Aug 13 2016, 3:52 pm ET

Four Takeaways From the Latest Battleground Polls

Trump: Clinton Can’t Win Pennsylvania Unless There’s Cheating1:11

Seven news battleground polls, seven states where Hillary Clinton holds a lead against Donald Trump.

Those are the results from the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls, which found Hillary Clinton ahead in Iowa (by four points), Ohio (by five), Florida (by five), North Carolina (by nine), Pennsylvania (by 11), Virginia (by 13) and Colorado (by 14).

If those poll numbers hold with another three months to go until Election Day 2016, Trump won’t have a realistic path to 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.

But there are four other takeaways from the new battleground polling. Call them the four different gaps:

1. The Education Gap

With one exception (Florida), Clinton is leading in every battleground among college-educated white voters, while she’s losing among whites without a college degree. Why is this significant? As the Atlantic’s Ron Brownstein has noted, no Democratic presidential candidate going back to 1952 has won among college-educated whites. (All poll numbers below are among registered voters)


  • Whites with a college degree: Clinton 55%, Trump 23% (D+32)
  • Whites without: Trump 43%, Clinton 32% (R+11)


  • Whites with a college degree: Trump 42%, Clinton 40% (R+2)
  • Whites without: Trump 50%, Clinton 32% (R+18)


  • Whites with a college degree: Clinton 56%, Trump 25% (D+31)
  • Whites without: Trump 42%, Clinton 35% (R+7)

North Carolina

  • Whites with a college degree: Clinton 47%, Trump 40% (D+7)
  • Whites without: Trump 60%, Clinton 23% (R+37)


  • Whites with a college degree: Clinton 45%, Trump 37% (D+8)
  • Whites without: Trump 49%, Clinton 31% (R+18)


  • Whites with a college degree: Clinton 53%, Trump 32% (D+21)
  • Whites without: Trump 50%, Clinton 34% (R+16)


  • Whites with a college degree: Clinton 43%, Trump 37% (D+6)
  • Whites without: Trump 48%, Clinton 28% (R+20)
The voters Trump is counting on to win6:41

2. The Urban-vs.-Rural Gap

Relatedly, Clinton is drubbing Trump in urban areas and suburbs, while Trump is ahead in rural areas. The problem for Trump: For the most part, there are many more voters in these urban areas than rural ones.


  • Denver-Eastern Suburbs: Clinton 60%, Trump 20% (D+40)
  • Western Suburbs: Clinton 55%, Trump 20% (D+35)
  • East: Trump 44%, Clinton 42% (R+2)
  • Southern Front Range: Trump 51%, Clinton 28% (R+23)
  • Colorado Rockies: Trump 39%, Clinton 29% (R+10)


  • North/Panhandle: Trump 52%, Clinton 33% (R+19)
  • Orlando/Central Atlantic Coast: Clinton 51%, Trump 32% (D+19)
  • Tampa Bay Area: Clinton 46%, Trump 35% (R+11)
  • Gulf Coast/Mid-Florida: Trump 47%, Clinton 34% (R+13)
  • Miami/Gold Keys: Clinton 51%, Trump 32% (D+19)


  • Eastern Cities: Clinton 45%, Trump 31% (D+14)
  • East Central: Clinton 47%, Trump 33% (D+14)
  • Des Moines Area: Clinton 44%, Trump 30% (D+14)
  • Central: Trump 46%, Clinton 34% (R+12)
  • West: Trump 51%, Clinton 31% (R+20)

North Carolina

  • East: Clinton 41%, Trump 41% (even)
  • Raleigh-Durham Triangle: Clinton 61%, Trump 28% (D+33)
  • Charlotte Area: Clinton 53%, Trump 34% (D+19)
  • Piedmont Central: Clinton 44%, Trump 44% (even)
  • West: Clinton 44%, Trump 43% (D+1)


  • Cleveland area: Clinton 58%, Trump 23% (D+35)
  • North: Clinton 41%, Trump 40% (D+1)
  • Ohio Valley & West: Trump 45%, Clinton 32% (R+13)
  • Columbus area: Clinton 49%, Trump 35% (D+14)
  • Cincinnati/Dayton: Trump 44%, Clinton 40% (R+4)


  • Philadelphia: Clinton 71%, Trump 19% (D+52)
  • Philly burbs: Clinton 52%, Trump 26% (D+26)
  • Northeast: Clinton 42%, Trump 41% (D+1)
  • Central: Trump 53%, Clinton 31% (R+22)
  • West: Clinton 53%, Trump 36% (D+17)


  • DC Suburbs: Clinton 63%, Trump 21% (D+42)
  • Northern Virginia Exurbs: Clinton 39%, Trump 36% (D+3)
  • Central/West: Trump 44%, Clinton 38% (R+6)
  • Richmond/East: Clinton 44%, Trump 34% (D+10)
  • Tidewater: Clinton 50%, Trump 31% (D+19)
Key groups helping Clinton in swing states5:38

3. The Gender Gap

Clinton is winning women by larger margins than Trump is winning among men. And Clinton is even winning among men in Colorado and Virginia.


  • Men: Clinton 42%, Trump 34% (D+8)
  • Women: Clinton 50%, Trump 31% (D+19)


  • Men: Trump 41%, Clinton 40% (R+1)
  • Women: Clinton 47%, Trump 37% (D+10)


  • Men: Trump 43%, Clinton 33% (R+10)
  • Women: Clinton 49%, Trump 32% (D+17)

North Carolina

  • Men: Trump 43%, Clinton 42% (R+1)
  • Women: Clinton 53%, Trump 34% (D+19)


  • Men: Trump 42%, Clinton 41% (R+1)
  • Women: Clinton 45%, Trump 35% (D+10)


  • Men: Trump 44%, Clinton 40% (R+4)
  • Women: Clinton 55%, Trump 30% (D+25)


  • Men: Clinton 40%, Trump 39% (D+1)
  • Women: Clinton 52%, Trump 28% (D+24)
Trump: Claim on Obama and ISIS Was Sarcastic But ‘Not That Sarcastic’1:24

4. The Party Unity Gap

In all seven states, Democrats are backing Clinton by a larger margin than Republicans are behind Trump – sometimes by wide margins.


  • Among Democrats: Clinton 91%, Trump 4% (D+87)
  • Among Republicans: Trump 79%, Clinton 7% (R+72)


  • Among Democrats: Clinton 92%, Trump 4% (D+88)
  • Among Republicans: Trump 79%, Clinton 6% (R+73)


  • Among Democrats: Clinton 88%, Trump 4% (D+84)
  • Among Republicans: Trump 83%, Clinton 4% (R+79)

North Carolina

  • Among Democrats: Clinton 89%, Trump 7% (D+82)
  • Among Republicans: Trump 84%, Clinton 6% (R+78)


  • Among Democrats: Clinton 87%, Trump 5% (D+82)
  • GOP: Trump 83%, Clinton 5% (R+78)


  • Among Democrats: Clinton 91%, Trump 5% (D+86)
  • Among Republicans: Trump 77%, Clinton 7% (R+70)


  • Among Democrats: Clinton 94%, Trump 2% (D+92)
  • Among Republicans: Trump 80%, Clinton 5% (R+
  • ————————————————————————

FACT CHECK: Hillary Clinton’s Speech To The Democratic Convention

Follows PROGRESSIVE FUTURE Blog promise to publish fact check of both convention speeches!    https://progressivefutureusa.com/




FACT CHECK: Hillary Clinton’s Speech To The Democratic Convention, Annotated


Editor’s note: This has been updated at 1:25 p.m. ET Friday with additional fact-checking information.

Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for president Thursday night, delivering a speech that lays out her plan to address terrorist threats and create jobs.

NPR’s politics team annotated Clinton’s speech below. Portions commented on arehighlighted, followed by analysis, context and fact check in italics.

(You can read our fact check of Donald Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention last week here.)

Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you all so so much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all very, very much. Thank you for that amazing welcome. Thank you all for the great convention that we’ve had.

[A few thank yous at the top of a speech are not uncommon, but look at all the people Clinton thanks here at the top of her speech. This is something she does at every single campaign event. She thanks local elected officials, she thanks her top volunteers and campaign organizers by name. The scale and consistency of the thank yous are a trademark of Clinton’s understated campaign style. –- Tamara Keith]

And Chelsea, thank you.

I’m so proud to be your mother and so proud of the woman you’ve become.

Thank you for bringing Marc into our family, and Charlotte and Aidan into the world.

And Bill, that conversation we started in the law library 45 years ago, it is still going strong.

You know, that conversation has lasted through good times that filled us with joy, and hard times that tested us.

And I’ve even gotten a few words in along the way.

On Tuesday night, I was so happy to see that my explainer-in-chief is still on the job.

I’m also grateful to the rest of my family and to the friends of a lifetime.

For all of you whose hard work brought us here tonight, and to those of you who joined this campaign this week. Thank you.

What a remarkable week it’s been.

We heard the man from Hope, Bill Clinton.

[Bill Clinton grew up in Hope, Ark., and The Man From Hope is the title of a biographical film shown during the 1992 Democratic National Convention.

The last line of Bill Clinton’s acceptance speech in 1992 was: “I end tonight where it all began for me: I still believe in a place called Hope.” — Danielle Kurtzleben]

And the man of Hope, Barack Obama.

America is stronger because of President Obama’s leadership, and I’m better because of his friendship.

We heard from our terrific vice president, the one and only Joe Biden. He spoke from his big heart about our party’s commitment to working people, as only he can do.

And first lady Michelle Obama reminded us that our children are watching, and the president we elect is going to be their president, too.

And for those of you out there who are just getting to know Tim Kaine — you will soon understand why the people of Virginia keep promoting him: from city council and mayor, to governor, and now senator.

And he will make the whole country proud as our vice president.

And … I want to thank Bernie Sanders.

Bernie, Bernie, your campaign inspired millions of Americans, particularly the young people who threw their hearts and souls into our primary.

[Sanders won 12 million votes in the Democratic primaries, to Clinton’s 15.8 million, according to RealClearPolitics. And Clinton is right about young people’s devotion to Sanders: As the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake found, Sanders won more under-30 votes this primary season than Clinton and Trump combined. — Danielle Kurtzleben]

You’ve put economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong.

And to all of your supporters here and around the country: I want you to know, I’ve heard you. Your cause is our cause.

[After the speech, I spoke to several Sanders supporters in the arena who appreciated the acknowledgement but still weren’t convinced that she really meant it. — Tamara Keith]

Our country needs your ideas, energy and passion.

That is the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for America.

We wrote it together — now let’s go out and make it happen together.

My friends, we’ve come to Philadelphia — the birthplace of our nation — because what happened in this city 240 years ago still has something to teach us today.

We all know the story. But we usually focus on how it turned out — and not enough on how close that story came to never being written at all.

When representatives from 13 unruly colonies met just down the road from here, some wanted to stick with the king. And some wanted to stick it to the king.

The revolution hung in the balance.

Then somehow, they began listening to each other, compromising, finding common purpose.

And by the time they left Philadelphia, they had begun to see themselves as one nation.

That’s what made it possible to stand up to a king.

That took courage. They had courage.

Our Founders embraced the enduring truth that we are stronger together.

Now, now America is once again at a moment of reckoning. Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart. Bonds of trust and respect are fraying.

And just as with our founders, there are no guarantees. It truly is up to us. We have to decide whether we all will work together so we can all rise together.

Our country’s motto is “e pluribus unum”: out of many, we are one. Will we stay true to that motto?

Well, we heard Donald Trump’s answer last week at his convention. He wants to divide us from the rest of the world, and from each other.

He’s betting that the perils of today’s world will blind us to its unlimited promise. He’s taken the Republican Party a long way from “Morning in America” to “Midnight in America.” He wants us to fear the future and fear each other.

Well, you know, a great Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt came up with the perfect rebuke to Trump more than 80 years ago, during a much more perilous time: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Now we are clear-eyed about what our country is up against. But we are not afraid. We will rise to the challenge, just as we always have. We will not build a wall. Instead, we will build an economy where everyone who wants a good job can get one.

And we’ll build a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants who are already contributing to our economy!

We, we will not ban a religion. We will work with all Americans and our allies to fight and defeat terrorism.

[Donald Trump initially called for a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the U.S. following the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorist attack last December. But he now talks about fighting terrorism through a temporary ban on people from countries with a known history of terrorism. — Tamara Keith]

There’s a lot of work to do.

Too many people haven’t had a pay raise since the crash.

There’s too much inequality. Too little social mobility. Too much paralysis in Washington. Too many threats at home and abroad.

But just look for a minute at the strengths we bring as Americans to meet these challenges. We have the most dynamic and diverse people in the world. We have the most tolerant and generous young people we’ve ever had. We have the most powerful military. The most innovative entrepreneurs. The most enduring values: freedom and equality, justice and opportunity.

We should be so proud that those words are associated with us. I have to tell you, as your secretary of state, I went to 112 countries. When people hear those words, they hear America.

So don’t let anyone tell you that our country is weak. We’re not.

Don’t let anyone tell you we don’t have what it takes. We do.

And most of all, don’t believe anyone who says, “I alone can fix it.”

Yes, those were actually Donald Trump’s words in Cleveland. And they should set off alarm bells for all of us.

Really? I alone can fix it? Isn’t he forgetting?

Troops on the front lines. Police officers and firefighters who run toward danger. Doctors and nurses who care for us. Teachers who change lives. Entrepreneurs who see possibilities in every problem. Mothers who lost children to violence and are building a movement to keep other kids safe.

He’s forgetting every last one of us.

Americans don’t say, “I alone can fix it.” We say, “We’ll fix it together.”

[In his convention speech, Trump did say “I alone can fix it” — he was referring to the political system he sees as broken. Clinton first used this line of attack the Friday after the GOP convention and it has been well-received by supporters ever since. Clinton is taking the phrase beyond Trump’s original context, but there are certainly other instances in his convention speech and others where he has portrayed himself as the one who can fix various ills from ISIS to the economy. — Tamara Keith]

And remember, remember: Our Founders fought a revolution and wrote a Constitution so America would never be a nation where one person had all the power. Two-hundred-and-forty years later, we still put our faith in each other.

Look at what happened in Dallas after the assassinations of five brave police officers. Police Chief David Brown asked the community to support his force, maybe even join them.

And you know how the community responded? Nearly 500 people applied in just 12 days.

[According to data posted on the Dallas Police Department Facebook page, 467 people applied to the department between July 8 and July 20. That’s more than triple the 136 people that applied between June 8 and June 20. — Danielle Kurtzleben]

That’s how Americans answer when the call for help goes out.

Twenty years ago, I wrote a book called It Takes a Village. And a lot of people looked at the title and asked, “What the heck do you mean by that?”

This is what I mean. None of us can raise a family, build a business, heal a community or lift a country totally alone.

America needs every one of us to lend our energy, our talents, our ambition to making our nation better and stronger. I believe that with all my heart.

That’s why “Stronger Together” is not just a lesson from our history. It’s not just a slogan for our campaign.

It’s a guiding principle for the country we’ve always been and the future we’re going to build.

A country where the economy works for everyone, not just those at the top. Where you can get a good job and send your kids to a good school, no matter what zip code you live in.

A country where all our children can dream, and those dreams are within reach. Where families are strong, communities are safe, and yes, where love trumps hate.

That’s the country we’re fighting for. That’s the future we’re working toward. And so, my friends, it is with humility, determination and boundless confidence in America’s promise that I accept your nomination for president of the United States!

Now, sometimes, sometimes the people at this podium are new to the national stage.

As you know, I’m not one of those people.

I’ve been your First Lady, served eight years as a senator from the great state of New York.

Then I represented all of you as secretary of state.

But my job titles only tell you what I’ve done.

They don’t tell you why.

The truth is, through all these years of public service, the “service” part has always come easier to me than the “public” part.

I get it that some people just don’t know what to make of me. So let me tell you.

The family I’m from, well, no one had their name on big buildings. My family were builders of a different kind. Builders in the way most American families are.

They used whatever tools they had — whatever God gave them — and whatever life in America provided — and built better lives and better futures for their kids.

My grandfather worked in the same Scranton lace mill for 50 years. Because he believed that if he gave everything he had, his children would have a better life than he did. And he was right.

My dad, Hugh, made it to college. He played football at Penn State and enlisted in the Navy after Pearl Harbor.

When the war was over, he started his own small business, printing fabric for draperies. I remember watching him stand for hours over silk screens.

He wanted to give my brothers and me opportunities he never had. And he did.

My mother, Dorothy, was abandoned by her parents as a young girl. She
ended up on her own at 14, working as a housemaid. She was saved by the kindness of others.

Her first-grade teacher saw she had nothing to eat at lunch and brought extra food to share the entire year. The lesson she passed on to me, years later, stuck with me: No one gets through life alone. We have to look out for each other and lift each other up.

And she made sure I learned the words from our Methodist faith: “Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.”

So, I went to work for the Children’s Defense Fund, going door-to-door in New Bedford, Mass., on behalf of children with disabilities who were denied the chance to go to school.

I remember meeting a young girl in a wheelchair on the small back porch of her house. She told me how badly she wanted to go to school — it just didn’t seem possible in those days. And I couldn’t stop thinking of my mother and what she’d gone through as a child.

It became clear to me that simply caring is not enough. To drive real progress, you have to change both hearts and laws. You need both understanding and action.

So we gathered facts. We built a coalition. And our work helped convince Congress to ensure access to education for all students with disabilities.

It’s a big idea, isn’t it? Every kid with a disability has the right to go to school.

But how, how do you make an idea like that real? You do it step-by-step, year-by-year, sometimes even door-by-door.

My heart just swelled when I saw Anastasia Somoza representing millions of young people on this stage — because we changed our law to make sure she got an education.

So it’s true. I sweat the details of policy — whether we’re talking about the exact level of lead in the drinking water in Flint, Mich., the number of mental health facilities in Iowa, or the cost of your prescription drugs.

Because it’s not just a detail if it’s your kid — if it’s your family. It’s a big deal. And it should be a big deal to your president, too.

After the four days of this convention, you’ve seen some of the people who’ve inspired me. People who let me into their lives, and became a part of mine.

People like Ryan Moore and Lauren Manning. They told their stories Tuesday night.

I first met Ryan as a 7-year-old. He was wearing a full body brace that must have weighed 40 pounds, because I leaned over to lift him up.

Children like Ryan kept me going when our plan for universal health care failed and kept me working with leaders of both parties to help create the Children’s Health Insurance Program that covers 8 million kids in our country.

[CHIP had 8.1 million kids on the rolls as of 2015. And while Clinton wasn’t in the legislature, she was instrumental in getting it passed, as PolitiFact found earlier this year. — Danielle Kurtzleben]

Lauren Manning, who stood here with such grace and power, was gravely injured on 9/11. It was the thought of her, and Debbie St. John who you saw in the movie, and John Dolan and Joe Sweeney, and all the victims and survivors, that kept me working as hard as I could in the Senate on behalf of 9/11 families, and our first responders who got sick from their time at Ground Zero.

I was thinking of Lauren, Debbie and all the others 10 years later in the White House Situation Room when President Obama made the courageous decision that finally brought Osama bin Laden to justice.

And in this campaign, I’ve met many more people who motivate me to keep fighting for change. And, with your help, I will carry all of your voices and stories with me to the White House.

And you heard, you heard from, from Republicans and Independents who are supporting our campaign. Well, I will be a president for Democrats, Republicans and independents, for the struggling, the striving, the successful, for all those who vote for me and for those who don’t. For all Americans together.

Tonight, tonight we’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union: the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president.

Standing here, standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come.

I’m happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between.

I’m happy for boys and men, too — because when any barrier falls in America, it clears the way for everyone. After all, when there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.

So let’s keep going, let’s keep going until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves to have.

But even more important than the history we make tonight, is the history we will write together in the years ahead.

Let’s begin with what we’re going to do to help working people in our country get ahead and stay ahead.

Now, I don’t think President Obama and Vice President Biden get the credit they deserve for saving us from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes.

Our economy is so much stronger than when they took office. Nearly 15 million new private-sector jobs. Twenty million more Americans with health insurance. And an auto industry that just had its best year ever.

[The jobs-gain figure Clinton cites is from the trough, which came about a year after President Obama took office. The insurance figure includes those who gained coverage through new insurance exchanges, expansion of Medicaid, and changes in the private insurance market that allow young adults to stay on their parents’ plan. U.S. auto sales hit 17.5 million last year, an all-time high. — Scott Horsley]

Now that’s real progress, but none of us can be satisfied with the status quo. Not by a long shot.

We’re still facing deep-seated problems that developed long before the recession and have stayed with us through the recovery.

I’ve gone around our country talking to working families. And I’ve heard from many who feel like the economy sure isn’t working for them.

Some of you are frustrated — even furious. And you know what? You’re right. It’s not yet working the way it should.

Americans are willing to work — and work hard. But right now, an awful lot of people feel there is less and less respect for the work they do. And less respect for them, period.

Democrats, we are the party of working people. But we haven’t done a good enough job showing we get what you’re going through, and we’re going to do something to help.

So tonight I want to tell you tonight how we will empower Americans to live better lives.

My primary mission as president will be to create more opportunity and more good jobs with rising wages right here in the United States. From my first day in office to my last, especially in places that for too long have been left out and left behind.

From our inner cities to our small towns, from Indian Country to Coal Country. From communities ravaged by addiction to regions hollowed out by plant closures.

And here’s what I believe. I believe America thrives when the middle class thrives. I believe that our economy isn’t working the way it should because our democracy isn’t working the way it should.

That’s why we need to appoint Supreme Court justices who will get money out of politics and expand voting rights, not restrict them.

[With this oversimplified phrase, Clinton is effectively calling for court-mandated public financing, which is extremely unlikely. — Peter Overby]

And if necessary, we will pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

[Passing a constitutional amendment would very likely be really, really, really hard in the current political climate of gridlock. Proposing one requires either a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate or a constitutional convention, which two-thirds of the states would have to call for, according to the National Archives.To be ratified, it requires 38 of the 50 states to approve it. — Danielle Kurtzleben]

[And not even advocates of this one can agree on language that avoids other First Amendment issues. — Peter Overby]

I believe American corporations that have gotten so much from our country should be just as patriotic in return. Many of them are. But too many aren’t. It’s wrong to take tax breaks with one hand and give out pink slips with the other.

And I believe Wall Street can never, ever be allowed to wreck Main Street again.

And I believe in science. I believe climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good-paying clean energy jobs.

I believe that when we have millions of hardworking immigrants contributing to our economy, it would be self-defeating and inhumane to try to kick them out.

Comprehensive immigration reform will grow our economy and keep families together — and it’s the right thing to do.

[The Congressional Budget Office projected the immigration bill passed by the Senate in 2013 would boost the economy and reduce the federal deficit, while slightly reducing wages. — Scott Horsley]

So, whatever party you belong to, or if you belong to no party at all, if you share these beliefs, this is your campaign.

[This is part of Clinton’s occasional outreach to both Sanders supporters and people she once called “reasonable Republicans.” At the convention Thursday night, speakers included a former Ronald Reagan staffer and a woman who is leading a group of Republican women supporting Clinton. –- Tamara Keith]

If you believe that companies should share profits with their workers, not pad executive bonuses, join us.

If you believe the minimum wage should be a living wage, and no one working full time should have to raise their children in poverty, join us.

If you believe that every man, woman and child in America has the right to affordable health care, join us.

If you believe that we should say “no” to unfair trade deals, that we should stand up to China, that we should support our steelworkers and autoworkers and homegrown manufacturers, then join us.

If you believe we should expand Social Security and protect a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, then join us.

And yes, yes, if you believe that your working mother, wife, sister or daughter deserves equal pay, join us.

That’s how we’re going to sure this economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.

Now, you didn’t hear any of this, did you, from Donald Trump at his convention. He spoke for 70-odd minutes — and I do mean odd.

And he offered zero solutions.

[Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland offered a number of measures to address the various problems he defined. They included Trump’s ban on Muslims entering the United States, which he now describes as a proposal for the U.S. to “suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place.” Trump also reiterated his call for a border wall to combat illegal immigration, new trade policies (in addition to renegotiating “bad trade agreements”), infrastructure investment and tax reform. Clinton has argued these proposals are wrong or not feasible, and therefore aren’t solutions. But the statement suggests Trump’s speech was devoid of specific proposals, which is not true. — Arnie Seipel]

But we already know he doesn’t believe these things. No wonder he doesn’t like talking about his plans. You might have noticed, I love talking about mine.

In my first hundred days, we will work with both parties to pass the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II. Jobs in manufacturing, clean energy, technology and innovation, small business, and infrastructure.

If we invest in infrastructure now, we’ll not only create jobs today, but lay the foundation for the jobs of the future.

And we will also transform the way we prepare our young people for those jobs.

Bernie Sanders and I will work together to make college tuition-free for the middle class and debt-free for all!

[Clinton originally had a “debt-free” college plan, which was designed to ensure that people could attend college without taking out loans; that meant the student had to work and that the family would contribute what it could. But in July, she moved further in her primary rival Bernie Sanders’ direction, proposing that college tuition at public universities for students from families making $125,000 or less (a threshold that would be phased in) would be free. — Danielle Kurtzleben]

We will also, we will also liberate millions of people who already have student debt.

It’s just not right that Donald Trump can ignore his debts, and students and families can’t refinance their debts.

And something we don’t say often enough: Sure, college is crucial, but a four-year degree should not be the only path to a good job.

[The income gap between high school and college grads is bigger for millennials than it was for Generation Xers, baby boomers and the Silent Generation, according to a 2014 Pew Research Center report. — Danielle Kurtzleben]

We will help more people learn a skill or practice a trade and make a good living doing it.

We will give small businesses like my dad’s a boost. Make it easier to get credit. Way too many dreams die in the parking lots of banks.

In America, if you can dream it, you should be able to build it.

And we will help you balance family and work. And you know what, if fighting for affordable child care and paid family leave is playing the “woman card,” then deal me in.

Now, here’s the other thing, we’re not only going to make all these investments, we’re going to pay for every single one of them.

And here’s how: Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes.

This is not because we resent success, because when more than 90 percent of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent, that’s where the money is, and we are going to follow the money.

[In his convention speech, Bernie Sanders said something similar, saying that 85 percent of the income gains had gone to the top 1 percent — a stat that PolitiFact called “half true” because it was outdated. In 2014 and 2015, they write, the 99 percent’s incomes recovered, and the top 1 percent’s share fell to 52 percent. — Danielle Kurtzleben]

And if companies take tax breaks and then ship jobs overseas, we’ll make them pay us back. And we’ll put that money to work where it belongs, creating jobs here at home!

Now, now I imagine some of you are sitting at home thinking, well, that all sounds pretty good. But how are you going to get it done? How are you going to break through the gridlock in Washington?

Well, look at my record. I’ve worked across the aisle to pass laws and treaties and to launch new programs that help millions of people. And if you give me the chance, that’s what I’ll do as president.

But then I also imagine people are thinking out there, but Trump, he’s a businessman. He must know something about the economy.

Well, let’s take a closer look.

In Atlantic City, 60 miles from here, you will find contractors and small businesses who lost everything because Donald Trump refused to pay his bills.

Now, remember what the president said last night: “Don’t boo, vote.” People who did the work and needed the money, and didn’t get it — not because he couldn’t pay them, but because he wouldn’t pay them. He just stiffed them.

[True. Specifically, she is referring to the losses suffered by contractors on the Taj Mahal casino. The Associated Press found that Trump owed $70 million to 253 contractors when the casino opened. After the casino filed for bankruptcy about a year later, many contractors got just 33 percent of what they were owed. As a result some went out of business.

[It’s unclear whether Trump could have paid those bills, as Clinton argued. He was deeply overleveraged on the project, with extensive debt, and both his corporate and personal finances were in relatively poor shape at the time. — Matt Katz, WNYC]

And you know that sales pitch he’s making to be president? Put your faith in him — and you’ll win big? That’s the same sales pitch he made to all those small businesses. Then Trump walked away, and left working people holding the bag.

He also talks a big game about putting America first. Well, please explain what part of “America First” leads him to make Trump ties in China, not Colorado. Trump suits in Mexico, not Michigan. Trump furniture in Turkey, not Ohio. Trump picture frames in India, not Wisconsin.

Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again — well, he could start by actually making things in America again.

Now, the choice we face in this election is just as stark when it comes to our national security.

You know, anyone, anyone reading the news can see the threats and turbulence we face.

From Baghdad to Kabul, to Nice and Paris and Brussels, from San Bernardino to Orlando, we’re dealing with determined enemies that must be defeated.

So, it’s no wonder that people are anxious and looking for reassurance. Looking for steady leadership, wanting a leader who understands we are stronger when we work with our allies around the world and care for our veterans here at home. Keeping our nation safe and honoring the people who do that work will be my highest priority.

I’m proud that we put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot — now we have to enforce it. And we must keep supporting Israel’s security.

[Experts believe the agreement has lengthened the time Iran would need to develop a nuclear bomb from weeks or months to at least a year. However, the deal has had little effect on Iran’s nonnuclear troublemaking elsewhere in the region. — Scott Horsley]

I’m proud that we shaped a global climate agreement — now we have to hold every country accountable to their commitments, including ourselves.

And I’m proud to stand by our allies in NATO against any threat they face, including from Russia.

I’ve laid out my strategy for defeating ISIS. We will strike their sanctuaries from the air, and support local forces taking them out on the ground. We will surge our intelligence so that we detect and prevent attacks before they happen.

We will disrupt their efforts online to reach and radicalize young people in our country.

It won’t be easy or quick, but make no mistake — we will prevail.

Now Donald Trump, Donald Trump says, and this is a quote, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do.” No, Donald, you don’t.

He thinks, he thinks that he knows more than our military because he claimed our armed forces are “a disaster.”

[Trump said, “Our military is a disaster,” in a debate in Charleston, S.C., hosted by the Fox Business Network on Jan. 14, 2016. — Arnie Seipel]

Well, I’ve had the privilege to work closely with our troops and our veterans for many years, including as a senator on the Armed Services Committee, and I know how wrong he is. Our military is a national treasure.

We entrust our commander in chief to make the hardest decisions our nation faces, decisions about war and peace, life and death.

A president should respect the men and women who risk their lives to serve our country — including Captain Khan and the sons of Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, both Marines.

So just ask yourself: Do you really think Donald Trump has the temperament to be commander in chief?

Donald Trump can’t even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign. He loses his cool at the slightest provocation. When he’s gotten a tough question from a reporter. When he’s challenged in a debate. When he sees a protester at a rally.

Imagine, if you dare, imagine, imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.

I can’t put it, I can’t put it any better than Jackie Kennedy did after the Cuban Missile Crisis. She said that what worried President Kennedy during that very dangerous time was that a war might be started, not by big men with self-control and restraint, but by little men — the ones moved by fear and pride.

America’s strength doesn’t come from lashing out. It relies on smarts, judgment, cool resolve, and the precise and strategic application of power. And that’s the kind of commander in chief I pledge to be.

And if we’re serious about keeping our country safe, we also can’t afford to have a president who’s in the pocket of the gun lobby.

I’m not here to repeal the Second Amendment. I’m not here to take away your guns. I just don’t want you to be shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.

We will work tirelessly with responsible gun owners to pass common-sense reforms and keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and all others who would do us harm.

You know, for decades, people have said this issue was too hard to solve and the politics too hot to touch. But I ask you: How can we just stand by and do nothing?

You heard, you saw, family members of people killed by gun violence on this stage.

You heard, you saw, family members of police officers killed in the line of duty because they were outgunned by criminals.

I refuse to believe we can’t find common ground here.

We have to heal the divides in our country. Not just on guns. But on race. Immigration. And more.

And that starts with listening, listening to each other. Trying, as best we can, to walk in each other’s shoes.

So let’s put ourselves in the shoes of young black and Latino men and women who face the effects of systemic racism, and are made to feel like their lives are disposable.

Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day, heading off to do a dangerous and necessary job.

We will reform our criminal justice system from end to end and rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

And we will defend, we will defend all our rights — civil rights, human rights and voting rights, women’s rights and workers’ rights, LGBT rights and the rights of people with disabilities!

And we will stand up against mean and divisive rhetoric wherever it comes from.

You know, for the past year, many people made the mistake of laughing off Donald Trump’s comments — excusing him as an entertainer just putting on a show.

They thought he couldn’t possibly mean all the horrible things he says — like when he called women “pigs.” Or said that an American judge couldn’t be fair because of his Mexican heritage.

Or when he mocks and mimics a reporter with a disability. Or insults prisoners of war like John McCain — a true hero and patriot who deserves our respect.

Now, at first, at first, I admit, I couldn’t believe he meant it either. It was just too hard to fathom — that someone who wants to lead our nation could say those things. Could be like that.

But here’s the sad truth: There is no other Donald Trump. This is it.

And in the end, it comes down to what Donald Trump doesn’t get: that America is great — because America is good.

[After Clinton’s speech, there were claims on Twitter that this quote was lifted from Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. Interestingly, the Weekly Standard found in 1995 that it is a line of unknown provenance, often misattributed to de Tocqueville. Reagan used it (by way, his speechwriters said, of Eisenhower), as well as Pat Buchanan and Bill Clinton, the Weekly Standardwrote. — Danielle Kurtzleben]

So enough with the bigotry and bombast. Donald Trump’s not offering real change.

He’s offering empty promises. And what are we offering? A bold agenda to improve the lives of people across our country — to keep you safe, to get you good jobs, and to give your kids the opportunities they deserve.

The choice is clear, my friends.

Every generation of Americans has come together to make our country freer, fairer and stronger.

None of us ever have or can do it alone.

I know that at a time when so much seems to be pulling us apart, it can be hard to imagine how we’ll ever pull together.

But I’m here to tell you tonight — progress is possible.

I know, I know because I’ve seen it in the lives of people across America who get knocked down and get right back up.

And I know it, I know it from my own life. More than a few times, I’ve had to pick myself up and get back in the game.

Like so much else in my life, I got this from my mother too. She never let me back down from any challenge. When I tried to hide from a neighborhood bully, she literally blocked the door. “Go back out there,” she said.

And she was right. You have to stand up to bullies.

You have to keep working to make things better, even when the odds are long and the opposition is fierce.

We lost our mother a few years ago, but I miss her every day. And I still hear her voice urging me to keep working, keep fighting for right, no matter what.

That’s what we need to do together as a nation.

Though “we may not live to see the glory,” as the song from the musical Hamiltongoes, “let us gladly join the fight.”

Let our legacy be about “planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”

That’s why we’re here … not just in this hall, but on this Earth.

The Founders showed us that. And so have many others since.

They were drawn together by love of country, and the selfless passion to build something better for all who follow.

That is the story of America. And we begin a new chapter tonight.

Yes, the world is watching what we do.

Yes, America’s destiny is ours to choose.

So let’s be stronger together, my fellow Americans.

Let’s look to the future with courage and confidence.

Let’s build a better tomorrow for our beloved children and our beloved country.

And when we do, America will be greater than ever.

Thank you, and may God bless you and the United States of America!


CreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

PHILADELPHIA — Donald Trump has found an ingenious way to save the Democratic Party. Basically, he’s abandoned the great patriotic themes that used to fire up the G.O.P. and he’s allowed the Democrats to seize that ground. If you visited the two conventions this year you would have come away thinking that the Democrats are the more patriotic of the two parties — and the more culturally conservative.


Trump has abandoned the Judeo-Christian aspirations that have always represented America’s highest moral ideals: toward love, charity, humility, goodness, faith, temperance and gentleness.


He left the ground open for Joe Biden to remind us that decent people don’t enjoy firing other human beings.


Trump has abandoned the basic modesty code that has always ennobled the American middle class: Don’t brag, don’t let your life be defined by gilded luxuries.

He left the ground open for the Democrats to seize middle-class values with one quick passage in a Tim Kaine video — about a guy who goes to the same church where he was married, who taught carpentry as a Christian missionary in Honduras, who has lived in the same house for the last 24 years.


Trump has also abandoned the American ideal of popular self-rule.

He left the ground open for Barack Obama to remind us that our founders wanted active engaged citizens, not a government run by a solipsistic and self-appointed savior who wants everything his way.

Hillary Clinton’s Convention: Day 4

Arguments, provocations and observations from Times Opinion writers.


Trump has abandoned the deep and pervasive optimism that has always energized the American nation.

He left the ground open for Michelle Obama to embrace the underlying chorus of hope that runs through the American story: that our national history is an arc toward justice; that evil rises for a day but contains the seeds of its own destruction; that beneath the vicissitudes that darken our days, we live in an orderly cosmos governed by love.


For decades the Republican Party has embraced America’s open, future-oriented nationalism. But when you nominate a Silvio Berlusconi you give up a piece of that. When you nominate a blood-and-soil nationalist you’re no longer speaking in the voice of Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and every Republican nominee from Reagan to McCain to Romney.


Democrats have often been ambivalent about that ardent nationalistic voice, but this week they were happy to accept Trump’s unintentional gift. There were an unusually high number of great speeches at the Democratic convention this year: the Obamas, Biden, Booker, Clinton, the Mothers of the Movement and so on.


These speakers found their eloquence in staving off this demagogue. They effectively separated Trump from America. They separated him from conservatism. They made full use of the deep nationalist chords that touch American hearts.


Trump has allowed the Democrats to mask their deep problems. A Democratic administration has presided over a time of growing world chaos, growing violence and growing anger. But the Democrats seem positively organized and orderly compared to Candidate Chaos on the other side.


The Sanders people have 90 percent of the Democratic Party’s passion and 95 percent of the ideas. Most Sanders people are kind- and open-hearted, but there is a core that is corrupted by moral preening, an uncompromising absolutism and a paranoid unwillingness to play by the rules of civic life.

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But the extremist fringe that threatens to take over the Democratic Party seems less menacing than the lunatic fringe that has already taken over the Republican one.

This week I left the arena here each night burning with indignation at Mike Pence. I almost don’t blame Trump. He is a morally untethered, spiritually vacuous man who appears haunted by multiple personality disorders. It is the “sane” and “reasonable” Republicans who deserve the shame — the ones who stood silently by, or worse, while Donald Trump gave away their party’s sacred inheritance.


The Democrats had by far the better of the conventions. But the final and shocking possibility is this: In immediate political terms it may not make a difference.


The Democratic speakers hit doubles, triples and home runs. But the normal rules may no longer apply. The Democrats may have just dominated a game we are no longer playing.


Both conventions featured one grieving parent after another. The fear of violent death is on everybody’s mind — from ISIS, cops, lone sociopaths. The essential contract of society — that if you behave responsibly things will work out — has been severed for many people.

It could be that in this moment of fear, cynicism, anxiety and extreme pessimism, many voters may have decided that civility is a surrender to a rigged system, that optimism is the opiate of the idiots and that humility and gentleness are simply surrendering to the butchers of ISIS. If that’s the case then the throes of a completely new birth are upon us and Trump is a man from the future.


If that’s true it’s not just politics that has changed, but the country.






The Perils of the We/They Mentality

Yes maybe it’s time to remember allies, but widen our definition to reduce the we they paradigm. Why must we assume that Russia, China, Iran must be incorrigible enemies? There are things that can be done with each of these relationships at minimal cost to then US.

Author: Rian Morrissey Date: Monday, July 25, 2016 8:04:27 AM EDT Subject: RE: FILM REACTIONS RELATED TO POSTWAR AMERICA.

I believe as well that America does have a sense of responsibility as a superpower to certain other countries and people. However, if a country is not an ally to ours than where would the obligation be. This doesn’t mean America should act recklessly and cause harm to other countries with no concern. Being superpower can make America seem incredibly powerful. This does not mean whoever has power should necessarily use it to fix every wrong that they witness going on in the world.



Today’s New York Times features the erudite moderate Republican/Conservative columnist, David brooks, offering an even more chilling assessment of Donald Trump than I would have expected. This Blog has been too busy watching but not commenting on events to do justice to the substance of the strangest presidential race in modern memory. But that will change.



CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Does anybody else have the sense that Donald Trump is slipping off the rails? His speeches have always had a rambling, free association quality, but a couple of the recent ones have, as the Republican political consultant Mike Murphy put it, passed from the category of rant to the category of full on “drunk wedding toast.


Trump’s verbal style has always been distinct. He doesn’t really speak in sentences or paragraphs. His speeches are punctuated by five- or six-word jabs that are sort of strung together by connections that can only be understood through chaos theory: “They want the wall … I dominated with the evangelicals … I won in a landslide … We can’t be the stupid people anymore.”


Occasionally Trump will attempt a sentence longer than eight words, but no matter what subject he starts the sentence with, by the end he has been pulled over to the subject of himself. Here’s an example from the Mike Pence announcement speech: “So one of the primary reasons I chose Mike was I looked at Indiana, and I won Indiana big.” There’s sort of a gravitational narcissistic pull that takes command whenever he attempts to utter a compound thought.


Trump has also always been a little engine fueled by wounded pride. For example, writing in BuzzFeed, McKay Coppins recalls the fusillade of abuse he received from Trump after writing an unflattering profile (he called Mar-a-Lago a “nice, if slightly dated, hotel”).


Trump was so inflamed he tweeted retaliation at Coppins several times a day and at odd hours, calling him a “dishonest slob” and “true garbage with no credibility.” The attacks went on impressively for over two years, which must rank Coppins in the top 100,000 on the list of people Donald Trump resents.

Over the past few weeks these longstanding Trump patterns have gone into hyperdrive. This is a unique moment in American political history in which the mental stability of one of the major party nominees is the dominating subject of conversation.


Everybody is telling Trump to ratchet it down and be more sober, but at a rally near Cincinnati this month and in his Pence announcement speech on Saturday, Trump launched his verbal rocket ship straight through the stratosphere, and it landed somewhere on the dark side of Planet Debbie.


The Pence announcement was truly the strangest vice-presidential unveiling in recent political history. Ricocheting around the verbal wilds for more than twice as long as the man he was introducing, Trump even refused to remain onstage and gaze on admiringly as Pence flattered him. It was like watching a guy lose interest in a wedding when the bride appears.


The structure of his mental perambulations also seems to have changed. Formerly, as I said, his speeches had a random, free-form quality. But on Saturday his remarks had a distinct through line, anchored by the talking points his campaign had written down on pieces of paper. But Trump could not keep his attention focused on this through line — since the subject was someone else — so every 30 seconds or so he would shoot off on a resentment-filled bragging loop.


If you had to do a rough diagram of the Trump remarks it would be something like this: Pence … I was right about Iraq … Pence … Hillary Clinton is a crooked liar … I was right about “Brexit” … Pence … Hillary Clintons ads are filled with lies … We’re going to bring back the coal industry … Christians love me … Pence … I talk to statisticians … Pence is good looking My hotel in Washington is really coming along fantastically … Pence.


Donald Trump is in his moment of greatest triumph, but he seems more resentful and embattled than ever. Most political conventions are happy coronations, but this one may come to feel like the Alamo of aggrieved counterattacks.


It’s hard to know exactly what is going on in that brain, but science lends a clue. Psychologists wonder if narcissists are defined by extremely high self-esteem or by extremely low self-esteem that they are trying to mask. The current consensus seems to be that they are marked by unstable self-esteem. Their self-confidence can be both high and fragile, so they perceive ego threat all around.


Maybe as Trump has gotten more successful his estimation of what sort of adoration he deserves has increased while the outside criticism has gotten more pronounced. This combination is bound to leave his ego threat sensors permanently inflamed. So even if Candidate Trump is told to make a normal political point, Inner Boy Trump will hijack the microphone for another bout of resentful boasting.


Suddenly the global climate favors a Trump candidacy. Some forms of disorder — like a financial crisis — send voters for the calm supple thinker. But other forms of disorder — blood in the streets — send them scurrying for the brutal strongman.

If the string of horrific events continues, Trump could win the presidency. And he could win it even though he has less and less control over himself.

All the terrible things Hillary Clinton has done — in one big list!


All the terrible things Hillary Clinton has done — in one big list   NB When you get tired of the list do not miss #66

DOVER, N.H. (MarketWatch) — I have a confession to make: I can’t keep up.

Am I supposed to hate Hillary Rodham Clinton because she’s too left-wing, or too right-wing? Because she’s too feminist, or not feminist enough? Because she’s too clever a politician, or too clumsy?

Am I supposed to be mad that she gave speeches to rich bankers, or that she charged them too much money?



I’m up here in New Hampshire watching her talk to a group of supporters, and I realized that I have been following this woman’s career for more than half my life. No, not just my adult life: the whole shebang. She came onto the national scene when I was a young man.


And for all that time, there has been a deafening chorus of critics telling me that she’s just the most wicked, evil, Machiavellian, nefarious individual in American history. She has “the soul of an East German border guard,” in the words of that nice Grover Norquist. She’s a “bitch,” in the words of that nice Newt Gingrich. She’s a “dragon lady.” She’s “Elena Ceaușescu.” She’s “the Lady Macbeth of Little Rock.”

Long before “Benghazi” and her email server, there was “Whitewater” and “the Rose Law Firm” and “Vince Foster.” For those of us following her, we were promised scandal after scandal after scandal. And if no actual evidence ever turned up, well, that just proved how deviously clever she was.

So today I’m performing a public service on behalf of all the voters. I went back and re-read all the criticisms and attacks and best-selling “exposés” leveled at Hillary Rodham Clinton over the past quarter-century. And I’ve compiled a list of all her High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Here they are:

  1. She drove Vince Foster to commit suicide through her temper tantrums.
  2. She was having an affair with Vince Foster.
  3. She’s a lesbian.
  4. Chelsea isn’t Bill Clinton’s child.
  5. She murdered Vince Foster to cover up that she once bought a tract of undeveloped land in Arkansas and lost money.
  6. She murdered Vince Foster to cover up her role in firing the White House travel department.
  7. After she murdered Vince Foster, she ransacked his office in the middle of the night and stole all the documents proving her guilt.
  8. When Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas, she was a partner in the state’s top law firm, and it sometimes did work involving the state government.
  9. She once invested in commodities futures on the advice of a friend and made $100,000, proving she’s a crook.
  10. When she was first lady, she murdered White House lawyer Vince Foster and then dumped his body in a park.
  11. She once invested in real estate on the advice of another friend and lost $100,000, also proving she’s a crook.
  12. Unnamed and unverifiable sources have told Peggy Noonan things about the Clintons that are simply too terrible to repeat.
  13. The personnel murdered at Benghazi make her the first secretary of state to lose overseas personnel to terrorism — apart from Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, George Schultz, Dean Rusk and some others.
  14. Four State Department staff were murdered at Benghazi, compared with only 119 others murdered overseas under every secretary of state combined since World War II.
  15. She illegally sent classified emails from her personal server, except that apparently they weren’t classified at the time.
  16. She may have cynically wriggled around the email law by “technically” complying with it.
  17. She once signed a lucrative book contract when she was a private citizen.
  18. Donald Trump says she “should be in jail,” and he’s a serial bankrupt casino developer in Atlantic City, so he should know.
  19. Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay says his “law-enforcement sources” tell him she is “about to be indicted” — and if a man once convicted of money laundering and conspiracy doesn’t have good law-enforcement sources, who does?
  20. She’s a hard-left radical who wants to break up the nuclear family.
  21. She’s a conservative “mousewife” who refused to break up her own family.
  22. She’s in favor of single moms.
  23. She refused to be a single mom.
  24. When she was first lady of Arkansas, she pandered to conservative voters by dyeing her hair.
  25. Before that, she totally insulted them by refusing to.
  26. She’s a frump.
  27. She spends too much money on designer dresses.
  28. She has “cankles.”
  29. She has a grating voice.
  30. She yells into the microphone.
  31. She spent 18 years in Arkansas and some of the people she knew turned out to be crazy rednecks and crooks.
  32. She’s in the pay of the mafia.
  33. She’s in the pay of the Chinese government.
  34. She’s in the pay of the Wall Street banks.
  35. In order to suppress the billing records from her time at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, she cleverly packed them up and took them to the White House rather than shredding them.
  36. When she handed over the documents to public officials, they couldn’t find any evidence she’d committed any crimes, so she must have doctored them.
  37. Congress spent tens of millions of dollars and six years investigating her investment in the Whitewater real-estate project, and, while they didn’t actually find anything, they wouldn’t have spent all that money if there weren’t something there.
  38. By cleverly hiding all evidence of her crimes in the Whitewater affair, she caused Congress to waste all that taxpayers’ money.
  39. When she ran for senator of New York, she was still a fan of the Chicago Cubs.
  40. She once said the Clintons were thinking of adopting a child, and they didn’t follow through.
  41. She was photographed holding her hand near her mouth during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
  42. She’s got brain damage.
  43. She’s old.
  44. She’s really ambitious and calculating, unlike all the other people running for president.
  45. She secretly supported Palestinian terrorists, Puerto Rican terrorists and Guatemalan terrorists.
  46. She secretly supported a group that wants to give Maine back to the Indians.
  47. She’s a secret follower of “radical prophet” Saul Alinsky.
  48. She did her law degree at Yale, and it’s a well-known “socialist finishing school.”
  49. When she was young, she did things to build up her résumé rather than just for their own good.
  50. When Bill was president, she “allowed” him to keep people waiting.
  51. She’s married to a sex addict.
  52. She’s an enemy of traditional marriage.
  53. She didn’t divorce her husband.
  54. His philandering is her fault because she is too strong, and too weak, and too frumpy, and too fat, and too cold.
  55. She’s hostile to women who fool around with her husband.
  56. A divorced taxi driver in Florida told me that if Hillary is elected president, “women will take over everything.”
  57. She insulted Tammy Wynette.
  58. When they left the White House, she and Bill bought a big house in New York that they couldn’t afford.
  59. She sometimes calls her staff during dinner, even when they’re out at a restaurant.
  60. She claimed there was a “vast right-wing conspiracy” against her husband, and it turned out there was nothing but a bunch of tycoons financing private investigators, and some fake think tanks and books and news sites and stuff.
  61. When she got married, she didn’t “stay at home and bake cookies.”
  62. She supported the Iraq war because she’s a secret foreign-policy conservative.
  63. She’s a secret foreign-policy radical with a plan to impose worldwide “radical social experimentation” through the World Bank.
  64. She is secretly plotting to let children sue their parents for making them take out the garbage.
  65. She looked bored during the Benghazi hearings.
  66. Oh, yeah — and she totally has a vagina.

It’s clear: Hillary must be stopped. Hearings now!


Could Sanders be the Next Ralph Nader for Trump?

Would Sanders be the Next Ralph Nader for Trump?

From the NEW YORK TIMES May 18, 2016 Bernie Sanders, Eyeing Convention, Willing to Harm Hillary Clinton in the Homestretch By PATRICK HEALY, YAMICHE ALCINDOR and JEREMY W. PETERSMAY 18, 2016 Senato…

Source: Could Sanders be the Next Ralph Nader for Trump?


Could Sanders be the Next Ralph Nader for Trump?

From the NEW YORK TIMES May 18, 2016

Bernie Sanders, Eyeing Convention, Willing to Harm Hillary Clinton in the Homestretch


Senator Bernie Sanders spoke at a campaign rally on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills, in Carson, Calif., on Tuesday. Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times
Defiant and determined to transform the Democratic Party, Senator Bernie Sanders is opening a two-month phase of his presidential campaign aimed at inflicting a heavy blow on Hillary Clinton in California and amassing enough leverage to advance his agenda at the convention in July — or even wrest the nomination from her.

Advisers to Mr. Sanders said on Wednesday that he was newly resolved to remain in the race, seeing an aggressive campaign as his only chance to pressure Democrats into making fundamental changes to how presidential primaries and debates are held in the future. They said he also held out hope of capitalizing on any late stumbles by Mrs. Clinton or any damage to her candidacy, whether by scandal or by the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump.

After sounding subdued if not downbeat about the race for weeks, Mr. Sanders resumed a combative posture against Mrs. Clinton, demanding on Wednesday that she debate him before the June 7 primary in California and highlighting anew what he asserted were her weaknesses against Mr. Trump.

Mr. Sanders, his advisers said, has been buoyed by a stream of polls showing him beating Mr. Trump by larger margins than Mrs. Clinton in some battleground states, and by his belief that an upset victory in California could have a psychological impact on convention delegates who already have doubts about Mrs. Clinton.

But his newly resolute attitude is also the cumulative result of months of anger at the national Democratic Party over a debate schedule that his campaign said favored Mrs. Clinton; a fund-raising arrangement between the party and the Clinton campaign; the appointment of fierce Clinton partisans as leaders of important convention committees; and the party’s rebuke of Mr. Sanders on Tuesday for not clearly condemning a melee at the Nevada Democratic convention on Saturday.

While Mr. Sanders says he does not want Mr. Trump to win in November, his advisers and allies say he is willing to do some harm to Mrs. Clinton in the shorter term if it means he can capture a majority of the 475 pledged delegates at stake in California and arrive at the Philadelphia convention with maximum political power.

Tad Devine, a senior adviser to Mr. Sanders, said the campaign did not think its attacks would help Mr. Trump in the long run, but added that the senator’s team was “not thinking about” the possibility that they could help derail Mrs. Clinton from becoming the first woman elected president.

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“The only thing that matters is what happens between now and June 14,” Mr. Devine said, referring to the final Democratic primary, in the District of Columbia. “We have to put the blinders on and focus on the best case to make in the upcoming states. If we do that, we can be in a strong position to make the best closing argument before the convention. If not, everyone will know in mid-June, and we’ll have to take a hard look at where things stand.”

The prospect of a drawn-out Democratic fight is deeply troubling to party leaders who are eager for Mrs. Clinton and House and Senate candidates to turn to attacking Mr. Trump without being diverted by Democratic strife. Mr. Sanders has won nearly 10 million votes, compared to Mrs. Clinton’s 13 million, and Democratic leaders say she needs time to begin courting the young voters, liberals and other Sanders supporters who view her as an ally of corporate and big-money interests.

But Mr. Sanders has sharpened his language of late, saying Tuesday night that the party faced a choice to remain “dependent on big-money campaign contributions and be a party with limited participation and limited energy” or “welcome into the party people who are prepared to fight for real economic and social change.”

Mr. Sanders’s street-fighting instincts have been encouraged by his like-minded campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, who has been blistering against the Clinton camp and the party establishment. On Wednesday, he took to CNN to accuse Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the Democratic national chairwoman, of “throwing shade on the Sanders campaign from the very beginning.”

For weeks, some current and former Sanders campaign workers have privately acknowledged feeling disheartened about Mr. Weaver’s determination to go after the Democratic National Committee, fearing a pitched battle with the party they hope to support in the general election. The intraparty fighting has affected morale, they say, and raised concerns that Mr. Weaver, a longtime Sanders aide who more recently ran a comic book store, was not devoted to achieving Democratic unity. Several described the campaign’s message as having devolved into a near-obsession with perceived conspiracies on the part of Mrs. Clinton’s allies.



http://faculty.mercy.edu/pages/309.asp    FOR EDITING PURPOSES


Mercy Home | Shiels | Admissions | Financial Aid |HISTORY/POLITICS

Curriculum Vitae
   July, 2012
53 Winterberry CircleCross River, NY 10518

Home Telephone (914) 763-1888

Work Telephone (914) 693-4500 x7420

VOICEMAIL- (845) 451-7696

Date of Birth June 10, 1949

Place of Birth Wilmington, Delaware USA

Graduate: Cornell University Ph.D. 1977 (Government)The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies M.A. 1973 (International Studies
Undergraduate: Vanderbilt University B.A. 1971 (Political Science) 


PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AND POLITICAL SCIENCE, MERCY COLLEGE, Dobbs Ferry, New York 10522 (Associate Professor September 1983 -August,1987; Assistant Professor, September 1978 August 1983 ); substantial responsibility for new course development and building political science curriculum; student internships and advising.ADJUNCT PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY, Brooklyn, NY, Fall, 2004-2006



VISITING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND POLITICAL SCIENCE, BARUCH COLLEGE / CUNY 1/77-8/78 (includes summer semesters 1977 and 1978); extensive responsibility for curriculum development and graduate student advising, thesis supervision.




RESEARCH INTERN, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 1971-1972 (extensive archival work).


  • International Relations
  • Comparative Politics (esp. Third World, but also Northeast Europe)
  • Foreign Policy (esp. US/Third World, but also Northeast Europe)
  • Public Administration / American Government
  • American History, focus on U.S. presidency

DISSERTATION TITLE: “The American Experience in Okinawa: A Case Study for Foreign Policy and Decision-Making Theory”

  • Fulbright Senior Lecturer, Riga Latvia Jan. 26-June 29, 2006 at the University of Latvia
  • Fulbright Senior Lectureship, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, 1985-86.
  • Summer Fellowship Winner and Honorary Member, International Studies Association, 1975.
  • Charles F. Olson Grant for Historical Research, 2002 ($10,000)
  • Faculty Development Grants at Mercy College, 1984-2011 totaling $23,500
  • Peace Studies Program (Cornell/Ford) Research Grants, 1975 and 1976.
  • Cornell University China-Japan Program Grant, 1976.
  • Cornell Center for International Studies Grant, 1975.

  • APSA
  • International Studies Association
FOREIGN LANGUAGES: French; basic Spanish and basic Japanese
  1. “The Elephant and the Fox: U.S. Latvian Bi-Lateral Relations”, 2007 article and paper presentation Latvia University, Fall, 2006
  2. “Globalization and Country to Country Aid Projects”, 2008 article and paper presentation, Turiiba, Univ., Riga, March, 2008
  3. “The Helsinki-Tallinn Connection: A Case Study in International Mentoring of Baltic States Entering the European Union” project/article, 2009, included presentations at Audentes University, Tallinn and at the Estonian foreign Ministry (later also fielding questions on Obama foreign policy, followed by TV interview than ran for a while on You-Tube
Paper presentation:  “Death from the Air” California State University at Chico, May 25, 2012, colloquiumPAPER PRESENTATION (forthcoming)  “Whose Dead: The Killing of Iraqis and Afghanis to Save American Lives,” Lincoln College, Oxford, UK, 3/2011

PAPER PRESENTATION: “Why We Bomb: The American Calculus of Foreign Civilian Lives,” at Lincoln College, Oxford University, Oxford, UK, 3/2010

ARTICLE: “Whose Dead?: The Killing of Iraqis and Afghanis to Save American Lives”, 2004-2006 research and submission of article this year for possible publication in The American Prospect, a progressive-mainstream magazine

PAPER PRESENTATION: “Bombing Civilians in the Service of American Military Actions,” at TAMPERE PEACE INSTITUTE, Finland, Spring, 2008

“Why We Bomb: Strategic and Legal Questions about Civilian Deaths in American Wars”, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, November 1, 2006

PAPER PRESENTATION, “The Elephant and the Fox: U.S. Latvian Bi-Lateral Relations”, 2007 article and paper presentation Latvia University, Fall, 2006

ARTICLE: “Whose Dead?: The Killing of Iraqis and Afghanis to Save American Lives”, 2004-2006 research and submission of article this year for possible publication in The American Prospect, a progressive-mainstream magazineARTICLE/PAPER for PRESENTATION: “Why We Bomb: Strategic and Legal Questions about Civilian Deaths in American Wars”, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, November 1, 2006

BOOK REVIEW, for Houghton- Mifflin, of James Q. Wilson’s, American Government, the edition, 2010 (one of the best selling American government texts and the one used at Mercy College), blurb used in the 2010 version of the text

BOOK REVIEW, for Pacific Historical Review, of Nicholas Sarantakes’ Keystone: The American Occupation of Okinawa and U.S./Japanese Relations, May, 2002.

ARTICLE, “Presidential Houses Seen Through the Eyes of Children,” in Presidential Forum, Indianapolis, Spring 1996

BOOK CHAPTER, “Misperception at the Top” in H. Wiberg and Paul Smoker, Inadvertent Nuclear War, Pergamon, 1993, [refereed]

BOOK CHAPTER, “The American Interlude in Okinawa: 1945-72,” in George DeVos and Koji Taira (eds.), Okinawa: Challenge and Adaptation at Japan’s Periphery, U. Hawaii Press, 1994

BOOK, Preventable Disasters: Why Governments Fail, ( Rowman and Littlefield, 1991)

ARTICLE, “Iran: The Unheard Revolution,” in Kyushu University Review of Law and Politics, April, 1986 [refereed]

BOOK, Ethnic Separatism and World Politics, University Press of America, 1983

BOOK, Tokyo and Washington: Dilemmas of a Mature Alliance,

Lexington Books (D.C. Heath) November, 1980

BOOK, America, Okinawa, and Japan, (Univ. Press of America) 1980

BOOK, The New American Foreign Policy: A Primer for the

1980’s, (edited reader) Collegium Book Publishers, 1979

ARTICLE, “American Rule in Okinawa,” in December 1978 Ryudai Law Review (Ryukyu National University, Japan) [refereed]

CURRENT RESEARCH- Study of Civilian Casualties in U.S. military interventions funded in part by Charles Olson Grant (more information available on request)


Discussant, panel “Distance Learning Applications in History: USA and Turkey” at the Conference on Computers and History, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, June, 1999.Symposium Paper, “Misperception, Multipolarization and History in Fast Forward,” Presented at the Conference on the Consequences of the dissolution of the Soviet Union for the Inadvertent Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction, held in Parnu, Estonia, April 16-20, 1993. Proceedings published by the Estonian Academy of Sciences in 1993.

Panel Paper, “Okinawa’s American Interlude: 19451972,” INTERNATIONAL NORTH AFRICAN AND ASIAN STUDIES (ICANAS) CONFERENCE, Toronto, August, 1991

Symposium Paper,”Preventing the Ultimate Disaster: Misperception at the Top,” CONFERENCE ON ACCIDENTAL NUCLEAR WAR, University of Copenhagen Centre for Research on Peace and Conflict, Copenhagen, June, 1990.

Panel Paper, “Nuclear Disaster Prevention in Theory and


Panel Paper, “Iran: The Unheard Revolution,” AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION CONVENTION, Chicago, September, 1987


CONVENTION, Boston, 11/86

Panel Paper, “Ethnic Diversity and Third World Democracy,” NEPSA, Boston, November 1984

Chaired Panel, “Ethnic Separatism and World Politics,” NEPSA, Philadelphia, November 1983

Chaired Panel, “New Directions in American Foreign Policy” and Presented Paper “Preventable Disasters” NORTHEAST POLITICAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION CONVENTION, Newark, November, 1981

Panel Paper, ” Rationality Revisited: Bureaucratic Politics Assessed” NY STATE POLITICAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATION, New York, 2/79

Chaired Panel, “Comparative Foreign Policy,” INTERNATIONAL


Frederick “Rick” Shiels has taught political science and history at Mercy since 1978. He has lived and taught in Japan (1985-86) and Latvia (2006), both with the Fulbright program. He is the author or editor of 5 books, including PREVENTABLE DISASTERS. His research has taken him to 34 countries, including work in Africa, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He worked with the department of defense and the intelligence community in Washington in the 1970s while at Johns Hopkins. Shiels established and coached the Mercy College Model UN team from 1986 to 2011. He is married and has two daughters.AREA OF EXPERTISE – General American history, the U.S. presidency, American Foreign and military policy
Dr. Frederick Shiels

Welcome to the Mercy College
American History Annotated Web Bibliography Project. This Web bibliography was developed by
Dr . Frederick Shiels
, Professor
of Political Science and History at Mercy since 1978, through a Faculty Development Committee grant. In evaluating each site, some of the following criteria have been used, although not all of the criteria are specifically discussed in the capsule descriptions:

  • Popular vs. Scholarly: There are valuable Internet sites that are of interest to the intelligent public and others more suitable for trained educators and historians.
  • Depth: Sites can have breadth of coverage (many links to other sites, the battles and personalities of the Civil War or through treatment of one individual, such as General A.P. Hill, see below).
  • Type of Site: Archival, Personal,University,etc. Where relevant the bibliography will indicate whether a website is sponsored by a historical society, state agency, individual, or academic department.
  • Summary of Contents: The contents of most web bibliography entries (including history) are sketchy at best, normally one sentence or sentence fragment. This bibliography gives at least one complete sentence of description and evaluation and often more than that to help researchers better discern what they will encounter at the site.
    Unique or Distinctive Characteristics
  • Arranged Chronologically: This bibliography has its entries listed chronologically (1750-1800, 1800-1850, etc.) as well as topically within the chronologies (CIVIL WAR, COLONIAL, etc.). The reason for doing this is that some categories, like “Civil War”, are so popular and with such a variety of sites that it is less distracting. 
  • Left “Bias”: Although Internet sites of political and historical nature from a left perspective are common (unlike radio stations!), we have chosen some basic ones that are of particular use to the introductory American History student.
  • Foreign Policy Emphasis: a number of the sites offered here deal with foreign policy and diplomatic history, reflecting the author’s background and interests.
    • Note that the websites on these pages reflect a varied sampling of material and are not all presented as the “Best Sites” in a given area.

Non – Civil War


Non – Civil War

A good site called “Fooling the Eye” focus on the Greenback movement, currency and counterfeiting.
A good example of an effective link source page from About.com� (see History Portals)
Vassar historian Rebecca Edward’s website focuses on the year 1896 and provides numerous links to Populist party issues and personalities. Students and� popular level usage.
Library of Congress site traces the development of conservation consciousness in the U.S. between 1850 and 1920 with a number of links and the usual high quality graphics and chronological organization. Suitable for scholars but plainspoken and accessible.

Non – Civil War

A good site called “Fooling the Eye” focus on the Greenback movement, currency and counterfeiting.
A good example of an effective link source page from Ab

Non – Civil War

A good site called “Fooling the Eye” focus on the Greenback movement, currency and counterfeiting.
A good example of an effective link source page from About.com� (see History Portals)
Vassar historian Rebecca Edward’s website focuses on the year 1896 and provides numerous links to Populist party issues and personalities. Students and� popular level usage.
Library of Congress site traces the development of conservation consciousness in the U.S. between 1850 and 1920 with a number of links and the usual high quality graphics and chronological organization. Suitable for scholars but plainspoken and accessible.

out.com� (see History Portals)

Vassar historian Rebecca Edward’s website focuses on the year 1896 and provides numerous links to Populist party issues and personalities. Students and� popular level usage.
Library of Congress site traces the development of conservation consciousness in the U.S. between 1850 and 1920 with a number of links and the usual high quality graphics and chronological organization. Suitable for scholars but plainspoken and accessible.

Non – Civil War

A good site called “Fooling the Eye” focus on the Greenback movement, currency and counterfeiting.
A good example of an effective link source page from About.com� (see History Portals)
Vassar historian Rebecca Edward’s website focuses on the year 1896 and provides numerous links to Populist party issues and personalities. Students and� popular level usage.
Library of Congress site traces the development of conservation consciousness in the U.S. between 1850 and 1920 with a number of links and the usual high quality graphics and chronological organization. Suitable for scholars but plainspoken and accessible.


A good site called “Fooling the Eye” focus on the Greenback movement, currency and counterfeiting.
A good example of an effective link source page from About.com� (see History Portals)
Vassar historian Rebecca Edward’s website focuses on the year 1896 and provides numerous links to Populist party issues and personalities. Students and� popular level usage.
Library of Congress site traces the development of conservation consciousness in the U.S. between 1850 and 1920 with a number of links and the usual high quality graphics and chronological organization. Suitable for scholars but plainspoken and accessible.

A good example of an effective link source page from About.com� (see History Portals)
Vassar historian Rebecca Edward’s website focuses on the year 1896 and provides numerous links to Populist party issues and personalities. Students and� popular level usage.
Library of Congress site traces the development of conservation consciousness in the U.S. between 1850 and 1920 with a number of links and the usual high quality graphics and chronological organization. Suitable for scholars but plainspoken and accessible.


The Republican presidential candidates: no clue how dangerous nuclear rearmament really is

We suspected as much but FOREIGN POLICY (JOURNAL) CONFIRMS IT!

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 14:  Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) participate in the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center on January 14, 2016 in North Charleston, South Carolina. The sixth Republican debate is held in two parts, one main debate for the top seven candidates, and another for three other candidates lower in the current polls.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Let’s Try to Avoid Another Nuclear Arms Race, Shall We?
The Republican presidential candidates have no clue how dangerous the current age of nuclear rearmament really is.
Let’s Try to Avoid Another Nuclear Arms Race, Shall We?
The Republican presidential debates have covered a range of national security issues, from China, to Islamist terrorism, to the defense budget. But only recently have the candidates begun talking about a key issue: the future of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. That’s the good news. The bad news is how shockingly little they know about the subject.

At the debate on Jan. 14, Ben Carson said he was concerned about adversaries “obtaining nuclear weapons that they can explode in our exoatmosphere and destroy our electric grid.” Rick Santorum mentioned this too, as did Ted Cruz last year. This is a fringe issue, more the stuff of action movies than real life. Hardly prime-time debate material.

But when it comes to the dangers we actually face here in the real world, the candidates don’t fare much better. At the Dec. 15 debate, front-runner Donald Trump tripped over a question about the importance (and budget difficulties) involved in modernizing America’s nuclear triad. In response, he rambled that “nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me,” a statement that plainly showed he hadn’t bothered to do his homework on the issue. In a Jan. 11 interview, Jeb Bush shot back, saying that if Trump wants to be the next president, “the dude ought to try to figure out what the nuclear triad is.”

None of the GOP candidates seem prepared to confront the complexities of our nuclear arsenal. Even worse, they fail to grasp the meat of the issue. Over the last few years, the Obama administration has announced plans to rebuild the U.S. nuclear arsenal, to the tune of $1 trillion over the next 30 years, promising to build 12 nuclear-armed submarines, 100 strategic bombers, about 400 land-based ballistic missiles, 1,000 cruise missiles, and hundreds of upgraded bombs and warheads to go with them. This, from the same president who in 2009 called for world free of nuclear weapons while promising to reduce their role in U.S. national security strategy.

The next president, of whichever party, will inherit this plan, and will have to decide how to implement it. So, at the next GOP debate on Jan. 28, it would reasonable to ask the candidates: Does this plan even make sense?

Consider the fact that the United States still has about 4,700 nuclear weapons in its stockpile. That’s about the same number as Russia, and 20 times more than China; North Korea has about a dozen. It’s safe to say we’ve got far more nuclear weapons than we need. President Ronald Reagan tried and failed to eliminate nukes, but did succeed in negotiating major reductions with Russia, as did both Presidents Bush and Obama. Now, the remaining weapons have aged and we have reached a historic decision point: retire them or replace them? The Obama administration seems to have settled on an answer.

But President Obama’s overblown effort is dangerous. “We’re now at the precipice, maybe I should say the brink, of a new nuclear arms race,” former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry said in Dec. 3 in a speech to the Defense Writers Group. And Perry should know. Serving as Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering in the 1970s and 1980s, he played a key role in the last nuclear buildup, championing such doomsday weapons as the Trident submarine, the B-2 “stealth” bomber and the nuclear-tipped cruise missile.

But now, as the Pentagon seeks to replace its stockpile, Perry and others worry that the Obama administration, without fully debating its options, is rushing ahead to buy out the store.But now, as the Pentagon seeks to replace its stockpile, Perry and others worry that the Obama administration, without fully debating its options, is rushing ahead to buy out the store. Defense planners say the world is a dangerous place, and the United States must rebuild all of its nuclear forces to stay safe. Perry fears this will revive Cold War-era nuclear dangers. “I see an imperative to stop this damn nuclear race before it gets under way again, not just for the cost but for the danger it puts all of us in,” he said.

All of this sends the mistaken message to the rest of the world that nuclear weapons are useful. Why else would the United States spend $1 trillion on them? And if the world’s only superpower wants to invest in new nukes, others surely will want them too.

Moscow will view this as a justification to build new nukes of its own — weapons like the submarine bomb whose design was recently “leaked” by President Vladimir Putin. China, in turn, would expand its forces, as would North Korea, which just conducted its fourth nuclear test. India would react to China, and Pakistan to India. This proliferation only increases the risk that nuclear weapons or materials will wind up in terrorist hands.

What exacerbates the problem are the wishes of the generals at the Pentagon. The Defense Department wants new everything — submarines, bombers, and long-range missiles — despite four years of budget caps. And, so far, it has ignored Obama’s declared goal of reducing the role of nuclear weapons, instead requesting more accurate, lower-yield weapons that might be more likely to be used. Gen. James E. Cartwright, a retired vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the New York Times this month that “what going smaller does,” for nuclear weapons, “is to make the weapon more thinkable.”

The Obama administration’s nuclear spending plans simply make no sense. It would be like Google investing a trillion dollars in typewriters.The Obama administration’s nuclear spending plans simply make no sense. It would be like Google investing a trillion dollars in typewriters.

That’s because nuclear weapons are artifacts of a bygone era. The greatest dangers to the United States today come from the Islamic State, global warming, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons to other nations or groups. Nuclear weapons play no positive role in countering these threats; deterrence has no impact. France’s nukes did not protect Paris from the recent attacks it suffered. U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe did not keep Russia out of Ukraine, and more or “better” nukes certainly won’t push them out, despite what some analysts might say.

What nukes most certainly do, however, is siphon scarce tax dollars from higher defense priorities. As Perry has said, the United States does not need a new nuclear-tipped cruise missile, nor a new intercontinental ballistic missile. The Navy does not need 12 new nuclear-armed submarines. Such reasonable steps can save tens of billions of dollars over the next decade alone.

The president can begin to set things right by cutting back on the Pentagon’s nuclear wish list in the next defense budget, which is now being finalized. It’s the only way to tell the Pentagon that its “shop ‘til you drop” nuclear spending is over — a message the Republican presidential candidates would be wise to embrace. The Democrats certainly have. Hillary Clinton told a questioner in Iowa on Jan. 7 that spending a trillion dollars on a nuclear reboot “doesn’t make sense to [her].” Bernie Sanders supports legislation to trim billions in fat from the program, while still maintaining a strong arsenal.

Republican candidates say they want to make America safer and reduce federal spending. And yet they support the Obama administration’s nuclear arsenal plan, which threatens to do the opposite. Maybe, as they prepare for the next debate, the candidates should reconsider their thoughts about the future of America’s nuclear force.

Photo Credit: Scott Olson / Getty Images News

North Korea Claims to Have Detonated Hydrogen Bomb


North Korea Claims to Have Detonated Hydrogen Bomb
North Korea Claims to Have Detonated Hydrogen Bomb

Top News: North Korea claimed Tuesday to have successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb, marking the isolated country’s fourth nuclear test since 2006. Although the claims have beengreeted with some international skepticism, detection devices around the world recorded a 5.1 seismic event on the country’s northeast coast. It will likely take weeks for the U.S. and other Western countries to determine whether it was indeed a hydrogen bomb that caused the tremors.


In a statement, North Korea boasted about the H-bomb and called the test a “complete success.” According to that announcement, the test was ordered by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who has said for weeks that Pyongyang has the ability to build a thermonuclear weapon.


Ned Price, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said that Washington had not yet determined what kind of test was carried out, but that he expected “North Korea to abide by its international obligations and commitments.”

Saudi Arabia: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has called leaders in both Saudi Arabia and Iran to try to calm tensions between the two after a Shiite cleric was controversially executed in Riyadh this weekend. State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters Kerry has stressed to both countries the importance of not letting this dispute get in the way of peace talks for Syria’s raging war.  “Not letting the Vienna process [on Syrian peace talks] stall or fall backward is clearly top on his list,” he said.

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