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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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The Grass Roots Rise

Uploaded: Aug 21, 2016
I was disappointed that Bernie Sanders caved into the Democrat party to nominate Hillary Clinton for President. Bernie ran to keep big money out of politics, and we all know Hillary is in the pocket of big money. But there is still one candidate running for President who isn't financed by bankers, corporations or the 1%.

I'm not taking about Donald Trump. He's borrowing money from himself and getting donations from his followers to pay himself back with interest. He's also charging his campaign rent for facilities in his office buildings in New York City. If anyone hasn't figured out yet that this guy is a con man, they deserve to have him as President, but the rest of us don't.

So voters are in a quandary here. Trump claims he's spending his own money, which sounds to me like he's buying the Presidency for himself, but he really isn't spending his OWN money. He's borrowing money from himself which will be paid back with interest. He's renting offices in his own buildings, which will be paid for from campaign funds, and yes, he's collecting lots of donations from his followers and his new campaign advisers are ramping that up.

I am and always will be #NeverTrump. For awhile he was sinking himself in his own dumb rhetoric, but now he's hired a group of slick political consultants who could get Bobo the Chimp elected, but of course even Bobo would be better than Trump.

So the only alternative appears to be Hillary Clinton. She is better than Bobo the Chimp, and even more important, she's better than Trump the Chump. Bernie Sanders criticized Hillary for being the candidate of big money. She is bought and paid for by corporations. However, there are more than two candidates running.

I wrote a blog about Third Party Candidates, the Green Party's Jill Stein and the Libertarian Gary Johnson. The pundits say they don't have a chance to win and will only take votes away from one or the other main party candidates resulting in a skewed election.

A lot of people disagree. Gary Johnson is raising a lot of money from a lot of small donors. I recently donated $50 to his campaign. Bernie Sanders should pay attention to this.

Johnson's website says he raised over $1,770,000 from 55,000 donors. An email I received two days ago from the Johnson campaign claimed, "As of now, over 92,000 of you donated more than $3 million this month." Now THAT'S a grass-roots campaign!

Johnson is fighting to get into the debates, which are about one month away now. He's getting very close to the required 15% in the polls. Trump's high priced team of advisers will have their work cut out for them to prepare Donald from assaults from both the Left and the Right. He will either throw a hissy-fit and refuse to participate if Johnson is there, or throw a tantrum right on the stage. Either way America will be much greater without Donald Trump as President.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by SHale99, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 21, 2016 at 8:05 pm

SHale99 is a registered user.

the next Prez will be either Clinton or Trump. That is the reality. While you could vote '3rd party' it would have about the same effect as not voting at all. Might make you 'feel' better, but have no practical impact. Doesn't even send a message to vote 3d party, because nobody would be listening.
And for those who believe the polls that say Clinton is 'pulling' ahead you might want to check the fine print and see the 'margin of error'. Kinda makes them statically tied.

Posted by Rhel, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Aug 21, 2016 at 11:30 pm

Rhel is a registered user.

SHale99, yes. The next president will be Clinton or Trump. However, getting the Libertarian or Green party into the debates would serve as a reminder to us, the voters, that there is more than two choices.

As to the polling… I thought the consensus among the pollsters and the statisticians was to not pay any attention to the polls until September? All of the early polling is just to create excitement, like cheerleaders at a football game?

It's not until September that voters start hearing the real message that the candidates are putting out. And October when they start settling down?

Remember: , a bipartisan look at what the candidates actually said, not what the media thinks they said.

Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Aug 22, 2016 at 8:46 am

I don't understand your train of thinking, Roz. You're going from supporting Bernie Sanders to supporting Gary Johnson? What do they have in common? Bernie supports government spending for things like "free tuition" and other social programs, while Gary Johnson is a "cut-government-spending-to-the-bone" libertarian. Complete opposites. You won't find Gary Johnson voicing support for the kinds of ideas that Bernie was championing. In fact, of all the Presidential candidates, Gary Johnson would be the one who would be most opposed to Bernie's policies.

Sure, Gary Johnson, Bernie Sanders, and Jill Stein are not "big money" candidates. But that's mostly because "big money" doesn't want to waste dollars supporting minor candidates who are unlikely to win. If Gary Johnson were to ever rise to having a real chance of winning, lots of "big money" would start appearing to support him. You can bet on that. Your stand against "big money" candidates boils down to being a stand against any major candidate who has a decent chance of winning.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Aug 22, 2016 at 9:13 am

Your reference to "Bobo" insulting. There must be another way to frame your comments to minimize the damage. There is no excuse for responsible adults to speak of other living beings with such hate speech without insulting all of us.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Aug 22, 2016 at 9:18 am

There if nuttin' like a good mommy! HOORAY1

Web Link

Posted by SHale99, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 22, 2016 at 11:49 am

SHale99 is a registered user.

Rhel: I put polls (any date) and debates into pretty much the same useless category. Media will ignore any 3rd party candidate, even if they made it to a televised debate. Debates are only good to see how they fare when under pressure. Only part of debates that are fun, is the next day when the fact checkers totally destroy pretty much every single statement they made.
Certainly would be nice if there was a viable, electable 3rd choice. It's the Dem and GOP show.

Posted by Roz , a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 22, 2016 at 2:46 pm

Roz is a registered user.


I look at the person not the party or party line. Sanders and Johnson are both honest and don't pander for votes. That's probably why the two parties and media don't care about them. As far as being opposite politically, I don't see that.

Bernie's Free College is based on a small tax on stock market trades. The money would not be coming from the Government. Johnson could come up with something similar but give corporations and businesses a tax break for contributing to a private scholarship fund for qualified students. Same results, different approach.

Many voters are disgusted with the Democrat/Republican choices and are looking for alternatives. Johnson has a better chance of winning than Stein, not because he's more conservative or she's too liberal, but because the Libertarian party will be on all or almost all 50 state ballots. That means Johnson could win enough states to reach the required 270 electoral votes to be elected. Also with a three way race, even if Johnson doesn't win 270 electors, he could split the number up so neither Trump nor Clinton can either.

This is not your typical election. Parties have changed. The dominance of parties has changed. Does anyone here remember the Whig party? Um no. Trump might just be the final straw to kill the Republican Party with its hostile social agenda and replace it with the small government, lower cost, hands off Libertarian Party.

Johnson is getting national attention. He is as I said in my blog attracting followers and contributions. If he can get into the debates and more potential voters see and hear him, they might realize that voting for a candidate they don't want because he/she is the "lesser of two evils" is really throwing their vote away.


PS I've changed from the Democrats' view of nanny Government to what used to be a Republican view of reducing the size and cost of Government and relying more on the private sector. Over the last twenty years or so, the Republican Party has more further left but added religious overtones that in my opinion violate the First Amendment. The Republican Party is so messed up that Donald Trump is now their candidate. I'm done with the Republicans. This is a dying party.

Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 22, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Roz: Johnson has absolutely no chance of winning, and if you believe he does, than maybe you have been smoking as much weed as he has! You have made it clear that you do not like Trump or Hillary, and I understand that. But using logic skill, if Hillary wins, she will face no Democratic challengers in the next primary and you will get 8 years of Hillary. If Trump wins, he will face an assortment of Republican challengers in the next primary, and he may even decide he does not want a second term if he can get past all the challengers in the primary. Hence, with Trump, if he wins this year, it is very likely you will only have four years of him. Applying your own opinions on these two candidates, doesn't it make sense to vote for Trump, since it would likely only be one term, and a vote for anyone else(including Johnson)would essentially be a vote for 8 years of Hillary.

Look at the scandals and lies and damages she has caused with limited power: Can you imagine what scandals and lies and damages she could cause with the ultimate power as President for 8 years?

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Aug 22, 2016 at 4:15 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.


What ever Damage Hillary can do in eight years will be no where close to what Trump will do in five years or less. I say or less, if he is not impeached immediately.

Having said all of the above, I will not vote for Trump and I am not inclined to vote for Hilary.

I am concentrating on local elections and waiting to se what shakes out with the national election between now and November election day.

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 22, 2016 at 7:15 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

So which one of these campaign policies will damage America and why?

1. Completely repeal Obamacare will damage what?
2. Modify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines will damage what?
3. Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns under the current tax system will damage what?
4. Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) will damage what?
5. Require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and healthcare organizations like clinics and hospitals will damage what?
6. Block-grant Medicaid to the states will damage what?
7. Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products will damage what?
8. Controlled immigration will damage what?
9. Deportation of illegal immigrant convicts will damage what?
10. Deporting 5 million visa overstays will damage what?
11. Negotiating fair trade policies will damage what?
12. Instituting policies to make cities safer will damage what?
13. Limiting taxation of business income to 15% for every business will damage what?
14. Make our corporate tax globally competitive and the United States the most attractive place to invest in the world will damage what?
15. Ending the death tax will damage what?
16. Reducing redundant regulations will damage what?
17. Holding countries accountable for terrorism that emanates from within their borders damages what?
18. Withholding funding for NATO because other members don't pay their fair share damages what?
19. Simplify taxes for everyone and streamline deductions damages what?
20. Lower taxes for everyone, making raising a family more affordable for working families damages what?
21. Exclude childcare expenses from taxation damages what?

And for those that shriek "but he'll have the keys to launch a nuclear missile!!!", please tell me about how Trump unilaterally can press a button in a suitcase to launch a nuclear missile strike?

Do you know?


Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 22, 2016 at 7:20 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Oh...and which of these policies leads to Trump being impeached?

Or is rhetoric and sarcasm now considered impeachable offenses? Certainly seems so on this thread and in others.

But lets elect an un-indicted felon, or better yet, let's elect a pot-smoking, clean cut hippy from New Mexico.

By all means, knock yourselves out.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Aug 22, 2016 at 9:46 pm

@American :"Applying your own opinions on these two candidates, doesn't it make sense to vote for Trump, since it would likely only be one term."

LOL! Even 'American' is tacitly admitting the fact that Donald Trump would be a disasterous, one-term President. Love the way he twisted his logic up like a bizarrely shaped pretzel to try to make the case that that actually would make Trump a good person to vote for.

Not sure if we'll all even be around after four years of a Trump Presidency with him in possession of the nuclear launch codes. Scary thought.

Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Aug 22, 2016 at 9:51 pm

@DKHSK :"And for those that shriek "but he'll have the keys to launch a nuclear missile!!!", please tell me about how Trump unilaterally can press a button in a suitcase to launch a nuclear missile strike?"

So why don't you make your position clear to us? Are you saying that, yes, Donald Trump would be dangerous if he had the ability to unilaterally launch nuclear weapons but everything is OK because he doesn't have that unilateral power?

Posted by rosalindr, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 22, 2016 at 11:05 pm

rosalindr is a registered user.


There might be little or no damage from some of these policies and a great deal of damage from others. Here's an answer to #1 from "The Hill" dated January 4, 2016.

"If you remove tens of millions of people from the rolls of the insurance carriers because subsidies are eliminated and Medicaid expansion is defunded, if young adults ages 18 to 26 lose coverage, as well as those with pre-existing conditions, where do those who lose coverage go for care? As you might have guessed, it is your local hospital emergency room. This will result in tens of billions of dollars in uncompensated care being provided by our hospitals. Prior to the enactment of ObamaCare, uncompensated care provided by hospitals in our communities was in the range of $75 billion to $125 billion."

Web Link


Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 23, 2016 at 7:33 am

DKHSK is a registered user.


Interesting that you focussed on #1 without noting that #'s 2-6 are used specifically to cover that hole. I know its's inconvenient to note, but you do know that Obamacare is in its death throw right now? Web Link

So we should just keep this dying program and what...shovel more money into it?

I'm very interested in what policies you think would impose a "great deal" of damage and why?
Heck, it would be nice if ANYONE would take up the challenge and say why the policies outlined will damage the US, but it won't happen. It won't happen because it doesn't take any effort to discuss someones gaffs.

The path of least resistance.

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 23, 2016 at 7:38 am

DKHSK is a registered user.


My position is clear, I'm sorry if you can't comprehend. Figure it out.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Aug 23, 2016 at 8:28 am


You figure it out about Trump being given control of the nation's nuclear weapons. These guys did:

Web Link


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Aug 23, 2016 at 9:28 am

LOL! Can't make this stuff up:

"While black voters have disproportionately voted Democratic for decades, Trump faces unprecedented deficits with the population. One shock poll from the University of New Orleans' Survey Research Center showed Trump getting outperformed by white nationalist and U.S. Senate candidate David Duke with black voters."

Web Link

Posted by SHale99, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 23, 2016 at 11:46 am

SHale99 is a registered user.

Dan: Are you of the opinion the President does not have sole ability to release nuclear weapons? Do you honestly believe the Sec of Def would not concur?

the Prez is the ONLY person who can release weapon;, only takes one other person to confirm the actual launch.

dude, u need to research before throwing down your silly homework assignments.


Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 23, 2016 at 1:08 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.


I believe that the president SHOULD be able to unilaterally push the button. But that is different than saying he WOULD press the button without having a reason to do so. Lookup NORAD, dude.

Kersplat indeed.


Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 23, 2016 at 1:13 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

And par for the course, not one of you dems (or closet dems and repubs) has taken up my challenge to why any of the campaign policies outlined above would damage the country.

And Roz...I give you news from the Tennessee ACA exchange. Hot off the presses: Web Link

Headline: "Tennessee insurance commissioner: Obamacare exchange 'very near collapse'"


I can remember someone spouting a RAND study about the metrics just a few short years ago...if only I could remember his name...?

But, by all means, lets move on to single payer!

Posted by SHale99, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 23, 2016 at 6:25 pm

SHale99 is a registered user.

Dan: Afraid you are wrong again. ONLY the sitting Prez can 'release' nuclear weapons and to launch only needs one other person to confirm actual launch. If alive that is the Sec of Def and so on.

Perhaps you googling skills need updating?

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 23, 2016 at 7:08 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.


NORAD is our early warning for nuclear attack.
WHO do you think NORAD reports to?

That's right, the SECRETARY OF DEFENSE!

My God how one can be so obtuse is beyond me!!

I swear you and Sammy are related.

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 23, 2016 at 7:10 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

And I'm not saying the sec of defense can press the button!

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