They Threaten to Shut Down the Government, We Get Hurt and They Do It Again…

The government will shut down if we don’t do this or if we don’t do that.  That is an age-old threat that might hurt some but misses those whom it ought to punish vigorously.  Those needing to be punished are those whom you and I sent to Washington, D.C. to do the business of us citizens.  That would be primarily The Congress.

Yet, if they don’t make things happen on our behalf, they make you and me suffer in two ways.  First, we don’t get what they promised they’d make happen for us, and second, we lose some services but those who didn’t do their jobs emerge on the other side of this concocted punishment of us, not them, scotfree preaching to us as if this hadn’t happened.  Essential services continue under this framework but they might forbid us from using national parks, or maybe they’d permit more people to steal across our borders than do already.

So, they, the Congress, aren’t able to do what they promised us they’d do (because of either posing for Holy pictures or to impress us with their toughness), and then they punish us because they couldn’t/wouldn’t get their jobs done.  Does that make sense to you?  Of course not.  Were that you or I and we failed to get our jobs done, we’d either get fired or we’d be on strike or both, and we’d not be getting paid while we were on strike or after being fired.

These men and women, who often act like nothing more than spoiled children, skate scotfree because they can and they know they’ll get away with it.  Wouldn’t it be interesting if there were a real penalty enforced on them for what we could call political malfeasance?

What would be happening if they knew they had a specific timeframe within which they would have the budget done and in place, or they’d be cut to half-pay for thirty days in which time they had to finish their work or lose the rest of their compensation until the work was done.

You and I know full well what this amounts to is political posturing pure and simple and at our expense.  The spittle would fly.  They’d huff and they’d puff, which isn’t anything they don’t do on at least a weekly basis today, they’d find some other way to pose for Holy pictures, and finally they get back to work and pass a budget that survived the scrutiny of the President who’d have to be the adult in the room.

In its simplest form, our Congress is, unfortunately, constructed so as to permit these kinds of actions.  We The People send our choice to Washington, D.C.  Some of those we send stay true to their promises.  Some of those we send begin straying from what they promised as soon as their flight touches down in Washington.  The press is complicit in all this because these are the things that sell newspapers or e-mailed bulletins or whatever else they concoct.  The TV cameras are rolling and precious clips suitable for campaign purposes are to be gathered.

There is the tendency for us voters to place the blame for this malfeasance on the shoulders of other districts’ elected officials, and not on the shoulders of our own elected officials.  We continue to send the same people back election after election expecting a different result.  That is not smart on our parts, but it is the reality because we know them, we shake their hands and they have generally done what we wanted.

This is why I think there needs be some kind of blanket cost to be paid when this happens and that would be my proposal instead of thinking we are going to unelect the guy or gal we know, have shaken hands with, maybe have met in their offices in Washington, etc., etc.  That won’t work any better than it is working today.  Same old, same old.

If this question could be made a national referendum question, I would bet we’d have a super-majority of the voters in support the first time around.  And, the Congress would come to understand that we are still the boss.  They work for us; we do not work for them simply sending our tax dollars to Washington to be spent.

The Rabid Press…

Yesterday’s Press Conference featuring the Navy Admiral/Presidential Physician was an amazing display of our press corps.  These people were out-of-control with the possibility they’d be able to pose a question that would trip up the Admiral and bury the President (figuratively speaking, of course, but only barely).

The feeding frenzy was very telling in its tumultuous, nearly raucous, array of raised hands and breathlessly posed questions with tricky sentence structure hoping to trip up the Admiral.  The Admiral, to his credit as an Officer and a Physician refused to play their game but maintained his poise and professionalism throughout the feeding frenzy.

Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, MD, USN was cool and calm under fire, displayed a wonderful sense of humor, I thought, and the proverbial patience of a Saint.  He was more than up to the test being launched at him.

Now, to the members of the Press Corps:  Grow up, be professional, rid yourselves of the visceral hatred you have for President Trump, and try to maintain a balance between what you are and what you know you should be in your positions.

This went on for about an hour.  There were a handful of themes which were attacked by press questions from 360 degrees around the situation.  The questions were posed so as to try to get the Admiral to venture onto ground that would be more fertile for the writings to follow.  he did what he was sworn to do, he did it very well and he totally disappointed the press corps since he didn’t miss a beat nor did he give an inch.

If anyone needed confirmation of the President’s fitness, physically and mentally, for his office, this was that confirmation and it was provided in spades.

Will this quiet the rabid press?  Highly unlikely for more than yesterday afternoon.  By today, I would be surprised if there were not at least another 100 questions attacking the facts from differing angles that will permit a million more words to be written about this in hopes that some of us dunderheads will actually begin to believe there are issues that should cause the President’s resignation or at least  his removal from office.

These whizbang press people met more than their match yesterday, and the Admiral handled them with aplomb, courtesy, and without being shaken from his military bearing for an instant.

What a show!

Part of the Solution or the Problem?

We are deluged with information daily and that information comes at us from differing sources which may feed different needs and desires.  How we choose to deal with those messages in large part tells us whether we are part of the solution or are actually part of the problem.  But who is to determine which is which?  As children, we were products of our environment and we were raised in an environment that differs significantly from the environment of today

Unfortunately, we no longer live in a world or a time when we can believe anything and everything we gather to be true.  It is up to each of us to be discerning receivers of the information contained in the message.  Unless we have been living in some place where there has been no opportunity for us to be indoctrinated, we have likely been a victim of misinformation to one degree or another.

As parents, we have some degree of control over what our children are exposed to and we can ‘protect’ them from some information and ‘expose’ them to other information.  We, being human, will expose them to what we believe to be right and proper, and we will attempt to protect them from what we believe to be wrong, or misleading.

Okay, that seems to be a bit of a circular argument.  How do we deal with all the ‘information’ to which our children will be exposed?  Can we shepherd them well beyond their age of majority or do we lose that opportunity when they matriculate to college from what we’ve seen as a safer high school level of education and/or indoctrination?

We tend to lose touch with our children the more they spend their time away from us.  They are more influenced by their own experiences from that time forward.  If we are able to be with our children during those years of advanced education, we may still be an active influencer, but that influence tends to be less and less consequential to a point.

There is no magic potion of which I’m aware to deal with our children “straying” from the belief system in which they grew to adulthood.  There is nothing that says we will be able to influence them even if they turn to us for guidance.  We are simply another point of information gathering.  Some will experiment with other belief systems.  That can be the product of their total educational experience, their family background and their having been impacted by others as they left “the nest”.

A strong faith can be a help…unless that faith is misleading in and of itself.  The siren’s song can be entrancing and misleading simultaneously.  If we have kept our ties with our children, maybe they’ll look to us for opinions.  Maybe they won’t.  There is so much in this world to which we are exposed, that the best we can hope for is that we gave our kids a good footing, that we were decent examples as parents, that we dealt with our own issues capably and at least with some degree of wisdom.

As parents, we have the most important job in the world and that is the job of being a good parent, not overly protective, but still aware and ‘of counsel’ to our offspring whenever they need us.  Will we have regrets?  Absolutely!  No parent can be that perfect example.  We can be available to counsel but usually, that is best received if it is invited counseling versus uninvited/imposed counseling.

When the young bird fledges it moves from being unable to fly to flight without crashing.  We have been successful parents if our children have fledged and have taken flight on their own paths through life.  Our influence will still be present but thought of less and less as they mature and have their own experience base from which to choose.

We will be seen as part of the solution or part of the problem likely only after our children are grown and on their own.  For that reason, we need to be mindful of every moment we spend with them while they are still in the family nest.  That is where they become the person they will likely be in terms of their values.  We only get one shot typically and it needs be our best shot.

Fire and Fury – Trump Tell-All?

A new book has been on the streets for a few days and is the ‘talk of the town’ in Washington, D.C. and apparently almost every other ‘town’.  The title of the book is Fire and Fury, and it is by Michael Wolff who is described as being 64, and as having been a columnist for Vanity Fair and a contributor to Hollywood Reporter.  The full title of his new book is Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.  

If you have interest in a preview of sorts, there is an article available today on WeeklyStandard.com from which portions of this blog were sourced.  The book is already Amazon’s top-selling book following published excerpts.

This is what you’d expect if you were suspecting a tell-all that was embarrassing to President Trump, the White House and many of the inhabitants of that rarified atmosphere.  It has apparently also miffed members of the White House press pool maybe due to the books’ meteoric rise, and the fact that they were sitting a small distance away as the author ‘apparently’ mined the Oval Office veins for material.

As you may be able to discern, I am a bit of a skeptic, but that might be colored by me being a Trump supporter who sees no reason for this guy to have been given the level of access it appears he was given…unless the book is a total prevarication, and it doesn’t appear to “total” but there certainly seems quite a bit of truth-stretching and maybe even some supposition by the author to be found.

I have talked about draining the swamp as have many others.  There is obviously enough salaciousness to go around if that is what you crave.  It seems that may well have been the driver, along with a bunch of money, for the author to desire to write this book.  I am sure there is fact involved, but I’m not at all sure that there isn’t more supposition and wishful-thinking than fact in some areas.

If this were mounted as a piece of fiction, I doubt it would sell very well.  The plot and the theme are rather shop-worn at this point.  It is not as though only a few verbal shots have already been taken at our President, is it?  This appears without a full reading to be a bed of some facts augmented skillfully and intentionally to result in a salacious reading that makes one doubt the wisdom of you and me having knowingly elected Donald Trump for our President.

The author seems to think this book might be the final stroke in the ending of Trump’s presidency, and that tells us quite a bit if it is true.  There was apparently an intent to do damage in order to make money from having done so…and maybe garnering more personal strokes from the envy of other authors, as well as the money that has to be flowing in his direction now.

A quote from the Weekly Standard piece may just sum this up appropriately:

Wolff has a long history of not only gnawing on his media competition’s skulls for column fodder and his own amusement but also playing fast and loose with facts.  Twenty years ago, the now-defunct Brill’s Content took a hard look at Wolff’s book Burn Rate, a memoir of his time as a dot.com hustler, and charged that one of his characters was actually a composite of three people.

This all appears to be ‘much ado about very little’ and it also appears that it satisfies the need of those anti-Trumpers who are buying it as fast as Amazon can get them out the door.

There are certainly things about President Trump many of us would change if we had the opportunity, but there are also redeeming values that make him the right person at the right time without regard to what Michael Wolff might conjecture and contort.

Will I order the book?  Maybe, even though I don’t like the idea of even a penny from me making it to Wolff’s coin purse.

Turd in the Punchbowl?

If one were to buy into the very nearly unanimous opinion of the liberal pundits, we would have to see President Donald Trump as the proverbial ‘turd in the punchbowl’.  It is very nearly impossible to go a full day without being subjected to a somewhat slanted or even a totally slanted ‘journalistic’ accomplishment.  Journalists on the left, meaning what seems some 99% of all journalists, simply are bitten by the bug that anything and everything having to do with Trump flies in the face of liberal thought…which from their perspectives means from ‘mainstream’ thought.

You and me, assuming you have a conservative perspective on the goings on in this world, are literally subjected to a daily barrage of liberal thought often disguised to hit those unsuspecting conservatives as middle-of-the-road discussion thus, theoretically, I suppose, wearing down our defenses against liberalism.  Admittedly, it sometimes seems we are to forever be subjected to drinking from a firehose, so far as daily events and their reporting, if we can use that term “reporting” so loosely.  Reporting is, after all, defined as an account or statement describing in detail an event, situation, or the like, usually as the result of observation, inquiry, etc. 

That is what ‘reporting’ really was a decade or two ago.  Yes, there were those liberal reporters who existed in ‘the day’ but they were capable of being identified as to leanings since they were relatively few as compared to today’s crop of so-called “reporters”.  We could locate those press pieces that were conservative thought products fairly easily compared to today.  Today, we embark on the consumption of a piece of so-called ‘reportage’ and end with liberalism dripping from our shoulders given the opinion deluge we just experienced.

Opinion and Editorial pages of yore were where the liberal thinkers’ pieces were published.   Today we find those actual items formerly consumable as more purely fact have become a combination of the limited amount of ‘massaged fact’ necessary to establish the ‘feeling’ of a news item, followed by barely camouflaged, if at all camouflaged, liberal opinion added to further finish the “news” as a nicely wrapped liberal opinion piece and not ‘pure unadulterated news’ at all.

You might assume that since liberal thinkers are now viewed as mainstream, that the conservative thinkers still to be found have been accorded a separate but distinct place so they can be more easily found.  Not in today’s world.  Even the token mention of conservative thought is disguised as the discussion of some kind of dread disease to be avoided at all costs.  Following is a paragraph from This Week of January 19, 2018:

For now, though, “our president’s chaotic mind isn’t going anywhere”, said Ross Douthat in The New York Times.  Trump’s “inability to handle the weight and responsibility of his office” was obvious during the campaign, but he was elected anyway.  And he remains popular in the Republican base.  So you can forget Republicans agreeing to impeachment or using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump on grounds of incapacity.  The most likely outcome, until at least midterm elections, is that we live “the way that America lived in the waning days of Nixon: with a government overseen by patriotic aides and generals dedicated to keeping Trump’s “unfitness from producing a historic calamity.”  It’s mostly worked so far; fingers crossed for 2018.

That paragraph, disgusting, vile and volatile as it is, is an indication of the pure hatred the Left feels for President Trump…and by connection for all us neanderthal conservatives who unfortunately found their way to the polls to elect this poseur.

Try to imagine the level of pure, unadulterated anger the Left will be feeling, if it is even possible to increase the current level, when we, the village idiots of our time, re-elect President Trump to a second four-year term.

The divide between liberals and conservatives has existed for a long, long time.  There was a time when I can recall that liberals were able to kibitz with conservatives or vice versa, and each could have a laugh or two at the others’ expense but without tempers flaring.  It seems we have transcended to a new level with unadulterated hate on the left’s part.

We conservatives have become the political version of a ‘Turd in the Punchbowl’ at least so far as the Eastern Elites’ are concerned.  We need to remember this when we next elect a President, of course assuming our world still exists.  The liberal elites have an illness while us conservatives have a belief system.  Pray that you and I can continue to be the voices of reason in this most dangerous of times.

Hatred is not the basis of good governance.  You and I need to be sure this does not become a fait accompli.  It seems obvious, unfortunately, that liberals do not always have the ability to control themselves and avoid the screed we see above.

Lost in the Political Wilderness…

The liberals are lost in the political wilderness as witnessed by the lack of an effective agenda according to a piece this morning in the National Review by Matthew Continetti titled “The Missing Democratic Agenda”.  He uses this opening to get into the discussion of the impending candidacy of Elizabeth Warren, who has been nicknamed ‘squats with Indians’ by a conservative commentator given her barely token bloodline which amounts to something in the range of a 1/24th American Indian heritage.

She has set her sights on a run for the Presidency in the next race for that office, and anything and anyone that could possibly deter her from that run receives an almost instantaneous response from her or her ‘peeps’ or all together.  Continetti speculates as to the people with her while watching television as Oprah’s possible/probable entry into that fray caught everyone’s attention, and their angst, given this potentially eroding Warren’s position as the next ‘rightful heir’ to the throne of the Presidency.

She responded to this by making sure she had face time on the Cable news shows this past week, lest she is forgotten as the mere result of Oprah speculation.  If that is the true measure of ‘squats with Indians’ hold on the public who would need to vote for her, then she has no assurance she’d even emerge high enough up in a primary if there were more candidates at that point.  Maybe second to Oprah’s first would give a little breathing room, but anything less would be the ‘kiss of death’.  And Oprah will have great sway with liberals since she is basically the poster child for liberalism.

Oprah did effectively drain the oxygen from a lot of liberal prospective candidates, not just that of Elizabeth Warren.  The emerging field of Democratic candidates to unseat President Trump was further labeled as “crowded, aged, liberal, boring and pale” by Continetti in his piece.  The mid-term election will likely be something of a determinant for Democrats who are thought to be positioned to benefit from the first two years of the Trump Presidency by the gurus who make such predictions…and who have missed on several already.

Continetti, rightfully in my opinion, questions the Dem’s ability to win given that they have no real agenda.  The ‘dreamer’ issue weighs very heavily with Dems but doesn’t seem to be much of an issue with the rest of the voters. Pew studied voter priorities in a poll some months ago and found that the top three items of concern to the voters were terrorism (76%), the economy (73%) and education (69%).  Immigration, which includes the Dreamer issue, ranked fifteenth in this survey with 43% out of the total of twenty-one options in the survey.  If the Dreamer issue is fifteenth of twenty-one issues, it doesn’t appear to have quite the pizzaz the Dems are hoping for.

Dems seem to have the belief that they can use Dreamers and their treatment as one of their primary themes to justify their election and these poll numbers do not bear that out.  If the Dreamers do not see a beneficial change from the efforts of their apparent benefactors, the Dems, what is to say that they will not resist the mantra that tells them they “have to” vote Democratic?  These are the children of immigrants who have lived as Americans and who can make their own decisions as to which set of political opinions seems most beneficial to their long-term interests.

My opinion, which is worth about as much as yours, maybe less, is that the Dreamers will not permit themselves to be used as the Dems intend them to be used.  They will be quite able to see the realities rather than to fall for claims of their supposed political “benefactors” who use them rather than work diligently to improve their situations.

I am of the firm opinion that these young men and women are and will continue to be discerning individuals who know upon which side their future bread will be buttered.  They will have watched as liberals spin the realities, they’ll understand this is purely and simply a bald-faced attempt to buy their vote, and they’ll council their elders and their peers to not be so gullible as to take the word of Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer that they have the best interests of the Dreamers at the heart of everything they do.

It becomes quite apparent, even to us dimwitted conservatives, when and by whom we are being “played”…and that is exactly what the Dems are doing with the Dreamer issue.  Why find and support positive and proper change when the current situation promises more votes?  Liberals count on the irrational support of their backers through thick and thin, seldom thinking that these supporters are bright enough to recognize when they are being and/or have been used.

A Day To Remember…

We have one of those days today.  Two funerals, one for the best male friend I have had to date and the other for a church member for which we’ll sing the Hallelujah Chorus as was her request for this day.  Funerals are somber days if we let them be that, and sometimes there is nothing we can do to avoid somber.  Might be the way in which death was met, or the circumstances involved or just the loss of a very important person to us whom we’ll dearly miss.

I try my best to see funerals, for all but close family members, as a celebration of the life of the person who is being celebrated, and even then I try to celebrate.  The first celebrant is that guy whom I got to know probably as well as one guy can know another, and whom I was fortunate to meet and get to know later in our lives.  I know that the term celebrant might hit some as a strange word to described the ‘deceased’, but that is how I think about this passing from the earthly life to the heavenly life.  This ought to be the single greatest celebration we can conceive for anyone.

That is difficult when the death occurred as the result of some miscreant with a gun or a drunk with an automobile or simply a guy with a gun looking for a score.  Those were humans and they are to be accorded some kind of remembrance, but to think of their funerals as celebrations is a stretch not many of us can span.  It may be that we settle for the fact that a person who had caused others much suffering and misery in that lifetime qualifies to be celebrated for his or her removal from our present-day lives whether or not we knew them.

We are complicated creations that are not easily understood even by the closest family member or the closest friend.  I met my best male friend later in both our lives so we were already past that “mine is bigger than yours” contest thing that seems to be necessary between males, at least.  I’ll not assume to know enough about females to venture an opinion of this nature.  (That, by the way, demonstrates that I have learned something in the course of all these years here on earth, although I learned it way too late to help completely.)

In the case of my best male friend, I think we’d both been bent but not broken by the time our paths crossed, so we did not have that natural “male” thing like pawing the earth and preparing to change each other with our heads down.  That sounds foolish, and it is, but it is also a reality for way too many of the male species for way too long.

I spent many hours with him and some of the time he was napping, but that didn’t matter.  At least I was there should he wake and open his eyes, which he did, and which usually led to some verbal banter that we both thoroughly enjoyed no matter who came out ahead in that particular instance.  And, we were both comfortable in the knowledge that, roles reversed, it would’ve come down the same way.

Then, we will sing what may be one of the most celebrated songs of its kind ever composed, part of the fantastic Messiah creation which in and of itself is difficult to comprehend given the magnitude of the piece and the minimal time spent in its creation.  The lady must’ve wanted to go out of this life with a loud musical ovation for we will be really belting it out before the finish of the piece.  The Hallelujah Chorus is special to both presenters as well as to recipients of the presentation.  It is moving for everybody exposed to it no matter whether presenting or receiving.  If this song does not initiate the opening of Heaven’s gates then nothing earthly can accomplish that (as we know but we insist on trying).

A full day indeed, and one that matters significantly to many even though the world goes on about its business outside the walls of the buildings where we gather.  People drive past, see vehicles and lament for whomever the celebration is about, but life goes on; many hurt from the loss, but we usually recover and take that next step and the next after that and so on.