Op Ed: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gave the nation his “Scarlet Letter” on Wednesday.
He said abortion should be outlawed and women who have them punished.
The New York Times said Trump declared his support for abortion and “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who have them.
Trump, as usual tried to back off, but his Republican opponents reportedly reacted by further hedging their guarantees to support Trump if he wins the nomination.
Trump said he didn’t need the support of Sen. Ted Cruz or Gov. John Kasich.
"Just when you thought it couldn't get worse," Hillary Clinton tweeted Wednesday, sharing a tweet about what Trump had said regarding abortion.
"Horrific and telling,” the Hill reported.”
The Times quoted from an exclusive interview Trump had with MSNBC. The news network brought a Trump spokeswoman on to explain what was going on but she said she had not been fully informed.
Trump also has been criticized by the other Republican candidates this week for refusing to fire his campaign manager, who was accused of assaulting a woman reporter.
Trump’s comments criticizing individual women have already caused his popularity among women to decline.
Trump also criticized Sen. John McCain, who was imprisoned by the North Vietnamese for seven years when his plane was shot down. He said people who are captured are not heroes.
The “Scarlet Letter,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850, tells the story of a woman required to a dress with the letter “A” on it because she had committed adultery.
Phony Arizona Primary story
Op Ed: If you watched cable TV news, even Rachael Maddow, a progressive who is one of the best, you were misled on the Arizona primary.
We were told there were long lines going around the blocks past midnight because the government had not set up enough polling stations. The idea was they wanted to keep minorities from voting, taking advantage of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.
We may never know the details of what really happened. We do know it was odd there were so many voters because 50 percent, higher in some counties, had voted early.
Arizona’s state law, unlike some states, does not let voters cross over and vote for a party they are not registered in.
Democrats can’t vote for Republicans. Republicans can’t vote for Democrats. Independents/unaffiliated can’t vote for other.
In fact, independents slightly outnumber Republicans. And Democrats are third.
Independentr/unaffiliated: 1,201, 397
This is not a new law, and has been observed in previous primaries.
CNN criticized Arizona on election night for not changing the law to allow the thousands of independents who were clamoring to vote to be allowed to cast ballots.
It is hard to say who was behind this false flag operation: Perhaps Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. Clinton smashed Bernie Sanders. There was no obvious reason for her to get involved in this illegal action.
This would be mainly an Arizona story except that some Republican leaders are saying they will not accept delegates from primaries that let voters crossover.
Some leading reporters are saying they will reject delegates elected in primaries that allow independents and Democrats to vote.
Bernie Sanders: Website says, “Closed primary elections and caucuses exist as a defense mechanism against political sabotage. Some states’ political parties are concerned that voters, instead of using their vote to support the candidate with whom they agree the most, will vote for a weak candidate in the opposing political party. That is to say, these individuals may subvert the opposing political party’s power as a way to advance the potential of their own political party.”
In 1976, the GOP changed its rules so that Gerald Ford would get the nomination from Ronald Reagan.
Ford lost to a peanut farmer from Georgia, Jimmy Carter.
Some fear if the rules are changed this time it will elect Hillary Clinton or Sanders.
Trump stabs Europe in the back
Op Ed: Trump and NATO
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has stabbed Europe in the back, saying we should cut support for NATO.
Belgium, which fought by our side in two wars and hid American soldiers from Nazis, was digging out from terrorist attacks with Trump’s words ringing in their ears Tuesday.
“NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe with NATO, but we’re spending a lot of money,” Trump told the Washington Post.
“We certainly can’t afford to do this anymore,” Trump said.
The con artist probably knows little about what Belgium has suffered. Nor does he care.
After all, this is the man who said Sen. John McCain is not a hero.
U.S. cable networks, as usual carried Trump’s reaction to the attacks in Belgium that killed dozens. He sells more of their products.
Americans were feared among the wounded in Belgium.
On Monday they focused on Trump when he was not even speaking, giving much less time to President Obama meeting Cuban President Raul Castro.
Trevor Noah made fun of the networks saying they were waiting for Trump to appear. Noah said they would know when Trump was there. He is not a Ninja.
If this had occurred during the Civil War then -President Lincoln would have jailed Trump. Lincoln had suspended habeas corpus to stop people from interfering with his foreign and domestic policies at a time of war.
Republicans will tell you time and time again that we are fighting a war now.
Op-Ed: Hillary Clinton outdid her wildest expectations during Tuesday’s voting, with the counting not ending until Wednesday morning as two races were so close.
Winning Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois and Missouri was like a hydrogen bomb compared to the IED Bernie Sanders surprised her with in Michigan.
Donald Trump did well also, but Gov. John Kasich slapped him in the face in Ohio. It didn’t stop the reality show carnival barker but makes a brokered convention more possible.
It’s hard to imagine his poor showing – he only got pluralities not majorities – weren’t at least partly a result of the bad publicity he has gotten for the violence at his rallies. One sheriff considered arresting him for inciting violence. That charge was dropped. And his outrageous xenophobic, anti-women, racist and anti-Muslim charges may play a factor.
The race caused Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to suspend his campaign.
Even those who are not Republicans or not a fan were impressed by a speech that reminded people that the American nation is more important than any one candidate.
“I ask the American people: Do not give into fear,” he said. The remark was aimed at Trump. The two candidates have exchanged insults about their urination problems.
Things were going well for Clinton, who made a cameo appearance on the widely popular “Broad City,” a favorite of millenials.
She showed she could blink either eye.
Sanders made clear he was not going away, though he would be getting less airtime.
“Our plan on this is we’ve got a long way to go, and we’ve got to demonstrate that Bernie’s the strongest candidate,” said Sanders strategist Tad Devine. “We believe that slowly we can win support for people who aren’t for someone, or who are softly for her, and then we can reach out more.”
Op-ed: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump ignited violent opposition that could be compared to numerous uprisings in the past, including the Prague and April springs.
But Trump doesn’t have a strong army to send in to shut down opposition.
There are hundreds of millions of guns in the country and millions suffering from mental illness, both partly a result of the Republican Party’s support for the NRA.
Also, the social media now available for organizing disruptions are vastly superior to what brought down several Arab governments.
Of course people who try to break up Trump rallies are organizing, and it is very easy to do it these days.
They can study other uprisings and learn techniques.
Attack one rally at the start; attack the next one near the end. Stay away from one. Or just shout outside. Don’t give away your plans. Mislead. Fly false flags.
Trump himself is at threat of an attack. There has already been on case when a man nearly got next to him. He was easily within distance of shooting Trump except he did not have a gun, and it is not clear he wanted to hurt the candidate.
There also are millions of soldiers trained as marksmen.
Dare Trump go to a theater?
Is Bernie Sanders inciting his people? It doesn’t matter. They do not need to be pushed. They have been dumping on Hillary Clinton since the campaign began.
Just as Trump can say he cannot stop his supporters from attacking his opponents, Sanders can say he can’t stop people from venting their frustration.
This election is becoming increasingly like the 1968 race. The assassination of Robert Kennedy led to the election of Richard Nixon and the quagmire of the Vietnam War.
People dissatisfied with Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey stayed home. They did not want the lesser of two evils.
Some say Trump is hoping for a repeat of the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.
Op-ed: The answer is yes. What remains to be seen is whether it will be partly responsible for getting him elected or simply destroying the Republican party.
Media executives themselves have gone on record as say confirming they give Donald Trump special access.
CBS CEO Les Moonves said, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” He said it was a “good thing.”
The “good thing,” was that the network’s ad revenue was driven up by the increased viewership resulting from the controversy created by Trump's insults.
The pro-Hillary Clinton site Media Matters said tv networks were letting Trump take over their news shows, letting him call in and get on at a moment’s notice.
Media Matters sent a letter to CBS: “Through the course of this election, time and time again your network allows Donald Trump call in to shows. We fully recognize that sometimes phone interviews are necessary. But Trump’s reliance on phone interviews is completely unprecedented and far exceeds what any other candidate has been allowed to do. By letting Trump phone it in, you’re just enabling media manipulation and reinforcing the idea that the more he takes, the more you'll give in. It's time for that to end.”
We’ve all seen this. Switch from one news channel to another and find Trump, even if he is not on the dais yet. Clinton was not shown after winning the Mississippi primary before everyone was focused on Trump.
Trump’s success may seem unprecedented, but war criminal Charles Taylor outdid him.
Taylor, who had fled charges in the U.S. and was trained by Muammar Gaddafi, led an invasion of his native Liberia.
He brought with him a satellite phone. He would daily be interviewed by the BBC and others, warning the Monrovia government that his forces were headed their way.
In many cases the government forces threw down their rifles and took off their uniforms believing Taylor was coming.
Supported by money made from blood diamonds and sales of guns to rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone, Taylor captured Liberia. He won the presidency campaigning on a slogan: "He killed my ma, he killed my pa, but I will vote for him."
He began a reign of terror that only ended after several civil wars and the intervention of 2,300 U.S. Marines.
After escapes and captures ultimately Taylor was convicted of bloody crimes and imprisoned in a British prison.
This raises two questions. Is the media responsible for what follows its decisions to publicize controversial characters. Is regime change necessary sometimes.
During the latest Democratic debate, references to Gaddafi came and went without mentioning how he had killed hundreds of Americans and others bombing planes outside of Libya.
President Ronald Reagan tried to have Gaddafi assassinated but barely missed.
As a long-time journalist I am disturbed by the concept that we have to show the people what we want.
Often in news rooms I heard we had to report copycat killers because if we did not someone else will. My feeling was we do not have to do anything we don’t want to do. Certainly just not for ratings.
We know, as was written in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday:
“American working class has legitimate reasons to be angry at the ruling class. During the past half-century of economic growth, virtually none of the rewards have gone to the working class. The economists can supply caveats and refinements to that statement, but the bottom line is stark: The real family income of people in the bottom half of the income distribution hasn't increased since the late 1960s. ... During the same half-century, American corporations exported millions of manufacturing jobs (and) the federal government allowed the immigration, legal and illegal, of tens of millions of competitors for the remaining working-class jobs."
Republican candidate Ted Cruz, who I rarely quote, said Trump has been deeply involved in the ripping off the working class, cooperating with people for sale in government and using bankruptcy laws to his benefit.
Why is America so angry
Op Ed: If you get all your news from cable you might believe that Donald Trump has tapped into a vast reservoir of anger.
And there is plenty of anger. But there are multiple possible reasons. Despite what news networks report over and over it is not just anger that people have to get by on less money, assuming they have jobs at all.
Network polls don’t ask about many of the other issues driving anger.
Some of the people attracted to Trump may be angry that the Supreme Court has protected abortion and gay rights.
Polls show a majority support these rulings, but plenty of people are very angry. They would support reversing these decisions if their candidate got into the White House.
People also are angry that local governments have to pull people over and give them tickets because tax cuts have governments with too little money to provide services expected by these same citizens.
Parking tickets are eagerly issued, and cars towed. Owners sometimes have to pay $100 or $200 to retrieve them.
Though it is not related to income, widely publicized killings of unarmed civilians by heavily armed police has angered some people, and not just the black community that is so often the victim.
Governments at all levels caved in to pressure from the Tea Party to reduce taxes at the same time we were fighting wars and expected to provide health care for wounded veterans. Many of these veterans are still waiting.
And Trump is not the only one benefiting from anger. Bernie Sanders is getting thousands of donations from people angered by what Wall Street did to America’s economy and neighborhoods. There is a widespread feeling they largely got away with it without being punished.
Sanders has been able to win some support by linking Hillary Clinton to the banks.
Usually being considered a socialist is enough to turn off American voters. Not this time.
Sanders won a surprise victory in the Michigan primary on Tuesday, at least partly because independents chose to vote in the Democratic primary and because some Democrats were detected voting in the Republican primary, for reasons that can only be guessed.
That Trump, who has ripped so many people off with his private businesses, some of which then declared bankruptcy, is ironic. Funny, journalists are often taught not to use that word. Never in my lifetime has it seemed so appropriate
There is an expression in America, often used in song lyrics and movies: be careful what you wish for you may get it.
For followers of the Netflix series “House of Cards” everything Trump has done has already been done by Kevin Spacey.
2016 US election news and other news from the USA
Worked in journalism, including on the Internet, for more than 40 years. Started as a news editor at the Colorado Daily at the University of Colorado, joined a small Montana newspaper, the Helena Independent-Record, and then United Press International.
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