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Who should be the next president of the United States?


[Scroll down to read "Trump has the skills to enact positive change"]

Clinton clear choice in presidential balloting


Every four years, slime is slung at our presidential contenders to the point voters may feel their choice reduced to the lesser of evils. But that’s rarely accurate and certainly isn’t this year.

Hillary Clinton may be the best qualified and prepared candidate in the history of American politics, while Donald Trump may be the least so, based on their respective performances in public life.

Clinton holds a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley and law degree from Yale. She served on the House Judiciary Committee staff establishing the groundwork for Richard Nixon’s historic resignation in 1974. She went on to engage in post-graduate study on children’s rights, and parlay that into posts with the Children’s Defense Fund and Carnegie Council.

She met future husband Bill at Yale Law and followed him to Arkansas.

During his three terms as Arkansas governor, she played policy roles unheard of for a First Lady, and would later break the same ground nationally during his eight years in the White House. She served as a full partner in the political and administrative process, gaining unprecedented insights.

Of course, that earned her the bitter enmity of the GOP, which targeted her perhaps as no one else in American politics.

To the extent she is disliked, disrespected or distrusted, the root lies in an unrelenting barrage of over-hyped criticism, amplified by the broadcast media via advertising, coverage and commentary. That and the special nature of her gender, which remains an unbroken barrier in America. Nations around the globe have been led by women, but not the U.S.

Clinton then became the first woman to ever represent New York in the U.S. Senate in 2000. The GOP mounted a furious attack on her, in a race where spending eventually reached an astounding $90 million, but she scored a smashing victory nonetheless.

After nearly claiming the nomination eight years ago, former Senate colleague Barack Obama named her to arguably the second-most powerful post in the land — secretary of state. That position rounded out a foreign policy résumé now matching that of her formidable domestic policy.

The GOP has tried to make political hay out of two elements of her tour at the State Department, where foreign policy is developed and implemented.
First, she relied on a private server for personal and unclassified e-mail. Second, four Americans were slain in an attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, on her watch in 2012.

In fact, she was merely following the lead of Republican predecessors Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice in relying on a private server, and the U.S. suffered 66 deaths in 13 embassy and consulate attacks during their tenures. What’s more, exhaustive GOP-led investigations found no evidence of compromised security through Clinton’s private server use, or of wrongdoing by Clinton, Obama or other top military and civilian leaders in response to the Benghazi attack.

By contrast, we have in Donald Trump a candidate who went to great pains to dodge military service and all other meaningful governmental service. He’s spent his entire career in private business, where he’s managed to repeatedly propel companies into bankruptcy, and lose almost $1 billion in a single year, despite getting propped up and bailed out by his father.

Though embraced by the Christian right, he displays no evidence of religious affiliation, preference or grounding, and his personal life could hardly clash more with Christian values. This is a man who once named his youthful sexual exploits “my Vietnam,” and has a long history of objectifying, shaming and harassing women. Married to a succession of glamor queens, he cheated on his first wife with his second and his second with his third.

Claiming he’s such a star, he can dodge responsibility for grabbing a woman’s genitals. His behavior should come as no surprise. It fits a lifelong pattern of entitlement, braggadocio and misogyny.

He also has a well-established record of shady business dealings. His propensity for stiffing the little guy is well documented. And he has engaged in myriad displays of racial, religious and ethnic bigotry, singling out Latinos, Muslims and African Americans by turn with his bombast.

Trump displays no inclination to bone up on issues or seek counsel from those who have. He lacks the judgment, discipline and self-control routinely expected of candidates. Full of bluff and bluster, he’s content to channel the fear and anger of his core constituency — rural white males reeling from rapidly changing social and economic forces.

He doesn’t just debate his critics, he denigrates them in bullying and belligerent terms. Devoid of empathy, he even stoops to mocking the disabled — something we teach kindergartners to regard as hateful and hurtful.

He’s so hypersensitive to slights, he nurses years-long grudges over one-time exchanges. His propensity for engaging in belligerent militaristic and nationalistic rhetoric makes him an extremely shaky candidate for the nuclear trigger.

Trump says he’s bent on making America great again, suggesting he’s lost faith in a nation he’s trying to bend to his will. In fact, America remains the greatest place on the planet, a welcoming beacon of freedom, choice, opportunity and prosperity. The greatest threat it faces is the potential of a vengeful authoritarian who reveres none of its historic values.

Hillary Clinton respects, and reflects, the majesty of America. She’s the obvious choice to lead our land.

Steve Bagwell is the managing editor of the News-Register.


Trump has the skills to enact positive change


I am a conservative, have been my whole life. Mr. Trump was neither my first nor even my second choice as Republican presidential candidate. Most importantly, however, at this time I am highly suspicious of the Democratic Party’s candidate for the presidency.

It hardly needs saying the Trump presidential campaign is very non-traditional. He has not groomed his life, as most politically motivated people, to fit the mold of a political candidate. In contrast, people like Hillary have sculpted their existence to live off the government and special interests which plague political policy. I’ve heard it said this is not an election between two people. Trump supporters are motivated by the prospect of change. This is a movement bigger than the man. In HRC’s case, followers are holding their noses voting for a scandal-ridden politician.

Conservative-minded citizens across America have wanted someone who will stand up and fight rather than wilt under the left-leaning media’s wholesale character assassination. Donald has stood his ground. He has won the admiration of millions for being a fighter. Is he perfect? See paragraph two. Trump is a businessman, not a politician. In contrast, Clinton is 100 percent politician. Her whole life has been paving a road to this very election.

The “tale of the tape,” to use fighting words, could not be more disproportional. Trump built an empire of wealth. He knows business and how to create jobs — something Hillary says the government will do. Unfortunately, the payroll for her jobs is funded through the pockets of you and I. Government does not make tangible wealth, it only redistributes it. As government gets bigger, taxpayers get poorer.

Polls show both candidates are considered untrustworthy. On one side, we have a candidate who hasn’t shown his taxes. Mr. Trump also says things considered crass by many. On the other hand, is a candidate who had tens of thousands of emails deleted after a congressional subpoena, after which a program (Bleach Bit) designed to completely eradicate the emails was applied. Hillary lied to Americans and the FBI regarding the use of a personal server and transmission of sensitive, even secret, information. I always want to ask those who defend the server incident if they think the whole thing was just a mistake. Many of us don’t think so.

I won’t try to skip over statements made about women or allegations of unwanted kisses. These are obviously not acceptable of any candidate. The bar, however, was lowered quite a bit from the Clinton exploits, I think we can all agree. Furthermore, Hillary was brutal to her husband’s victims. Even the ones accusing rape. If you’re going to throw rocks, better make sure your hands are clean. The Clintons have had more scandals throughout their political climb to power than will fit in this space.

On to the issues: Donald says he will rebuild the military, renegotiate trade agreements, bring jobs lost to other countries back to America and destroy ISIS. We can only take him at his word because he has no history of governing. Hillary says she will invest (again) in education, infrastructure and high-paying jobs.

Unlike Donald, she has had the opportunities to make these changes, and has failed to do so. Education costs for America’s youth are the highest in the world. America’s infrastructure is years behind where it should be. Clinton, President Obama and the Democratic Party have stymied growth as it’s built up the bureaucracy. Government does not make jobs, companies do — the very companies hampered by regulation and taxation by the past administration.

Clinton uses the term “trickle down” negatively to belittle conservatives. But that it is exactly how a free economy works. People take risks by starting a company. They then hire citizens of the state. A side benefit for government is they get to tax these people. Companies and corporations are not created to pay for everyone’s well-being. Risk takers make money if they are successful or lose it if they aren’t. Donald understands this. It’s what he does.

Important in this election is the fate of the Supreme Court. We can live through any presidency, but this election may swing the court to an extreme that will last for decades. Liberal-appointed justices tend to be ideology of the left agenda. In order to stay a center right country we need justices that will not create laws from the bench but uphold to the constitution. Hillary will appoint the first type and Donald the second.

I sum up my fellow deplorable, unredeemable, un-American conservatives as simply worried. While we “cling to our guns and bibles,” we see in Hillary Clinton someone who will be divisive and scandalous in office. We see the Clintons getting richer through dealings with Wall Street and foreign governments with abysmal human rights records, while we can’t pay for health care. We see the development of a country where the elite are not held accountable for criminal activity, along with erosion of military might, reduced standards of living, destruction of religious liberties and uncontrolled immigration. These are troubling times for conservatives. At the end of the day we are worried about the course of our country under continued liberal leadership.

The choice this presidential election could not be more opposite in view or more important to the future of our country. The way I see it, people voting for Hillary are mostly voting against Donald. Those like me that are voting against her are mostly voting for positive change.

DeVon Cutrell is a small business owner in McMinnville. He taught science for a short time at McMinnville High School.


Don Dix

Steve uses the same playbook as H. A subject (say Watergate) comes up. H is given credit for being part of the investigation. What is not spoken or explained is H was dismissed from the committee. Credit without complete participation .... hmmmmm!

From the article ... "To the extent she is disliked, disrespected or distrusted, the root lies in an unrelenting barrage of over-hyped criticism, amplified by the broadcast media via advertising, coverage and commentary."

So -- the phony sniper attack in Bosnia, the cattle futures windfall, the Travelgate investigation, Castle Grande, Bengazi was because of a video, Bill never touched those women (pick one), stealing $200K worth of White House amenities, Chelsea was near the 9/11 attack, 'I was named after Sir Edmund Hillary', 'I never sent any classified material through e-mail', 'I only deleted personal e-mail', 'No one got access to State because of contributions to the Clinton Foundation', and 50 people with ties to the Clintons have died (some mysteriously) and others served prison terms -- all these 'misstatements' and 'misspoken moments', coincidences, if you will, are not important character traits because they have been 'over-hyped by the media'!

Oh sure, and the Haitian earthquake victims were so appreciative of the help the Clintons provided through their 'foundation'! You could ask CF contributor Claudio Osorio, but he is in prison for scamming $10M from the relief fund. But he did host fundraisers for the Clintons at his Florida home, so nothing to see here.

As far back as the 90's, H was labeled a 'congenital liar', and since, there has been a consistent, steady flow of proof! Over-hyped my a**!

Don Dix

Here is what Obama said about H in 2008 --

"Hillary Clinton? She'll say anything and change nothing. It's time to turn the page."
"One of the things that's happened during the course of this campaign is that there are a set of assertions made by Senator Clinton, as well as her husband, which are not factually accurate."

Now, Obama is all in for H.

So which Obama should be believed -- 2008 or 2016?


Which Ted Cruz should we believe? Which Chris Christie? Which Marco Rubio? Which Kellayanne Conway?
When you run against someone, you minimize, criticize and differentiate as best you can. When it's over, well, you might very well name your foe to one of the highest posts in the land, say secretary of state. You might if you think highly enough of their ability and character.
Some of the things Donald Trump's then-opponents and now-allies said about him just a few months ago were vastly more damning than that.
For that matter, a few years back, Trump was singing Hillary Clinton's praises. I've seen the video of her practically nominating her for sainthood. So which Trump should be believed?
Very thin gruel, Don.


Choosing to decide between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is like trying to decide between eating raw liver and raw liver-and-onions (unless you like eating raw liver). They are the worst candidates for the President of the United States in the last 60 years for differing reasons. Unfortunately, one of them will be our new president.

The only reason I would vote for Donald Trump would be the hope that his nominations for federal judges would be less liberal than the promised to be (think Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren influence). This Democratic Party is the most liberal in recent history and I don't think the United States is ready for the promised socialist government/society. Having said that, I can't stand Donald Trump. I think this election represents a much bigger situation than who is our president. McMullin would be my choice ahead of either Trump or Clinton, but he is lost in the weeds. Our country deserves better (or maybe not).


I think it is interesting that Donald Trump would not be able to pass the entry questionnaire to be employed by WalMart and Hillary Clinton could not pass the test for being hired by the U.S. government for any job handling classified material. Their past actions have disqualified them from these positions.

Don Dix

Steve writes --"When it's over, well, you might very well name your foe to one of the highest posts in the land, say secretary of state. You might if you think highly enough of their ability and character."

In most instances, a string of lies and fabrications that covers 35 - 40 years in 'public service' (sarc) would never qualify for any sense of an attractive character. First, being a D, and second, eliminating H as a possible foe in the next election cycle was also in play with Obama's cabinet appointment.

And 'ability', when applied to H is non-existent, unless a do-nothing senate term or twisting facts into unrecognizable explanations is such.

Does applying so much 'sugar coating' allow the taste of the gruel to be even noticed?


I just heard a comment from a person I greatly respect. He lamented, "The good news is that either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will lose. The bad news is that either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will win."

Horse with no name

Mr. Bagwell, Excellent article! It's nice to see you exercise logic and reasoning, instead of the ideological, single issue, tunnel vision that affects many of those who will vote for Trump. Many are the time we hold our nose and make difficult choices in life, but you should always try to make those hard choices with the long view in mind.


One overriding/obvious situation that has come from this election cycle is that most person's political persuasion boils out. A liberal leaning person will gloss over the character shortcomings of a Hillary Clinton and hammer on the shortcomings of a Donald Trump. It is human nature. The same with people who are so disillusioned with our federal government and the status quo that they will disregard the shortcomings of Donald Trump and feel compelled to vote for him. It is ugly, but ideological leanings are overpowering the ugly choice between these two people. Liberally leaning people conveniently forget the sexual escapades of John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Edward Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Lyndon Johnson, William Clinton and others when proclaiming the disaster of Donald Trump. At the same time they declare these people as some kind of heroes. The hypocrisy represented in this election reveals how shallow is the mentality of voters. It illustrates as much about the voters than it does the people running for office. Whomever wins this election, the disaster will continue.


I am surprised/disappointed that Steve Bagwell glosses over and disregards that Hillary Clinton is "not trustworthy and honest" as indicated in every poll that I have seen as though this is a witch hunt with no merit. Surely Steve is more knowledgeable than that or just doesn't care. I agree that Donald Trump is the worst candidate presented in my lifetime but being the second worst (Hillary Clinton) should not make anyone believe she is somehow deserving to be President. Her deception and manipulation for decades should matter but I guess not in this "battle to the bottom" in American politics.


As I write this the Clinton group is scrambling. It will be interesting to see why the FBI thought this latest information about Hillary was important enough to come public just before the election. I think whatever it is, liberal leaning people will disregard its significance just as Steve did in his above comments. As far as many of these people are concerned, they would sing her praises even if she were imprisoned.

Brad M

I'm voting for Kodos!


Notice how the Clinton "machine" is trying to deflect everything away from Hillary (that's one of the things that make this so ugly). They have blamed the Russians, wikileaks and FBI director Janes Comey rather than facing the problem head on. It just adds to the perception about about Hillary. Of course Donald Trump does the same thing. It reinforces that these are the worst two candidates perhaps in the last century.

David Bates

A serious question for Mr. Cutrell:

If someone with Trump's record of lying, with his legal history (including the current fraud case on the matter of Trump University), with a dogged refusal to release very basic information about his finances, with a business history that includes nearly a dozen bankrupt companies, and with the public allegations made by women regarding his behavior (including an unresolved civil suit in New York alleging child rape, which the media rarely mentions) ...

If you were aware of all that regarding a job applicant, would you hire him for a management position in your company?


David, good question. I completely agree about Donald Trump. You could present similar question(s) regarding Hillary Clinton. Surely you understand that Hillary Clinton is a very flawed candidate in different ways. Her acts of judgment put our national security at risk and lied trying her best to cover it up. This was exposed very well in the wikileak emails by Podesta and her answers before the FBI probe. Nothing new here with Hillary. It does surprise me that intelligent people totally disregard the seriousness of her actions.

David Bates

I think both candidates are terrible, but that said, there's no question in my mind that (scandals real or imagined notwithstanding) that someone who has served as First Lady, a U.S. Senator from New York and U.S. Secretary of State would have absolutely no problem finding employment in the private sector. Trump's reputation with women alone I'd think (hope) would disqualify him in the eyes of a responsible employer who knows what "liability" means.


Just curious, you said, "Trump's reputation with women alone I'd think (hope) would disqualify him in the eyes of a responsible employer who knows what "liability" means".

Would you say the same thing about John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Edward Kennedy, Martin Luther King or Bill Clinton?

Would it cause you pause that Hillary Clinton could not pass the basic screening for a security clearance for classified material for the federal government?


Just for interest I might add Johnny Reid "John" Edwards (born June 10, 1953) is a former American politician, who served as a U.S. Senator from North Carolina. He was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004, and was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008. A federal grand jury in North Carolina indicted Edwards in 2011 on six felony charges of violating multiple federal campaign contribution laws to cover up an extramarital affair to which he admitted following his 2008 campaign. Edwards was found not guilty on one count, and the judge declared a mistrial on the remaining five charges, as the jury was unable to come to an agreement. The Justice Department dropped the remaining charges and did not attempt to retry Edwards. (Wikipedia)

Just like Hillary, he served no jail time even though he could be considered the "sleaziest" of the bunch.


18 U.S.C. 2071 - Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally
2071. Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally
(a) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(b) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.


Seabiscuit, sometimes I'm a little slow but could you be referring to 33,000 emails, 12 cell phones and now a laptop computer with hundreds of thousands of emails that are pertinent that has been "concealed". But Hillary said she was sorry and she "would never do it again". Loretta Lynch said the same thing about her meeting with Bill Clinton. Isn't "sorry" good enough?


Seabiscuit, it doesn't matter. Steve (and most Democrats) illustrates this clearly in his comments above. Hillary's problems are the result of "The GOP has tried to make political hay out of two elements of her tour at the State Department". You must understand that these problems are not derived from Hillary.

The Steve continues, "the root lies in an unrelenting barrage of over-hyped criticism, amplified by the broadcast media via advertising, coverage and commentary". And I forgot, many of these problems are "because of the nature of her gender". Didn't catch anything from Steve that any of Hillary's problems were self inflicted.


I believe "the special nature of her gender" refers to the fact this country has never elected a female president.


I'm not a Democrat, Kona. Bad assumption on your part.
Registration preferences are public record. You can run a check on anyone you like through the county clerk's office.


Steve, I apologize for not making my statement ("Steve (and most Democrats) illustrates this clearly in his comments above") more clearly. I did include you in the group with "most Democrats". I did not mean to state that you were a Democrat.


Thanks. I take pride in serving as an independent, non-partisan observer and participant in the political process.


I don't believe the usage of parentheses within parentheses is legal.


I was making no inferences at all.

Whom am I to suggest that laws may be obscured by the rich, famous and facts of a matter. You know, like the pictures (later declassified and released to the public before trial) that a sailor, for all intents and purposes, got hanged. Oh wait, my mistake, he wasn't rich, famous or running for public office was he.


My observation about this election is that if either of these candidates were decent they would be polling at least 20 points better than their opponent. This voting will measure the best of the worst and I think that will be Hillary Clinton. What a terrible situation when this country is in dire need of a quality person to be our President.

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