The FBI Chief Goes Kerplunk

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Who would’ve thunk it…the FBI chief goes kerplunk. 


James Comey–only 37% through his tenure as Director–is fired for the (mis)handling of the Hillary Clinton email fiasco. 


But Hillary never even saw justice.  


The politics in Washington is forever an ironic cliffhanger. 


The democrats who were supposedly aggrieved by Comey in the election are now screaming foul for his dismissal


And the republicans who supposedly benefited by Comey closing and opening of the case against Clinton are signing praises for his release.


Nothing is ever as it seems. 


Aliens could be falling from the sky and it would still be a political event. 


Washington conspiracy and counter-conspiracy theories…but the work of the people does it ever get done?  😉


(Source Photo: Andy  Blumenthal)

If This Then That (IFTTT), A Futurists Blessing

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If This Then That (IFTTT) is a simple, but absolutely fundamental programming principle.


It is also the basis for futurist-thinking such as war-gaming and strategic planning.  For example, if North Korea put’s a nuke on the launch pad with the targeting at the U.S., then we will do kaboom!


IFTTT is also an app and is used in algorithms such as with Twitter, so when Trump or other famous and powerful people say something on the global social media stage, Wall Street’s high-speed, high-frequency trading desks are at the front of the line to respond to market-moving news.


So powerful is IFTTT, you could almost predict the election results from it (the outrageously biased media may want to open their tarnished rose-colored glasses and try it).  For example, if you take for granted, forget or neglect working class America, then the great “blue wall” tumbles. 


IFTTT also works in politics of all sorts. If you abandon friends and allies and embrace terrorist enemies, then the world order is turned on it’s head and the Middle East and beyond burns and rages in turmoil. Similarly, if you are biased between people, races, and political parties, then you polarize the country and create divisiveness and hate and obstruct even the possibility of virtually any progress. 


So you really don’t have to have a crystal ball to see the writing on the wall for the results of profoundly good moves and the display of stupidity galore. 


One final IFTTT before the major transition of power this week: if you talk big, but don’t really deliver results (or you deliver lots of bad stuff), then you get seen for being all poetry and no prose, and your legacy goes bye bye. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

New York Times’ Credibility Is In The Toilet

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Now that the election is over, a lot of people are saying that the media and polls failed us


They predicted one thing, but were completely wrong. 


However, it wasn’t only their predictions of a sweeping Trump loss that were incorrect, but also that their biased, schlock journalism was professionally and ethically wrong!


Over and over again, I read the harshest of criticisms of Donald Trump, especially from the New York Times–endless rantings about him week after week:


From Nicholas Kristof:


Trump’s actions are heinous


Trump is a misogynist and sexual predator


Trump is a charlatan


Trump is a crackpot


Trump is a shallow egoist who uses people


Trump is for pariahs like ISIS, North Korea, and KKK


Trump is mean


Trump is a liar


Trump is a racist


From Frank Bruni: 


– Trump rants


– Trump makes corrosive conspiracy theories


– Trump is sickening


– Trump and his people are pathetic


– Trump is a narcissist


– Trump is irredeemably sexually perverse


– Trump is crude


– Trump is unfit


– Trump is unpatriotic


– Trump is hot-tempered 


Does the New York Times really call this journalism, and do they expect people to pay for this one-sided nonsense?


It used to be we could go to an esteemed newspaper like the New York Times and get real investigative journalism, and a real analytical and balanced approach to issues–we could learn something and be better off for it. 


But unfortunately it seems that the New York Times became exactly what it feared the most–it became biased, bigoted, and hateful. 


The articles over and over again were full of shameful name-calling, insinuations, and coaxing people that they needed to vote for one candidate over another. 


It wasn’t just an endorsement before the election, it was a barrage of months of superficial and venomous, hate-filled spew and characterizations by liberal journalists against a conservative party candidate–irrespective of what his true capabilities were and hope that he could bring to reinvigorate this nation. 


Of course, candidates should always be condemned for any bias or stupid things they may explicitly or implicitly do or say, but that is an opportunity to set the record and candidate straight, not unilaterally take them out back and shoot them, while giving the other candidate a free ride on corruption, collusion, and lies. 


Over time, people saw right through it, and it became clear that the media was absolutely biased, divisive, and trying to fix the election results for one candidate


The damage to the credibility of the media is done, and before readers renew their next subscriptions, they need to vote with their wallets with the same internal deliberation and soul searching as for their candidate. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

After The Election Hypocrisy

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So after the election yesterday, once the results were in, the after shocks were apparent in downtown, Washington DC and across the nation.


– There were quiet spaces set up for people to “console” themselves and each other. 


– There were signs like this to change the rules and the system, and abolish the electoral college.


– There were more nasty grams between family, friends, colleagues, and strangers on Facebook and Twitter.


– There were protests and riots.


– There was American flag burning.


– There was yelling, cursing, and crying.


Of course, I understand that the election was an upset to half the population (actually, maybe over half of the popular vote).


And I certainly agree with people who are against bigotry and racism–these are things that should ALWAYS be condemned in no uncertain terms!


However, while trying to take the moral high ground, there is plenty of bigotry and hate to go around–such as branding other people as racists (even if they are not so), calling tens of millions of people “deplorables,” and stating that they are unequivocally “unredeemable.” 


Similarly, while attacking one candidate for his sexual banter and (possibly) conduct, the husband of the other candidate was himself impeached from the presidency for his infidelities.  


And no matter how big a feminist our beliefs, rather than falsely blaming an unjust “glass ceiling,” in her concession speech yesterday, the candidate should have done a mea culpa and acknowledged perhaps a very understandable “corruption ceilingthat put the brakes on her own trust, likability and electability.


Reminiscent to condemning the violence at the Trump rallies, the hypocrisy of it all, was when it become known that the operatives of the DCN themselves, in Project Veritas, were the ones actually sparking and doing the violence.


Further, one candidate was ruthlessly denigrated for even suggesting that there was election fraud going on, even while indeed town hall questions were being passed from the media by the DNC’s own chairperson to the other candidate and the prior chairperson was fired from the DNC’s actions in their rigging the primary against Bernie Sanders who would have had a decent chance at actually winning “the whole enchilada.”


But what happened to everyone committing to accepting the results of a free and fair election in a democracy–is that only if YOUR candidate wins?


Whether it’s with hate, name-calling, violence, and sore losing…maybe there is a lot of bad behavior along with “calling the tea kettle black” going on. 

While we call for the “orderly transitions” of power in Egypt, for Britain with Brexit, and elsewhere in the world, perhaps our leaders should hold ourselves to similar standards of conduct here. 


It’s time to STOP the HATE, BIGOTRY, AND VIOLENCE on all sides, and come together to do something positive for this country.


The national security and welfare of the country is at stake, but even more so, the soul of it is still mired in corruption and lies of a very ugly election. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

14 Lessons Learned from the Political Process

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So here are some things that I learned from this awful, drawn out election:


1) Keep it positive – Negativity, divisiveness, and hate hurt you more than it does anyone else.


2) Don’t play the *ism card – Using racism, religion, gender, and sexual orientation to divide people and get what you want from them is dirty politics and empty promises for votes; stick to the facts and the issues. 


3) Focus on service to others – “Public service” is about service to others, not self service; it is more important to give than to receive any of the fame, fortune, and favors. 


4) No one is above the law – Corruption, collusion, and cover-ups are a boomerang that eventually come back to hit you in the proverbial head.


5) Action speaks louder than words — What you actually did, accomplished, and how you behaved is the much louder message than what you say you did or claim you will do. 


6) People are not sheep – Regardless of how strong and biased a position the media and others take, hammering and hammering away, in the end people are not sheep and can and do think for themselves. 


7) Polls, statistics, position papers, conventions, and debates – There are many tools for manipulating the masses and they, like the people who prepare and administer them, have biases and lie. 


8) Branding yourself and others – Creating an image for yourself and others by weaving a tall tale narrative only goes so far unless the words and deeds are consistent and ring truth. 


9) Speak from the heart – Preparation and practice make perfect, but a perfect what?  Prepared lines and zingers are great sound bites, but speaking from the heart goes to the heart. 


10) Moral high ground – Just saying you are taking the moral high ground does not make it so; you actually have to have integrity to stand that ground. 


11) The political machinePolitics and the money and operatives behind it, are very strong and dangerous, and those that wield it can and will do anything to gain and stay in the much coveted positions of power. 


12) Don’t think you’re so deserving – Be humble and compassionate on others, instead of believing you are so great and the world owes it to; the more you run after something, the more it tends to elude you.


13) Listen to your gut – There are great orators, writers and influencers out there, but you’ve got to listen more to your gut and moral compass than to anyone else trying to bend your mind and will. 

14) Star power – Bringing out the big gun superstars to speak, sing, and endorse you is some nice added glitz, but the real superpower is the one Almighty who ultimately decides who wins and loses. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

To BE Corruption FREE

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Amazing, they were advertising this in downtown Washington, D.C.:

“A Government Free of Corruption”


Wouldn’t this just be completely miraculous!


WE HAVE A DREAM:


– No lies and spin


– No deception and manipulation


– No public and private faces


– No collusion and cheating


– No hidden agendas and backroom dealings


– No hate, bias, and divisiveness


– No denigrating, name-calling, and character assassination


– No bribery and pay to play


– No intimidation, payback, and shadow government


– No self entitlement and self enrichment


– No fraud, waste, and abuse

Imagine instead, if integrity was the essence of good leadership.

Today, in synagogue, the weekly Torah portion was Genesis–where as we all know, G-d created the heavens and the earth. 

Genesis 1:2 “Now the earth was chaos and void” (in Hebrew “tohu va-bohu”).

The bar-mitzvah boy, in his speech, joked about how his first 13-years of life growing up was very much tohu va-bohu (chaos), but he was hopeful that with his wonderful parents guiding him, he would get on track and pay more attention to his schoolwork, all the details, and not rush through things. 

I thought to myself, there are probably a lot of people even in their 30s, 40, and 50’s whose life was still tohu va-bohu, but that doesn’t mean we can’t emulate G-d and still create something wonderful from all the chaos, right? 

Similarly in the tohu va-bohu chaos of Washington politics, where nearly 80% of the electorate believe that we are going in the wrong direction, it’s not too late to continue make something great that we can all be proud of.

In the Wall Street Journal today, Peggy Noonan described a recent focus group led by Democratic pollster, Peter Hart, where all 12 voters (Democrats, Republicans, and Independents) unanimously and sadly agreed that “America was off track.” 

In fact, one person wisely intimated that things seemed to go off track with 9/11 and “never quite recovered.”  Unfortunately, more than the World Trade Center came down in America that fateful day. 

But it’s not the first time in history that things have been tohu va-bohu, and perhaps it’s okay…that why G-d teaches us things can change for the better…order and sense and progress can be made to rise from all the chaos.

The good news is still out there, “And G-d said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

One Mean Election

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Three cheers for one of the worst elections ever.


American politics sinking to new lows.


This poster yesterday plastered all over Washington D.C. 


“Bully Culprit”


Denigrating, bashing, hurting, and humiliating other people whether we like them or not is wrong. 


– What happened to agreeing to disagree?


– What happened to being civil and mannered?


– What happened to “when they go low, we go high”?  


Power is such a motivator. 


Greed, according to the Buddhists is one of the “three poisons,” along with ignorance and hate. 


These lead to evil and suffering and prevent the attainment of enlightenment. 


Desire and wanting something so much that you will do anything for it, thinking you deserve it, and being overconfident that you will get are a weakness of character and leadership. 


Yesterday, Putin said about our election hysteria, “Is America some kind of banana republic?” 


Is this really the type of darkness (and not light) to the world we want to show ourselves as.


We are continuing to go in the wrong direction and away from enlightenment and good–especially when there is so much work for us to still be done. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Election Disillusionment

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So invariably you hear these days from those that dislike one or the other candidate running for President, that if he/she wins, they are moving out of this country. 


That is apparently how strong people feel in terms of dislike for the candidates–in fact, the most disliked candidates in American history!


Well, I ran into this couple in the Metro.


They were from New Jersey and visiting Washington, D.C. with their daughter. 


They were wearing matching t-shirts that said:

“Election 2016Time To Move To Mars”


Now moving from the USA is not far enough away for people to get from the horrible politics and/or politicians that they can’t seem to stand…so next stop is Mars!


As a big time proponents for colonization of other planets, I think this may actually be one of the best things to come out of this election cycle. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Losing All Political Perspective

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So here we go again into our politicians pants to uncover every locker-room lewd remark they have made. 


Yes, it’s abhorrent and criminal for our politicians, religious leaders, coaches or anyone for that matter to rape or inappropriately sexually touch someone else against their will. 


The problem is that we are losing all common sense and perspective. 


When we are focusing almost exclusively at this point on getting that next verbal sexual gotcha on a hot mic from people running for office, instead of on what they’ve actually done (good and bad) in their lives, then we are being lead astray by powerful elites fighting for and to keep the power they most greedily worship.


Words do have meaning, don’t get me wrong, especially when we hurt someone with them or when they demonstrate true moral lapses in the person.


But when words are taken out of context, exaggerated, or dug up from decades ago just to sling dirt then we have a powerful political machine that is working to hurt and not help our political process. 


What’s even worse is that we are becoming the laughing stock in the world in the process of the mud fest. 


An article yesterday in China mocks the chaotic U.S. political system as a highly flawed “political show.”


If we and the media remain gripped in people’s political pants here, then the real and potentially catastrophic issues will continue to not be on the table or our lips. 


The effect is that rather than being able to effect positive change at home and in the world, we are heads down in the sand, as for example:


– Russia deploys nuclear-capable missiles on Poland’s (and NATO’s) doorstep


– ISIS continues it’s global reign of terror and remains strong and determined


– War crimes are being committed and “red lines” crossed daily in Syria


Iran and North Korea continue their nuclear hated-filled march on the U.S. and western allies


Bioterrorism is an increasingly dangerous threat as agents are “relatively inexpensive, easy to produce, conceal and transport” 


Cyberwarfare is now being considered an existential threat, even as our democratic elections themselves are under attack by the latests hacks from Guccifer 2.0 and DC Leaks. 


– Our national debt has increased $9 trillion (almost doubled) in the last 8 years and is threatening key pillars of our social entitlement system, including social security and medicare. 

– The global economy is on the rocks as the impact from easy credit sputters and future growth is stunted.


As these and other risks increase to the U.S., our leadership remains in a narcissistic fugue with their desire for power and sham legacies, and politics have become grotesquely about killing off the opposition by actual death or by a thousand cuts of verbal mutilation.  


Sex sells and has us mesmerized, but we are missing out on all the real world drama, danger, and any meaningful dialogue. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

One Nasty Election

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This is one nasty election. 


Forget about getting any real answers to questions of the economy, national security, healthcare, education, the environment, and so on. 


No, instead we have candidates down in the dirty disparaging each other, fighting about what they said about the former Miss Universe and the like. 


This is beyond utterly ridiculous!


While integrity and character of the utmost importance in choosing our elected officials and leaders, I think we need to differentiate between the life of reality television and an election. 


The level of smear campaign, pulling out all the stops, seems to have never been greater. 


The greed and lust for power has taken over all sensibilities, and the people of this country see it and are disgusted by it. 


And to the rest of world, we must look like a complete bunch of imbeciles here.


Power has infected and corrupted our leaders and system putting them above the people and nation they govern rather than for them. 


As to whether there is the slightest genuine concern for the welfare and future of the citizens of this great country–that is a complete roar of utter laughter and despair. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)