Friday, 19 February 2016
“Washington D.C. You Are Fired!” – has engraved minds of American voters who seek real change in the White House this year.
The vital factor to comprehend is that American voters are in revolt. The crowd at rallies and debate would boo over comments made by US presidential candidates if they talk about claiming high achievements or take political donations from Wall Street or talk about issue over eminent domain or simply tell the audience that they are progressive.
The time ahead to National Conventions is tough and unpredictable, thus, the US candidates need to understand what an average American wants, to win their delegates to go in the National Convention for Presidential nomination.
Americans want a peaceful sleep where they do not fear ISIS will knock on their doors, they want to plug in the porous border of Mexico and US, they want to reduce the debt incurred in the college education, they want to break away from Planned Parenthood, they want a Affordable Health care plan, they do not want gun violence, they do not want unnecessary wars – because they want to break away from political corruption by voting for an “honest and trustworthy” leader to the White House.
The trust deficit gap between the citizens of America and the government has grown wider, which is reflected in the recent Pew Research Center survey - that less than 20% of voters’ trust the government to take care of them.
In December 2015, the San Bernardino attack heightened the fear of Americans that why is it so easy for anyone to get up and go on a shooting spree. This brought about a long debate on guns control and rights of the citizens enlisted in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The CNN poll revealed that 60% of the voters’ think that American dream is impossible and the survival is at its highest stake these days. According to the voters’, the trait of honesty and trustworthiness matters more than the fact that the candidate has political experience or not.
The establishment leaders running for US presidential candidates have been unable to deliver clear path manifestoes on health, education and foreign policies – which make them untrustworthy for the voter.
The Americans revolt from political corruption and to do away with the big monies – is evident from the voters’ turning their back to the presidential candidates leading Super PACs and gatherings funds from political donors at Wall Street.
The Benghazi attack highlighted the email scandal of Clinton, putting her credibility at stake over misuse of the government email server and not conveying promptly the threat imposed to the US Embassy in the Libya in 2012 to the government authorities.
The results produced by the primaries and caucuses held at the twelve states on Super Tuesday in March, and the upcoming in Nevada and South Carolina in February – will determine the future path for the prospective US candidate. But one thing is for sure – that all candidates should not leave untapped questions in the voters’ mind to secure their mandate.
A democratic voter, residing in Manchester, shared his concern on US presidential race as he waited in the long queue at New Hampshire primary. He is a financial analyst and a father of three children struggling for survival and is concerned about his children going to college and his family health care plan. He “angrily” spoke of government employees’ corruption. He quoted that from July 2013 through June 2014, over 4000 transactions worth just short of $ 1 million were conducted at casinos using the Department of Defense’s government travel cards. Thus, he wants an honest leader in the White House, who can “wave a magic wand” against corruption.
Similarly, a GOP lady voter, at Iowa caucus, working as a waitress at a café, wants Trump as her leader as he is against the political corruption and he does not want Washington’s money. She wants to buy prescription medicines with ease, she wants to afford her daughter a good college education without going into a debt and more over she wants to live peacefully without seeing people roaming around with guns openly.
When Sanders announced his presidential candidacy, most of the analysts were vary of the fact that he could never beat Clinton. Nearly everyone cited that a self avowed socialist and a septuagenarian senator could not have a resounding victory over Clinton in the New Hampshire primary.
But it did happen; Sanders had a surging victory over Clinton - that looked unthinkable just a few months ago. Only reason is that voters’ need a candidate who is up to their expectations of being honest and come up to their survival pulse.
Similarly, when Trump announced his candidacy, many were shocked – but the real estate mogul has proved that he is just not entertainer, he has more material to what Americans want. He capitalized on the San Bernardino attack, by calling for a temporary ban on Muslims, to seal US Mexico border and legislate to stop any further Syrian or Iraq refugees coming to America.
Trump said “he could not see Americans dying on streets” and coupled with his vows about not needing Washington money, he has earned voters’ confidence, over his GOP political rivals.
Therefore, in this 216 US presidential race, surprises would be seen as the American electorate is starved for an honest and trustworthy politician – that will automatically make allowances for results which have never been witnessed in the American history.
A shocking paradigm shift is seen in the women voters’ who have moved away from Clinton and trust Sanders more. Sanders edged Clinton with 55% to 44% women favoring Clinton. Further, Sanders proved that young Americans in the age bracket of 18 to 29 years feel totally disconnected from the political establishment and 83% of them voted for him and only 12 % liked Clinton.
Sanders has always stood firmly and advocated for the average American; thus in his victory speech of New Hampshire primary, he called for $ 27 donation towards his fund raising for presidential campaign through his website. Sanders claims that his funds are funded “by the people”, whereas Clinton’s $25 millions Super PACs funds, out of which $15 million came from Wall Street contributions. So, Sanders want to leave this fact for Americans to determine who can lead better “for the people!”
Time will decide who will move forward to the National Conventions, but all the US presidential candidates will need to be more empathetic towards the voters’ and should listen to their concerns to get the Presidential nomination.
The political, elite class must understand the words of Abraham Lincoln “Ballot is stronger than Bullet” – so they must respond to the voters’ rising emotions, who want to see an “honest, true leader” sitting at the Oval Office.
KANWAL ABIDI 17th Feb 2016
The writer is journalist, political analyst and media strategist
Thursday, 11 February 2016
Sunday, 7 February 2016
Results of ST ANSELM UNIVERSITY
The final Republican debate before Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary was seen as a moment of do-or-die drama for several candidates. In one exchange in particular, the clash at Saint Anselm University in Manchester lived up to its billing.
Who was celebrating and who was left to lick their wounds?
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
A Christie-Marco Rubio clash overshadowed everything else, and the New Jersey governor was the clear victor.
The exchange began when Christie told Rubio that he had never been involved “in a consequential decision where you had to be held accountable.”
Hitting back, Rubio noted the frequent credit downgrades the Garden State has experienced under Christie’s leadership before trying to pivot toward safer ground: He asserted that Republicans were believing in a "fiction” if they assumed President Obama to be incompetent, rather than purposely changing the nature of the United States.
The pugnacious Christie immediately hit back, accusing Rubio of doing “what Washington D.C., does. The drive-by shot…and then the memorized 25-second speech that is exactly what his advisers gave him.”
Inexplicably, Rubio immediately proved Christie’s point by once again repeating the talking point regarding Obama.
“There it is. There it is. The memorized 25-second speech. There it is, everybody,” said Christie.
It was a dismal moment for Rubio — his worst by some margin in any debate so far — and a terrific one for Christie.
The New Jersey governor was impressive throughout the debate, but everything else paled into insignificance beside the Rubio moment.
Whether any of this will save Christie is highly questionable. He is currently polling right at the back of the “establishment” lane in New Hampshire, behind Rubio, Jeb Bush and John Kasich.
But credit where it’s due: He won big on Saturday night.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich
The Ohio governor had his best debate since his debut in his home state last summer
He has been making headway in the polls in New Hampshire, where his appeal as a more moderate Republican is a much better fit with the electorate than it was in Iowa.
He made several appeals explicitly directed at Granite State voters and noted that the 100 town-hall meetings he has held there were “so much more positive” than the GOP debate stage.
Kasich also positioned himself as someone capable of breaking the logjam in Washington, insisting that if he were elected, Americans would have to “buy a seat belt” because of the pace he would set during his first 100 days.
Kasich delivered no single standout moment but it was a very solid performance.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
The former Florida governor got off to an indifferent start, his tendency toward hesitancy reasserting itself for a while. But he warmed up as time went on, and scored against his old foe Donald Trump with the charge that the business mogul had tried for force an elderly woman to give up an Atlantic City property to make way for “a limousine parking lot for his casinos.”
In general, this debate was more sober-minded than some previous encounters, and that helped Bush, who delivered thoughtful answers on foreign policy and national security.
But he was less assertive than either Christie or Kasich overall. That could be a problem since the trio will be in a fierce battle for moderate GOP voters — and the independents who choose to vote in the Republican primary — on Tuesday.
Businessman Donald Trump
Trump’s appeal is so unconventional that assessing the effectiveness of his debate performances can be a fool’s errand.
He did not seem such a central figure as he has been in several previous clashes, but he delivered his share of memorable remarks.
One came when he pledged to continue to use waterboarding against terrorist suspects were he to become president — adding, with relish, “I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.”
He drew boos from the auditorium when he first sought to “shush” Jeb Bush on the issue of eminent domain and, immediately afterwards, suggested that the negative reaction had occurred because the audience was largely comprised of “donors, special interests, the people who are putting up the money.”
With the exception of his discomfort on the eminent domain question, Trump suffered no real setbacks, however — and Rubio’s bad night could redound to his advantage on the day of the primary.
Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas)
It was a peculiar night for Cruz: He was characteristically fluent and authoritative in setting out his conservative stall for most of the debate. But the night was bookended by two difficult moments, both related to the controversy over whether his campaign engaged in dirty tricks on the day of the Iowa caucuses by telling caucusgoers that Dr. Ben Carson was on the brink of ending his campaign.
Cruz insists this was an honest mistake, prompted by an erroneous CNN report on the day. But Carson’s attack on him at the start of Saturday’s debate for engaging in “Washington ethics” by which "you do what you need to do in order to win" could hurt, especially given the retired neurosurgeon’s affability.
Trump returned to the same topic in his closing statement — a tactic that left Cruz no time to respond — when he said the Texas senator had won Iowa “because he got Ben Carson’s votes, by the way.”
CNN also responded to Cruz’s attacks, blasting out a statement accusing him of continuing “to knowingly mislead the voters.” Media attacks often help rather than hurt GOP candidates, but this may be a special case, since the fight with CNN serves to give new legs to the underlying story.
Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.)
The biggest loser, by far, on Saturday night. He was badly wounded in the exchanges with Christie. That fight would matter less if it did not so neatly confirm an existing negative image of Rubio — that his polish wears off if he has to go off-script.
The instant headlines were brutal for Rubio, and he will have plenty more negative coverage to endure on Sunday and perhaps into Monday — the day before New Hampshire’s voters go to the polls.
Rubio did recover his footing a little in the later stages of the debate. But that won’t change the overall assessment that it was a very bad showing, just when a solid performance could have confirmed his status as the only alternative to Trump or Cruz.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson
Carson had some decent moments in this debate, the most effective being his early criticism of Cruz. But he was, once again, invisible for long stretches. Even the debate’s opening was bad for Carson, who appeared confused as to whether he should wait at the edge of the stage or make his way to his podium.
All in all, Carson appears an increasingly irrelevant figure in this race, and the debate only bolstered that impression.
Result Analysis compiled by: KANWAL ABIDI
Journalist & Political Analyst
063 News (Global Press Agency)
By: KANWAL ABIDI
Political Analyst & Journalist
Recently, the US General Services Administration (GSA) issued Phase II of the Request for Proposals (RFP) to the bidders that will compete for title to the J. Edgar Hoover Federal building in exchange for the construction of a new 2.1 million rentable square-foot Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) headquarters facility.
The FBI Headquarters is situated in a prime location on Pennsylvania Avenue and has occupied the J. Edgar Hoover Federal building since 1974. The 1.77 million rentable square foot (2.4 million gross square foot) J. Edgar Hoover Federal building spreads on 6.7 acres of land and is a prime location for office, retail, and residential uses.
The FBI headquarters Consolidation Project is part of GSA’s ongoing effort to meet the Obama Administration’s “reduce the footprint and operational efficiency” by consolidating federal agencies into owned government space and getting underperforming federal facilities redundant in the government’s books.
In October 2015, GSA notified the short-listed bidders that they been selected to participate in Phase II. In Phase II, bidders will submit proposals to construct the consolidated FBI Headquarters in exchange for the J. Edgar Hoover Federal building.
The National Environmental Policy Act evaluation process is underway and GSA released the draft Environmental Impact Statement in November, held public meetings in each of the three local jurisdictions, and is in the process of reviewing public comments.
The project will bring together FBI headquarters functions currently housed at the J. Edgar Hoover Federal building, as well as those dispersed at multiple locations across the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
Three potential sites - Greenbelt MD, Landover MD, and Springfield, VA - for the new FBI headquarters facility have already been identified.
GSA has announced to make an award for the project in FY 2017, where $1.4 million in construction funding will be included in the President’s Fiscal year 2017 Budget to be released on February 9, 2016.
Congress has extended its support towards the project through the inclusion of $390 million in the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus.
“The US Administration is committed to acquiring a consolidated new headquarters facility for the FBI members’ of the intelligence community,” said Bill Dowd, Project Executive for GSA’s Public Buildings Service.
The consolidated headquarters facility will allow the FBI to perform its critical national security, intelligence, and law enforcement missions in a new modern and secure facility.
Research & Reported by: KANWAL ABIDI
Journalist, political analyst, media strategist
063 News (Global Press Agency)
Friday, 5 February 2016
Behold, here comes the Emperor on the aisle!
“Thou should clap or depart!” - roared the Emperor- Trump, as he climbed the rostrum at a presidential rally held in South Carolina, December 2015.
The hall did reverberate with “Trump, Trump” but the slogan was reiteration towards – “marking Trump’s presence” and “declining Muslim presence”.
The Muslim aura was Rose Hamid, who came in hijab and blue t-shirt which read “Salam, I come in peace!”
She was not alone; she was accompanied by Marty Rosenbluth - a Jewish, Immigration Attorney, who was attending for the third time Trump’s presidential rally.
Rose Hamid and Rosenbluth – both stood up in the crowd “silently”, wearing star shaped yellow badges, to “retrospectively” remind the Emperor about how the yellow badges were forcibly worn by the Jews in The Nazi regime.
The image of a Muslim woman being abused and ejected from a political rally sends a chilling message to American Muslims and to all those who value our nation’s traditions of religious diversity and civic participation” said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
But, alas, Rose Hamid was ejected out of the rally – who protested by stamping upon the Emperor’s arrogance “Behold, I am “not” Trump!”
Trump do not want to share his billionaire empire with the common man, but want to give a white cap to blue collars – with slogan “Make America Great Again” and Prove your Christianity.
On one side, the Emperor seeks mandate – on the bank of religion, whereas, contrarily he makes mistakes in quoting bible.
Recently at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia – Trump delivered his speech in woven words to create an image of his candidacy as supportive of conservative Christians.
But Trump outplayed himself - by citing the name mentioned in the New Testament book in wrong context!
“Two Corinthians, right?” asked Trump in a maladroit way, what Bible-studying Christians would read as “Second Corinthians.”
A few students from the audience, sitting in the auditorium corrected him by saying “Second Corinthians” – and some laughed nervously.
But moments, later, Trump had them back on his side – by pledging to be the kind of US President who would govern with an eye towards defending religious liberty.
“We are going to protect Christianity, he said, promising not to be politically correct!
A rhetorical, campaign statement, pointing out to his opponents who think they are “politically correct” – is used by Trump to inflate his own political incorrectness.
The fight over Iowa caucus is no less than a battle for the emperor – where the weapons of words are hit on the opponents’ loophole.
Trump referred to Ted Cruz as “Anchor Baby”, after declaring that he was right about the US not granting automatic citizenship to children born in the country.
The real estate mogul frequently claims that if parents immigrate to the US illegally, their children do not have US citizenship.
The emperor’s arrogance, does not end on war of words only, it also goes in boycotting media debates.
Last year in August 2015, Trump had a feud with Fox News anchor, Megyn Kelly over referring to “her temper, as red, oozing from everywhere” – to a response when Kelly questioned Trump’s derogatory remarks for women.
Consequently, the Thursday night FOX News GOP debate was skipped by Trump – and he built his small empire in the nest of a fundraiser for wounded military veterans at Drake University.
Addressing the Sunday show at CBS’s “Face the Nation”- a question was put forward that a recent Washington Post poll showed seven out of ten voters have a high level of anxiety about the real estate mogul.
Trump said to host John Dickerson “well, look, I’m a strong guy and I admit - I am unpredictable which is causing voters’ anxiety.” He proudly, added that to be unpredictable would hide the reality from the enemies and in this way, wars could be won.
On a Sunday’s morning show at ABC “This Week” – Trump called Cruz “a total liar” and defended himself to opposing the Obamacare plan. Cruz supposedly, referred to him as a billionaire businessman who supports a health care system similar to Obamacare.
To win people’s heart and gain their votes – you need to come with concrete health policies, not just a denial to others. Trump has the wealth to buy hospitals but lack political leadership to lead them. It is easy to say at a presidential rally “I will not leave you alone dying on the streets of America” - but at the end of the day, Americans need to know the logical map of their education, health facilities and employment stability which shall make America great again in real sense.
Trump has even annoyed the leading singers with his “I attitude” and an aura of doing things, at others’ emotions. He used James bond tunes without permission in his rallies and Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler has asked Trump to stop using their music.
Attorneys for Tyler sent a cease letter to Trump’s campaign committee, referring that “Trump did not have our client’s permission to use Dream On or any of Tyler’s other songs”- which send false impression that they are endorsing Trump’s presidential bid.
Just before, the Iowa caucus, Adele came out fuming asking Trump to stop pinching her tunes for his presidential campaign and use her songs in the rallies. “Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning,” her spokesman said.
The swing voters who came in the precinct Iowa caucuses – were drawn towards Marco Rubio. So Trump’s own mandate was cropped and added to the count of Rubio – primarily as one GOP voter said “Trump can make towers from his money, but to build a nation needs humbleness”.
The person with the “I attitude – can never make an everlasting impact in the history of a nation where Abraham Lincoln said “If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem!”
Trump’s deadly confidence about his popularity seeing a new level of “favorable” record has been stumped in the Iowa GOP caucus.
Op ed piece written by: KANWAL ABIDI
*Political Analyst and Journalist