Thursday, 22 June 2017

The Bergdahl Story

I sat and read over the newest Bowe Bergdahl episode.  He's the Army guy awaiting a court-martial after 'walking-away' from his post, and then was held by the friendly Taliban crowd for a long-while, until President Obama's team could make a trade.

The newest wrinkle on the story is that the defense teams wants the judge (military judge, remember) to send a 41-question form to the potential jurors on the episode.  Somewhere in the mix of the 41 questions....asks the jury members who they voted for in the 2016 election.  Naturally, the prosecution jumped in and challenged this with the judge.  The judge said he'd look over the challenge.

The potential jury members?  All Army members.

Typically, with the Uniformed Military Code of one within the military can be compelled to speak or be forced to declare who they voted for.

It's going to be some odd moment in the judge's office as he looks over this.  As far as I one has ever asked for identification of your past voting part of a jury situation.  Once you allow this to open up a mess for future court martial episode.

The amusing about this?  You could say literally anything if the judge goes forward....saying you voted for Hillary, Trump or some professional wrestler.  You could also refuse to answer the question and get yourself off the panel.  

The conviction potential?  If I were guessing here...I'd say it's a 95-percent of a conviction.  The question will arise if they go for the lowest number of years or maximum number of years.  The sad thing is that the guy was stupid enough to walk away and get into a prisoner status with the Taliban-crowd, and was a prisoner for a fair amount of time.  I might give him some sympathy for that period, but he's probably getting a minimum of ten years in some military prison in the end (as a minimum).

Some Advice

After viewing the Ossorf election results in the 6th district of Georgia (3-point margin win for GOP Handel)....I'm going to offer ten bits of advice to the national strategy team of the Democrats.

1.  Maybe in highly urbanized areas, this VIP or Hollywood star involvement makes a difference....but in lesser areas or rural regions, it doesn't go over that well.  I might refrain from using this tactic in seventy-percent of voting districts of the US.  I know your Hollywood types think they are an asset, but it's best to only use in limited situations.

2.  If you have a highly gerrymandered district....built to be 60-percent GOP....don't waste 50-million expecting to convince them to slide 10-percent of the votes over.  If the 6th district had been built with a 52-percent GOP voter might have been worth the effort but that's NOT the design of the 6th district.

3.  You might need to worry about the 2020 Census and results coming out of that.  I'm guessing that at least six states (minimum) will be redrawing their district lines because of representative losses/gains.  If you don't control the legislative process in those six can guess the outcome of the redrawing.  Adding to this....the Supreme Court is going to pick up the topic of gerrymandering and either give it a clear path ahead or some drastic interpretation (maybe only using county lines).

4.  Silently across the nation for well over twenty actually was one of the top three topics on people's minds.  Job stability, job growth, etc.  What was in the Democratic message over this period and what did you actually deliver?  This perception by people outside of urban zones isn't helping you.  A total revamp of Democratic strategy is necessary and asking the question of how you can actually grow private industry and help jobs to be created.  And please don't immediately jump up and start talking 'green' only makes people laugh.

5.  Tone down the Trump-negativity theme a notch.  If you go through to the summer of 2019....approaching the next election period (November 2019) and we find that the threat of impeachment never occurred, no Russian-hacking charges ever occurred, and no one in the Trump administration went to jail.....your entire theme will be laughed upon during the election period.

6.  Gone are the days when you could go to NBC, CBS, ABC, the Washington Post and NY Times to garner and attract public attention.  The Huff-Post threat?  Gone.  They've fired off all their 'silver bullets' and reached a point where profit margins are openly discussed and downsizing of staffs is a monthly topic.  Thinking that's just the national scene?  Note that the Birmingham News is now a 3-times a week publication.  Various regional newspapers which used to carry your message aren't being read at the level of the 1960s or 1970s.

7.  Rebrand yourself.  The time has come to set Nancy Pelosi into the retirement stage and reshuffle the leadership of the Party.  Fresh new faces.....people without attack-talk....different prospective.

8.  Fix healthcare, period.  Every single year since 2009.....the cost pattern of health care insurance escalated. For some people, with the better means a combined cost of the insurance and deductible of $18,000.  If you look two years in the'll likely go beyond $20k a year.  The only thing that really got fixed in 2009 was that you forced the companies to accept everyone, regardless of condition.  Beyond that.....nothing in terms of affordability occurred.  You might want to openly talk about this failure and how it could be resolved.

9.  Know your voters.  If you aren't willing in seventy-percent of the voting districts around the nation....why?  Take a dozen of highly-paid strategists and fire them.....then go find some folks to replace them but send them out for four months of traveling around nation and get a new prospective on voters and their view of the situation.

10.  Eventually, every musical shuts down.  With the hyped-up nature of politics over the past thirty years, it's safe to say that a fair number of people are fed up with Washington DC, and the continual opera-like atmosphere.  They hit the mute-button on TV.....they refuse to buy various newspapers....they quit watching Sunday morning political-chat TV....and they ask questions which you really don't really appreciate.