Friday, July 22, 2016

Trump's Foreign Policy Platform

Didn't you see the speech?

"Trump proposes putting US first unless allies pay" by David E. Sanger and Maggie Haberman The New York Times  March 26, 2016

In Donald Trump’s worldview, the United States has become a diluted power, and the main mechanism by which he would re-establish its central role in the world is economic bargaining.

He approached almost every current international conflict through the prism of a negotiation, even when he was imprecise about the strategic goals he sought.

The Republican presidential front-runner, said that if elected, he might halt purchases of oil from Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies unless they commit ground troops to the fight against the Islamic State or “substantially reimburse” the United States for combating the militant group, which threatens their stability.

“If Saudi Arabia was without the cloak of American protection,” Trump said during a 100-minute interview on foreign policy, spread over two phone calls, “I don’t think it would be around.”

The "protection" is a racket! 

He also said he would be open to allowing Japan and South Korea to build their own nuclear arsenals rather than depend on the US nuclear umbrella for their protection against North Korea and China. If the United States “keeps on its path, its current path of weakness, they’re going to want to have that anyway, with or without me discussing it,” Trump said.

And he said he would be willing to withdraw US forces from both Japan and South Korea if they did not substantially increase their contributions to the costs of housing and feeding those troops. “Not happily, but the answer is yes,” he said.

That he could do as commander-in-chief.

Trump also said he would seek to renegotiate many fundamental treaties with US allies, possibly including a 56-year-old security pact with Japan, which he described as one-sided.

He again faulted the Obama administration’s handling of the negotiations with Iran last year — “It would have been so much better if they had walked away a few times,” he said — but offered only one new idea about how he would change its content: Ban Iran’s trade with North Korea.

That seems to be a blind spot for him, or he is playing up to the Zionists. 

The real question is would he ban trade with South Korea, as if he could do that on his own.

Trump struck similar themes when he discussed the future of NATO, which he called “unfair, economically, to us,” and said he was open to an alternative organization focused on counterterrorism.

The fact that he would consider getting rid of NATO sends alarms bells ringing! That is the EUSraeli military arm of empire. 

He argued that the best way to halt China’s placement of military airfields and anti-aircraft batteries on reclaimed islands in the South China Sea was to threaten its access to US markets.

“We have tremendous economic power over China,” he argued. “And that’s the power of trade.” He made no mention of Beijing’s capability for economic retaliation.

Let's leave China alone, please.

Trump’s views, as he explained them, fit nowhere into the recent history of the Republican Party: He is not in the internationalist camp of President George H.W. Bush, nor does he favor George W. Bush’s call to make it the mission of the United States to spread democracy around the world.

Did the pre$$ really just say that? The lies were all to spread democracy? Really?

He agreed with a suggestion that his ideas might best be summed up as “America First.”

That's the Pat Buchanan campaign that was sabotaged by the Bush rigging in primaries. Do your research!!

Trump explained his thoughts in concrete and easily digestible terms, but they appeared to reflect little consideration for potential consequences around the globe. Much the same way he treats political rivals and interviewers, he personalized how he would engage foreign nations, suggesting his approach would depend partly on “how friendly they’ve been toward us,” not just on national interests or alliances.

At no point did he express any belief that US forces deployed on military bases around the world were by themselves valuable to the United States, though Republican and Democratic administrations have for decades argued that they are essential to deterring military adventurism, protecting commerce and gathering intelligence.

Like Richard Nixon, Trump emphasized the importance of “unpredictability” for a US president, arguing that the country’s traditions of democracy and openness had made its actions too easy for adversaries and allies alike to foresee. 

The implication being he's a nuclear madman, oh no! That was KISSINGER'S IDEA!

“I wouldn’t want them to know what my real thinking is,” he said about how far he was willing to take the confrontation over the islands in the South China Sea, which are remote and uninhabited but extend China’s control over a major maritime thoroughfare. But, he added, “I would use trade, absolutely, as a bargaining chip.”

Until recently, Trump’s foreign policy pronouncements have largely come through slogans: “Take the oil,” “Build a wall” and ban Muslim immigrants, at least temporarily. But as he has pulled closer to capturing the nomination, he has been called on to elaborate.

Take the oil?

Pressed about his call to “take the oil” controlled by the Islamic State in the Middle East, Trump acknowledged that this would require deploying ground troops, something he does not favor. “We should’ve taken it, and we would’ve had it,” he said, referring to the years in which the United States occupied Iraq. “Now we have to destroy the oil.”

He means bombing the caravans being protected by the U.S. that roll into to Turkey -- or were until this past week.

Trump did not rule out spying on US allies, including foreign leaders like Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, whose cellphone was apparently a target of the National Security Agency. President Barack Obama said the United States would no longer target her phone but made no such commitments about the rest of Germany, or Europe.


“I’m not sure that I would want to be talking about that,” Trump said. “You understand what I mean by that.” 

Maybe the less the better.

Trump was not impressed with Merkel’s handling of the migrant crisis, however: “Germany is being destroyed by Merkel’s naiveté, or worse,” he said. He suggested that Germany and the Gulf nations should pay for the “safe zones” he wants to set up in Syria for refugees, and for protecting them once built.

Throughout the two conversations, Trump painted a bleak picture of the United States as a diminished force in the world, an opinion he has held since the late 1980s, when he placed ads in The New York Times and other newspapers calling for Japan and Saudi Arabia to spend more money on their own defense.

Trump’s new threat to cut off oil purchases from the Saudis was part of a broader complaint about the United States’ Arab allies, which many in the Obama administration share: that they frequently look to the United States to police the Middle East, without putting their own troops at risk. “We defend everybody,” Trump said. “When in doubt, come to the United States. We’ll defend you. In some cases free of charge.”

But his rationale for abandoning the region was that “the reason we’re in the Middle East is for oil, and all of a sudden we’re finding out that there’s less reason to be there now.” 

Did he actually say abandon it completely as implied by the paper?

He made no mention of the risks of withdrawalthat it would encourage Iran to dominate the Gulf, that the presence of US troops is part of Israel’s defense, and that US air and naval bases in the region are key collection points for intelligence and bases for drones and Special Operations forces. 

Let's face it, Israel is why we are there. Before 1948, Muslims, Arabs, and Americans had no gripe.

In criticizing the Iran nuclear deal, Trump expressed particular outrage at how the roughly $150 billion released to Iran was being spent. “Did you notice they’re buying from everybody but the United States?” he said. 

We haven't treated them very well, Don, starting with the 1953 coup that installed the Shah.

Told that sanctions under United States law still prevent most US companies from doing business with Iran, Trump said: “So, how stupid is that? We give them the money and we now say, ‘Go buy Airbus instead of Boeing,’ right?” 

It's a free market.

Btw, they are buying Boeing (they have enough clout to $tand up to the Zionist Lobby). 

Must be Chevys he was thinking of.

But Trump, who has been pushed to demonstrate a basic command of international affairs, insisted that voters should not doubt his foreign policy fluency. “I do know my subject,” he said.

Said he watches the shows.



"Trump devoted substantial time to defending and explaining himself after a series of eye-opening statements on foreign policy and convoluted remarks on abortion rights in past days.

He asserted that his comments questioning the value of NATO reflect widely held views, that it is conceivable to think that Japan and South Korea might some day gain nuclear arms and that he was dealing with hypotheticals when he said in the same week that women who have abortions should be punished if the procedure is banned, yet abortion laws should not be changed.

But his mea culpa came off the stage, when he expressed regret that he had retweeted an unflattering photo of rival Ted Cruz’s wife, Heidi, paired with a glamorous photo of his own wife, Melania, as part of a feud between the two men. “Yeah, it was a mistake,” he told New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. “If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t have sent it.”

Sorry, we are so past that.

Sanders supporters bundled up in winter jackets and gloves waited for hours to hear him.

Sophomore Joseph Lehto said he probably will vote for an independent if Sanders doesn’t get the nomination. “Hillary Clinton is a conservative disguised by mildly social policies” he said. “She is a more of warmonger than just about anyone." 

But she's a woman....

"Comments by Trump stir fears of a nuclear arms race in Asia" by Austin Ramzy New York Times  March 28, 2016

As long as no one uses them.

HONG KONG — Donald Trump’s suggestion that Japan and South Korea take more responsibility for their defense, including possibly developing nuclear weapons, has provoked worries in Asia about the potential for a regional arms race.

Thousands of US troops are stationed in Japan and South Korea as part of mutual defense treaties. The arrangement puts US forces close to China and Russia and on the front lines of any possible conflict with North Korea. The allegiances are often described as cornerstones for regional defense.

Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, said Friday that he would be open to withdrawing US forces from Japan and South Korea if those countries were not willing to pay more to keep US forces stationed in their countries. “I would not do so happily, but I would be willing to do it,” he said.

Government press officers in Tokyo and Seoul, the South Korean capital, offered muted responses, citing the continuing US presidential campaign. But some newspapers in Asia were vehement in denouncing Trump’s comments in their opinion pages.

Trump said “At some point, we cannot be the policeman of the world,” he said. “And unfortunately, we have a nuclear world now.”

That suggestion has raised concerns that it might lead to an arms race, with Japan and South Korea building nuclear weapons to counteract the threat from North Korea....

What threat? 

They sit there, surrounded by the U.S. and it's allies, save for China.


Any of that make sense to you?

"Trump, laying out foreign policy, promises coherence" by Mark Landler and Ashley Parker New York Times  April 28, 2016

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump, fresh from a string of resounding primary victories in Eastern states, promised a foreign policy on Wednesday that he said would put “America first.” 

That does, and why don't we have it already?

Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, pledged a major buildup of the military, the swift destruction of the Islamic State, and the rejection of trade deals and other agreements that he said tied the nation’s hands. He also pointedly rejected the nation-building of the George W. Bush administration, and reminded his audience that he had opposed the Iraq War.

That's why I can't see him winning. After spending decades building the thing, the forces that did are not going to let this guy come in and tear it all down.

“America is going to be strong again; America is going to be great again; it’s going to be a friend again,” Trump declared. “We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy, based on American interests and the shared interests of our allies.”

“The world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies, that we are always happy when old enemies become friends and when old friends become allies,” he said. “That’s what we want: We want to bring peace to the world.”

Speaking soberly, and reading from a teleprompter in the first foreign-policy address of his campaign, Trump broke little new ground in terms of policies or programs. He declined, for example, to give details on his plans to destroy the Islamic State to avoid tipping the military’s hand, saying only that “they will be gone quickly.”

He's going to shut down the CIA training camps?

But he elaborated on his recent demand that the United States’ allies bear a greater financial burden for their own security. As president, he said, he would hold summit meetings in Europe and Asia to overhaul NATO and rebalance nuclear security arrangements with Japan and South Korea. (He did not repeat a statement he made to The New York Times that those countries should consider acquiring their own nuclear weapons.)

Trump's Asian pivot?

Trump was scathing about the Obama administration’s intervention in Libya, lashing Clinton to the policy, which he said had left a security vacuum to be filled by the Islamic State. He also faulted Obama for his policy in Syria, saying that the president failed to enforce the red line he had laid down there. Yet Trump also made clear he would only use military force as a last resort.

“Our friends and enemies must know that if I draw a line in the sand, I will enforce that line in the sand — believe me,” Trump said. “However, unlike other candidates for the presidency, foreign aggression will not be my first instinct.” He did not mention anyone by name, though his leading Republican opponent, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, has threatened to carpet-bomb the Islamic State until the desert sand glows.

He says believe me a lot, as if we don't.

There were paradoxes throughout Trump’s speech. For example, he called for a return to the coherence of US foreign policy during the Cold War era. Yet he was openly suspicious of the institutions and security alliances that undergirded that time period. And though he promised to eradicate the Islamic State, he said the campaign against extremism — or as he called it, “radical Islam” — was as much a philosophical struggle as a military one."

I am neither endorsing or rejecting his suggestions. I'm only going to compare it to what we have:

"With tensions growing over terrorism and fallout from Britain’s exit from the European Union, Obama acknowledged that Americans and others have reason to be concerned about their own future in a rapidly globalizing economy. He said concerns about immigrants had been exploited by politicians in the past, but he insisted he wasn’t worried Americans will follow easy solutions peddled by demagogues who feed on economic anxiety."

He has a failed presidency to prove it. 

Now the knives come out:

"Concerns about Trump play into global debate over fascism" by Peter Baker New York Times   May 28, 2016

WASHINGTON — Former governor William F. Weld of Massachusetts has equated Donald Trump’s immigration plan with Kristallnacht, the night of horror in 1938 when rampaging Nazis smashed Jewish homes and businesses in Germany and killed scores of Jews.

First one to say Hitler loses, sorry.

It was a provocative analogy, but it was not a lonely one. 

It's okay to say hateful things against Trump.

Trump’s campaign has engendered impassioned debate about the nature of his appeal and warnings from critics on the left and the right about the potential rise of fascism in the United States. More strident opponents have likened Trump to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. 

I hate to tell them, but we already have it. It's the melding of corporate and state power, as Mussolini said, and AmeriKa is the pure$t form of fa$ci$m ever $een!

To supporters, such comparisons are deeply unfair smear tactics used to tar conservatives and scare voters.

You don't have to be a supporter to see it.

For a bipartisan establishment whose foundation has been shaken by Trump’s ascendance, these backers say, it is easier to delegitimize his support than to acknowledge widespread popular anger at the failure of both parties to confront the nation’s challenges.

Yes, because then THEY would actually have to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for the MESS and the public then might not react well.

But the discussion comes as questions are surfacing around the globe about a revival of fascism, generally defined as a governmental system that asserts complete power and emphasizes aggressive nationalism and often racism.

Unless you are the apartheid state of Israel.

In such places as Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan employ strongman tactics. In Austria, a nationalist candidate came within three-tenths of a percentage point of becoming the first far-right head of state elected in Europe since World War II.

Erdogan was a strongman even back then, and Austria was saved by a rigged vote.

In Hungary, an authoritarian government has clamped down on the news media and erected razor wire fences to keep out migrants. There are worries that Poland could follow suit. Traditional parties in France, Germany, Greece, and elsewhere have been challenged by nationalist movements amid economic struggles and waves of migrants.

In Israel, fascism analogies by a former prime minister and a top general have again inflamed the long-running debate about the occupation of Palestinian territories. 

I'm currently working on a post about that.

“The crash of 2008 showed how globalization creates losers as well as winners,” said Mark Leonard, the director of the European Council on Foreign Relations. “In many countries, middle-class wages are stagnant and politics has become a battle over a shrinking pie. Populists have replaced contests between left and right with a struggle between cosmopolitan elites and angry nativists.”

That dislocation may not lead to a repeat of Europe in the 1930s, but it has fueled a debate about global political trends.

“On a world level, the situation that affects many countries is economic stagnation and the arrival of immigrants,” said Robert Paxton, a professor emeritus at Columbia University and one of the most prominent scholars of fascism. “That’s a one-two punch that democratic governments are having enormous trouble in meeting.”

Then stop serving bankers.

Americans are used to the idea that other countries may be vulnerable to such movements, but while such figures as Father Charles Coughlin, the demagogic radio broadcaster, enjoyed wide followings in the 1930s, neither major party has ever nominated anyone quite like Trump. 

Soon the charges of anti-Semitism will begin.

“This could be one of those moments that’s quite dangerous, and we’ll look back and wonder why we treated it as ho-hum at a time when we could have stopped it,” said Robert Kagan, a scholar at the Brookings Institution known for hawkish internationalism.

He's one of the PNAC neocons that helped lie us into Iraq!

Kagan sounded the alarm this month with a Washington Post op-ed article, “This Is How Fascism Comes to America,” that gained attention. “I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from conservative Republicans,” he said. “There are a lot of people who agree with this.”

At least he makes you think.

Trump has provided plenty of ammunition for critics. He was slow to denounce the white supremacist David Duke and talked approvingly of beating up protesters. He has praised Putin and promised to be friends.

He would not condemn supporters who launched anti-Semitic blasts at journalists. At one point, Trump retweeted a Mussolini quote: “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.”

Can he make the MBTA trains run on time?

Asked by Chuck Todd on the NBC program “Meet the Press” about the retweet, Trump brushed off the quote’s origin. “I know who said it,” he said. “But what difference does it make whether it’s Mussolini or somebody else?”

“Do you want to be associated with a fascist?” Todd asked.

“No,” Trump answered, “I want to be associated with interesting quotes.”

Trump’s allies dismiss the criticism as politically motivated and historically suspect. The former Republican House speaker Newt Gingrich, who has said he would consider being Trump’s running mate, said in an interview that he was “deeply offended” by what he called “utterly ignorant” comparisons.

“Trump does not have a political structure in the sense that the fascists did,” said Gingrich, a onetime college professor who earned his doctorate in modern European history. “He doesn’t have the sort of ideology that they did. He has nobody who resembles the brownshirts. This is all just garbage.”



You see where the stink is coming from, right?

"Trump’s ‘America First’ echoes old isolationist rallying cry" by Michael Biesecker Associated Press  June 30, 2016

WASHINGTON — Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump boils down his foreign policy agenda to two words: “America First.”

For students of US history, that slogan harkens back to the tumultuous presidential election of 1940, when hundreds of thousands of Americans joined the antiwar America First Committee. That isolationist group’s primary goal was to keep the United States from joining Britain in the fight against Nazi Germany, which by then had overrun nearly all of Europe. But the committee is also remembered for the unvarnished anti-Semitism of some of its most prominent members and praise for the economic policies of Adolf Hitler.

Here we go, and I've already had my Waterloo

Hitler got in trouble because he kicked out the private central bank and then did a 180 on the invasion of Russia until he was forced to preemptively invade, and had the Axis won it would have been London looking like Berlin.

Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks did not respond to messages this week seeking comment about the America First slogan.

The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights organization, sent Trump a letter two months ago urging him to refrain from using “America First.” The group also took $56,000 that Trump and his family foundation had donated to it over the years and redirected the money to new antibias and antibullying education programs.

It's all about the money!

“For many Americans, the term ‘America First’ will always be associated with and tainted by this history,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the group’s chief executive. “In a political season that already has prompted a national conversation about civility and tolerance, choosing a call to action historically associated with incivility and intolerance seems ill-advised.”

Most Americans and world citizens were not even alive then, so why must that history be laid upon us?

The group received no response to its letter, but Trump has continued to use the slogan, including in a new speech Tuesday.

Keep's pissing them off, doesn't he?

The America First Committee was founded in spring 1940 at Yale University by students that included future US president Gerald Ford and future Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart. Future President John F. Kennedy contributed $100. Within months, France had capitulated to the Germans, and England appeared on the verge of collapse. The committee was soon the largest antiwar organization in US history, with more than 800,000 dues-paying members.


As the committee grew, it attracted celebrities, politicians, and business leaders opposed President Franklin Roosevelt’s lend-lease aid to the British. Among them was the admired aviator Charles Lindbergh, who was the first man to fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean more than a decade earlier.

He would have made a good opponent in a campaign.

Lindbergh, whose family was of Germanic heritage, made multiple high-profile visits to the Fatherland, including to the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin as a special guest of Field Marshal Hermann Goering, head of the German air force. Lindbergh grew to admire Hitler’s revitalization of the German economy at a time the United States was still mired in the Great Depression. He also marveled at the advanced fighters and bombers of the Luftwaffe.

Upon his return to the United States, Lindbergh spoke favorably of the Nazis and published widely read opinion pieces saying the German military conquest of Europe was inevitable and that America should stay out of the war. He joined the executive committee of America First and became the public face of the group, traveling the country to speak at massive antiwar rallies.

America First championed the belief that two vast oceans would insulate the United States from foreign invasion. The group also opposed the acceptance of shiploads of Jewish refugees then-fleeing Nazi persecution. In addition to Lindbergh, the executive committee of America First included the automaker Henry Ford, who had paid to publish a series of anti-Semitic pamphlets called The International Jew, and Avery Brundage, the former US Olympic Committee chairman who had barred two American Jewish runners from competing at the Berlin Olympics. 

The ones Jesse Owens ran at?

Lindbergh espoused anti-Semitic views in his speeches, including a September 1941 America First rally in Des Moines, Iowa.

“The British and the Jewish races, for reasons which are not American, wish to involve us in the war,” he said. “Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government.”

Listen and decide for yourself.

Within days of the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Germany declared war on the United States. America First quickly disbanded.

Yeah, what really happened that day?

During his first major foreign policy speech in April, Trump said “America First will be the major and overriding theme of my administration.”

He has repeatedly used the slogan on the campaign trail, including in a speech this week.

“We are going to put America First, and we are going to Make America Great Again,” Trump said last week in another speech. “We need to reform our economic system so that, once again, we can all succeed together, and America can become rich again. That’s what we mean by America First.”

Trump has proposed building a “big, beautiful wall” along the US border with Mexico to keep out Latino immigrants and opposes the admittance of Muslim war refugees from Syria. He has also called for “tearing up” international trade deals. 

You know, a wall seems okay for Israel so why not us?

Historians said there are some ideological parallels between Trump’s rhetoric on the campaign trail and the positions taken 75 years ago by members of the American First Committee. Then as now, an economic downturn fanned popular resentment toward immigration, especially by those who were not perceived as traditional Americans. 

We have been TOLD its been a SEVEN-YEAR LONG RECOVERY!

“Building a wall is about the illusion that there can be a physical safeguard to prevent intrusion from alien forces,” said Bruce Miroff, a professor who teaches on American politics and the presidency at the State University of New York at Albany. “America First was tapping into suspicion of an ominous other who threatened the American way of life. At that time, it was about Jews. With Trump, it’s Muslims and fear of terrorism.”

Which is now being promoted by their very own papers!


While own the subject of Jewish $upremacism:

"Ku Klux Klan dreams of rising again 150 years after founding" by Jay Reeves Associated Press  July 01, 2016

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — US politics are going their way, as a nationalist, us-against-them mentality deepens across the nation. Stopping or limiting immigration — a desire of the Klan dating back to the 1920s — is more of a cause than ever. And leaders say membership has gone up at the twilight of President Obama’s second term in office.

Thus with a Clinton presidency the terror will again turn inward against domestic enemies.

Btw, the government is behind all the racist groups. Governments need enemies to distract.

Joining the Klan is as easy as filling out an online form — provided you’re white and Christian.

I'm Catholic (self excommunicated), so they wouldn't want me.

Related: I Can't Hear the Cheers

There is another hate group.

While the Klan has terrorized members of minority groups during much of the last century, its leaders now present a public front that is more virulent than violent.

‘‘While today’s Klan has still been involved in atrocities, there is no way it is as violent as the Klan of the ’60s,’’ said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group that tracks activity by groups it considers extremist.

‘‘That does not mean it is some benign group that does not engage in political violence,’’ he added.

KKK leader Brent Waller, imperial wizard of the United Dixie White Knights in Mississippi, said stopping immigration — not blocking minority rights — is the Klan’s No. 1 issue today.

And other Klan leaders say Donald Trump’s ascendancy in the GOP is a sign things are going their way.

Despite trying to rebrand itself, the Klan has not stepped away from burning crosses. As the sun set on a warm Saturday in April, Klan members gathered in a huge circle in a northwest Georgia field to set a cross and Nazi swastika afire....


Time to check the polls for Trump's post-convention bounce:

"For leading Republicans, the dismay is deeper and darker. They fear their party is on the cusp of an epochal split — a historic cleaving between the familiar form of conservatism forged in the 1960s and popularized in the 1980s and a rekindled, atavistic nationalism, with roots as old as the republic, that has not flared up so intensely since the original America First movement before Pearl Harbor. Many Republican voters trudged along with those earlier nominees, but never became truly animated until Trump offered them his brand of angry populism: a blend of protectionism at home and a smaller US footprint abroad. His independent, outsider message could win battleground states like Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.’’

"Poll finds emails weighing on Clinton, now tied with Trump" by Amy Chozick and Dalia Sussman The New York Times, July 15, 2016

Hillary Clinton has emerged from the FBI investigation into her email practices as secretary of state a wounded candidate with a large and growing majority of voters saying she cannot be trusted, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

As Clinton prepares to accept the Democratic Party’s nomination at the convention in Philadelphia this month, she will confront an electorate in which 67 percent of voters say she is not honest and trustworthy. That number is up 5 percentage points from a CBS News poll conducted last month, before the FBI released its findings.

Clinton’s 6-percentage-point lead over the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, in a CBS News poll last month has evaporated. The two candidates are now tied in a general election matchup, the new poll indicates, with each receiving the support of 40 percent of voters.

Any single poll is but a snapshot, and many other polls show Clinton with a narrow but consistent lead over Trump. The Times/CBS News survey was conducted shortly after the release of the FBI report on her email practices that suggested they were imprudent but not illegal. The damage from those revelations may or may not prove lasting.

Trump is also distrusted by a large number of voters — 62 percent — but that number has stayed constant despite increased scrutiny on his business record and falsehoods in his public statements and Twitter messages.

But Clinton’s shifting and inaccurate explanations of her email practices at the State Department appear to have resonated more deeply with the electorate. Clinton and her campaign celebrated the Justice Department’s decision not to indict her as a legal victory, but the political fallout appears significant, at least for now. She and her aides have vowed to win back the public’s trust, while acknowledging that this will be tough.

Once that's gone....

Voters still view Clinton as vastly more prepared for the job — with 50 percent saying she is prepared, compared with the 30 percent who say the same about Trump. Voters’ views of Clinton’s preparedness have also declined, by 9 percentage points since last month.

As the candidates head to their respective party conventions, they will confront voters who range from disappointed to disgruntled about their choices.

Just 28 percent of voters said they had a positive view of Clinton, compared with 33 percent last month. Asked if her email practices were illegal, 46 percent of voters said yes, compared with 23 percent who said using a private server was improper but not illegal. Twenty-four percent said she did nothing wrong.

“I just don’t think she’s been completely truthful with this whole thing with her emails,” Cecelia Purner, 67, a retired customer service representative in Allentown, Pennsylvania, said in a follow-up interview. But, she added, “I think she’ll make a good president if elected.”

Lying seems to be a qualification, yeah.

Trump has slightly improved his standing, with 30 percent of voters saying they have a positive view of him. Last month, 26 percent said the same.

As attack ads and verbal charges intensify on both sides, voters already appear fatigued. More than six in 10 say they were not looking forward to the next few months of the campaign; 46 percent said they were unenthusiastic about the 2016 presidential election.

Carole Bower, 75, a retiree in Carthage, Illinois, supported Gov. John Kasich of Ohio in the Republican primary, but now plans to vote for Trump. “I will reluctantly do that because he’s got to be better than Hillary,” she said. “I will hold my nose and go into that voting booth.”

The grim view of the political climate comes as Americans experience heightened anxieties connected to their economic prospects, the threat of terrorism and race relations.

The killings of black men by white police officers and attacks on the police have left 62 percent of voters saying race relations are growing worse. Clinton is seen as far more capable of dealing with racial tensions than Trump — 60 percent of voters said Clinton would be better at handling the issue, double the number who said the same of Trump.

Clinton has largely based her campaign on lifting the economic fortunes of a middle class that has felt squeezed after nearly 15 years of stagnant wages, a message that should fit with the current climate. Yet voters increasingly view Clinton as less able to fulfill that economic promise. Last month, those polled were evenly split on whether Clinton or Trump would do a better job handling the economy and jobs. Now, 52 percent said Trump would be better, compared with 41 percent for Clinton. 

It's hard when wealth inequality has soared under Obama and the Clinton's have gotten rich.

After the deadly attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, by a gunman who expressed sympathy for the Islamic State, voters are evenly divided on which candidate would do a better job of handling terrorism and national security, an issue on which Clinton held a seven-percentage-point advantage last month. 

The false flags of fear have backfired!

The lens through which voters view the candidates is sharply divided along gender and racial lines, with Trump having a double-digit lead among men and white voters without college degrees and Clinton maintaining her double-digit edge among women and nonwhites. 

My lens is the Globe.

At a rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont endorsed Clinton, saying that his former Democratic primary rival would “make an outstanding president.” But some of his supporters remain reluctant to get behind Clinton, often citing trust as a factor.

“Bernie seemed more to be more transparent than her,” said Rachel Woolard, 20, of Jacksonville, Florida. “She definitely has the stereotypical politician approach to things, so that makes her feel a little disingenuous.”

The nationwide poll was conducted July 8-12 on cellphones and landlines among 1,358 registered voters. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for all voters.

With intense news media attention surrounding the candidates’ selection of running mates, many voters across party lines shrugged off the decision, with 3 in 10 saying a vice-presidential candidate would have no effect on their vote.

That is what I was saying, and Cruz spoiled it for Pence.


I just don't get the rewrites, although I do.

Latest Word on the Trail? I Take It Back

I don't.

"Clinton, Trump deeply unpopular, polls show" by Victoria McGrane Globe Staff  July 18, 2016

SCRANTON, Pa. — While some voters appear ready to hold their noses and vote for whoever they see as the least objectionable option, others are saying they’re torn or plan to just sit out this election altogether.

Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of Americans, 81 percent, say they would feel afraid if one of these two mainstream candidates were elected, according to an AP-GfK poll released last week. A quarter of those surveyed said they were frightened by the prospect of either Trump or Clinton winning the White House, according to the Associated Press.

This is not a picture of a happy electorate.

Voters in Scranton, a somewhat scruffy but politically commanding Rust Belt post, are among those feeling the malaise. Pennsylvania is a key battleground state, and it’s places like Scranton and its surrounds — areas full of blue-collar workers whose fortunes never bounced back from the loss of manufacturing jobs — that provide the clearest path to Trump’s taking the White House, and therefore are where the Clinton campaign must fight to block any GOP gains.

“I probably won’t vote, the way it’s going,” says one registered Democrat intrigued by Trump, but “Hillary is OK,” even though they worry about the Wall Street ties, while for the first time in his life a Sanders supporter has “lost faith” and isn’t planning to vote.

The Republican and Democratic national conventions offer one opportunity for the parties to chip away at the antipathy, starting with the Republican convention, which kicks off Monday afternoon in Cleveland. Trump’s penchant to focus on and celebrate Trump [and] the decision by scores of major party figures to skip the event won’t help disgruntled Republicans warm up to Trump, either. Both former presidents Bush and almost every other living GOP presidential nominee have RSVP’d no.

You can Cruz through it if you wish.

What all of this will mean in November remains unclear. On the one hand, continuing disgust could lead more voters to stay home, or perhaps to choose one of the third-party candidates: the Green Party’s Jill Stein or Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.


Some analysts believe all these strong feelings, even though they’re negative, could translate into more voting, not less. Pew data going back to 1992 suggest that voters can turn out even if they really don’t like the candidates, so long as polls show Americans are interested in the election, William Galston, a scholar at the Brookings Institute, a Washington think tank, wrote recently.

For now, it seems that unhappiness and uncertainty rule the day.

A big Sanders supporter says “both feel like more of the same, using fear to motivate and honestly, the jury’s still out.”



Mass. voters favor Clinton over Trump, poll finds

The entirety of her margin comes from female voters narrative, and Trump has since closed the gappulled even, and now leads.

The GOP’s intellectual vacuum

Hard to imagine, but feasible: President Trump

 For some in GOP, third-party dreams aren’t dead

They mean die-hard and to-the-death neocon war-monger Bill Kristol.

"Mitt Romney is being courted this week by a leading conservative commentator to reconsider and jump into the volatile 2016 presidential race as an independent candidate. William Kristol, the longtime editor of the Weekly Standard magazine and a leading voice on the right, met privately with the 2012 nominee on Thursday afternoon to discuss the possibility of launching an independent bid, potentially with Romney as its standard-bearer. “He came pretty close to being elected president, so I thought he may consider doing it, especially since he has been very forthright in explaining why Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton should not be president of the United States,” Kristol said in a phone interview Friday, during which he confirmed that he and Romney had a “little meeting in Washington.” But knowing Romney’s reluctance, Kristol told Romney that if he remains unwilling to run, many top conservatives would appreciate having the former Massachusetts governor’s support for an independent candidate, should Kristol and other right-leaning figures enlist a willing contender. The closed-door huddle was held at the J.W. Marriott hotel in Washington, which is just blocks from the White House. It was requested by Kristol, according to a person close to Romney who requested anonymity to discuss the session. Later Thursday, both Kristol and Romney attended an awards gala for American Friends of The Hebrew University, an area group that supports the Jerusalem-based school. At the dinner, when asked in front of the attendees about possibly running as an independent this year, Romney said he was not interested. “No, I’m certainly going to be hoping that we find someone who I have my confidence in who becomes nominee. I don’t intend on supporting either of the major-party candidates at this point,” Romney said, according to the Washington Examiner."

Looks like they will have to go Libertarian (after I've left them!):

Weld considering run for VP on Libertarian ticket
Weld is set to join Libertarian ticket as VP candidate
Weld confirms he’ll run for VP as a Libertarian

"Weld’s nomination — and his sharp, high-profile exchanges with Donald Trump — had called unusual attention to the marginalized Libertarian Party, boosting the party’s profile and, potentially, its fund-raising. But it also created division in the party, which has been trying to capitalize on the conflicts within the major parties to present itself as a credible alternative."

That's comical!

Weld is optimistic after clinching Libertarian VP slot
Weld says Libertarians appeal to Sanders fans, anti-Trump Republicans

Please stop, my sides are hurting.

Bill Weld-allied super PAC backs Libertarian ticket
New England states are roadblock for Libertarians
Could a Weld-Johnson ticket appeal to Mass. GOP voters?

They have one vote so far, and that's how Hillary steals the presidency as history repeats (Perot, Trump was supposed to be Jeb Bush). 

Bev Harris showed Howard Dean how you do it, remember?