Tag Archives: politics

American style-makers!🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸❤

By Rosalie Tirella

Trump last night, pretending to be president? A fluke! He’ll flip the crazy switch back on today …

America’s best political writers?

For me, they’re not at the Washington Post or even at the NYT. The guys and gals who write for late night comics Bill Maher, SNL, Seth Myers, Samantha Bee and Stephen Colbert are my gods – daggers pointed at Donald Trump’s lying crooked heart and presidency. Every night. Relentless truth-tellers.

The 1960s – the last time America writhed in the throes of a political and spiritual identity crisis – America had Baez, Gaye, Dylan, Joplin to lead the way out of the quagmire. Today, the artists who best reflect WHAT’S GOING ON in America – refuse to hold back – are our late night stand up comedians (the word “comedians” does not do them justice). Today’s comedians’ art is just as brilliant as the Smothers Brothers’ or Lenny Bruce’s. Some folks may say today’s political comics are more polished looking – wear ties and bras. So what?! Who cares?! Stephen Colbert still kills it every night! Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer will be with America far longer than any saccharin Trump video clip (we’re not counting the stupid ones, of which there will be hundreds). You listen to a Bill Maher monologue and you hear our sad truth swaddled in lovely sentences, f-bomb laced, making us guffaw, soaring to satirist heaven!!!! You – or at least I – wanna see the hard copy of his monologue! Maher’s brilliant essay – all prickly pears and Jaw Breakers and love for this country. Make no mistake: his writing is wonderful! For the ages!

Donald Trump won’t make America great – but he sure as hell made American writers great!

Tune in, Worcester!

In style: A half-way normal Donald Trump! 🇺🇸🇺🇸

By Rosalie Tirella

Not bad, Donald.

Don’t get us wrong, readers! If Donald Trump can be an effective or even great president, we’re all for him! The above videos – snap shots of Trump being on-message, funny and real – are glimmers of hope. After watching these videos and others, you realize there is something quite endearing – dare I say loveable?! – about the Donald!: #1 – He is authentic. Totally himself … and that is GREAT. It’s a lot of fun, kinda scary, ultimately mesmerizing. Trump doesn’t hold back or disengage or quit working at 6:30 p.m. every night to spend time with his family like President Obama did. Nope. Trump – with wife Melania MIA in another state – is ON 24/7. Like a great, bizarre ’round the clock reality TV show! And we’re all addicted to watching it! Last night I began watching an old President Obama video and shut it off. Boring!!! I tuned into Trump – and had fun. So what if we are all going to be incinerated?!!! Trump is one hell of a roller coaster ride! He is combative but takes his lumps, too – for his gaffes, hissy fits, open bathrobe and fumbling for light switches in a lights-out White House.

Donald Trump seems to crave unending adoration, but his emotional neediness often manifests itself as a kind of goofy friendliness… . President Obama was aloof. Trump is anything but. He’s a hugger, hand-holder, hand-shaker,  glad-hander … a people person. Nutty. But gregarious. I like that. He could be Italian-American – a Rat Pack ba da boom kinda prez! Trump’s out-sized personality is why he has connected with so many – millions of – Americans. They love him! He’s like lots of great U.S. presidents/politicians – loves to, lives to swaddle himself in the hoi polloi and upper classes and everyone in between: FDR, LBJ, Teddy Roosevelt. You can tell Trump LOVES being president! Which is why he filed his papers for re-election immediately after Inauguration Day!!!

Wow.

Trump’s manic energy encompasses all – sucks you in. He has bonded with the forgotten Americans: white working class regular folks who, on a number of fronts, most important, the economic one, have suffered for many many years. He says he will change their – our – lives. Tonic to the people!

Trump, for me, feels especially like Lyndon B. Johnson –  a natural, gifted, LOVE ME NOW-PLEASE! kind of politician. Trump can’t mask his insecurity and he can’t get enough of Americans and our problems, feelings, food etc. The voters, miners, teachers, Congress – he’ll spread the Donald all over the place, like the special sauce on a Big Mac.

And it feels kinda nice. Fucked up. But nice.

Raise the federal minimum wage, Donald! Support our unions! Create a robust AMERICAN INFRASTRUCTURE REBUILDING federal program that puts millions of regular guys and gals back to work at GOOD PAYING JOBS rebuilding America’s highways, bridges, airports, etc! Quit stomping on the Constitution, and you just may make it, after all!🇺🇸🍦🍟🍔🍕

Trump clone Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney and his Resolution (or Revolution?!) of Hatred

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You see this big sign when you enter Worcester City Hall from the city parking garage. It WELCOMES ALL TO WORCESTER! photo: R. Tirella

By Rosalie Tirella

Take City Councilor Michael Gaffney (PLEASE!). Has there ever been such a dangerous Worcester City Councilor? Such a loathsome opportunist, cynic, headline-grabber and power-snatcher posing as a city “leader”? A demagogue lurking beneath a friendly, penguin-emblazoned sweat-shirt, force smiling that weird, serpentine smile of his and doing all sorts of nefarious things to my beloved city? Worcester’s  own snake in the grass!

Michael (Mike) Gaffney’s goal?

Pure raw power.

And to overthrow the Democrats who, for the most part, have run this city for decades.

Gaffney wants a Republican-lead Worcester and he, already the head of the city’s Republican committee. wants to be crowned her king.

Screw the  fairly progressive Democratic Gateway City we all live in and pretty much love. Welcome to carnage-strewn Trumpland! Welcome to Gaffney shitsville where people, especially minorities, are thrown under the bus daily.

If we aren’t smart and vigilant, Gaffney – with the help of his friend and personal public relations machine, the racist, classist Aidan Kearney of Jefferson, the evil voice of the hate-spewing Turtle Boy blog  – could become our next mayor! Think I’m kidding? Worcesterites are getting used to Gaffney’s creepy, slippery ways. And he’s smart: people often don’t realize he’s playing them, playing on their deepest prejudices when he decides to run hard with a (wedge) issue on the City Council floor and wants their support. Or when he conflates two issues and ends up scapegoating a minority group. Or when he just fucks with our heads, sowing racial intolerance and chaos.

Forget about leading a  complex, diverse, very cool Gateway City! Gaffney is all about hatred.

Gaffney, a relative newbie to the Worcester City Council, is the exact kind of morally bankrupt asshole you’d expect to be vomited up during these toxic Trump times! His ideas, his speeches, even his supporters are all taken from the Donald Trump playbook. Our insane PRESIDENT😰😫😫 has made it ok for politicians like Gaffney to behave in racist, divisive, bigoted ways. Trump has, perversely, validated their un-American-ness! Because he’s the biggest fascist!

So Gaffney throws a bomb on to the City Council floor every other week!

He traumatizes the City of Worcester with his red herrings for mere political gain and to weaken the city’s present power structure. Gaffney’ll pounce on any issue – or create one – that he thinks will hurt our mayor, Joe Petty, and make him (Gaffney) the hero. Gaffney will say anything or float any nutty, racially explosive idea to gain the upper hand. Usually it’s one that is somehow connected to vulnerable subsets of our people – for example: the minority-run Mosaic Group or City Councilor Sarai Rivera and her property. Gaffney beat those issues and people to death. He was able to be so merciless because both issues’ main players were people of color. And there are lots of bigots in this town (all Turtle Boy readers) who cheered him on!

Now we’ve got the latest Gaffney-manufactured shit-storm, another racial and ethnic hornets nest, with our weakest brothers and sisters (many children) at its heart: Next city council meeting City Councilor Michael Gaffney is ASKING THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL TO WEIGH IN ON SANCTUARY CITIES. TO, IN A VERY PUBLIC WAY, DECLARE THAT WORCESTER IS OR IS NOT A SANCTUARY CITY. Gaffney is demanding that his City Council colleagues  sign on to – or not! – the anti-Sanctuary City resolution he has so craftily crafted!

What garbage. What bull shit. What a way to make the City Council fritter away the city’s time! This has nothing to do with making Woo a better city! Gaffney has set up this situation up so he can WIN POLITICAL POINTS – and he wins either way!

He hurts Mayor Joe Petty and the Dem power structure in town no matter how the council votes. Just bringing this shit resolution on the council floor opens the floodgates to race baiting, group-hating and soul-sapping arguments between Woo residents and among Woo City council members. Rotten words and hurt feelings will rule the day as we rue the day!

Gaffney does not give a fig that he teases out all kinds of racist feelings in our community,  exploits people’s deepest prejudices and obfuscates the real issues.

He willfully chooses to make things murky! He uses people. He keeps Worcesterites from understanding each other and learning the truth about each other!

On Gaffney’s watch there is no bending that arc towards justice! Just more hatred in hate-filled times.

So, this is what the Gaffer’s true intentions are:

1. To get the mayor and city council to say: YES, we’re a SANCTUARY CITY.

2. To get the mayor and city council to say: NO, we’re not a SANCTUARY CITY.

If they go with #1 they make all their constituents happy and do the right thing, but the City, thanks to President Trump, loses millions of dollars (except for cops) in federal funding. Also: the more conservative folks in Worcester, plus all our racists and bigots, will hate them and try to vote them out of office in November.

If they go with #2, their constituents and supporters will be devastated and Worcester’s most vulnerable folks will be scapegoated, sent back to violent lands, torn apart. They will be broken-up and broken-hearted. We’ll get the federal monies, but we’ll lose a good chunk of our collective soul.

In the meantime,  a crazy, evil, confused and confusing debate swallows up our city.

Thanks to City Councilor and mayoral candidate Michael Gaffney.

For Gaffney to create this kind of civic havoc is wrong.

For him to create a scenario, under the guise of his stupid SANCTUARY CITY RESOLUTION, divides folks. It pits one group of people against another, magnifies our slight differences and attempts to erase our shared humanity.

It’s just not right!

As we say here in lower Vernon Hill: Michael Gaffney’s a PIECE OF SHIT.

The Trump Report – “Celebrity Presidency”!

From Saturday Night Live:

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By Steven R. Maher

Many Americans are terrified of what Donald Trump will do as President.

Fifty years ago, American anti-war protesters chanted “Give peace a chance.” Nowadays, the anti-Trump crowd might want to say “Give Trump a chance.”
Trump won the election under the constitutional order in place.

The majority of voters found Trump distasteful.

Trump won in three electoral states by 88,000 votes – after Russian meddling and FBI meddling (director Comey’s Clinton email bugaboo just 10 days before the election). The fact that Trump would be Tweeting “RIGGED ELECTION! NOT HAPPY!!!” if Hillary Clinton had won this way is irrelevant.

Donald Trump is going to be the next President of the United States. Democrats, liberals, lefties and progressives need to adjust to this reality. At this point, everyone needs to take a deep breath and calm down. I’ve noticed a tendency among Trump opponents to become unduly alarmed after reading dire Internet warnings about what Trump will do. This recalls what happened after 9/11, when Americans sat watching over and over reruns of the terrorists ramming jet aircraft into the Twin Towers. Millions of people became paranoid about what Al-Qaeda would do next. But it did not mean the end of the world. Nor does Trump’s election.

Reagan example

I had the same reaction when Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980. I was sure President Reagan was a war monger who would quagmire us into another Vietnam.

House Speaker Tip O’Neil recalls in his memoirs: “Alexander Haig hadn’t been Secretary of State more than three weeks when he told me over breakfast that we ought to be cleaning out Nicaragua.”

But when Haig tried to raise the issue of Soviet subversion in Central America he was told to leave it alone – the White House didn’t want to divert attention from the economy at that point.

Reagan, in fact, showed himself to be extraordinarily reluctant to get involved in long-term military conflicts. He pulled the Marines out of Lebanon after 241 Marines were murdered by Hezbollah. Reagan didn’t “clean out,” i.e. invade Nicaragua, which would have destabilized Central America the way George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq destabilized the Middle East. Instead, Reagan cleaned out Grenada, where he sent 16,000 American military personnel to beat the bejabbers out of 800 or so Cuban construction workers. Grenada was too small for a guerilla insurgency.

Trump has evidenced a similar reluctance to get involved in long-term military struggles. While he has talked loudly of attacking ISIS, he has also mentioned the expense of going to war, wants to bill America’s allies for the cost of defending their countries and has appointed Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, who lost a son to Bush’s Iraq disaster. Having experienced the agony of losing a child due to Bush’s stupidity, it is unlikely Kelly will be urging Trump to engage in Bush-style acts of imbecility.

Haig and Regan

Trump has appointed people to his cabinet with no experience in their new jobs. Foremost among these is Andy Puzder as Secretary of Labor, Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator.

Many of Trump’s designees fall into two categories: former generals and wealthy entrepreneurs. Reagan did the same thing – and experienced public embarrassment when the political neophytes he appointed self-destructed.

Haig is a good example. When Reagan was wounded in a 1981 assassination attempt, Haig destroyed himself politically by going on the air and saying: “As of now, I am in control here, in the White House, pending return of the Vice President and in close touch with him.”

As Haig said this, he came across as anything but reassuring, and his political career was dead from that point on.

Likewise, Donald Regan as the White House Chief of Staff, proved disastrous. Regan was a brilliant Wall Street trader before becoming part of the Reagan administration. “This was one of the President’s [Reagan’s] worst mistakes: Don Regan may have been a financial genius, but he knew nothing about politics,” wrote O’Neil.

Trump not Reagan

Donald Trump is no Ronald Reagan. As a President, Reagan hated firing people. Trump tried to copyright “You’re fired!” as his signature line!

Trump’s tolerance of the fools he has appointed to his cabinet will end the moment they start embarrassing him.

We are talking about a man who fired two campaign managers before settling on personnel best suited to his management style.

If Trump had appointed Rudolph Giuliani as attorney general and John Bolton as secretary of state, I’d be damn worried. But Trump seems to have kept the most severe political right-wing nuts out of his cabinet.

After Trump won, ICT published my election analysis, in which I wrote that Democrats underestimated Trump the same way they had underestimated Reagan. I quoted George Santana’s adage that “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Trump is about to learn the same harsh lesson, repeating Ronald Reagan’s mistakes of appointing to his cabinet financial wizards whose private-sector acumen is not necessarily transferable to political office.

We can expect many firings during Trump’s Celebrity Presidency.

WHY TRUMP WON

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In front of Worcester City Hall: folks react to Trump V. pic:R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

Ronald Reagan told a great anecdote whenever he had a set-back: the story was about a young teenage boy who came home and saw horse manure all around the house. The teenager became happily excited. Looking at the mess, the boy’s mother asked him why he was so happy. “Gosh mom,” said the teenager,” with all this horse manure, there has to be a pony in here somewhere.”

Political earthquake

On November 8, 2016, a political earthquake off the Richter scale struck the United States of America. In a surprise few Americans have experienced in their lifetimes, Donald J. Trump captured the Presidency in an astounding upset. Against the findings of the pollsters, pundits, and political elites, Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States.

“I will be studying this for the rest of my life,” pollster Larry Sabado told Fox News, admitting that he, like so many others of his profession, blew it.

The 2016 Presidential election will fascinate historians and political scientists for generations to come. The accusations, name calling, and negative television spots will be pored over by analysts to see what worked and what didn’t. We can expect voluminous studies of the FBI’s and Russian intelligence’s rather brazen interventions in the electoral process. Which polls accurately predicted the outcome will be fodder for the pundits. The careers of political consultants will be made or broken.

Most importantly, how did Trump win, while making provocative remarks that in any other election would have instantly destroyed his candidacy?

“Trump did not create the forces that propelled his candidacy,” conservative columnist Patrick J. Buchanan wrote in a column published the day before the election. “But he recognized them, tapped into them, and unleashed a gusher of nationalism and populism that will not soon dissipate.”

Trade deals

Buchanan, who worked in both the Nixon and Reagan administrations, ran for President in 1992 in the Republican primaries based substantially on his opposition to trade deals like NAFTA. Since then, Buchanan has stuck to traditional conservative ideals, denouncing the budget deficits caused by George W. Bush long before anyone had heard of Barack Obama or the Tea Party. In one memorable column, Buchanan said Bush made Bill Clinton, with his balanced budgets and controlled spending, look like Barry Goldwater.

But the two things Buchanan most railed against were the trade deals that deindustrialized America, and the “neocon” advocacy of America’s involvement in endless wars. The losers on both were America’s white working class, whose jobs were sent overseas to the benefit of the Republican elite, and whose sons and daughters were sent overseas to fight in places like Iraq.

Buchanan was an economic bellwether, a Paul Revere of the right who urged a return to the economic nationalism of Alexander Hamilton. The first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton called for the implementation of tariffs on imports to protect and promote American manufacturing.

America’s city, towns and suburbs were hollowed out in the three decades since Buchanan sounded his alarm. As the major industries faded away to China or Mexico, the smaller businesses in the supply chain began to close their doors leaving behind empty buildings, industrial park vacancies, and devastated inner cities. “Company towns” became as desolate as the steel mills of Ohio, as the companies fled in search of cheaper labor. The company towns often no longer had the company to support them. Many of these were in the rural parts of America, which turned out in droves on election day to vote for Donald Trump.

This writer saw this first hand during a visit to an insurance appraiser on West Boylston Street in Worcester. I had not been in that neighborhood in ten or fifteen years and was shocked at the number of closed restaurants, shuttered businesses and sense of economic dislocation that was palpable in a neighborhood which had once teemed as a hub of economic activity.

Populist billionaire

Trump was not the first “populist billionaire” who saw in the trade deals the undoing of America. In 1992 – the same year Buchanan sought the Republican nomination – Ross Perot ran as an independent, calling on the federal government to balance its budgets, invest in infrastructure, and opposing trade deals like NAFTA.

Perot would compare a Tennessee auto worker making $15 an hour to a Mexican making $1 an hour. Under NAFTA, said Perot, “the Mexican worker’s wage would go up to $8 an hour, while the American worker’s wage would go down to $8 an hour.”

“Doesn’t make you feel warm all over, does it,” Perot would sneer.

Perot was reportedly told by Republican political consultant Edward Rollins it would cost $130 million to finance a viable campaign. Perot apparently didn’t believe in himself enough to risk the money, and went on to place third as a fringe candidate.

Unique campaign

Trump didn’t mimic Perot’s mistakes. Trump ran for the Republican nomination instead of running as an Independent. Trump also put into his campaign the money necessary to win.

The Donald ran a unique campaign. It revolved entirely around Donald Trump. Trump flew from state to state for campaign rallies. He seemed to draw strength from the cheering throngs, and they responded in kind, growing stronger from Trump’s confidence and self-assuredness, their faith deepened, their commitment strengthened. Clinton’s campaign would bus voters directly from her rallies to the local city clerk’s office to register and vote. Trump’s supporters didn’t need to be bused to vote; they showed themselves able to get to the voting booth on their own.

Trump’s speaking tours reminded some of Harry Truman’s whistle stopping train tour of the country in 1948. Truman’s 1948 victory was probably the last time an America election surprised the people as much as Trump’s triumph did.

Trump’s rough edges appealed to America’s working classes as much as they appalled the political elites. Showing a marked disinclination towards political correctness, Trump vigorously denounced illegal immigrants, profiteering businessmen who shipped jobs overseas, ISIS, and other threats to the republic. He bluntly termed George W. Bush a liar and said Bush should have been impeached. Trump made himself an easy target for commentators of all stripes to sling their rhetoric at.

Looking back, it seems the more Trump was attacked, the more it solidified his base. “They believe Trump alone will secure the borders and rid us of a trade regime that has led to the loss of 70,000 factories and 5 million manufacturing jobs since NAFTA,” noted Buchanan. “They believe Trump is the best hope for keeping us out of the wars the Beltway think tanks are already planning for the sons of the ‘deplorables’ to fight.”

Clinton ran a sophisticated Presidential campaign. Her debate preparation and performance were extraordinary. Her ground game was state of the art and would have, in any other election season, brought her victory.

What Clinton did not speak to was the anger felt by the large mass of white noncollegiate American males. They remembered a time when getting a good paying manufacturing job, buying a home, and raising a family on the man’s income alone seemed part of an American birthright. In this regard, Clinton’s gender likely counted against her. Bill Clinton’s incredible economic performance as President in the 1990s – the 23 million new jobs, the large budgetary surpluses – were apparently a distant memory to those traumatized by the Great Recession. Many of the millennials who came of age since the 2008 election had no personal memory of the 1990s boomtime.

Americans also thought that Trump would keep them safer. The 2016 election took place against a backdrop of terrorist attacks and mass murders by deranged or deluded jihadist wannabees and homegrown self-described “patriots”. Trump talked of walling off Mexico to keep out illegals, and stopping the flow of drugs to stem the tide of the opioid epidemic. In an America worried by the display of disrespect to lawful authority, Trump presented himself as a law and order candidate sympathetic to law enforcement.

Democrats made the same mistake with Trump in 2016 that they made in 1980 with Reagan. They believed that Reagan’s rhetoric was so bizarre and out of place with ordinary Americans that he would be easily defeated. The November 8, 2016, dramatic electoral denouement reminds one of the adage that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

FBI and the Russians, too

There is one other factor which needs to be recounted in looking at the 2016 election results. That is the intervention in the election of two outside entities: the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).

“If Trump wins, I suspect he owes a big ‘thank you’ to Jim Comey,” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof tweeted on election day.

Politico reported, “There is some evidence that Comey’s actions did erode Clinton’s lead in the polls. Before Comey’s bombshell announcement that he was investigating another batch of emails found on Anthony Weiner’s computer, 538 [a polling website] gave Clinton an 81 percent chance of winning, but it dropped to a 65 percent chance after Comey’s Oct. 28 letter to Congress.”

There is a good chance historians will conclude that Comey’s letter to Congress, announcing he was reopening the email investigation, destroyed Clinton’s campaign. The emails were found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Weiner, who was the husband of top Clinton aid Huma Abedin, was being investigated for texting to a fifteen old girl pictures of Weiner half-naked.

The polls were trending towards Clinton at that moment, showing Clinton with double digit leads in the battleground states like Florida and North Carolina, which Trump later won. Political pundits at the time were talking of the Democrats being certain to recapture the Senate, and as to the many Congressional seats Clinton’s expected landslide coattails would bring in with her. The Democrats, at the time this is being written, picked up one Senate seat and seven House seats. Hillary Clinton was not the only potential winner knocked out of the box by Comey.

Trump got the news of Comey’s reopening of the investigation as he was getting ready to speak before a rally. Trump reportedly caucused with his campaign advisers, stepped off the plane, and the over the next eight days proceeded to vitriolically denounce with gusto “Crooked Hillary” for email crimes which she would surely be indicted for. Trump said the nation would be paralyzed by a constitutional crisis if Clinton were elected.

“Maybe the system is not as rigged as I thought,” commented Trump.

Fox News’ Bret Baier broadcast a report that sources at the FBI confirmed that five foreign intelligence agencies had hacked into Weiner’s computer and found confidential information. Baier’s statement was completely and totally false, but by the time he retracted the story two days later it had gone viral in the right-wing blogosphere.

This was enough to rally old time, Clinton-hating Republicans to get behind Trump. These newly enthused Republicans likely provided Trump’s margin of victory.

Vladimir Putin, a former agent in the Communist secret police, the KGB, had an old human motive for having the SVR dump, in the weeks leading up to the election, documents damaging to Clinton. Revenge. Putin blamed the United States for the breakup of the Soviet Union, and both Obama and Clinton for the colored revolutions in the Ukraine and eastern Europe. The SVR had hacked into Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s email. and then proceeded to release them over WikiLeaks daily in batches, which Fox News in particular played up. The Clinton campaign must have experienced the daily release of embarrassing emails, showing infighting and backstabbing, like the slow drip drop of a Chinese water torture.

Comey’s announcement of his closing the reopened investigation was probably an attempt to make things right. That didn’t stop Trump, as fast as his mind could think and his tongue speak, from repudiating his position earlier in the day that the process was not rigged and the FBI would see justice done. Trump immediately reversed himself and took to once again denouncing a rigged system that would steal the election.

For Hillary Clinton, the damage was done. Comey’s October 28 announcement was a bell which couldn’t be unrung.
This writer, looking at the matter objectively with the end of the campaign and the passage of time, believes that Comey was altruistically motivated by a desire to announce the reopened investigation before someone inside the FBI leaked the Weiner emails. Comey, who is a person of conscience, is likely to spend the rest of his life torturing himself mentally for electing Donald Trump President.

The pony in the room

The noted historian Arthur Schlesinger wrote that American history has been one of cycles, in which pro-government liberals have alternated with small government conservatives.

Democrats will not have to refight old battles over Social Security and Medicare, which Trump has promised to preserve and expand. Trump has promised to replace Obamacare with something better, not leave elder health care to the tender mercies of the market place. He is not talking George W. Bush’s hogwash of privatizing Social Security. Trump recognizes the dangers of deficits, and is uniquely positioned to make the politically painful decisions necessary to balance the federal budget.

If Trump succeeds in reviving the manufacturing industries, he may be planting the seeds for a Democratic renewal. Democrats might want to see this as the pony in the room. A revitalized working class with a strong union movement might be the Democrats’ pathway back to power when the next liberal cycle begins.

This is it! ELECTION DAY! Get out and VOTE!

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You could say, notwithstanding the sunny disposition, this guy was the beginning of the end … pic:R.T.

By Edith Morgan

This is it! Our final chance to vote! If you did not take advantage of the two weeks of early voting that ended on November 4, TODAY, Tuesday, November 8, is your big chance!

In case you are hesitating because you “don’t know the ropes,” here’s what you need to know:

The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If you have not moved very recently, and have voted recently, just show up at your assigned location…

… check in (address, then your name)

… get your ballots (THERE ARE TWO PAGES this time, because of the 4 referendum questions). So be sure to look at both sides of the first and then fill in the second, before you check out.

Be sure to use the pen that is provided, and carefully fill in the oval by the name of your selected candidates. Fill in the oval by YES or NO after each of the four referendum questions. Voters will be deciding who’ll be our next president! Also, there are the Massachusetts Senate and House contests! If you need to review what is on the ballots, there are samples posted at the entrance to the voting area.

Once you have marked your ballots, check out at the tables and insert your ballots (pages 1 and 2) into the machine. Wait a few seconds until the machine says thank you!

Take – and proudly wear! – your free “I VOTED” sticker! Some polls even have coffee and donuts for all. Everyone is very helpful!

If you are not certain where you are registered, please call the City of Worcester Election Commission office at 508-799-1134 for information.

If you are a first-time voter please bring ID with you.

If you are an inactive voter (“I” by your name,) you will be asked to fill out a voter certificate, and then you will be able to vote. Bring proof of residency (something with your present address on it) Most people have a current driver’s license, or other photo ID.

Fear not! Just come! Everyone who works at the polls will do their best to enable you to cast your vote. Poll workers will answer your questions, help you in any way they can and see that your vote counts.

You can bring along a translator, or helper if handicapped – or your children if there is no babysitter at home.

JUST COME OUT AND VOTE TODAY!

Could Trump happen?

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Vote! pic: R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

The 2016 Presidential election has been one of the most nerve wracking in American history. Partisans on both sides are terrified of the consequences of the other side winning the election, predicting apocalyptic consequences.

If Hillary Clinton wins, Donald J. Trump supporters foresee an America flooded by hordes of job seeking illegal immigrants jamming our communities, the country bankrupted by massive new spending on health insurance, free college education, and illegal immigrants. If Trump is elected, Clinton supporters envision an America bankrupted by massive new tax cuts for the wealthy, large increases in military spending, new wars in the Middle East, the destruction of subsidized health, and a President who is “loose with nukes.”

“I do feel sometimes like this campaign has entered into an alternative universe,” commented Clinton recently on a late night show. It’s a sentiment many Americans share, as both candidates ratchet up the rhetoric in an attempt to find the other’s jugular vein.

Social issues

On social issues, both parties are equally scared of whom the other will appoint to the Supreme Court. Three hot button issues are particularly important: campaign finance, abortion and guns.

The pro-life community is petrified that President Clinton’s America would seek abortion on demand at taxpayer expense. Likewise many Clinton backers, while professing to support the 2nd Amendment, urge a tightening of access to guns to prevent some of the horrible gun massacres that have taken place. Clinton has called for the repeal of Citizens United, the disastrous Supreme Court decision that is polluting American politics with billionaire money. Republicans see Citizen United as leveling the playing field, giving wealthy donors the right to compete with Union campaign financing of Democrats.

Pro-choice voters are terrified that a President Trump would deprive a woman of her right to choose. This writer believes Trump, who was adamantly pro-choice until he ran for President, will do absolutely nothing to stop abortion. Changing abortion laws will be at the bottom of Trump’s to do list as President. Trump is right that law abiding Americans should be able to buy firearms, but like abortion, will do little to change existing laws to stop the mass gun killings. Trump rather brilliantly defused the Citizens United issue by funding his own campaign, something which played a big part in Trump securing the Republican nomination.

Demonizing each other

But the worst thing about this campaign is the extent to which each Presidential candidate has demonized the other. Clinton, who has never been convicted or been charged with a crime using her public offices, does not warrant being called “Crooked Hillary”. However, Clinton has opened herself up to ethical questions by setting up a private email server in her home and then eviscerating 33,000 private emails. If Nixon had done this to his White House tapes, he never would have faced impeachment. In this regard, Clinton, unlike Nixon, carefully covered her own tracks. It’s harder to tell which was the greater misjudgment by Clinton: setting up the private server to begin with, or her belief that the existence of the private server would not leak out, and cause her the enormous damage that it has. This plays into the Republican perception of the Clintons as unethical.

Much of Clinton’s transparency in revealing her tax returns – a must during the Democratic primaries – led to many of the questions about speaking fees, book deals, etc. Trump, seeing how the media went through Clinton’s tax returns with a fine tooth comb, has probably been wise to withhold his tax returns. They probably contain such election blowing secrets that Trump will never release them. In 1968 candidate Nixon released his tax returns even though they were being audited, the reason Trump now gives for not releasing his tax returns. Said Clinton running mate Tim Kaine: “If you can’t come up to the ethical standard of Richard Nixon, you should not be within ten time zones of being commander in chief!” Like Clinton, Trump is showing himself to be cleverer than Nixon.

Trump has been called a racist, a misogynist, and an authoritarian. Trump’s rhetorical excesses are largely to blame for this. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.” This type of statement plays into the hands of those who denounce Trump as a racist, just as his past talk of women as “fat pigs” and “dogs” has opened him up to charges of being a misogynist. It’s not difficult to see why Trump’s praise of Vladimir Putin would lead some to believe Trump has authoritarian tendencies.

In terms of experience, both Trump and Clinton would bring to the Presidency experiences beneficial to the job. America will soon be facing enormous budgetary problems; Trump has been considerably parsimonious in building up a bureaucratic campaign organization and dumping vast amounts of money into television advertising. Trump has successfully run a billion dollar, multi-national company; his administrative skills are probably of the highest order, and Trump likely has superior negotiation skills. Clinton’s experience as a Senator and Secretary of State have given her a good understanding of how to build alliances in the legislative process and international arena, skill sets that would prove invaluable in a President.

Why is Trump doing so well?

Given that he has the highest unfavorability ratings of any candidate in history, why is Trump doing so well? It appears to be because Trump has given voice to the concerns and anxieties of a significant section of the American public on three very important issues:

• American has been deindustrialized during the past decade largely due to trade deals. Large masses of Americans have seen their jobs shipped overseas. Many of the jobs not shipped overseas are now being filled by what many perceive as being lower paid illegal immigrants. Trump has given them the perfect scapegoats: Washington bureaucrats and a wave of immigrants willing to work for far lower wages than the average American.

• Trump opposed more Middle Eastern intervention. Trump’s talk of allying America with Russia to take on ISIS in Syria may outrage the political elites. But most Americans would rather see Russians dying to stop ISIS, than the United States dragged into yet another Middle Eastern quagmire by itself.

• America is going through one of the biggest demographic changes since the Irish, Italian, German, Polish, and Jewish immigrants arrived in the latter half of the 18th century. As Trump talks of bringing jobs home and keeping illegal immigrants out, it is not accidental that his message resonates particularly among white male Americans, in an America that is becoming inexorably less white.

It may well come down to whether the number of angry white males supporting Trump outnumber the male liberals, women, Hispanics, and African-Americans supporting Clinton. As the days begin to dwindle down until the election, each candidate continues to chip away at the other’s base.

Pathway to victory

Pundits have talked recently of the difficulty of Trump’s “pathway to victory”, i.e., getting 270 votes in the Electoral College. Polling in Virginia and Colorado, two states which had been solidly Republican in the past, shows Clinton with leads Trump is unlikely to overtake. This means Trump has to take Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina to hit the magic number of 270 Electoral College votes. Right now, polls show Clinton ahead in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Clinton’s campaign apparatus to get out the vote is manifestly superior to Trump’s in these states.

Trump at any moment could make another disastrous tweet, or a TV attack that backfires the way it did with his verbal assault against the Muslim parents of an American war hero. The Russians could dump downloads of Hillary’s missing emails. Clinton’s superior ground organization could turn out the margin of victory on election day. The debates may be the decisive events in deciding the outcome. Right now, this election is anyone’s to lose.

Ya gotta choose between Ex-Lax and Pepto!

By Jack Hoffman

This morning I received what I would say was a desperate call. As in political: “Holy shit, Jack! Did you see the latest CNN poll? It showed Hillary and Trump were in a virtual tie!!”

My response was: Big deal. Tell me something that’s realistic.

Like: How about the electoral percentages in the key states? One of the polls I was interested in was what’s going on in the Lone Star state, Texas. It has 38 electoral votes out of 270 to win. Last Tuesday one of the more popular papers in Texas,conservative Dallas Morning News, wrote in its first edition of the week that they would not support the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

But it was the editorial the next day that shook many of their readers. “We recommend Hillary Clinton for President.”

Now why this deserves some of the following importance. Hillary and Donald are in a tie. And this is a state that hasn’t voted for a democrat since LBJ: And the paper hasn’t endorsed a democrat since FDR! The poll results tell us lots, including what some Southern states maybe thinking. Also, the fact that Mitt Romney won the state 57% to 41% for Obama. And what I think could be telling is the fact that Texas’ flower child Senator Ted Cruz who was insulted by Trump at the Republican nominating parties, has said “I will not support Trump.”

Is it possible that Texas, the hanging state, could go for Hillary?

I know they use poison now. Yippie! They just received a humanitarian award. But they still can walk around with their AK47s wrapped around their backs.

Maybe I’m dreaming? Note to Hillary: Get your money and ass down there. It could be the final death blow on Trump’s eventual grave.

Now for the dueling forum match, or shall we say, the premiere to the big debate later on. It was moderated by Today host Matt Lauer. I found Matty not so familiar with historic facts. For instance, Trump said he was against the Iraq war from the beginning. That’s bull shit and Lauer knew it and should have responded accordingly. Trump and Lauer continued on about Hillary’s e-mails and the possibility of her lying.

Like Bernie said, enough is enough.

I thought the Today wing ding was unfair, sloppy and even pure sexist. He continually talked over Hillary and allowed Trump to talk over him. The Donald was sarcastic as ever calling “the generals, who have been advising the president that “ “they have been reduced to rubble.” Some of these generals are still fighting in Iraq.

And once again Trump praised Putin as Russia’s strongman. Saying he would take Putin any day over Obama! And quoted Putin’s popularity at 86% of the Russian people.

Is Trump that naive?

To make such insulting comments about our president and praising Putin! I’ll bet the FBI has already begun a file on Trump.

A brief note why Trump won’t show his taxes: Simply put he pays no taxes!

It’s simple, he takes a loss on one of his properties and writes it off on the profits of others. It’s a little more complicated than that. Why don’t all these moderators that interview him ask has he paid any taxes in the last 10 years.

Enter an after forum conducted by one of my favorites, Rachel Maddow. An audience member gets up and asks a simple question: “Why did the president give all that money to Iran? We could have used it here.” Instead off debunking the question as completely false, she breezed over it wth a nothing response. I would suggest to those Fox listeners read the facts. It wasn’t our money. Just something else the media’s ignored in the full context. When Trump brings it up you would think the media would respond with the truth.

Don’t you think they have a responsibility to tell the truth?

They just like the controversy. It makes for good TV. The answer is simple. The World Court in the Hague ruled that the US had to pay back Iran’s money that we held since 1979. Don’t we believe in the law? Once again it wasn’t our money to keep. Rachel should have responded. But she just continued on with something about Hillary. My belief is that the media is still content on the dumbing down of its viewers.

Maybe it might take a few seconds more to explain the true story. I’m sorry but I guess I should apologize- it’s maybe to difficult for the audiences to comprehend.

I would like to hear from some Trump supporters!? I know you are out there!

Jack Hoffman Jackh5225@Verizon.net

You be the judge

By Jack Hoffman

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pic:R.T.

I was planning on writing my column for Rose on pass codes/words, but something else got my fancy up. Before I continue, I have just one question about pass codes/words: With all this hacking that’s going on … how the hell do they get into all these files, if they don’t know the pass code?

I’ll await a good response from some geek out there.

Now for what’s important:

I confess when this presidential nominating process began I was cheering for Donald Trump, before the oddsmakers didn’t give him a shot. I wanted him to win so he could bury the Republicans for the next 10 years — maybe longer!

And that’s what scares the hell out of the Repugs who refuse to back him.

I saw a bumper sticker on a parked car that read “I just don’t trust the government.” So I pasted a note on his car, saying: “I suggest you give back your Medicare and Social Security.” With an attachment that read: “It’s your government, too.”

Just this week the war of words has really picked up. It seems everyone or just a few are a little pissed off at their government.

Why?

And who is a racist and a bigot and some other choice words?

Let me turn to the Oxford Dictionary to define “bigot”: “A person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.”

Sound familiar?…hello, Donald Trump!

After my wee bit of being pissed off, I received the following from a political pal of mine in Florida: It’s titled “Why you should vote Republican.”

Ok, let’s see why:

We’ve blocked every Obama move. We kept another liberal out of the Supreme Court, country be damned;

we cut taxes for the wealthy;

gerrymandered and suppressed the minority vote in every district we could;

repealed “Obamacare” 51 times at a cost of more than $54 million to taxpayers;

we shut down the government, wasting another $21 billion;

we didn’t pass a single jobs bill.

We blocked immigration reform, background checks, minimum wage and equal pay for women;

made women’s choice much harder to exercise;

cut off unemployment benefits, and even filibustered the Veterans Benefits bill.

Most important, we got many states to put in voter IDs so we can keep minorities at a minimum. Of course, there are no real statistics that there is any real voter fraud. Oh! that damn Federal Court is ruling against those IDs!

And we only worked 97 days this year!

Oh, and we want your vote!

Right.

And we are in need of your money!

I’m saving my pass codes column for when I simmer down…

Comments? Email Jack at jack5225@verizon.net