Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Its Getting Weird Out There

Posted on July 8, 2019

Twenty Democrats debate four hours and nobody blurts out “I love Israel more than life itself.” Love Ya, Dems!

FOX TV Host, Tucker Carlson, calls National Security Advisor John Bolton a “bureaucratic tapeworm.” Love Ya, Tucker!

FOX TV Host, Tucker Carlson, saves Western Civilization by telling Donald Trump that a war with Iran is “not a good idea.” Trump agrees. You Da Man, Trumpster! Love Ya, Tucker!

Democrat Presidential Candidate, Three Term Congresswoman, Iraq War Veteran and Semi Hot Surfing Hindu Peacenik, Tulsi Gabbard, cements reputation as The Most Interesting Person In the Democratic Party when she records most Google Searches After the Democrat Debate. Love Ya, Tulsi. Continue Reading…….

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Iran – Stayin’ Alive

Posted on June 19, 2019

Sure, Iran did that thing in the Gulf of Oman. Why wouldn’t they? They figured it’s time they showed they didn’t want to be fucked with forever. All that sanctions bullshit designed to strangle their economy. Sanctions for what? For keeping the deal they made with Obama. Yeah, Barack Obama, the guy who could think and talk and execute a handshake and who you could believe. An actual President.

So, nobody got hurt in the Gulf…not like when Israel “mows the grass” in Gaza with a couple of thousand dead, many under 10 years old, while right wing Israelis dance in the street chanting “Tomorrow there’s no school in Gaza, they don’t have any children left.” Sick.

The Iranians…Persians…took a chance. They made a carefully calibrated strike. Nobody got hurt and no US assets were touched. They got to take America’s temperature. Interesting, no real public outrage. Quite the opposite. Many didn’t believe Trump or Pompeo… only when the Military (Central Command) weighed in were people willing to trust their own government. No President in our history has had such a trust deficit. Continue reading “Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Iran – Stayin’ Alive”

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Observations No. 3

Posted on May 13, 2019
TRUMP WANTS TALKS WITH IRAN. Israel Cheerleader and MSNBC host, Chuck Todd, looked like there had been a death in the family. How could an American President want to talk about peace with Iran without Israel’s permission? Who does Trump think he is? Obama? “The Saudis will go Bonkers!” Like Chuck Todd gives a rat’s ass about the Saudis. “The Israelis will go Bonkers!” Now we’re talking Chucky’s sweet spot. The Saudis are supernumeraries…totally unnecessary to anything worthwhile but capable of helping Jared Kushner with some financial challenges and giving Netanyahu cover for just one more (he promises) “preemptive” war in the middle east where Israel risks nothing and the US does the heavy lifting, killing, and dying.

I’m imagining the phone call to Trump from Adelson. Adelson: “I gave you $30 MIL when nobody would give you a plug nickel! What’s with this peace with Iran crap?.” Trump: “You’ve done pretty well with me, Sheldon. Plus I hired that creepy friend of yours Bolton. Did I tell you he’s a real pain? At least Bannon was funny. Don’t send me anymore like Bolton and Pompeo.” Adelson: “Yeah, Bolton is an acquired taste that nobody’s acquired. I like him where he’s at…bugging you and not bugging me.” Trump: “I have this incredible urge to tell Bolton to roll around on the rug and bark like a dog.” Adelson: “That’s sick…but what’s sicker is he’ll do it. Look, don’t go flower child on me. You want my help. I want you to turn Iran into a parking lot. Bolton speaks for me. He knows what I want. My calendar tells me 2020 is coming. You’re going to need some cash. I reward my friends. It’s time for you to show me if you’re my friend. Call me Noon Sunday. No more peace bullshit. Bye.”

SOMEONE WHO CAN WIN? That’s what the Democrats want and need. They should cast a wide net…beyond the announced candidates…to the absolute best person in the Country who can win and govern. It’s totally stupid to limit the search for our next President to those who have volunteered for the job. Do you think Apple or Boeing or Walmart or Microsoft or Harvard University limit their search for a CEO to those who send in resumes? They don’t. Why should the Democratic Party, or the Country, for that matter limit its search to those who apply. Here are some people who could win, assemble, and retain a world class team and govern effectively: Continue Reading…..

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Observations No. 2

BARR WINS A DAY. You can’t nail jello to the wall and nobody can nail AG William “Jellybelly” Barr down on anything that can hurt Trump. He dodges, obfuscates, delays, and ponders. He was clearly representing Trump and not the USA….but, news flash, he’s not the first AG to do the same. If you were anti-Trump it was painful to watch. Committee Chair Lindsey Graham opened the hearing with an effective, for Trump, statement. Graham is a slick operator who is tough in a knife fight. (He saved the Kavanaugh Nomination with a semi-hysterical yet purposeful rant that riled the base and saved the day for Mr. Justice Kavanaugh). After his opening, Graham got to question Barr first. He asked about twenty questions and got the one word answer (yes or no) he wanted, making a record protecting Trump. The first Democrat to question Barr was 85 year old non lawyer, Diane Feinstein. Suffice it to say she didn’t lay a glove on Barr. To make a long story shorter it was an hour and a half into the hearing before a Democrat under age 79 got to speak word one. After all was said and done the only Democrat to “win” the few minutes of questions she had against Barr was Kamala Harris…she didn’t try to hit a home run but she succeeded in demonstrating that Barr, if not a stone cold liar, was tricky, slippery and not consistently believable. Not by a long shot.

HOUSE LOSES A DAY. Barr has turned down an appearance before The House Judiciary Committee because Chairman Nadler planned to assign the questioning of Barr to staff lawyers. Congressional Committees have long delegated to staff the questioning of witnesses. Bobby Kennedy cut his teeth as a lawyer on a Senate Committee questioning Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa and Mob boss Sam Giancana. Trump’s favorite lawyer, Roy Cohn, was once used by Senator Joe McCarthy to question witnesses in the late fifties. Barr’s “in control” demeanor might go south if he had to face cross examination by a top flight lawyer who had put in a couple hundred hours of preparation. That could get weird quick. Barr is far more comfortable playing word games with a Congressman who might spend an hour trying to think up a question and has no real power to survive a give and take. There’s no question of principle here, Barr is afraid of going toe to toe with a competent and fully prepared lawyer…what would Trump say if he didn’t do so good? Continue Reading……

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Democratic Party Draft Ticket ~ Pelosi-Mueller

Our Country needs an Intervention. We need the best we’ve got. Nancy Pelosi and Bob Mueller are the best we’ve got.

Donald Trump and Sarah Sanders and Stephen Miller and Jared Kushner and Robert Barr are not the best we have. They’ve shown themselves to be a second string collection of liars and opportunists who make us look mean spirited, stupid and for sale to the highest bidder. They have two skills…lying and stoking hate.

There’s some serious stuff going on here, in our Country, and in the World. Business as usual will not suffice. We need honesty, wisdom and courage. We need goodness. Old fashioned stuff, corny stuff…for sure. Most of the time, goodness is part of the background music of the good old USA…America the Beautiful. We had it under Kennedy and Reagan and Poppy Bush and Obama. And, I’m sure, we would have had it under Romney or McCain, if they had won. For much of our history Americans have been thought of as a “good” people with “good” leaders who were generally well received wherever they went.

Wisdom, honesty, courage, goodness made that possible. Can anyone say with a straight face that is what Trump is about? The question answers itself. Be serious.

Yet, even though Trump is who he is, he’s probably a 50-50 shot of beating any combination of announced Democratic candidates composing a ticket on the Democratic side. That’s why we need an intervention. We have to go outside the box. We need a ticket of two people who have shown themselves, over time, to embody the basic virtues of honesty, courage, wisdom and goodness plus have demonstrated skills at government. Two people whose past accomplishments command respect and, by virtue of that respect, allow them to assemble a bi-partisan team of the best and the brightest. Continue Reading…..

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Observations No. 1

Posted on April 8, 2019

HAS TRUMP HACKED THE POLLS? How hard would it be to hack the polls? Not very hard at all. Why would anyone want to? Think about where we are now. The Conventional Wisdom holds that Trump can’t be removed from office because his base is still with him. We “know” his base is still with him because “the polls” say they are. In other words, the polls ARE the Conventional Wisdom.

The polls are Trump’s life line. They are key to whatever power Trump has left on Capitol Hill (elected officials watch the polls constantly) and his ability to draw crowds in so called “Trump Country.” Currently, Gallup has Trump at 39% job approval which is on the low side for a normal President interested in successfully governing. That’s not Trump. Trump is in survival mode. Actual public service and stewardship…please, that’s not Trump’s cup of tea. Trump has a desperate need to survive. He has to stay in the White House. Take him out of the White House and he’s looking at lawsuits, back taxes and criminal trials at the State and Federal Level.

If you look at Trump’s Job Approval numbers (Gallup) since he’s been in office they haven’t been above 45% or below 35%. That narrow band makes me suspicious. (Obama fluctuated between 69% and 40% and George W Bush between 90%, right after 9-11, and 25%). Trump’s poll numbers look managed and phony. How would Trump’s people execute a hack? Not my field of expertise…ask Mark Zuckerberg. I do know ethical considerations didn’t (or wouldn’t) stop them. Good poll numbers beget better poll numbers. The subject appears in command and looks like a winner. Bad poll numbers beget worse poll numbers as the subject appears out of control and looks like a loser.

Do you think the guy who gave us Trump University and bone spurs is going to leave his fate in the hands of his fellow citizens responding to poll questions and not seek to doctor the system? I don’t think so either. Continue Reading…..

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: REP Ilhan Omar and Immanuel Kant…Plus Tropes and Dopes

Posted on March 13, 2019
I’m for Ilhan Omar. She’s got guts. And, to put it more elegantly, she has the right to call herself a Kantian. She’s earned that right.

Tell me more, you say. Immanuel Kant, German Philosopher ( 1724-1804 ) defined an “enlightened person” as someone who has the “courage to use their own understanding without the guidance of another.” In other words, someone who refuses to be silenced and suffocated by the Conventional Wisdom.

Am I a student of Kant, you ask. A little…very little.

I did spend a little time on Kant in college. I was mostly absent or hung over at the time. (You know the Irish.) Plus, a few years ago I was in Paris and I met a young man of the Jewish persuasion who was studying Philosophy at the Sorbonne. ( You know the Jews.) I asked him if he had read Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. He reached into his backpack, pulled out a book with that title, and said…”you mean this.”

Got my attention. Did a little more reading. Got to keep up.

My student friend was studying a philosopher named Gilles Deleuze who drew heavily on Kant. A little checking around and I found that Henry Kissinger’s Senior Honors Thesis at Harvard entitled, The Meaning of History, drew heavily on the Philosophy of Kant. Kissinger’s thesis was 386 pages long and caused Harvard to adopt what became known as the “Kissinger Rule” which sets a limit of 100 pages on current Senior theses. Henry and I don’t spend a lot of time chatting each other up, but my guess is he wouldn’t be the least bit threatened or offended by Ilhan Omar.

Kant was a quintessential realist. In his view, the future of mankind is in the hands of individuals willing to think independently and take responsibility for themselves and those dependent upon them regardless of the disapproval, and possible danger, from those who hold power and manufacture the conventional wisdom. By the way, the conventional wisdom is manufactured…you’re either involved in that process or you’re a victim of it. If you don’t know anything else, know that.

Not wanting to get ahead of my self, but our friend Ilhan intuitively saw what was happening and decided to take a shot at the Conventional Wisdom Manufacture Game…why not, looks like fun. If she got a word or two upside down, relax, it wasn’t that long ago that she was sleeping on the ground in a refugee camp in Kenya.

So, what did Rep. Omar do to bring upon herself the charge of a “trafficker in anti-semitic tropes.” Continue Reading……

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Seven with a Chance….Amy on Fire…Plus Country Boys

Posted on February 11, 2019

KAMALA HARRIS. Smoking hot with the eye of the tiger. Great listener. Infectious laugh. Lots of charm. Smart. Tough. Charismatic. Question: Can our President and our Dominatrix be the same person?

AMY KLOBUCHAR. As they say in the South, “You say you like Amy Klobuchar, I been liking her.” Calm. Almost sleepy. Very smart. Not a slash and burn type. Opposite of Rick Santorum. Gracious. Not the first choice to lead a revolution. Question: Will Amy Klobuchar be able to stay awake long enough to finish her own Inaugural Address? Oops! Spoke to soon. Amy just knocked it out of the park announcing her candidacy in the MN snow. Dynamite launch. Like I say, I been liking her.

JOE BIDEN. The perfect heart, mind, soul, and temperament of a Vice President for a cerebral aloof somewhat exotic President with a name like Barack Hussein Obama. Joe did that and did it well. His presence on the ticket was an assurance to middle class blue collar whites that Obama was “OK”. When Joe runs for himself he’s like the baseball player who runs until he makes an out. Joe talks until he says something stupid. Question: Can Joe accept the fact there is no shame in never being President?

ELIZABETH WARREN. Stick a fork in her. Continue Reading……

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Tallest Man in the Room and Other Stuff

Posted on January 23, 2019

Five foot six inch Sheldon Adelson, the self described “tallest person in the room when I sit on my wallet”, hasn’t forgotten he paid for a war with Iran…not a wall with Mexico. Sheldon, who has increased his net worth a little over a billion dollars per year every year for the last thirty years, is not in the habit of forgetting who owes him. Adelson didn’t come in with $30 Million in the last ten days of the 2016 campaign, when it looked like Trump was dead in the water, because he wanted good government. Adelson wanted our embassy in Israel moved to Jerusalem, the US out of the Iran Deal, and Iran nuked. Not kidding. Listen up.

Iran and Israel. Know at least this much. Iran is not as bad as the American Press says and Israel is not as good. Iran has fought and died for us…in Afghanistan after 9/11. Israel has never put a soldier at risk for the US anywhere anytime. Iran has never received aid from the US and has never been caught spying on us. Israel, took our money ($250 Billion and Counting in 70 years) and our protection and gave us Jonathan Pollard, one of the most damaging spies in US History. Israel has never given us a full accounting of what Pollard took from us and what they did with it. Seymour Hersh and others have accused Israel of giving some of the secrets Pollard stole from us to Russia in return for Russia allowing some Jewish scientists to migrate from Russia to Israel.

Information. Where do we get information on Iran and Israel? It’s almost all from Israel-friendly sources. Murdoch, the son of an orthodox Jewish Mother will not allow anything bad about Israel or good about Iran to be said on FOX, The NY Post, or the Wall Street Journal. MSNBC hosts pretend Sheldon Adelson doesn’t exist and Israel has never done anything wrong. Amyam Mohyeldin was reporting from Gaza on four young boys playing soccer on a beach who were vaporized by two Israeli strikes. His reporting was powerful and effective and he was immediately pulled off the assignment by MSNBC management. MSNBC is owned by Comcast whose controlling shareholder is Brian Roberts. Roberts is Jewish and a frequent visitor to Israel to participate in Maccabee games. Rachel Maddow and the gang have been appropriately timid and manageable since…nobody is willing to go to Gaza or Tehran and actually do journalism. Continue Reading……

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: Trump – Dumb Like a Fox

Posted on December 27, 2018
Just when you think the best you can expect from our President is that he get through the day without mistaking the Queen of England for the Dalai Lama, Trump hits a policy bullseye.

Specifically, on December 19, 2018, out of the blue, Trump announces the transfer of 2,000 American troops out of Syria. I love the move. I know it’s a fabulous idea because “the let’s fight one more war for Israel” crowd is apoplectic. Anything that causes them heartburn gives me the warm fuzzies.

What we’re talking about is Iran, or Persia, as it has been known for millennia, and its position in the mideast vis-a-vis Israel. The Persians in Iran and the Jews in Israel represent two of the great cultures and contributors to civilization in world history. They have one thing in common… each of these peoples wants at least 200% per cent of what they are justly entitled to. Ergo, enmity and conflict between them.

The winning political formula in Israeli politics is to magnify the threat from outside actors and promise to hit “preemptively” any threat real or imagined. At the same time, keep the US suffocatingly (for US) close by having American friends of Israel throw massive resources into the American political process earmarked to insure that the US finishes problems that Israel starts.

Pretty cool gig if you can pull it off. Israel gets massive US Aid and points us in the direction of countries they would like us to fight. They got their way with the war with Iraq in 2003. Check out Benjamin Netanyahu’s Testimony before a US House Committee September 12, 2002, one year after 9/11. Netanyahu was more than willing to hold our coat while the USA gave Saddam a good thrashing. The fact that there were no “weapons of mass destruction” as Netanyahu promised… well, details, details. C’est la vie. Nobody’s perfect.

Trump’s move to pull troops out of Syria was a not so subtle message to Netanyahu and Adelson and their indentured servants in the US like Bolton, Pompeo, Rubio, Cruz, Graham, and Cotton that he’s hip to the scam. Having our troops operating in Syria where they were likely to encounter Iranian forces who were there by invitation of the Syrian Government ran the risk of giving the “let’s fight one more war for Israel” crowd something to pitch a bitch about. As soon as there was a US casualty…allegedly at the hands of Iran…well, you can imagine the indignant speeches on the floor of the US Senate from Joe Lieberman wannabes. Continue Reading……..