November 6, 2016

EDITORIAL: Capt. John Plumb for Congress

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Tomorrow, millions of Americans will vote. A significant number of Cornellians are casting absentee ballots for their home state (and for those who haven’t yet, this is a gentle reminder to get those in soon), but students registered in Ithaca will vote in a congressional election that has become as contentious as the Clinton-Trump face-off.

Democratic challenger Navy Captain John Plumb is vying with incumbent Congressman Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) to represent New York’s 23rd congressional district in the House of Representatives. Although the vitriol hurled by both campaigns is alarming, Plumb has proven the stronger contender with a platform that would actually support New York residents.

One of the first congressmen to endorse Republican nominee Donald Trump, Reed has continually supported misguided, if not dangerous, policies. He currently holds an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association and opposed the NY SAFE Act, a gun regulation law that bans ammunition sales over the internet and requires ammunition vendors to conduct background checks. Even after the June 12 mass shooting and hate crime in Orlando, Reed refused to acknowledge gun regulation problems and blamed the incident on “radical Islamic” terrorism. Plumb, on the other hand, has taken a more reasonable approach to gun control: although a shotgun owner himself, he believes that Congress should work towards bipartisan solutions to keep weapons away from criminals and mentally ill and has called for more thorough background checks.

On other issues, Reed similarly misses the mark: he is “unapologetically pro-life,” has fought to suspend federal funding for Planned Parenthood, voted to extend the PATRIOT Act’s roving wiretaps in 2011, voted to shut down the government alongside Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) in a failed attempt to defund the Affordable Care Act and has received nearly 60 percent of his campaign funds from special interests and PACs. In April, he presented the REDUCE Act, which would have mandated that colleges with endowments greater than one billion dollars use 25 percent of its returns for financial aid — a policy criticized by late President Elizabeth Garrett and Cornell administrators for “cheat[ing] future generations of educational programs.”

Ultimately, Reed is a part of dysfunctional Washington that has failed to act in constituents’ best interests. It is time for a new face: John Plumb, who has run on a much more balanced platform — one that includes support for women’s reproductive rights, a nuanced opposition on fracking and firm resistance of monied interests in politics. Although he has never held public office, Plumb has served as a Navy officer and in the U.S. Senate and National Security Council and will provide a much-needed ability to compromise and execute bipartisan projects. After months of negative campaigning, this community needs someone who will bring results, not just empty talk.

9 thoughts on “EDITORIAL: Capt. John Plumb for Congress

  1. 1. Accurately blames radical islamic terror for the Orlando attacks
    2. A-rating from the NRA indicating that he will protect the 2nd Amendment
    3. Pro-life (i.e., not willing to allow doctors to rip babies from the womb a minute before birth, a la Hillary)
    4. Wanted to extend the Patriot Act in order to help protect our country and cut off terrorism before it happens

    Sign me up.

    • 1. Reed blames everyone for everything because in the last six years he has done nothing progressive or productive.
      2. The 2A is not going anywhere but you keep believing Reed is protecting it for you.
      3. No babies have ever been ripped from the womb minutes before birth. Are you kidding me????
      4. Reed voted to shut down the government to “make a point!” How safe was the country when he de-funded Homeland Security?

    • A few good reasons not to vote for Trump. ^^
      Here are a few more.
      1. Will plan to use nuclear weapons on perceived enemies willy-nilly.
      2. would try to shut down free speech of media.
      3. First thing of importance if elected POTUS – sue women how have blamed him of rape.
      4.Talks about abolishing parts of the Constitution ( why not the 2nd Amendment?)
      5. Believes women in general are toys, not equals.
      6.Uses Russian Putin as endorsement.
      7. Makes ridiculous statements that could never happen ( Build a wall, Mexicans will pay for it) ( will get rid of all immigrants from the US)
      8. Will sell his soul for ” the best deal”
      9. He is in poor health, and hides taxes.
      10. Thinks he knows more than the entire expertise of the US military generals combined and wants North Korea, and all enemy states to have nuclear arms.

    • A few good reasons not to vote for Trump. ^^
      Here are a few more.
      1. Will plan to use nuclear weapons on perceived enemies willy-nilly.
      2. would try to shut down free speech of media.
      3. First thing of importance if elected POTUS – sue women how have blamed him of rape.
      4.Talks about abolishing parts of the Constitution ( why not the 2nd Amendment?)
      5. Believes women in general are toys, not equals.
      6.Uses Russian Putin as endorsement.
      7. Makes ridiculous statements that could never happen ( Build a wall, Mexicans will pay for it) ( will get rid of all immigrants from the US)
      8. Will sell his soul for ” the best deal”
      9. He is in poor health, and hides taxes.
      10. Thinks he knows more than the entire expertise of the US military generals combined and wants North Korea, and all enemy states to have nuclear arms.

  2. Here are a few articles to help you make an intelligent decision between Plumb and Reed:

    An op-ed I wrote for the Ithaca Journal asking Reed to rescind his endorsement of Donald Trump. Reed has bashed Plumb and President Obama for being soft on Russian aggression. I told Reed that now that we knew Trump would play patty cake with the Russians, he had to rescind his endorsement of Trump or else he would seem like a hypocrite.

    http://www.ithacajournal.com/story/opinion/2016/08/12/guest-viewpoint-reed-trump/88616014/

    Here is an article comparing Plumb’s plan for defeating ISIS with Reed’s approach.

    http://themessinglink.com/Reed_Pulmb_Isis

    Here is a brief excerpt from that article

    I wanted another opinion, so I contacted an expert’s expert on the matter and asked him what he thought of Plumb’s plan. Malcolm Nance wrote the book “Defeating ISIS: Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe”. . . .. This is what he said about Plumb’s plan.

    “It’s a very sound strategy. We are doing quite a bit of it but overall, it’s excellent. I also see he was on the NSC. [National Security Council] That may explain why he has a fight smarter, not harder strategy.”

    ————–End excerpt————–

    Plumb wants to get corrupting money out of politics by getting a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United. Reed–not so much. In 2011 Reed met the poster boy for Citizens United in Israel. Two years later, this poster boy was advocating that we nuke Iran. Who is this poster boy? You’ll have to visit my website to find out.

    http://themessinglink.com/TomReedCitizensUnited

  3. Donald Trump is an existential threat to our democratic system. A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for the death of America. I don’t make this claim lightly. Let me explain.

    1) Donald Trump was riling up the crowd at a rally in August over the possibility that Hillary Clinton would appoint Supreme Court Justices who would take away their Second Amendment rights. He stepped over the line when he made a statement that some may interpret as a call for assassinating Clinton or the Supreme Court Justices. “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.” Even if you argue that no sane person would interpret this as a call for assassination, not all of Trump’s followers are sane.

    2) Donald Trump threatened to put Hillary Clinton in jail during their second debate:

    TRUMP: I’ll tell you what. I didn’t think I’d say this, and I’m going to say it, and hate to say it: If I win, I’m going to instruct the attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation because there’s never been so many lies, so much deception … A very expensive process, so we’re going to get a special prosecutor because people have been, their lives have been destroyed for doing one-fifth of what you’ve done. And it’s a disgrace, and honestly, you ought to be ashamed.

    CLINTON: Let me just talk about emails, because everything he just said is absolutely false. But I’m not surprised … It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law of our country.

    DT: Because you’d be in jail.

    First the sentence, then the trial. This is stuff out of Alice In Wonderland or Franz Kafka’s Trial. This is what we would expect from North Korea or maybe the worst days of the Soviet Union. If Trump is willing to pronounce his political opponent guilty and jail her without a trial, then no one is safe and our political freedom is dead.

    3) Donald Trump has said repeatedly and without evidence that the election will be rigged.

    This is an extraordinary claim. No, it is more than extraordinary. According to Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor in presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, at least some historians are calling it “unprecedented”. Donald Trump is undermining the foundation of our democracy by eroding our trust in our electoral system. He is delegitimizing a Clinton presidency should she win, and sowing the seeds of revolution. Indeed, some of his followers are already talking about launching a revolution if Hillary wins.

    Trump’s accusation is at best reckless and at worst treasonous. He is willing to risk a civil war in order to avoid having to admit he is a LOSER.

    4)Donald Trump was quick to blame Clinton supporters without evidence after the bombing of a GOP office in North Carolina office. Trump tweeted:

    “Animals representing Hillary Clinton and Dems in North Carolina just firebombed our office in Orange County because we are winning. @NCGOP”

    Compare this with Clinton’s tweet:

    “The attack on the Orange County HQ @NCGOP office is horrific and unacceptable. Very grateful that everyone is safe.”

    Trump dehumanizes at least some Clinton supporters by calling them “animals”. This is beyond reckless and invites a retaliatory attack. It is both irresponsible and dangerous to make accusations before the evidence is in. For some reason, I am reminded of the 1933 Reichstag fire in Germany. Hitler blamed the Communists for setting the fire and used this as an excuse to seize power. Historians disagree over whether the Communists actaually started the fire or whether the Nazis framed them by starting it to set the stage for a power grab.

    Am I implying that Donald Trump or one of his surrogates ordered the firebombing of the GOP office so that Trump could blame Clinton supporters? Not really. I’m just saying that it is premature and irresponsible to hurl accusations at this point. No one should be ruled in or out. It is possible that Trump or one of his surrogates ordered the firebombing. It is possible that a Clinton supporter did this. And there is a third possibility. It is no secret that Neo-Nazis and KKK want Trump to be elected. It is quite possible that one of their members firebombed the clinic in the hopes of getting Trump elected. It wouldn’t be the first time an extreme right-winger tried to set the nation on fire by terrorism. The FBI just broke up a plot by three members of a militia to start a religious war by bombing a Muslim apartment complex in Garden City, Kansas. The firebombing of the GOP office could easily be the work of an extremist not officially affiliated with either major party.

    Even if Trump or his surrogates have nothing to do with the firebombing, Trump’s tweet proves he is unfit to be president. The president is often forced to act on incomplete or conflicting evidence. Sometimes when the evidence is ambiguous the best course of action is to do nothing until more evidence arrives. What will happen if an American embassy is bombed and no one takes credit for it? Will Trump jump to conclusions and assign blame–say to Iran or North Korea without having gathered solid evidence first? This is how unnecessary wars start. Putting such a hothead in charge of nuclear weapons invites disaster.

  4. Donald Trump has no self-control. He is impulsive and can’t help lashing out at those who don’t do what he wants or those who portray him in a less than flattering light. We saw that when he tweeted at 3 am mocking a former Miss Universe for gaining weight. Trump is so impulsive that when it was reported that his campaign aides took his Tweeting privileges away, President Obama mocked Trump by saying,

    “In the last two days, they had so little confidence in his self-control they said we’re just gonna take away your Twitter. Now, if somebody can’t handle a Twitter account, they can’t handle the nuclear codes.”

    There is good reason to fear Trump with nuclear codes. The New Yorker published an important story on July 25 entitled “Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All.” It is an in-depth character study of Donald Trump as seen by Tony Schwartz. Schwartz got to know Trump very well during the 18 months that he ghostwrote Trump’s “Art of the Deal.” Here are some excerpts from this article.

    —————-Start excerpts———————————————–

    “I put lipstick on a pig,” he said. “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.” He went on, “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”

    If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.” . . .

    “Trump has been written about a thousand ways from Sunday, but this fundamental aspect of who he is doesn’t seem to be fully understood,” Schwartz told me. “It’s implicit in a lot of what people write, but it’s never explicit—or, at least, I haven’t seen it. And that is that it’s impossible to keep him focussed on any topic, other than his own self-aggrandizement, for more than a few minutes, and even then . . . ” Schwartz trailed off, shaking his head in amazement. He regards Trump’s inability to concentrate as alarming in a Presidential candidate. “If he had to be briefed on a crisis in the Situation Room, it’s impossible to imagine him paying attention over a long period of time,” he said. . . .

    But Schwartz believes that Trump’s short attention span has left him with “a stunning level of superficial knowledge and plain ignorance.” He said, “That’s why he so prefers TV as his first news source—information comes in easily digestible sound bites.” He added, “I seriously doubt that Trump has ever read a book straight through in his adult life.” During the eighteen months that he observed Trump, Schwartz said, he never saw a book on Trump’s desk, or elsewhere in his office, or in his apartment. . . .
    This year, Schwartz has heard some argue that there must be a more thoughtful and nuanced version of Donald Trump that he is keeping in reserve for after the campaign. “There isn’t,” Schwartz insists. “There is no private Trump.” . . .

    —————————End Excerpts———————————————

    This is the man that Tom Reed has endorsed. This is the man Tom Reed continued to endorse, even after the Pussygate video and after about a dozen women came forward to complain about Trump’s sexual assault. This is the man who Reed called, “A good man. A good family person. And somebody who I’m proud to call a friend,” when introducing him on August 11 to the National Association of Home Builders Board of Directors. This August 11 meeting was only two days after Trump made remarks that many interpreted as encouragement to the “second amendment people” to assassinate President Clinton if she appointed Supreme Court Justices who would authorize gun control. Reed never publicly condemned or chastised Trump over these remarks.

    Reed’s failure to rescind his endorsement of Trump shows he is willing to put party loyalty over loyalty to our country. It shows a serious lack of judgment. And that is one reason why we should vote for John Plumb.

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