“Tina”: The New Musical Is Sensational

Last week, I continued my walk down memory lane at a theater in London where I saw the new hit musical, “Tina.” You may remember, I recently wrote a piece about the new movie, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a story about the great rock group, Queen.

A 30-year old phenom, Adrienne Warren, played the Tina Turner role and brought the house down. The once nominated actress has a respectable list of credits to her name. I’m confident she will be critically acclaimed for this performance.

Ms. Warren is gorgeous and can sing and dance like nobody. She was perfectly casted to play Tina. Ms. Warren was beaming throughout the entire show and really connected with the audience.

Everything about the performance was entertaining. Ms. Warren must have spent long hours trying to emulate Tina’s dance moves. The costumes and staging were captivating. The show ended with a mini concert during which Ms. Warren had every person in the theater dancing and singing along with her. All of Tina’s most famous songs were performed during the evening including “Proud Mary,” “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and “Private Dancer.”

But the show was about the life and times of Tina Turner, one of the most charismatic performers of the late 20th Century. Her life was affected by every challenge one would expect for a poor black entertainer in her day.

She was brought up in abject poverty in Nutbush, Tennessee. Both of her parents abandoned her when she was a young girl, and her grandmother raised her. She found meteoric success along with every kind of abuse.

A lot of time was dedicated to Tina’s relationship with Ike Turner, a despicable two-bit hustler, who took advantage of a naïve and helpless young girl. She was Ike’s prisoner for years. He beat her and stole her money. Along the way, they had two boys. Kobna Holdbrook- Smith played the role of Ike. His performance was so authentic that I fully expected the audience to boo him at the conclusion of the show. Thankfully they did not.

As I look back on Tina’s life, I can’t help think about all the black women with extraordinary talent that experienced the same issues as Tina. In many situations, they were sentenced to lives as back-up singers for little money, supporting big musical acts. So often their booming voices were pigeonholed and masked so as not to upstage featured singers. Darlene Love was one such singer. In the movie “Twenty Feet From Stardom,” she tells her story. It’s worth seeing.

Tina was yet another casualty of misogyny, bigotry and sexual abuse. She had all the talent in the world and incredible stage presence, but Ike needed to manipulate her. At long last Tina broke free of Ike Turner, and she went back on stage as a solo act.

The show was inspirational, yet I suspect more so for women than men in the current environment. But you can bet Adrienne Warren is going to be a super star.

I hope the show comes to Broadway in the near future and Tina Turner receives the accolades she deserves for being a great entertainer for so many years.

 

Avenging House Democrats Will Attempt To Take Down Trump

Liberals achieved much of what they hoped for in the 2018 midterm elections. Typically, these elections are unkind to sitting presidents, and so, on cue, Republicans lost the House of Representatives.

Republicans still retain the presidency, and with it the power to veto progressive legislation conjured up by the House. Even if Democrats can find a ray of partisan support from the opposition, the president can make it virtually impossible to enact new legislation.

The president has the power to “legislate” to a degree using presidential mandates and new regulation just the way Obama did when he lost power. But most believe this is an unhealthy way to govern our nation, and could be deemed unconstitutional.

Trump will be able to follow his instincts in foreign policy. However, if he needs a treaty to confirm deals he makes with foreign leaders, he will have a tough row to hoe. Treaties must be approved by 2/3 of the Senate, an insurmountable hurdle in the current environment. Pending are: a new Iran nuclear arrangement, a North Korean treaty and numerous trade deals around the world.

Of note, the president, with his majority in the Senate, can appoint many more conservative judges to lower courts and to the Supreme Court. Of note, Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg is becoming frailer every day and could step down during the next two years. Confirmation of judges by the Senate was recently changed to a simple majority. These appointments could have a huge effect on our society prospectively.

Democrats have much greater influence with their new majority in the House. It’s worth considering how the acknowledged group of Trump haters will behave as we approach the presidential elections in 2020.

As a general rule, liberal House Democrats will obstruct all legislative initiatives by the Trump administration, even if they would be good for our nation. Of note is a proposed new tax cut for middle class Americans, immigration reform including the construction of a wall on our boarder with Mexico and the retooling of our military.

The budgetary process is going to come to a screeching halt as the political parties fight for their constituents. Obamacare will limp along unresolved, which could materially increase health care costs prospectively. All new legislative initiatives will have a zero chance of becoming law.

The change in control is reminiscent of the situation Democrats found themselves in when Obama lost his filibuster-proof majority, after enactment of Obamacare and the death of Teddy Kennedy (he was replaced by Republican Scott Brown). At the time, Democrats continued to control the presidency and both houses of Congress. But the Senate filibuster proved to be a potent weapon of obstruction for Republicans. During the next six years, Obama was unable to pass any substantive legislation. The president tried to govern with mandates. Many of these efforts turned out to be short term, as Trump abrogated most of Obama’s orders.

Equally important is how Democrats will be busy for the next two years. It’s obvious that their most important objective is to bring down the Trump administration with impeachment (unlikely because Republicans control the Senate), obstruction and tedious investigation of scandal or missteps by Trump. This will encompass his family, his businesses and his confidantes. All will be investigated while the wheels of government simultaneously come to halt.

Current efforts to affiliate Trump with Russia’s attempt to influence our elections will be rehashed. The House will demand to see Trump’s tax returns, even though he is not required to comply. House committees will become more intrusive and demand information about every meeting with foreign leaders. In effect, Democrats will confirm that they don’t trust Trump to conduct affairs of state.

Democrats are going to criticize and intimidate the Executive Branch in hearings and with jawboning in an effort to discredit Trump. They say they want the truth. Don’t believe it for one second. Liberals and the media hate the president and will join hands to destroy his administration, even if it damages America.

The liberal crusaders for justice, truth and democracy may create yet another national crisis. The ability to compromise is an all-time low (excluding the years surrounding the Civil War). Finding compromise is virtually impossible. The suggestion that infrastructure reform could be something both parties could work on together is a joke. The two sides will find reasons to disagree on this desperately needed legislation.

In the future, comity and cooperation that enabled previous governments to do business will be gone for the foreseeable future. Each successive new administration will spend an inordinate amount of time fighting off the opposition, rather than enacting new and needed legislation to improve conditions in America.

At some point, enacting laws will need to change. Already, the power of the filibuster has been diluted, at least for the appointment of judges. It’s likely that filibusters will no longer be a tool of the minority in future deliberations, which will greatly increase the power of the majority. It’s folly to think that a super majority can be mustered at this time on any issue. Congress cannot even enact laws with a simple majority.

The Democrats are in a position to put a dagger into America’s governmental bureaucracy. It’s stunning that the legislative branch of government will be busy trying to take down the executive branch of government.

The only thing that is clear for the next two years is that nothing will be done in Congress. Hopefully, this will not be a permanent condition.

 

 

 

Is Trump Too Nationalistic?

Have the U.S. and Donald Trump become too nationalistic? Before answering this question, it would be worthwhile to consider the definition of nationalism and how it influences decisions by our government and its leaders.

Nationalism is a patriotic feeling . . . [It could be] an extreme form of [patriotism] marked by a feeling of superiority over other countries.” And, “[It can be] advocacy of political independence for a particular country.”

The real issue is whether nationalism always, sometimes or never compliments democracy. Can a nation be extremely protective of its homeland and culture and still be a model democracy?

History reveals a number of examples of nationalism gone wild. The Nazi regime led by Adolf Hitler is the best example of nationalism at its worst. In the aforementioned definitions, “a feeling of superiority over other countries” stands out as an example of problematic nationalism. Hitler attempted to build an empire based upon a false assumption that some races are superior to others.

The murder of six million Jews to gain political and cultural advantage is extreme, to say the least. Unfortunately, some are using this disastrous period of time as a reference point to describe the political environment created by current U.S. leadership.

Trump, as president, is, and should be, deeply concerned with the security and welfare of Americans over all else. He needs to be nationalistic and make America his first priority. He must insure that the actions of our enemies, and any other types of danger, are kept in check regardless of the feelings of other nations and their people.

Cooperation with other states is ideal, but not always feasible. Trump has effectively pointed out several instances where our national interests are not aligned with other nations. And, after concluding this, he has walked away from existing arrangements and/or severely criticized others.

Is this practice a form of nationalism? Yes, of course. Should Trump be looking for situations in which the U.S. is disadvantaged, and insist on changes? Absolutely. Will other nations feel insulted? Probably, but that isn’t a reason to not move forward.

The most obvious examples of agreements made by former administrations that don’t consider America’s needs first, include the following: the Iran nuclear deal, trade agreements with certain countries and defense arrangements around the world.

Iran negotiated a very advantageous deal with the Obama administration that has the potential to be an existential threat to the U.S., Israel and other parties in the Middle East. It is the cornerstone of Obama’s foreign policy legacy, which may account for the agreement’s undesirable and irresponsible terms.

U.S. policy towards Iran has always been that the rogue nation should never possess a deliverable nuclear capability. On this principle alone, the deal fails miserably, as Iran will surely be a nuclear threat in about a decade.

Further, why would Obama and Kerry make a deal with a country that cannot be trusted and is arguably our most despised enemy? Why would we bargain with a country that publicly supports the demise of the State of Israel? Why would we ever be comfortable giving billions of dollars to a regime that incites so much discord and terrorism in the region?

Frankly, the only reason this deal was ever consummated was to bolster Obama’s pathetic legacy. The abrogation of the arrangement by Trump was the right thing to do, as was the adoption of aggressive sanctions against Iran.

The country’s economy is faltering every day and, in spite of complaints from our European allies, the sanctions are gaining traction and could result in regime change in the near future.

It’s been revealed that in almost every trade deal around the globe, the U.S. is at a significant disadvantage. The tariffs applied by our trade partners are always greater than those imposed by the U.S. Is this observation radical nationalism? No, the deals are inane. Why would former American presidents and Congresses agree to give an economic advantage to our trading partners?

Trump said he would address these inequities and was labeled a nationalist. He has already negotiated concessions with various countries around the world. They have no choice but to accede to U.S. demands because of our economic strength. Will they be unhappy? Who cares?

At the same time, Trump has complained about the role of the U.S. as the policeman for the world. Actually, playing the part is something the U.S. should embrace with certain limitations.

For one thing, the U.S. should not bear the cost of protecting other developed nations. Why should we station troops in Germany along with billions of dollars of equipment without an equitable monetary commitment from our hosts? Problems have surfaced over many years in NATO, where only a small number of members have met their spending responsibilities for defense. In the meantime, the U.S. provides the lion’s share of financial support to the alliance.

As he has gone around the world, Trump has exposed many unfair arrangements and built up a considerable amount of bad will. Deals must be equitable. If it’s nationalistic to put America first in trade and defense, so be it. Too many countries have taken advantage of America’s generosity, and Trump has been the only president with the courage to address it.

 

Bohemian Rhapsody Is A Fitting Tribute To Queen And Freddie Mercury

While the country was voting, I took an exhilarating journey down memory lane. I went to see “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the new movie about Queen, the British rock super group, and Freddie Mercury, its flamboyant and controversial lead singer.

The film had a number of interesting storylines. The most important was the tribulations of Mercury’s lifestyle. This included the problems he had gaining acceptance from his father, sexual confusion throughout his life and his musical genius that led to significant issues with his band mates.

The movie began in 1970 when Freddie joined the group. During a 15-year period, Queen developed into a rock and roll force by experimenting with different concepts, and challenging its movie company supporters with innovative strategies that involved both music and the relationship with audiences. [As an aside “Bohemian Rhapsody” was six minutes long, and was shunned by many in the music business before becoming a gigantic hit.]

The saga ends just after Freddie is diagnosed with AIDs, which was a death sentence in the mid 1980s. The denouement was the band’s extraordinary performance in 1985 at Wembely Stadium in London as part Live Aid.

Rami Malek, acclaimed for his role in “Mr. Robot,” looks remarkably like Freddie and was expert in portraying the outrageous attitude and overt sexuality of the man. Malek’s Freddie was totally believable as he transitioned from heterosexuality to homosexuality. It was a painful journey, which resulted in great heartache and frustration for Mercury who continued to love his girlfriend, Lucy Boynton, even during his dangerous sexual exploits that ultimately led to his demise.

The real treat was the music that overwhelmed all other aspects of the film. Most of Queen’s famous songs were performed over the course of the show. They were totally awesome. Even if you are not old enough to fully appreciate Queen’s impact on rock and roll, you will walk away acknowledging that the band greatly influenced the music business.

It was an act that superseded four men singing songs. Freddie acted out each and every lyric while onstage. I couldn’t help feeling cheated by the short tenure of the band, 15 years, versus 50+ for the Stones, The Who, The Beetles and Bob Dylan.

The finale was the band’s performance at Live Aid. Bob Geldof, the organizer of the concert, allotted each performing group 20 minutes. During that short time, Queen solidified its place in rock and roll history. 100,000 adoring fans sang with Freddie. It was interactive rock and roll on the grandest scale.

Mercury was a swashbuckling, sexually charged performer. He experimented and played upon the sensitivities of those who adored him. But, he was never shy or embarrassed by his proclivities. His unbridled dalliances in real life ultimately were the cause of his death.

I doubt the film will win any Academy Awards, but I really enjoyed the show. It was highly entertaining and heart breaking. Go see the flick.

Most people are overwhelmed with the presence of Freddie. The fact is that his band mates were equally talented musicians. They include Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Beacon. The group sans Freddie played at Mercury’s memorial concert, which was another incredible event. The part of Freddie was performed by a number of different rock and roll legends.

Are You Racist If You Are Against Illegal Immigration?

Passions are running high, and political rhetoric is frightful. It’s crunch time, and Americans must make a choice between the immigration proposals of Donald Trump and liberal politicians that want to open our borders.

It’s shortsighted to believe the current level of illegal aliens in this country, which supposedly stands at 12 million, is a non-issue. This number will increase substantially because of further illegal entry and childbirth of those already on American soil. Yet the naturalization of existing illegals is the only sensible alternative.

It’s inane to espouse further illegal accommodations, including the caravan of those marching towards the U.S. and sanctuary cities, which limits the effectiveness of our immigration officers. Why isn’t the number of illegals that use our health care and educational services at a cost estimated well above $100 billion annually a relevant concern?

Surely, there’s no turning back the clock on illegals already in the country. But it makes no sense to allow the number to increase, or to abandon efforts to deport those illegals that are criminals and/or troublemakers.

The most puzzling thing is why so many Americans believe that others have a right to come to our country with or without sensible conditions. There are no references to any such responsibility in our Constitution. Immigration is an activity that has resulted in productive diversity, but it has been measured until just 20 years ago.

Developed countries and some undeveloped countries are facing the same issues as the U.S. What policies regarding illegals make sense, are fair, are humane and take into account the citizens of the home country that are subsidizing them?

In an ideal world there would be no poverty, religious persecution, racial discord or political instability. Every poor person believes or has a strong expectation that life in America, Germany, France, Italy and Great Britain is much better than their current circumstances. But there are not enough financial, societal, educational, medical and political resources in all the aforementioned countries to save every one that needs saving.

Advanced and wealthier countries have an obligation to protect themselves from outside influences that are harmful or disruptive. In recent years voters have been electing representatives that promise to protect the homeland from reckless immigration policies among other issues. More and more citizens in developed countries throughout the world are no longer willing to keep the floodgates open to people seeking something better. More and more individuals don’t want limited resources to be used for illegal immigrants at the expense of domestic requirements.

The leaders of these countries and their followers are not necessarily racists. Wanting an orderly and well-vetted system to accept applications for citizenship does not make Trump or his base evil or bigoted. Most Americans are descendants of immigrants. We understand the value of diversity. It results in innovation and prosperity, and in the case of America, the strongest and most wonderful place in the world.

No, it’s not racist to have closed borders and to accept new applications for citizens based upon a well thought out process. It’s not racist to have immigration officials rooting out troublemakers. It’s not racist to worry that illegals are straining our educational and health car system. It’s not racist to add up the cost of open borders, especially when there are domestic needs not being addressed.

America must make choices. We must fund the needs of America first, and hopefully, find enough money to help needy people around the world. The priorities should never be in reverse order.

Rhetoric Is A Weapon Used By Both Political Parties

The midterm elections are all about Donald Trump. The president is crisscrossing the country each day using his clout to bolster the candidacies of fellow Republicans. Local elections will be greatly affected by national issues and a sitting president more so than any other time in history.

In the past, midterm elections were disastrous for the parties in power. Since all representatives must run every two years, they are the most vulnerable. Senators rotate, and only one-third of them are up for reelection every two years.

Earlier projections by pollsters had Democrats gaining enough seats in the Senate to assume power. Not any longer. Republicans, in fact, may add to their slim majority next week. The inordinate number of incumbent Democrat senators running in states carried by Trump in 2016 will take a toll. Exacerbating Democrat efforts are key national issues such as the Kavanaugh confirmation, the caravan of illegal immigrants approaching our southern border and the favorable performance of most economic indicators.

The House could be a different story, although polls are showing that Republicans have make a strong rally in the past few weeks in spite of huge advertisement expenditures by Democrat supporters (of note Michael Bloomberg). The Trump barrage directed at fake news, illegal immigration, Democratic responsibility for social problems and a dearth of new ideas by Democrats to improve the country has bolstered prospects for conservatives.

Alternatively Democrats are grasping at the only viable issue available to them, the tweets, speeches and personality of President Trump. The media, cable news and a plethora of commentary by actors, athletes and left-wing instigators are supporting this effort wholeheartedly. But will it have the desired effective?

The problem with the Democratic strategy is that character assassination will not offset the pathetic track record of the previous president, and all of his minions who are trying to convince voters that the years before Trump were memorable. Trump has been effectively cleaning up the mess made by his predecessor, including burdensome regulations, out of control illegal immigration, poor economic conditions, unemployment, high taxes and low consumer confidence.

Character assassination also is not a strategy that can distract voter attention from real accomplishments under extremely stressful conditions. These include the confirmation of two conservative Supreme Court justices, promising negotiations with North Korea, standing up to Russian and Chinese aggression, elimination of inane and unfair trade practices, reengagement with Israel, formation of a productive partnership with Saudi Arabia in the battle against Iranian terror, the abrogation of the Iran nuclear arrangement (along with imposition of new sanctions), etc.

Trump offers all this and a warning that his efforts will be for naught if Democrats retake the House.

But, the most risky Democratic ploy is their politicization of the latest terrorist incidents. The bombing plot directed at liberal leaning individuals and the slaughter of Jewish worshipers in Pittsburgh has had a dramatic effect on America. As usual authorities are searching for the reasons for these maniacal assaults and threats to our security.

Stooping to the lowest level, Democrats are trying to convince America that the president’s rhetoric encourages violent behavior. It should be noted that rhetoric is protected by free speech unless specific acts of violence follow it.

In the past our country has come together to fight against such actions against our homeland without partisanship. No more. Democrats are trying to sell a direct link from Trump’s fiery approach to governing, to terrorism, bridging the all-important chasm between words and physical harm to others.

The most outrageous gap in Democrat reasoning is that both political parties are equally guilty of unbridled rhetoric. Trump’s are well documented. Democrats think they can incite violence without any repercussions. There have been a number of these situations in the news in recent months that involve Hillary Clinton, Rep. Pelosi, Rep. Waters and former Attorney General Eric Holder. Liar, traitor, misogynist, Nazi, fascist and so many other explosive characterizations are in play in liberal commentary. Do they incite violence?

A crazy person with a long record of aberrant behavior built bombs. He’s not a member of good standing in the Republican Party, even if his “bomb-mobile” was plastered with stickers supporting Trump. He’s a demented homicidal maniac.

The shooter in the Jewish synagogue is a rabid anti-Semite. How can anyone say Trump is not supportive of Jews in America and around the world? He’s done business with the Jewish community for years. His daughter converted to Judaism and his grandchildren are Jewish.

Will all this subterfuge enable Democrats to be victorious in the midterm elections? I hope not, they don’t deserve to be in control of our country.

 

Trump Rhetoric Is Not The Inspiration Of The Bomber

In virtually every attack against our homeland, Americans, led by the president, Congress and local officials, have united to focus on the threat to our society and way of life.

After 9/11 the nationalistic spirit in our country could not have been greater. All our politicians were concerned with nothing other than the security of America. This enabled the country to deal with a horrible tragedy and the subsequent clean up. If there were any recriminations or assignment of blame, they were set aside until the threat was eliminated.

In stunningly inappropriate comments to the tried and true tradition of putting American security first, two leading Democrats politicized the bombing attacks that took place yesterday even before all the bombs were discovered.

Attempting to make a political statement before the impending elections, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) directly attributed the series of bombing attacks to President Trump. They said the actions of the bomber(s) to harm left-leaning individuals were a result of presidential rhetoric. The comments were made after Trump had dramatically and sincerely implored Americans to come together to fight this new threat, and before first responders had commented on the attacks.

Donald Trump is aggressive and sometimes plays the hard-ass role to an extreme to stir his base. This is most prevalent while speaking to large crowds. Americans, for the most part, want their leaders to be tough on national security and in response to those who would do us harm.

Sometimes the rhetoric of our leaders goes too far, especially when it’s critical of political opponents. But it’s entirely inappropriate for anyone to say that the president’s rhetoric was the inspiration of a crazy individual to mail bombs to others he disagrees with.

The hypocrisy of the statements made by Schumer and Pelosi is obvious because liberal politicians sometimes use the same rhetoric to inspire their followers. Joe Biden has indicated that he would like to meet Trump mano y mano. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has encouraged liberals to accost conservatives in public places. Even Eric Holder, former Attorney General, said Trump opponents need to kick back physically against misguided conservatives.

In politics, as the pressure increases, so does the passion. The country is divided and Americans are taking sides. People want to “fight” for what they believe in. This is a good thing and protected by the Constitution until it leads to violence.

The moral of this essay is that Democrat leaders have gone too far by politicizing a national threat, ignoring long-term tradition. This has happened because the elections are a few days away. The political battles are in full force and candidates are flooding voters with political spin and exaggerations. They should not use a national crisis, where criminals are building bombs to terrorize us, to make political gains. Isn’t anything more important than the relative power of Republicans and Democrats?

Trump has his fair share of faults. One thing he is not is an advocate of physical violence between political opponents and between Americans. The bravado and aggression he sports is something he does with his mouth, not with his fists.

Khashoggi’s Death Threatens Saudi Crown Prince

It’s been difficult to get one’s arms around Khashoggi’s abduction and murder. The accusations by the Turkish government have been detrimental to the Saudis, and the Turks have not yet disclosed all of the relevant facts.

What we do know is that Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and never came out. He was supposedly there to obtain documents that would enable him to remarry.

The Turks and the Saudis have stipulated that Khashoggi was killed while in the consulate. It’s also been confirmed that several Saudi security people were at the consulate the day that Khashoggi died. And these men have been connected to the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Beyond this, the situation becomes much cloudier.

The uproar over Khashoggi’s death, although tragic, involves only one man. Elsewhere in the Middle East thousands are being persecuted, tortured, killed or forced to move from their homes every day. Khashoggi is only a small cog, so one might ask who has the power to raise the importance of the death of one man, somebody very few have ever even heard of?

Khashoggi was a journalist employed by the Washington Post, which carries a lot of weight. Journalists are always traumatized by crimes against members of their community. His fellow news colleagues are appalled and always disturbed, whenever one of them is detained or imprisoned, much less murdered in cold blood.

Khashoggi, once an ally of MBS, wrote some opposition pieces directed at Saudi Arabia. One theory being bandied about is that the Saudi “rogues” at the consulate were supposed to force Khashoggi to agree to return to Saudi Arabia to face criminal charges for his reporting. Why would he? It turned violent, and the journalist was slaughtered.

Many countries around the world and in the region are speaking up about this crime including the U.S. President Trump wants to know what happened and whether the King or the Crown Prince is responsible. He promised to punish the Saudis if the royals were involved in the affair. To what extent is up in the air.

Saudi Arabia is investigating the event and has changed its story several times. The sentiment throughout the world, and among most U.S. politicians, is that MBS is culpable to some extent. It may be that the Saudis and the Turks are trying to craft a story that will make this problem go away. More on this later.

What is unusual is that Turkey, a Sunni country is working at odds with Saudi Arabia, another Sunni country. Recently the two have been on opposing sides of a number of situations in the region.

Often a Sunni/Shia conflict is the underlying cause for violence between nations in the region. Not this time. Nor does it have anything to do with Israel or the U.S. Even refugee issues in Turkey and the constant threat of Kurds to Turkish government are not in play.

The principle problem between the Kingdom and Turkey is growing Islamic demands for free elections in the region. The Saudis are against this Arab Spring because it threatens the authority and stability of the their monarchy. The Turks, in conjunction with the Muslim Brotherhood support free elections on the Arabian Peninsula and elsewhere.

Another interesting suggestion is that Turkey may be holding back evidence giving Saudi Arabia an opportunity to make a monetary and/or political proposal to Turkey for its cooperation. As in many situations, the Saudis are not shy about using their financial strength to buy their way out of problems.

The last issue is relevant to the U.S. We have a $100 billion arms deal pending with the Saudis and a convenient alliance to fight Iranian aggression and its support of terrorism in the area. The president will be reluctant to take significant action that might threaten the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Many pundits are talking up MBS’ involvement. Few believe that the Saudi interlopers would take such a bold step, like murder and dismemberment, without the Crown Prince’s authorization. Moreover MBS has his share of enemies in his country, including many of his blood relatives that he fined for their misdeeds.

Is it possible that the death of Khashoggi could lead to MBS’s downfall? We’re about to find out.

 

Trump As A Misogynist

Every time I begin to appreciate the efforts of President Trump, he communicates something idiotic and/or non-PC on Twitter. See NY Times article.

Trump “referred to the pornographic film actress Stephanie Clifford as ‘Horseface’ in a tweet on Tuesday.” The irony of this stupid comment was that a federal judge had just dismissed a defamation suit by the actress against Trump. He won the battle, but he’s a really bad winner. Clifford, professionally known as Storm Daniels, replied on Twitter “by using the nickname ‘Tiny’ for the president.” And so the name calling between a president and a low-end movie actress continues.

I’m sure that Trump’s advisors are pleading with him to end his Twitter onslaught against women that he dislikes, or those who have accused him of some sort of sexual misbehavior. The man is incapable of letting this stuff roll off his back and stick to more lofty issues like leading the most powerful nation in the world.

When Trump lashes out at another woman calling her a pig, unattractive or overweight, the liberal press goes bonkers and dredges up all of the unkind comments he’s made about Carly Fiorina, Megyn Kelly, Omarosa Newman, Rosie O’Donnell and others. When they read these horrid stories, women who might want to vote for Trump are reminded that he does not look kindly on the fairer sex.

In effect, Trump’s unfiltered Twitter outbursts offset the positive work he is doing relating to employment, the economy, trade, taxes, immigration, health care, terrorism etc.

Frankly, the president’s immature and un-statesman-like use of social media may even impact his uncanny ability to use social media to influence public opinion and get re-elected in two years. The growth of his base has been stymied by uncontrollable outbursts directed at women. Women on the fence, will more likely than not vote for Trump’s adversaries in a few weeks and in 2020.

Trump has to believe that his success in managing our country will overwhelm all of his shortcomings including his uncensored tweets. It’s a dangerous assumption, especially since women represent about half of the electorate.

After reading two books that portray the president’s inability to stay focused on important issues and his disregard for constructive criticism, it shouldn’t surprise me that he continues to tweet and say things that are so offensive even considering the damage these actions may have on his base. But I am.

I think Republicans have a good chance of rallying in the midterm elections and again in 2020. But can they overcome the self-aggrandizing, misogynistic personality of their president? Can our country reelect a man who clearly believes that women are the inferior sex? I think not.

U.S. And Saudis Deal With Disappearance Of Jamal Khashoggi

The disappearance and possible murder of Jamal Khashoggi has created an international backlash against King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Mohammad Bin Salman, the Crown Prince.

Khashoggi, a journalist at the Washington Post and frequent critic of the Saudi government, entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul earlier in October and never reappeared. The Saudis first said he left the consulate, and now say that Khashoggi might have been killed “accidentally.” The circumstances are very suspicious to say the least.

Many in Congress are encouraging President Trump to respond to the alleged murder of Khashoggi, although a crime has not been substantiated. Trump has been hesitant to take any actions against Saudi Arabia until all the facts are examined, and to protect a $100 billion plus military transaction pending with the Saudis. Trump believes his relationship with Crown Prince is a huge asset and very important to U.S. national and economic security.

Most Americans believe that America should stand up and respond to all human rights violations wherever they occur. Frequently, the U.S. has wielded its influence to protest against crimes against humanity. Saudi Arabia should not be immune to U.S. sanctions in the face of these types of acts.

But the magnitude of an American response to the fate of one man, not a U.S. citizen, in a foreign country must be measured. This is not to say that we should not be empathetic and curious about Khashoggi’s current status.

An aggressive response to the incident seems hypocritical as compared to other situations in recent history. Thousands of people are killed every year throughout the world, and the U.S. response is anything but incredulous. In the case of Khashoggi, many important initiatives and good relations with Saudi Arabia could be at stake if the U.S. responds too assertively.

The president has committed to unite with Saudi Arabia to fight against Iran. The Saudis are particularly good allies in this regard because they resent Iran and its bellicose ayatollahs for both political and religious reasons. In fact, unlike the U.S., the Saudis are more concern with the latter than the former. Iran is Shiite and Saudi Arabia is Sunni.

In any regard, Saudi Arabia has pledged to work in consort with the U.S. in pushing back against Iranian support of terrorism and nefarious actions throughout the Middle East, in particular Iraq and Syria.

The aforementioned military transaction will equip the Saudi’s to accomplish its objectives against Iran. Moreover, the U.S. works closely with the Saudi military in defense of others in the Middle East. The fate of millions could be dependent upon good relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

The financial relationship between the two countries and U.S. companies is also extremely important. The Saudis have worked diligently to stabilize, to some extent, the volatility of oil prices. This has been a factor in the performance of the U.S. economy during the past several years. A conflict between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. would probably have dire consequences to the global economy.

Trump has said he wants to protect the beneficiaries of the military equipment deal. Significant employment gains will occur because of it, and revenues will flow into U.S. manufacturers. The U.S. should not be willing to trade murder for commerce, but cooler heads should prevail in the Khashoggi situation to prevent actions that are in nobody’s best interests.