Wednesday, October 19, 2016

My suggestion for Hillary tonight:
At the right time, look Trump in the eye, pause, then say " You know Donald, you have been very personal and vitriolic throughout this campaign , calling me Crooked, and crippled, and not fit to serve. You have been very personal, and so , at this last debate, I for once am going to be personal in return,. I will only say this once.
    I saw your wife on tv trying to defend you, what you said, and what it is alleged you did to at least nine women. I felt her pain. She believes you, and I believed my husband too. She claims that your accusers are making it up. That's a natural reaction from a loving spouse. I know. I have been there. If and when the reality hits that what you are defending your husband against was actually true, at least in part, she will suffer even deeper embarrassment and hurt. For her sake and yours, I hope that does not come to pass. But when all is said and done, hurt as I was, i made a choice. I decided to stay with my husband and to work it out. You left two of your wives, and married for the third time. I am still married to the same man, and I still love, and respect him, and thank him for working through the pain with me. 
    But, in the final analysis, my husband is not on the ballot, I am, and I would very much appreciate it if you would let go of the  politics of personal vilification these last theee weeks, and talk about the issues and what you plan to do for the American people. That's what I intend to do going forward, and I  hope you will join me . And whoever wins, let's try to be civil, and. congratulate the winner,  and try to unite this country in the four years to come. Will you join me in that pledge, Donald?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Other people's money

The Republican candidate for President has a history of saying outrageous things, destined to keep himself in the headlines. And indeed he has said some pretty outlandish things, none of which seem to bother his devoted and loyal minions . 
But recently, he said something which should give even his most devoted acolytes pause. He has bragged about his penchant and his ability to use other people's money in the furtherance of his business objectives. Minimizing his own risk and using OPM ( Other people's money ) is his stock in trade, so he brags, as if that ability to lure the unwary investor is a virtue, in that he profits from using their money.
  Let's pause here to remember that Donald Trump is not running for President of the stock exchange. He is running for President of the entire country, and as such would be the Commander in chief of using OPM , other's people's money, to wit , our tax dollars , to achieve the common objectives of the country. 
     I hasten to add that he has also bragged that he pays as little in taxes as he can. I guess that makes sense if you are Donald Trump, because then it is other people's money that is being used to buy jet fighters and aircraft carriers and to pay for the health costs of the elderly and the poor. 
    I am reminded of one of Hugh Carey's favorite lines when he was running for Governor against Nelson Rockefeller's handpicked successor, Malcolm Wilson " Rocky spent our money like it was  his money!" Spending other people's money is what politicians do best. Giving a man like Donald Trump command of the Executive budget of the United States of America to spend OPM is a scary prospect indeed. He professes to be a conservative , but when it comes to spending other people's money, Katy bar the door! Would he do things like buy $10,000 self portraits , and pay off people who won hole in one contests. Who knows? 
    That's why it is really critical to get a look at his tax returns, to see where his money comes from, and what it goes to, and how much of his money goes to the commonweal to run the government , if any. 
If how you spend money depends on whether or not it is your own money or someone else's , let the buyer beware. Big time! 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Hillary’s Hard A

Try as she may, Hillary Clinton is still not connecting at the gut level with much of the American electorate. I have struggled to analyze why, and think I have the answer. Try as I may, repeatedly, I have been unable to get anyone in the Clinton camp to pay attention to this suggestion. So, time to go public with my thesis in a kind of Hail Mary pass. Here goes:

In the last few days of the Presidential campaign, we have heard much about “softening”, and “hardening” of positions.  I can’t figure out if the Republican candidate is really softening his position on immigration or not.  One minute he sounds softer, then the next he is hard at it again.  Kellyanne Conway, his new campaign manager, has obviously brought out a softer side of Donald Trump, as long as he reads words from a teleprompter.  The problem resurfaces when he goes off script, and his normal tendency is to go from soft to hard edged rhetoric.  That’s just how he rolls.  His opponent, Hillary Clinton, however, has her own soft vs. hard thing going.  After watching many of her speeches, I finally figured out why so many people find it difficult to believe what she says.  It is all about the way she says it.

     Hillary uses the hard pronunciation of the indefinite article “a”.  Hillary almost always pronounces “a” as “eh”(which rhymes with hay), not “uh” (which rhymes with duh).  According to most grammar experts, the hard “A” is properly used when denoting something unique, or singular, or formal, like a book title, as in “A” bridge too far" as opposed to “uh” bridge too far.  Over use of the hard “A” results in the speaker being perceived as formalistic and defensive, which is how Hillary comes across.

      I would be interested in seeing the reaction of white men over 50 who read what she says, as opposed to listening to it.  I think you might get an altogether different reaction.  It is often not the content of her speech, but the quality of it that annoys many. How we say things does matter, and with her overuse of the hard “A”, Hillary comes off as someone who is simply not genuine. Translate that to not believable. It is as simple as that.  I find it hard to understand with all the political pros she has on her side, why no one seems to have told her what she needs to do to fix it.  Message to Hillary Clinton:  drop the hard “A”.  “What A great campaign we had” should become what a (Uh) great campaign. A hard “A’ is often too formalistic. It is as simple as that. I am not a linguistics expert, but I am a student of political speechmaking , and have been for over 40 years, and I can spot a problem when I see one. Hillary has A problem.

  Every time she is asked why people just don’t believe her, she struggles to answer the question.  Well, there’s the answer.  Soften the use of the “a’ and see how her poll ratings would soar.  When you are running for President, or any office for that matter, how you say things, tone, accent, inflection, is often as important was what you say. Hillary has  “A” problem.

    Accents, colloquialisms , and regional nuances of speech have historically played a very important part in shaping a politician's success. Take JFK for example. His "pahk your cah in the yahd " accent seemed to elevate his electability , and ability to endear himself to the American people. Somehow. and for some unknown reason, Boston accents are often just, adorable in ways that Chicago hard A’s and upstate NY flat A’s are not. If you don't believe me, consider the success of the guys on NPR’s “Car talk” ( The "tap fort" brothers ). People just love the way they sound, and how they laugh, in addition to the comedic things they say.

     People do not much like the way Hillary sounds at times, because of her overuse of the hard “A”.  She just seems disingenuous. It is this school marmish way of condescendingly talking to her errant pupils that tends to upend her. She adopts the affect of a hall monitor,  which is very off putting. She needs to change the way she speaks, and pronto. She has already taken some steps to stop the shouting from the podium, and sound more conversational.  This is the next big step she needs to take.

     Bernie Sander's Brooklyn accent, which turned out to be unendearing to some heartland voters, actually worked in his favor with many, by building his believability quotient. When he says " Enough already!", people get it. They hear and they get him in a deep seated kind of way. He is , above all else, believable. If what you say doesn't ring true, or doesn't sound true, it will not be perceived as true. You have to own what you say for people to believe in you, and Hillary just doesn't sound like she owns what she says, much of the time.

     When Hillary ran for the senate in NY, she became a great student of everything Upstate, and she won. She can fix this problem too. But first, she, and her staff have to recognize the nature of the problem, before they can turn it around. Hello Houston. Hello Brooklyn. Hello Hillary. We've got a problem. Let's fix it.  Say goodbye to the hard “A”.  Softer, at least in this case,  is way better.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A speech I wrote for Hillary ( unsolicited) that will probably never be given.

Here is the speech Hillary should give, but probably never will:

     My fellow Americans: I have been in public life for over 40 years . It has been at times exhilarating, often exhausting, rewarding but trying, and sometimes very bumpy . Over the course of time, I have found a few truths to be self evident. First: our politicians and elected officials do not always speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  More often than not, they speak in forked tongues and use language intended to mollify, mystify or make murkier the muddy waters in which they muddle.
    I confess that I have at times joined the chorus as well to tell people what I thought they wanted to hear, not necessarily the unvarnished truth. Yes, I have been guilty of gilding the lily by not always being blunt and forthright as are some politicians today. I am guilty of having  been even  diplomatic at times, when diplomacy was called for. Blunt talk does not always solve problems. It can create more problems than it resolves by ratcheting up the level of conflict rather than seeking solutions to those matters on which we disagree. Diplomacy imore times than not , is a strength rather than a weakness.
    Hindsight is , as they say, 20/20, and I  confess to not always  having made the best choices in being forthright about some matters, particularly when those matters were very personal in nature. That is only human. We humans make mistakes. In my caution to protect my and my family's privacy I have gone to extremes which , looking in the rear view mirror I should not have engaged in. I have been pelted by tomatoes through the years, some of them fresh and many more of them rotten. I hope the American people can understand why I made the mistakes I did in trying to protect and secure my private information.
    In my explanation justifying my actions, I previously stated that none of the e mails sent by me were marked classified at the time. The FBI director now says that of 30,000 e mails they reviewed, 113 were classified and a "few" we're marked as such. I take him at his word. I can only surmise that either I did not catch it at the time of sending or that the topics were more mundane than the labeling indicated. Nevertheless, out of 30.000 if there were a few that I miscategorized I apologize for the error and take full responsibility for my actions.
  I believe the record shows that I never intended to in any way jeapordize sensitive information, and no evidence has been adduced that proves anything to the contrary. I hasten to add that I  am not the only high level official to have used a private server for e mail communication, and the level of scrutiny for the actions of others who have done so has been materially less intense. That I no way excuses my lapse.
    I realize that anything I say or do is subject to scrutiny because of who I am and the office I am running for. That goes with the territory.

   But make no mistake about one thing. I made a mistake, several in fact, and in my  response to questions concerning this matter I should have been more forthcoming at the outset. That was a mistake too.
  I merely ask the voters to consider the facts in this matter in light of the totality of my career of service, successes and failures, and to judge my actions and fitness for high office accordingly .  It is my hope that we can now move on to discussing the important issues facing the American voters in this election year, and let each of you be the judge as to who is more suited to fulfill the responsibilities of the high office I seek. I can offer you my knowledge, insight, experience, temperament and judgment. It is for the voters to judge and compare my qualifications with those of my opponent. In the ensuing months of this campaign, I hope to earn your support and  your vote. The future course of our country hangs in the balance.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Today's Washington Post has a story about Donald Trump being a tax cheat and comparing him to Leona Helmsley.

 “When you can write off your income and write off your consumption, you’re in a Leona Helmsley situation.” The late Helmsley, who also had a real estate fortune, is remembered for observing that “only the little people pay taxes.”

     So instead of releasing his tax returns Trump dives deeper into the dumpster on the Clintons.

    He is clearly a fraudster, a huckster , a narcissistic self enriching grandizer, and now add tax cheat, yet he seems to go up in the polls. As George McGovern said in 1972, "Come home America!"

   And to that I would hasten " Come to your senses America, and walk past the tabloids in the check out counter. " We can do better.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Dear Republican primary voters: You've been had. I don't know of any other way to put it . Donald Trump is a fraud. He is a very clever fraud and an equal opportunity deceiver who lies better than most, and until now has gotten away with it. No more.
     His whole Schtlick has centered around his being his own spokesperson to manipulate the media and create an image that is glittery and glamorous, but at its core is really frivolous and fraudulent . As it turns out, he is the quintessential recreation of PT Barnum for the 24/7 news cycle age , and he almost had it all . 
     An incredibly talented carnival barker, he can keep your attention focused on whatever shiny object he's selling at the moment. The problem is, what he is selling is no more than snake oil repackaged and delivered via a Boeing 747 Jet instead of a horse drawn wagon like Professor Marvel in the Wizard of Oz. 
     Build a wall and have Mexico pay for it. Ban all Muslims. Round up all the illegal immigrants (11-15 million people) and ship them back to from wherever they came. What taxes he pays or does not is nobody's business, says he. Bring back coal. Climate change is a fraud. Punish women who have abortions and arm all vigilantes, and if someone dares to shout out disagreement with you, punch them in the face. And people are buying this. Hook, line and sinker. Trump can do no wrong. He is the anti politician. He tells them the  truth, unless the truth does not jive with what he is selling you.
    All of this incredible nonsense should have been disqualifying, but wrapped in multiple flags, the "sucker born every minute" crowd has been eating up this provocative pablum, until now. 
     Now, Donald Trump denies on national television,  that he is alleged spokesperson John Miller or John Baron, even though he has previously admitted he was indeed that "spokesperson", under oath. 
    Unless and until Donald Trump fesses up to the  truth , he is dead in the water. For the sake of the Republic, let's hope he just keeps on lying. The more he lies the more he is melting. And the quicker this bogus mirage melts, the better for all of us. 
   In the end, the devil you know really is far better than the devil you don't. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

     Hillary Clinton has just won an impressive victory in the NY Democratic Primary. Projected 60-40 as I write this.  It is now time for a reality check. 
      I have been an enrolled member of the Democratic Party for nearly fifty years. I consider myself a mainstream progressive Democrat on the issues, and a promoter of insuring opportunity, promoting responsibility, and a sense of community. We are all  in this together. 
     I have never really understood or appreciated those who have sat on the sidelines, and refused to declare their allegiance. Bernie Sanders is one of those individuals who has lived on the left, and eschewed the Democratic Party for most of his career.   Now , he is trying to win the approval of members of my party to become their standard bearer. To me, he is sounding more and more like Ralph Nader, and less and less like a true Democrat. 
     I think it is time for Bernie to either suit up, and champion the Democratic Party, it's probable nominee and causes, or break free and pursue his own agenda . I hope he chooses the practical course, and supports the Democratic nominee with heart and soul. If he can't, then it is time for him to declare his true intent, and stop pretending to be a Democrat . 
He has brought much to the table. He has invigorated the process and energized millions of otherwise uninvolved millenials, to his credit. 
   But as the old saying goes," Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party. What say you Sen. Sanders, are you with us or agin' us?