Donald Trump’s Legacy

The entire weekend was chock full of conversation and debate about the impending re-investigation of Hillary Clinton’s disastrous email scandal.

What some people fail to recognize is that endangering our national security by mishandling classified information is a crime. And ignoring rules and protocols for social media devices in government is also a crime.

At this point nobody seems to know exactly what FBI Director Comey has in mind. So it’s a waste of time to speculate about his future actions. However, given the storm that he has created just a few days before the election, Comey better have some really juicy crimes and misdemeanors to tell us about this week. Otherwise he is going to look like a fool.

Let’s get back to the election. Despite Trump’s impending loss (my assumption ), his legacy poses a serious threat to Democrats and Republicans moving forward.

Setting aside all the ubiquitous jawboning relating to the man’s temperament, misogynistic tendencies and arrogant and obnoxious behavior, Trump is responsible for opening up the dialogue about a number of issues facing our country that to date have been swept under the rug. Millions of Americans will be voting for Trump (over 40% of all voters) in spite of all his warts. These people feel disenfranchised by our government and our leaders. They are crying out for change.

Bernie Sanders has had the same impact on a large group of liberals. Many people across party lines want change and a more responsive federal government that is focused less on issues around the world and more on inequality, poverty and over taxation here at home.

Let’s analyze the millions of people that are unhappy with the direction of our country. This perspective is best exhibited in our urban centers where too many African Americans are subjected to violent crime and poverty.

Welfare rolls are increasing, jobs are scarce for young people and police/community relations are at a nadir. Trump has attacked this problem by ignoring political correctness. Unlike Democrats he talks about the problems in urban communities openly even as local leaders bury their heads in the sand.

Working people across the nation are lamenting trade deals that have caused America to lose jobs and become less competitive. Trump support has been strong from many of those negatively affected by treaties such as NAFTA. He promises to abrogate these destructive arrangements. Very few other politicians have had the courage to tackle this issue in a meaningful way.

Illegal aliens, whether you want to admit it or not, are putting a great strain on our economy, health care system, municipalities and society in general. One thing we can all agree on is that new illegal immigration must end. Trump has led this effort and showcased it from the first day of his campaign. Only after the tide of illegals is stemmed will the federal government be able to enact real immigration reform and create a path to citizenship for the 11-12 million illegals already in the country. Trump inspired this dialogue, and we should be thankful he did.

The state of our national security is tenuous. The greatest reason for our discomfort is the threat of violent Islamic groups. True, the U.S. has its own homegrown nut cases that want to bring down the government. But the real risk is from outsiders, particularly jihadists from the Middle East.

All immigrants to America must be carefully vetted. The problem is that “refugees” from Islamic countries cannot be vetted because there are no formal law enforcement agencies that track these people in the Middle East. Trump has exposed the inadequate efforts on the part of U.S. Immigration to protect our borders from those that would do us harm. Now even liberals have agreed that open borders are problematic.

For the past half century the U.S. has subsidized the defenses of many countries around the world. The objective has been to protect our national interests and to garner favors from those we help. I’m not even going to address the latter item because it is a sham.

The U.S. has built military bases around the world, transferred military equipment to far-off countries, sold high tech weapons at a discount and stationed thousands of troops overseas at great cost. The issue is that a large number of beneficiaries of our military assistance are wealthy nations. We are paying for security of European countries, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Philippines, NATO, the United Nations and many others. Trump has brought this outrageous misuse of taxpayer dollars to the forefront.

Trump has looked at the military industrial complex in this country from a business perspective, and he sees waste. Generally he thinks that businesses and high net worth individuals pay egregious tax rates because we spend our money unwisely in many areas.

Liberals and conservatives alike have not come to grips with the reality that our country overpays for goods and services and never ends appropriations for programs that have served their purposes.

How much money for social programs are lining the pockets of people other than those that need the money? How much does our military overpay to its suppliers? How effective are tax dollars that are being used to improve education of our young people, entitlement programs and health care? How convoluted is our tax system?

Trump has promised to apply his business background to solve these problems. Maybe it’s time we had someone in the White House with business experience that can take a close look at how wasteful our country has become.

I’m not suggesting anyone vote for Trump. I will not vote for either of the two major party candidates. But I totally understand why Trump has been so popular for many downtrodden Americans. His perspectives will become more widely accepted as time passes.


Just when Hillary Clinton thought she had the election in the bag, James Comey, the FBI head, sends a letter to Congress indicating that he must reopen Hillary’s infamous email scandal. It’s the one he closed prematurely a few months ago, just to refresh your memory.

We don’t know any details yet, but apparently, Huma Abedin, Clinton’s long-time assistant, and Anthony Weiner, her estranged husband, have been implicated in the brouhaha. In case you’ve been living in a cave, Weiner is the shamed former congressman who has a propensity to expose himself on social media. The FBI is investigating him for doing so with an underage girl.

The only thing revealed to this point is that the FBI is studying Huma and Anthony’s electronic devices. We can only speculate that top-secret information showed up on emails that were accessible by Weiner, a very serious national security violation. The FBI has implied that candidate Clinton is linked to the situation.

The most interesting aspect of this new development is that it occurred only a few days before the impending presidential election. The FBI is supposed to be non-political, and historically it has avoided controversial decisions near election times.

Therefore one can only conclude that either this FBI is partisan, or the evidence is overwhelming that a crime has been committed. Given that the FBI honcho punted earlier this year relating to email missteps by Clinton and the national security ramifications of such actions, he must have felt compelled to be transparent now, lest he be further branded as a Clinton supporter, at best, or incompetent, at worst.

The policy to suppress investigations before an election really makes no sense. If a crime has been committed, it should be investigated. It’s that much more important to determine wrongdoing before a person is elected to public office.

This election is getting weirder by the minute. Every day, the candidates are proving to the electorate they are unfit for any office, much less the presidency. Now we have a monstrous political and constitutional sh**storm brewing at our doorstep.

What the hell is going to happen if Clinton is tainted or indicted a day or two before the polls open? Keep in mind that voters have already voted in many places across the country. Are we really going to allow this woman to move into the Oval Office with a felony indictment hanging over her head?

Hillary’s corruption over the years is the reason for her current dilemma. It appears that she may not be above the law [even thought she thinks she is. How much bad, illegal, unethical, arrogant and inappropriate behavior are we going to ignore? It’s time to put the Clinton juggernaut to rest. Self-aggrandizement and wealth creation are at the core of the family’s long-term objectives.

What’s even scarier is that Donald Trump may walk into the White House because of the new developments. Talk about the lesser of two evils. I wish America could have a mulligan on this election. I’m sure there are some honest, transparent, statesman-like individuals who would be fine presidents that we could elect.

The nightmare is almost over, at least the electoral part. What’s going to happen when either of these comprised candidates takes office? Are they going to continue to say and do things that are harmful to our nation? Are they going to line their own pockets? Are they going to lie? Anything is possible with these two characters.

Who do you like for president now?

How Aggressively Will The Next President Fight ISIS?

During the last half century America’s attitude towards war has changed markedly.

In 1945 Harry Truman introduced the nuclear age by dropping atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ending the war with Japan. Over 200,000 civilians died in the attack and millions were affected by radioactivity for years thereafter.

In the 60s and 70s Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon fought a vicious combined air and ground war in Southeast Asia that killed 1.4 million combatants and citizens in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. The U.S. suffered casualties of over 58,000

In the 90s George H.W. Bush attacked Iraqi forces in Kuwait. American casualties were minimal (149). Iraqi deaths totaled over 20,000. This was the first time that the U.S. conducted a war almost exclusively from the sky.

In 2003 George W. Bush invaded Iraq, and the U.S. lost 4,500 troops while Iraq had casualties of over 110,000 including 60,000 civilians. The U.S. sustained many more deaths in this war compared to the previous Iraq war because ground troops were deployed and the conflict continued for a much longer time.

There are many ways to fight a war. Casualties are directly related to the type of warfare employed. Air wars result in substantially fewer casualties for the aggressor, but civilian casualties can be very high. Ground wars result in greater casualties for both the aggressor and the civilian population.

Which type of war will the next president fight in the Middle East against ISIS and other terrorist organizations? President Obama has chosen to take the most conservative approach. This has radically decreased the number of casualties for both the U.S. and civilians. Unfortunately his decision to shun massive firepower tactics has extended ISIS’ reign of terror. The ultimate loss of lives resulting from this strategy is difficult to quantify.

Collateral damage, a term most Americans never heard of before the 21st Century, totally dominates the way that America has prosecuted conflicts in the Middle East during the past eight years. Unfortunately our enemies are not concerned with civilian casualties and thrive on them politically in many situations.

Under current leadership the U.S. would not bomb a building in Iraq or Syria where terrorists are domiciled if it were also the current residence of innocent civilians. On the other hand ISIS fighters randomly assassinate civilians as part of their unholy jihad.

Our enemies know America values life so we are at a serious disadvantage in conflict. Our moral compass limits our options and makes achieving victory much more elusive.

The only way to effectively defeat an enemy such as ISIS and most terrorists in the Middle East that are embedded in the general population is up close and personal using ground troops. Soldiers can usually distinguish the enemy from the innocents. Whereas a bomb dropped from the sky has no conscience. And it is sometimes difficult to determine whether a school is teaching children or sheltering radical Islamists, or both.

The speed of progress in the Middle East region is going to be determined by America’s mindset about war, the enemy and collateral damage. If our next president adopts a perspective that civilians are sacrosanct regardless of how many terrorists can be killed, the U.S. will not make much headway against ISIS.

Even more deplorable would be a policy in which America leaves the decision of civilian life and death in the hands of other aggressors. Consider the Syria/Russia attacks on innocents.

Having said all this I’m thankful that I’m not the ultimate decision maker. I’m not sure an opportunity to kill 100 enemies is worth the simultaneous death of 25 or 50 innocent people.

And finally there is the issue of nation building. It has been U.S. policy to assist nations we defeat. I suppose that by doing so we encourage new leadership to be friendly towards America.

During the years after World War II the U.S. has experienced dismal results in its nation building efforts. Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq have not been successful experiences. Our leaders destroy and destabilize rogue nations and then ask for forgiveness by using taxpayer dollars to assuage their guilty feelings.

The occupation of another country is never welcomed by the occupied. The U.S. should avoid nation building projects prospectively.



The liberal press, the political establishment and the know-it-all pundits that infest the news and cable networks together with an uninformed and narcissistic presidential candidate have eviscerated our electoral process. These groups paved the way for a highly undesirable person to acquire a soapbox that enabled him to turn America upside down. And most importantly they zeroed in on tangential issues rather than exploring whether candidates have specific and credible plans to keep America great.

At this late stage the only story that has real traction is Trump’s refusal to unconditionally support the winner of the presidential election. It’s a long-established tradition that politicians come together after a hard-fought contest for the good of the county. Trump doesn’t give a crap about anything other than his own image and decided to flush this protocol along with his political party down the toilet. But is this really important?

No way. Trump will be forgotten five minutes after the final results are tabulated on Election Day. He will never run for office again, thank goodness, so he doesn’t need to change his stripes and act civilly.

As I watched the final debate I was heartened to see a spirited conversation about Hillary Clinton’s missteps, and there are many. Pay to play at the Clinton Foundation, destruction of emails in defiance of congressional subpoenas, rampant corruption throughout her career, an inability to make any substantive new laws while a senator, endorsement of horrible trade deals and worse military transactions and so much more.

Everyone who is relieved that Clinton will win should understand that, although we have avoided a disaster with Trump, his opponent will make America vulnerable.

We should all be wary that Clinton is not shy about lying to the American people. She does it all the time. She will be more secretive than Obama. And she will be spending the next four years telling us why it is impossible to do all the inane things she promised as a candidate. She will place the blame squarely on the backs of the Republicans. When have I heard that excuse?

A hostile Congress will stymie the Clinton administration at every turn. Democrats may win the Senate, but they will not have a filibuster-proof majority. And they will not take the House. Clinton will call for comity and compromise, and what she will receive in return is obstruction and defiance.

President Clinton will likely resort to executive orders to get things done, which will enrage her opponents and our forefathers in their graves. Mandates effectively circumvent the law-making process that the latter created 240 years ago.

My fellow Americans, it’s going to be a three-ring circus in Washington. The mudslinging and animosity will be non-stop. Nobody will be charmed or fooled into working with the new president. She is too well known and despised to deserve a friendly reception from Republicans on any important matter. And besides Clinton will only be attempting to do things initiated by Obama such as rescuing the broken down Obamacare entitlement and the idiotic nuclear deal with Iran.

What about Trump? He will have no standing among any Americans very soon. Republicans will be embarrassed on Election Day and rightly attribute it to the antics of this outrageous candidate. He will not retain his “deplorable” groupies. He was able to gin up the crowds with his rhetoric for over a year. But in the end hope became despondency as Trump struggled to complete sentences and proved time and again that he is incompetent and unable to heed the advice of experts, much less lead the world.

So let’s stop worrying about Trump’s women or his decision not to support Hillary. In just a few weeks this nightmare will be over and Saturday Night Live will need to redirect its venom at someone else.

Oldchella Was Phenomenal

Alison and I had the distinct pleasure to attend the Oldchella concert in Palm Springs this past weekend. The performers included the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan (Friday), Paul McCartney and Neil Young (Saturday) and Roger Waters and The Who (Sunday). We attended all but the Waters concert.

The venue was a gigantic open field. I estimate the distance between the stage and the furthest viewer was over a ¼ of a mile. Huge screens were critical to most of the audience who either sat in grandstands to the left and right of the stage and those who were a long distance from the performers.

The sound system was extraordinary. The voices of the singers were crisp and easy to hear in spite of the hard rock melodies that accompanied them. Residents in the area could hear the concert music a few miles away, we were told.

The staging  was really great. As mentioned the screens behind the performers were essential. It would have been preferable if the performance areas were higher above the ground level to facilitate viewing by those closer to the stage.

One of the most interesting aspects of the concert was the sheer number of people who attended. Most estimates were about 85,000 each night. Keep in mind that the same concert schedule occurred the previous weekend, so the total the number of viewers for both schedules easily exceeded a half million. Not quite Woodstock, but a huge number nevertheless especially considering the average age of the audience (about 50+).

The opportunity to perform before so many people is rarely something these bands experience, with the exception of the Stones. So each group was blown away by the size of the audience and communicated it regularly during their performances.

I heard from a very good source that the payoffs for the bands were $7 million each weekend (plus room and board and alcohol) for the top billed acts (The Stones, McCartney and Waters) and $5 million for the other three (Dylan, Neil Young and The Who). The payoff for the promoters was purported to be astronomical. You can do the math: 85,000 times the average ticket plus all the vendors and advertiser income.

The real question is how did the bands perform? I would say that the five we witnessed were terrific. But here is a more detailed assessment of each performance.

Bob Dylan, the brand new Nobel Laureate. It really doesn’t matter in the grater scheme of things whether Dylan was on his game or not. He deserved to be in the company of the other rock superstars. His music is more than iconic. The power of his lyrics, especially in the context of all the strife in the 60s, is overwhelming and memorable for those of us who lived through those trying times. Dylan was in tune with the events of his youth and his words still resonate for his 60 and 70 year old fans.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that Dylan eschews the camera. This isn’t a new perspective. He forbids any recording of his face while performing (strange?). He looks like an old man, but so did a vast number of people in the audience. During every song he faced away from the cameras so 90% or more of the viewers who depended on the seeing him on the big screens only saw his back. But like I said the guy’s got a Nobel Prize. Substance of performance: A+, Execution: C.

The Rolling Stones followed Dylan. I’ve attended about eight or so Stones concerts dating back to 1969. I’ve seen Jagger at his best, and on automatic pilot. In recent concerts it appeared that Keith Richards had become the leader of the band.

Not at Oldchella. Jagger was on it. He sang, danced, cajoled the audience and everybody went crazy. The Stones were at their all-time best. For me Gimme Shelter was the high point (see a clip of it below). Substance: A+, Execution: A.

Neil Young went first on Saturday. I really like Young, but my expectations were not that high, frankly. I thought he might be too subdued for this venue. Wrong. Young started out accoustically with all his “peace and war” songs, and then found his true root as the rocker and a great guitarist he is. Young superseded everyone’s predictions, and he connected fabulously with the audience. Substance: B+, Execution A.

Paul McCartney has matured over the years. I was not his biggest fan in the early years and believed John Lennon was the mainstay of the Beatles. I’ve been converted. The set was  professional, memorable and exciting. I absolutely loved it. I knew almost every song and could sing the words of many (or at least the chorus lines). Live and Let Die stood out and  crowd went berserk during the tune. McCartney’s staging was terrific. Substance: A, Execution A.

The Who finished up a 2-year “50th Anniversary Tour” the night they performed. Peter Townsend seemed particularly moved by his own longevity, the band he loved, the music he plays and all the loving fans. Daltry and Townsend looked their age.

Having said that, they blew the roof off the place. Real blood and guts rock and roll. The set had all their great songs and was a trip down memory lane for me. All the greatness offset some high notes that were not attainable. Somehow Townsend cut his head during the performance (look for it in the clip below). I loved the act and so did every other person in attendance. Substance: A-, Performance: B.

As I said we missed Waters having already spend over 20 hours at the venue. We heard that his performance was exceptional.

It was a great weekend. The logistics were a pain in the ass. Ingress and egress was a challenge. The place was a complete dust bowl. Many of the old farts in attendance were trying to prove they were still cool and lit up weed which I found to be annoying. But the B.S. was no big deal considering the quality of the music.

Please enjoy the photos and clips of the concert below. They are anything but professional and taken with an IPhone.

Oldchella 2 is now under consideration. Here’s an article that speculates which bands might participate. If you plan to attend make plans early, accommodations are tough to come by, unless you drive your RV to Palm Springs.







The presidential election can be distilled down to one simple question: Who’s worse?

Trump supporters say America has nothing to lose by electing an outsider who has not been corrupted or compromised by the current political system. They say Obama’s game plan has been a dismal failure over the past eight years, and Clinton has been an important contributor to global problems. In particular they reference the chaos in the Middle East, the evolution of ISIS, nuclear proliferation in Iran and a series of bad economic and military arrangements that are draining U.S. resources. And also, most Americans question Clinton’s trustworthiness.

Clinton supporters say Trump is unfit to lead America. His temperament is volcanic and unpredictable. He sticks his foot into his mouth too often, and childishly uses social media to attack anyone who disagrees with him. His knowledge of both world and domestic affairs is sophomoric. He is a misogynist, a liar and a blow hard. His business acumen, supposedly his strong suit, has come under attack because of huge operating losses incurred by his companies. Many have doubted his claim to have a multi-billion dollar net worth, and yet he refuses to provide financial statements that substantiate this fact.

Frankly, neither candidate has any redeeming qualities. America should be ashamed that Trump and Clinton are our only choices. What really is disconcerting to some pragmatic Americans is the adulation of Clinton by her supporters. To be fair, I know far more people that are going to hold their noses and vote for Clinton rather than Trump. So I hear their nonsensical arguments too often. To suggest that her presidency will be a boon to our economy, to our reputation abroad, to minorities, to women, to our decaying cities, to law and order is simply wishful thinking.

The Clintons have dedicated their lives to gaining power, accumulating wealth and dodging scandal after scandal. Most know that Hillary and Bill have been partners in countless nefarious schemes and ethically questionable activities over the years. Yet America has come back to the well for another drink.

Hillary Clinton has no new plans to make America a better place. She has sold her soul to the most progressive elements in the country. She had to win the support of the socialist, Bernie Sanders, and Barack Obama to have a chance to win the presidency. Both men made deals with Clinton in exchange for their support.

Sanders nearly upset Clinton’s aspirations by out-campaigning her in the primaries. But his ideas were so off-the-wall that he couldn’t possibly win the nomination especially since the Democratic establishment had ordained Clinton to be the nominee. But Hillary needs the votes of young people so she agreed to support some of Sanders’ most ridiculous proposals. One of the most inane and reckless was free college and expunging existing college debt.

Everybody knows the Obamas and the Clintons hate each other. Books have been written on the subject. The reasons have been fleshed out in the press for years. All of a sudden Obama is sashaying around the country espousing Hillary’s abilities to be president. Why?

I hasten to point out that this was not the first time the two made a “deal.” Obama chose Clinton as his Secretary of State. That was a move to gain her political support, or at least silence her. Now Obama was offering his help to get her elected if she would work to bolster his legacies. Clinton essentially agreed to adopt Obama’s worldview. In exchange she tacitly or overtly agreed to not dismantle Obamacare, renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal, send U.S. ground troops to the Middle East to fight ISIS or bar Muslims from entering the country.

So everyone who votes for Clinton should realize that nothing would change if she were elected. Clinton is committed to all the same progressive programs that Obama touted.

I have no alternative solutions to the problems I see on our horizon. It’s likely that Republicans will retain a majority in the House or retain at least 41 votes in the Senate. If true our government will be just as ineffective for the next four years as it has been for the last eight.

If Clinton wins, our Supreme Court will be stacked with left wing justices so the standoff between liberal and conservative forces will tilt far to the left.

I don’t know what I’m going to do on Election Day, but I won’t vote for either Trump or Clinton.




Our country really wants change. Our economy is sluggish as many Americans continue to struggle to make ends meet. The threat of terrorism has never been greater. Unstable countries with power-hungry leaders are buying and developing nuclear devices. Efforts to reform immigration laws have been feeble. Crime in the nation continues to bewilder our leaders. The U.S. has been stretched thin by inane trade and security arrangements with countries around the world.

Donald Trump promises to address these and a number of other issues that are negatively impacting America. Unfortunately his inability to overcome verbal gaffes and previous bad behavior coupled with a personality that most find offensive have overwhelmed his campaign and made it impossible for him to win in November.

But Democrats and disloyal Republicans that have abandoned Trump should not rejoice, given that Trump is about the only candidate who Hillary Clinton can defeat.

The country doesn’t trust her because she is a serial liar. She has proven that she would do anything to be elected president. She is one step ahead of the law and, in the minds of many Americans, should be indicted for obstruction of justice relating to her email scandal.

At this point the only hope for Republicans is that Trump retires before the election to his palatial home in the tower named after him. It’s unclear what would transpire if this occurred. Who would take his place on the ballot? Would Pence become the Republican candidate for president? Could Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney replace Trump? Is it possible to make changes to state ballots this late in the game? Nevertheless I believe just about any other legitimate Republican candidate would defeat Clinton even at this late stage.

Given that Clinton will be likely be victorious, it’s worth considering whether her presidency will be successful. What can we expect from her? Skeptics are asking whether she will continue to lie and distort every substantive issue even as president. Will she increase the level of secrecy that has shrouded the White House for the past eight years?

If Democrats do not win the House and gain a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, Hillary will be unable to govern effectively. She will have to resort to rule by fiat, employing executive orders to circumvent the powers of Congress, just the way the Obama did during his tenure.

Furthermore Clinton will continue the failed policies of Barack Obama, in some eyes the most ineffective president in recent history. He unwisely tried to outsmart opponents domestically and it resulted in an unproductive and contentious government. Internationally Obama’s policies have been disastrous. Every country in the world looks down on the U.S. and eschews our input on critical issues. If you have any doubts about this phenomenon read the speeches at the United Nations.

Does anyone really believe that Clinton has the gravitas to contend with the likes of Putin, Kim Jong-il, Bashar al-Assad and the Ayatollahs in Iran? Will Clinton continue to honor the U.S. blood pact with Israel?

Clinton will likely enter the White House in January. She will have a very weak mandate. After all, her average unfavorable rating is well above 50%. The deck is stacked against her because she will inevitably be compared to her husband. And, she has no choice but to continue the progressive policies of Obama, which are basically to redistribute wealth and placate the most liberal wing of her party (the Bernie Sanders effect). She will fight relentlessly with conservatives who in turn will obstruct every new initiative and every nomination to the Supreme Court.

I will not vote for Clinton under any circumstances. She doesn’t deserve to be president because she has proven she is not a leader. Her actions while Secretary of State resulted in the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi and have the potential for many more as she paved the way for Iran to build a nuclear weapon. She made a mockery of due process by knowingly destroying evidence that would have proven she broke the law, a result of her social media addiction.

I cannot support Trump either. I admit it. I flip-flopped. He is incapable of controlling his temperament. And, do we really want another president with an over active libido?

Great! America has nominated two incompetent and undeserving people to be the next leader of the free world. I guess we all knew it would come down to this.