Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, August 6, 2016

MVNews this week:  Page B:4

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DICK Polman 


The Republican race has gone nuclear.

One big reason why GOP presidential nominee Donald

Trump is cratering lately - brand new polls show him 11

points down in Pennsylvania, 9 points down in Michigan,

15 points down in New Hampshire - is because people are

catching on to the fact that he’s too unstable, too reckless

and policy-ignorant, to command our nuclear arsenal in an

unstable world.

 That perception killed Barry Goldwater’s conservative candidacy in 1964 - perhapsunfairly, because veteran senator Goldwater was not a policy novice - and now it’sdogging Trump. Rightfully so.

The latest detonation came on the “Morning Joe” show, when co-host and ex-
Republican congressman Joe Scarborough dropped this into our wakeup coffee:
“Several months ago a foreign policy expert on the international level went to adviseDonald Trump, and three times he asked about the use of nuclear weapons. Threetimes, he asked at one point, ‘If we have them why can’t we use them?’....Three timesin an hour briefing, ‘Why can’t we use nuclear weapons?’”

Scarborough didn’t identify his source (was it the foreign policy expert? someonewho’d spoken to the expert?); nor did he say whether he’s been sitting on this anecdotefor months or just learned of it. But it rings true, because it jibes with everything elseTrump has said.

Back in March, he told Chris Matthews that tactical nukes were a possible optionduring a European crisis (or during a confrontation with ISIS); in his words, “I’mnot taking any cards off the table.” When Matthews said that our allies would bedisturbed to hear a president talk so cavalierly about nukes, Trump replied, “Thenwhy are we making them? Why do we make them?”

He doesn’t even know how our nuclear arsenal is set up. During a debate lastDecember, he was asked to comment about the “nuclear triad” (three delivery systems

- planes, subs, land-based missiles). He replied with a long riff about how “we needsomebody absolutely that we can trust, who is totally responsible,” and then replied toa follow-up with, “I think - I think, for me, nuclear is just the power, the devastationis very important to me.”
He had no clue. He probably thinks triad is a synonym for a menage a trois.
Goldwater had logged years on Senate foreign policy committees. But after a string ofcomments about the alleged perils of signing a nuclear test-ban treaty and the allegedbenefits of using tactical nukes in Vietnam, and some jokey talk about the mightinessof American missiles (we oughta “lob one into the men’s room at the Kremlin”), hegot tagged as a dangerous loon. Lyndon Johnson’s Democratic operatives saw to that.

On the night of Sept. 7, NBC aired an LBJ campaign ad. It featured 3-year-oldMonique Corzilius of Pine Beach, New Jersey (with her parents’ OK, for a fee of$100). She plucked some daisy petals and counted up to 10. Then came the stentorianvoiceover, counting down to a nuclear launch. The bomb exploded as LBJ (quoting

W.H. Auden) intoned, “These are the stakes - to make a world in which all of God’schildren can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other. Or we mustdie.” 
Hillary Clinton’s campaign hasn’t crafted anything as blatant as the famous“Daisy” ad, but it doesn’t need to. Its most ubiquitous ad - the one that shows littlekids watching Trump on TV - connects with what the public is already sensing. Andwith what national security experts are darkly warning.

One such expert - Michael Hayden, who was George W. Bush’s CIA director appeared 
Wednesday on “Morning Joe.” Scarborough’s much-circulated remark hasregrettably overshadowed what Hayden said on camera: “(Trump) is inconsistent.
And when you’re the head of a global super power, inconsistency, unpredictability,
those are dangerous things. They frighten your friends and they tempt your enemies.
And so I would be very, very concerned.”

Which well-credentialed national security experts are counseling Trump? Arethere any advisers whom Hayden respects? Hayden’s reply: “No one.”
I trust there are many reasons why Trump is trailing Clinton nationally by 10 points

-in the latest Fox News poll, no less. But it’s surely the nuclear factor that’s promptingmany Republicans to question Trump’s candidacy. Too bad the Republican NationalCommittee bylaws requires his willingness to quit. Too bad he’s deaf to something hesaid in that Republican debate last winter, because the irony is squirm-worthy:
“The biggest problem we some maniac, having some madman go out andget a nuclear weapon.”

Dick Polman is the national political columnist at NewsWorks/WHYY inPhiladelphia 


From The New York Times: 

By MICHAEL J. MORELLDuring a 33-year career at the Central Intelligence Agency, I served presidents ofboth parties — three Republicans and three Democrats. I was at President George W.
Bush’s side when we were attacked on Sept. 11; as deputy director of the agency, I waswith President Obama when we killed Osama bin Laden in 2011. 

I am neither a registered Democrat nor a registered Republican. In my 40 years ofvoting, I have pulled the lever for candidates of both parties. As a government official,
I have always been silent about my preference for president.

No longer. On Nov. 8, I will vote for Hillary Clinton. Between now and then, I willdo everything I can to ensure that she is elected as our 45th president.

Two strongly held beliefs have brought me to this decision. First, Mrs. Clintonis highly qualified to be commander in chief. I trust she will deliver on the mostimportant duty of a president — keeping our nation safe. Second, Donald J. Trump isnot only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security.

I spent four years working with Mrs. Clinton when she was secretary of state, mostoften in the White House Situation Room. In these critically important meetings,
I found her to be prepared, detail-oriented, thoughtful, inquisitive and willing tochange her mind if presented with a compelling argument. I also saw the secretary’scommitment to our nation’s security; her belief that America is an exceptional nationthat must lead in the world for the country to remain secure and prosperous; herunderstanding that diplomacy can be effective only if the country is perceived aswilling and able to use force if necessary; and, most important, her capacity to makethe most difficult decision of all — whether to put young American women and menin harm’s way.

Mrs. Clinton was an early advocate of the raid that brought Bin Laden to justice,
in opposition to some of her most important colleagues on the National SecurityCouncil. During the early debates about how we should respond to the Syrian civilwar, she was a strong proponent of a more aggressive approach, one that might haveprevented the Islamic State from gaining a foothold in Syria.

I never saw her bring politics into the Situation Room. In fact, I saw the opposite.
When some wanted to delay the Bin Laden raid by one day because the White HouseCorrespondents Dinner might be disrupted, she said, “Screw the White HouseCorrespondents Dinner.”

In sharp contrast to Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump has no experience on nationalsecurity. Even more important, the character traits he has exhibited during theprimary season suggest he would be a poor, even dangerous, commander in chief.

These traits include his obvious need for self-aggrandizement, his overreaction toperceived slights, his tendency to make decisions based on intuition, his refusal tochange his views based on new information, his routine carelessness with the facts,
his unwillingness to listen to others and his lack of respect for the rule of law.

The dangers that flow from Mr. Trump’s character are not just risks that wouldemerge if he became president. It is already damaging our national security.

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was a career intelligence officer, trained toidentify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly whathe did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities bycomplimenting him. He responded just as Mr. Putin had calculated.

Mr. Putin is a great leader, Mr. Trump says, ignoring that he has killed and jailedjournalists and political opponents, has invaded two of his neighbors and is drivinghis economy to ruin. Mr. Trump has also taken policy positions consistent withRussian, not American, interests — endorsing Russian espionage against the UnitedStates, supporting Russia’s annexation of Crimea and giving a green light to a possibleRussian invasion of the Baltic States. 

In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trumpas an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation. 

MAKING SENSE by Michael Reagan 


Forget the idea of a Republican intervention.

Nothing GOP bigwigs or people like Rudy Giuliani cansay to Donald Trump now will get his head straight andget him back on track.

For candidate Trump, it ought to be pretty clear by now that there is notrack, no train, no schedule and no final destination. 

His track goes wherever his wandering mind and runaway ego take him atany given instant, whether he’s speaking to 3,000 people or tweeting from hisbedroom. 
The only human intervention that can save his campaign at this point – andspare America four years of Hillary Clinton -- is for the people who loveTrump to lock him into a soundproof booth until November 9th.

Unfortunately, that’s not going to literally happen. But figuratively, itshould. 
Trump doesn’t need intervention. He just needs to learn when – and how-- to shut up.

He has to stop saying dumb or outrageous things that get him the dailymedia attention he clearly needs and craves.

Someone has to explain to him and his current and former campaignmanagers that by being on Page 1 every day he makes sure that HillaryClinton will never be there. 

All the conservatives on talk radio and the cable channels bitch and moan 
that the mainstream media don’t cover lying Hillary’s many scandals.

It’s true she is getting the usual free pass the liberal media give to Democratsevery four years.

But Trump and his fumbling campaign only make it easier for the mediato ignore her by feeding them a daily menu of fresh gaffes and mistakes.

So shut up, Donald. For at least a month.

Be boring. Quit winging it. Put America to sleep, like Hillary.

Read policy speeches from a teleprompter. Talk about the issues that matter

– the shortage of jobs, the no-growth economy, the $19 trillion budget.
Attack Hillary for her untrustworthiness and her ties to the D.C.
But let her and her lies get some space on the front page.

You won’t lose your core fan base. And if you stop pouring kerosene onyour own fire every six hours, maybe someone at CBS will get bored andcomplain that Hillary hasn’t had a press conference since last year.

Who knows. 

Maybe the New York Times will assign some of its investigative reportersto look as closely at the books of the Clinton Foundation as they did at MittRomney’s tax returns.

Maybe the Washington Post will check out those rumors about ourembassy in Libya being involved with sending arms to the Syrian rebels (aka,
ISIS) when Hillary was running the State Department.

The way he’s been acting lately, Trump is making it impossible for millionsof Republican and independent voters who hate Hillary to vote for him.

He should have sympathized with the Kahns, not picked a fight with them.

Now he should announce he’s going to apologize to them -- and use thefree TV time he’d get to also slam Hillary for cynically exploiting the Kahnsand their pain.

We know we can’t trust Hillary Clinton. She’s a proven liar.

But it seems that every other day Trump or his former campaign manager

help make Hillary’s point that we can’t trust Trump with the nuclear codes.
And therein lies the voter’s dilemma for this presidential election. 

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a politicalconsultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s 
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