A Student Campaign to End Political Attack Ads

A Student Campaign to End Political Attack Ads

You can always tell when there is an election approaching and the political season is officially starting when the attack ads start showing up online, on radio and on TV. These attack ads have been around for many years. They have become an accepted part of the political process for many people. However, there are many voters who are fed up with these ads that are seemingly becoming more offensive and vicious every year. There is a campaign underway to get politicians to promote their candidacy and criticize their opponent in a much less offensive way. The campaign was started by college students across the United States from both major political parties. It remains to be seen if this campaign will have any impact on the way that politicians run their campaigns. Here are a few of the suggestions that the students have made.

  1. All commercials should stick to the issues.

    Many of these political attack ads start to go off the rails when they mention things that have nothing to do with the platforms of either candidate. The messages of the ads need to be more focused. Basically, they need to discuss the candidate’s stance on some of the most important issues that he or she will need to deal with during their term in office if they get elected. This is info that the voters need to have in order for them to be able to make an intelligent decision regarding who to vote for. Senator Mike Crapo has always been against attack ads for political campaigns. Crapo believes that these ads always do more harm than good.

  2. Family members and other people who are not directly involved in a campaign should not be mentioned in an ad.

    It has become a common practice for candidates to take shots at the family members of the people they are running against. The students point out that these tactics only succeed in turning voters off to the candidates who use them.

  3. Make sure that the criticism of the opposing candidate remains constructive and focused on politics.

    Politicians frequently attack the candidate who is opposing them by criticizing parts of their life that have nothing whatsoever to do with the way he or she would perform if elected. These pointless attacks do not add anything to the debate. In fact, they draw attention away from the many important issues that the candidates should be focused on while they are campaigning.

  4. Ads should only criticize a candidate’s record. There should be no personal attacks.

    Attack ads can get particularly ugly when they start to make personal attacks that many people find to be gross and offensive. This is why students want candidates to eliminate these personal attacks from their ads altogether. They feel that any attacks should be made against the policies and career record of the opposing candidate. These are the things that truly matter.

  5. Ads should not sensationalize the issues.

    It is easy to confuse many political attack ads with some of the tabloid news programs that are on TV. This is because the ads usually sensationalize various details and blow them out of proportion. The students believe that political ads should take a more factual approach to the message they are trying to convey.

Kathleen Kane, soon-to-be former Pennsylvania Attorney General, and soon-to-be jailbird

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Jury: A.G. Kane guilty of perjury, obstruction, all other charges

by Craig R. McCoy, Angela Couloumbis, and Laura McCrystal, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writers | Updated: AUGUST 15, 2016 — 11:31 PM EDT

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane was convicted Monday of perjury, obstruction, and other crimes, after squandering her once-bright political future on an illegal vendetta against an enemy.

Four years after Kane’s election in a landslide as the first Democrat and first woman elected attorney general, a jury of six men and six women found her guilty of all charges: two counts of perjury and seven misdemeanor counts of abusing the powers of her office.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele persuaded jurors that Kane orchestrated the illegal leak of secret grand jury documents to plant a June 2014 story critical of her nemesis, former state prosecutor Frank Fina. Kane then lied about her actions under oath, the jury found.

Kane, 50, who rose from a hardscrabble upbringing in Scranton to win a statewide post in her first bid for office, was stoic as the verdict was read. Her twin sister, Ellen Granahan, a prosecutor on her staff, was with her in court.

The jury deliberated for 4½ hours before pronouncing Kane’s guilt in a verdict that her lawyer, Gerald Shargel, called “a crushing blow.” He vowed to appeal. Shargel said no decision had been made about whether Kane would resign from office. Gov. Wolf, who had called for Kane to resign after her arrest, said Monday night that she should now do so immediately.

There’s a lot more at the link.

We have written about Attorney General Kane, and her ineptitude in office, previously. I suppose that it’s some form of karmic justice that Mrs Kane, who campaigned on investigating then-Governor Tom Corbett because, as Attorney General himself, his office proceeded slowly in the investigation into former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky for child molestation allegations, has been caught breaking the law herself. The state Attorney General did take a good deal of time investigating and building an iron-clad case against Mr Sandusky, one which resulted in the former coach being convicted and sent to prison on a sentence which virtually assures that he will never get out. The investigations Mrs Kane launched concluded that neither Mr Corbett nor his successors in any way shielded Mr Sandusky, and conducted their investigation properly.

The Democrats one-time “It Girl” just might go to prison. :)

Spy vs Spy

From The Wall Street Journal:

Democrats Trying to Assess Scope of Leak of Personal Information

Data were allegedly stolen from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee by hacker or group of hackers called ‘Guccifer 2.0’

By Damian Paletta | Aug. 13, 2016 6:49 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON—Congressional Democrats on Saturday scrambled to assess the scope of an unprecedented leak that revealed the personal cellphone numbers and some email addresses of nearly 200 current and former Democrats in the House of Representatives.

Following the posting online of a spreadsheet containing the personal information of lawmakers and senior staff members late Friday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) notified all House Democrats in a Saturday email that they were invited to participate in a 6 p.m. phone call with a “senior representative” from Congress’s Sergeant-At-Arms office, as well as cybersecurity experts. . . . .

The posting of the personal information of members of Congress has national-security implications, as the spreadsheet included cellphone numbers and email addresses from members of the House Intelligence, Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees. If a foreign spy network obtained this information, it could attempt to crack into the email accounts or try to monitor phone traffic.

You can read the rest at the Journal original. What you won’t find there, at least not unless the story is updated, is any reference to Hillary Clinton’s email imbroglio, and how foreign intelligence services could have, and probably did, hack into her personal server and uncover national security information. How the heck can a professional news organization not note that in a story like this. Donald Trump has claimed that the media have been biased against him in their reporting; to write a story such as this, and make no mention at all of Mrs Clinton’s problems, is evidence of that bias.

Further down:

Late Friday, the Guccifer 2.0 Twitter account said it would provide “the major trove” of stolen information from the DCCC, including emails, to WikiLeaks, which has already published information from a similar breach of the Democratic National Committee.

On Friday evening, the same Twitter account sent a message to the Journal that said the hacker had acted alone, not as part of a team. In another message to the Journal, the Guccifer 2.0 Twitter account wrote, “I won’t disclose my whereabouts for the safety reasons. I have a full archive of docs and emails from the dccc server.” By Saturday, the account had been suspended.

Nancy Pelosi tried to blame the Russians, who quite naturally denied it, but it doesn’t matter: if the Russians weren’t behind this attack, they have certainly been trying to get through as much as they can. The Russians, the Chinese, the Brits and the Germans and the French and the Israelis, all of them, and more, have been trying to spy on us, because that is what spy agencies do, and it would be just plain sloppy work to not spy on your allies as well as on your enemies. After all, we tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone, which was supposedly approved by President Obama, and I will guarantee you that we’ve been trying to worm our way into anything we can, just as our allies have been doing to us.

And people seriously think that Hillary Clinton is fit to be Commander-in-Chief?

Via Donald Douglas:

House GOP Report: Intelligence Officials Pressured to Alter Reports on ISIS

Analysis skewed to make U.S. campaign against ISIS look more successful, report says

Defense Department officials were pressured to skew their reports on the military campaign against the Islamic State, making it appear more successful than “was warranted by facts on the ground,” and “consistently more positive than analysis produced by other elements of the Intelligence Community,” according to a report by a House Republican task force released on Thursday.

The report, issued by a joint task force on the U.S. Central Command, largely backed up the allegations of a “whistleblower” who claimed that analysts at the agency were pressured to “manipulate” their work after management changes in 2014, the report said. A Daily Beast story published in September cited 50 intelligence analysts who said their reports were altered to offer a rosier picture of the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

The findings were almost immediately challenged by a competing panel of Democrats, which issued its own report Thursday.

Republicans on the task force, led by Reps. Ken Calvert, Mike Pompeo, and Brad Wenstrup, issued statements saying that the problems they had uncovered reached to the highest ranks of Central Command, an arm of the Department of Defense that oversees American military operations in the Middle East.

“After months of investigation, this much is very clear: from the middle of 2014 to the middle of 2015, the United States Central Command’s most senior intelligence leaders manipulated the command’s intelligence products to downplay the threat from ISIS in Iraq,” Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., said in a statement. “The result: consumers of those intelligence products were provided a consistently ‘rosy’ view of U.S. operational success against ISIS.”

There’s more at the original.  But we do know one thing: if Hillary Clinton becomes the next Commander-in-Chief, this bovine feces will continue.

This is simply part of a larger whole: the Obama Administration and its allies are wholly unwilling to say anything which might look like Islam itself is being criticized, and must, therefore, minimize the actions of Da’ish, to paint the radical group as some small, pesky, but wholly-unrepresentative-of-Islam group.  More, that unwillingness has filtered down to the professionals, the officer corps and the intelligence analysts: they have learned that the top of the chain of command does not want any bad news, so they sugarcoat the information that they present to the decision-takers.

It creates a vicious circle of misinformation, disinformation, stupidity and irresponsibility.  The President and his minions let it be known that they don’t want any information which is somehow critical of Islam itself, so the producers of information give the decision-takers feel-good reports, and then the decision-takers don’t have any information which contradicts what they already want to hear.  Thus, the decisions taken based on the information received cannot be anything but poor.

And a leftist like Hillary Clinton won’t change any of that!  Rather, it will continue, just like it is, because, if she is elected President [shudder!], she will want to avoid offending the same groups our current President mollycoddles.

Is it immoral to refuse to vote for Donald Trump?

William Teach asks:

Is It Immoral To Refuse To Vote For Donald Trump?

By William Teach | August 12, 2016 – 7:13 am

I’ve noted for quite some time now that I am not #NeverTrump, but, I flip back and forth between being willing to check the box for Trump as a vote against Hillary, because she, like Obama, stands foresquare against almost everything I believe. She would continue the Obama policies that have damaged the country, and double down on some, as well as instituting her own damaging policies. My vote is simply assumed by Trump and the Trumpites, rather than being earned. There is little to no attempt to woo my vote. Instead, Trump, and especially the Trumpites, work hard to denigrate people who aren’t on the Trump train. I’ve been called a traitor and unpatriotic more times in the last 3 months than I’ve been called that by liberals on chat boards, in comments, and in Twitter since I got involved with politics on the Internet back in 2002. Add to that things like RINO, cuckservative, Democrat, and host of nasty terms.

So, the question is, is it immoral to not vote for Trump? Ben Shapiro takes this on:

Hannity, Ingraham Say It’s Immoral Not To Vote Trump. Here Are 3 Reasons They’re Wrong.

On Wednesday night, Fox News’ Sean Hannity, apparently desperate to begin casting blame for Donald Trump’s November election loss in August, called out conservatives unwilling to vote for Donald Trump. “Get my point, all you stubborn Republicans?” Hannity ranted. “Hillary Clinton, well, she’s proven she does not have the character, she does not have the temperament to be the President of the United States.” He then accused Republicans of “sabotage” and brought on Trump RNC speaker Laura Ingraham to agree: “They are clearly cheerleading Hillary Clinton, there’s no doubt about it…if you call yourself a conservative and a Republican, it’s actually immoral not to vote for Donald Trump, if only for the reason of the Supreme Court.” She concluded, “I mean, it’s so selfish.”

And I’ll let you read Mr Teach’s original to get the rest.

Not all of our votes are equal. I can vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, without it making one bit of difference, because Hillary Clinton is going to carry Pennsylvania, period; no Republican presidential candidate has carried the Keystone State since 1988. A vote for Donald Trump in Pennsylvania is a wasted vote, while a vote for Gary Johnson at least sends a message . . . and wouldn’t leave me feeling like I’ve soiled myself.

Mr Teach, on the other hand, lives in North Carolina, where his vote might make a difference. Barack Hussein Obama carried the Tarheel State by a very small margin in 2008, and lost it by a small margin four years later; it is far more of a battleground state than Pennsylvania.

Kathryn Steinle was unavailable for comment

From The Pirate’s Cove:

Good News: DOJ Doled Out $342 Million To 10 Illegal Alien Loving States And Cities

By William Teach | August 11, 2016 – 8:32 am

Have you ever seen the mission statement of the Department of Justice? It’s pretty much what you would expect:

To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

How’s that work out in practice?

(CNS News) The U.S. Department of Justice gave $342,168,401 in grant money to 10 “sanctuary” states and cities that shield illegal aliens, even violent ones, from deportation by refusing to cooperate with federal immigration officials, according to a Judicial Watch report.

In a recent memorandum to the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed that at least 10 state and local jurisdictions that receive grants from the OJP and Office of Violence against Women (OVW) have policies limiting or effectively precluding local officials’ cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

There’s more at Mr Teach’s original.

Me, I find some pretty major irony in the fact that the Office of Violence Against Women would be handing out grants to ‘sanctuary cities,’ given that women are so often the victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants. The left talk a great deal about women’s rights, but their policies place American women in greater, not less, danger.

Then there’s this one, from Robert Stacey Stacy McCain:

Feminists Plan to Sue U.S. Education Department Over Title IX ‘Gender’ Policy

August 10, 2016

Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) is a radical feminist group founded in 2013, and they are furious about the Obama administration’s manipulation of Title IX to conform to demands of transgender activists:

Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) is suing the U.S. federal government in order to challenge the recent dissolution of Title IX protections for women and girls in education. (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects women and girls from discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities that receive federal funding.) Since its legislation, Title IX has formed the bedrock of equal educational opportunity in the U.S., necessitating countless reforms to raise the level of opportunity for female persons in an attempt to match what had in the past only been afforded to males.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Education (DOE) recently enacted a policy redefining the legal category of “sex” in Title IX to “gender-identity.” The DOJ and DOE was empowered to make this change based on the premise that it does not constitute a substantive reinterpretation of the original legislation. Women’s Liberation Front disagrees with this premise, asserting that the change presents a radical departure from the core of the legislation’s meaning and function, writing on their fundraising campaign page:

This [redefinition] effectively renders Title IX meaningless, as females can no longer be recognized as distinct from males. Indeed, Title IX, the legislation used to champion the very creation of female sports, is now being used to dismantle them, as male athletes demand access to female teams, dominating the competition.

The reinterpretation of ‘sex’ to include ‘gender identity’ also means that girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms must be opened up to any male who ‘identifies’ as female. Girls’ rights to personal privacy and freedom from male sexual harassment, forced exposure to male nudity, and voyeurism have been eliminated with the stroke of a pen. Schools that do not comply with the demands of any male student to access protected female spaces will now lose federal funding.”

Two days ago, Women’s Liberation Front launched a gofundme campaign to cover the legal fees for bringing this challenge to the courts. The campaign has already raised over $5,000 in donations.

Again, there’s more at the original. But what I see is a Democratic Party, which has nominated a woman to become President of the United States, talking a great deal about women’s rights, but pushing women very far to the back of the bus.

As much as I despise Donald Trump, he’d do a heck of a lot more for women, real women, than Hillary Clinton.

What has happened to The First Street Journal?

Unfortunately, we have become involved in a copyright violation case, and to insure that there are no other hidden bombs, out of the almost 2,800 articles which have been published here, I have removed all past articles; the same is the case with the older Common Sense Political Thought. I will have more on this, once the matter is settled. As of right now, it appears to have been settled, at a cost of $600. That might not sound like much to an attorney, but it is a lot to the Editor. I will not have any more on the subject until all of the paperwork is done.

Working in the Courtroom

Working In The Courtroom

If you enjoy being in a courtroom and learning about the criminal justice system, then consider court reporting Scottsdale AZ offices offer. This is a career that will offer something new every day. You will be inside the courtroom, taking notes on all of the statements that are made by attorneys and the judge as well as the comments that are made by the people who are on trial. You have an important job as attorneys, judges and other professionals might need to look back at something that was said during a trial or to look over a sentence that was handed down.

While in the courtroom, you will usually hear a different kind of case every day. Your job will change on a regular basis as you will hear different aspects of the criminal justice system come into play. However, you need to be able to pay attention to details and be able to type at a high rate of speed as you will need to record everything that is said on a stenography machine. There are some programs available that can help you record the information so that it can be transcribed at a later time. You still need to be able to pay attention to the details that are given and be able to make sense of any shorthand that is used while taking notes.

You need to transcribe every statement and question exactly as it is said in the courtroom. One word could make a difference in a sentence that is delivered by a judge or a fact that is presented in a case. The job of a court reporter is reliable as there will likely always be some type of case in the courtroom. The pay for being a reporter is higher than average as you have a higher responsibility than a clerk who might work in the same kind of career field. This is a growing field as there are more issues that are handled in the courtroom, such as probation violations, divorces and child custody. It’s a career where you are in a clean and secure environment and sometimes work alone while transcribing your notes.

Divorce in New York

How Have New York Divorce Laws Changed In The Past Decade?

If you are considering getting a divorce from your spouse in the state of New York you should be aware that a number of divorce related laws have changed considerably over the course of the past decade. For example, in 2010, New York became the last state in the nation to grant “no fault” divorces. Since this radical change the nature of the divorce process has changed in many important ways. Although “at fault” divorces are still possible to obtain in the state of New York, fewer people have had recourse to divorces of this kind since the passage of the “no fault” divorce law.

What Is the Difference Between an “At Fault” And “No Fault” Divorce?

There are several key differences between an “at fault” and “no fault” divorce that a reputable and professional New York divorce attorney will explain to you before you make the final decision to file for either one. To begin with, there are certain criteria which must be met in order to file for an “at fault” divorce. These criteria include the following:

  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Abandonment for a continuous period of one year or more
  • Adultery
  • Imprisonment for more than three years subsequent to the marriage

In the case of a “no fault” divorce, the main criteria is officially listed as follows: “The relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months.” This criteria also applies if both of the parties have already been separated for a period of at least six months. This means that a “no fault” divorce can be granted after this period of time with neither of the parties involved being held officially at fault for the breakup of the marriage.

Equitable Distribution Is the Norm in A “No Fault” Divorce Case

According to the laws enacted by the New York state government in 2010, “equitable distribution” is the doctrine that the court will use to determine a fair and balanced division of property in the event of a divorce. This means that you will have to present to the court an accurate assessment of all of the property you and your spouse hold in common.

You must also list all of the property that you claim as your own and desire to keep custody of after the divorce has been finalized. This is precisely the area where a New York divorce attorney will prove to be of essential value. Hiring such an attorney is your best bet to retain as much of your property as possible.

How Can You Contact A New York Divorce Lawyer To Assist You?

If you feel that your marriage is headed irrevocably toward divorce, or if you and your spouse are already separated in preparation for one, it’s an excellent idea to contact a New York divorce attorney. You can make use of the vast resources of the Internet to locate and visit the website of a reputable and professional law firm, such as Tully Rinckey PLLC, among many others. A qualified and experienced New York divorce attorney is your best bet to ensure that a “no fault” divorce case ends in a positive manner for all parties involved.

Another one bites the dust Ted Cruz, defeated in Indiana, finally drops out

From The Wall Street Journal:

Ted Cruz Drops Out of GOP Presidential Primary Race After Loss in Indiana

Texas Senator’s exit from the presidential contest follows an array of late moves, including an alliance and a running mate

By Janet Hook, Reid J Epstein and Byron Tau | Updated May 3, 2016 11:24 p.m. ET

INDIANAPOLIS—Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday departed the Republican presidential contest after having exhausted an array of campaign moves, ending a campaign that started as the longest of long shots but turned into a surprisingly durable effort to tap into the powerful antiestablishment sentiment of the 2016 electorate.

After being crushed in the Indiana primary that he had said would decide the fate of the Republican presidential campaign, Mr. Cruz dropped out, essentially ceding the nomination to front-runner Donald Trump. The move came on the same day the Texas senator had launched a series of verbal attacks at Mr. Trump, calling the now-presumptive nominee “utterly amoral,” a “narcissist,” a “serial philanderer” and a “pathological liar.”

None of them worked, and Mr. Trump bested both Mr. Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich by double-digits in Tuesday’s voting.

“We left it all on the field in Indiana,” Mr. Cruz said at an election night rally, “but the voters chose another path.”

Mr. Cruz leaves the race having won four primaries and five caucuses. He also won the majority of delegates from state party conventions in three states, a sign of his team’s superior organization.

But in the end, Mr. Cruz couldn’t overcome Mr. Trump’s nationalist populism. The senator’s coalition never grew beyond a core group of dedicated social conservatives, leaving Mr. Trump to pick up support from voters who might have otherwise supported one of the other 14 Republicans who have ended their presidential campaigns.

When he defeated Mr. Trump in the Wisconsin primary April 5, Mr. Cruz declared it a turning point in the campaign. But Mr. Trump has won all seven primary contests since then, taking more than 50% of the vote in each one.

CruzFiorina1There’s more at the original, but that last sentence is the key: Donald Trump won more than 50% of the vote in all of the last seven primaries. With the candidates winnowed down to three, the opposition to Mr Trump couldn’t win a majority split among the two remaining candidates, an antiestablishment conservative and an establishment moderate.

This, to me, is an important point. For too long conservatives (other than me, of course) have complained about the “Republican establishment” excluding conservatives, using the diminutive GOPe, but Senator Cruz was the first candidate to declare for the nomination, attracted a lot of donations, and had a good opportunity and a fair chance to win the nomination, but he still couldn’t. In the end, it was the Republican primary voters who decided this result. Senator Cruz had his chance, and he lost. The nomination wasn’t somehow stolen from him; he failed to persuade enough people to vote for him, and Carly Fiorina’s late addition as his running mate didn’t appear to change things much.1

Obviously, I disagree with the result, but I’ve disagreed with a lot of election results. This year, though, it’s worse: we will have a general election in November pitting two Democrats from New York against each other.
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  1. I was tempted to buy one of the Cruz/Fiorina t-shirts the campaign was selling, but I figured that the campaign would be over by the time I got it!