Obama’s Final Gift? I hope!

We have known of the cold relationship that our President has maintained with Israel’s leader.  It is displayed every time the two are anywhere near each other, and it is always precipitated by one of the two, our President Obama.  President Barack Obama has had, and obviously still has, some kind of personal issue with Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel.  This has been displayed in a series of childish gestures always instituted by our President.

The ultimate rebuke by Obama came yesterday in the United Nations when he instructed our UN Ambassador Samantha Powers to not exercise the U.S. veto power that has been regularly used in the past to protect the interests of Israel and to simply abstain from voting.  The UN was again debating the condemnation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.  The U.S. has typically vetoed this action every time, for the past 36 years, it has been brought for vote thus protecting the interests of Israel.  Obama’s directive and Powers’ action now put Isreal in a terrible position of being unable to try to settle this age-old issue through negotiation with the Palestinians given the weight of the UN edict.  Israel is now all alone in this world unless and until our next President can take steps to intercede.

This was, in essence then, a vote for the Palestinians and against Israel.  President-Elect Trump had encouraged a ‘No’ vote, so maybe this was a choice stick in two eyes at one time by our departing President.  To his credit, Trump vowed things would be different after January 20th.  That may be more easily said than made to happen given the slow and deliberate diplomatic procedures observed inside the UN.

Now we will watch as more posturing goes on between Israel and the many countries opposed to Israel’s existence in the world since the 1967 Mideast War that saw Israel take this land from the Palestinians.  Our position has historically been that this disagreement should be settled through negotiation.  That, frankly, would be the best solution for the Palestinians who couldn’t begin to mount an effective military campaign against Israel although there might be ‘allies’ who’d team up with the Palestinians simply to eliminate Israel.

If there should be another Mideast War, and this action could actually precipitate that occurrence, we need to remember at whose feet that responsibility lies:  President Barack Obama.  I don’t know if this can simply be blamed on a liberal mindset or if Obama is just so vindictive a man that he couldn’t pass up this opportunity to poke one more finger in Netanyahu’s eye.

Whatever the driver, this points to the smallness of our current President.  This should, and likely will, be his legacy for the rest of history.  He can take delight in playing his little power games with Congress, but this is a critical step that was taken and it could serve to destabilize a situation our country has worked diligently to diffuse over the years.  This frankly was a petty act on the part of our President who certainly knew that it could actually result in armed conflict.  The U.S. has any number of interests in that part of the world that would compel us to become involved militarily, and that could result in us facing off with Russia, another country with multiple interests in the area.

Maybe this was actually a tweak of Vladimir Putin who has seemed to be constantly under Obama’s skin.  If that was his intent, he is even more simple-minded than I have given him credit for being.  Not to overplay this, BUT…this could lead to a major conflagration especially if Putin has been looking for some excuse to show his muscle other than in photographs.

There are several possible reasons for Obama’s decision, none of which make any sense and all of which are dangerous to our national interests.  For all his seeming intelligence, there seems a decided lack of ‘street smarts’ and that may simply point to his lack of experience in everything other than being a small time liberal organizer and a backbench state Senator who cast no ‘yes’ or ‘no’ votes to avoid establishing a record that might’ve been used to keep him out of the Oval office.  This was his destiny, of course, so any route to get there was permissible for the liberals who thirsted for such a man.

I fear we will continue to pay the price for these past eight years for a long, long time to come.  I wish January 20th were already here, but I am sure that President-Elect Trump will be in touch, if he hasn’t already been in touch, with Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu.  It is already pretty easy to see the differences between what we’re ‘losing’ and what we’re ‘gaining’ in that Oval office.

Obama’s Exit Strategy…

President Obama is leaving behind everything he can think of as ‘a present’ for the President-Elect.  This is how petty and vindictive this man was, and is if there was any question about that.  Trump will have a lot of bumps in the road if President Obama has his way, and he expects to have his way.

This is all about Obama and his ‘legacy’ and about how he can cause the greatest level of extra work for the incoming President that will be required to overturn much of what this departing President has done with the stroke of his pen and without congressional action.

Newt Gingrich has most of the responsibility for a thing called the Congressional Review Act which might come in handy for our next Congress and President.  This Act may be the route to getting through the swamp that Obama and the Dems are working to leave behind.  Of course, Trump cannot be permitted to say that he intends to “drain the swamp” when he is sworn in as our next President.  That is apparently now a politically incorrect term.

We have experienced a dilettante, a person, in my opinion, without real commitment or knowledge, sitting in the Oval office for the past eight years.  This eight-year term has been more about him and less about us than any other eight-year presidency I can recall.  His vindictive approach is now to lay as many little traps for the incoming President as is possible for no other reason than to delay change and possibly sidetrack the new sheriff in town for a bit longer than necessary.

If nowhere else, one can see this in the pure, unadulterated bodily ‘swagger’ with which he carries himself.  Cockiness personified.

President-Elect Trump has a more commanding aura about him, some would call it a swagger or pomposity.  For some reason, Trump carries that well; it is his persona.  It is not something contrived or faked as seems the case with President Obama.  Trump can be, and is, a human being with a certain panache about him and that drives some in the media nuts, but that is the man and not some concoction to make him seem aloof and condescending as is the case with President Obama.

We have a current outgoing President trying in earnest to leave little ‘gifts’ behind that are intended to slow the incoming President, Trump, down a bit or to make him look foolish, or a combination of the two.

This is a petty display, at best, by the outgoing President.  If he were smart, he’d have been working diligently to make the new President’s entry into the Oval office as smooth as is possible.  But that is not Barack Obama, and we have seen this over and over again during these past eight years.  If one didn’t bow and scrape sufficiently before his majesty, they were ostracized and/or belittled.  This is not the mark of a natural leader, nor is it the mark of a mature leader comfortable in his or her own skin.

We welcome a real and genuine person to the Presidency on January 20th.  The change will be most refreshing.  There may be a few rough edges, but that is simply the man.  This will be a real person whether we like it or not on occasion.  We can see how comfortable he is in his own skin by the quality of the appointments he has made and is making.  He honestly wants the best people around him without any concern for having to share a spotlight.  He knows he will have more than enough spotlight time.

Refreshing!

Left in Turmoil…

I stay dialed into much of the left’s writings and musings as part of blogging from a conservative perspective.  It is, unfortunately, a necessary evil but, as the old saw goes, someone has to do it.  Today was no exception to the stream of liberal babble, to wit:

Michael Moore tweeted Tuesday:  “Trump is not president until 12 noon on Jan. 20th.  So we’ll continue to fight..hope to find a legal, nonviolent way to stop this madness.”

Paul Krugman, a New York Times columnist similarly tweeted;  “We should never accept this as OK.  It may be the new normal, but that’s a new normal in which the America we knew and loved is gone.”

Keith Olbermann advises his viewers not to refer to the incoming commander-in-chief as “President Trump”.

The Left has a real problem in trying to understand what happened to their movement.  The candidate they presented and the story they told didn’t measure up to the candidate presented and the story told by the Republicans.  It is quite simple.  I, for one, am happy that the Left so miscalculated the wants of the American voters.  It speaks to the lack of understanding of just where people were at this point.  Hillary Clinton was not the anointed one they thought she was.

That all having been said, we need to be prepared for pushback in Congress, and the Senate primarily, where arcane rules exist as to what constitutes a majority.  Just because there is a majority doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be enough votes to pass various things.  We have a U.S. Supreme Court justice to be nominated and approved for the seat.  That does not mean a simple majority is sufficient to make that happen.  This body has changed its rules over the course of years to fit whatever the party with the most votes AND the willpower to use those votes makes happen.

It seems that Republicans in the Senate have been more easily bamboozled/susceptible to threats by their Democrat associates than is true in the reverse. If that is something you’d like more information about, “Google” it using a search term along the lines of U.S. Senate majorities.  Wikipedia has a fairly extensive review of the changes that have occurred over time in that body, and of who had the chutzpah to make things happen for their side.

I am sorry to say that Republicans tended to play too nice thinking, apparently, that they might make the Democrats upset if they stuck to their guns.  I certainly hope that Republicans in this Congress make things happen without concern for upsetting Democrats.  We should have learned our lesson by this time.  Former Senator Harry Reid (D) who has finally gone home to Nevada, was a master at negotiating and then going back on his word when that proved the better approach for his Democrats.  Republicans have been too easily fooled; they have been a bit too trusting and were taken advantage of as the result.

These are critical times for our country.  The voters have spoken.  We conservatives must insist that our majority along with our new President get the work done as quickly as possible and using whatever arcane rules that may exist to our advantage.  The opposition has always done that.  Will the press have a conniption?  Very likely; it is what they do to Republicans knowing they can get away with it and recognizing that we all know where the loyalties of the media, in general, lie.

It is time to use the majority we have been provided by the voters.  That is what they wanted.  They had choices, albeit maybe not very good choices but that is the other side’s issue, and they chose Donald Trump and the Republican party.  This is the time to forget ‘nice’ and to hope the press will treat us fairly.  That ain’t ever gonna’ happen.  We delude ourselves if we believe it will happen.

The other side sees what we would call Republican nice, as Republican stupid and is ready to pounce on any and every opportunity to take advantage of that.  Former Senator Harry Reid (D) was a master of using that to get his way.  It is our time and it is our turn.

The future of the United States of America may very well be, and likely is, in the balance.  Vladimir Putin will certainly be staying dialed in to see what we do, as will ISIS and China.  Secure borders are critical to our future, although that is not to say that we shouldn’t continue to be a ‘melting pot’.  But we need to approach the melting pot need with wisdom and tough standards.  Germany is a perfect example of what happens if a country relaxes too much.

Whether the “wall” is real or simply figurative, border security is a big part of what resulted in a President-Elect Donald Trump.  We want to be welcoming, but we want to welcome with wisdom to be as certain as we can be that we are welcoming good people and not anarchists.  Our country was meant to be shared with others who hold beliefs similar to ours.

Let’s get on with the job Republicans!  And don’t worry about fallout; that will come no matter what you do.

Unwinding The Last Eight Years…

Obama’s Executive Orders will prove to be the major starting point for the coming Trump Administration.  Executive Orders are those neat things that permit the occupant of the Oval office to side-step Congress and to make whatever changes he or she thinks would be good.  Maybe not necessarily good for the country, but at least good for somebody.

Obviously, an outbound President might, if he were of the mind to do so, create Executive Orders that he hopes would extend beyond his four or eight years.  I would submit that in some cases Executive Orders might be detrimental to the country but might be issued simply because it made the occupant feel good about self on his or her way out the door.

The recent drilling/exploration ban on oil fields thought or known to exist in the Arctic region might be among those ‘feel good’ Executive Orders.  This is not something that would get through the current Congress but what the heck.  The President is trusted to act only in the best interests of the country; Presidents are not thought to be, nor expected to be, impetuous when in office since that might lead to bad outcomes.  That is part of the anti-Trump mantra after all.

We all know that the Executive Orders issued throughout President Obama’s eight years in office will be the initial playground for President Trump on the morning of January 21, 2017.  The list of actions has been developed for some time.  President Obama knows that as well and hence this latest effort by him to create something that cannot be changed by finding an archaic reference in some old piece of legislation that seems impossible for a new President to change.

This kind of action is not the mark of a good and decent President.  This is the action of an egotistical, I’m-the-smartest-guy-in-the-room, vindictive outgoing President.  History will make the decision as to the kind of president Barack Obama was.  I doubt history will be necessarily kind but that remains to be seen.  This kind of governance may well go a long way toward the determination that history will make several generations from now.

We all know, or should know, that the media has been and will continue to be in the bag for Obama.  Thus, expect to find a particularly combative press in the coming Trump era.  This will be a press that sees President Trump as an accident of some kind that snuck up on the next person in line, the first woman to be elected to the office, and stole the election.  It is impossible for Trump to have won the election honestly, or so the media opines, so he is suspect from day 1 forward.  And he’ll be treated as such.

There is, of course, a bit of a problem in this planned scenario.  President Donald Trump is anything but cowed by the media’s dislike; in fact, I think he feeds on that kind of thing and that he has fed on that kind of thing for years.

There is another problem in this planned scenario.  President Trump is going to be a very good President.  We who voted for him know that will be the case; true, we also know this will be all uphill since the media does not like him and, therefore, he cannot govern well since the press is all-knowing and omnipotent.  President Trump is going to drive a lot of people, here and abroad, nuts as they all try to put him in a certain place.

This presidency is not likely to be much like Obama’s presidency.  This new President has been around and has wielded power for a long time.  The last President not so much; actually not at all for that matter.

So, the initial changes will have to do with the Executive Orders issued by President Obama.  But, there will also be significant congressional activity since the Republicans control both the House and the Senate.  This White House team will go down in the history books as among the best ever created.  People who may have underestimated Donald Trump in the past would probably tell his new-found enemies not to underestimate the man.  Some might think that ‘enemies’ is too drastic a term, but I believe his political enemies will prove that my selected terminology was quite apropos.  They see him as just that.

One other thing that needs be remembered is this:  politics is a dirty business when hate is involved, and I don’t think ‘hate’ is too strong a term.  Donald Trump simply does not belong where he is going to be, or so the opposition would hold.   We need to buckle our chin straps; Trump and his team are accustomed to this world but we aren’t.

Behind the ObamaCare Curtain…

The Washington Post published some interesting numbers relating to ObamaCare.  Among those numbers was this:  “Health insurers get only 1.6% of the $6,000,000,000,000 (billion) they are owed for costly ACA customers.”

This is the amount claimed by insurers as promised to them for covering the cases they inherited without the ability to underwrite as had been the case prior to ObamaCare being put into play.  Nearly anyone of us would’ve been able to think through this scenario and recognize that the pent-up demand was going to be staggering.

This is but a part of President Obama’s legacy.  He is leaving behind him all sorts of ‘stuff’ that will be inherited by President-Elect Trump on January 20, 2017.  Yes, Virginia, he was elected by the Electoral College yesterday in spite of the shenanigans of the left.  There will be no President Hillary at least for the coming four years, and likely never after her shellacking and meltdown recently.  She might even be prosecuted, but that is for another day.

Back to reality.  I am not an actuary and apparently none were employed by the Democrats and President Obama since an actuary would’ve seen this coming in the first minute or two of reading how ObamaCare was to work.  The reality is simple.  No one could bring all the uninsureds into a program, create fictional premium levels to try to sucker enough people into the program and have enough money to avoid bankruptcy.  Many, if not a majority, of the people who jumped on the ObamaCare train, were people who had pre-existing conditions and had been going without coverage due to that.  This failure is not their fault.

This isn’t saying that they should be left on the side of the road, but it is to say that Democrats hoodwinked the country into thinking that, somehow, this would work.  My background was sales and marketing in the world of health insurers and HMOs so I am not a number-cruncher.  BUT, even a sales guy like me could see where this was headed.  ObamaCare was destined from day #1 to crash and burn.  The only real question was how long that result would take to materialize.

We have seen the number of insurers diminish for the coming year.  This is the reason for that number going down.  True, the insurers were prompted by greed, as well as fear of political repercussions, to get on this train in the first place.  But they were told that the President had their back.  That wasn’t true and today’s reality proves that wasn’t true.  This failure is not their fault.  This lays squarely at the feet of 100% of Democrats who passed this monster in the dark of night and at the feet of President Obama.  This is among his legacies.

There is a thing in this world of health insurance called the ‘death spiral’.  That is the point at which something cannot be resurrected.  It becomes impossible to sell enough new business at higher premium levels to offset the staggering losses accumulated.

So, President-Elect Trump and the Republican-dominated Congress have another challenge from Inauguration day forward.  They will work through these issues but not without shrill voices from the left.  Some of the older Dems have decided the next few years won’t be any fun, so they’re bowing out.  What in the world will the Senate be like without people like Dingy Harry?  Will it be a working Senate and not an obstructionist Senate?

Conservatives have a golden opportunity with President Trump and a solid majority in both the House and the Senate.  This is a time for coming together putting petty internecine squabbles behind for the benefit of the country.  There are some Republicans for whom this will be challenging since they have always been the gadflies who drive other Republicans nuts believing they are making a difference.  That has to be channeled into useful energy driving the ball across the goal line on many different issues.  We will see how mature and selfless some can be, and I suspect/fear we’ll have our share of disappointments in that respect.

The ObamaCare restructuring is a paramount issue.  It is in a death spiral and many now depend upon it.  It will not be an easy task but it must be completed and it must be done well.

And, ObamaCare is but one of many issues awaiting our next set of leaders.  We live in a dangerous world.  Russia is just waiting for an opportunity.  China is angry that we will not let it increase its domination in the Pacific.  The ISIS crisis being left to us by President Obama will be problematic.

The Obama legacy seems rather tarnished and he hasn’t even left office yet.  Maybe we will learn from this eight years.  Maybe we will be a bit more discriminating when another shiny object cries out to be noticed.  One thing is certain, we’ll have a whole different White House come January 20th.  And that President and his staff will need our prayers given the state of the world.

Ideally, the Democrats would refocus and become willing partners helping to drive our country to bigger and better things.  Maybe I hope for too much…but it would be nice, for a change.

Have You Lost All Hope?

If we are to heed the words of the First Lady, we are apparently now all without hope.  That, of course, would have to do with her husband being in the process of leaving the White House and with the fact that Donald Trump will soon be sitting behind the big desk in the Oval office.

There seems a relatively simple way to define liberals as there is to define conservatives.  Liberals are into feelings.  Conservatives are into facts.  That is a simple distinction, but it is also a factual distinction.

As the power of the Presidency is about to be granted to Donald Trump, a conservative, at our behest and taken from Barack Obama, a liberal, after our votes were counted it seems that all the liberals are able to come up with are catchy little phrases since they find it otherwise impossible to describe what they are ‘feeling’.

We are being told how we ought to be fearing the actual presidency of Donald Trump.  Contrast that if your memory permits with the days leading up to the inauguration of the dream President, Barack Obama.  That was equated to some earth-shaking new world thing that liberals could only define with phrases about feeling this and feeling that.  Now those same liberals are telling us what we ought to be fearing since a conservative by the name of Donald Trump is about to be sworn into the highest office in our land, and very probably in our world.

These are the same people who would encourage electors to ignore their mandate from us voters and cast their electoral ballot for Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump.  Electors have been bombarded with tens of thousands of pleas from the leftists to defy their duty and elect Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump.

Now we see the liberals in congress plotting the use of filibuster tactics to deny Republicans the opportunity to support President Donald Trump in anything and everything including his appointments to the United States Supreme Court.  Apparently, the mantra is simply “if we can’t win we can at least obstruct”.  That is just how they feel.

I note that all those who claimed they’d leave the country if there was a President Trump are still here.  They apparently simply don’t feel they have to live up to their verbal declarations.  Does that surprise any of us who describe ourselves as conservatives?  I doubt that one conservative could be found who thinks that way.  Those darned facts seem to get in the way of us feeling like a liberal.

Will there be difficulties under a President Trump?  It would defy logic to claim there’d be none.  There are despots and dictators in our world who’ll simply have to probe the will of President Trump by doing and/or saying things.  But, it is those very people who have to be engaged by our President rather than simply ignored by our President as has too often been the case these past eight years.  We will have an active, versus passive, approach to our relations with others in the world.  We will initiate some of those approaches and we’ll react to other needs for that approach.

President Trump will make his decisions based on realities and facts.  There will be no mistaking where the United States of America stands under President Trump.  Those who do not understand that will, in one way or another, come to understand fully this new President.  They may or may not like what they see, but they’ll know what they’re dealing with and will understand that feelings just aren’t as powerful under this leadership as they were under the past leadership.

We have already seen some of this in the appointments named by Trump.  They defy the usual approach in that many of the appointees are from the world of commerce where they have actually done for their stockholders what us U.S. stockholders, the citizens, want for our country.  This frightens those who deal in feelings while those of us who deal in facts are pleased, not frightened.  Oprah Winfrey can do the feeling thingy.  The leftist press can do that feely thing like they have always done the feeling thing.  Our President does not need to engage in that.

Beyond this, there is that U.S. Supreme Court that will take on a new complexion as President Trump makes his appointments and Congress approves those appointments. There is a list of more than four dozen Federal court appointments needing action quickly.  The Congress and President will take on a proactive approach.  We will again be taking our message to the leaders of the world rather than hoping not to hear from them as has been the past approach.

If there are people reading this blog who feel hopeless, I invite you to try the conservative approach. Begin to think rather than to just feel.  Try to see the facts as if they were something requiring your personal decision.  I’d imagine that you could find out that you are more conservative than you might believe.  I doubt that liberals run around giving their own money away to worthless causes.  I doubt that you would offer more for a new car than it is worth to you just because that seems the right thing to do.  I doubt that you would knowingly deprive our country of a sound and functional military if you gave serious thought to the fact that it protects you just as it protects conservatives.  Give conservatism a chance even if you can’t admit that to any of your friends.  You can stay in the closet if need be to maintain the aura of liberalism; we conservatives will welcome you just the same.

Notice a Trend?

Seems only a short time ago that the recreational use of Marijuana being voted on was begun.  Today the recreational use of ‘Weed’ is okay in Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, California, Alaska, Washington, D.C., Colorado, and Oregon.

Am I feeling what the old-time “teetotallers” felt with the approval of the use of alcohol?  Maybe so, but I suspect that, even as bad as alcohol has been for those who are unable to control their level of use, the use of Marijuana will prove to have been significantly worse.

It could be, with what we see passed regularly in our Congress, that we are already seeing the impact in Washington, D.C.  But, as I tend to do, I digress.

On a very serious note, I believe this trend will prove to have been much worse than the use of alcohol has proved to have been for millions of people dependent on alcohol and essentially being unable to function without a significant consumption of alcohol daily.  Marijuana seems to have a more insidious effect upon its users.  They do not consume so much that they pass out on the street as is the case with alcohol, but they consume sufficient amounts so as to lose all sense of propriety and to forget whatever social mores they might’ve been taught by their parents; mentioning parents, the using parents of youngsters tend to be less effective parents than non-using parents.  They obviously are setting a poor example for their children, who will have a significantly higher rate of usage having seen it in their “normal” home life.

We have embarked on the rapid slide down a slippery slope, and we codify that by voting to approve the use of marijuana state-by-state-by-state.  There is something wrong with this picture.