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Most recent 16 results returned for keyword: richard lugar (Search this on MAP)

https://plus.google.com/111479969046248679555 DFNS.net : The U.S. Department of Defense is seeking to acquire scientific, clinical research, and operational ...
The U.S. Department of Defense is seeking to acquire scientific, clinical research, and operational support for the U.S. Army Medical Research Directorate – Georgia (USAMRD-G) at the Lugar Center in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Richard Lugar Center for Public…
Bioresearch Support to the Lugar Center in Tbilisi - DFNS.net CBRN News
The U.S. Department of Defense is seeking to acquire scientific, clinical research, and operational support for the U.S. Army Medical Research Directorate – Georgia (USAMRD-G) at the Lugar Center in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Richard...
2 days ago - Via - View -
https://plus.google.com/114767371800540705824 Workedia : Declining overseas admissions costs us not only much needed revenues for colleges and universities, ...
Declining overseas admissions costs us not only much needed revenues for colleges and universities, but much more importantly, we lose the best opportunity we have to introduce foreign students to all that America has to offer the world. - Richard Lugar http://workedia.com/quotes/declining-overseas-admissions-costs-us-not-only-much-needed-revenues-colleges-and #Richard_Lugar
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https://plus.google.com/114861182123615551346 Diana Korpac : The Clintons’ Saudi Connection Prior to and in the wake of President Obama’s recent meeting with Saudi...
The Clintons’ Saudi Connection
Prior to and in the wake of President Obama’s recent meeting with Saudi Arabian King Salman, questions are being asked anew about Saudi Arabia’s role in the 9/11 terror attacks. There are many reports about 28 pages that were classified and not included in the official 9/11 Commission Report regarding the role of high-ranking Saudi officials in the financing of the terrorists. Of course, documentaries like Fahrenheit 9/11 have covered the cozy relationship between the Bush family and the Saudi royals (and the bin Laden family). But what is less well known is that there are deep ties between the Clintons and the Saudis as well.
In fact, there are so many connections to the Clintons, it’s hard to know where to begin when discussing them.
The Clinton family, through their Clinton Foundation, has received tens of millions of dollars in donations from Saudi businessmen, princes and their friends. The Saudi government alone gave more than $10 million.
Wealthy Saudi citizens such as Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi and Nasser Al-Rashid (the latter who is said to have close ties with the Saudi royal family) have given generously to the notorious nonprofit, which does not publish specific donation amounts but offers rough figures. While Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State, arms sales worth more than $29 billion were approved for Saudi Arabia, including advanced fighter jets that raised complaints with American ally Israel about the region’s balance of power.
Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro, a veteran Clinton aide, said at the time that the deals were “a top priority” for Clinton. This was despite State Department documentation of human rights abuses (including beheadings and other draconian legal punishments) and denial of women’s rights in the repressive kingdom. Moreover, even getting the Saudis to take seriously the challenge of combatting terrorism was an issue, according to Clinton herself in a State Department cable made public in 2009 by website Wikileaks.
All told, Clinton’s State Department approved over $165 billion worth of arms sales (including biological and chemical agents and associated equipment) to at least 20 nations whose regimes had given millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.
The total dollar value of arms sales to those countries during the three fiscal years Clinton was Secretary of State was more than double the value of what similar sales had been during the second term of President George W. Bush. Additionally, $151 billion worth of deals for 16 donating countries were brokered through the Pentagon.
These deals represented a 143 percent increase in arms sales to these specific countries between the Bush and the Obama administrations versus an 80 percent increase for countries that were not donors.
Many of these countries had authoritarian dictatorships that again had human rights abuses such as “restrictions on freedom of association and assembly” and “arbitrary killing” decried by the State Department, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Again, Clinton herself had written emails detailing that many of these countries were less than forthcoming when it came to prosecuting terrorists’ financiers.
Not only were the governments of such countries donating money, but American military contractors were as well. Boeing, for instance, gave more than $900,000 just two months before a deal was completed for the aforementioned Saudi Arabian fighter jets.
In total, defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin, United Technologies, Honeywell, Hawker Beechcraft and General Electric that gave money to the Clinton Foundation (and in some cases paid former president Bill Clinton big money for speeches) received $163 billion worth of deals between 2009 and 2012.
Prior to Clinton becoming Secretary of State, at her confirmation hearings, Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana pointed out the apparent conflict of interest between potential donations and State Department approvals but was ignored. In the wake of the deals that followed, it could easily be argued that Lugar had been correct in his estimations.
While donations to a nonprofit are not illegal, questions must be raised when the donation amounts are in the millions and the nonprofit is controlled by a public policymaker.
As Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig stated, “These continuing revelations raise a fundamental question of judgment. Can it really be that the Clintons didn’t recognize the questions these transactions would raise? And if they did, what does that say about their sense of the appropriate relationship between private gain and public good?”
Currently, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign manager is Clinton family friend Jon Podesta. Podesta’s brother Tony, a veteran Democratic Party fundraiser and Clinton campaign bundler, has a lobbying and public relations firm, The Podesta Group, consisting of several dozen employees.
After Bill Clinton paid a “brief courtesy visit” to Saudi King Salman in 2014, The Podesta Group received a new account in the form of the Saudi Arabian government, which retained it for a reported $140,000 per month.
The group is one of a half-dozen or so the Saudis have retained for lobbying services in Washington, D.C. The Podesta Group’s key man working the Saudi account is David Adams, the former assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs under Hillary Clinton during her tenure at the State Department. Other Clinton campaign bundlers have ties to the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.
Recently, Hillary Clinton said on Fox Business News that as president she wouldn’t “stand in the way” of Saudi Arabia, among other Middle Eastern nations, purchasing portions of leading American banks.
“This is classic influence peddling,” stated Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a campaign finance watchdog group.
Finally, there is the question of Huma Mahmood Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s longtime companion and personal aide. Abedin and Clinton have been almost inseparable throughout Clinton’s presidential campaign, generating much Washington beltway gossip.
Abedin got her most important job after interning for Clinton while the latter was in the White House and Abedin was enrolled at George Washington University. This was following a childhood and adolescence spent in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where her mother currently teaches at a local college.
Hillary isn’t the only Clinton to have considerable Saudi influence. While Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, Bill Clinton received $600,000 in speaking fees for two talks from the Saudi Arabian government. This was after receiving more than $10 million from it for his presidential library. As it turns out, Saudi Arabia funds many Middle Eastern libraries and studies programs on college campuses in the U.S., despite being the center of Wahhabism, a fundamentalist sect of Islam.
One of those studies programs was at the University of Arkansas during Bill Clinton’s governorship of that state. And colleges aren’t the only recipients of Saudi Arabian influence on their curricula; the country has also provided Middle Eastern study materials to U.S. taxpayer-funded K-12 programs under federally-mandated public outreach programs.
One of Bill Clinton’s good friends from his Georgetown University days is none other than the head of the Saudi intelligence service, Prince Turki bin Feisal.
Another close friend of both Clintons is the former head of the same intelligence service and former 22-year Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who has somewhat of a checkered past. This second prince helped secure the sale of American-made F-15s and AWACS surveillance aircraft to the kingdom; he had involvement in the Iran-Contra Affair and arranged for Saudi financing for the Contras. When the U.S. wouldn’t sell nuclear-warhead-capable missiles to his country, he negotiated for their purchase from China instead.
Bandar bin Sultan’s wife Princess Haifa (the daughter of late Saudi King Faisal) is on record as having sent funds to Osama Bassnan and Omar al-Bayoumi, who then, it has been documented, turned around and gave financial support to 9/11 hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar.
Indeed, there are whispers of far more Saudi influence with the Clintons than this. But for now, it must be sufficient to say that the Clintons’ connections to Saudi Arabia appear to run even deeper than those of the Bushes. Until such influence can be firmly rooted out, especially from a candidate who is dangerously close to being elected the next president of the United States, continuous scrutiny must be applied to make sure the hands of such corruption do not sully the nation’s highest office any more than they already have.
The Clintons’ Saudi Connection | American Liberty Report
Prior to and in the wake of President Obama's recent meeting with Saudi Arabian King Salman, questions are being asked anew about Saudi Arabia's role in the 9/11 terror attacks. There are many reports about 28 pages that were classified and not included in the official 9/11 Commission Report ...
13 days ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/108600123356085848242 irish d : In case you didn't know, $hillary is under 2 investigations: mishandling classified/negligence (the ...
In case you didn't know, $hillary is under 2 investigations: mishandling classified/negligence (the email scandal) and this one, corruption, and according the article, charity FRAUD.
Wall Street Whistleblower Calls Clinton Foundation ‘Charity Fraud’
A Wall Street whistleblower has found a new target for investigation of financial irregularities, and it’s bad news for the Hillary Clinton campaign. Financial
18 days ago - Via Reshared Post - View -
https://plus.google.com/113768640513130436414 shahriyar Gourgi : Georgia Democrat Sam Nunn and Indiana Republican Richard Lugar established the Cooperative Threat Reduction...
Georgia Democrat Sam Nunn and Indiana Republican Richard Lugar established the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program as the Nunn-Lugar amendment -- formally the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act of 1991 -- to the implementing legislation for the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty.
Carter: Threat-Reduction Program Was Novel Response to Historic Change
Twenty-five years ago, amid the chaos surrounding the Soviet Union
19 days ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/110769884522153026791 Father John Hollowell : Trump - the national version of Indiana's Richard Murdock In the Tea Party surge in 2012, Richard Murdock...
Trump - the national version of Indiana's Richard Murdock
In the Tea Party surge in 2012, Richard Murdock upset long time Indiana senator Richard Lugar in the Republican primary.  Lugar had served admirably in a long and distinguished career, but Murdock won over voters with promises to "shake up Washington as an ...
Trump - the national version of Indiana's Richard Murdock
In the Tea Party surge in 2012, Richard Murdock upset long time Indiana senator Richard Lugar in the Republican primary. Lugar had served admirably in a long and distinguished career, but Murdock won over voters with promise...
19 days ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/118003361779935843802 Jeremy Adams : Voting-fraud activist Gary Welsh was found dead leading up to the Indiana primary. Police found Welsh’s...
Voting-fraud activist Gary Welsh was found dead leading up to the Indiana primary. Police found Welsh’s body in an apartment complex stairwell in Indianapolis, Ind., on May 1 with a gun lying beside him and quickly ruled it a “suicide.”

“Welsh was a well-known lawyer and political commentator in Indiana who combated against the takeover of the state by religious fundamentalists and opposed ‘well-connected’ GOP presidential candidates like Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Rubio,” Wayne Madsen reported. “Welsh was a well-known advocate for election integrity and he supported Donald Trump for the GOP nomination.”

He published the blog Advance Indiana which heavily reported on voting fraud in the state.

A strange message was posted to Welsh’s blog prior to his death stating “if I'm not around to see the vote results, my prediction is that Trump wins Indiana with just shy of 50% of the vote.

Welsh was also one of the insiders who told Madsen about the “foam parties” Rubio reportedly attended during the early-to-mid 1990s at gay entertainment venues in South Florida. Along with the revelations about Rubio’s past, Welsh was also pushing the narrative surrounding the evidence that Ted Cruz’s Father, Rafael was involved in the JFK assassination. As this photo shows what appears to be Ted Cruz’s Father standing to Lee Harvey Oswald’s left.

As one of Welsh’s client Greg Wright wrote “ ."(Welsh) was unafraid of unmasking corruption. Many of his friends had suggested that he be careful….He represented me in a matter I had put before the Commission. I had asked the Election Board if then Sen. Richard Lugar and his wife, Charlene, had voted illegally in Marion County because they have not lived at the home address on their registration for more than three decades. Gary won the case.” The reasoning behind Welsh’s untimely demise has been attributed to depression due to dealing with financial difficulties. But how can we ever know that for sure?

Gary Welsh loved America. Uncovering corruption is one of the most positively invigorating pursuits anyone can experience. The elephant in the room here is, why would Welsh kill himself right before the results were to be announced for an election he was working tirelessly to influence?
Watch the video: The Suspicious Suicide Of A Political Blogger
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Voting-fraud activist Gary Welsh was found dead leading up to the Indiana primary. Police found Welsh’s body in an apartment complex stairwell in Indianapoli...
22 days ago - Via Reshared Post - View -
https://plus.google.com/116987987149730551614 Cindy Brown : Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Tuesday, winning the Indiana primary...
Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Tuesday, winning the Indiana primary as Ted Cruz dropped out. It... http://trib.al/FnfVRCc
Trump's Indiana win raises unsettling questions for GOP - CSMonitor.com
Shifts in thought Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Tuesday, winning the Indiana primary as Ted Cruz dropped out. It punctuates the power of the populist rebellion against the GOP elite.
25 days ago - Via Reshared Post - View -
https://plus.google.com/110904902934319571710 Angelita Felixberto : Sen Lugar Extols Strong Longstanding PH-US Ties at Philippines 2016 Symposium The Catalyst Writer “Raise...
Sen Lugar Extols Strong Longstanding PH-US Ties at Philippines 2016 Symposium
The Catalyst Writer “Raise the Bar, Speak the Faith” SEN LUGAR EXTOLS STRONG,  LONGSTANDING PH-US TIES AT PHILIPPINES 2016 SYMPOSIUM   Philippine Embassy  PRESS RELEASE WDC-049-2016  30 April 2016 The Honorable Richard Lugar, former Chairman of the US Senat...
Sen Lugar Extols Strong Longstanding PH-US Ties at Philippines 2016 Symposium

26 days ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/114865618166480775623 Russ Abbott : In an earlier post (https://goo.gl/2c4mwt) I wrote about Richard Lugar's +The New York Times column ...
In an earlier post (https://goo.gl/2c4mwt) I wrote about Richard Lugar's +The New York Times column saying that of course Obama can prioritize immigration deportation. The case that triggered this column was heard by the SCOTUS today. It seems the issue isn't quite whether Obama has the authority to prioritize but whether he has authority to declare the people whose deportation priority he wants to reduce to be "legally present," as he is now doing.

Solicitor General Verrilli argued that the president doesn’t actually need to insist that the undocumented persons are “lawfully present,” as the executive order states. "We are not trying to change anybody's legal status," Verrilli said. "If the court thinks it's a problem and wants to put a red pencil through it, it's totally ….fine. Really." All Obama needed to do, he asserted, was to defer deportation of the immigrants in question.

Verrilli's gamble placed Texas in a difficult position. Keller, representing the state, all but admitted that the president could choose to tell parents of children born in the U.S. that they were low priority for deportation, and even give them a document that says so. But he stuck with his insistence that the executive order was unconstitutional because it would change the legal status of the undocumented parents to lawfully present -- an action he said exceeded presidential authority.

But if the executive order doesn’t actually change the person's legal status, and instead just defers deporting them, then there’s nothing unconstitutional about it. Roberts seemed open to this argument.
Who Cares If They're Legal?
Just don't send them back. That gives the Supreme Court an easy out on Obama's immigration plan.
1 month ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/114865618166480775623 Russ Abbott : Richard Lugar, former Republican Senator from Indiana, writes that Obama's immigration policy is consistent...
Richard Lugar, former Republican Senator from Indiana, writes that Obama's immigration policy is consistent with those of past presidents and approaches  an optimal state-friendly federal immigration policy.

President Obama ... has operated under longstanding provisions of law that give the executive branch discretion in enforcement. This presidential prerogative has been recognized explicitly by the Supreme Court. Moreover, the nature of immigration enforcement and the resources (or lack thereof) appropriated by Congress necessitate exactly the type of choices that the president has made.

The 2002 law creating the Department of Homeland Security explicitly said the executive should set “national immigration enforcement policies and priorities.” The Supreme Court has recognized the leeway Congress gives the executive branch in deportations. In a 2012 majority opinion written by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the court noted that “a principal feature of the removal system is the broad discretion exercised by immigration officials,” including the decision “whether it makes sense to pursue removal at all.” ...

In 1990, for example, under President George H.W. Bush, the immigration service, relying in part on authority dating from the Reagan administration, offered extended voluntary departure and work authorization to the spouses and children of aliens who had previously been granted legal status.

From [the Republican] howls of outrage, you wouldn’t know that the Obama administration has vastly exceeded the deportations under President George W. Bush. And Mr. Bush vastly exceeded those of President Clinton. President Obama’s directives to focus enforcement efforts on those who have committed crimes in the United States and recent border crossers are a rational executive prioritization, given the resources and the realities.

These facts undercut Texas’s argument that it is unduly burdened by the president’s decisions. With deportations aimed at criminals and new border crossers, we would seem close to an optimal state-friendly federal immigration policy.
On Immigration, Law Is on Obama’s Side - The New York Times
The president has operated under longstanding provisions of law that give the executive branch discretion in enforcement.
1 month ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/115751985982972246887 George Mattathil : Type 2 diabetes affects more than 30 million Americans and kills two of them every five minutes. That’s...
Type 2 diabetes affects more than 30 million Americans and kills two of them every five minutes. That’s why Sen. Franken—a member of the Senate Health Committee—teamed up with Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) to establish the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP),…
Minnesota Daily: Save money, lives with prevention | Al Franken | Senator for Minnesota
Type 2 diabetes affects more than 30 million Americans and kills two of them every five minutes. That’s why Sen. Franken—a member of the Senate Health Committee—teamed up with Sen. Richard Lu…
1 month ago - Via - View -
https://plus.google.com/116418716601365816364 Thorvald ver Jarlsson II : Today is Monday, April 4, the 95th day of 2016. There are 271 days left in the year. Today's Highlight...
Today is Monday, April 4, the 95th day of 2016. There are 271 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 4, 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., 39, was shot and killed while standing on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

On this date:

In 1818, Congress decided the flag of the United States would consist of 13 red and white stripes and 20 stars, with a new star to be added for every new state of the Union.

In 1841, President William Henry Harrison succumbed to pneumonia one month after his inaugural, becoming the first U.S. chief executive to die in office.

In 1850, the city of Los Angeles was incorporated.

In 1859, "Dixie" was performed publicly for the first time by Bryant's Minstrels at Mechanics' Hall in New York.

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln, accompanied by his son Tad, visited the vanquished Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, where he was greeted by a crowd that included former slaves.

In 1933, the Navy airship USS Akron crashed in severe weather off the New Jersey coast with the loss of 73 lives.

In 1949, 12 nations, including the United States, signed the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington, D.C.

In 1958, Johnny Stompanato, an enforcer for crime boss Mickey Cohen and the boyfriend of actress Lana Turner, was stabbed to death by Turner's teenage daughter, Cheryl Crane, who said Stompanato had attacked her mother.

In 1975, more than 130 people, most of them children, were killed when a U.S. Air Force transport plane evacuating Vietnamese orphans crash-landed shortly after takeoff from Saigon. Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In 1976, the film "All the President's Men," starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, had its world premiere in Washington, D.C.

In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger roared into orbit on its maiden voyage. (It was destroyed in the disaster of Jan. 1986.)

In 1991, Sen. John Heinz, R-Pa., and six other people, including two children, were killed when a helicopter collided with Heinz's plane over a schoolyard in Merion, Pennsylvania.

Ten years ago: The Iraq tribunal announced new criminal charges against Saddam Hussein and six others, accusing them of genocide and crimes against humanity stemming from a 1980s crackdown against Kurds. Denis Donaldson, a former Sinn Fein (shin fayn) official recently exposed as a British spy, was found fatally shot at his home in County Donegal, Ireland. Maryland beat Duke, 78-75, in overtime to win its first NCAA women's basketball title.

Five years ago: Yielding to political opposition, the Obama administration gave up on trying avowed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators in civilian federal courts and said it would prosecute them instead before military commissions. President Barack Obama's campaign announced in a web video that he would run for re-election in 2012. The Connecticut Huskies beat the Butler Bulldogs 53-41 for the NCAA men's basketball title. Dennis Rodman, Chris Mullin, Artis Gilmore, Arvydas Sabonis, Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards, Harlem Globetrotter Reece "Goose" Tatum and Boston Celtic Tom "Satch" Sanders were elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

One year ago: In North Charleston, South Carolina, Walter Scott, a 50-year-old black motorist, was shot to death while running away from a traffic stop; Officer Michael Thomas Slager, seen in a cellphone video opening fire at Scott, has been charged with murder. More than 300 enslaved migrant fishermen, mostly from Myanmar, were brought to freedom by an Indonesia delegation following a dramatic rescue from a remote island that was the result of an Associated Press investigation. The United States defended their women's world hockey championship with a 7-5 win over Canada in Malmo, Sweden. Jenny Wallenda, 87, the matriarch of the famous family of high-flying circus performers, died in Sarasota, Florida.

Today's Birthdays: Former Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., is 84. Recording executive Clive Davis is 84. Bandleader Hugh Masekela is 77. Author Kitty Kelley is 74. Actor Craig T. Nelson is 72. Actor Walter Charles is 71. Actress Christine Lahti is 66. Country singer Steve Gatlin (The Gatlin Brothers) is 65. Actress Mary-Margaret Humes is 62. Writer-producer David E. Kelley is 60. Actress Constance Shulman (TV: "Orange is the New Black") is 58. Actor Phil Morris is 57. Actress Lorraine Toussaint is 56. Actor Hugo Weaving is 56. Rock musician Craig Adams (The Cult) is 54. Talk show host/comic Graham Norton is 53. Actor David Cross is 52. Actor Robert Downey Jr. is 51. Actress Nancy McKeon is 50. Actor Barry Pepper is 46. Country singer Clay Davidson is 45. Rock singer Josh Todd (Buckcherry) is 45. Singer Jill Scott is 44. Rock musician Magnus Sveningsson (The Cardigans) is 44. Magician David Blaine is 43. Singer Kelly Price is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Andre Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 42. Country musician Josh McSwain (Parmalee) is 41. Actor James Roday is 40. Actress Natasha Lyonne is 37. Actor Eric Andre is 33. Actress Amanda Righetti is 33. Actress-singer Jamie Lynn Spears is 25. Actress Daniela Bobadilla is 23. Pop singer Austin Mahone (muh-HOHN') is 20.

Thought for Today: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." - Martin Luther King Junior (1929-1968).

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1 month ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/111099848984836759756 Robert Weil : BEST LETTER EVER? Richard North Patterson’s “Open Letter to My (His) Republican Friends” on HuffPo (...
BEST LETTER EVER?
Richard North Patterson’s “Open Letter to My (His) Republican Friends” on HuffPo (3/22/16)

Dear Cherished Friends,
The Republican Party has become intellectually and morally bankrupt, a mockery of its traditions — corrosive to our society, our civility, and our capacity to govern. This is not a temporary condition; it is woven into the fabric of the party. Unless and until it reverses course, you should take your votes and money and walk away.

I never thought I would presume to say this. I respect that your allegiance is rooted in considered beliefs and years of loyalty which, at the beginning of my political journey, I shared. I certainly don’t think I have all the answers, and I enjoy exploring our differences. You inform me, correct me and, most generously, tolerate me. You care, as do I, about the world we are leaving the next generations.

Our friendship far transcends our political beliefs. We share each other’s celebrations, enjoy each other’s successes. I value your advice. You’ve helped me through hard times, and some of you have helped my kids as well. You are loyal friends, generous members of the community, and deeply committed parents and grandparents. My world, and the larger world, would be a grayer place without you.

Knowing you as I do, I know that you are troubled by the direction of your party. Little wonder — you are mainstream Republicans whose mainstream has run dry. But I also accept that, for you, the Democrats may not be the answer — that you see them as feckless devotees of identity politics and too much government, don’t trust Hillary Clinton, and believe that Bernie Sanders would drive us off the fiscal cliff. I’m not writing to quarrel with these beliefs. Nor do I suggest that unchallenged dominance by the Democrats would serve the country well.

But to compare the two parties at this time in our history is to indulge in false equivalency.
For rationalizing the GOP’s pathology by responding with a partisan tit-for-tat is not adequate to the circumstances. The sins you perceive in Democrats are the usual ones — misguided policies, ill chosen means for dubious ends, and the normal complement of rhetorical dishonesty and political squalor. However mistaken you may find Clinton and Sanders on the issues, their debate is addressed to the world as it exists and therefore open to a sensible critique. The squalor to which the GOP has sunk, an alternate reality rooted in anger and mendacity, transcends mere differences in policy, threatening the country with profound, perhaps irreparable, damage.

This is not simply about Donald Trump. For Trump is not the result of forces which will come and go, but of a deterioration within the Republican Party that has been accelerating for years. The GOP has become a Frankenstein monster, assembled from dysfunction, demagoguery, myopia and myth, nurtured in a fever swamp where lies and hysteria kill off reason. Nothing better will arise until you help drive a stake through its heart.

One of our ongoing disagreements has been about the nature of the party, and where you fit within it. With respect to GOP extrem-ism in areas like climate denial, gun violence or reproductive rights, you often say, “but I’m not like that.” But the party is. You may be moderate in your views; the party is not. Even candidates with temperate instincts must go along to survive, or meet the fate of Jon Huntsman, mocked for publicly accepting climate change and evolution.

Long since, the GOP killed its moderates and trashed everything they stood for. It has replaced respected figures like William Cohen, Richard Lugar and John Danforth with rigid ideologues like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, and social illiterates like James Inhofe, Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby. On issue after issue, they have embraced an orthodoxy rooted in extremism and divorced from fact. These dynamics forced Mitt Romney to win the nomination by running so far right that he could never get back. And what was the lesson learned among the party base? That Romney was not nearly extreme enough.

In short, the Republican Party no longer belongs to you, or you in it. 2016 has proven the point.

I saw this coming not because I’m uniquely prescient, but because I began writing reality-based political novels 20 years ago. I hung around with party pros, consultants, lobbyists, donors, pollsters, officeholders and political partisans, some of whom became my friends. Bit by bit, I saw the party sell out its agenda for short-term gains with disastrous long-term consequences. Eventually the GOP’s train wreck became inevitable — no longer a matter of if, but when.

How did this happen? Start with the relationship between the party establishment and its base. Your family, and mine, occupy a privileged slice of American society. Not so for most members of the GOP electorate. They are folks that few of us know very well: evangelicals; modestly educated whites threatened by economic dislocation; and people whose distrust of government partakes of paranoia.

Economically, they are not natural allies of the party of business or its wealthy donors, who tend to focus on tax cuts and free-market principles irrelevant to the base. So in exchange for pursuing its economic agenda, the party offered evangelicals a faith-based vision of America: barring abortion, banning gay marriage, and giving government preferences to fundamentalist religious institutions. Why should business people care, the reasoning went, when we can rally these voters with promises which, however illusory, cost us nothing?

But as “promise keepers,” the party failed its fundamentalist flock. Abortion remains legal; gay marriage became a right; the constitution prevents government from enshrining religious preferences as law. So there was nothing to stop evangelicals from noticing that their own lives were often harder and less secure.
Ditto other members of the middle and working classes. The real causes of their woes are globalization, the Great Recession, the housing crisis, and an information society which marginalizes blue-collar jobs. But the GOP never addressed these complex forces with any kind of candor — let alone proposed solutions like job retraining and educational access for their kids.

Barren of ideas for helping its base voters, it resorted to blame-shifting and scapegoating — of government, Obama, illegal immigrants, Muslims and other minorities. Instead of looking forward, the party indulged a primal nostalgia for simpler times, an imaginary white folks’ paradise which can never be resurrected.
“Typical was the establishment’s darling, Marco Rubio, who claimed that Obama was not simply wrong, but trying to destroy America as we know it. Republican politics became not faith-based, but hate-based.”

Some of this was shameful. The GOP countenanced a race-based birtherism directed at our first black president, giving Donald Trump a political foothold. It nurtured xenophobia that targeted all Muslims at home and abroad. It pretended that illegal immigrants were poisoning our economy. It aped the mindless masters of talk radio and trafficked in conspiracy theories. It embraced Tea Party dead-enders who claimed that shutting down the government, at whatever cost, was the only answer.

In Congress, the party resolved to deny Obama reelection by grinding the legislative process to a halt, then blaming him for gridlock as if its tactics played no role. Political polarization polluted foreign-policy — as when all 300 Republicans in Congress turned the Iran deal into a political wedge issue, shunning the careful consideration it deserved in favor of shrill and simple-minded denunciations. In the world of the GOP, our many and complex problems had but one misbegotten cause: that Barack Obama was president.

So-called mainstream Republicans competed to fan the flames of outrage, poisoning political discourse. Typical was the establish-ment’s darling, Marco Rubio, who claimed that Obama was not simply wrong, but trying to destroy America as we know it. Republican politics became not faith-based, but hate-based.
For the Republican base, nothing changed.

Except, of course, their rising anger, stoked by yet more empty and diversionary anti-Washington rhetoric that only deepened their sense of impotence. Focused on the donor class, party leaders charged the Democrats with “class warfare” against the less than embattled rich, while still failing to acknowledge through substantive policies the very real struggles of its rank-and-file. The election in 2014 of yet more Republican senators and congress-men made no difference in the lives of the people who supported them.

Not unreasonably, the base came to believe that our governmental and financial institutions — including the Republican Party — were controlled by an elite that was indifferent to their plight. And so demagogues like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz became the agents of their frustration and despair. Like the sorcerer’s apprentice, the party lost control.

Among the casualties was the agenda most dear to the Republican establishment. Its insensitivity to the base has eroded support for free trade. Despite its claims of fiscal probity, the GOP continued its meretricious complaints about deficit spending — for which, as ever, it blamed the Democrats’ self-serving rhetoric about pro-tecting Social Security and Medicare — while proposing tax cuts for the wealthy that would explode the national debt. And consider this: How do tax cuts at the top benefit the struggling middle and working classes? And wouldn’t slashing or privatizing Social Security further threaten their fragile place in our society?
But set aside the party’s disingenuousness with respect to the economic and fiscal concerns that, in many cases, have gained it your allegiance. In other important areas the party has abandoned serious thought. Instead, the alternate reality of the GOP has created a closed intellectual system immune to fact or reason, imposing a mindless political fundamentalism on its candidates which no reflective person, least of all you, can any longer support.
Here is the fact-free theology one supports every time one votes for a Republican candidate for president, senator or representative:

* Climate denial. In the anti-science world of the GOP, man-made global warming is a hoax — just ask Ted Cruz or Donald Trump. This is one of many areas where the party perpetuates ignorance among its base, separating them from the populace at large. In a recent Gallup poll asking if human activity was a factor in climate change, a 85 % of Democrats and 68 % of independents answered yes. Republicans? Only 38 %. Faced with overwhelming scientific consensus, the party will not even consider how to combat this existential menace.

* Denial of evolution and general scientific knowledge. I know you can’t believe this, but a Pew Research poll showed that over 50 percent of Republican voters don’t accept the theory of evolution. When the core of the party thinks that The Flintstones was a documentary — and none of its presidential candidates dare say otherwise — the broader implications for policies rooted in scientific inquiry are disturbing. Hence people like Trump who profit by suggesting that vaccination engenders autism.

* Gun violence. The GOP slavishly follows the NRA line. It has opposed any effort to curb gun violence, hiding behind paranoid nonsense about disarming all Americans. Its only answer to our unique and devastating mass slaughter is that more Americans should carry guns — quite literally, that the black churchgoers in Charleston mowed down by a madman should have brought weapons to their place of worship.

* Racism. Given that all of you deplore it, I can feel you bridling. But the troubling signs proliferate. Voter suppression laws aimed at minorities in states where no evidence of fraud exists.

* Scapegoating American Muslims — many of whom have more experience defending our country than any of us — as potential terrorists. Targeting illegal immigrants whose presence owes as much to American business interests as to their own desperation.

* Want more? Ignoring the glaring evidence of unequal law enforcement against blacks which, in some cases, includes unjustified police shootings. Upholding a death penalty that disproportionately targets minorities and the poor — not a few of whom turn out to be innocent.

* And still more? Gutting programs that seek to recognize the impact of race and class, often because they are deemed “unfair” to far more advantaged whites. Tolerating a relentless disparage-ment of our president that reeks of racism — imagine, if you will, the outcry if a black congressman had shouted “liar” at George W. Bush during a State of the Union Address. The party which claims to be “race-blind” has become blind to its own tacit bigotry.

* Curbing reproductive rights. Protected by Roe v. Wade and our own privilege, it is easy for us to ignore what the GOP is doing beyond our field of vision — our daughters, after all, have access to safe and legal abortion and any form of birth control they need. But this is not so in America at large, where Republican legislatures and the Congress are working overtime to limit access to abortion and reproductive care, often at great cost to women and their families.

The GOP’s senseless war on Planned Parenthood is only part of it. How many of us know that, due to draconian laws sponsored by Republicans, 90 percent of American counties have no legal abortion provider? How many of us have stopped to consider that no healthy family needs GOP-sponsored parental consent laws, which in authoritarian, abusive and incestuous families can lead to the murder of a daughter?

All this is central to the rigid orthodoxy that Republican presidents and legislators will be forced to follow, now and in the future. Mitt Romney did; Marco Rubio has; Paul Ryan will. No matter how personally attractive, no candidate will change this party until forces outside the party make dramatic change imperative.

I appreciate that this conclusion is depressing. No doubt many of you will object to some aspect of my indictment. Fair enough. But I doubt that you are much inclined to dispute most of its particulars — if only because you’ve acknowledged them yourselves.

And there are still more issues to consider. Why hasn’t the GOP made creative efforts to confront the problems of middle-class and working people — many of whom have now turned to Donald Trump — seeking solutions that are consistent with its philosophy? Are we squandering the talents of our young people by saddling them with prohibitive student debt, cheating our society in the bargain? Are we stifling struggling families by not trying to retrain their breadwinners?

For that matter, what sense does this phony war on Obamacare make when the GOP offered no alternatives — even to deal with pre-existing conditions or the ruinous effects of catastrophic illness? When did the GOP stop caring — I mean really caring, not offering bromides about liberating the engines of free enterprise — about the everyday life of citizens who are falling behind?
One can debate the best policies and solutions for all this — and we should. But the GOP has utterly abdicated its responsibility to participate in reasoned governance, and so given us Donald Trump.

Trump’s policies, such as they may be, are a disastrous expression of bottled up resentment among the base, a blind lashing out at all they feel besets them. Again and again, he offers phony and dangerous prescriptions that betray his complete ignorance of the most basic rudiments of governance, economics, domestic policy, and national security. He caters to racial antagonism, spreading its toxins in the party and the country as a whole. As a man, he is an intellectually vacant and self-obsessed misogynist clearly in the grips of a profound personality disorder which makes him unfit to lead. He is not simply a disgrace to the party, but a product of all that disgraces it.

And yet it is not Donald Trump who best captures the party’s sickness. It is that the only possible alternative in the GOP as it exists is not John Kasich, but Ted Cruz.

Indeed, Cruz expresses the disease in its purest form. He is gratuit-ously cruel in his comments about others — who can forget his deathless assertion that, in debate, “Mitt Romney French-kissed Barack Obama.” He uses his own GOP colleagues as targets for lies, slander and smears. He panders to hatred and suspicion of all Muslims. He casts his irresponsible grandstanding — like trying to shut down the government — as lonely heroics. He denies climate change and compares himself to Galileo. He wallows in fake piety while perpetrating dirty tricks. He demonizes disagreement and lies without compunction. He shows no real empathy for anyone.
His campaign appeals to fear, not hope. His transcendent cal-culation is repellent; his apocalyptic and nihilistic “conservatism” exists solely to slake his craving for power. His coalition is evan-gelicals, gun fanatics, nativists, climate deniers and Tea Party atavists — and even many of his ideological allies despise him. He is Joseph McCarthy reborn, a man without conscience, willing to say anything. Choosing between Trump and Cruz depends on whose personal and political pathology you fear most.

I can’t imagine you will ever make such a choice. That this is the only choice you have makes it imperative to leave the GOP.

I’m not urging you to become Democrats. I’m not even trying to win an argument. I simply want our political arguments to make sense in the world of reality, the better to move our country forward with the goodwill and considered judgment required by these challenging times.

So what I profoundly hope is that, collectively, you will abandon the Republican Party until it becomes worthy of the country we love in common. Because, in the end, a big chunk of our common future may depend on you.

With abiding friendship,
Ric

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-north-patterson/an-open-letter-to-my-repu_b_9497274.html
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