“What Happened”

Hillary Clinton’s newest book, “What Happened”, sets out more excuses for her loss to President Trump.  Of course, anyone losing to Trump, as inept and inarticulate as he has been made out to be, needs an excuse; how very embarrassing if you had to take the blame for that defeat all by yourself.

Ms. Clinton is no stranger to the art of excuses as a form of deflection of criticism so one might live another day in the world of politics.  Think “Benghazi”.  Think “Rose Law Firm”.  Think “bodies” in cemeteries.  The news media largely supported her effort to become President even though she carries tons of baggage that would be incriminating, or at least “eliminating” for anyone but a Clinton.

The top ten reasons she cites are these:

The Russians, Barack Obama, Voter Suppression, Sexism, Bernie Sanders, James Comey, The Mainstream Media, The Electoral College, Fake News and Bad Polling.

There seems no end to the excuses Hillary and Company will use to attempt to eliminate any thought that she might simply be unlikable.  How could anyone not like her?  Well, there are a lot of reasons, but chief among them for me is her apparent inability to take a message from this election.  She LOST.  She did not receive enough raw votes as those equate to Electoral College impact.  This was no one’s fault but hers.  It was not the fault of her campaign managers, or polling data, or anyone or anything else.

Enough of us voters have decided we want nothing further to do with Hillary Clinton, and neither do we want anything further to do with her immediate family.  Hillary Clinton and Family have been given every possible pass, and yet she cannot overcome one simple barrier: she is not likeable and we do not think her so brilliant a leader that we’re willing to overlook the obvious.

Far from bearing a small part of the blame for her loss, the mainstream media, instead, bear a significant amount of blame for continuing to provide her with a built-in platform, supposedly apolitical, with which to contact and interact with voters.

One of the things that likely come to bear in her seeming inability to accept this defeat is that of whom she was defeated by…Donald Trump.  That might well be the perfect example of ‘adding insult to injury’ for a female politician who has been a hanger-on for years in spite of her history, and that of her family, daughter included.

Hillary Clinton does not have what the majority of voters want.  One can take his or her choice from a lengthy list of possible ‘things’ that can be brought into this mix of toxic politics.  If we wanted another Clinton, that would’ve occurred already.  And, that she was defeated by this guy Trump, has to have been almost unbearable.  I mean, my goodness.  How in the world did she manage to lose to him?

It was, and is, quite simple.  Hillary Clinton has passed the “Use By” date on her brand.  It just is not going to happen no matter how many times she tries nor against whom she runs.  If us voters are capable of learning from our history, we’ll also be certain to not entertain daughter Chelsea for a political career.  She is likely so well endowed financially, however, that she’d not even consider a run, but…

So “What Happened” is that the preponderance of knowledge about the ‘product’ has finally caught up with the ‘product’ rendering it no longer suitable as a viable ‘product’ in the marketplace.

That is quite simple and very probably quite permanent.  At the least, we can hope.

 

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Watergate Days…

Hillary Rodham Clinton was very much in the center of the U.S. political world during the Watergate hearings, and before as she helped drive her husband’s career in spite of his peccadilloes (as he and she apparently saw his sexual meanderings).  The picture below shows her during a congressional hearing when she was a congressional staffer.  She was obviously infected with the political bug then and has never gotten over that fever.

Jun14-Glastris-CongressLobotomy

Hillary has been in our national political world since her husband’s tour of connection-enriching duty as Governor of Arkansas.  She was destined, apparently, to make it big in national politics.  And, Sam Donaldson had those sideburns even then.

Has she succeeded in that quest?  Most of us know her by sight, so by that standard, she is a well-known person in political circles.  For many of us, thankfully, she is a too well-known quantity and for that reason, it seems doubtful she’ll ever attain that which she has chased, lusted after, for years…the Presidency of the United States.

Looking back at history such as this reminds us that there are many, many people who have certain driving images of self.  Most of us, I think, are not so personally-ego-driven as to have planned our systematic progression up the ladder to a really big ultimate goal.  Sure, we may’ve dreamed about such attainments, and we may’ve begun our climb.  But, life has a way of making us take certain course-corrections during our journey that we’d never have thought would occur as we began our journeys.

If we are fortunate enough, we reach a point of reflection where we’re able, if we choose, to look at the good, the bad and the ugly of our personal lives.  We can see those times when a decision made turned into success.  And, we can see those times when the opposite occurred as the result of a decision taken.  Very few of us were on truly public display during our climb up the ladder of life to the degree that the Clintons have been displayed…and we can likely be very grateful that we weren’t if we are to be brutally honest with ourselves.  I cannot imagine a life lived by any of us humans that haven’t included a few self-reflective head-shaking moments…and probably more than just a few.

Woulda’, coulda’, shoulda’ might be watchwords for any one of us even though those would usually be confined to very private, personal reflective moments.  Those might be our personal “come-to-Jesus” moments experienced while we’re alive.  If we are fortunate, we gain from all our experiences; however, those experiences that hurt usually seem to carry greater lessons.  As with anything, there are quick learners and there are slow learners.  There are those who are driven and there are those who are not.  There are those whom we’d gladly follow, and there are those who we wouldn’t follow even if we were paid to do so.

We have some control in our lives and where we’ll go and what we’ll do in those lives.  For some, there is a vivid calling.  For others, the calling is/was more subdued,  maybe even non-recognizable until the reflective later years when self-honesty seems an easier pill to swallow.

In the final analysis, we come to the point where we need to be able to be at peace with ourselves as we contemplate our lives; our successes, our hopes compared to our accomplishments; and yes, even those times when we failed since we have all failed during this life in one or more ways.  You and I have been given the opportunity to have done these things without the glare of public opinion shining on us; our private lives were far more private than the Clintons’ private lives have been.

But another blessing for you and for me.

 

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Fake News & Fact Checkers…

We are inundated with ‘news’ and if we are truly ‘news junkies’ we are buried moreso than most others.  This link purports to identify what we can usually rely on vs. that upon which we should never rely: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10eA5-mCZLSS4MQY5QGb5ewC3VAL6pLkT53V_81ZyitM/edit.

This is a 34-page spreadsheet, by the way, to give you an idea of the magnitude of the potential threat of fake or bogus or simply unreliable sources for news these days.  This is likely not the ‘end all and be all’ on the subject.  I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the lists of fake news sources change quite often.

There is a danger in relying too heavily on much of what we find on the Internet.  I suspect that you would agree.  And yet, there is a lot of time spent aimlessly cruising the Internet; and yes, some of that time is spent while we’re on the boss’s payroll.  I am my own boss, so I can get away with that.  How else would I have found this 34-page listing?  Google can be addicting, too.

There is a very serious side to all this, however.  Too many people are too gullible and take whatever they’d like to believe is true as fact simply because it proves their particular theory or political position.  I suspect that some of the self-claimed fact checkers are likely the worst offenders and this 34 pages would seem to lend credence to that supposition.

The more insidious kind of ‘news’ is that which is dressed as news but is, in fact, nothing more than embellished opinion.  My blog is my opinion, almost always based on fact but still my opinion, and you can choose to believe it or disbelieve it.  There are no pretenses involved.

If you do take the time to look through this list, you’ll note the number of websites that mimic real news sites, and that purport to be something they’re not.  If you or I weren’t being very careful, we could easily hit ‘enter’ and find ourselves in a bad place so far as legitimate news is concerned.  This applies not to just to flat-out bogus sites but also to some of the ‘almost real’ news sites.  I have been ‘misdirected’ by search engines that assume what I must be seeking based on a few keystrokes and taking me to what they have determined I want demonstrating how great they are.

Some of us are old enough to remember the ‘carny hucksters’ we’d encounter at the local fair.  They were glib and had a degree of showmanship that drew you in for their whole song and dance routine.  Sometimes this was coupled with that scantily-clad pulchritudinous young lady who took your mind off what the huckster was saying just enough to confuse you into the purchase.

What we face today is far more insidious than that huckster, and yet we seem too often to forget that the Internet is not always our friend.

We are not just talking about some gimmicky product that we can hold in our hands either.  More and more we are talking about ideas that are espoused as meaning one thing but, in fact, are disguised so that we’ll be lulled into the false sense that we need this or that law passed by Congress.  Yes, there are political ‘hucksters’ and we’re exposed to their words and insinuations daily if we permit that to occur.

How many well-named bills get passed only to later be found as having been misleading?  We thought we’re voting for ‘this’ when, in fact, we voted for ‘that’.  The old-time ‘carny huckster would take us for a twenty dollar bill.  These political hucksters will take us for millions of tax dollars if we permit that.  That is bad enough, but then they come home to campaign for re-election, and they ‘snow’ us again because we’re just plain gullible and can’t believe that someone might not be as honest as are we.  Or, the bill has a great name that we later learn was the exact opposite of what the bill was really about.

My sweetheart protects me from these types of decisions because she usually is not a ‘see it and buy it’ person, but rather needs to sleep on the idea for a night or two.  I can’t imagine the angst she has saved us from feeling, although I confess I’m a bit peeved going home without the purchase that day.

Our parents, if yours were like mine, saved us from some of this by instilling in us the old saw;  “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”.  Be sure of your facts when politics are involved.  Try to see both sides of issues; that often exposes the weakness of your side as well as of their side.

BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL ON THE INTERNET.  Much is not what it would seem, except for the following shameless commercial:

 

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Mixed Bag…

We have a mixed bag of topics today…

Hillary has now taken to blaming white women for her defeat.  Seems that everyone, and everything, other than Hillary is at fault in Hillary’s latest loss.  Who knows who or what might be next in line as the scapegoat of the day/week/month/year?

Hillary has turned herself into a pathetic bag of stale political garbage with her whining and serial excuse making.  She does not seem to grasp the reality:  she is not liked by more than those who do like her.  Every excuse is but another page in this great new book that could be titled: I am perfect but no one seems to notice.

 

Kim Jung-un will obviously keep firing missiles until he runs out or until we finally say “enough is enough” and decimate his military capabilities.  The danger is that we never know when he will have slipped the final cog in his mental wheel and actually tries to hit a target other than the ocean.  We will get nowhere, and get there quickly if we continue with threats that have no muscle behind them.

He will not learn his lesson unless and until we hurt him and hurt him badly.  I’d prefer assassination since that can be targeted specifically at him without hurting the North Korean populace that has paid dearly for Kim already.  This contrived ‘issue’ will not go away unless we make it go away…and preemptively is better than after the fact.

 

Sanctuaries from the federal law cannot exist in the United States of America.  That is is an oxymoron since the federal law applies to every inch of ground that is part of the United States of America.  Every entity that declares itself a ‘sanctuary’ from our country’s laws and policies ought to immediately lose every penny of Federal funding.  You and I obey the laws of the land.

President Trump may be judicious in not getting tough enough soon enough on such political subdivisions within our country making such declarations, but that seems to simply beg for the next such declaration, and the next after that.  The cessation of the flow of federal funds to any and all such self-declared bastions of lawlessness should be immediate.  Chicago would go belly up overnight.  Arizona’s ‘feel good’ politicians would find themselves on the street overnight and a real Sheriff would be back in his seat.  We have the means to peacefully change federal policies if the majority desires and intentional ignorance of those policies is not part of that mechanism.

Liberals usually equate to being Democratic in their political beliefs, so they can take up the sanctuary city issue on the floor of Congress if they desire.  Take a stand and then stand by that position during the next election.  If you keep your office apparently enough people agreed with you.  We know the likely places where enough will agree with you, and the rest of us using our representation in Congress can choose to deal with you as we will according to the laws of this land and not the political feel-good practices of some.  You know full well that you cannot support yourselves in the lap of luxury you’ve become accustomed to having without taking tax dollars from the rest of us to pay for your flights of fantasy.  This is but one more reason for the way in which our Founding Fathers decided this country ought to be governed.  Let’s get this question before the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

Special Prosecutors ought not to be as special as we’ve made them.  That is especially true when we recognize that those appointed all have political trails behind them since they’ve typically been part of ‘the system’ for years.  They can profess to be apolitical but that simply is a human impossibility except for the one or two who may’ve been able to walk on water…and their feet were quite wet in addition to the skirts or trousers being damp.  We have a Special Prosecutor now who is digging into the past business deals of the current President.  What does that have to do with his charge?  NOTHING!  That’s what.  But this bastion of justice is digging anyway.  He’ll no doubt have inserted himself, since he can without any further permission slips, into anything that strikes his fancy.

Maybe we need to create Very Special Prosecutors who would go in after the fact and determine all the things the lesser Special Prosecutor did that overstepped the bounds of the original investigation.  Won’t likely happen but XXXX darn well ought to.  You know as well as I where this really special investigation is going.

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Hil’s Next Play? Nix Electoral College

Hillary must hate “fly-over” country.  She has come out with a full-throated statement that the Electoral College needs to be scrapped.  After all, she won the popular vote by some 3 million votes, therefore she is the rightful occupant of the Oval Office.  But, that pesky thing we call the Electoral College got in the way.

Popular vote winners in 1824, 1876, 1888, 2,000 and now 2016 were shunted to the side track by the Electoral College.  Our ‘Founding Fathers’ have again demonstrated their wisdom with this creation.

A direct national vote would, as things are unfolding with population growth, provide that those of us outside the major population centers in our country would lose our voice.  The Founders were sympathetic to the direct vote vs. Electoral College issue.  They provided for some redress with the fact that two Senators are elected from each state while population determines the number of members of the House that each state has.

Our Constitution states that:  Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of senators and representatives to which each state may be entitled in the Congress.”  That is the accommodation to the population state-by-state that exists.  The larger the state in population, the greater that state’s number of members in the Electoral College.

Were that language not in our Constitution, those of us in states less populated would have our votes diminished in their strength so that we’d be deprived of an equal voice, or at least more equal, in national elections.  The numbers of House members reflects population while the Senate provides for two members per state regardless of population.

The total number of electors in the Electoral College equals 538.  The winner must receive a majority, or 270 electoral votes to become President.  When we vote, we are actually voting to direct our members of the Electoral College how the majority wants them to vote.  That acts as a buffer system to assure that larger states are given credit for their size since that is how the House is put together, while each state regardless of its population gets two votes representing the seated Senators.

Were it not for the Electoral College, those of us in less populated areas would not have a vote carrying the same weight as those in more heavily populated states.  Without this wisdom by the Founders, the major population centers in America would determine who sat for us in Washington, D.C.  Essentially, the big cities would determine our government since that is where we find the heaviest concentrations of people.  Las Vegas would have a voice but the rest of the Nevada population would not have an effective voice.

The Electoral College, in essence, balances the protection of individual rights and majority rule as a Heritage Foundation paper points out.  If the electoral vote were based solely on population, those of us not living in a major population center would essentially be casting votes with less than the power of the votes from those in large cities and populous states.

Again, our Founding Fathers demonstrate their wisdom was dead-on and that is further reflected by the success of the Electoral College.  This is not the time to abolish that system so that Hillary Clinton or any other ‘wanna be’, can find their way into the Oval Office because they think they’ve earned that seat.

Even with the Electoral College, the heavier population areas have the advantage in national races simply due to the number of people in each place.  Abolishing the Electoral College would give the choice to those heaviest populated areas, and frankly, those are distinctly Democrat in makeup.  That explains fully the cries of the Hillary Clintons and Al Gores of this political world.

There is nothing wrong with the Electoral College.

 

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Blue Slips – A Double-Edged Sword

There are a large number, 120 +/-, of federal judgeships that are open as the result of Republicans not approving the nominees of President Obama during his eight years in office.  A double-edged sword is being used today by Democrats to block the approval of judges nominated by the Trump Administration.

Article II, Section 2 of our Constitution provides that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States”.

This has given us, over time, the use of the “blue slip” since the Senate Judiciary Committee sends a letter on blue paper (“blue slips”) to Senators from a nominee’s home state asking them to approve or object to the nomination.  In practice, if a Senator for the home state of the nominee refuses to give his or her blessing to the nominee, it might not, usually does not, move forward in the committee thus effectively ‘blackballing’ the nominee.

So, is this the end of Senate approvals of nominees for open judicial seats?  The Senate Judiciary Committee is the body that can decide whether or not to honor the ‘blue slip’ tradition.  The Chair of that committee with sufficient votes from its members can alter the prevailing rule.

The use of definitive time limits for the return of ‘blue slips’ has been employed in the past.  The Committee could decide to limit the weight of the ‘blue slip’ depending upon the level of the judgeship in question.  The ultimate “solution” could be the elimination of the use of ‘blue slips’.

The current Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee is Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA).  So far, he has not signaled where he stands on his possible use of the Chairmanship to negate the use of ‘blue slips’.  Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) has said “My view is that the blue slip, with regard to circuit court appointments, ought to simply be notification of how you’re going to vote, not the opportunity to blackball. ”

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn) has refused to turn in his ‘blue slip’ for nominee David Stras and both Oregon’s Senators Wyden (D) and Merkley (D) have indicated they will use the ‘blue slip’ against another appointee.

This is the kind of ‘inside baseball’ garbage that tends to drive some of us nuts, self included.  The idea that an arcane practice can be used to deny the majority the rights of a majority seems somehow against that which is right.  I understand that rules are essentially set by victors however there comes a time when the people’s desires ought to take precedence over such internal and arcane ground rules.

Republicans are certainly not ‘lily white’ in such matters, either.  The rules ought not to be subject to manipulation based on the party in the majority, but that will continue to occur.  Memories are long in the world of vindictive politicians, and political power is the most powerful of all aphrodisiacs.

We seem destined to continue to go through this kind of behind-the-scenes maneuvering, and it appears that neither party is ready to step up and attempt to recast the way things are done in the U.S. Senate.  Why would the party currently in power, reduce its own power?  That does not make political sense.  So long as all our elections continue to be impervious to manipulation, our democratic form of government works better than any other alternative in the free-world.

This is but one example of why elections are critical and why every qualified voter should exercise his or her rights to vote at every opportunity no matter the level of the issue.  This is also an example of why the voting process needs to be able to be trusted absolutely thus leading to valid photo ID’s being required in order to vote no matter if the vote is concerning the new Mayor or the new President of the United States.

I have very little issue with the use of the ‘blackball’ technique, accept to be ticked when it doesn’t go my way, so long as I can rely upon the process to be honest and know that every legitimate vote is counted once and only once.  I know that to be true at my Village level since I’ve worked the polls.  I have to trust that the process is honest and accountable at every level above my local Village.

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Religion & Politics…

Religion and politics seem a strange combination, and, yes, even a dangerous combination for a blog topic; but, let us try to get through this minefield all in one piece and not too angry as the result of the exercise, and maybe a bit more aware.

Two polls were released recently, one conducted by the Pew Research Center (Pew) and the other by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI).  The Pew poll shows that the share of Americans who describe themselves as “spiritual but notreligious” has increased from 19% to 27% while those describing themselves as “religious and spiritual” dropped from 59% to 48%.  This change has been occurring, according to the polls, since 2012.  Until the fact that this had been going on since 2012 was brought to light, I, as I suspect many, might have laid this at the doorstep of now President Trump.  It precedes him.

While President Trump may not have been the cause, might his election be seen as having been influenced, at least in part, by the decline evidenced by this Pew poll?  I suspect there may’ve been some correlation, but I seriously doubt he sits in the Oval Office simply because we are a less religious people.

We have long heard the phrase, the Religious Right, which has been synonymous with the term ‘conservative’ in many circles.  The term ‘secular’, on the other hand, is defined as denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.  The second poll, that of the PRRI, showed that white Christians now comprise less than half of our population and that 24% of Americans have no religious affiliation, that some 38% of Americans are not church attendees and that this change seems to stem from a start in the early 1990s.

Liberals are generally found to be more secular in their beliefs.  The religiously unaffiliated tend to go to the Democratic side of the political spectrum and that is thought to have propelled some of the gains experienced by the political left.  The old ‘Moral Majority’, which was made up largely of traditional Christians, has lost some of its steam from where it once found itself.

If we watch and listen to the questioning of Republican appointees to various positions today, we see the Left using increasingly harsh language and tone.  Watch a congressional offering some day.  The change in this dynamic lead some to believe that Republicans, and those who might’ve been politically unaffiliated but conservatives, elected Donald Trump since he was the only alternative to the Left and its increasingly strident approach to governance and its perceived threat to those of faith.

There are those who see the emergence of a “post-religious” America as being a threat to the country we’ve grown up in and cherished since we were old enough to be able to think for ourselves.  The Washington Post published an article by Jennifer Rubin on July 28th titled “As Trump debases the presidency, the religious right looks away”.  We know WaPo is a liberal-leaning news organization, but this does give one pause for thought, if that is permitted by each of us, as to where the left sees this going.

If, in fact, we Americans are falling away from our religious affiliations as it seems might be the case, the current trends seem to support that, then we are potentially left with a culture and political belief system that is rapidly secularizing.  That cannot be good for our country nor for us Christians or us conservatives.  It is up to us to change this dynamic, and that needs to begin occurring today.

 

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Hillary’s ‘Blame Game’

The book we’ve all been breathlessly awaiting, Hillary Clinton’s latest set of excuses, “What Happened”, is ready for your purchase.  If you are planning to purchase that piece, be careful you don’t get caught in the rush; the hordes will be out to get a copy, no doubt.  To give you one person’s thoughts, Jimmy Kimmel said it’s like “reading a book about why the Titanic sank while you’re sitting at the bottom of the ocean”.

An AP article by Jonathan Lemire and Bill Barrow went further into the content:

Clinton is unsparing in her criticism of Trump and also lays out some of the facts she believes contributed to her loss: interference from Russian hackers, accusations leveled at her by former FBI Director James Comey, a divisive battle with Bernie Sanders, even her gender.

Us Midwesterners might take some blame since she didn’t fare well in our part of the U.S. and she puts us down because some critics have said she ignored our part of the voting universe.  It is obviously our fault that she lost…and I think we ought to stand up and pat ourselves on the back for sparing the nation.  One can see the hubris oozing out of her when she says:

Some critics have said that everything hinged on me not campaigning enough in the Midwest.  And I suppose it is possible that a few more trips to Saginaw or a few more ads on the air in Waukesha could have tipped a couple thousand voters here or there.

There are some simple facts that explain Hillary’s situation and why she lost.  President Trump received more Electoral votes and those are what are tallied to determine the winner vs. the popular vote.  There is a reason we have that insulation built into the process so that us Neanderthals can have a say in our governance, as well as the elitists.

It is plain and simple; Hillary cannot comprehend her situation.  She sees herself as our political savior if only we weren’t quite so dense.  She cannot fathom her loss to Donald Trump.  She blames Jim Comey, the very guy who refused to go after her home computer garbage.  If he had done his job, she’d be in contempt of Congress or worse at this point.  She doesn’t understand why coal miners didn’t come out in support of her even though she vowed to put them “out of business”.

Were this you or me, and we’d have done what she did and/or didn’t do, and we then published this book, we’d be determined to be “delusional” and probably quite rightly so.  Hillary and Company live in some kind of alternate universe; it is mindful of Alice in Wonderland.  Her book might’ve been more aptly titled “Hillary in Wonderland”.

Were the national interest not so closely tied to the outcomes of our national elections, this might present the opportunity for a great comical movie.  I can see Lucy Arnaz in the role of Hillary and I also see the candy production line show that had me in stitches as she tried to keep up but simply couldn’t handle the job.

I did not think, and I do not think, our country would benefit from a President Hillary Clinton.  We can barely tolerate her as it is without making her the occupant of the Oval Office.  If the Clintons persist in this folly, we might be wise to open a federal investigation into all the issues they’ve so artfully managed to dodge in the past several decades.

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Trump: The Game Changer

Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, is a game changer as we’ve seen almost from Day #1 of his presidency.  Politicians and political commentators are going nuts trying to figure out his next move or to somehow justify and/or delegitimize his last move.

Now he cuts a deal with the Dems and sends some kind of notice to the Republicans, although the meaning of this “notice” is so vague that the politicos cannot seemingly begin to understand his message.

How can this be happening in our nation’s capital, in the Swamp?  I believe there is a simple answer to all the gnashing of teeth on both sides of the aisle.  It is so simple that it may be defying discovery by all the politicians and their advisors and confidants.

Donald Trump is not a politician.  Simple, I admit, but this seems the only way to begin to explain what is happening.  President Trump is in a world that has its own oxygen, its own rules, and its own gurus who know everything and who will relate that to anyone else for a price, monetary or otherwise.  Yet, he is an intruder of sorts.  We the voters sent him there, but those who make the arcane rules of ‘The Swamp’ have no rules for this new participant other than the tried and true they’ve always relied upon.

President Trump is a businessman and he is accustomed to that world.  He uses his reasoning developed in putting significantly large business deals together and then gets blindsided by a political “maneuver” such as ‘lying with a straight face’.  Democratic leaders have come to understand him, maybe better than the politicians in the party whose banner he ran under, and have learned how to maneuver in deals with him to give him something and to get something in return, thus driving the Republicans nuts, which was their (the Democrats’) ultimate goal all along.

Unless and until the Republicans learn how to work with a businessman who is now in politics, there could be a long Winter.  President Trump is going to make things happen in Washington, D.C.  If that is not possible with the Republicans, he’ll make it happen with Democrats who will be only too happy to accommodate him.  We’ve just witnessed that, and we will see it again.

Trump’s ratings are low by comparison to ratings of past Presidents.  But there is something of a phenomenon going on worldwide today.  Political leaders’ ratings around the world are lower, in the low to mid-thirties, than had always seemed the case in the past.  Timothy Daughtry writing for Townhall had this headline warning for Republicans yesterday:

“Polls Warning for GOP:  Back the Trump Agenda or Face Defeat in 2018”

That seems to be what we’re seeing today.  The voters are not willing to settle for this mishmash, this back and forth that generates no meaningful results.  We sent Trump to Washington to get done what he promised to do.  We did not expect, nor, it seems, will we go along with, the stymying of all things Trump, especially at the hands of Republicans.

The Democrats have read these tea leaves accurately, and they have learned that President Trump is willing to deal with them absent the Republicans being hospitable.  They extract what they can get while giving him what he needs to one degree or another.

President Trump has had a taste of this and he will be back for more of it IF the Republicans continue to think they’ll get him to go along with their approach and not prove they’re willing to compromise with him to get their efforts back on track.  He is, after all, a businessman as we know and he’ll find a way to get things done whether or not the Republicans are willing to work with him.

You can see that and the Democrats have obviously seen that; the Republicans had better come to grips with it quickly or Congress will become, essentially, Democrat-driven since President Trump will not sit on the sidelines waiting for his party to catch up.  He has fired that warning shot across the Republicans’ bow.  Time will tell if the message has been received.

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Being Hillary: Tough Job

Can you even begin to imagine what it must be like when Hillary Clinton awakens in the morning?  She must feel as though she has become part of an ugly, never-ending night and daymare.  She knows she is lovable and cannot, therefore, understand how so many people can have the feelings they apparently have about her.  Something is awry; this is simply not the way everything was laid out.

Maybe this is a real life ‘Hillary in Wonderland’ story where nothing is as it seems.  Maybe Hil has actually gone over the edge and we’re all simply bit players in her internally-visualized story.  We do have a role in Hillary’s story, after all.  Just because we don’t seem to learn our parts as well as we ought, she believes her continuing spiral of losses and abandonment by the voting public is somehow the public’s fault…our fault.

So, how does she resolve this issue?  She (and a ghost writer or two ?) writes another book and tours the country touting that book.  Of course, this book is only about setting us straight on why we ought to love her, and why that ought to translate into more votes for her should she run again; it certainly has nothing to do with Hil amassing more money.  Lordy no!

We are suffering from a significant case of ‘Clinton Fatigue’ and it encompasses the three Clintons; mother, father, and daughter.  They are cut from the same bolt of cloth, obviously.  Slick Willy is still out and about sometimes to Hil’s consternation (remember the tarmac visit), I’m sure.  Chelsea seems on the road to becoming the spitting image of Mom including Mom’s lack of likeability.

The Dems are not at all enthused with her “Energizer Bunny” imitation.  I suspect they’d just as soon see her finally get the message and hang up her cleats.  But, she is anything but a quitter…even when we the people have been trying to get the opposite message across to her.  PLEASE GO AWAY, HILLARY.  Maybe a national billboard campaign would finally get to her.  I doubt there’d be any problem in raising money to support that project.  Maybe that would qualify as a ‘Public Service’ effort.

In the meantime, the Dems are very concerned that she is continuing to damage the Democratic Party.  For a simple reason, they are able to read the tea leaves while she is in what is likely the all-time greatest state of denial to be witnessed in our lifetimes.

Approval ratings are the ‘in thing’ these days witness the drubbing President Trump takes from the media with his approximate 36% approval rating.  Yet he leaves Hillary in the dust with her even more meager rating of 30% based on the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll of September 6th.  There are some indications, on the rating thing, that ratings for politicos are off world wide, but that is for another day.

Either we the people are sick and tired of being polled or we are simply being truthful when we’re called.  It could be either, but the reasoning behind the polls isn’t as important as are the results of these polls.  Trump has never polled very well so he has the opportunity to recover and gain ground in future polls.  Hillary has been at this game forever and she is on a continual downhill slide…with seemingly little further opportunity to favorably influence our opinions of her other than by leaving us alone and going home to celebrate her great wealth that came from somewhere other than her/their hard work.

Little Rock is a long time ago, but the Clintons have pretty much stayed the same as they were in that era.  They are seemingly great ‘takers’ with less-than-the-average person’s morals to slow them down.  They have apparently raised their daughter in that grand tradition as would be expected.

And, on top of all of this, there is pesky Bernie Sanders, a professed socialist who is taking Hil down the rosy path toward yet another less-than-glamorous defeat should she keep an oar in the water for another shot.

We are being treated to an embarrassing case of ‘great denial’.  People are not fond of Hillary, hence the rating, and yet you almost have to feel sorry for her.  There is no error in these polls.  She is not a likable person.  Her daughter isn’t much better.  Bill doesn’t help this situation with his style and our remembrance of what the ‘Bill’ era brought us.  We need at least a decade of recovery from Clintonitis before anyone with that name should venture into politics unless maybe at the local level somewhere.

What doesn’t this family unit get about where we the people think they belong?  How much longer do they need that drumbeat to continue in order to come to grips with the facts?  They ‘ain’t what they used to be’ in the opinion of a significant majority which has to include a bunch of Democrats.

 

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Ryan Rides a Two-Headed Horse

Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Leader, has what might be classified one of the three toughest jobs in Washington, D.C.,  There are days when it likely seems to be THE toughest job.  Ryan, Speaker of the House, has the less-than-enviable job of riding herd on Democrats, The Freedom Caucus and the regular Republicans, if there are any regular Republicans to be found.

Those of us on the conservative side of the fence have been quite frustrated with what has yet to be accomplished in this time when we ought to be cheering every week over this bill that passed and that bill that passed.  Instead, we seem to find roadblocks popping up at the least desirable moment, that moment when it appears we’re gonna’ bring home a prize…only to find that something went South and we didn’t get what we thought we’d get.

We expect that we are going to have issues with Democrats.  Theoretically, we and Democrats have a wide range of issues on which we simply do not often agree.  That is the way of our nation’s capitol.  There is give and take on both sides in order to reach a consensus that is passable.  That means there might be a vote or two gathered at the last minute that pushes a piece of legislation to victory.

That having been said, the “way things usually work” in Washington relies on the Republicans and Conservatives being able to get along well with each other and band together to push agenda items across the finish line.  The preceding sentence seems to have me saying that Republicans and Conservatives are not the same things.  That is exactly what I’m saying.  We’ve known that for a long time.

What is happening to us on the ‘right’ side of issues is the tug-of-war between the Freedom Caucus and the rest of the Republicans.  This division is almost worse than that void separating Democrats from Republicans; it feels worse since we see the goal line just a couple of feet away, we know we could push the ball across and yet we can’t agree in the huddle on what play ought to be used.

Meantime, The Dems are united even though there are differences in that caucus between staunch Dems and the Dems who wish their party was a bit more center-of-the-road.  That side of the aisle is much more likely to come together for critical votes than is the Republican side of the aisle.  Consequently, we conservatives sometimes get half-a-loaf and sometimes we just get the crumbs if the Freedom Caucus took all its votes and sulked in the corner…or vice versa.

As if this weren’t enough to burden Speaker Ryan when wrangling votes, there is that somewhat unpredictable, somewhat mercurial Trump person in the White House with whom he has to deal…and that might be seen as a tougher job than finding agreement with the Freedom Caucus.  Interestingly enough, each of these three capital R elements is basically aimed at the same target, but each has the idea that if it just comes on a bit stronger it can win the internecine battle of the day.

So, the image of Rep. Paul Ryan sitting atop a horse with a head at each end seemed an appropriate title.  He has to have those days when he doesn’t know which direction to face when he feels he is close to ‘a deal’ but can’t quite find that last little bit necessary to make it happen.

Pundits tend to fault him without any attention being paid to what it is he works daily to bring some coherence to, without them fully grasping the role he has been accorded.  Lesser people would have found themselves in the psych ward some time ago, but Ryan keeps on keepin’ on.

If not the toughest job in D.C., certainly this is the second toughest.  Strolling daily through a nest of political pit vipers isn’t my idea of a walk in the park but Ryan continues to keep it going with not much of a pat on the back from either group with which he must work.  The respective groups have their own goals which are not necessarily those that are best for the country on any given day…and they do not worry themselves about Rep. Ryan if they view him as an impediment that day.

Political fights sometimes are fought solely for the sake of the fight, even though that makes little, if any, sense in the normal world.  They see that as a daily reality.  We see it as maddening.

 

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Obama & DACA; Trump’s Fault?

Then-President Barack Obama used an Executive Order to create the DACA mess since, as he said, Congress wouldn’t do its job.  The former President admitted that what he did in creating this mess was never authorized by Congress but that this shouldn’t make any difference since he, apparently, was, and still is, above the law.

Now, current-President Donald Trump, the only President we have at the moment, by the way,  took exception to the improper creation of DACA and has killed it because it was illegally constituted in the first place.   Obama, somehow, in his convoluted and politically-tainted thought process, has the laid the blame for his transgressions at the feet of President Trump.

President Trump has correctly placed this subject in the collective Congressional laps and basically has said to Congress, if this is truly what you want, pass a law.

As the result, as you might have foreseen, President Trump is the absolute worst thing that ever happened to this country if we are to believe a former President and the elected Democrats.  He saw the abuse that his predecessor wrought through Executive Order, took steps to seek Congress’ thinking by killing the improperly created DACA program of his predecessor, and sending the message to the current seated Congress to recreate this program legally should this Congress believe in that approach.

The old phrase “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t” comes to mind; on the one hand, was Trump to have permitted an illegally employed executive order to remain, effectively, the law of the land, he would have been guilty of malfeasance in office.  Now, when he offers Congress the opportunity to right the wrong of Obama by properly passing a ‘DACA’ of its own creation as should’ve been done in the past Administration, he takes flack as if he were the miscreant who created this heinous hoax on hundreds of thousands (800,000+) of illegal immigrants.  Righting that wrong then, by current press standards, makes President Trump the bad guy.

Had we a truly apolitical press corps, we’d be hearing the anguished cries without the aid of electronic transmission.  BUT, this same press corps tacitly (or actively) permitted the transgressions of former President Barack Obama while totally ignoring the attempts to make it right by our current President Donald Trump.  Congress at the time this transgression occurred had to have known it was not legal given how jealously it protects its turf, yet it permitted the DACA kids to ‘come on in’.  President Trump saw the illegality and is making every effort to correct the illegal actions by the earlier President and the neglect of that Congress.

This is but one example.  How many other such transgressions occurred and still lie there as ticking time bombs?  Is there no possibility that the myth that Obama was a great President will be shattered one of these days by an honest press?  An improperly acting President coupled with a negligent Congress is a dangerous combination.

As this is being written, I overheard parts of the press conference where the inquisitors were apoplectic over the Trump action while they refuse to even be made to think about the fact that DACA was illegal from day one forward.  It was an egregious overstep by then President Obama.

Maybe it is time that we bring the ‘press’ to the docket and try that group for its complicity in this illegal action by the previous Administration.  Then, we might bring the Democrats in Congress to that same docket for its continuing complicity in ‘overlooking’ the illegal use of Presidential powers.  Can you even begin to imagine the hue and cry were this to have been perpetrated by our current President Donald Trump?

 

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Media Vendetta Against Trump?

It doesn’t surprise me to see that President Trump is on the decidedly skinny end of fair and balanced press coverage BUT I am disgusted and amazed at the degree of media’s lopsided coverage.

The Media Research Center has reported that, since Trump took office on January 20th and through the first three months of his time in office, there was a total of some 4,418 minutes of coverage on ABC, CBS and NBC versions of the evening news about Trump.  91% of that supposedly unbiased news coverage was negative.

Over the summer, another 415 minutes of broadcast time was spent on Trump’s campaign and supposedly an improper relationship with Russia.  94% of that coverage was negative.  The MRC also pointed out that coverage of repealing and replacing ObamaCare and of the Charlottesville rioting was 97% negative for Republicans.

Add to this the Democrat’s continuing barrage of anti-Trump rhetoric, and it is almost impossible to not understand what is occurring.  It is not at all impossible, though, to see the intent of the major media outlets to ridicule and denigrate, therefore, ideally, from their perspectives, doing away with Trump’s Presidency; at least from the perspective of that having produced anything positive.

If the Dems were getting any of the blowback they deserve, maybe this would be a different picture.  And, yes, the media is biased in favor of the Democrats; it has no defense against such a charge.  It is conducting a vendetta openly and blatantly and the White House be damned; the state of the nation be damned, as well.

The decidedly anti-Trump bias of the press is an embarrassment to that supposed ‘institution’, that bastion of freedom and truth.  It acts as a well-oiled arm of the Democrat party, and it does so with brazen pride.  There is no real attempt to paper over the facts.  The media, for the very most part, is biased toward the political left.  Always has been and likely always will be.

All that having been documented, what will be needed to effect a change in the media’s biases?  The media, clearly, sits in the catbird’s seat.  It creates whatever reality it chooses knowing that the general populace will be just as gullible as always.  It creates whatever narrative is happening at the time.  Baltimore’s police were racist.  The riots in Missouri were justified.  Tearing down historic statues is proper because the people shown were all racist.  Whether or not that was true, our history is our history.  Is that to be rewritten, as well?  If so, by whom?  The Dems and the media already seem to be doing a good job of that rewriting.

The media has a vendetta, and it is every bit liberal-driven.  The Dems are so pleased that you haven’t seen a single one of that elite ruling class interject a single dose of reality into this supposed “debate”.  So long as conservatives end up on the short end of the stick, all is well…even though it is contrived and harmful to the country.

Not at all helpful is the internecine battle within the Republican Party.  That simply adds to the negatives about Republicans and, therefore about conservatives.  Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as Speaker of the House is taking all the hits, and those hits are hurting him and the party.  The Republican House members are sufficiently divided so as to make Ryan’s job almost impossible.  He, of course, catches all the flak, and his opponents in both the Democrat and the rebel-Republican group, the Freedom Caucus, enjoy watching him squirm without regard to the House not being able to get done what it needs to get done.

Such is the state of politics today in our country.  And I would lay a very significant part of the overall blame for that at the feet of the media that continues to whip the issues into a storm that they, the media, make hay from at the expense of you and me and our country.

There is a ‘media vendetta’.  And it is putting us all in a bad place because too many of us cannot seem to get beyond that media smoke screen.  And, Trump could figuratively walk on water and not get a fair shake from that media.  They’d be looking for rocks he stepped on.  The Dems simply sit back and watch the media doing their job for them…as has always been the case in my lifetime.

There was an old saw about the media buying ink by the barrel and paper by the ton.

How valid that old saw was.

 

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