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November, 2015
After Paris, GOP fuels fear, phobia

After Paris, GOP fuels fear, phobia

In the wake of the Paris tragedy, Americans are being treated to a heavy dose of fear and phobia about anyone who is not the same color or ethnic origin as the Republican Party primary candidates.

Trying to piggyback on the public’s angst everyone from Jeb Bush to Ted Cruz has a solution that would make America into an isolationist’s dream.

There aren’t too many people around these days who can recall the attacks on Jews in the 1930s and a variety of other ethnic groups over the years.

Every time there was a scandal or happening involving people with strange names or different colors, a group would emerge calling for an end to immigration and the building of an imaginary wall between America and the rest of the world.

On top of branding people “terrorists,” the would be presidents have a lot of other simple solutions for us to take.

Jeb Bush wants us to immediately put American soldiers on the ground in Syria.

He also favors a no-fly zone in that country. When he is asked whether that means America should shoot down Russian airplanes he fumbles for an answer.

Read the full article here

Kremer’s Corner: GOP could lose war by winning battle – The Island Now: Opinions

Kremer’s Corner: GOP could lose war by winning battle – The Island Now: Opinions

The average voter doesn’t know very much about the process of electing a president.

They have heard about the primary elections and understand that the last man or woman standing gets the nomination and the chance to run for president in 2016.  But the difference between the primaries and the general election is the difference between night and day.

The Republican primary candidates spend their time romancing the most conservative voters hoping that by throwing out as much red meat as possible,they will get their approval.   When those primaries are over, Republican leaders hope that they have chosen a candidate who will do well in the general election.

But that’s the problem.

Read the full article: Kremer’s Corner: GOP could lose war by winning battle – The Island Now: Opinions

Giving Lobbyists a Bad Name, Unfairly

Giving Lobbyists a Bad Name, Unfairly

Many years ago, as a young boy, I first heard the word “scapegoat.”

Over a long period of time I have seen people make individuals or groups into scapegoats as a way of hiding their own sins.  Some politicians love to scapegoat so they can shift the blame away from themselves.

The current campaign of Donald Trump for the White House is built on freely using anyone or everyone he dislikes as scapegoats.

If you say something negative about Mr. Trump he automatically labels you as a loser or whatever expression crosses his mind.  He has already insulted the large voting bloc of immigrants and has had a few choice words for anyone who disagrees with him.

One of his more interesting targets are the lobbyists.  It seems that everything that is bad in Washington has been caused by the lobbyists.  To some extent that may be true.

There are countless stories in the media about how some new law was secretly drafted by lobbyists who sat in a Congressman’s office to do the foul deed. It is a known fact that many elected officials take their direction from lobbying groups, such as the National Rifle Association.

In defense of this much maligned profession, it should be clarified that not all lobbyists are evil and in many cases their work is critical to making sense out of the thousands of bills introduced in Washington and state capitols each year.  New York State is a good example.

Annually there are at least 10,000 bills introduced, many of which are going nowhere.

But buried in that large pile of proposals are hundreds, if not thousands, that will be voted on in the Senate or the Assembly, many in the closing hours of the legislative session.

If you think the average legislator reads each and every proposed law, you are giving your elected officials credit for something that just doesn’t happen. I confess that as a former chair of the Ways and Means Committee, I had a passing knowledge of thousands of bills.

That was partially due to the fact that many of the same bills, lovingly called “old chestnuts,” had been introduced year after year by different sponsors.

On many occasions some lobbyist pointed out to me that a bill would cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, even though the sponsor produced a memo saying that there was no cost involved.

Lobbyists are not just hired by rich people like Donald Trump. They are hired by non-profit institutions like AARP, Community Service Society, the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies and the Catholic Diocese.

While some of these groups have a very narrow agenda, they provide the legislators with information on the impact of a proposal, and even if you don’t agree, you learn something new about both sides.

I have come across some lobbyists who will bend the truth but sooner or later they will be unmasked and they lose their credibility.

By and large the vast number of these paid advocates work hard at their jobs and perform a great service.

What is mystifying about Trump’s bashing of lobbyists is the fact that he has been hiring his own team of lobbyists for many years.

Casino proposals in Connecticut, New York and Florida have either been supported or opposed by Donald Trump. I know that for a fact as once upon a time I was part of the Trump team.

Using a lobbyist is no sin, yet this time around all lobbyists are evil in the eyes of Mr. Trump.

Political campaigns these days tend to be overloaded with distortions and misstatements.

During campaign time almost anyone is fair game and can be made into a scapegoat.

The Bible has produced many memorable lines.

So in the bashing of lobbyists its worth reminding Mr. Trump about the admonition that “let he who hasn’t sinned cast the first stone.”