Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Trump Was a Bore Last Night, the Worst Thing He Could Be


Trump’s Communication Problem

My debate with Sen. Joe Ward in 1972.

The below is from my first book "The Good Bits," describing my debate with Senator Joe Ward (D-Fitchburg, MA) when I was running against him in 1972. Someplace I have a better photo of the debate (where I have my eyes open!), framed, and packed away with my office stuff. The ones below look like it was so easy I was napping! Like Trump in the first debate, and to a lesser extent Clinton, Joe interrupted me frequently when I was speaking. I politely let him spear--I don't think rudeness plays well with the voters watching.  ~Bob


            Joe Ward was considered the best speaker in the Senate. One Boston paper headlined my victory, “Silver Tongue Stilled.”
            Still, no one but me thought he’d accept a challenge to debate. I knew he didn’t want to appear frightened of a young, inexperienced challenger. Whatever I might have said about Joe, he was a fighter. By luck, I found a used book about the Ward-Volpe governor’s race in 1960, The Complete Politician. Ward lost that race by being too aggressive, by going on the attack in ways the public thought unfair. And he had a temper.
So a debate was set, in Gardner, Massachusetts, the smallest of the three cities in the district. Held at Mount Wachusett Community College, my alma mater, with professors on the panel, the vote was broadcast on the local cable station. I’d guess there were at least 20 people watching.
Joe came in full of confidence and without checking the rules carefully. When told they were going to flip a coin to determine who went first, he replied, “Oh, let the challenger go first.” Very generous, of course, but it meant he went second, and could hit me without rebuttal, going into the question phrase.
But since it meant I got the closing statement at the end of the debate, I agreed.
I had three issues: government reform, taxes and being a full-time senator, and I knew to “stay on message,” as the politicians now say. But a hidden issue was Joe’s law practice. The word on the street was that if you lost your driver’s license, for $500 Joe would get it back. This was perfectly legal. If you gave Senator Hall $500 to get your license back, it would be an illegal bribe. But if you gave it to Senator Ward, an attorney, it was a legal fee. And if he was more effective with the court or registry of motor vehicles due to his public office, well, welcome to democracy.
Of course, we couldn’t prove this, so I couldn’t say it. But hints are fair, right?
We hammered away at each other, with me working hard to get him angry. When it came time to make my closing statement, I judged his mood, took a breath and a chance, and closed with, “I want to promise you one thing. When you bring your problems to Senator Hall, you won’t have to bring your checkbook.”
Boom! Joe leaped up and began yelling at me. The cameras kept grinding. The moderator tried to tell him that, under the rules, I had the closing statement. He kept yelling. I offered my hand, which he refused, on camera, calling me a “snide, slimy young man.”
I resisted the impulse to kiss him, though I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.
Reporters asked me about my closing statement. I said I thought there was an inherent conflict of interest between accepting legal fees to represent clients before courts and state agencies, and accepting pay as a senator to set the budget (and pay!) for those courts and agencies.
The next day we demanded an apology, in ads and news releases. The debate was a hot topic of conversation, and every cable station in the district re-ran it. Thousands watched. Suddenly, one mistake by the incumbent, and I’m a serious candidate.
Joe was 89 when he went to his reward in 2003. He never did apologize for the name-calling. But I didn’t really mind.

More Emails

Johnson camp digital ad hits Feingold with a tale of two email scandals. By M.D. Kittle

Great story

SFC Black, Lt. Reilly, and the Needle

Another take on the debate

American Colonoscopy 2016. By Erick Erickson

Monday, September 26, 2016

Winners & Losers

Winners And Losers From Tonight’s First Presidential Debate

One down and the future to go

So, the first debate is history. I saw no knock-out blows, no major mistakes. And nothing that would convince me to vote for either candidate. I'm still planning to write in Evan McMullin. And early voting has started in Wisconsin--we saw folks lined up to vote today at the library before the debate.

The Donaldcrats will say he won because he sounded less like a head case than he has in the past. The Hillbilleries will say she won because she came across as strong and healthy. I'd call it a draw.

But what matters is what the polls say. We shall see. ~Bob

My debate experience

Both keep interrupting each other. I think that hurts them with the average, perhaps swing voter. In 1972, my opponent, Sen. Joe Ward, agreed to debate me to everyone's surprise. He interrupted me, but I listened politely when it was his turn to speak. But when it was my turn, i got him angry and he blew up at the end. Later he refused to debate again, so I had the best of both worlds. That debate won me a seat in the state senate in a 4-1 Dem district, last won by the GOP in 1938. I held it 5 terms and the GOP woman I endorsed after me held it for 5. Debates matter, but you have to think how the undecided viewers see what's going on.

The Debate

I'm watching the debate, painful as it is. During the long segment on the economy, woeful economic ignorance was on display by both candidates. They may know (or not) that their positions are ignorant, but they know the vast majority of people are ignorant of basic economics, so they are free to con votes with pie-in-the-sky because people, being ignorant, will vote for things that will hurt them badly in the long run.

Both are against Free Trade, because that is popular. Just as it was popular for Hoover to sign the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Bill, which killed international trade and turned a bad recession into the Great Depression. See:

Tariff disaster offers a lesson on the folly of protectionism. By Thomas Sowell

As to NAFTA, see:

No, Mr. Trump, NAFTA Was Not a ‘Bad Deal’

And while the deficit of $19T or $20T  is bad, worse is the unfunded liability, which may run from $87T to $240T. But neither one dares to talk about that, because dealing with it will be very politically painful. See my short piece:

It doesn't matter who you vote for in November. By Robert A. Hall

Fixing this will be so painful no politician dares move on it at all. But letting is ride is going to be far more painful. I believe we face a fiscal and economic collapse followed rapidly by a political and social collapse. Since I published this book a few years ago, every thing has gotten worse, plus there are factors, all negative, I didn't address:

The Coming Collapse of the American Republic: And what you can do to prevent it. By Robert A. Hall
All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans. For a free PDF of this 80-page book you can read on your computer, write me at: tartanmarine(at)gmail.com.

Given these candidates we are doomed. As a protest:

I have decided to vote for Evan McMullin for President.


Debate Drinking Game

Good slaves

One of the many things that worries me about the future of our country, a future I won't be here to see, is that for the first time in American history we have a substantial share of the population who will make good slaves. The Dependent Generation is so used to government taking care of them, they will be unable to take care of themselves, and will readily give up their freedom to be taken care of.


Problem is, pathological liars pass lie detector tests. ~Bob

Trump won't say

Things Trump has said in the past that I predict he won't say in the debate
(Some paraphrasing, but you can look it up.)

Hillary Clinton is my friend. She works hard, was a great Secretary of State and will be a great president.

My sister, a radical pro-abortion judge, would be great on the Supreme Court.

I'm 100% pro-choice, even on partial birth abortion.

Mitt Romney lost because the GOP was too harsh on immigrants.

The Dreamers have convinced me.

I wish no one had a gun.

I don't regret giving money to Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi or Rahm Emanuel.

Oprah would make a great Vice President.

Obama was 100% right on the executive pay cap.

I like people who didn't get captured, okay?

Sex was my personal Vietnam. I'm like a brave soldier.

I had more military experience in prep school than most guys get in the service.

Lying Ted Cruz and Little Marco Rubio.

Everything I've said so far is just a suggestion.

I personally hand-picked the instructors at Trump University.

Ted Cruz's father was involved with JFK's killer.

Look at the hospitality award I received from Joey No Socks.

I will release my income tax returns.

Our Navy

The US Navy is heading to the bottom of the sea!

Book Recommendations

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach 
This book was recommended to me by Natalie, one of my physical therapists at the Madison VA. It is both very interesting and very funny. Mary Roach is a humorist, but one who goes to great length to research the subjects she writes about and interviews many experts and people with first hand knowledge, to get her facts straight. She also participated in many experiments to get both a feel for the subject and bring her readers a deeper understanding. Vets will especially like that throughout Roach displays her deep respect and admiration for veterans and members of our military. The humor is at her own expense, or about the situations, never directed to diminish the troops or veterans. Trigger Warning: many of the topics covered will be disconcerting to those with powder puff personalities or snowflake sensitivities. But for those who want an understanding of the efforts to better protect our troops, I highly recommend this book.

Outnumbered: Incredible Stories of History's Most Surprising Battlefield Upsets by Cormac O'Brien

A gift from my brother Mark, I greatly enjoyed this overview of some of histories most surprising battles. It is both well researched and well written. The battles covered were a balance between those I had read a great deal about (Agincourt, Rorke's Drift, Chancellorsville) and those I had heard little or nothing of. Those who studied military history at West point or Annapolis may find little new here, but for the average history buff, this is a great review of several important and interesting conflicts.

Sex Slaves

Islamic State sex slaves auctioned off in UK/US ally Saudi Arabia

Misunderstanding Islam

Jordan: Murderer of Christian charged with insulting Islam was Muslim cleric
Excerpt: “The gunman was arrested at the scene has been identified as Riyad Ismail Abdullah, a 49-year-old imam who recently returned from making the Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.” How did an imam, someone who has dedicated his life to understanding Islam properly, get the idea that he should murder people who are perceived as insulting Islam? Could what our leaders tell us about how Islam is entirely peaceful be false? Could such an injunction really be part of the religion?

It's okay...Allah Approves!

Mother-of-three, 26, 'abducted and raped by a gang of six migrants from Iraq, Syria and Bahrain after her drink was spiked'


Pentagon quietly studying Islamic theology to understand the Islamic State and al-Qaeda


Tolerant Islam: Jordanian writer shot dead as he arrives at trial for insulting Islam

I suppose "Nuke them first" isn't on the table?

Broken promise?

President Obama Broke Promise for Charity Donation, ISIS Hostage Family Says


Sunday morning, UpFront with Mike Gousha broadcast an interview with Evan McMullin on why Wisconsin voters should choose him over the other candidates. 


Expectations for the first debate are really low. If Trump gets through it without peeling a banana with his feet or Hillary doesn't have the be carried off in a stretcher, their fanatics will claim a big win.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Cover Me Veterans

Cover Me Veterans - new charity in Madison Wisconsin.

At the quarterly luncheon of the Wisconsin Chapter, Third Marine Division Association on September 24, 2016, we had a speaker, Heidi Sigmund, PhD, a psychologist at the Madison, VA.

In her own time, Dr. Sigmund has started a 501c3 charity, and is president of Cover Me Veterans. Her woke with this charity is entirely on her own time, completely separate from her work at the VA. CMV seeks to reduce the number of suicides among veterans. Since they tend to be gun suicides, they are making available "gun skins" which go on the grips and magazines, personalized with something the vet cares about like family photos, to make him--or her--think twice. These are provided to veterans at no charge.

Their website is www.covermeveterans.org. They are working to expand nationally. their website says: "Cover Me Veterans™ seeks to intervene in the act of suicide by placing a personally relevant and meaningful image on an individual’s firearm.
This powerful reminder will strongly encourage the Veteran to think twice before ending his or her life."

She reports an excellent response so far. Check out their website.

Bonnie and I made a contribution and the Wisconsin Chapter contributed $200 to their efforts.

If you know vets who might be in the danger zone, please pass the information about this organization to them. ~Bob

Page Views in the past week

United States
United Arab Emirates
South Korea

The Liberal's Checklist for dealing with terrorism.

The Liberal's Checklist for dealing with terrorism.
1. Claim the incident was an accident.
2. when that collapses, claim it was deliberate, but nothing to do with terrorism.
3. When that falls apart, claim is was by a lone wolf, nothing to do with international terrorism.
4. When it comes out that the terrorist claimed allegiance to the Islamic state, was a devoted, very religious Muslim, had been radicalized at his local mosque, inspired by ISIS or al Qaeda, and shouted "Allah Akbar" as he murdered, claim it has nothing top do with Islam or religion, that we will never know his motive.

5. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

Go. Sheriff!

Sheriff David Clarke takes down drunk and aggressive passenger on NC-bound flight. By M.D. Kittle

Black man tells the truth

Facts from a black man: How Savage Are Blacks In America & Why Is Everyone Afraid To Discuss It?


India: Officials deny permission for Hindu festival for fear of offending Muslims
The principle is always and everywhere the same: in Muslim countries, one must conform one’s behavior to Muslim sensibilities. And in non-Muslim countries, one must conform one’s behavior to Muslim sensibilities.

And Sweden

Swedish Police Admit Losing Control Of 55 No-Go Zones

Welcome to progressive Europe

Fight back or die: Turkish migrant gang ATTACKS locals during reign of terror across entire Dutch city


Washington state: Turkish Muslim, Arcan Cetin, arrested for murder of five people inside Cascade Mall. By Ribert Specer, JihadWatch.org
The initial reports about this killer said he was “Hispanic.” From the photos of him that were released, that always seemed to be more politically correct wishful thinking than reality.


CAUGHT: Mall massacre suspect ID'd as Turkish immigrant with violent past
Mass media put it out that witness described shooter as "a Hispanic male." One glance at the blurry video and I thought, "He is Middle Eastern." Guess what? Now ID'd as an "immigrant from Turkey." Right. Really Hispanic. --Barb

Religious Faith

Team Obama launches a shocking broadside against religious faith. By Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein

It only took 50 years


Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Facts on Ford and Mexico

Howes: Leave it to pols to get it wrong on Ford, Mexico
Excerpt: Yet here we have the Republican nominee predicting Thursday that the Dearborn automaker will “fire all of their employees in the United States” — and a CNN anchor asking Ford CEO Mark Fields whether Trump’s allegation is true.


“It’s really unfortunate when politics gets in the way of the facts,” Fields replied, reciting a litany that is not news to followers of Ford or the Detroit-based industry. Reality simply doesn’t support Trump’s cockamamie narrative flogging Ford’s year-long perpetuation of its small-cars-to-Mexico story.

The United States is not “losing” more than 4,000 jobs at Michigan Assembly in Wayne because Ford will build small cars in Mexico. United Auto Workers members here will build what Fields called two “very exciting new” products: the compact Ranger pickup (a sop to meet federal fuel economy rules) and what is expected to be a revived iteration of a Bronco SUV.

The number of union jobs lost in the States to this move is zero. Why do you think this compacts-to-Mexico gambit, dropped in the middle of last year’s national contract talks, didn’t emerge as a strike-worthy issue with the UAW? Because union leaders and the rank-and-file know how the industry works, and what they would get, far better than the smart people running for president.
Second, Ford wouldn’t be moving its Focus, C-Max and related hybrids south of the border if more customers wanted those vehicles. But in a world of $2.25-a-gallon gas, surging American energy production and the increasing fuel-efficiency of new crossovers and SUVs, customers don’t need small cars to get the economy they seek.

... Finally, both Trump and Clinton are voicing opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and a willingness to reopen the North American Free Trade Agreement. The prospect of greater trade restrictions means the automakers could consider producing vehicles in countries with more liberal trade policies, i.e., Mexico.

The Case Against Trump

The case against Donald Trump. By Ryan Cooper
Excerpt: Donald Trump would be an absolute disaster of a president — so bad it's almost impossible to grasp. But allow me to try.... Trump constantly (and inadvertently) reveals his staggering ignorance of the most basic facts of government and recent history. Trump didn't knowthat Russia had annexed Crimea. He didn't know what Brexit was. He didn't know that the Trans-Pacific Partnership does not include China. He is very obviously a guy who gets his news from half-watching cable TV and the racists in his Twitter mentions. When he does talk policy, his positions shift on a daily basis: First he wasagainst huge tax cuts for the rich, then he was for them even more than his primary opponents. First he was against raising the minimum wage, then he was for it, then he said it should be up to the states. First he said Japanshould have nuclear weapons, then they shouldn't. And on, and on, and on.

Worth reading

The Week Magazine Editor's letter (Worth Subscribing to, a balanced news magazine.
The media is biased, and is doing a horrible job of covering the presidential election. That is perhaps the only statement you could make that both liberals and conservatives would applaud. A new Gallup poll finds that just 32 percent of Americans surveyed said they have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in the media—an all-time low. Coverage of Donald Trump’s norm-shattering candidacy apparently strikes Republicans in particular as unfair: Their confidence in the media has plunged from 32 percent last year to just 14 percent. But in recent weeks, worried Democrats have become just as vocal in their anger, blaming the media for “false equivalence” in its coverage of Hillary Clinton’s various self-inflicted wounds. (See Talking Points.)

So is the media biased against Trump or against Clinton? First, let’s consider the term “the media.” It used to refer to the country’s major newspapers, magazines, and broadcast TV networks, which strive for fairness—admittedly imperfectly. But “the media” now includes websites, talk radio, and cable TV networks that are openly partisan and cater to a bitterly polarized nation’s prejudices. If you have your sensibility shaped and reinforced by MSNBC, Paul Krugman, and Vox.com, then you have no doubt that the rest of the media has placed far too much emphasis on negative stories about Clinton. If your worldview is based on what you hear and see on Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and Breitbart.com, you are certain that the media is out to get Trump. (One complicating factor: Most of the columnists at National Review, The Wall Street Journal, and other traditional conservative publications are horrified by Trump.) Every week, I get emails from the Trump tribe with “bias” in the subject line, and another bunch from hyperventilating Clinton supporters slugged “false equivalence.” What does this tell us? Draw your own conclusions. But bias, methinks, is often in the eye of the beholder.

William Falk, Editor-in-chief

the "Most Transparent Administration in History."

Obama used pseudonym in emails with Clinton

Charen: Who will protect us from a President Trump or Clinton?

Charen: Who will protect us from a President Trump or Clinton?
Excerpt: So the institutional guardrails are quite rickety. In the end, the only true guardians of a liberal republic are the people themselves. They must prescribe minimal standards of decency. I will be voting for Evan McMullin, the only candidate (of five) who doesn’t pose a threat to our national welfare.

Conservative counter-reformation

Grand New Party? Evan McMullin hopes to start a conservative ­counter-reformation.

Heard it all?

(Sorry about the weird line breaks, not there when posted.) From
my friend Del: Just when you think you've heard it all .... the never-ending font of truly creative thinking by some "progressive" will come along to further expand your appreciation of the ridiculous. So... the idea of science, the careful, structured, objective search for knowledge and understanding, is flawed because it assumes there is a valid, definitive answer. This is now condemned as a rigid way to stultify young minds, who should be encouraged to find whatever answer they feel somehow serves them best.
OK, I will start by saying that in my own opinion there is no way for mere human minds to comprehend all of reality fully and perfectly. In the course of human discoveries over the centuries various theories have come and gone, some found to be just false, others as a base for even more exploration of understanding how the universe works. Certainly many kinds of learning are subject to a great deal of uncertainty and lack of precision, psychology is a good example. But physics either leads to actual understanding, or the bridge collapses, and for sure you don't get men to the moon and back. Biology and medicine aren't always perfectly accurate, but people live for many more years because of heart surgery who otherwise would have died. If that isn't a good enough in terms of objective knowledge of how the human body works, then I guess there is no point in any further discussion.
There is so very much we don't know, so much we have no mastery of, so we cannot fall into any silly arrogance about how fantastic we are as masters of the universe. But the universe does have rules in it that we can learn about and understand at least some of, and the centuries of advancing science have given us some solid, objective understanding. Denigrating the concepts of science and objective understanding is a really remarkable step for a highly educated person and teacher to take. (Sorry, I think I'd advise students to find some other courses than hers to take.) --Del

Clinton Endorsement

Major Ohio paper endorses Clinton after years of backing GOP

Friday, September 23, 2016

Now we need one for Hillary

Should be an entertaining night, in a gut-twisting way. Trump has an advantage, in that everyones expectations are low. Hillary has to avoid fainting.
Hey, Lester Holt: We Made a Cheat Sheet of Trump’s Favorite Lies for You

Why am I not surprised?

Figures: Trump received $1.6 million from Secret Service. The agency pays to travel with all presidential nominees, but in Trump’s case, that money went to one of his companies. http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/donald-trump-secret-service-campaign-travel-payments-228553#ixzz4L7rrF7ha

Bowing to the Saudis

President Obama vetoes bipartisan bill that would let families of 9/11 victims sue the government of Saudi Arabia, setting up a showdown with Congress where lawmakers on both sides of the aisle aim to override the president's decision.

Cruz will vote for Trump

Sen. Ted Cruz announces he will vote for Donald Trump, coming around to back the Republican nominee months after their bitter primary contest.
Alienating too many donors and the GOP establishment, thinking of 2020. ~Bob

McMullin for President

Evan McMullin: A Sane Alternative



Hillary Clinton Would Rather Blame Free Speech than Islam for Terrorism

No lives matter to these people

So, Two blacks dead, one by a black cop, one by a black protester: Police announce arrest in shooting death at Charlotte riot


FBI gave top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills immunity in email probe, rep says

Trump Preps

Take that, Colin

She nails Colin Kaepernick

Evan McMullin's Immigration Plan:

Evan McMullin's Immigration Plan: Our immigration system must secure our borders and enforce our laws


‘We are in a catastrophe.’ Boko Haram insurgency threatens future of Lake Chad Basin

Never Trump

'Never Trump' Republicans standing firm


Credit Card


Worth reading: Terrorism With the Religion Taken Out. By Phillip Jenkins