As a registered Democrat, Hillary supporter and an avid follower of politics I have been asking myself every day why does Trump continue his hold on front runner status of the Republican Party? To find the answer I only had to look at my life over the past 50 years or so and then apply a concept called empathy.

Empathy may not be what you would think it is. It is not necessarily agreeing with the other person, it is understanding where they are coming from. Empathy is key to understanding Trump’s poll numbers.

Come on guys (and gals) who are presidential wannabes as the process moves into other states, let’s start talking about stuff that matters.

Yes, the decline of the middle class is of great concern and lots of mouth power should be devoted to it. Other then that issue, most of the rest is generally trash talk especially on the Republican side where an in ordinate amount of word power is being directed at belittling the opponent of the moment.

Here are two issues that need more substantive discussion.

Well, the Caucuses are but a few days away and the New Hampshire vote a little after that. So, are you still undecided?

Do you want your vote to count? Do you want the candidate who best reflects your values to succeed? Well, here is my suggestion, and it works no matter if you are a far left wing progressive socialist or a right wing rock ribbed conservative.

Written in April of 2015

          الدولة الإسلامية في العر   اق والشام

ISIS

The topic of this paper is is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or sometimes called The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). For the sake of picking one out of the air, lets just call it ISIS.

So far 95% of all press reports are about either their battlefield successes or their depravity and cruelty. I have come to the conclusion the press loves the word beheading, it seems as if that’s all they talk about.

A few weeks ago the Des Moines Register carried an article I wrote regarding declaring war on the Islamic State. It was posted here on my blog in late November. This editorial is written to explain what I believe are the important elements of that decision

Today we went to the park and our veterinarian met us there to put dear Sable to sleep.

We got there at 11:00 am and we went for a walk in the woods near the river. Although almost blind his sense of smell was as good as ever. We wondered through the woods for a while and then started back to Sweet Pea’s tree, named after another loving dog from our past. My wife Kerry, our vet and the vet tech were all waiting, so we sat on the blanket and he settled down while a needle went in his leg. He looked up at us and gave the look of trust that he so often gave when something was happening he was not confortable with but knew we thought it best. The sedative began to take effect as I rubbed his ears, the thing he liked the most. He became calm and the second fluid of death drifted into his body. As the tears of humans came down he moved into another world not controlled by man but by God and he slowly –left- us.

Throughout America’s history Congress has declared war eleven times. Six of those Congressional authorizations were declared against various countries as we entered World War 11.

A congressional resolution, but not a declaration of war, got us into eleven additional conflicts. Both Iraq wars and the Viet Nam conflict were fought under a congressional resolution.

I could not believe I did it. I watched every minute of over 11 hours of hearings of the Select Committee on Benghazi.

So after all that time what did I learn? Well, supplementing some other insight I have regarding State department culture, rules and process, I come up 3 major points.

In today’s political America we seem to be divided between the right and the left. As one who has a couple of degrees in Political Science I should understand the difference in the various positions but I must admit I stay thoroughly confused.

On the issue of abortion for instance it should be relatively simple to explain the conservative position vs. the liberal/progressive position, but if you think about it from an historical perspective it gets a bit muddled.

For example, former Senator and Republican candidate for President Barry Goldwater, the epicenter of conservative thought in the 60s, had a very simple position on abortion –it was up to a woman to choose. This was under the conservative theory that government should stay out of a person’s private life. Today that position would be considered a liberal/ progressive position.

It has recently been in the news that both Ben Carson and Donald Trump are asking for Secret Service protection. There is a specific process in place to determine who and when Secret Service protection is granted.

Basically it starts with a request to the Director of DHS and is then reviewed by congressional leadership to determine if a presidential candidate has enough support among the electorate and that there may have been or is likely to be, various threats against a candidate. The question of does the government have the resources to provide protection is never an issue.

There are pros and cons to having protection. The obvious advantage is that it does give a candidate “street creds” in terms of their viability and protection is usually a good thing given the multitude of crazies running around.