Voter ID. Just a Wisconsin Issue?

I have lived in Wisconsin all my life except for a couple of military-induced moves to Kentucky and Washington.  You can plainly see that I have led a very sheltered life.  I actually grew from being a youngster to adulthood believing that the vast percentage of all people were ‘as honest as the day is long’.  Then my life’s adventures took me to the suburbs of Milwaukee, WI and I learned what a sheltered life I had apparently led to that point.

I had/have, for so long as I could/can remember, been a conservative, and therefore a Republican voter.  I am still not a member of the Republican Party, but fully believe I am at least as conservative as the majority of those folks.  But even more importantly than all this, I am God-fearing and I am honest.  I simply expect that everyone I encounter is also an honest, upstanding citizen.  (I have, however, come to understand that to be, unfortunately, a naive idea.)

Given that background, I am still amazed over the issue called Voter ID since I do still expect everyone to be honest (obviously a personal weakness).  But, I have come to accept the reality that not everyone is honest. My morning newspaper confirms that for me every day, unfortunately.

The sides people take over whether or not there ought to be a requirement that people prove they are who they claim they are, and that they are residents of the place where they’re trying to vote, make me scratch my bald head in wonder.  There appear to be two sides to this ‘issue’.  It seems that those of us who are Republican/conservative voters believe that everyone ought to have to prove they are valid, registered voters.  It seems that those who are Democrats/liberals have some issues with that kind of a requirement.  I don’t know how your personal world is, but our issue has been going on for some time now, and it involves Federal judges as well as the politicians who occupy the seats of governance in our state.

We have a requirement that people be able to provide photo ID or an acceptable substitute to be able to cast a ballot in Wisconsin.  Driver’s licenses with photos are quite acceptable as are a myriad of other approved documents.  The state Motor Vehicle Department has stepped up its availability so that it can gather the proof that a person is who he or she claims to be, and then it issues a photo ID/Driver’s License.  The MVD also issues simply a photo ID for those who may be impaired and unable to drive, so that issue is covered.  The MVD has extended its operational hours in an effort to make itself available to anyone and everyone desiring an ID to be able to cast a ballot.  There are a number of alternative identification measures that those who work in our polling places are able to accept so that every eligible voter is able to cast his or her ballot.

Once again, we have an activist, in my opinion, U.S. District Judge who has AGAIN (yes, he has done this before) issued his finding that the current iteration discriminates against minorities.  He has written: “The Wisconsin experience demonstrates that a preoccupation with mostly phantom election fraud leads to real incidents of disenfranchisement, which undermine rather than enhance confidence in elections, particularly in minority communities.  To put it bluntly, Wisconsin’s strict version of voter ID law is a cure worse than the disease.”

Republicans are cast as wanting to deny the voting privilege to some while the Democrats and liberals are cast as wanting to assure that all who are entitled to vote can vote.  Quite the neat little package wrapped in a bow that the liberals have provided to overshadow the ISSUE which continues to be an ISSUE.  The old bromide, vote early-vote often, almost seems to have taken on a life of its own.  If one political leaning is always in favor of voter ID and one is always attempting to avoid strengthened voter ID laws, would it not seem to make sense that voter ID is very probably necessary?

Why else would Democrats and liberals favor no voter identification laws other than because the lack of these requirements would favor them more so than the opposition? There is no other reason.  And, we all know it.

This issue points up how important it is for Republicans and conservatives to gain stronger footholds at all levels of governance.  It will take years, unfortunately, because political favors granted have lives of their own.  Look at the federal judicial system comprised almost entirely of appointees and ask yourself if that would’ve happened had the Republicans/conservatives held positions of power as often and for as long as have their counterparts.

Is Voter ID necessary?  Yes, for so long as liberals decry it!


Clinton vs. Trump…Trump vs. Clinton

We have finally reached the destination from where we will watch and listen as the two candidates for the presidency of the United States of America campaign for our individual votes.  The two major political parties have officially made known the wishes of their respective membership gatherings.

As if we had not had enough of campaigns and the verbal jousting and claims that go along with those campaigns, we awaken today to the realization that this is just beginning in earnest.  We have done nothing more than narrow the field in both parties…except we’ve known what that outcome was going to be for some time.

We may, by now, have already made our selections from the two people whom we’ve known were going to be the candidates.  There has been virtually no question for weeks , if not months, as to whom each party would mount as their candidate of choice.  Many, if not most of us, have also known for whom our vote would be cast barring any last minute foul-up on our favored candidate’s part.  So, the drama is actually centered on which of the two people who have cleared their party’s hurdles will be least inept during this final phase.

That seems a crass way to state this final leg of this important election, important to us and to the rest of the world.  Whoever is the last to foul up, or whoever fouls up in the most noticeable manner will probably not become our next President, all other things being equal.  Is the race for the presidency really about who fouls up least, or who has gone without fouling up for the longest time period?

If this is what we have reduced this decision-making process to, we have likely made our forefathers roll over in their graves.  We seem to be auditioning our next president based on his or her most recent performance, more than we seem to be measuring the man or the woman based on the totality of their adult work product.  We are asked to forget the embarrassing moments of one or the other candidates.  We are asked to ‘make believe’ that we know which will be the best under the pressure of the Oval Office.

How can we intelligently answer that question when we have no basis for measuring the person against what they will have to bear up under other than anecdotally?  We have not ‘been there and done that’.

We make our best guess and we cast our ballot.  We forget that we were influenced by the snappiest campaign slogan and the by the roar of the crowds who attended their campaign events.  We need to take our personal measure of the totality of the person; we need to remember everything we can remember about how they performed under stress in their earlier life as well as during the campaign.

Our selection process is imperfect.  It can be nothing else but imperfect.  We place our trust but we have little basis for that placement of trust unless we know the candidate personally.  We take the word of others who have known the candidate for years, and who believe they know the person truly well.  We vote on faith since there is virtually nothing else for us to base our decision upon.  We watch as the candidate makes his or her way through the grueling campaign process.  We try to remember what they did or didn’t do in important earlier positions.

We vote our gut and we vote our heart…and we pray that our choice will prove to have been the right choice…but we don’t know until the first test comes once the person takes the office. Sometimes we feel like we did well with our vote, and sometimes we wish we could have a do-over but we have to wait until the next four-year term is up for grabs.

We should spend some time analyzing and spend some time praying…and then make up our minds.

Marilyn Mosby Has Had Enough…

Marilyn Mosby, Democratic State’s Attorney in Maryland has finally, after three failed attempts, decided she is not going to engage in further attempted prosecutions of Baltimore police officers in the Freddie Gray case.  He was handcuffed and shackled and placed in a police van during the April 2015 riots in Baltimore, and died in that van following transport from the scene of his arrest.

Six officers were involved and, in her opinion, each was criminally responsible and each was charged.  The three officers who had faced their trials were each acquitted by the Judge, Barry Williams, who found there was not sufficient evidence to convict on the charges of which they stood accused.  Each of these three officers was on trial in separate trials before the same judge, and the cases were all tried by State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.  She has dropped the remaining charges against the other three officers who were involved.

Marilyn Mosby is a very telegenic, sometimes angry, black lady.  Eddie Gray was a black man.  Judge Williams is also black.  Gray was 25 years old and was involved in the riots that stemmed from the Black Lives Matter movement in Baltimore.  Obviously, these were high profile cases in a very uptight community.  Mosby apparently thought she had solid cases against all six officers but she was proved wrong in the three that went to trial.

An AP news report read thusly:  “On Wednesday, she (Mosby) was fiery and indignant as she spoke from a podium across the street from the public housing complex where Gray was arrested.  She angrily blamed the outcome on an uncooperative police department and a broken criminal justice system.”

If you recall this riot, the city of Baltimore appeared to be on fire.  The rioters were ignoring the commands of officers and some were arrested as the result.  Eddie Gray was among those arrested.  Mosby thought she could gain convictions because she thought the police officers involved had over-reacted and that Eddie Gray had not been properly restrained before transport, and that this was the proximate cause of his death.  She tried three separate officers in three separate trials before the same judge.  She lost all three. How was it that she thought she’d get a conviction when the evidence presented was essentially the same and it was being heard by the same judge?

I suspect this occurrence was, in Mosby’s mind, her Golden Ticket.  She thought she was going to prove the bias against blacks by the Baltimore Police and gain personal fame that would permit her to achieve greater heights at the hands of the voters.  She must have believed that the evidence was sufficient or she certainly wouldn’t have proceeded to trial; at least she wouldn’t have gone to trial two more times thinking there’d be a different outcome.

The family of Eddie Gray did receive some $6.4 million dollars from the City of Baltimore as settlement of their claim of what probably was called wrongful death.

It will be interesting to follow Mosby’s career; I suspect we’ll hear and see more of her.

What a Team – Hill & Debbie…

It is hardly a surprise to learn that Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz might have been/might continue to be in ‘cahoots’ with one and other with or without the Democratic Party’s approval.   It is not, unfortunately, hard to believe that these two would stoop to such depths to assure Hillary a victory when the Democratic party convened for its convention.

It is hardly a surprise to learn that Bernie Sanders was very likely out-maneuvered by this ‘dynamic duo’, albeit not in the name of truth and justice. It is hardly a surprise that there may just be another e-mail fiasco to be learned about that includes these two wonderful, upstanding people, Hillary and Debbie.

What is now and will continue to be a surprise is simply that the devoted and honest members of the Democratic Party seem to be willing to ignore the lengths to which some in their party will go in order to assure an outcome favorable to Hillary Clinton.  This should if we were all willing to pay attention, go a long way toward assuring a victory for Donald Trump since I presume we are all loath to support an effort so tainted as this effort by people who believed themselves to be above either the law or party principles or both.

In spite of the glowing tribute paid to Hillary Clinton by her husband, who owes her far more than just that for her forbearance and forgiveness, it is almost a caricature of the old-time political parties simply watching the current Democratic Party work to make itself irrelevant through its own machinations.  Remember how the fat cats had the party regulars lapping up whatever they gave out as the truth?  That no longers seems just a distant memory.

Before this is all wrapped up in a nice, pretty bow, Donald Trump is going to appear pristine by comparison since he is starting out in the lead for that designation even now, and we know this is likely just the tip of the Democratic iceberg.  When there are seemingly so many threads to be pulled, even this press (a/k/a mainstream media) that desires to ‘hear nothing and see nothing’ like old Colonel Klink, so far as the Democrats are concerned will, one earnestly hopes, be unable to continue to ignore the array of evidence that shows the Democrats are tainted, and by their own hands.

If you weren’t observing this in real time, it would be almost impossible to believe it.  No accomplished fiction writer would try to sell this as the plot for a best-seller, but the Democrats are going to give that one heck of a shot.

Is Hillary Clinton Really Held To A Different Standard? *

Hillary Clinton believes she is held to a different standard, or at least she whines about/professes to hold that belief.  She has, at least in this phase of her life, felt that she is always being watched and always being measured.

She is absolutely correct.  HILLARY CLINTON IS HELD TO A DIFFERENT STANDARD than almost any other individual in the political world.  I know this is a shocking statement coming from a person who is seen as someone who doesn’t think Hillary ought to be our next President, but I digress.

Hillary Clinton has gotten away with things that you or I would have served time for if we were brought to trial and had been convicted.  She may have been convicted in the ‘court of public opinion’ but she has never stood trial for her shenanigans in a real court.  Nor will she ever stand trial in a real court for any of her past conduct.

She has, however, stood trial in many minds, especially conservative minds, all across this country, and very likely across the world since our politics in the U.S. is important to many in other countries given their reliance on us in one form or another.

The reality is that Hillary Clinton has been convicted in many conservative minds many times over.  I suspect there are liberal minds that have also tried and convicted her but about which we’ll hear nothing. There are, of course, questions about how that can be true and she still be in the running as a candidate for President of the United States.  Those are valid questions.  The apparent answer is that she has been given some kind of political ‘force field’ that serves to repel any taint of foul play or unfair advantage having been given and/or taken.  At the least, her force field is activated for many people of the liberal persuasion, too many if I were to be the judge.

So Hillary Clinton is on her way to being the Democrat’s candidate for President of the United States following in her husband’s footsteps; but, obviously, she would be the first female to hold that office if she were to be elected.  That makes this election very special but will it be special enough that voters will actually think before they vote?

The sad truth is that Hillary Clinton is held to a different standard, and it is that different standard that would have us forget, or at least disregard, the unseemly side of her life. Forgiveness only follows the admission of wrong-doing and that has not occurred for this person.

I wonder why it seems that only conservatives can see this.  Is it that we are so brain-washed as to be unable to see anything other than what we want to see?  That is probably what my liberal friends, probably fewer and fewer all the time at the rate I’m going, would tell me.  Or is it simply selective recognition on the part of the liberal mind that permits it to be so incensed over conservative positions as to see only what it chooses to see?  I know what I think is the answer to that set of questions but that is just me.

  • Special thanks to Jay Weber of WISN 1130AM for the spark of thought he provided this morning that inspired this blog today!

Democrats & E-Mails & The Press…

Does it strike you as unusual/coincidental that both Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz have had/still have e-mail issues?  Is this something to do with Democrat DNA?

I have little, if any, love for Ms. Wasserman-Schultz or for Hillary Rodham Clinton, other than as members of the human race and, much more importantly, given the fact they are both creations of God as are you and me.

We know we are imperfect.  It seems that on occasion some of us are very much publicly imperfect, and that seems to be the bug that has afflicted both Hillary and Debbie. To think that both would have issues relating to e-mails is almost beyond belief but then again they might each have collaborated with the other to work out the plans for all we know or will ever know.  At least one of them is paying something of a price for her e-mail issue although that is very much subject to question.

Between the Republicans and the Democrats, we have what seems to be a most exciting election season ahead.  It would seem there ought to be equal opportunity-steamrolling going on given both parties’ situations.  At least that would seem to be the case if there were not a decided tilt to the way the national press corps appears to see and report on things political.  Even before this season is really under way, we are being entertained daily by one or the other party or even both simultaneously.

I will be quite interested in observing just how the press plays this convention as compared to the convention that just recently concluded.  Try as the members of the press might, it seems there is a bias that simply cannot be overcome by our mainstream media. This is a golden opportunity for them to prove my suppositions incorrect.

Back to the moment.  Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was forced to resign as the Chair of the Democratic National Committee over e-mails that came back to bite her.  She was anything but happy about this turn of events. She has always reminded me of a wild animal in search of something else Republican to tear apart, as viciously and as publicly as possible.  She is probably the most politically-driven person in politics today if outward appearance is used to make the call.

In deference to the Clintons,  either or both would give Debbie Wasserman-Schultz a run in this department except for being a bit more subtle about it, but she seems the leader at the moment.  Of course, there is much more to be seen in this campaign season.  We have a man on one side who is not shy about calling them the way he sees ’em going against a woman who can be as vituperative as any human I’ve encountered.  Sounds as though we are in for a most entertaining election season if we can just take our personal preferences out of the equation…which admittedly is very difficult to do if we are at all passionate about our politics.

A very real question through all of this is “where will the press stand?”  Will there be equal-opportunity criticism or will there be a decided tilt in one direction or the other?  If there will be a tilt in one direction or the other, in which direction will the favorable tilt go and in which will the unfavorable go?

Any bets on the Democrats?  I didn’t think so.

Elect One, Get One…

Sounds like one of those ‘buy one – get one’ deals we see all the time, but this is the first time in my memory that it actually might pertain to an election; to a national election no less. We are going to have the ‘opportunity’ to vote for Hillary Clinton for President and get her hubby, former President Bill Clinton, as part of the deal.  The first First Gent in history.

Usually a buy one-get one deal is a good deal.  That amounts to a 50% discount on regular prices.  Who wouldn’t think that was a bargain?

But in the world of politics, I am not at all sure that a two-for-one deal is worth the anguish that seems certain to follow.  Hillary Clinton in the White House again (this time as President and not just First Lady) is more than sufficient to give me nightmares, but the idea of Hillary and Bill in the White House again with him running loose as First Gent on our dime seems to be too much to tolerate and/or risk.  Hillary has not been able to control Bill to this point. Why would we think that possible now with roles reversed?

These two people likely have dirty laundry about which we know virtually nothing other than to be able to be reasonably certain it exists.  Hillary has been unable to control Bill since the beginning of their relationship.  How will she manage to do so now without issuing an order that he not be permitted out of the White House without her permission. Even that guarantees nothing.  We know of his lurid ‘antics’ in the Oval Office and he was our President at the time.  As First Gent, he is likely to feel even more freedom to act out. This is akin to party time on campus.

How will we know if President Hillary has put First Gent Bill up to seeing how this or that will reverberate if she pushes it forward?  Will he be a roving ambassador with super portfolio?  How are world leaders supposed to know the limits of his authority if he suddenly shows up supposedly at the direction of the President of the United States?  Can we trust that Bill will not party hardy with Russian President Vladimir Putin and agree to some deal that he doesn’t remember the next day around 2:00 pm  when he finally awakens?

Hillary could have Bill chained to a stake in the ground somewhere and still not know that he isn’t going to get himself, her and/or us in trouble in spite of that.  He is a man of remarkable talents, after all, and he probably still remembers where all the skeletons are buried.

Or, does Hillary already know she won’t be able to control the First Gent and consequently has simply made peace with herself that she or someone in her highly skilled entourage can bail him out of nearly anything he gets himself into?  Will Bill have his own private server in the White House basement?  Will Bill have a security clearance?  Could Bill pass the rigorous requirements to obtain a Top Secret clearance, or has he carried one since his Presidency?  He’d almost need that clearance level to sleep with the President.  She might talk in her sleep or he might read an e-mail to or from her on a private server hidden somewhere on the White House grounds.

These things sound somewhat ridiculous on the surface until you think about who we are talking about, and until you reflect on all the shenanigans that these two have had direct or near-direct involvement in heretofore.  For example, how great a return will Hillary realize as President in the cattle futures market?  If she could turn $10,000 into $100,000 in a few weeks trading in cattle futures as a poor Arkansas Governor’s wife, what will she be able to do as the President?

Fair Warning: I am not responsible for any nightmares you may experience.  Do not read this just before bedtime.