television show.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, another veteran, said he was ‘‘highly offended by what Donald Trump said about John McCain and his years of sacrifice in a dirty, dingy terrible prison in North Vietnam.’’ He added: ‘‘Donald Trump owes every American veteran, and in particular John McCain, an apology.’’

McCain's Gitmo.

On Thursday, Trump tweeted that Perry should be ‘‘forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate.’’

That shows certain tendencies; hope he's not near a Confederate flag.

After Trump’s remarks, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tweeted: ‘‘Enough with the slanderous attacks. @SenJohnMcCain and all our veterans — particularly POWs have earned our respect and admiration.’’ In the past, Trump has criticized Bush on education and border issues and cracked that ‘‘this guy can’t negotiate his way out of a paper bag.’’

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker also condemned the remarks. ‘‘You may agree or disagree with some of his politics,’’ Walker said, ‘‘but John McCain is an American hero, and I will defend him and any other veteran that’s been a prisoner of war.’’

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz called McCain an American war hero, but sidestepped when asked whether he would condemn the remarks.

‘‘I recognize that folks in the press love to see Republican on Republican violence,’’ Cruz said. ‘‘You want me to say something bad about Donald Trump or bad about John McCain or bad about anyone else and I’m not going to do it.’’ 

It's the Reagan rule, thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican; however, what "violence?" Words are so casually tossed around these days.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called McCain a ‘‘great American hero,’’ but he declined to weigh in on Trump’s comments, saying Trump would have to decide whether he wanted to ‘‘walk back’’ his statements.

Huck's association with the Dugar's and his ill-considered shower comment doomed his candidacy.

The front-runner for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Rodham Clinton, not only harshly criticized Trump but accused the GOP field of being slow to repudiate his other controversial rhetoric.

‘‘There’s nothing funny about the hate he is spewing at immigrants and their families, and now the insults he’s directed at a genuine war hero, Sen. John McCain,’’ Clinton said at a fundraiser in North Little Rock, Arkansas, for the state Democratic Party. ‘‘It’s shameful and so is the fact that it took so long for most of his fellow Republican candidates to start standing up to him.’’

Yeah, only certain people are allowed to spew hate at certain groups. God help you if you are Muslim or a Southern Confederate.

The Democratic nominee in 2004, Secretary of State John Kerry, says in a statement that anyone who doesn’t know that McCain is a war hero only proves that he knows nothing about war and even less about heroism.

John Kerry, the antiwar advocate.


Also see:

"The vast majority of high-level Republican donors and fund-raisers are quietly weighing the impact of Donald Trump, who has jumped to the lead in some national polls despite raising almost no money from the party’s establishment."

Mostly Super PAC money so far.

Related: Trump on Top of GOP

The veteran's champion (didn't so much for Ron Paul, remember?):

"Sanders vaults from fringe to the heart of the fray" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff  July 19, 2015

SOMEWHERE OVER THE AMERICAN WEST — It’s 7:20 a.m. and Bernie Sanders looks irritated. He’s already buckled into his economy seat on Delta Flight 4516 and an attendant just announced that the flight would sit on the runway for 30 minutes before taking off.

“Planes,” grumbled the Vermont senator. “Don’t get me started about airplanes.” Then he added, in a tone that sounded only half-joking, “This is when you want a private jet.”

The grumbling must be an ethnic characteristic.

Sanders’ insurgent campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination doesn’t spring for charters like his top competitor — at least not yet.

Tells you all you need to know regarding how the e$tabli$hment views him. That is in no way an endorsement of Bernie; I just didn't know he was setting roadside bombs that kill U.S. troops. 

On this day he isn’t even flying nonstop, as he heads from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Phoenix via Minneapolis. If all goes well, he’ll just be a few minutes late to a forum at Netroots Nation, an annual gathering of liberals.

Going to preach to the choir -- or not.

The weekend events — another rally is planned in Houston Sunday — is capping off Sanders’ best week so far in his increasingly credible quest for the nomination. Federal reports made public last week show he has raised more than $15 million for his campaign, beating every other presidential candidate from either party save Hillary Rodham Clinton (she hauled in about $46 million). He has gathered the money from an army of small donors that is larger than that of any other presidential candidate.

That should translate into votes, but....

And, as he pulled his roller bag out of the air-conditioned terminal into the blast of Phoenix heat Saturday morning, he was preparing to speak that evening before his largest crowd yet.

Through some combination of political skill, fortuitous timing, well-tuned messaging, and sheer luck this has become the Summer of Sanders — in which an unkempt 73-year-old man who isn’t even a member of the Democratic Party is mounting the strongest challenge to the Democratic establishment. He’s gone from being dismissed as a fringe candidate to having a huge early impact on the primary.

They let this guy in, but savaged Nader. What does that tell you?

The self-described Democratic socialist flying coach is suddenly a star. 

I love political celebrity selling me my presidential candidate!

Clinton aides have acknowledged concern about losing ground in Iowa and New Hampshire, or both, to Sanders. One poll has shown him within 19 percentage points of Clinton in the Hawkeye State and another has him within eight points of her in New Hampshire.

But, will it last? Or, as one of his strategists put it, could the next few months bring the fall of Sanders?

Along with the fall of Trump?

You can travel along with the campaign if you want.


I'd say vote Carson, but his running mate is a problem.


"Cosby’s testimony adds to the unsavory details that have wrecked his nice-guy reputation as TV’s Dr. Cliff Huxtable and made a mockery of his preaching about decency and personal responsibility. Earlier this month, a judge unsealed a summary of the deposition as a result of a lawsuit from the Associated Press. The New York Times was the first to obtain the entire transcript. Under oath, he denied giving women the powerful sedatives without their knowledge. He said he used quaaludes ‘‘the same as a person would say, ‘Have a drink.’ ’’ There’s no clear-cut evidence in the documents that the 78-year-old comedian committed a sex crime, and he has never been charged with a crime.... In deposition, Bill Cosby details encounter with eventual accuser"

I'm starting to sense a set-up, but I really don't care. The more the propaganda pre$$ focuses on salacious celebrity the less interested I become.

"Trump shrugs off GOP uproar of his McCain comments; His presidential campaign rivals denounce speech" by Julie Pace Associated Press   July 20, 2015

WASHINGTON —As the furor unfolded, Trump spoke dismissively of his rivals and the GOP establishment, recalling his years of helping to bankroll candidates.

‘‘You know the Republican Party — of course I was one of their darlings when I was a contributor,’’ he said. ‘‘I went from a darling to somebody that they’re not happy with because I’m not a politician.’’

They can't control him with lobby loot; that's the problem.


Until now, Republicans have been largely cautious in their handling of Trump and his provocations.

While officials privately fretted about the damage he could do to the party, they are also worried about alienating voters drawn to his celebrity, brashness, and willingness to take on establishment Republicans. He has emerged as one of the favorites early in a race that is bound to see shifts in the standing of many of the candidates.

The problem is the voters they would alienate are the base of the party. Been true for nearly a decade now, and goes back to Ron Paul grass roots. And Trump has money. No need for stealthy money bombs (I never liked that term) that subtly disappear.

Trump has made other eyebrow-raising comments since declaring his candidacy, most notably his reference to Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers. Many GOP candidates were slow and halting in their response to those comments, underscoring a continuing struggle to hit the right notes on immigration when they want to appeal to Hispanics without alienating traditional GOP voters.

But for a party that prides itself on backing the military, Trump’s comments about McCain were an easy opening....

Democrats reminded voters of the tepid response to his earlier bombast. Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton said it was shameful ‘‘that it took so long for most of his fellow Republican candidates to start standing up to him.’’

You go worry about your own primary and your bomb-thrower Bernie.


Trump noted he got a standing ovation after remarks to a religious conservative forum in Iowa and‘‘when I left the room, everybody thought I gave the best presentation of anybody.’’

But his comments about McCain drew a smattering of boos, his rivals received standing ovations, too, and when some of them spoke up for McCain in their remarks, they got hearty applause.

To some Republicans, Trump will have a detrimental effect on other candidates.

‘‘It’s all Trump, all the time,’’ said Matt Strawn, the former Iowa GOP chairman. For candidates still introducing themselves to voters and trying to qualify for the party’s first debate Aug. 6, Strawn said, ‘‘it is all but impossible for them to cut through the Trump noise.’’

Although polls this early in a presidential contest are of dubious reliability, they are being used to determine who can come to the debate, and Trump appears likely to make the cut.


It's "a turning point that's shown he doesn’t merit the presidency."