Guest Post: Steve Oravecz
Most political writers seem to expect GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump to self destruct. If he didn’t do himself in by claiming Sen. John McCain is no war hero, it is only a matter of time before he says something even more outrageous and plummets in the polls. Ruth Marcus in The Washington Post wrote on Thursday:
In the end, my confidence that Trump will fizzle comes from Trump himself. “You can’t con people, at least not for long,” he wrote in “Trump: The Art of the Deal.” “You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.”
I’m not so sure about that. Right down to the bad hair, Trump sounds a lot like the late James A. Traficant of Youngstown, who was elected to Congress eight times before kicked out for taking a bribe. At the beginning, Traficant had some real populist credence. As sheriff, he refused to foreclose on steelworkers who had lost their jobs when the Youngstown mills closed. But as his career wore on, Traficant kept his seat by playing to the anger and frustrations of blue collar workers who saw their jobs move overseas as their way of life slipped away. His bombast gave him a reputation of telling it like it is, of standing up for the little guy and telling the fat cats to go to hell. Thanks to his billions of dollars and his celebrity status, Trump is Traficant on steroids.
Here is what Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said of Trump:
“He says what’s on his mind. He gives honest answers rather than prepared answers. This is more important than anything any candidate has done in years.”
Chris Cillizza of the Post wrote:
‘ “This guy isn’t afraid of anyone!,” you can imagine a Trump supporter saying. “He says whatever he damn well pleases!” ‘
People said the same thing about Traficant. So for all those waiting for Trump to flame out, recall that Traficant NEVER LOST until he tried to make a comeback after his prison sentence. Traficant’s career is littered with promises he never fulfilled. A Democrat, Traficant once voted for a Republican to become speaker of the house, ending any prayer he had of being an effective advocate for his constituents. But for the true believers, it didn’t matter. He still won. He was on their side. He was one of them. So don’t be surprised if Trump survives the attack on McCain just as Traficant weathered the vote for Dennis Hastert. As Cuban said,
“I don’t care what his actual positions are. … I don’t care if he says the wrong thing.” As long as Trump can keep people thinking he is the only guy telling it like it is, he will be a force in the GOP race for the White House.
The Confederate Battle Flag, or Flag of Northern Virginia, has drawn a lot of attention lately.
It even greeted the first black President on Wednesday with defiant people waving it on his Oklahoma trip to visit a prison.
People who have stated it’s a sign of pride, heritage and history are angry at the flag’s removal from the South Carolina Statehouse and other attempts across the South to remove its presence.
Many have stated that it honors those fallen family members who served the Confederacy.
It would appear that they overlook the inter-twining of slavery and treason in the history of that flag and the history of that rebellion.
I admit to having a different view and different perspective than they do — a view and perspective cultivated out of an immigrant Irish family that served its adopted Country in time of revolution and rebellion in the person of Edward Hand.
General Hand was Adjutant General at Yorktown, once Commander of Fort Pitt, Member of the Continental Congress, Doctor and Patriot.
He fought against tyranny and for freedom.
He fought against oppression and for liberty.
He fought to make a new Nation.
That’s pride, that’s heritage.
I have a different view and perspective on the Confederate battle flag that is cultivate by my Great-Great-Great Uncle who was an immigrant and settled in Pennsylvania with his English parents, married at 19 and fathered 4 children by the age of 26.
In the Civil War, he fought against tyranny and for freedom.
He fought against oppression and for liberty.
And he died at the age of 28 to preserve a nation.
David Greggs simple headstone marker states his name and the number 5735.
The life of Pvt David Greggs, Pennsylvania 142 A Infantry, Union Army, ended on 15 August 1864 in the notorious Andersonville Prison Camp, Sumter, Georgia as that Confederate Flag flew over his head.
Originally posted on Dare To Dream:
Yesterday, Senator Rafael “Ted” Cruz announced that he is a candidate for President of the United States.
In September of 2013, I posted this article on my views about the junior Texas Senator.
I believe that this is a good time to re-post:
One of my favorite authors is Allen Drury.
In fact, he was the first “modern” author I had read outside of the classics.
That’s what happens when you grow up in a household where your Mother is an English teacher and Chaucer was her main field.
Drury wrote four fictional books that were based on Washington DC and politics.
I came from a family that was semi-active in politics, but very strong on opinion, and it was Drury’s books that gave me the “bug” for politics.
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Thanksgiving Day is a mere 10 days away and Christmas but 38, so the snow trumpets that Winter is neigh and the Holidays begin.
Today I awoke early, knowing that snow was predicted and I wanted to watch the morning arise with the glistening white mantle adorning trees, lawn and all man-made features that seem almost a work of art when snow clings to every untouched nook and cranny it can find.
Years past I would have put on some Christmas records, or years later Christmas cassettes or then CD’s, but now I just turn on my tablet, pick Pandora One and the room is filled with choruses proclaiming the joy of Advent.
So many wonders, changes and marvels have happened since my first Christmas of 1946.
I’ve never really understood my fascination with Christmas. Never quite understood why out of my parents and I, out of my Grandparents, Uncles and Aunts, it is I who feels a kindred spirit to all things Christmas.
When I was a young man, and no longer living at home, every Christmas Eve I would call my American Grandparents, all my Uncles and Aunts to wish them a Merry Christmas, then I’d call my Grandparents, Aunt and Uncle in England to wish them a Happy Holiday.
Needless to say, you could hear the surprise in most of my relatives voices when they heard me on the other end of the phone.
My greatest joy was the first Christmas I spent In England. I was 21 and I remember that Christmas Eve as I walked to the Church and it started to snow just like watching the snow fall this morning.
What a wonder for this Dickens’ personality. This “Irish rough.” This “Medieval Spirit.” To look out across the rolling fields and see the moon shining off the falling snow, as it landed on country lanes and hedgerows.
Several years, after I returned from the service, my parents found out that I was “Gay” and I was asked not to come home and it was Christmas time.
So over the many years that followed, no matter where I was, I would put up a tree, listen to Christmas music and cook my self a turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and corn.
After doing the dishes I would sit, eat a piece of fruit cake, drink a glass of sherry and smoke my pipe while I watched TV.
Oh yes, and I still called all the relatives on Christmas Eve, but now, I added my parents to that list.
When I was 28, my Father died shortly after that Christmas we spent a part. I do remember my phone call to wish my parents a Happy Holiday and Dad’s voice, weak and throaty from the cancer saying that he “loved me.” It was one of the very few times my Dad used the word love and even in that sad time, it was a wonderful Christmas gift.
Mom and I still were distant until my early 40’s. So many more Christmases a part.
Even the calls to the relatives became fewer as they passed away but no matter where I was I still put up the tree, cooked the turkey and made the trimmings for Christmas.
In 1989 I met Bob. His family didn’t celebrate the Holiday. So our first Christmas was spent together at a restaurant we found that was open.
In 1990 my Mom asked me what I was doing for Christmas? By then Bob and I had a small apartment and were planning to celebrate together. I explained that to Mom and she invited me to her house and she invited Bob to join us, knowing he had no place to go for Christmas. We took Mom up on the offer.
Mom treated Bob like family. Tho she never inquired or asked about our relationship, tho still was obviously not happy about me being gay.
Every Christmas after that, Mom made sure that she asked me to come “home” for Christmas and to “bring Bob.”
A couple of weeks after Christmas of 1993, Mom passed away in her sleep. She had heart problems.
The night she passed, it was bitterly cold. I had stopped by to run and pick up some items for her. After having a cup of tea I got ready to leave. She said, “Hey lad, give us a hug,” and then added as she reached her arms around me, “I love you and tell Bob I love him too.”
So many Christmas missed, but with one hug, one “I love you,” they all were forgotten and I was a child again.
Guess I can’t end this post without saying that for the last 26 Christmases I have not been alone. Both Bob and I have been together and celebrate the “magical season” of Christmas.
Dad, I miss and love you.
Mom, I miss and love you.
Bob, Merry Christmas!
I find myself agreeing about 75% of the time with Joe Scarborough and siding with Mika, Barnicle and Roberts more times than not.
As I was watching the other morning, going in and out of boredom on the topic of GOP “landslide” that happened on Tuesday, November 4th, I heard Mike Barnicle make a comment that just didn’t ring true and one being perpetuated on Fox News.
He stated that the stock market reacted in a “record-setting fashion on Wednesday and Thursday” because of the “Republican victories.”
Let us take a layman’s look at the Market and Obama’s Presidency.
1) When President Obama took office the Market was at 7,949.
2) Four years later after his first term, and obstructionist Congress, the Market closed at 12,730, which is a 60% increase.
3) Friday, October 30th, 2014, the Market closed at a record level and a +195 point increase and ending the week before the so called Republican “whooping” of the President.
4) On Monday, November 3rd, 2014, the Market closed 17390 which was a +1.2% increase and this was the day before the election.
5) Now, granted on Wednesday November 5th the Market was up +101 points and on Thursday November 6th it was up +130 points. But this is only consistent with the general trend of the Market under this President. Both those increases fall shorter than the previous Friday’s 195 point increase.
6) Under President Obama, the Stock Market has gone from 7949.09 at the start of his Presidency, to a closing on Monday, November 10th of 17,573.93 and all this with a Congress determined to obstruct, hate monger and belittle.
So Mike Barnicle, and Fox News in general, cherry pick your figures for slanted arguments but even the layman can see the total picture that Business Economy is surviving and flourishing.
I am a romantic! Just look at my favorite authors: William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley. Even my favorite author Dickens has the romantic flair.
Over the years I have been called, “An Irish Rouge”, “A Medieval Master”, “A Don Quixote tilting with windmills”, and even my own Mother called me a “13th Century Monk in Modern Dress.” I’m the “odd relative” that gets the wink and a nod when talked about at family gatherings, but it is my nature, it is my being, it is me, whether understood or not, it is genuine.
This week, I find that an adventure started 25 years ago will become a moment to celebrate and to pause in wonderment. On Wednesday, Robert and myself will mark 25 years together and one year married…tho not yet recognized in our own State of Ohio.
Those who know me, know my tendency to be wordy, yet all I can say is that Robert is my “Rock.”
As a young man in the service, I prayed for two things to happen in my life.
The first was that I would get to England and meet my Grandparents, who I had never seen, before they died. That prayer was answered shortly after my 21st birthday, when I was shipped to an RAF base near Banbury England.
The second part of that prayer was that I would find someone who would love me and that I could love back. I waited 27 frustrating years till that happened. “A day dream’t of and almost forgotten.”
Robert, “May I always dance the Anniversary Waltz with you.”