Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Senator Tommy Tuberville Takes A Stand Against Our Military



Similarly to child custody fights, the Republican Party is destroying itself by radical adherence to impractical goals, along with failures to negotiate and usefully compromise with other Republicans. There has been a recent, lengthy partial government shutdown. Future shutdowns seem likely: excessive hostile emotions, not enough willingness to compromise, and not enough political skill.

Like tragic child custody fights, who gets the money and the control can become very dangerous—a fight felt so important to win that parents have physical fights and children get murdered by a parent. In the  past 15 years, 973 children have been murdered by divorcing and/or separating parents.  Seventy percent of the time it’s men murdering one of their own children; whereas, thirteen percent of murdered children are by mothers. Physical violence to intimate partners happens to 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men when desperately  struggling to survive or end their relationship.  This is from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence at:


In both hard core politics and endangered marriages, the fighting parties care so much because the stakes are high but they don’t have sufficient negotiation strategies to engineer reasonable compromises. In either marital or political conflict, things can get real ugly.

In Congress, Senator Tuberville designed and stubbornly implemented a political strategy which violates traditional styles of how experienced politicians make our government function. 



Tuberville has been a (well regarded) football coach who was endorsed by Donald Trump and elected Senator from Alabama in 2021. His undergraduate degree was in physical education.  He has not previously held political office. But he established himself as:

 “[An] ally of President Donald Trump, he was among a group of Republican senators who attempted to overturn Democratic president-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in the 2020 presidential election.” And, “Starting in February of 2023, Tuberville has held up all military promotions requiring Senate approval in protest of Defense Department policies on abortion, delaying the filling of hundreds of senior positions and leaving the Marine Corps without a leader for the first time in a century.” More recently, the Navy and Army were left without their top ranked officers.


Here is some background for what Tuberville did to hold the military hostage.

In the Senate it has been permissible for any Senator to put on hold nominations for political offices and military ranks. These holds rarely create ongoing national news—because compromises are made. But Tuberville has refused for months and months to allow the Senate to give the go ahead for over 350 military promotions. This is a huge harassment in the face of the other Senators and America’s armed forces.

From the Vox news organization, their article describes that: “Sen. Tommy Tuberville has held up the confirmation of more than 260 generals for new command posts—including members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the head of the Marine Corps—over his objections to the Pentagon’s abortion policy.”

The Vox article goes on to note that by the end of this year there could be as many as 650 promotions stalled. Moreover, Tuberville misunderstands the Pentagon’s abortion policy.  Defense Secretary Austin has pointed out that the continuing hold on leader nominations will affect military readiness. For example, when there are officers missing in chain of command slots, this interferes with the normal execution of military actions.


Tommy Tuberville entered Congress in 2021. He was endorsed by Donald Trump and by the National Right to Life Committee, which is America’s largest anti-abortion organization. Tuberville was expected to win and he did.

Were there an abortion bill in the Senate to be voted on, Senator Tuberville could, of course,  honorably vote against it on any basis he might choose. But Tuberville is a hard right man stubborn and appearing quite self-assured inflicting his personal anti-abortion values  on the armed forces.  

But it is outrageous for him to bring to a halt a normal process of Congress by inflicting his personal abortion views on military promotions, which in fact have nothing to do with abortion. The resulting frustration and anger is not beneficial for the Republican Party.  It is divisive. Tuberville is not letting the armed forces run their own promotion affairs. Tuberville is blocking some of  the normal functioning within the armed forces; he is doing this to force other politicians and the military to prevent soldiers from accessing their abortion rights through traveling.    




The new York Times published online an article titled, “The Wrecking-Ball Caucus: How the Far Right Brought Washington to Its Knees.” This article can be found in at:

Here is some of the commentary from the above article, which was written by Carl Hulse (long-time, Chief Washington correspondent):

“Right-wing Republicans who represent a minority in their party and in Congress have succeeded in sowing mass dysfunction, spoiling for a shutdown, an impeachment and a House coup.”

“We knew Tommy Tuberville was incompetent, but insulting [the] leader of the Marines is galling.”

“Sen. Tommy Tuberville's arrogance, comparing his former job as a football coach to the life-and-death decisions faced by Gen. Eric Smith, is stunning.” The article points out that Tuberville’s nomination blocking has been going on for seven months! Some of the political ploys of the Far Right GOP are viewed as “irrational and cruel.”

“Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling discusses Sen. Tommy Tuberville's (R-AL) hold on military promotions over his protest of the Pentagon's abortion policy.  Hertling points out that vital functions can’t be assumed by persons not appointed to those positions (which are now vacant due to Tuberville.).”




I have written many blog episodes, over the past two years, about:

abortion rights,

voting access rights,

income inequality and excessive tax cuts for the rich,

the need for gun control,

and the need for politicians to communicate clearly and honestly with their citizens.


My research and my opinion is that the Republican Party has consistently been legislating against the majority of American opinions and values. These are my opinions as a moderate Republican.

Our hope is NOT fulfilled in the Republican Party. It is being fulfilled by the FBI and the State and Federal Criminal Justice Systems.

Criminal Justice deals in facts that can be established. And, the tide is turning against those who sell falsehoods to the voters and behind the backs of the voters manipulate regulations and laws to serve politicians’ personal agendas rather than the majority of voters. The facts accumulated by the criminal justice system have produced strong cases, many convictions, and many guilty pleas by the principle actors implementing former President Trump’s attempt to overturn the now President Biden’s election.

                -- END--







Sunday, October 1, 2023

Second Republican Presidential Candidate Debate Results & Comments



Breaking News on 10-1-23:  NO GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN !!!! 


Last night my wife and I watched the 2nd Republican Debate. And, as we waited for the debate to begin, there opened second window containing Brian Tyler Cohen already commenting on what to expect from the soon to arrive candidates debating the issues.

My wife and I liked Cohen immediately. He's articulate, very well informed, and he has an enjoyable style. 

Wikipedia said this about Cohen:  "Brian Tyler Cohen is an American progressive YouTuber, podcaster, political commentator, and MSNBC contributor."

I looked at his channel and subscribed.

Cohen made just a few helpful comments and opinions during the debate. Of his two million or more subscribers, during the debate 20,000 of them were repeatedly rating the top four candidates into an order of preferences. During the debate Cohen reported on the raters' standings for each candidate. After the first 5000 the rating were very stable.

The ending preferences were:

Nikki Haley was first at 38%.

Chris Christie was second at 25%.

Vivek Ramaswamy was third at 23%.

Ron DeSantis was fourth at 15%.

Cohen also performed fact checking on what candidates said and he organized the results into five categories:

3 Falsehoods: one by Chris Christie; one by Vivek Ramaswamy; one by Tim Scott.

4 True Statements: three by Nikki Haley; one by Ron DeSantis.

6 Misleading Statements: three by Mike Pence; one by Tim Scott; one by Ron DeDantis; and one by Vivek Ramaswamy.

1 Exaggerated Statements: one by Mike Pence. 

4 Statements Needing Additional Context: one each by Nikki Haley, Chris Christie, Doug Burgum, and Ron DeSantis. 

Therefore, altogether these are just 18 fact checked out of thousands of statements made on stage. Note that the above numbers are not percentages of what types of statements each candidate uttered.

We can, however, say that when Nikki Haley's statements were fact checked three times, she was always judged true.

I observed that Haley of all the candidates put out the most specific and clearly articulated and well-targeted facts. She was fact checked and never found false, misleading, exaggerated, or lacking needed context for her statements. 

Some candidates reveal authoritarian tendencies and you can read about tyranny and authoritarianism in my blog titled: "No Mysteries About Donald Trump---Dangerous To America, Unrepentant, Unredeemable."


Vivek Ramaswamy:

He was the most unusual personality on the stage. 

Very hyper, smiling way too much, exaggerated gestures (moving his arms, changing standing positions, pointing his finger minute after minute like it was stuck in the air), talking too fast and unable to stop his talking. 

Ramaswamy frequently spit out exaggerated assertions and deviated his way forward through a paragraph of disconnected thoughtless comments--all while he seeded to take great self-satisfaction in his racing flood of words.

He was the most discourteous, most confident, and apparently self-satisfied person on the stage. A spectacle unpleasant to watch. 

He showed his ignorance of LGBTQ+ issues by stating that "Trans" [transgender] is a mental health disorder. This statement was found to be false when fact checked. 

I do not view him as presidential.

Chris Christie:

I found Chris Christie to be appropriate, on-target, articulate and well-informed, and genuine.

I knew previously of his agenda for insuring Trump does not again become president and I greatly respect his goal. I view Christie as a very engaging and important politician.

I view him as presidential.

Doug Burgum:

Burgum did not get much talk time in the first debate. In this second debate he made determined efforts to get talk time to show what he had to offer. 

He indicated he was a businessman prior to entering politics. On stage he was indeed businesslike and capably and favorably revealed himself to the TV audience.

Several times, listening to him, I felt him to be very presidential. He speaks forthrightly, with passion, and his verbal output is well organized. He did not talk fantasies or make up convenient false facts for others to have to waste time disputing.

I view him as presidential.

Mike Pence:

In the first debate he looked his usual up-tight and stiff self. He's characteristically reserved and courteous. In the second debate he appeared more unsure of himself. He seemed more tired and lacking the energy to be assertive, dynamic, and convincing. This doesn't bode well.

I do respect Mike Pence as an honorable man, knowledgeable of government, a man who has shown an incredible amount of bravery for helping America get through the Trump era--at least so far. 

Personally, I would like to see him contributing to our American democracy. However, he is too far right to ever represent the majority of moderate republicans--or democrats for that matter. He has a very rigid view on abortion rights and were he successful legislating on this issue, he would exclude the majority freedom of choice position.

He is not in the top four most likely possible candidates.

I do not view him as presidential.


Nikki Haley:

Nikki Haley's governmental experience includes serving as Governor of South Carolina and Ambassador to the UN. 

I knew little about her until these republican presidential candidate debates. Now I am already a big fan of hers.

Her intelligence, interpersonal skills, and winsome personality have been naturally and effortlessly on display during these two debates. She was a successful standout in the first debate and she clearly is the winner in this second debate. 

About Haley and her good qualities, she seems to be a naturally good and very capable person. She comes across as an impressive lady who  is not diminished by her  self-assurance and political "fight" capacities. She seems to have what's necessary to go toe to toe with political friends as well as enemies. I did not notice her to have any timidity, as could be noticed when she responded to Tim Scott's attack with, "Bring it, Tim."

Haley appears to have figured out a basic issues platform for her candidacy. On abortion, she recognizes the issue is divisive (about 50% pro and con). Her statements are consistent and recognize that laws must be thoughtfully constructed and respect citizen beliefs on both sides of the issues.   

She is presidential.

Tim Scott:

Tim is known as well respected congressman. 

In the first debate he couldn't get enough talk time. He did get enough talk time in this second debate. He showed commitment to issues he cares about. But what was most noticeable was a one of a kind rant that slavery was not a problem and/or slavery (issues) did not exist in America. 

I believe he intended well but my impression of his rant was . . . well, just weird. 

Maybe he can consult with a trusted colleague and come up with a damage control response. Because of his good reputation, I hope he can do some repair work. 

Not yet presidential but could be.

Ron DeSantis:

DeSantis has been losing ground in the polls relative to Donald Trump. Precisely why isn't entirely clear, but here are two recent issues which may have contributed.

First: In his role as Florida governor, he has endorsed revisions in the state's curriculum. The revisions have added new and misleading content concerning slavery. An example is, "Slaves developed skills which in some instance, could be applied for their personal benefit." This sounds somewhat like justification of slavery. DeSantis made a positive comment about this so called benefit. When criticized about his comment, he blamed it on a "hoax perpetrated by Vice President Kamala Harris."   Commentary from MSNBC was that, 

"So, no, this was not a hoax perpetuated by Vice President Kamala Harris; it was a quote directly from the mouth of Ron DeSantis. But the fact that he was so desperate to distance himself from the truth is a tacit acknowledgment of just how misguided his comments were. It’s almost like DeSantis knows the difference between right and wrong, even if he’s not willing to be honest about it."

Second: DeSantis' has an issue of antagonism toward against LGBTQ+. It has not arisen so far in the Republican presidential debates. It will be interesting to see whether is does.

I have written a lot about the sickening realities of voters and constituencies sometimes helped but sometimes abused by sneaky and powerful politicians. It is the inherent nature of politics for it to be this way.

DeSantis has achieved significant political success. He's viewed broadly as politically successful and a candidate for higher office, even presidency of the U.S. 

He has also gained some notoriety by taking strongly conservative stances on a variety of issues.

In the last few years he has befallen to an allergy of "wokeness." Of course The word "woke" means an awareness (that is a mental state). So, what are the things he's "woke" and allergic to? It really looks like it's LGBTQ+. And something more:

LGBTQ+ ideas, words, expressions of LGBTQ+ identity, and LGBT+ literature. 

And, additionally, he's allergic to those who try to acknowledge and support the people with the existential realities of LGBTQ+ identity(s). This would include corporations and school systems that condone, indulge, or tolerate LGBTQ+ identities. 

"Woke" is a politically useful and blameful code word by which politicians can refer to their political enemies or political targets. For example: woke democrats, woke liberals, woke left, woke corporations, woke schools.... on and on.

Political code words are a regular part of politics. Woke is just a word but legislation and procedures dictated by government against certain citizen identities (race, beliefs, feelings) is not a policy which will end well. It is discriminating against a class of persons whose LGBTQ+ identity characteristics are substantiated by professional medical organizations as well as federal laws (for example concerning homosexuality).

DeSantis in the past emerged as a viable presidential candidate. But his approval rating across many polls has fallen steadily. 

He recently has made very aggressive public statements suggesting lack of compassion and understanding. His attack on the LGBTQ+ community appears to be a core part of is political platform. Even if he changed this, would the voting public believe it.

I do not view him as presidential.

Any references not found above are on the page  BIBLIOGRAPHY / WORKS CITED  in the blog.

    - END -

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Donald Trump Is Clearly Dangerous To America



A populist is a politician who keeps talking about saving "the people" from "the elite." And, populists frequently blame the current government for terrible mismanagement, corruption, etc. Moreover, populist politicians first and foremost want personal loyalty from their staff, associated politicians, and from the voters. 

A populist president could possibly become a successful.

But trump never had the necessary experience and he lacked the moral character necessary to be president. He's a well documented record setting liar who has been exploiting government for selfish reasons. He doesn't care about rules and never before has been held accountable for flaunting the usual rules of the game.

Trump succeeded in gaining popularity and he satisfied Far Right Republican agendas but damaged the Republican Party, American democracy, and American culture. Really?  Yes. 

As I've previously written, Trump has always been extremely self-centered, morally deficient, and willing to do whatever necessary to get himself elected. Unfortunately for American citizens--if this wasn't bad enough--he had never held public office, came to the presidency very ignorant of governmental process, and was uninterested in learning anything new about it (see Woodward, 2018, pages 231-233 for example).

Instead of courting good American citizens (with legislation we wanted), Trump courted enemy dictators! He applauded them as great men of good intentions. He floated fantasies of solving any world problems by consulting with them. He ignored and failed to condemn many of their actions which most free world leaders would condemn.

Vladimir Putin, president of Russia since 2012. Putin was formerly head of the KGB.

Xi Jinping, the Head of State of [Communist] China. He is the general secretary of the Communist Party and chairman of the Central Military Commission. 

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un


Moreover, Trump has modeled for American parents and children: selfishness, disloyalty, lying, insulting others, and being generally disrespectful. He has often expressed approval (his favorite words: "beautiful," "perfect") towards American insurrectionists and political bad boys.


Trump attacks and punishes any Americans who cross him. But, he has spent lots of time flirting with Putin, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jong Un.

And Trump as President was dangerous to America. He held many outmoded and uninformed opinions on how to react when he felt he or the country threatened. 

A year into his presidency he wanted to undo longstanding treaties with South Korea and other area allies; he was demanding major changes. But what he proposed would disrupt the balance of power and could have provoked a major war. 

At one point, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said to  the National Security Council Meeting, which included Trump: 

"We're doing this in order to prevent World War III" (Woodward 2018, pages 304 - 308).

Woodward described the scene: "[Mattis] was calm but stark. It was a breathtaking statement, a challenge to the president, suggesting he was risking nuclear war. Time stopped for more than one in attendance."

Trump then left the meeting. Trump's staff was exasperated and wondered why they had to have such meetings to justify their reasoning. 

Woodward wrote: "Mattis was particularly exasperated and alarmed, telling close associates that the president acted like--and had the understanding of--'a fifth or sixth grader.'"


To help him skirt the rules and not be held accountable, he seeks personal loyalty and surrounds himself with enablers. He prefers this to the better informed advice from his staff.

Personal Loyalty Examples:

(1)  Former president Trump's first attorney general was Senator Jeff Sessions. When Trump was impeached, Sessions recused himself from working on defending Trump at his impeachment. This is what ethical attorneys do

Sessions could be loyal to Trump on anything except the impeachment. A different attorney would have to represent Trump at the impeachment.

But Trump, instead of accepting the correct legal and political action, insulted and shunned Sessions, continuing to bad mouth him for being "disloyal." Trump was brazenly unethical. Sessions was ethical and did the right thing

Eventually Trump without evidence of empathy fired Sessions via Twitter--without informing Sessions ahead of time. Such a high level of disrespect for staff was not at all unusual for Trump!

(2)   Directors of the FBI are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate for a term of ten years.

Trump, soon after he took office, privately questioned Comey to assess whether he would be personally loyal to Trump. Comey reported Trump said, " I need loyalty, I expect loyalty" (Comer, A Higher Loyalty, 2018). Comey's book makes clear Trump was conducting a loyalty test in a manner reminding Comey of a mob boss. Comey's "higher loyalty" was to the laws of the United States and the ethical standards of an attorney.

Trump soon fired Comey in a Tweet without empathy, without forewarning him.




When Trump became President, his ignorance and arrogance were so great that his comments were stunningly disturbing to his staff. 

He was too ignorant to lead. He was too arrogant and proud to be tutored. He preferred his ignorant ideas to what his very capable advisors would recommend, and he would often dismissively refer to advisors' real knowledge as "bullshit." 

Trump reportedly watched a lot of TV, as much as six to eight hours a day. He was always interested in what others were saying about him. 

He was not, however, interested in getting the daily intelligence briefings that were routine for presidents. Instead, he took intelligence briefings only twice per week

Trump, before elected president, was successful in his unique way. As soon as he became president he was in deep water way over his head. Trump's insensitive and out of line talk and his lack of common sense manifested in many places. For example, when he visited London, England he met the Mayor of London and referred to him [reasons unknown] as a "stone-cold loser" at the start of his state visit to the UK. In response, the Mayor of London likened Trump's maturity to that of an 11-year old. The mayor also asserted that Trump's racist remarks and far right ideologies were damaging to international relations.


Bob Woodward interviewed many of the White House staff, whose characterizations revealed an unfortunate aspect of Trump's personality:

"Grievance was a big part of Trump's core, very much like a 14-year-old boy who felt he was being picked on unfairly. You couldn't talk to him in adult logic. Teenage logic was necessary" (Woodward, 2018, p299).


Since Trump's years in office, the Jan. 6th Committee, the subsequent Federal Criminal Justice investigations, and multiple State investigations have produced an enormous amount of evidence concerning criminal offenses. This has resulted in four separate indictments that include 91 separate charges

It is interesting that Trump's level of maturity has been estimated as that of:

    An eleven year old.

    A fourteen year old.

    And a ten year old.


Multiple politicians, both republican and democrat have commented on Trump's dangerousness to democracy. Many of both parties have said Trump does not have the character to be president. 

Trump remains a popular personality and is the leading presidential Republican candidate in national polls. Many commentators say he could be the Republican Nominee for president. And polls indicate he and  President Biden are at an approximately virtual tie as to which might win if both ran for president. 

According to Chris Christie, however, the current polls are "national polls" and don't mean much. He says it's the State polls which count and those polls indicate Trump's popularity is not as great as the national polls indicate.

My assessment is that it's a little less likely Trump can gain the Republican nomination. But he never gives up and he is very desperate. And he is increasingly making bizarre public comments and vicious threats like, "If you come after me then I'm coming after you."  

As Federal and State Courts come closer to beginning trials, Trump has continued to do whatever he pleases--even though multiple judges have warned him against biasing and intimidating jurors and judges. 

So far, judges have written two gag orders. Trump, however, has not stopped his usual misbehavior. He continues to shoot himself in the foot with what he says. 

He is desperate, increasingly unhinged. 

Many polled potential voters apparently deeply value Trump's personality output. Or maybe he's a successful "counter-culture hero." I believe there must be something meaningful explaining Trump's popularity. It's generally thought true about him that he's very good at reading the emotions of the public's values and inclinations. And he can read other politicians quite well. His verbal attacks on others are deviously stinging. His nicknames for enemies stick to the unfortunate victim.

But when we citizens are casting a vote for the Presidential candidate, it should be a vote for American democracy--NOT for the personality of any one man. It should be a vote for character and competence, not just for a personality packaging a serious lack of capacity to govern. After all, Trump can't adequately govern himself.


For references, see the relevant page on the website.

     - END -









America's 2024 Republican Party Disaster

2235 Words   I GET IT that Republican Congressmen and women want to get re-elected--and that the Republican Party wants to control Co...