The Questions That Should Have Been Asked During The Debate

By Sal Bommarito

The debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was anything but epic. It was a disastrous confrontation between two very unlikeable candidates. After great anticipation the moderator was bullied by the players and was unable to set aside his personal biases.

American voters got nothing from this debate. Clinton wasn’t asked by either the moderator or her opponent to explain her lies and deceptions relating to her personal email used for top-secret discussions, her disastrous decisions relating to Benghazi that resulted in the death of four Americans, her support of the Iran nuclear deal and her four-year stint as Secretary of State during which America’s reputation and influence were greatly diminished.

Similarly Donald Trump was allowed to dance around the doubts many voters have concerning his demeanor, temperance and business ethics. By interrupting the moderator and his opponent he proved that he has learned nothing from all the debates he participated in during the primaries. In a nutshell most minorities and women continue to despise the man.

The result is that voters who like one candidate and hate the other are still in the same place. Moreover some Americans are scratching their heads even harder trying to figure out why the greatest country in the world has these two people running for president.

There are many things I would change about the debate process. I will not go through all these things. Rather, allow me to offer up some questions that were not asked or were not fleshed out during the 90+ minute discussion. Most of the questions should be  introduced. In the interests of brevity I have not prefaced my questions.

Hillary- Did you lie about the use of your personal emails to Congress and the American people? Did you or your campaign assistants destroy emails after Congress subpoenaed them?

Donald- How many dollars of personal taxes have you paid during the past five years? It is not illegal or inappropriate to discuss your taxes while an audit is being conducted. Also, how much have you given to charity during the same period? [Holt never asked the questions. He only asked whether Trump would reveal his tax returns.]

Hillary- Which countries and corporations donated money to the Clinton Foundation? Did any of these entities receive favors in exchange for their contributions?

Donald- What is the status of Trump University? What involvement did you have with the school? Did the students receive training as advertised in your marketing agreements? The ensuing law suits indicate that many students are very unhappy.

Hillary- Wasn’t the State Department responsible for ensuring the safety of the ambassador and three other Americans killed in Benghazi? Why wasn’t the embassy protected from an attack? Why did you attribute the attack to the infamous videos that were offensive to Muslims? Did you participate in the pr relating to the comments made by your underlings?

Donald- What is your net worth? How much revenue does the Trump organization generate each year? What profits did it earn? How much in taxes do your companies pay? [This is different than the taxes you pay personally.]

Hillary- What role will Bill Clinton play in your administration if you are elected president?

Donald- Give us the names of some of the people you are considering for you cabinet? Your selection of qualified personnel is critical given that you have not held a government position previously.

Hillary- Are you prepared to send in ground troops to defeat ISIS? If not how are you going to end ISIS’ domination of Syria and its terrorist activities?

Donald- Will you receive the endorsement of the Republican establishment if you are elected president? What will you do to gain the support Republican leaders to accomplish your agenda?

Hillary and Donald- How are you going to improve relations with Israel, Russia, China and the Gulf States?

Donald- What will you do to improve your relationships with African Americans and women? Polls show you are far behind with these groups.

My bottom line is that neither of the candidates deserves consideration to be president. Yet one will be president.

Hillary has already done enough damage domestically and internationally. It’s time to give someone else an opportunity to improve our country. I [very reluctantly] continue to support Trump.

 

 

The Day I Met Arnold Palmer

By Sal Bommarito

I was deeply saddened by the passing of Arnold Palmer yesterday. I offer my deepest sympathies to his family and his friends. The golfing world has lost an icon, a highly successful professional athlete who was swashbuckling, classy and generous.

I’m fortunate to have two great friends who enable me to play Cypress Point Club each year prior to the Pebble Beach Pro Am tournament in February.

A few years ago, after finishing a round of golf, my playing partner Jon and I were having a bite in the small restaurant adjacent to the Cypress clubhouse. We were chatting about our exploits on the course when Jon began to stumble over his words. I couldn’t understand his gibberish and told him to speak up.

His response was to point over my shoulder. I turned around and the great Arnold Palmer was standing behind me waiting patiently for me to stop talking so he could introduce himself- as if The King ever needed an introduction.

Jon and I paid homage to the golfing superstar, which he brushed off by asking us how we were doing. I just played Cypress and was chatting with Arnie Palmer. How bad could I be doing?

The point of the story is that Mr. Palmer was the consummate gentleman. Even after winning 62 PGA tournaments and seven majors he didn’t want to interrupt our conversation. I was so impressed by his relaxed demeanor and social grace.

I met a bunch of famous people in my day, but this encounter topped them all. I will always remember Mr. Palmer for his contributions to golf and to social causes.

Rest in peace, Arnie. Your Army misses you already.

 

 

Israel, Is It For Clinton Or Trump?

By Sal Bommarito

If you were the Prime Minister of Israel, which American presidential candidate would you support? The Israeli government and PM Netanyahu have not overtly endorsed either Clinton or Trump to this point in an effort to hedge their bets.

One newspaper has attempted to minimize the damage President Obama has done to the U.S./Israeli relationship during his tenure. A Clinton victory would likely result in continued stress between the two countries, as she would surely embrace Obama’s contentious policies related to Israel.

The U.S. has never stopped supporting Israel militarily and recently offered the Jewish State $38 billion of military aid over the next ten years. Some think the timing of the aid package is connected to Obama’s relentless search for legacy opportunities and perhaps a project to keep him busy after he leaves office. There is no chance that Israel would agree to the latter.

Netanyahu has grappled with Obama for eight years. The Iran nuclear deal was a slap in the face. In response the PM overtly and aggressively attacked Obama by decrying his actions in a dramatic United Nations speech and during a presentation to a joint session of Congress outlining new risks to Israel’s sovereignty.

Besides endorsing a plan that allows Iran to produce nuclear arms, Obama has repeatedly harped upon the new settlement policy of Israel. The construction of new outposts in strategic locations is critical to Israel’s security. Often times Netanyahu has wondered whether Obama sides with Palestine after 60 years of support from America.

Many experts predict that, if elected, Clinton will adopt the same positions as Obama on key issues relating to Israel. The former Secretary of State was a party to the Iran deal. Israel continues to believe the agreement is creating an existential threat to the country.

Clinton will jump on the two-state bandwagon if she is successful in November and will insist that Israel cease to build new settlements.

And Clinton will push Netanyahu to negotiate with parties that are calling for the destruction of Israel.

It should be noted that the Clinton Foundation has allegedly received substantial donations from Arab countries, which could influence Hillary Clinton as president in matters relating to Israel.

Donald Trump has pledged to support Israel at every opportunity as almost all presidents have done historically. He will be able to establish a rapport with Netanyahu who often times is as mercurial as he is. And Trump will assist Israel in its long-term fight for survival.

I’ll bet the people of Israel and Netanyahu are huge supporters of the Trump candidacy.

Immigration Reform Before Spending Money On Illegal Aliens

By Sal Bommarito

Federal and state governments are poised to move quickly relating to the immigration crisis in the country. A proposal by California exemplifies how lawmakers are prone to act impetuously, and spend tax dollars irresponsibly in an effort to champion the needs of undocumented people for political purposes.

I discovered a disturbing article in the New York Times last week relating to health care of illegal aliens, something that Donald Trump has showcased since the beginning of his presidential campaign. The sum and substance of the story is that California is attempting to gain approval “that would allow undocumented immigrants to buy health insurance in the state’s public exchanges.”

California has about two million illegal aliens, 30 percent of which could be eligible for the aforementioned program. The U.S. Treasury and the Health and Human Resources Department must approve the proposal.

President Obama promised to exclude illegal aliens in 2013 from the Affordable Care Act. Coverage was supposed to be limited to those living legally in the U.S.

Supporters of the proposal have indicated that it should be approved with an “innovation waiver” because no federal money will be used to fund the program (Yeah sure.). This assurance is highly speculative at best. More later it later.

The platitudes are already swirling around the effort. Liberal California Democrats are saying, “health care is a human right, not a privilege.” Agreed, but who’s going to pay for it?

It should be noted that undocumented children are already able to obtain free health services through Medi-Cal.

No one should believe the premiums paid by illegals in California, or anywhere else, won’t be subsidized in one form of another. The people who have entered our country illegally over the years have done nothing more than drain resources from the system. And, why would illegals agree to pay full medical premiums into a system that subsidizes Americans? Obama was unable to convince healthy Americans to subsidize sickly Americans.

The real solution to the immigration problem should not be rounding up undocumented aliens and sending them back to their countries of origin, something that Trump has unwisely suggested. Before the U.S. spends any money for entitlements benefiting this group of people, our borders should be sealed (with or without a wall) and every illegal alien must be registered, pay taxes and abide by our laws. Any hesitation to do so ought to result in immediate deportation.

The point is that the U.S. should reform immigration before it spends any more money on illegals in the country, no matter how painful the process becomes.

 

Obama Intervenes In Israel Affairs To Boost Legacy

By Sal Bommarito

According to a New York Times article, there is a strong possibility that a new agreement to provide $38 billion of military aid to Israel is the first step by President Obama to push for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Even though the administration indicated that there were no strings attached to the aid package, Prime Minister Netanyahu is not convinced. Obama has had a contentious relationship with the PM relating to the Iran nuclear deal, which is going south according to some accounts, and the continuation of Israeli settlements.

Mr. Obama said, “As I have emphasized previously, the only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable Palestine.”

Some believe that Obama is searching for legacy opportunities as his tenure comes to a close. A last minute speech to the United Nations about an Israeli-Palestinian deal could be in the cards.

But let’s consider whether Obama, in a few short months, could possibly persuade Israel and Palestine to make peace.

First of all several presidents during the past 50 years have tried and failed to settle the dispute. The barriers include not only whether both parties can support a two-state agreement (with all its conditions), but also whether the opposing sides trust one another enough to negotiate in good faith.

Israel has numerous security issues, and Palestinians have to overcome a half-century of domination by the Jewish State. Completion of such a deal would be monumental.

But the fact that Obama wants to be an arbiter in the process is laughable. As president he has conflicted more often with Israel than any of his predecessors. The wounds created by the U.S. decision to endorse the production of nuclear weapons by Iran will never heal. Netanyahu said Obama’s decision to move forward created an existential threat to his country. This episode alone disqualifies Obama as an intermediary now and after he leaves office from Israel’s perspective.

In addition, why would Palestine accept Obama’s involvement as a middleman in negotiations? After all he just agreed to give Palestine’s mortal enemy $38 billion of military equipment that will likely be used against Palestine over the next decade

The current situation and future events relating to the Middle East were damaged by American foreign policies during the last eight years. No one is going to allow Obama to play a diplomatic role in Palestine or any other country in the region.

Hillary Clinton, Her Lies Are Changing The Tide Of The Election

By Sal Bommarito

The tolerance of Democratic voters astounds me. Yet again Hillary Clinton intrigue and deviousness have dominated the airwaves and the newspapers. She lies about everything. She used only one email device as she created a national security crisis (actually there were many devices), she didn’t feel well and fainted (actually her campaign finally admitted it was pneumonia after offering five other reasons why she could not stand on her own). The list of deceptions, even for seemingly inconsequential things, grows every day.

What’s it going to be like if she is elected president? Will it be necessary for the press to ask her what is transpiring in the world five times before she gives an accurate account? How can anyone support such a secretive person to be president?

Democrats boast that their party is kinder and more tolerant. In the meantime Hillary Clinton called all those who support Trump deplorable. Imagine a presidential candidate calling out somewhere between 40 and 50% of voters. Will Clinton serve all Americans or just the ones that agree with her policies and warped worldview? Will she ignore the intolerable Republicans, Independents and Libertarians?

Clinton and her minions have been extraordinarily evasive about her physical condition. In fairly temperate conditions the candidate fainted and had to be physically assisted into her SUV. This incident coupled with some tripping episodes, coughing fits, a concussion, nagging allergies, etc. has made the public anxious. Correctly so, the press has repeatedly asked for her medical records to insure that she’s fit to serve as leader of the free world.

Because these inquiries are perfectly legitimate, the Clinton campaign’s oblique responses are creating more questions and suspicions. Mrs. Clinton is approaching her 70th year. It’s not unreasonable for one to experience medical issues at this time in their life, and most wouldn’t disqualify her to serve.

Unfortunately Clinton’s actions to keep the public in the dark are not new. Going all the way back to the Whitewater scandal and her husband’s dalliances with a White House intern, the Clintons have chucked, jived and lied to the public. Information disappears, documents are destroyed and computers hammered. The press feels a need to protect the Clintons at the same time as their henchmen bamboozle them. The media’s role in the endless subterfuges is disgraceful.

The rush to elect a female president is clouding the judgment of too many Americans. Clinton is going to give us four more years of failed Obama policies. Why do you thing the president is so supportive of her candidacy? The evidence is clear. Obama dislikes the Clintons immensely. But she’s going to prop up his pitiful legacy that includes costly and ineffective medical reform, disastrous foreign policy initiatives in the Middle East and with Russia and China, a tepid reaction to growing terrorism and a growth in entitlements that will threaten our anemic economic recovery.

Along the way Clinton’s assistants will do everything in their power to convince us that cow pods are chocolate chip cookies.

It’s time to change the tide. Even with all his faults, Trump is a better alternative than Clinton. At least he won’t lie to the American public on a daily basis.

 

 

 

The Ups and Downs of Obamacare

This article was published by the New York Times on September 14, 2016.

To the Editor:

Re “Incredible Shrinking Obamacare,” by David Brooks (column, Sept. 6):

I thank Mr. Brooks for exposing Obamacare for what it really is: health care for poor people. Thankfully, this ill-conceived entitlement has rescued millions of destitute Americans with no other medical alternatives.

The Obama administration foolishly thought that it could force healthy Americans into subsidizing those who are sickly. It didn’t work. Many young and healthy Americans are opting out, so insurance companies are losing billions, asking for outrageous increases in premiums and walking away from state exchanges.

This disastrous program and its trillion-dollar price tag could have been avoided just by expanding the Medicaid program to include more needy people.

SALVATORE J. BOMMARITO

New York

The Most Interesting Man In The World Is Being Replaced

By Sal Bommarito

I was distraught when I found out that the Dos Equis’ former “most interesting man in the world,’ Jonathan Goldsmith age 77, was being replaced by Augustin Legrand age 41.

Out of respect Dos Equis should have had Goldsmith tutor the youngster in the art of being interesting. And really, shouldn’t the most interesting man only be replaced after his demise. You can’t have two “mosts.” I would have concocted a grandiose stunt, gone bad, to send off Goldsmith.

You might be asking yourself what the hell is behind my devotion to the original most interesting man? The answer is that I wrote several pieces about his exploits and reputation for another blog a few years ago.

Here are some of the comments about the most interesting man that I was able to capture at the time:

1) He lives vicariously through himself.

2) He once had an awkward moment, just to see how it feels.

3) His beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man’s entire body.

4) When it is raining, it is because he is thinking of something sad.

5) His shirts never wrinkle.

6) He is left-handed and right-handed.

7) If he were to mail a letter without postage, it would still get there.

8) The police often question him just because they find him interesting.

9) His blood smells like cologne.

10) On every continent in the world, there is a sandwich named after him. His hands feel like rich brown suede.

11) Cuba imports cigars from him. Mosquitos refuse to bite him purely out of respect. In museums, he is allowed to touch the art.

12) His business card simply says “I’ll call you.”

13) He has won the lifetime achievement award, twice.

14) If he were to punch you in the face, you would have to fight off the urge to thank him.

15) He bowls overhand.

16) He is fluent in all languages, including three that he only speaks.

17) He tips an astonishing 100%.

18) Once while sailing around the world, he discovered a short cut.

19) Panhandlers give him money.

20) He divorced his wife because he caught her littering.

21) His passport requires no photograph.

22) When he drives a new car off the lot, it increases in value.

The piece that included these items generated over 220,000 hits, my highest total ever.

Not being too far behind the original most interesting man, age-wise that is, I was always impressed by his demeanor and how women were attracted to him. James Bond drank martinis and the most interesting man drank beer. He was a common person’s idol.

Dos Equis decided to upgrade the brand by bringing in new blood. This makes me sad because I don’t want to be upgraded. It’s a commentary on western culture- a dearth of respect for those in their golden years. This doesn’t happen in older countries throughout the world.

Mental strength and experience should count at least as much as physical attraction. I’ll bet this guy Legrand is a total stud. At 44 I doubt he will be idolized by millennials. If millennials are so important to Dos Equis, it should have picked one to be the new spokesperson. I would’ve opted for a man of 30 with a five-year term limit. And why wasn’t a woman selected- the most interesting woman in the world has a nice ring to it.

Just remember when the most interesting man in the world is sad (which he is today), every nation across the globe lowers their flag to half staff.