Let's Fix This Country
foreign policy

Changing Presidents: Will Adversaries Like China Move Against Us?

"We move inexorably toward our nation's moment of maximum vulnerability, when our democracy's leadership changes hands January 20th. It is a moment when our adversaries may probe for weakness and will be tempted to test us."

This quotes from fairly deep in our earlier piece on Donald Trump's world outlook and the concern
that, as we make the transition to a new and inchoate administration, Vladimir Putin might find our moment of disarray irresistible for making his next move.

Or might Kim Jong-un, now that North Korea has finally staged a successful missile flight after several failures landing it close to Japan, a country that the U.S. is sworn to defend, decide to go the extra miles at the moment when the American leadership is changing hands.

And then there's China, which the earlier piece touched on only briefly. The scenarios for Russia and North Korea are hypothetical, but for China it's already happening. For two years, China has been turning rocks and coral in the South China Sea into artificial islands and fitting them out with airfields, advanced radar and most recently surface-to-air missile batteries. Will China — enraged…

foreign policy

Trump: Soft on Putin, Allies Left in the Wind

Is something going on, Donald?

Donald Trump's encouraging Russia to find the 30,000 e-mails that were erased from Hillary Clinton's server (per her attorneys) has raised legitimate concern that "there's something going on", a phrase
you might remember Trump leveling at President Obama after Orlando.

Forensic technology has convinced U.S. intelligence that the Wikileaks release of Democratic National Committee e-mails and documents originated with the Russian government. That they expose a corrupt tilt toward Clinton over Sanders by the committee and were released just before the Democratic convention seems beyond coincidence. Is Vladimir Putin, his favorable comments taking advantage of Trump's susceptibility to flattery, trying to influence the election? And has Trump — easy prey to a compliment — fallen in thrall to Putin?

"He is a very flamboyant man, very talented, no doubt about that", Putin has said about Trump, and Trump has returned the compliment saying about Putin "at least he's a leader, unlike what we have in this country."

The exchange of mutual admiration between the two has been going on since 2007, according to this timeline put together by CNN. Before heading to Moscow with his Miss Universe beauty pageant in 2013 (enough exposure for him to now…

the election

E-mail. Benghazi. Why So Little Attention to the Clinton Money Trail? »

Hillary Clinton clearly believes that rules do not apply to her, and "this is precisely the kind of governance" we can expect were she to be elected president, warns a Wall Street Journal editorial.

That was deserved, given her use of a private server for e-mail while secretary of state. In the face of a scathing report from the State Department's inspector general, she would only acknowledge that using a private server was "a mistake". She had refused to hand in that server, holding back 32,000 e-mails she decided were "personal". She had said she would cooperate fully with the investigation, but she and several of her top aides refused to be interviewed by the IG. One e-mail in the 30,000 that were turned in to investigators said she rejected an aide's suggestion to switch to an official e-mail address because, "I don't want any risk of the personal being accessible". Exposing government business to cyber hacking was a lesser concern, evidently.

Of a different sort was the relentless crusade by those on the right to make her…

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voting rights

Courts Finally Reversing Phony Voter Fraud Laws

In rapid order, five federal courts have turned back laws enacted by Republican-controlled legislatures in four states that were designed to keep targeted groups from the ballot box. Rulings have rejected laws in North Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin and North Dakota, four of the ten states that have made such changes to voting laws.

To prevent voter fraud is the reason the proponents of the laws hide behind. Officially-issued identification documents with an individual's photos are needed to combat the problem of voters committing fraud by impersonating someone else — except that every study has shown that the problem is rare to the point of non-existence. We cited overwhelming proof Setback and Further Confusion : A federal appeals court has now reinstated Wisconsin's voter identification law, overriding the lower court's determination that the state's voters need not prove identity with photo-IDs and disagreeing with three other federal court decisions less than three months before the election.

before the 2014 elections in "The Republican Campaign that Kept Democrats from the Polls"" where you'll read of several studies, one being the Brennan Center analyzing 9,078,728 votes and finding only four instances of… Read More »

the election

Why Donald Trump’s “rigged election” comment goes right to the heart of our democracy

By guest columnist Al Rodbell

When Donald J. Trump made this comment, it was aimed at his largest demographic, those who need constant feeding of their inchoate contempt for this country. Trump is the man who persisted in asserting that President Obama was born in Kenya long after almost all considered it insane; but not all, not those who consume illusions of vast, complex conspiracies because they are inherently un-falsifiable. Certainly, Obama's mother could have inserted the birth announcement in the local Honolulu newspaper as part of the plan that he would run for president four decades later. It is absurd, but not impossible, and those that buy into it have the satisfaction of being in on something that very few grasp.

Here are his words: "I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged, to be honest," And later, when asked about it, he gave an example of a previous election where, "you had precincts where there were practically nobody voting for the Republican". He added, "I hope the Republicans get out there and watch very closely" during Election Day.

This is the single most damaging example of Trump's propensity to find a nugget of truth and then send it out to the world. This spontaneity in his… Read More »

the candidates

Intelligence Briefing: How Much to Tell Trump?

Margaret Warner on the PBS "NewsHour": There’s a huge difference in the level of intelligence that’s given at this stage.…Mike Morell, former deputy director and director temporary of the CIA, had to brief McCain and Palin. And he said, so you walk in with John McCain from Armed Services Committee and Intel Committee, one of the great experts in the Senate. Immediately, it’s going very deep. He knows a lot.

But he said, you know, with a Sarah Palin, he said it’s like national security 101, and it’s very broad and it’s very general, and you have got to give a lot of history. And that will probably apply this time with Trump and Secretary Clinton.

As one said to me, Secretary Clinton, she will probably walk in and say, "So, where were we?"

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the election

Was Trump Just in It for the Money?

Seems preposterous, but he hasn't ruled out quitting

With his hour-and-fifteen minute acceptance speech at the Republican Convention, Donald Trump's promises to fix everything that is wrong in the country — and fast — say that he's in the race to the end. But just so we can say we were aware of the possibility should it happen, we'll take a last look at a frequent conjecture that Trump was — at first, anyway — just in the running for the money and, whether before or after the election, he might just take the money and run.

The questions of serious commitment burbled to the surface whenever he insulted yet another voting bloc with an ethnic slur or angered conservatives with his occasional leftward blasphemies. His string of unforced errors bring to mind "The Producers", the… Read More »

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