The word of the day is “deflection”

deflection

[dih-flek-shuh n]

Noun:
The act or state of deflecting or the state of being deflected.

Usage:
In politics, the act of pushing an alternative narrative to take the focus off of one’s own failures, mistakes or misdeeds by accusing another of similar failures, mistakes or misdeeds.

Example:
On December 8, 2016, Georgia’s Secretary of state presented credible evidence that President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security attempted to breach the state of Georgia’s voter data base.

The United States government has not yet responded to the state of Georgia’s hacking accusation; however, within 24 hours of the accusation, President Obama’s administration released details of a closed door meeting which contained details of Russia’s hacking of  Democrats emails and releasing them.

Sources
1. http://events.tbo.com/news/politics/elections/georgia-accuses-us-of-trying-to-hack-its-election-systems/2305640

2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-orders-review-of-russian-hacking-during-presidential-campaign/2016/12/09/31d6b300-be2a-11e6-94ac-3d324840106c_story.html?utm_term=.fd1ebf987e57

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5 Reasons Why Gary Johnson Does Not Belong On The Presidential Debate Platform

The other day a friend posted a question on social media. The question raised was as to whether or not Gary Johnson should be included in the Presidential debates with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I said absolutely not because Gary Johnson does not bring anything new to the table that Trump and Clinton do not already bring. Someone asked for some examples. So, I came up with these five.

1. Gary Johnson is decidedly pro-choice. When he ran for and was governor of New Mexico Johnson was pro-life. Like Al Gore, Johnson switched from pro-life to pro-choice between runs for office. Johnson is now steadfastly pro-choice. The debate platform does not need Johnson’s voice on this issue because Hillary Clinton is already supports it.

2. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld do not support the 2nd amendment. Recently, Johnson accepted the gift of a flintlock pistol from former primary rival. The gift was given to Johnson by the rival to show party unity. However, Johnson promptly threw the gun in the trash can. As governor, Weld “proposed some of the most stringent gun control laws in the country.” In a fairly recent interview, the 71-year old Weld made it clear that his views on the 2nd amendment are anything but Libertarian. Since Hillary Clinton has already supported limiting the second amendment, we do not need another voice on the podium advocating the further limitation of the second amendment.

3. Gary Johnson is in favor of same sex marriage. It used to be a central platform plank of the Libertarian Party that the government should be out of the marriage debate completely. While Hillary Clinton has clearly flipped on this issue, Johnson has at a minimum evolved. It is my recollection as governor that he was against same sex marriage. In June 2011, Johnson was of the opinion that the government should be completely out of the marriage business (which is the standard Libertarian Party platform plank). Yet, in January 2012, Johnson is fully on board with same sex marriage and blasted President Obama for delaying support of it. Since Hillary already supports same sex marriage, it baffles me why Johnson’s voice needs to be added to the debate.

4. Gary Johnson advocates the use of the government to force people to violate their conscious. While related to the point above, it is different enough to warrant its’ own paragraph point. Recently, there have been several reports where certain businesses were sued for refusing to provide a specific service to same sex couples. In one case, a family owned bakery was ordered to make wedding cakes for same sex couples. Another court was ordered to take photographs for same sex couple commitment ceremonies (note: this ruling from the New Mexico Supreme Court was prior to the United States Supreme Court’s recognition of same sex marriage. Like Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson has no problems with the government forcing businesses to do what they don’t want to do. When asked in a forum if Jewish bakers should be forced to bake a Nazi cake, Johnson responded that he would require them make the cake. This is an odd position as a Libertarian because it is a fundamental principle of Libertarianism that the government should not try to solve or resolve these types of social issues. Again, this position is already represented between the two main parties on the platform.

5. Gary Johnson promotes the recreational use of marijuana. This goes beyond the pro legalization position some Libertarian candidates take. The legalization of marijuana is Gary Johnson’s top priority. As a first-hand observer, I have seen Johnson work as governor. As governor, he wanted to decriminalize other drugs besides marijuana; however, marijuana was the only drug that he could get traction with. When he gets a bit in his teeth, he is formidable. He will sacrifice all other legislative priorities to get the one he wants. He made sacrifices in New Mexico that he shouldn’t have to push his drug agenda.

Another important issue is the real conflict of interest Johnson has because he is the CEO of a marijuana company. Johnson is so pro-pot, that he himself violates the principles of our country’s laws to satisfy his personal desires. This point is exemplified when Johnson admitted to using marijuana as recently as May 2016. My problem with Johnson is that he will be a hyper-extension of current Obama policies to lessen the consequences of the use of recreational drugs. It is my guess that he will reach further than Hillary Clinton on this matter.

Conclusion:

As I was self-proofing my article for submission to my editors, I kept getting stuck where I said “Gary Johnson does not bring anything new to the table that Trump and Clinton do not already bring.” Having reflected on Johnson’s positions even further, I am tempted to change the beginning to say that “On at least five major issues, Gary Johnson does not bring anything different to the table than Hillary Clinton does.”

Since Gary Johnson and Hillary Clinton share the same stance on so many important issues, I must ask myself, “Why should I agree to let Gary Johnson and Hillary Clinton gang up on Donald Trump during any Presidential debate?”

It still does not make sense to me.

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What We Learned From The Democrats This Week

This week, the Democrats held their national convention in Philadelphia. I watched and I commented, mostly on Twitter, along with many of you. I wanted to sort of summarize the week that was the Democrat convention, and so here are a few of my thoughts as they happened throughout the week. At the bottom of this post are a few links that I hope you will look at and consider sharing. If you enjoy this post, I would ask you to share it as well.

This is just a sampling of the tweets I tweeted this week. I invite you to visit my entire Twitter feed here and see what I had to say all during the week.


I attended the Republican National Convention last week in Cleveland. I posted about my experience at the convention. What the Democrats have to offer this country, is a stark contrast compared to what the Republicans have to offer. The Republican House has presented “Six big ideas from the “Better Way” plan” which is a governing agenda that the Republicans are running on this fall.

Hillary and the Democrats pretend to care, and they talk a lot about compassion. There is no compassion is breaking laws that are in place. There is no compassion is “free” college for anyone who wants to attend. There is no compassion in making the national minimum wage $15 or more, which will subsequently send many with jobs to the unemployment lines. There is no compassion in continuing to put greater trust in a Washington bureaucracy than in the people of this great country. There is no compassion is continuing to put military and police lives in danger by using inflammatory rhetoric that makes people more hostile, rather than looking at root causes in the “village” and addressing those humanely and personally.

I hope you saw the contrast I saw this week. I would love to hear your feedback here, or on Twitter, or on Facebook.

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2016 Republican National Convention Recap

Nelson Spear RNC 2016 Las Vegas Review-Journal

Photo is from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

 

Thanks for the prayers
Let Nancy and I just say that your thoughts and prayers were definitely felt and made evident during our week in Cleveland. The week was powerfully stimulating. In fact, I would say that the week was more action packed than the other two national conventions that Nancy and I had previously attended. In fact, there was much more to do than our time allowed us. The earliest that we went to bed was the “Monday morning” that we arrived in Cleveland. We went to bed about 1:30 am that day.

RNC 2016 Texas Delegation Pins

We were so blessed to further connect with our existing friends and make so many new friends. One thing that aided us in building goodwill with delegates from other delegations was a pin that the Texas delegates could order. We ordered several and we gave these out fairly freely and we also traded different states for their pins. There is something special about giving away a gift unconditionally and explaining to the recipient that they do not have to give anything in return.

Nancy and I believe in divine appointments and there were so many along the way starting with our extended layover in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was really refreshing and invigorating to meet other delegates who felt as we did about some of the things that we would like to see changed in the future. We are already planning on getting together to discuss how we can make some positive changes.

The entire Texas delegation also felt very much protected and at peace while there. Despite the level of threatened violence from protestors, we encountered nothing that threatened us in any way. While there, we met many law enforcement officers from so many different states and thanked them for their service.

Nonappearance by key Republicans
Several notable Republicans chose not to appear at the Republican National Convention. I will talk about two. Governor John Kasich was an early favorite, but not the top pick, of mine. I liked Gov. Kasich for several reasons including the fact that he was a part of the team that helped balance the budget under President Bill Clinton. However, the shine on his gold star dulled when some of his state policy actions as Governor of Ohio were contrary to his earlier positions as congressman. There were rumors that Donald Trump offered Gov. Kasich the position of Vice President but that he turned it down. However, both the Trump campaign and Kasich campaign denied that there was an offer. Still, it is the opinion of many that being a no-show at the Republican National Convention in his home state was in poor taste.

There was some buzz about no one from the Bush family making an appearance. Some speculated that Jeb Bush’s poor outing contributed to that decision. Some speculated that some delegates were still a little sore at former President George W. Bush for some of his policies. Interestingly, the Huffington Post interviewed me about my thoughts and I opined that President George W. Bush probably was just sick of politics and wanted nothing more to do with it. Part of my quote was picked up by other analysts and printed in their publications as well.

I also point out that in the Democrat Party there will be key figures that also will be missing from their convention which starts Monday, July 25th. For example, it has been well documented by many sources of the long-running feud between Al Gore and Hillary Clinton. It was just announced that Al Gore, the former Vice President and the 2000 Presidential nominee of the Democrat Party, would not be attending the Democrat convention in Philadelphia.

The choice of Governor Mike Pence as Vice President
I gave an in-depth analysis of the positive reasons for choosing Governor Mike Pence of Indiana for a running mate on my blog. In summary though, I feel that a current Governor from a mid-western state combined with the prior experience of a United States Congressman who had a reputation as a solid conservative will positively lift the overall ticket’s value to all Americans.

Ted Cruz and his convention speech
Frankly, I was surprised that Senator Ted Cruz did not endorse Donald Trump at the convention. Other than that, I feel that no matter what side anyone picks on Cruz’ decision they will be attacked by the other side. For my fellow Trekkies out there, I guess you could say that this is a Kobayashi Maru test that even James T. Kirk would not want to face. Regardless of anyone’s opinion of Senator Cruz, I believe that it is undisputed that Donald Trump knew in advance that Senator Cruz was not going to endorse him. Thus, I would give some high respect remarks to Donald Trump in allowing Senator Cruz to speak.

The issue that a lot of people are talking about is whether or not the boos that were made at Senator Cruz were orchestrated by the Trump camp. All I can say to that is that from where I was sitting in the gallery, while my alternate was on the floor during the speech, I did not receive any texts or other communications that suggested that delegates should boo or otherwise become disruptive while Senator Cruz spoke. Nor did I see anything that made me think that the delegates were being whipped up to boo Senator Cruz. However, others reported that they did see some Trump supporters whipping other delegates to boo Senator Cruz.

Trump family speeches
As most of you know, I officially endorsed Donald Trump on June 7. Nothing that has occurred since that date has caused me to change my mind. With that said, let me add to my thoughts that I made on June 7. Prior to his acceptance speech, his wife and children all gave speeches. I believe that in spite of the overblown reaction to Melania’s speech, that the speeches given by Ivanka, Tiffany, Eric, and Donald Jr. were outstanding. As one observer put it, Donald Trump had to do something right to raise four kids that turned out so well. Trump’s youngest of five children, Barron, who is 10 years old, did not speak at the convention.

Donald Trump’s acceptance speech was the final event of the action-packed week. His overall theme of making “America First” resonated with the delegates in attendance and with the rest of America. In summary, he pledged to “Make America Safe Again,” “Make America Work Again,” “Make America First Again,” and “Make America One Again.” Trump’s speech included some very specific points including building a wall on the Mexican border and doing away with some of the treaties and trade agreements that do not first advance United States’ interests.

In closing, I cannot thank you again for everyone’s support of Nancy and I while we were in Cleveland. Being able to focus completely on the tasks in front of us while things back home were watched and cared for will always be remembered. And to answer your question, “Yes,” I will be watching and commenting on the Democrats convention starting Monday.

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Thursday at RNC 2016

Good morning from Cleveland as the final day of the RNC gets underway.

As we sort out all of our thoughts and feelings after last night’s events, let us remember to not allow anyone, including ourselves, to dictate how we should respond to anything that has been said or done to us personally or others.  Let us be led by His Spirit instead.

Please say an extra prayer this am for the Texas delegation as we meet this am.

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Agree or disagree?


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Wednesday at RNC 2016

If you missed my updates from yesterday, they can be found here.

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I was interviewed at the convention by a Huffington Post writer. I am quoted at length in the article.

At Trump’s Convention, It’s George W. Bush’s Legacy That’s On Trial

When will the 43rd president return to his party’s main stage?

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This morning our delegation heard some really interesting feedback from pollster and communicator Frank Luntz. In talking about political language, he said this: “Don’t say middle class that is a Democrat term, say hard working tax payers.”

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If you have some downtime today, you might enjoy this editorial by House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, a fellow Texan (Conroe).

We want to make tax filing so simple that ‘it would fit on a postcard’

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This LA Times editorial says that Paul Ryan’s speech last night was the best of the first two nights of the RNC. Do you agree?

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This is an interesting article about Donald Trump offering Governor John Kasich the VP spot, and Kasich rejecting it.

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I met a fellow Texas this afternoon and got this picture of the hat she was wearing. Over on my Facebook Page, I’m running a poll to see if you think I should get a hat like that. Let me know.

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Wow! What a night! What the heck just happened?

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Tuesday at RNC 2016

Day 2 is here! Read about Day 1 here.

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Monday at RNC 2016

Nancy and I are in Cleveland and RNC 2016 is really about to get underway for us.

Just got my credentials for Day 1:

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I’m quoted in this story:

Trump supporters say terrorist attacks strengthen case for Mexico wall

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Also a little housekeeping in case you were to hear a radio interview I did. In talking about some of the floor action tonight, I said “no one walked out”. First, I had no idea from the floor that the Colorado and Iowa delegations had walked out. Second, no one from the Texas delegation left.

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Statement About Governor Mike Pence Selection

Statement of Nelson Spear on Donald Trump’s selection of Indiana Governor Mike Pence to be his running mate.

This morning, our presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, confirmed that Indiana Governor Mike Pence would be his running mate.

I think this is a positive step leading up to our convention in Cleveland. Mike Pence, as a Governor of a Midwest state, understands flyover country; he understands the working man, the working families, and has sought to improve their lives during his time as a Congressman from Indiana, and now as their Governor.

One of the more encouraging signs about the choice of Governor Pence is that Donald Trump has chosen someone with whom he has disagreed with in the past. This is good. This means there will not be a “yes man” at the table helping to make big decisions. Governor Pence brings to the conversation a different perspective that can sharpen Donald Trump’s message into a message that will bring Americans together again instead of dividing them.

In an interview with Ripon Forum in 2014 leading up to the midterms, Governor Pence stated the following:

“We Republicans need to offer a positive alternative to the failed policies of President Obama and the Democrats. We need to be “solutions conservatives.” We need to showcase constructive solutions that will lead to more economic opportunity and upward mobility for everyone. This includes fixing our broken tax code, reforming health care in a way that lowers costs and gives families greater ownership of their healthcare choices, reducing job-killing regulations and changing our safety net programs in ways that truly help people move up out of poverty.”

I welcome this approach, and I welcome Governor Mike Pence to the Republican ticket and I look forward to working together in the fall campaign as we offer a clear alternative to the American people.

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The Faith of Donald Trump

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