Post Tagged with: "Donald Trump"

The Dirty Tricks Campaign Against Johnny Gardner

February 4, 2019 4:52 AM
The Dirty Tricks Campaign Against Johnny Gardner

We live in a political climate where dirty tricks are used to create rumors to smear those seen as enemies by the rumormongers.

These rumors, lies are what they really are, come in all shapes and sizes, but they have the same thing in common – to discredit the person they are aimed against.

How well they work depends on the gullibility of the audience they are targeted to influence.

Some of the more ridiculous rumors about public figures we have heard include:

Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a young man attended parties where women were routinely gang raped. That one pushed the envelope too far to be believed.

In late 2015 when Donald Trump had established himself as a serious contender for the Republican nomination, a fake story said he told a magazine in 1998 if he ever ran for president it would be as a Republican because “they’re the dumbest group of voters in the country” and that “he could lie and they’d still eat it up.” Rather than hurt him with Republican voters, Trump went on to win the nomination and election.

In the 2000 primary season, John McCain was accused of fathering an illegitimate black child, which was actually a child from Bangladesh that McCain and his wife adopted. This one stuck a bit with South Carolina voters as George Bush came from behind to win the South Carolina primary and go on to be elected president.

Rumors were circulated about Nikki Haley having multiple affairs during the 2010 primary season, which the voters disregarded. In fact, the rumors were so poorly presented that Haley vaulted from fourth place to win the Republican nomination and go on to twice being elected South Carolina Governor.

More recently, Horry County citizens have been presented with a rumor about county council chairman Johnny Gardner. Interestingly, the Columbia website that played a prominent part in publishing a leaked memo about the fictitious plot from county attorney Arrigo Carotti, written in conjunction with administrator Chris Eldridge, was the same website that played a prominent part in the Haley rumors.

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Pearl Harbor Day Then and Now

December 7, 2018 10:18 AM
Pearl Harbor Day Then and Now

As a Navy veteran, December 7th, what my grandmother called Pearl Harbor Day, has special meaning to me. In recent years, however, its symbolism has taken on new dimensions.

Seventy-four years ago, without first declaring war, the Japanese Imperial fleet attacked the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor causing considerable damage to the Navy’s Pacific Fleet and bringing America into World War II.

A total of 2,402 American servicemen lost their lives that day, four battleships were sunk and 188 aircraft destroyed. President Roosevelt called it “a day that will live in infamy”, actually a phrase first attributed to Hawaiian Queen Lili’uokalani spoken on the day, in 1893, that the American government overthrew the native Hawaiian government.

The attack broke the U.S. out of its isolationist attitude and presaged America’s ascendency to world leadership. Americans united behind the phrase “Remember Pearl Harbor” as the nation embarked upon a nearly four year war to defeat the armed forces of Japan, Germany and their allies.

True, on December 6, 1941, the isolationist members of Congress still held great sway in the halls of that institution as the fighting in Europe was considered best for America to stay out of. One day later, everything changed in Washington, D.C. and across a now united nation.

Seventy-seven years later, none who survived that day remain and the cohesiveness and combined
commitment of that time are not apparent in today’s political environment or society at large. We face great challenges, possibly greater than we faced on December 7, 1941, although economic dangers are not as easy to identify as military dangers from foreign forces.

We should be clear, however, that today’s dangers in the national economy are every bit as grave as the military dangers we faced 74 years ago. The industrial might and national wealth that the U.S. marshaled to support its war effort, and those of its allies, have been lost.

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Thoughts for 2017

January 3, 2017 5:15 AM
Thoughts for 2017

As we move into 2017, there are some random thoughts I wish to share about what I foresee as potentially newsworthy.

First and foremost for South Carolinians, congratulations to Clemson for making it back to the National Championship game. It took an entire season of play to get the same result for the final game.

The Tigers will again face Alabama in a game many think they can’t win. Something about this season feels more like 1981 than last year did. Clemson to win its second National Championship and move Dabo Swinney into the same breath as Danny Ford.

A new law heralded as tougher on ethics says public officials must disclose the sources of their private, taxable income. Not the amounts, just the sources.

We are watching a corruption investigation on state legislators play out with the recent indictment, on 30 counts, of former House Majority Leader Rep. Jim Merrill. This law would not have changed anything I can see about what Merrill did to allegedly break the law.

The investigation will continue and I believe we will see more indictments of current legislators.

What will be more interesting is to see what organizations get named in the indictments. One of the counts against Merrill alleges money was laundered from the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau to Merrill through his brother’s firm, Pluff Mud Public Affairs, LLC.

A cursory look at the internet showed the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce wrote checks to Pluff Mud Public Affairs, LLC in 2011 totaling just over $60,000. That information comes from the Chamber’s own reporting of its public fund expenses.

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Donald Trump Pulls Off Election Surprise

November 9, 2016 3:30 AM
Donald Trump Pulls Off Election Surprise

Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States after pulling out the biggest election night surprise since 1948.

Trump clinched his election victory with surprising strength in the “Rust Belt” states, an area where Hillary Clinton and the Democrats miscalculated their strength especially in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

The presidential result emphasizes the deep dissatisfaction voters feel with Washington and what is called ‘politics as usual.’ Trump’s victory can be credited to his ability to sell himself as an outsider from the political establishment of both parties.

The Trump victory brought immediate uncertainty to financial markets as world stocks began tanking around 9 p.m. on election night and Dow futures dropped 650 points overnight. This is not the reaction of the stock markets that one would expect with a Republican candidate winning the presidency. The markets rebounded later to recover most or all of their losses.

This is not the reaction of the stock markets that one would expect with a Republican candidate winning the presidency.

However, voter rejection of politics as usual only extended as far as the presidential race. Most members of Congress seeking re-election were returned to their seats without a problem, some without an opponent.

So, if you’re expecting big changes in Washington with Trump as president, get ready for a disappointment. Congress still controls the domestic agenda as well as the purse strings.

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Donald Trump Campaign Shortchanges American Voters

October 23, 2016 6:21 AM
Donald Trump Campaign Shortchanges American Voters

American voters hoping for change in the politics of Washington, D.C. got shafted by the Donald Trump campaign for president.

These are the voters that carried Trump through the primaries, solidly rejecting one establishment candidate after another to give Trump a first ballot nomination.

These are the voters who believed Trump was a breath of fresh air for the Republican Party ready to remake the party and remake the federal government.

What nobody realized was that Trump wasn’t in the election to head a populist movement and didn’t have any programs or policies to change anything.

Trump was in the election to further boost his own gigantic ego, period.

Trump lives in his own alternate reality – one where he’s the smartest, the most dynamic, the most successful person on earth and one in which he always wins.

And when he doesn’t win, it’s not his fault. It is due to the nefarious deeds of others.

We went through Trump’s version of reality politics when he thought he was going to come up short of the delegates necessary to secure a first ballot nomination from the Republican Party.

Then it was his opponents and party officials who were conspiring to steal the nomination from Trump.

Now, it’s Hillary Clinton, the Democrats, the media and Wall Street, among many, who are conspiring to steal the general election from Trump.

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First Presidential Debate Changes Nothing

September 27, 2016 6:59 AM
First Presidential Debate Changes Nothing

The first presidential debate is over and I don’t believe anything has changed.

An after the debate poll showed Hillary Clinton the winner over Donald Trump by a 62 – 27 percent margin.

I don’t think that matters. Remember, by all accounts, Romney trounced Obama in their first debate four years ago. And it didn’t matter.

Both candidates played to their base last night. Clinton’s base is going to vote for her and Trump’s base is going to vote for him, no matter what.

I don’t believe either candidate did anything last night to swing undecided voters their way.

Both candidates had their moments.

Trump agreed that Clinton has a lot of experience in government, but called it “bad experience.”

Clinton said, “Donald I know you live in your own reality.”

Both statements are true to the candidates’ respective supporters. Neither can be called a defining moment that could swing an election.

Trump hammers away dissing career politicians. Who does he think he will be dealing with if he gets to the White House?

Clinton touts her experience, but half of the Washington crowd will never agree with her on anything.

Neither answered the question that probably is more important to Americans than any other – “How will you bring back jobs?”

Trump spent his time telling us why jobs left the country. Clinton said she was going to work really hard to get new jobs, but never told us how.

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How Far Away from Continental Congress

June 30, 2016 9:38 AM
How Far Away from Continental Congress

Two hundred forty years ago the Continental Congress was preparing to declare the American colonies’ independence from Great Britain.

Recently, the Donald Trump campaign for president sent an email to members of the British Parliament soliciting donations to his campaign war chest.

Forget for a moment that it is illegal to solicit or accept contributions from foreign nationals for a presidential campaign. In 1776, the American colonies couldn’t wait to get rid of the British government. Now Trump wants financial donations from Members of Parliament to help get him elected.

I’m sure the Trump campaign emails were just a very foolish mistake by a bunch of neophytes attempting to be professional political consultants.

But, they demonstrate just how far American politics has moved from the serious thinkers who founded the country as part of the Continental Congress to the sound-biters and other intellectual dwarfs who now populate the political scene.

When the Founding Fathers considered ratification of the Declaration of Independence, they waited a month until they could get unanimous approval (actually 12 yes and an abstention by New York) of the document.

Now, our Congress can’t even get unanimous approval on a motion to adjourn.

If any of our current members of Congress were around in 1776, I doubt they would have been allowed to refill inkwells on the delegates’ desks for fear they would screw it up.

The blame for the gridlock of an ineffective government doesn’t stop with our elected officials, however.

Locked into the electronic social networking groups that now pass for most interpersonal relationships, the American people gravitate to those who think most nearly the same as they do.

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The Brexit Vote and US Elections

June 26, 2016 7:03 AM
The Brexit Vote and US Elections

The recent UK vote on whether to remain in or leave the European Union, dubbed Brexit by UK media, may provide some insights into the upcoming US presidential election.

While the Brexit referendum result was a vote against stagnant economy, it was also a vote against the liberal immigration policies of the European Union and against the political establishment in the UK in general.

The Brexit referendum is not binding on the UK Parliament, however, and may be overturned in Westminster when the smoke clears.

David Cameron, Conservative and Jeremy Corbyn, Labour, the two major parties in UK politics, campaigned to remain. Now both look to be losing their position as party leader.

For that matter, Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the third largest parliamentary party, Scottish National, also campaigned to remain. But, Scotland voted 62% to 38% to remain in the European Union and may have another referendum to leave the United Kingdom if the UK moves forward to leave the EU.

The most visible face of the Leave movement was conservative politician Boris Johnson. Johnson has been in UK politics since 2001 as a Member of Parliament (2001-2008), Mayor of London (2008-2016) and Member of Parliament 2015 to present.

Johnson has been called Donald Trump with a Thesaurus and the similarities are many.

Like Trump, Johnson has been the focus of controversies that would have sunk most politicians but he came out of them with a smile on his face.

Like Trump, Johnson is considered boorish, racist and xenophobic by opponents, but he is able to reach across the political divide to attract non-conservative support.

Like Trump, Johnson’s support comes not from the political establishment in the Conservative Party, but rather from the rank and file voters.

In other words, like Trump, Johnson is a polarizing figure able to take advantage of the emotions of an angry electorate.

For that matter, Corbyn’s support comes from the rank and file Labour voters while the party establishment is far from solidly behind his leadership.

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The Unfair Vilification of Donald Trump

June 2, 2016 4:41 AM
The Unfair Vilification of Donald Trump

Over the past year, Donald Trump has been labelled with more tags than any other presidential candidate in my lifetime.

He has been called a racist, misogynist and xenophobe with no respect for separation of powers or any other part of the Constitution.

It has been written that he is torching the most sacred American values and undermining the pillars of our democracy.

I read and hear these various commentaries in the media and from party, especially Republican Party luminaries, and I wonder why Trump is being held to a standard most are not.

Racism has been an integral part of America and we still have a long way to go to stamp it out. In 1776, we held truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. But, if you were a slave, you’re very humanity was denied you.

Not only were many of our early presidents slave owners, but Woodrow Wilson made “Birth of a Nation” the first film ever screened in the White House and called it quite good. Wilson’s comments were 50 years after the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments were passed and 126 years after the Constitution was ratified.

And we are not even considering the “Southern Strategy” which played so large a part in rejuvenating the Republican Party nationally.

As for misogyny, this country denied women the right to vote until 1920, as well as many other basic rights of citizenship, and still generally pays women less than men for the same job.

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Donald Trump Runs Cruz Out of Race – Update

May 3, 2016 9:00 PM
Donald Trump Runs Cruz Out of Race – Update

Kasich to Suspend Campaign

A senior campaign official for John Kasich said the Ohio governor plans to announcee he is suspending his presidential primary campaign today.

It appears reality has finally sunk in to the final Republican candidate left standing against Donald Trump. Reality says the Kasich campaign was over whether he suspended it or not.

Trump will have locked up the nomination by the time the Republicans gather in Cleveland for their national convention in July.

Now it will be interesting to see the developing strategy for winning the general election in November.

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Donald Trump burned down the Ted Cruz firewall in Indiana and Cruz suspended his campaign for the presidency after getting clobbered by Hoosier voters.

The victory for Trump is not only over Cruz and the other candidates who started in the race, but over the Republican Party itself.

I don’t know if the party leaders get it, but, this year at least, the voters have demonstrated over and over they don’t want an establishment politician in the presidency.

This is a populist election year. Voters are tired of the political polarization the two parties have fed us for over 30 years while the middle class contracts and more good jobs disappear to foreign countries every year.

It’s not completely over because Trump does not have the 1,237 delegates needed to sew up the nomination yet. But he will by first ballot time because nothing of consequence stands in his way.

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