Media Meltdown…CNN’s Acosta

What passes for the Mainstream Media these days is an embarrassment to the still valid media entities, although if those entities continue to persist in less-than-professional actions, they’ll suffer, as well.

The current issue is that caused by Jim Acosta who has recently become the CNN chief Whitehouse correspondent.  He attended a Press Conference where he tried to be the show rather than be a true press correspondent.  Then he apparently presented himself in the Whitehouse as part of the press pool and tried to badger the President with repeated questions designed more to get under the skin of the President and make Acosta feel like a great reporter.

Not happy with his apparent lack of results, defined as embarrassing the President of the United States in a partisan rant rather than a press correspondent without a political ax to grind, he went on Twitter and tweeted: “As I attempted to ask questions in Roosevelt Room of Trump, WH press aides shouted in my face to drown out my questions.  I have never encountered that before.  What occurred reminded me of something I would see in a different country.  Certainly not at the WH.  Certainly not in the U.S.”

CNN has never been on my “go to” list for news since it has always seemed, at best, to be second-rate.  As a matter of fact, I do not recall the last time I watched anything on CNN, and that isn’t about to change anytime soon given this situation they’ve engineered to gain viewers by tempting the Whitehouse and the President to stray over the line of good taste.  It is apparently struggling to maintain some semblance of a news organization and actions such as these by a second-rate reporter wannabe do nothing to enhance its position.

The press watchdogs have always been pushy and maybe they need to be that in order to gather news and the occasional embarrassing gaffe.  This guy has carried that to an extreme, in my opinion, that simply reflects poorly on him and his employer.  I don’t know if this in any way relates to the current Press Secretary, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

Further examples are these tidbits when he finally was recognized by the President:  Accosta to the President:  “Did you say you want more people to come in from Norway?  Did you say that you wanted more people from Norway?  Is that true Mr. President?”  As he shouted.  The President then said, “I want them to come in from everywhere.” And Accosta had to dig a little more:  “Just caucasian or white countries, sir?  Or do you want people to come in from other parts of the world – people of color?”

To this, the President signified he was not playing the game any longer when he pointed at Acosta and said plainly, “Out!”

That display of hubris by Acosta, and indirectly by his employer, CNN, would be enough for me, as President, to issue a ban on all interaction with them for 30 days.  They could attend but they’d not be called on when they raised their hands.  CNN would be at the very back of the “news” bus and one more such display would get them off the bus for good no matter how much they tried to buck the decision.

If there were any further such blatant unprofessional “gotcha” efforts, CNN would be done.  There might be a well-deserved FCC review of their organization and that might well result in the rescinding of the documents permitting that company to play news organization again for a period of time to assure they learned a lesson about good taste and judgment.

This is the kind of activity that is picked up in foreign countries and that is used against us in diplomatic circles worldwide.   No CNN and no Jim Acosta would be worth that kind of angst.

By the way, do we think Acosta might be a liberal?

 

The “Schumer Shutdown”, Pure & Simple (Edited)

There can be no mistaking who bears responsibility for this current political snit-fit.  Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).  He and his cronies love to be divisive, and they yearn for divisiveness after a period of time passes when we’re all getting along reasonably well.  It seems they just have to get their “power jollies” every-so-often if things have been working too well for you and me.

Timing can be critical in politics, and the timing of this Schumer Shutdown will be with us in the Fall election cycle.  He thinks he timed this perfectly; I suspect the majority of us, including many Dems, will have different thoughts.

We could talk about what must be in a man that so craves the public light that he’ll even stoop to these kinds of lows.  A young woman telephoned the local talk show I listened to this morning to say that she, working for a Republican office-holder, was not working in her Washington office today given the shutdown, and went on to add that her husband, an active Army man stationed in that area, was also being impacted by the shutdown.  They are worried they’ll be unable to sustain themselves for more than a week since both have been hit by the Schumer Shutdown.  Neither is making the ‘big bucks’ we think of when we think of Washington, D.C.

This is a reminder that mice get crushed when elephants dance, an old story but abt nonetheless.  You and I and all the other taxpayers are the mice.  Sen. Schumer and his supporting cohorts are the elephants.  They do not care, actually don’t even think about, all the ‘little people’, coincidentally also taxpayers, when they elect to embark on stupidity such as this temper tantrum.  If your child had such a tantrum, you’d deal with it immediately, but, unfortunately, we have no parental control over Schumer and Company.

Now, let’s think about this is slightly different terms.  Sen. Schumer is acting out like a spoiled child with his temper tantrums.  This is dysfunctional and angering at best, and frightening at worst.  This man is one the three most powerful leaders in Washington, D.C.  If he cannot be trusted to avoid temper tantrums, which is precisely what this was and is, we are in serious trouble.  If he has to resort to name-calling like claiming that negotiating with President Trump was like negotiating with Jello, can he possibly be trusted in his official capacity?  If Schumer is so fortunate, President Trump may simply let that remark lie in the gutter with the rest of that day’s detritus.

Schumer is a guy who wants more illegals in our country.  He does not want a “Wall” no matter the form that takes.  He has a history of flying off the proverbial handle.  Purely and simply, Sen. Chuck Schumer has once again demonstrated that he cannot be trusted to be so far up the governing Totem pole as he is today.  If there are some that feel concerned by Donald Trump sitting in the Oval office, Sen. Schumer is much more to be feared, and he shows it time and again; that group ought to be petrified over this latest charade.

The idea that this action is simply him asserting his power to make a political point is incorrect.  This is the action of a man who already has too much power and who has again demonstrated that he cannot handle the power he has.  The childish tantrums he throws in front of TV cameras and microphones are embarrassing to watch, no matter your political views.  He cares not one whit about you and me.  He cares only about his stature apparently since without that he’d be nothing.

  • * * * *The shutdown has been ended with an apparent agreement between the factions.  Various things are supposed to happen along a time-line so we’ll see how well entities play together going forward.

OK, We’re “Shut Down”…

OK,  we’re shut down, now what happens?  What services won’t we receive?  If these services were deemed sufficiently “non-essential” to be played with like chess pieces on a board, how could they be “essential”?  Essential is defined as absolutely necessary; indispensable; requisite.

If the people sent home without pay were actually as defined, non-essential, we must not be able to function since we are missing those who are “absolutely necessary; indispensable, and requisite.

The long and short of it is this: these people are not as defined.  The government is playing with us again, or at least part of the government is playing with us again.  Since the Dems rely on this wonderful tool to make us think there are those whom we absolutely cannot do without, we must not be functioning very well today.

We all know better or should know better.  This is the now-classic Democrat ploy to be used when they’ve not been able to manipulate and bully the Republicans to do as the Dems want them to do.  Hold up on approval of funding to make us, the taxpayers buying the services, hurt enough that the Dems can score points against the Republicans.

Here is the list of people deemed, for this exercise by the Dems, as essential and then non-essential, the non-essentials must be feeling really good about themselves this morning knowing that they are actually dispensable for the Dems have told them so in so many unspoken words (note that if half or more of the employees were sent home, I have those numbers in boldface to draw particular attention to them since each of those departments or agencies has half or more total people that are deemed unessential for functioning):

Defense workers (as of Sep. of 2015):  78% of the 721,333 defense workers are furloughed this morning.

Veteran’s Affairs workers (as of Dec. of 2017): 0nly 4% of 377,018 employees were deemed dispensable.

Homeland Security workers (as of Sep. of 2015): 13% of 232,860 employees were shown the exit.

Justice workers (as of Dec. of 2017): 17% of114,647 employees were sent home.

Treasury workers (as of Dec. of 2017): 83% of 88,268 employees were sent home.

Agricultural workers (as of Sep. of 2015): 78% of 85,329 were dispensable.

Health & Human Services workers (as of Jan. 2017): 50% of 82,148 employees were sent home.

Interior workers (as of Dec. 2017): 68% of 67,319 employees were sent home.

Transportation workers (as of Dec. 2016): 36% of 54,616 employees were sent home.

Commerce workers (as of Dec. 2017): 87% of 47,896 employees were dispensable.

Labor workers (as of Jan. 2018): 83% of 15,383 employees were deemed dispensable.

Energy workers (as of Sep. 2015): 73% of 14,887 employees were furloughed.

Environmental Protection Agency workers (as of Dec. 2017): 95% of 14,449 employees were sent home.

Housing & Urban Development workers (as of Sep. 2015): 96% of 7,797 employees were sent home.

Education workers (as of Sep. 2015): 95% of 4,191 were sent home.

State:  No numbers available; maybe they were short the one staffer who’d have had the numbers available.

 

This feeble exercise that is apparently periodically necessary from the Dems’ perspective points out the serious issues we have in our bloated government.  If an employee is not essential, why is he or she employed?  How many non-essential employees do we find in the typical privately-owned company?  Few, if any.

If an employee in the private sector is not essential, it can be ascribed to the owner being benevolent or maybe making a job for a son or daughter or two. If 50% or more in the national government are non-essential, there is a real and significant problem involved.

We the people need to be more involved than we apparently are, and we need to be sufficiently discerning of what we’re paying for services received when we step into those voting booths.  The Democrats are the bloaters; the Republicans (conservatives, actually) are those who want a dollar’s worth for every dollar paid.  Not a difficult concept except in national government.  That government is obviously too far removed from we the people and thus is able to continue to get away with highway robbery via tax policy.

A good rule-of-thumb is ‘Dems bad…CONSERVATIVES GOOD!’

Disingenuous Dems…

National politics is interesting and, at the same time, maddening.  The political posturing that substitutes for high-minded politics that helps this nation is also maddening.  The politicos have highjacked our democracy and are using it simply to feather their own nests.

The most artful in this respect appear to be the Democrats.  I suppose they have a lesser level of ethical concern and a greater level of self-interest at any cost and these things make them stand-outs in this “game”.  Maybe there are a few Republicans that are near the Dems in terms of their abilities to practice the same disingenuous form of politics, but the Dems have the lock on that brand, have had for years, and will have for decades to come.

There is a certain ability to completely wipe out memories from even a few minutes ago and to continue to press on to their objective…which is to win each argument and each mini-battle at whatever cost it takes.  The cost to personal reputation matters to Republicans because they are continually assailed whether or not there is anything to the accusations.  On the other hand, it appears that the voters favoring Dems have a different take on what constitutes good political behavior, fairness in debate and the ability to admit when one is wrong or has been bested in the debate.

This all is something like the playground bullies of our childhood.  We knew we might encounter them, but we also knew we would be threatened to make believe that we liked the bullies.  The risk of not feigning ‘like’ was a punch in the stomach or the arm, or being tripped and hit while trying to get up, and while trying to avoid showing that they had hurt us.

The playground bullies have apparently found their calling; they can become Democrats and rise to the heights never before contemplated in their bullying youth.

Now, if we had a press corps that was really doing its job, we might be granted some of their thoughts on the bullies across the aisle.  Those people who cannot defend their own positions so they constantly attack the other side’s positions on everything.  But we do not see that, do we?  If you know where to find that side represented, please share that with me and the readers of this blog.

There is a new Sheriff in town, though; a fellow by the name of Trump.  He has grown up in that rough and tumble…we call it New York City…and he has demonstrated that he can play with the roughest and toughest of the opposition and emerge with barely a sweat to show for the battle.  Were this not the case, there’d have been no rash of investigations all aimed at finding an Achilles’ heel.  Those still continue with the Dems after anything and everything Republican…while Bill and Hillary Clinton languish in the money they managed to accumulate in politics that doesn’t outwardly seem to pay that much, but…they are Dems so they get a pass.

The Obamas appear to have benefitted significantly more than the salary of the President would’ve suggested possible.  This was a backbench state Senator from Illinois who rose to the peak of government, and who retires and lives in what you and I would label an extravagant manner.  How is it that this occurs in virtually every Democrat’s case, but it is only Republicans that suffer through investigation after investigation…at the hands of Democrat operatives, as well.

The Dems have perfected the art form of continually harassing the opposition to the point that the opposition can only choose to defend itself or fight back but not do both.  Of course, this would not be so easy IF there were even one news organization that could see its way clear to calling this what it is.  The Fourth Estate, defined as a segment of society that wields an indirect but significant influence on society even though it is not a formally recognized part of the political system, has the power to keep the Republicans on the proverbial ropes while it completely ignores the Dems when they hold the power of the Oval Office and/or Congress.

And then we see Oprah Winfrey talking about taking the leap into politics.  It just doesn’t end, does it?  And this is being written while I hear the news in the background about a “government shutdown” by the disingenuous Republicans being lamented by the Dems who can hardly hold their glee in check.  Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) has already warned that people will die if the Republicans don’t relent and give in to the Dems.

Just another wonderful day in ‘The Swamp’.

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.