Saturday, September 12, 2015

Bob Schieffer: 'I take Donald Trump very seriously now. I think he could wind up getting the Republican nomination.' Harvard Gazette interview, 9/11/15

"I take Donald Trump very seriously now. I think he could wind up getting the Republican nomination."

9/11/15, "That first draft of history," Harvard Gazette, Christina Pazzanese, Harvard Staff Writer

CBS photo
"As he heads to Harvard, veteran CBS correspondent Bob Schieffer reflects on half a century covering the news."

"In May, Schieffer retired after 46 years with CBS News, where he was the network’s chief Washington correspondent and at various points covered the White House, Congress, the State Department, and the Pentagon. For more than two decades, he anchored the Saturday edition of “CBS Evening News” and moderated the Sunday political roundtable “Face the Nation.” He earned numerous awards, including eight Emmys and the Edward R. Murrow Award, and is a National Academy of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame inductee.

This month, he begins a three-semester appointment as the Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow at the Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, where he will focus on the 2016 presidential election. From noon to 1 p.m. on Sept. 15, Schieffer will address the status of the election campaign as part of the Shorenstein Center Speaker Series at Harvard Kennedy School’s Taubman Building.

Schieffer spoke with the Gazette about his career, the evolution of American politics and journalism, and what he’s looking forward to during his time at Harvard....

GAZETTE: Now that you’re off the clock, what do you think of the 2016 presidential race so far?

SCHIEFFER: Every campaign is different, and this may be the most different yet. I think we’re at a real turning point in this country. I think we’ve had a total breakdown in our political system: the way we elect people, the way we conduct our politics now. And you can see it on both sides now, Democrats and Republicans. This is not the way that we ought to be electing people, and these are not campaigns that are about what they ought to be about. I think it all goes back to the way that money has now overwhelmed our political system. People used to get into politics because they wanted to change things, or they wanted to do something. And we have too many people now who are just running to get themselves elected so they can raise some money and get elected the next time and use these congressional/federal offices as a steppingstone to bigger and better things. And it just didn’t use to be that way.

I take Donald Trump very seriously now. I think he could wind up getting the Republican nomination. He keeps saying what all he’s going to change, but he hasn’t offered any solutions yet. So I don’t know where this goes."...

[Ed. note: Below, Schieffer is asked if he thought media was too easy on Obama in 2008. He says perhaps so, but everyone thought Obama was  such a good story that, "I think people didn't question how’s he going to get these things done." Why not? They didn't want to know: Tom Brokaw and Charlie Rose 4 days before 2008 election day freely admit they know next to nothing about Obama. See end of this post for quotes.]

(continuing): "GAZETTE: Why do you think Trump has been able to grab people and defy all conventional wisdom?

SCHIEFFER: I think he’s made a very good list, a wonderful catalog, of all the things that people are upset about and worried about and concerned about. He hasn’t proposed any solutions, but he has managed to make a list of things that people feel frustrated about, and I think this frustration comes from the fact that the government doesn’t work anymore. [Ronald] Reagan used to talk about the “shining city on the hill.” Well, we’ve become the town where nothing works. The IRS doesn’t work, the Veterans Administration doesn’t work, the EPA sets off a disaster in Colorado. Nothing seems to work the way it used to, and people are upset about that....

GAZETTE: Last May, Fox’s Howard Kurtz asked you if the media had been too easy on Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign. You said, “I don’t know. Maybe we were not skeptical enough.” Can you elaborate? What did reporters miss?

SCHIEFFER: I don’t really think that reporters had the kid gloves on with Barack Obama, but he was new, and he was exciting, and he was a great story, and he made a great speech. And I think people didn’t question how’s he going to get these things done, how will he be at getting coalitions together, how well did he get along with people in the Senate while he was there, those kinds of questions. I think we probably should have been more skeptical, but he was such a good story."....via Stelter via Romenesko


Comment: Mr. Schieffer, how can you not know in Sept. 2015 that Mr. Trump has stated
numerous ways in which he'd manage domestic and international matters differently? On 8/16/15, for example, he published, "Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again." He begins: 

"Here are the three core principles of real immigration reform: 

1. A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.
2. A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.
3. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans."... 


Many solutions flow from Trump's view of America expressed in his Immigration plan, ie much more American sovereignty and much less involvement with unelected members of the "international community" who should be paying more attention to their own countries instead of micromanaging Americans anyway. This notion is terrifying to elites such as Mr. Schieffer: 
"What Trump offers is permission to conceive of an American interest as a national interest separate from the “international community”."

***For example, Mr. Trump doesn't believe in human caused global warming (8/15/15, "I’m not a believer in man-made climate change." "Lightning Round With Donald Trump," NY Times, Maureen Dowd, columnist)
which the US government has treated as an American caused global crime since at least 1990. Everyone including Mr. Schieffer knows that even if CO2 did cause warming, the US has no ability whatsoever to change global CO2 which is controlled by China. Everyone knows it's therefore cruel and criminal to continue diverting millions of taxpayer dollars daily from the poor and needy to the climate industry, and that no one in authority does anything to stop it. There's at least a chance that Mr. Trump will. Everyone may agree that the 1990 mandate authorizing massive climate danger spending via the Executive branch and agencies should be cancelled. We don't know if Mr. Trump will cancel it, but he provides the only hope for doing so.***


Following statements from a recent speech exemplify how Mr. Trump would handle international affairs differently: "Donald Trump IOWA FULL SPEECH in IOWA, Dubuque - August 25, 2015," CNN feed. I've included approximate times:

1. (34:15)-We don't give aid to the Kurds. We give aid to the wrong people. We give our enemies Humvees that are chrome plated. Humvees we give to our own soldiers aren't chrome plated.
2. (36:35)-A retired US general on TV said, Uh, I don't know if we can beat ISIS. That wouldn't happen under Pres. Trump.
3. (39:55), Trump mentions that Afghanistan is rich in various minerals and that China has been given rights to mine them. It doesn't make sense that Americans fight and die there as they have for over a dozen years but another country is given the mining business. 
4. (33-34min.) He wants the strongest military possible so we never have to use it.
5. (38:00) He has repeatedly stated we shouldn't have gone into Iraq, that the Iraqi government is totally corrupt. We killed and maimed Americans, spent trillions of taxpayer dollars, and Iraq is worse than ever. Trump favors a more selective use of the military than recent decades have seen.
6. (30:15) He asks why do we have fighters going into Ukraine? The US shouldn't be there.
7. (31:59) He asks why does the US have 28,000 troops in South Korea? 
8. (32:15)-If Japan is attacked, we have to help them. They don't have to help us.
9. (33:30)-We protect Saudi Arabia for nothing. 


Added: Regarding above point 3, following is 2014 citation regarding Afghan mineral wealth: US taxpayers financed extensive mapping of mineral locations throughout the country.  Lucrative mining contracts were then won by Chinese and Indian governments, not the US:
9/5/14, "Rare Earth: Afghanistan Sits on $1 Trillion in Minerals,", Charles Q. Choi, Live Science

"Despite being one of the poorest nations in the world, Afghanistan may be sitting on one of the richest troves of minerals in the world, valued at nearly $1 trillion, scientists say.

Afghanistan, a country nearly the size of Texas, is loaded with minerals deposited by the violent collision of the Indian subcontinent with Asia. The U.S. Geological Survey began inspecting what mineral resources Afghanistan had after U.S.-led forces drove the Taliban from power in the country in 2004. 

In 2006, U.S. researchers flew airborne missions to conduct magnetic, gravity and hyperspectral surveys over Afghanistan. [Infographic: Facts About Rare Earth Minerals

The aerial surveys determined that Afghanistan may hold 60 million tons of copper, 2.2 billion tons of iron ore, 1.4 million tons of rare earth elements such as lanthanum, cerium and neodymium, and lodes of aluminum, gold, silver, zinc, mercury and lithium. For instance, the Khanneshin carbonatite deposit in Afghanistan's Helmand province is valued at $89 billion, full as it is with rare earth elements

"Afghanistan is a country that is very, very rich in mineral resources," geologist Jack Medlin, program manager of the USGS Afghanistan project, told LiveScience. The scientists' work was detailed in the Aug. 15 issue of the journal Science. 

In 2010, the USGS data attracted the attention of the U.S. Department of Defense's Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, which is entrusted with rebuilding Afghanistan. The task force valued Afghanistan's mineral resources at $908 billion, while the Afghan government's estimate is $3 trillion.

Over the past four years, USGS and TFBSO have embarked on dozens of excursions to confirm the aerial findings, resulting in what are essentially treasure maps for mining companies. 

The Afghan government has already signed a 30-year, $3 billion contract with the China Metallurgical Group, a state-owned mining enterprise based in Beijing, to exploit the Mes Aynak copper deposit, and awarded mining rights for the country's biggest iron deposit to a group of Indian state-run and private companies."

Afghanistan is flooded with so much US taxpayer cash it can't keep track of it:

3/10/15, "Afghans can't manage billions in aid, U.S. inspector finds," Bloomberg,

"The Pentagon has provided $3.3 billion in payments to Afghan ministries since October 2010, and an additional $13 billion in such military aid is projected through 2019, three years after President Barack Obama has pledged to withdraw all but a small number of U.S. troops."...



Trump supporters see the hope of being unbound from an unelected and corrupt “international community”....

9/7/15, "Traitor to His Class," Julius Krein, Weekly Standard

"Trump shows that what is most in demand, however, is not ideological purity but patriotic zeal....

What Trump offers is permission to conceive of an American interest as a national interest separate from the “international community”....

Nothing is more terrifying to the elite than Trump’s embrace of a tangible American nationalism....The critical question, however, is not the source of Trump’s popularity but rather the reason his popularity is so shocking to our political culture....

Trump alone appears to understand that politics is more than policy and ideology."...



Added: Millions of Americans have been treated like garbage by both political parties for many years. Donald Trump apparently doesn't think this is right and is at a point in his life when he can do something about it. After two terms as president, he'll be closing in on age 80. It's unlikely he'll be looking to cash in on a corner office on K St.


Charlie Rose interviews Tom Brokaw 4 days before 2008 election day. They freely admit they know next to nothing about Obama.

10/30/2008, "Brokaw and Rose Admit They Don't Know Much About Obama," You Tube video, taped 10/30/2008, Obama elected 11/4/2008.

Charlie Rose interviews Tom Brokaw, notes we're coming into "what may be the most historic presidential election of our time." (:27) Rose says, of Obama....
"he is principally known through his autobiography and through very aspirational speeches." (:38)

Brokaw says, "Two of 'em," and Rose says, "Exactly, two books."

Rose asks Tom Brokaw, "What do you make of him?" (:48)

Charlie Rose wonders, (1:14) "Have we had a serious debate about foreign policy in this country?"

Brokaw says, "No..." (1:29) "China has been not examined at all
, which is astonishing."...

Brokaw muses, "I don't know what books he's read."...


Comment: They weren't even slightly curious about a person they wanted to be US president.


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