Monday, June 30, 2014

His Royal Highness The Clown Prince

Barack Obama is the first American President who, in the deepest darkest places in his heart, thinks he should be King. Of course, there were others that pushed the envelope. Richard Nixon comes to mind. But no one has made such a supreme attempt to nullify both the Congress and the courts as has Barack Obama. He is the first, in my memory anyway, to pair up with a totally subservient Attorney General to accomplish this elevation of his Presidential status.

In 2010 Obama donned his royal mien, robes would have been inappropriate, stood up to deliver his State of the Union message and publicly embarrassed the Supreme Court. It was a low shot, for  one reason. They could not publicly defend themselves. They had to sit there and take it. It was Obama's first attempt to diminish the Supreme Court and elevate himself above it. 

Previous Presidents who thought well of themselves still realized that they had to work with Congress to accomplish anything. In his first four years Obama had the blessing of a House and Senate completely controlled by his own party. He never had to work too hard at being President. They had effectively frozen out any Republican participation. All he had to do was suggest and others would make it so. In spite of that overriding power, they botched his healthcare mandate on multiple levels. Jobs never appeared but money, certainly, disappeared. The economy remained tanked and still remains tanked to this day.

At the mid-term elections, the voters wisely turned the house over to the Republicans. The Republicans, not so wisely, have not done well with the little power they were given. They did pass bills that would help the country. They sent them to the Senate, where Obama's tame majority leader, Harry Reid, assassinated them. The Democrats claim the Republicans are the party of no. Harry Reid is the Senator of stop. 

Actually it is the opposition's job to restrain an out of control President. They must say no a lot. That is the job they were elected to do, as the public slowly became aware that the President that they were promised was not the President they elected.

Now, the Royal Joker enters the picture. Surprisingly enough, it is the same Barack Obama. I must give him credit. If he had stayed out of politics, he could have made a living as a stand up comedian. He has the timing, the gestures, and the expressions down pat. It makes me wonder if he has had theatrical training. But, be that as it may, at the drop of a hat he can morph himself into Shecky Obama, comedian extrodinaire.

The problem is when he dons his pointy shoes, bells, and funny hat to become the Royal Joker, he becomes the royal whiner. "Poor me! Those awful Republicans won't do what I say! I'm smart and good. They're dumb and bad. If they'd just let me do even more of what I've been doing for six years we'd be living in Eden". Too bad, so sad. Whine away. Play the clown.

I think after six years of bad to worse, people have caught on. They have discovered that cool is not cool when you have a country to run. They realize that President Obama's words and his actions are seldom in sync. To those of you that have just caught on, welcome to the world of reality.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Our, Not So Beautiful, Balloons

It seems everything that the government involves itself in costs money. Not just a few dollars here and a few dollars there. No, way beyond reasonable, right into obscene. It should be obvious to even the casual observer how government, nanny type over spending, is harming our economy now and setting it up for a future crash.

Many many years ago, Claiborne Pell, the Democrat Senator from Rhode Island, had what he considered, a great idea. It probably was a good idea. But like with so many good ideas, the law of "unintended results" crept in. Senator Pell saw that many middle class and poor students could not afford a college education. He came up with Pell Grants. This, along with the Student Loan Program injected a lot of government money into the higher education business. College administrators, rather than keep modest institutions of higher learning, in the Socratic mold, started building empires. They turned campuses into resorts with classrooms. They hired more administrators than teaching staff. The cost of an education grew at a rate far outstripping inflation, leaving students with enormous debt. The government is now floating a debt that is far more than most these students will ever be able to repay. Especially in this era of few jobs. They call this the education bubble.

The government, in their never ending quest to assure equality of results, forced banks to make loans on houses that the people purchasing those homes couldn't afford. Again, the government picked up the float. That bubble popped once, bringing home sales to a crawl. So a government, that never seems to learn by it's mistakes, at the behest of developers and the real estate industry is dipping into that well once again. They call this the housing bubble.

Now we come to the most insidious government aberration of all. Six years ago, the economy was in the doldrums. It still is, and getting worse. The administration decided that the way out of this was to spend public money at a rate beyond ridiculous. This would normally create inflation. The Fed took two actions. They forced interest rates to a unnaturally low level and they started printing money as fast as the presses could produce it. They call it "Quantitative Easing" . QE has had a few interesting effects. First of all, you get practically no interest on savings accounts. Second it supports rising stock prices with no real economic underpinning. That means the rich get richer. Finally it depreciates the value of the dollar. This has created a financial bubble not seen since the depression. I call this the Bernanke Bubble.

Balloons don't last forever. Keep expanding them and they blow up in your face. What the administration has done is to try to create a political illusion. I'm tempted to use the lipstick on a pig reference, but I cannot stoop that low. But be aware of the dangers. Watch your debt and your investments. Be very careful. The light at the end of the tunnel is just a flickering candle.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Fixation On The Least Relevant

The administration, in concert, seems to spend the most time and energy on the very things that are least relevant to our survival and advancement as a country. What pointed me to finally reach this conclusion was a quote from John Kerry. I do not have the exact quote in front of me so I will paraphrase. He said, that going forward, he would see to it that we had more lesbian, bi-sexual, and trans-sexual ambassadors. Wouldn't it be better for the United States, if we had more capable ambassadors that were familiar their country of posting rather than political fund raisers that had never even visited the land they will be living in.

Equally in the administration's focus is protection for abortion and supplying birth control for women. As a Constitutional Constructionist, I opine that those two issues are not the business of the federal government. Does anyone remember "States Rights" anymore. Just in case you are not looking, both states rights and individual rights are being sucked into the slathering maw of  an overly rapacious federal monster, possibly never to be seen again. 

We have a government that would rather bow and scrape before foreign dictators than step back from the ideology of green energy. Some day we will have green energy. But not today. It won't be solar and it won't be wind. It will be a new technology. Possibly cold fusion. But in the meantime, we could be free and independent if the government focused on important issue of energy independence. 

For six years now the country has been waiting for jobs. The President has promised many times to make that his main focus. But now Obama has taken a big step in the workplace. He is promoting his new "flexible workplace policies". The essence of this is that people will be able to work less just because they want to. Just what companies need to succeed and grow. We need successful companies to expand and hire more workers. But who cares about that as long as the workers that are left vote left, so to speak.

The government is known for cooking the books to get the politically required results they need to deceive an under informed public. They do this with unemployment. They do this with cost of living. Now information is surfacing that NASA and NOAA may be cooking the books on global warming figures. It is well known that President Obama goes into raptures about global warming. I equate this with Don Quixote tilting at windmills. I guess that would make Joe Biden, Sancho Panza. It seems that those two esteemed and powerful four letter agencies may be adjusting their figures, not by real temperature readings, but by computer projected temperatures. Isn't that just ducky.

And finally, here is the ultimate in government irrelevancy. Unfortunately this is a state government initiative. But it is too good to pass up. Liberals in Minnesota have introduced and passed a bill to change the name of a fish from Asian carp (It is from Asia) to "invasive carp", because the original and correct name is "hurtful".

Ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Party's Over!

The party's over. The fat lady has sung. The horse has left the barn. And any other analogy that you can come up with. It comes down to this. Obama came to a fork in the road and he took it. He wanted to abandon Iraq, and he did. There was no status of forces agreement negotiated. There were no troops left behind to help stabilize the new democracy. There was no one to see that Nouri al Maliki lived up to his promises. He has to realize, you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. 

In the two years since we pulled the last of our troops out, Iraq has degraded. The Middle East is a complicated place. The universal religion of the area is also the universal political framework for the area. There is a constant push-pull where the political frames the religious and the religious frames the political. But within each group, there are sects, and within each sect there are sub-sects. 

The two largest sects in Islam are the Shia and the Sunnis. For years Iraq was brutally controlled by the Sunnis. Al Maliki is Shia. More than that, he lived in Shia Iran for many years. He is not a fan of Sunnis or Kurds and, contrary to his promise, left them out of his government. Bitterness ensued.

Due to this, the Sunni militias joined together and formed ISIS. They organized and trained and became a fighting machine. They took over towns and cities and expanded their territory even over into Syria. In their hearts they believe that they have created the base of the Islamic Caliphate. The traditional capitol of the Caliphate is Baghdad. Their army is now within forty miles of Baghdad. They have American Humvees and Stinger Missiles. Their ranks grow with each mile they go forward. If they take Baghdad, there may be no stopping them.

Al Maliki would like some help. He cannot be trusted. I believe that the best thing that we can do right now is to pull all Americans out of the country. To get between the Sunnis and the Shia will turn out badly. The Shia live for the return of the Twelfth Imam. A figure that they believe will come forth when the world is in turmoil, leading Jesus and Moses to convert the world to Islam.

They believe that to die in this quest is a high honor that will transport that jihadi immediately to Allah's presence to receive his rewards and his glory. To get in the middle of a battle between fanatics is a suicidal plan. America has already spent to much blood and to much wealth to aid those that hate us and will always hate us. 

Sometimes the best thing to do is to sit on the sidelines for a while and see how things shake out. No matter what we do we will have no control. Although some reasonable assistance to the Kurds may be useful. This is like a cop going into a domestic dispute between a husband and wife. While he is trying to do good, suddenly both turn on him and he is the enemy. To Muslims, we are already the enemy. Now is the time for thought, not action.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Random Thoughts - Thirty-Eight

Avoid a Harvard and Princeton education. It hasn't worked out well for Michelle Obama. They didn't teach her basic nutrition nor family raising techniques. I thought most folks learned this stuff before they went to college. I don't remember any courses like that in college catalogs. They also, apparently, never taught her history. She told a bunch of immigrants that the Founding Fathers were not born in America. Sorry Michelle, you flunk.

Will someone please pass the word to Elijah Cummings that, when he covers up for the Obama administration in the House Oversight Committee, it makes him look corrupt and uninterested in good government. I really think Elijah is better than that.

I read where the invertebrate collection at the National Zoo is closing. What will they do with all those Congress persons?

So we are sending three hundred "advisers" into Iraq. Is this beyond the Marines being sent to the embassy? This is not under a Status of Forces Agreement. Will their legal rights be protected if they must protect themselves? We have walked away from Iraq once. I see no reason to go back. Especially not for Nuri al Malaki. I can't help but think this will end badly. 

Remember the VA scandal. As far as I can glean, they are still dithering and the vets are still going without care. Hey, with all the fund raising and golf, who can keep track.....

Remember Benghazi. Their still trying to keep as much of that covered up as they can. Hillary is in a killer frenzy of denial. (No pun intended. But if the shoe fits...)

Remember Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi. He still languishes in a Mexican prison. It seems that his Commander in Chief is perfectly willing to leave him behind. Maybe if he converted to Islam, Obama would take notice. But I have a suggestion. The next time the Mexican Military crosses our border, which they do, frequently, round them up and throw them in one of our prisons.  

I predict that any day now, Obama will realize that we still need jobs and he will make it his main focus for the fifteenth time. Or is it the sixteenth? But they will work twenty-four hours a day to get this done. Yawn. Same old, same old.

Futbol, boring. Football, exciting. The Worlds Cup of dull. Just saying.

There is a good chance that the Fundamentalist Muslims are going to get their Caliphate. If they do succeed, two things will happen. They will expand it at every opportunity. They have an understanding of incrementalism that we seem to lack. If they can gain an acre they will take it and be thankful. The other thing is, that it will become ground zero for the training and exportation of terrorists. Just think, with a substantial home base and centralized facilities, how much better they can train their monsters. Be prepared.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Why Wouldn't He?

The President takes an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Inherent in this oath is the expectancy that he will also preserve protect and defend the country and it's citizens. Why wouldn't he? After all he spent millions of dollars of other peoples money to gain the office. He spent months and months running for office. Pressing flesh, eating rubber chicken, and speechifying is not a task most folks enjoy.

A certain amount of leeway is allowed a President, once he is seated in the Oval Office. People allow him reasonable latitude for his personal agenda. But they expect him to be cognizant of their agenda also. Why wouldn't he?

A big industrialized country like the USA has needs. One of our biggest needs is fuel to generate the electricity, to power our automobiles, to move the engines of production. With the world in turmoil centered around the Middle East, the existing source of fossil fuels becomes questionable. But buried under our own and Canada's soil are sufficient reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas for the next century. Build the Keystone XL pipeline and dig and drill. Put together a positive energy plan until the next big innovation in energy. That is something a President could do. Why wouldn't he?

Americans love peace. They know that a big and powerful military preserves the peace. Unfortunately, to many politicians, and that includes Presidents, love to dabble in war and regime change in far away places. The last war that I can see any justification for is the Korean War. There are usually ways to deal with bad actors in foreign lands other than boots on the ground and bombs in the air. A President can keep us out of bad and dangerous situations like that. Why wouldn't he?

Americans want a secure country. To have a secure country the government must control the borders. Unsecured borders allow criminals and terrorists in, along with the flood of illegal aliens. A conscientious President wouldn't allow this. Why would he? 

Almost every American citizen fears the IRS. They have the power to destroy your business. They have the power to destroy you personally. And as opposed to criminal charges, you are considered guilty until you can, at your own expense, prove your innocence. To set an agency like this on honest taxpayers, with whom they disagree, is one of the lowest and most despicable things that a politician could do. A solid and upstanding President wouldn't allow it. Why would he?

There are many things that a President could do to bring back a sadly sagging economy. He could lower taxes. He could lighten the burden of over-regulation. He could eliminate the overwhelming confusion in business circles brought about by a convoluted and confused medical plan by just walking it backward. There are so many things that a serious President could do to live up to both the letter and spirit of his oath. Think about it. Why wouldn't he. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Presidents I Have Known - Part 4

This will be the last of this series. The Presidents after Carter are too recent for me to have a proper perspective. If you haven't read the previous essays, it would help if you did.

So, Tricky Dicky Nixon bailed. At that point there was no other choice. Gerald Ford stepped into the oval office. Poor President Ford had a reputation as a clumsy bumbler and a lightweight. He was none of those things. But what he was was a place keeper. He kept the lights on and the office open until the next election. His one claim to fame was signing the Helsinki accords. And so we move on.

Then, God help us, we were afflicted with James Earl Carter. Another man touted to an unsuspecting American public as brilliant. It was inconceivable that one man could mess up the country as much as Mr. Carter. First were the gas lines. We had so little gas it was rationed. People sat in lines for hours to get gasoline only to have the pumps run dry. 

If you wanted to buy a home, mortgages were available at seventeen or eighteen percent. He gave away the Panama canal. One time he was out in a canoe. Do not ask me why. But a rabbit started swimming toward Carter's little boat. He beat the rabbit to death with a paddle. He said, he was afraid it would attack him. 

But his master stroke was Iran. The Shah of Iran was a strong ally of the United States. Apparently Jimmy didn't like Shahs. He ousted the Shah, allowing Ayatollah Khomeini to come back into Iran and take over the government and turn it into a theocracy. Almost immediately Khomeini's minions attacked the American Embassy, against international law, and took the ambassador and the embassy staff prisoner. They were held for 444 days. In that time there was only one ill timed attempt to rescue them. That attempt crashed and burned in the desert.

Until today, the Carter administration has been considered the most inept presidency ever. If one must find a redeeming feature in Carter's four years, it is this. If you were clear of debt and avoided borrowing, and if you had some available cash, you could buy Certificates of Deposit at around fourteen percent. You will not find that today. Nobody in the middle class has available cash anyway.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Spy In The White House

Since the first cave man threw a rock at another cave man, mankind has been fighting. Small wars, big wars, they keep finding enemies to try to destroy. One thing that seems to be universal, is the desire to get a spy in the enemy camp. To know your enemy's plans is to assure their defeat.

Those that would wage war in the Middle East have a master spy in the White House.  Unfortunately, it happens to be the Commander in Chief of the United States Military. I am tired of writing about our President. I really am. But there is always something. I have been writing five articles a week and there is barely a day that goes by without at least a dishonorable mention for our POTUS.

His problem as Commander in Chief, as it is in so many areas, is that he is too political. That is the only mode in which he operates. He has no war fighting mode. Everything in his life is a positive or a negative politically.

To that end, when he thinks something, he must tell the public. When he does something, he must tell the public. When he thinks he might do something, he must tell the public. He knows in his own mind, that the public will be amazed by his brilliance and adore him. Will someone please have the stones to tell him it isn't working.

But that brings us to beautiful sandy Iraq where, not so suddenly, everything is going sideways. Mr. Obama announced we were pulling out of Iraq and not getting a Status of Forces Agreement. The Sunnis then huddled down, Mr. al Malaki kept silent and Americans went away. Immediately, Mr. al Malaki shut everyone but Shias out of the government and the Sunnis started building ISIS.

In the two plus years since the American pullout, ISIS, another al Qaeda affiliate, he gained strength and territory. Their desire to control the much desired Caliphate and their extreme violence has thrown even Iran into turmoil. Don't forget, ISIS is Sunni and Iran, like the Malaki government, is Shia. ISIS has so terrorized the much larger Iraqi army, that they have shed their uniforms and thrown down their weapons.

So Mr. Obama announces, "no boots on the ground" very publicly. Then he realized that he can't protect Americans in Iraq without a military presence. Then he announced 275 Marine will be sent to the embassy. How convenient. If ISIS gets to Baghdad, they will know who and how many will be protecting our embassy.

Then our President realizes that we can't spot targets without boots on the ground. So he announces another fifty Spec-ops guys will be sent in. And ISIS said, "thanks for the heads up". For those that don't know, let me explain a really cool special operations technique. It is called a HAHO parachute jump. They can exit a plane at high altitude twenty or more miles from the target site. They immediatly deploy their steerable chutes and sail that twenty miles and land covertly. No one even knows that they are there. Unless the President announces it for political reasons.

There is more here, like negotiating with Iran and the fact that ISIS has American Stinger missiles. But it should be obvious to everyone that the country and our allies would be better off if our President learned to be a little more circumspect with his speech. After all, loose lips don't just sink ships. They also sink presidencies.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Important Ammendment

Don't get me wrong, almost all of the amendments to the Constitution are important. Not so much the eighteenth amendment, known as the Volstead Act. But in particular, the Bill of Rights, our first ten Amendments, are as important as the body of the Constitution itself

I believe the framers wrote those amendments as our individual and personal rights, and in the order that they felt was most important. Freedom of speech and religion first in importance and the right to keep and bear arms second.

Today, in our present society, I think that the Second Amendment may be even more important than the others. I believe this for two reasons. Both reasons are rooted in a government grown too big and too powerful. We have a government today that seems to be turning against the citizens in a quest for power and control.

My first reason is that the First Amendment is under attack in at least three ways. The first way is political speech. More seriously, conservative political speech. There is a view in the left wing establishment that liberal political speech is informative while conservative political speech is evil. For my part, I believe just the opposite. But I also believe, as do most conservatives, that everybody, including groups and corporations, have a right to use the political soapbox. 

Also under fire is the right to freedom of religion. But only Christian faiths seem to be under attack. The country was founded on Judeo-Christian philosophy. But that is being beaten upon by the loud whining voice of atheists. They are the most easily offended group that has ever lived. They make the princess of "The Princess and the Pea" fame look like the contestants in a tough guy competition. Those that are so quick to take offense should go to a spa. Get a soothing wrap, and get over it. Let everyone that wishes have their memorials in the town square. If your group has none, go find something to believe in. It will do you good.

Equally troubling is the penchant in government lately to go after reporters through legal means. Not the administrations tame house pets of course, but the reporter that are willing to dig rather than sit like good puppies, waiting for a treat. Liberals seem not to like hard news. Fair and balanced is not their preference.

The one real protection that us proles have against an over weaning government, is the Second Amendment, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Far, far, to many people that should know better are lined up against this right from inside government, outside government, and even from the UN. I have never been a conspiracy nut, but this stinks of organized trouble making. Along with all of this, Barack Obama has quietly built his domestic army as he promised after election. This is about his only promise that he has fulfilled. So he has the ability to call out someplace over one hundred thousand trained warriors, with fully automatic military rifles and .40 caliber autoloading pistols, billions of rounds of ammunition, and twenty-five thousand armored personnel carriers. 

We are a country that may be in more serious trouble than what we know. We must preserve our rights as they were given to us.  As frustrating as it may be, we must try to bring understanding to those that are uninformed. But most of all, we must stand fast as Americans. That is why, today, the Second Amendment is most important. It allows free men to preserve the rest.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Crisis Of The Week Club

I call this meeting of the crisis of the week club to order. We have a crisis. As we get closer to election, Obama is accelerating. We are now at a two crisis a week pace. I believe his theory is that if enough crises are occurring, our brains will just get numb and we won't notice. This has already happened with a large chunk of the press.

Now, to put kidding aside and get serious, starting last week we had two crises grow to nuclear proportions. What is happening in Iraq is a tragedy for them and a tragedy for us. When one wishes to end a war, one does not leave ones marbles on the ground and walk away. Especially with someone like Nuri al-Malaki in charge. A wise man would have brought the Sunnis and the Kurds into a Shia led government so everyone had an ownership stake. Al-Malaki is not a wise man. 

For years Shias suffered under Sunni rule. Al-Malaki in his quest to regain lost opportunity, has turned his country into a madhouse where violent murderers have control over the institution. If the United States government had properly negotiated a plan where they could have retained troops and assured stability, this would not be happening. The jihadists now see the seeds of their caliphate. Meanwhile Barack Obama is contemplating his navel or his third shot on the seventh hole or anything but the serious business of being President. This will not end soon and it will not end well.

Meanwhile on the other side of the world is an American tragedy that concerns me more than Iraq. That is because it is happening on our soil, in our name, and because it should not be happening. Who had the totally insane idea to allow thousands of unescorted children to come into this country from Central and South America. We are warehousing them with no real facilities. Without the ability to properly feed them or see to their health care. And without even the ability to properly protect them. They have created a supermarket for child predators. 

These poor children came here chasing a dream and are going to fall into a nightmare. The vain and incompetent that are trying to run our country at this point cannot blame this on Bush or some low level employee from Cincinnati or any where else but the Obama Administration. And I am certain that the blame deserves to go somewhere near the top.

The man that promised to calm the seas and convince the lion to lie down with the lamb, has brought nothing but division and chaos. I know that someday I will be proud of my country again. Just not right now. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Behind, Facing Backward, With Eyes Closed

Some say that Barack Obama does not have a clear view of the international situation. It is impossible to see what is ahead when you are standing behind and looking backwards. When he even opens his eyes for a short time he exhibits no understanding of what he sees. 

When your guide for international activity is your own domestic political agenda and when you surround yourself with simpering sycophants who will only tell you what you want to hear, when you find daily security briefings boring and unnecessary, you have closed your eyes tight. If your ego tells you that you know more about any subject than those who immerse themselves in that subject and are true experts, you will pile mistake upon mistake. The problem being that when the President of the United States makes mistakes, truly bad things happen.

When you greet every unseen crisis with the need to investigate how it happened and who can be thrown under the bus, rather than asking smart people that can give actual useful guidance, you waste valuable time and allow things to go from bad to horrific. This is what has happened in Iraq.

Just to show how tightly the President and his supporters cling to history as an excuse for present inaction, I ran across a short piece on Facebook by Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor, under Bill Clinton and very much the liberal activist. It was written in Florida where Reich is visiting his father who he says is over one hundred years old. In the article, he claims to be quoting his father. What followed was a disgustingly rude and biased analysis of what has caused the Iraq debacle. Not only is it insulting, it distorts history claiming that Obama has spent six years cleaning up Bushes mess. In truth Obama has created even more and bigger messes and exacerbated existing ones.

A real leader gets up front where his vision is clear. He encourages contrary opinions so he can have a balanced judgement. He listens to the opposition and is willing to admit his own weaknesses. In crisis, he does these things quickly. He focuses and keeps his eye on the ball. Not the golf ball, if you please. He is willing to put aside his own pleasures as long as necessary to show he is serious and in control.

True leadership means raising your country and it's people to the highest level they can achieve. Until now no American leader has ever tried to lower the country and it's people so that they are indistinguishable and undistinguished in a world of mediocrity.

Friday, June 13, 2014

We Are All Tea Party Now

When I say all, I mean conservatives. Liberals are a whole other kind of party and I won't attend. I do not see the Tea Party the way that I hear it described on TV. To me, the Tea Party is a disorganized group of people, some of whom have organized into an unorganized group of organizations. I hope that makes it clear. It is kind of a forest and trees thing.

I fear that I must explain. Those that think in a Tea Party vein are conservative. They believe in American exceptionalism. They like the Constitution as it stands. They like free market capitalism. They like small government that does not have it's boot on the neck of the people. They believe in equal opportunity, not government mandated equal outcome. They believe that a strong military is a force for peace. They believe that lower taxes makes for success. They believe that politicians should fulfill their promises.

Now that I think about it, that is what America used to be. You know, back when we were really a great nation, not just the shell of one.

So people being the way they are, they tend to form groups and organize. Promotion of the cause and social interaction being a predictable outlet for the like minded. Now every large group has it's share of wing nuts. That goes for both liberals and conservatives. But the press loves to paint the Tea Party types as over the top while accepting Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi as normal. That is a headwind that is tough to buck. Especially after the opposition has used their power to sic the IRS on you.

While there are a lot of individual Tea Party organizations out there, all independent of the others. There are millions of people that think Tea Party while belonging to nothing. These people, pretty much despise the Republican power structure, finding them feckless, self aggrandizing, and more concerned with control than progress. They are tired of RINOs.

Dave Brat was a Tea Party candidate. A good candidate. He had firm positions. He could expound on those positions clearly and in detail. He, as an economist, had professional qualifications. And he won against an incumbent that had gone squishy. It was a good win and he deserved it. 

The power of the Tea Party is just starting to build. If they can beat down the assaults, keep focused, and find exceptional candidates, their power will increase. They are what my wife likes to call "regular Americans". They believe that the greatest country in the world is the United States of America. And they want to keep it that way. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Why Not Educate The Poor, Too

I have been fuming about the education system for some time now. It is messed up. OK, I'll come right out with it. Liberals have messed up the education system. The basis for the problem is how liberals look at a problem. Or even what they conceive of as a problem, even if none exist.

With liberals it is all about intentions and feelings and equality of results. With conservatives, it is all about end results. An example. When I was in school, each grade had three levels. They didn't label them but, you knew. The smart kids. The average kids. Those that either could not or would not keep up. That way people learned at their pace. Classes had fewer disruptions.

That was deemed unequal. Mix them up and place them by lot. Slow everyone down so no one gets left behind. But then they realized that some schools were better than others. A family that purchased a home based on school quality suddenly found their kids transported for an hour on a school bus to lesser quality schools. 

They equalized results all right. We have gone from first in education among nations to twelfth. How many of the liberals that pushed equality on the masses have their own children in private schools where scholars prevail.

There is an opportunity now to raise the level of education for poor children through school choice, charter schools, and magnet schools. New Orleans has done this as part of their rebuilding process after Katrina. From all reports it is working beautifully. Why not in every city? Because the liberal politicians are fighting it tooth and nail. They care more about bowing down to the Public Service Employees Union that feeds their campaign coffers than caring for our most deprived children.

If those kids got a decent education in decent schools with good teachers and we could ever get the American economy rolling again so those kids could get decent jobs, teen pregnancy rates would drop, crime would go down, the whole country would be better for it. As I said, it is not about dragging everybody down in the name of equality of results. It is about raising those willing and wanting and giving everyone equal opportunity to succeed.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Random Thoughts - Thirty-Seven

Barack wants to control carbon dioxide emissions. So I have an idea that is just as good as any of his. Everyone in the United States, just hold your breath for thirty seconds, once an hour. That will amount to twelve minutes a day that you are not exhaling that evil CO2. I'm expecting a Presidential medal for this idea.

There are people thinking that Hillary may run for President. (I don't think that she will.) Some even think that she could win. (I pray every day that she won't.) But, if she does, and if she should, our present President will hear a familiar refrain. For as long as she remains in office, when bad things happen, all we will hear is, "it's Obama's fault, I inherited these problems". Payback is a bitch.

I have opined that Michelle may run for President. Some are saying now that Senator may suit her. I just wonder where she might carpet bag off to. But if she should become a United States Senator, I think that she will learn fro Hillary's mistake. I doubt that she would ever give up, what I consider the best job in the world, to take a time limited appointed office subject to the whims of a politician. Cabinet post or not.

I saw a commentator from Fox Business News touting how things are looking better because 217,000 jobs were created in May. I would have expected better insight from an FBN person. The published unemployment figures remained the same. The economy shrank. The participation rate decreased. Middle class salaries decreased. Most jobs created were part time or low wage. In six years there has been no recovery. None. As I am wont to say, "the economy is still bouncing along the bottom of dismal swamp".

Just an opinion but, the Fed is still going strong on quantitative easing. I have always thought that they would, until after this years election to help Obama and the Democrats. After the election, all bets are off. The Bernanke Bubble gets a little bigger every day. When it blows, a lot of people that cannot afford it, will be hurt. A lot of very rich people will get richer.

Does anybody but John Kerry, really believe that the Gitmo Five are going to spend the next year sitting around in a luxury apartment in Qatar and not be plotting how to kill more Americans? 

Happiness is a week without seeing Barack Obama's face on TV, saying words.

Anyone planning a Mexican vacation should cancel. All tourism to Mexico should cease as long as Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi is held prisoner. Hit them in the pocketbook and he'll be home. It disgusts me that our government can't or won't protect our citizens. Obama has turned into the"Little Engine that Can't".

Wendy Davis, Democrat from Texas says that Republicans don't like anybody that doesn't look like them. I used to be a Republican and I can state unequivocally that that is untrue. What I have observed is that Democrats and liberals in general, despise anyone that doesn't think like them. No opposing opinions allowed or we will destroy you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Presidents I Have Known - Part 3

I suggest that you read parts 1 and 2 if you have not done so. But we move on as the country did after that terrible day in Dallas. I once had a young Democrat politician visit me at my home. He wanted to understand the conservative point of view. When we sat down, I asked him, what recent president had done the most to harm the country? He thought long before he answered, Lyndon Johnson. I told him he was correct.

Lyndon Baines Johnson was a political "bull of the woods".He was a Senator, Majority Whip, and Majority Leader before he was sworn in as President. As Majority Leader he knew how to get things done, as opposed to Harry Reid, who only seems to know how to get things stopped. Though they would fight like devils on the Senate floor, there was an air of collegiality that is missing today. They would deal on legislation to the point where no one got everything but everybody got something.

But LBJ had one grand idea. It was that he could defeat poverty. As President he could fight that war. If that were his only war, he may have survived into a second term. But he also wanted to defeat communism in Viet Nam. 

The "war on poverty" was a hugely expanded national welfare program. In these days poor families stayed together because they had to to survive. But the new government program would give money to single moms. So the men moved out when the welfare worker was coming by. After a while they didn't come back. Teenage girls that were unhappy at home or in school realized that if they got pregnant the government would set them up to live on their own. How cool!

At the same time, Johnson escalated the war in Viet Nam and the country was torn apart. Student protests and domestic violence were common. Young men deserted to Canada rather than go to war. Even the music became anti-war with a hard edge. About the only thing Johnson had created was turmoil. Johnson announced he would not seek a second term

And then came Richard Milhous Nixon. Nixon had the potential to be one of the greatest Presidents ever. He opened up China and broke the anti-American, Russia China coalition. He stopped the fighting in Viet Nam. He was a strong believer in states rights.

Richard Nixon had one major failing. He thought that he was the only person qualified to be President. He had followers that had even fewer scruples than he did. So they broke into the Democrat headquarters in the Watergate Hotel. And they got caught. And Nixon lied about it. And he was driven out of office. Not good times in America.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Where The Hell Are The Patriots

You can be sure that I am not discussing the New England football team. I mean the people in Washington D.C. that we have entrusted to care for this country, it's Constitution, and it's citizens. I am not just referring to politicians here. I refer to aides, staff, government employees, and even talking heads.

Our employees in Washington should turn off the grinding wheel and stop grinding on their pitiful little axes. There is a country out there that is being brought to it's knees and becoming an international embarrassment. Those, that I address here, have allowed this to happen. They are the only ones, today, that can make it right.

We have an unskilled President, with delusions of grandeur, who is tearing up the Constitution, and usurping the powers given to a Congress that seems not to care. We have an Attorney General who is fixated on racial issues and is allowed to pick and choose the laws he wishes to enforce. We have a Senate that used to be the most respected deliberative body in the world that has been turned into the, Harry Reid is in charge, club. We have a House divided against itself that just fumbles and bumbles and accomplishes nothing of substance.

Civility is gone from our nations capitol, leaving a blood lust for power behind. The politics of personal destruction have become the order of the day. We have reached a sorry state when the Majority Leader of the Senate can, from the floor of the Senate, rage against and vilify American citizens who hold no elected office, and stand unchallenged in his scurrilous behavior.

As far as government employees go, those that work at the VA who feathered their own nest at the cost of the health and lives of our hero veterans are not patriots. They are craven criminals who should be prosecuted and jailed for their callous behavior. I just hope there is a reserved seat in hell waiting for each and every one of them.

Those employed by the IRS who allowed themselves to be turned into political thugs and enforcers by the members of the Democrat party are not patriots. They, and those in government that subverted them, should also pay a steep legal price. With an honest Department of Justice, the FBI would be all over them and we would be seeing perp walks every night on TV.

With the administration that is in place, nothing will change. Most of the denizens of Washington care more for personal power and their self-image of great importance, than they care about the country. They do not believe that the United States of America is any more than and area of land in which to reside. No better, no worse, than any other piece of land. 

They are so wrong!

Friday, June 6, 2014

They Won, We Lost

I'll bet you have an opinion on this Bergdahl mess. By now, I would think that everyone in the world has an opinion. If you are a devout and Kool-aid drinking liberal, I am sure you believe the Sainted, Lord of the Universe, Barack the First, worked wonders saving that sick young man from the horrors of imprisonment. 

If you are reading this while waiting for Duck Dynasty to come on, You are probably thinking, the fool Obama screwed up again. How much more can we stand?

But let's think about how it is perceived in other parts of the world. Those innumerable parts of the world where the United States is no longer loved nor trusted. Where our President is seen as a light weight political opportunist.

Even in this country only between thirty and forty percent express any faith in Obama's competence. In the rest of the world it gets worse. Much worse.

So how do they see it? It has been made public that Bergdahl walked off of his post and sought out the Taliban. People see that as deserting and joining the opposition. He had already started learning Pashto before he walked off. Once with the Taliban he continued his learning. Some say he aided the Taliban in bomb making and tactics. He grew a beard that appears the he groomed in the Islamic manner. The world sees him as a convert. And he may have been.

To get this non-entity back, Obama made a deal. The five top Taliban leaders, the men the Taliban demanded, some accused of "crimes against humanity", would be returned to the Muslim world. We would then continue drawing down our troops. Aggressive action would cease. We would withdraw. 

The "convert", if he is such, would return to the United States. If he were to come home free, he could work to convert others. If he went to military prison, he could work to convert others there. Understand, the prisons are a great source for Islamic conversion. There are Imams and Islamic groups working in almost all prisons in this country. Or maybe as a mujaheddin, he sacrificed to go home to get those the Taliban values most released. 

So the United States gave them back their leaders and continue to withdraw. They won. We lost.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Mal, Mis, Non

Let me introduce you to the feasance triplets. Malfeasance, intentionally doing wrong in performance of your duties; misfeasance, making an error in the performance of duties; and nonfeasance, ignoring your duties. These three together are the bulwark of the Obama policy machine, whether foreign or domestic. 

Obama's term in office has been fraught with scandal. Think back, when have we ever been exposed to a Presidency so tangled in controversy. Every administration gets caught up in one or two, but this has been a week by week, continuous parade. The Democrat talking heads and professional spinners would have you believe that all this is nothing but Republican grandstanding. That is so much, not so.

It is just that every administration action seems to be controlled by one of the feasance triplets.

Let's look at the latest and most despicable. That is the VA scandal. The Obama people were warned during the transition that terrible thing were happening. Obama even made speeches acknowledging the mismanagement. He put Eric Shinseki in charge to fix the problem. Nonfeasance immediately stepped in and took over the situation. In other words it languished for over five years with no attempt to make things right. The triplets rule.

Let's go back in time to one of the first scandals, "Fast and Furious". The ATF had a plan. They would allow firearms to be smuggled into Mexico and track them to their destination. In spite of claims to the contrary, you can be sure folks up the administrative line, signed off on this. But then misfeasance took over. Nobody bothered to bring the Mexican government into the plan. Then nobody remembered that they were supposed to track the firearms. They disappeared into the hands of Mexican cartels. Good Americans died. Once again, the triplits rule. 

The triplets biggest contribution was Benghazi.  All three of the triplets made contributions here. Malfeasance took over when Ambassador Stevens asked for an increase in security and it was not granted. Misfeasance took him from his embassy in Tripoli to Benghazi in the first place. Nonfeasance prevented any serious attempt to rescue the four that were abandoned to be murdered, and continues to prevent the capture of the guilty jihadists. 

Yessir, when you build policy around the feasance triplets so many things can happen. But none of them good.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Only Conclusion

First of all, I did not vote for Barack Obama. Either time. And it was not because I am a racist. It was because he promised to completely transform a country that I considered just fine as it was. Also listening to his speeches, his frequent interminable speeches, I heard nothing that would alter my opinion. Even beyond that, his overweening grandiosness about himself put me off. My BS detector was up in the red zone.

The public perception seemed to be that Obama was cool and Romney was not. So Obama won. The first inkling I had that we were in real trouble was when, and I'm paraphrasing here, he said to the Republicans, "I won, you didn't. It is going to be my way."

Now the Republicans represented almost fifty percent of the electorate. Presidents in the past, even when they had the controlling votes, were wise enough to keep the opposition party as part of the governmental process. In my lifetime this was the first time I had ever seen a President turn himself into an instant dictator. 

When Obama took office, the economy was down and jobs were badly needed. If the jobs were there the economy would soon follow. The new President said that he was going to make jobs his first priority. He proceeded to take no positive action that helped the jobs situation other than to say he was looking for "shovel ready projects". If you have ever spent time in the construction industry, you know that no such project exists.

Multiple times he has given lip service to focusing on jobs, but his every action, his every regulation, makes matters worse. So after more than five years the jobs market and the economy still deteriorate.

We were promised a great and wonderful new health care system that would build on what was good, eliminate the bad, and bring more citizens into the fold. After over five years our health care system has turned into a shambles. 

Obama promised that he could make the world love us. He could bring our allies closer and convince our enemies to take our collective hand. After more than five years, our allies distrust us and our enemies scorn us.

When he took office, Obama was told that the VA was mistreating our hero veterans. He promised to fix it. After more than five years it is worse than ever. 

We have seen more than five years of continuous scandals. Nothing like any of us has ever seen before. This is backed by a barrage of politics over country, and the complete denigration of the Constitution.

The country is worse off now than when Obama was elected. Badly so. The situation is too bad to be ignored, although some, including much of the press, seem determined to ignore it. Obama has to see and understand the direction in which the country is headed. A wise and just man would reverse his course and try to set things right. But our President continues on, not veering one bit from the course he set, even as our national pain increases.

So I have finally come to a conclusion. It is a conclusion that I have consciously avoided because it is unthinkable to me. But there it is. Releasing the Gitmo Five pushed me over the top. I can only conclude from what I see is that our sworn President is willfully doing harm to the country I love. And if I am right, I despise him for it.   

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Presidents I Have Known - Part 2

If you have not read part 1, I suggest that you do, so you understand the basic premise. 

It is now time to talk about my personal favorite President. That would be Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower. I was in Junior High School when Ike Eisenhower, the hero general of WWII, ran for President. I remember hopping on a bus after school and going into the city to the Eisenhower campaign headquarters to get "I Like Ike" buttons which I wore proudly.

I grew up with Ike as President. In junior high when he came into office, married when he left office. It was the fifties. It was peaceful. We went from the big bands to "rhythm and blues" to "rock and roll". It was a great time to be a kid.

Men coming home from their military duty didn't want to go back to the tenements. They wanted homes of their own. And that is what the got. Small affordable capes and ranches sprang up in the suburbs. Families abandoned city living. The economy flourished.

Eisenhower, as a military tactician, knew that, should the US be attacked, transporting materiel and troops would be near impossible on the road system designed for model Ts. The interstate highway system was built. That along with bigger, more comfortable, more powerful automobiles put America on wheels. Great times.

Now, Ike liked to vacation and he liked to play golf. But he did not travel far for either. Camp David in Maryland was a favorite. But his very favorite was his house in Fort Adams in Rhode Island. A prime reason to visit Rhode Island was that the house was close to the Newport Country Club, also a favorite of his. The Eisenhower House is owned, today, by the State of Rhode Island and is beautifully maintained.

After Eisenhower there came a good looking Boston Brahmin war hero named John F. Kennedy looking to be President. He had a beautiful stylish wife, Jackie. They were rich. They captured the public fancy. It was the rebirth of Camelot. To beat Richard Nixon required 270 electoral votes. Kennedy got 303. It was a landslide.

This was the first election that my wife and I were eligible to vote. I was much more liberal way back then. I confess I succumbed to the Kennedy charm. But it was not the smoothest Presidency at times. JFK and his brother wanted desperately to take down Fidel Castro. That led to the Bay of Pigs debacle. Then there was the tragedy at Chappaquiddick. The worst thing was that Kennedy put "advisers" into Viet Nam. We all know where that led.

There were some great successes. The economy was in recession when JFK took office. He made a fine speech explaining how lowering taxes would energize the economy. He got the tax decrease passed and the results were as advertised. The economy bounced back. He also stood up to the clownish bully from the USSR, Nikita Khrushchev. Khrushchev tried to smuggle missiles into Cuba. Kennedy faced him down and won the day.

It all ended on a tragic morning in Dallas. That and the aftermath are a shameful chapter in the history of the American Presidency as all assassinations are. I doubt if we will ever know the truth but there are those that will always try. More to come...

And on a personal note, I want to welcome the person in the White House that monitors my blog. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. Let me say, sometimes you just have to go with the circumstantial evidence. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Pond Scum

There is not much in the world lower than pond scum. May I suggest that the politicians and administrators who knew the extent of the problems in the Veterans Administration and let them fester are, in fact, lower than pond scum.

They, who feed at the public trough, many for their whole working lives, allow American heroes to suffer what they would never accept for themselves. They now are presented with a chance to redeem themselves. Just moments ago, General Shinseki resigned. He had allowed five years to be wasted. His resignation had to happen. Congress must make sure his replacement is a skilled administrator, used to dealing with a worldwide organization. He must build a staff of competent health care administrators. Lose all the political hacks and self servers. The veterans deserve better.

Give the veterans healthcare cards so that they may get care anyplace that is able to provide it. Perhaps a low co-pay would be appropriate if they choose private medical treatment. But it must be very low. These cards would ease the burden and streamline the system. 

Have the VA facilities do what they can do best for the vets. Things like wound care, prosthetics, rehabilitation, and the treatment of PTSD would be prime examples. These are beyond the capacity of most community hospitals. In this way, the advancement in the treatment of problems specific to veterans would continue, while immediate treatment for the more common health problems would be immediately available.

Veteran's health care is a big and complicated system. It has had serious problems practically forever. Now the country has a golden opportunity to do what is right and change the system forever. If, for once, those with the responsibility can keep the politics out and just think of the veterans, progress can be made. To my mind, it must be done. These men and women have earned it.