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Not "America First".....It's "Trump First"

By The Reverend Published: July 25, 2016

The Trump campaign worked behind the scenes last week to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces, contradicting the view of almost all Republican foreign policy leaders in Washington.

Why is that significant?

The Trump Camp was totally indifferent to the platform. So party activists were able to write one of the most conservative platforms in history. Not with Trump's backing but because he simply didn't care. With one big exception: Trump's team mobilized the nominee's traditional mix of cajoling and strong-arming on one point: changing the party platform on assistance to Ukraine against Russian military operations in eastern Ukraine.

The official GOP policy platform is found here. The 2016 RNC policy platform has 8 sections, including the "Preamble" and a section about the Platform Committee. Each one of the other 6 sections is quite lengthy, detailing myriads of conservative policy positions on...well...just about every damn thing.

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Let The Stones Be Your Guide

By The Reverend Published: July 24, 2016

As expected, Hillary Clinton chose Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate. I watched Hillary's announcement/introduction at a Florida rally yesterday. Senator Kaine spoke for about 40 minutes....and I must say....he was quite the ball of fire in his acceptance speech. Kaine is truly a likeable guy....and has earned the respect of his Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

Now, I am an unabashed liberal who would rather have seen a Sanders-Warren Democratic ticket. But as Mick has accurately pointed out decades ago...."You can't always get what you want". And in the political arena, one rarely gets what he wants.

So, Hillary's pick of Tim Kaine doesn't surprise or disappoint me in the least. Yes, I'm a liberal....but I'm also a realist. "What I want', in our current divided political situation, must be tempered by 'what we need' realism. And in case you have just woken up from a multi-year slumber, 'what we need' right now is to soundly defeat the fascist GOP nominee. Full stop.

Any yet, MANY liberals, I think, have lost sight of what is possible in such a divided political environment. Here's one example, out of many...

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Not Always About Us

By The Reverend Published: July 23, 2016

I happened to be watching MSNBC at the time the news broke from Munich, Germany about the gun-slaughter of 9 people near Munich's largest shopping mall complex. Brian Williams was anchoring....and Richard Engels was the foreign correspondent offering Expert analysis. I'll get to Engels in a moment....but here's what is known right now about the 18 year old who, singlehandedly, orchestrated the attack...and then killed himself...

"There is absolutely no link to the Islamic State," said Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae, referring to ISIL.

He describing the attack as a "classic act by a deranged person" and described an individual "obsessed" with mass shootings.

The 18-year-old gunman who opened fire at a crowded Munich shopping mall and fast-food restaurant, killing nine people and wounding 16 others before killing himself, was obsessed with mass shootings, police said Saturday.

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The Angry, Habitual Liar, Daddy-Figure

By The Reverend Published: July 22, 2016

From Trump's lengthy acceptance speech last night.....

"...here, at our convention, there will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else."

You gotta hand it to the guy.....that's some very funny stuff. Unintended, of course, but still.

You see, there is this thing called the internet now. You may be familiar with it. Fact checking habitual liars happens in virtual real-time now. Here, Factcheck.org, in an extensive examination of Trump's speech, lists the numerous lies and partial truths their examiners found in the "there will be no lies" candidate's acceptance speech. The Factcheck piece is very....how shall I put it?....lengthy.

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"Genuinely Afraid"

By The Reverend Published: July 21, 2016

Here's a link to some recommended reading material from Ezra Klein. Ezra soberly, and without a bit of snark, makes a solid case for why Mr. Trump should never hold the office of the U.S. presidency. It's the best single piece I've seen yet. Klein's opening sentence reflects what I've attempted to communicate over the past few days.

Tonight, Donald J. Trump will accept the Republican Party’s nomination for president of the United States. And I am, for the first time since I began covering American politics, genuinely afraid.

Ezra offers 14 reasons, with dozens of supporting links, to make his case. Here is the concluding summary....

The simple fact of it is that Donald Trump should not be president of the United States. That is not because he is too conservative, as some Democrats would have it, or because he is not conservative enough, as many Republicans would have it. It’s because the presidency is a powerful job where mistakes can kill millions, and whoever holds it needs to take that power seriously and wield it responsibly. Trump has had ample opportunity to demonstrate his sense of seriousness and responsibility. He has failed.

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"Settling Perceived Grievances"

By The Reverend Published: July 21, 2016

It seems that party unity broke out all over the Q last evening....

Roger Stone, a former advisor and longtime friend of Trump, called Cruz a “dumb son of a bitch” in a convention center interview with The Hill just after the Texan’s speech ended. Stone added that Cruz was “a despicable human being” and insisted that “no voter gives a crap about what Ted Cruz does — the only person this hurts is Ted Cruz.”

As the speech wound toward its conclusion and delegates realized that Cruz would make no endorsement, Trump loyalists sprang to their feet, shouting their displeasure. Some people on the convention floor yelled “Lyin’ Ted” and “Go home!” while others gesticulated wildly.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper said on-air that there were also reports “that Ted Cruz went up to one of the donor boxes and was accosted by Trump supporters yelling in his face. One person had to be apparently restrained because they were so angry."

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Execution Rhetoric

By The Reverend Published: July 20, 2016

There's this from a guy the Donald refers to as "my favorite vet".....

The Secret Service is officially investigating Al Baldasaro, an adviser to the Donald Trump campaign for veterans issues, who called for Hillary Clinton’s execution for “treason.”

....he called for Clinton to be “put in the firing line” over her mishandling of classified emails.

And then we have the white supremacist/neo-Nazis weighing in....

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It Really Is "Make America Hate Again"

By The Reverend Published: July 20, 2016

As predicted, Mitchy McConnell and Paul Ryan....the most powerful Republicans in Congress....were extremely reluctant in their speeches yesterday to mention the two words...Donald Trump.

McConnell devoted almost the entirety of his time to attacking Clinton,..

Ryan mentioned the two words...Donald Trump..twice...and gave this rather tepid endorsement of the GOP ticket....

“Only with Donald Trump and Mike Pence do we have a chance at a better way.”

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Hillary Did It.....Connecting The Dots

By The Reverend Published: July 19, 2016

The question which must be given deep and thoughtful consideration when examining how those plagiarized words got into Melania Trump's speech last night is this: was it an act of plagiarism, or an act of terrorism?

There may be readers who think that including terrorism as a possibility is, well, phucking ridiculous...but hear me out first.

First, here's Thugmeister, Paul Mannafort,....explaining, as only a truthteller could, how insane it would be for the Trump campaign, working closely with Melania, to be ripping off MooChelle's words from 2008....

“There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech. These were common words and values, that she cares about her family, things like that,” said Mr. Manafort. “I mean, she was speaking in front of 35 million people last night. She knew that. To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy.”

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Off To A Rousing Start

By The Reverend Published: July 19, 2016

I turned over to C-SPAN just as the fun began yesterday at 2 PM inside the Q. Anti-Trump delegates from Utah, Virginia, Colorado and elsewhere insisted on a roll call vote of the state's delegates to approve the RNC's 2016 Convention rules. The roll call vote was not permitted.....instead, a voice vote was taken....twice....in the midst of much shouting and hollering and confusion. Colorado's delegation walked out in protest and it was reported that the Iowa delegation did the same.

All of that was after Trump campaign thug, Paul Mannafort, had bad-mouthed Ohio Governor John Kasich on Morning Blow...calling Kasich "petulant"....for not showing up at the Convention held in his own home state.

So, GOP unity was breaking out all over yesterday and that was before prime time had even arrived.

The AP's Julie Pace...

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