Is Ignorance Bliss or is Bliss Ignorance?

If you start with the premise that most politicians are well-intentioned and genuinely believe they are acting in the best interest of the nation, you may have a different perspective on them.  And then reality sets in and you realize most politicians act in their own best interest while pretending to care about your interests.

The questions I always ask is do politicians believe the crap that spews from their mouths?  Do they think we do? I’m not sure which answer is better.  If they do believe their drivel then they are ignorant of their constant flip-flops.  If they do not, then they are purposefully lying.

Both political parties rotate their positions on hot-button topics depending on whether their party is in office.  Don’t believe me?  Senator Chuck Schumer sounded a lot like President Trump on immigration in 2009 and then must have evolved in 2017.  I pick on Senator Schumer mostly because I consider him devoid of any morals or ethics but every politician flips then flops depending on whatever serves their interest at that moment.

I completely and utterly disagree with Senator Bernie Sanders but admire his steadfast belief in socialism.  He is consistent and almost convincing as genuinely believing his positions.  I do not like Senator Ted Cruz’s personality but I do tend to agree with a lot of his fiscal and defense positions.  He also can almost be convincing as a true believer in what he says.

Both senators share the mantle of being the most disliked by their own party. That is, if you believe anything the media says.  If it is true, I wonder if the reason they are despised is because they actually believe the positions they take?  Based on the way the Swamp acts, I wouldn’t doubt it.

And that brings us to the most recent media darling, Congresswomen elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  This one is a real doozy.  I actually feel bad for her on so many levels and then listen to her speak and get over it.

I have no idea if she believes the fecal matter emanating from her mouth or if she is playing the nation for a fool.  She is definitely playing the media but the media is so self-absorbed they cannot even see it.  Don’t believe me?  Time Magazine chose journalists as the Person of the Year.  Think about that for a second.  It’s probably the most tone-deaf thing I’ve heard this week.  That is until Congresswomen Ocasio-Cortez says something. 

I cannot take a person seriously who wants free Medicare, free tuition,free food stamps and free welfare for every American without even having the slightest clue how to pay for it.  Plus, how can anyone take a person seriously that suggests such jibberish and not be able to figure out how to afford an apartment in Washington DC?

I’m sure she is a lovely person but it hurts to listen to her and mind-boggling to read any of her position papers – if you can actually find them.  I think the Conservative media has finally found the Liberal’s equivalent to Vice President Dan Quayle.  And that’s unfortunate because Vice President Quayle had a strong Legislative record in the Senate.

I wonder if she actually believes or understands what socialism is orif she is just another vapid millennial searching for her participation trophy.To be fair, that is a terrible generalization of Millennials – many of whom are far better prepared for life and grounded in their beliefs than we care to admit.

Ocasio-Cortez is not one of them. She is riding into Washington, DC with delusions of grandeur thanks to a fawning media that constantly reinforce the notion that she is special.  Parents of millennials did the same thing to their children and now lament they are not ready for life.

She is not special.  She is one of 535 people in Congress and the Senate that must figure out how to work together to get things accomplished.  She also needs to study how the media treated another darling. John McCain was their hero until he was running for president.  Then they turned on him as they will with Ocasio-Cortez once they finish using her.

Who knows?  Maybe she is using the media to advance herself.  We know she has no desire to advance America.  If she did she’d spend less time talking to the media and more time trying to figure out how to pay for her grandiose plans.

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A Tough Choice Between Incompetence and Corruption

Is it better to be known as an incompetent or corrupt person?

That is the dilemma facing Brenda Snipes.  She is the Broward County Election Supervisor in Florida and is either the most incompetent election official, corrupt, or both.

Republican Rick Scott is locked into a tight Senate race with incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.  On Election Night is seemed clear Governor Scott won the election but suddenly 15,000 additional votes magically appeared after the polls closed.  Oddly enough, most of those votes were for Senator Nelson.

That touched off another round of “As the Vote Turns” as both political parties started the hysteria.  In one corner, the Republicans claim the election is being stolen but without the Russian sub-plot.  In the other corner, the Democrats are pretending to take the moral higher ground that every vote must be counted.

They are both right.

Every vote needs to be counted providing they are legitimate votes and were cast properly.  If not, then it appears people are trying to steal the election.  I use the term legitimate because lawyers for the Democrats actually objected to a vote being discarded because the voter was not a legal citizen.  You can’t make this stuff up.

Snipes has a history of mistakes or purposeful manipulation to force a desired result.  Earlier this year, a judge ruled the county broke federal law by destroying ballots in Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s 2016 Democratic primary race against Tim Canova.

In 2016, Broward County violated the law when it posted early voting results online before polls even closed. Going back to 2004, Broward County forgot to send 58,000 absentee ballots to voters who requested them.  Snipes, a Democrat, has led the Election Office since 2003.

In August of this year, a judge ruled the county mishandled absentee ballots. It seems they were opening the absentee ballots in private and would not allow people to see what was happening behind the curtain.  That’s a no-no.

The county famously held the nation hostage for 36 days in 2000 as hanging chads became a popular phrase.  Although that episode was before Snipes’ time at the helm so maybe incompetent pills are in the water in Broward County.

I can see Snipes making one mistake.  That happens.  Two mistakes begin to create questions of corruption.  When we get to as many mistakes has been made in Broward County, I am at a loss to explain things.  I cannot imagine a corrupt person being this incompetent where the corruption is so obvious.  I also cannot imagine anyone being this bad at their jobs.

Snipes is now claiming racism is at the root of the criticism against her. And she did it with a straight face.  I’m sorry but I’m expecting the kitchen sink to be thrown out any minute now.  Racism has nothing to do with Snipes making continuous mistakes that affect elections.  Corruption or incompetence does. Only she can say which it is.

Based on the fact she has never once acknowledged her mistakes or taken responsibility for her actions, my guess is she’ll claim it’s someone else’s fault.

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The Three Ps of Politics are the Driving Force for Most Voting

Whether you know it or not we are driven to vote for a particular candidate by party, person or policy.  In an ideal world most of us would vote based on the policies of on an individual and how we believe it helps society as a whole.

As you know, we live in anything but the ideal world.

Studies show that most people vote the person.  You like the person and project him or her to be the buddy sitting next to you on the bar stool, coffee shop or tailgate.  The psychology of fandom is simply projecting ideal traits on the person we idolize.

A good portion of us vote in our own self-interests. That could encompass the person or policy depending on self-interests that particular election cycle.  That’s why most young people vote for Democrats.  They want a free education, free food, free money, free anything.  And that’s why most people older than 30 vote Republican because they realize there is no such thing as free anything when you are paying taxes.

There are zealots who will always vote the party line regardless of what sordid facts exist about the party’s standard bearer.  How else can you explain feminists cheering for Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Maxine Waters while ignoring Nikki Haley, Sarah Sanders Huckabee, and Sarah Palin.  This explains why people can vote for President Trump, President Obama, and President Nixon, while ignoring solid human beings like Ben Carson, and…and…well, no other good human being in politics comes to mind right now but you get my point.

The mid-terms elections are tomorrow and we know a few things.  Both parties care nothing about us or the country.  They only care about getting our votes.  Looking at the landscape, most of the people in congress, the senate, and the white house are horrid human beings.  In fact, it’s a stretch to refer to them as human beings.

So that leaves policy.  If you are a typical American you do not read the policy papers most candidates author.  You don’t research the incumbents’ voting records. And you probably do not completely understand the issues. After all, how exciting can researching NAFTA be?  We take shortcuts.  If our present life is better today than it was with the previous administration than we presume the policies are working and vice versa.  That’s not necessarily a scientific way of doing it but what the heck.

President Trump was and is not my candidate or preferred choice to be president.  But when you strip away the personality and look at the record, the truth is he has been quite successful.  His policies have led to the lowest unemployment numbers ever for Hispanic and black Americans, and one of the lowest numbers for women.

During his time in office, the economy is booming with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growing above a three percent rate. The unemployment rate is near a 50-year low and the stock market has jumped 27 percent.

With that report card, it’s safe to say his policies are working.  If you like constitutional justices than you are happy with his choices for federal justices and supreme court justices.  If you favor legal immigration than you are a fan of his position on illegal immigration.

I prefer a government that enables progress but stays out of the way of people. I want a government that drives innovation, not regulation.  And finally, I want a government that fosters self-reliance, not dependence.

Can any government achieve that?  No. So I simply vote for the person I think has the best policy regardless of the party.

I came across a terrific and comprehensive guide to Election Night 2018 written by Josh Kutner, a sophomore at George Washington University.  It is a must read for anyone interested in politics but not able to keep up with so many races.  Kutner does a fantastic job of breaking down the races.

 

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It’s Only Words but Words Are Weapons

The void between common sense and abject agenda-driven politics is deafening.  The mid-term election is next week so you know we are in for last minute surprises and irrational blame.  The rhetoric will reach a fever pitch. A lot of my friends and family get tired of hearing me say “Words mean things.”

I say it in jest but nowadays I’m beginning to wonder if the politicians and media have lost sight of the magnitude of the word.  The media has attacked, belittled, and defamed President Trump from the moment he came down the escalator at Trump Towers in New York City to announce is presidential candidacy.  Likewise, President Trump has attacked, belittled, and defamed the media since that day.

The media claims the president does not act presidential and President Trump counters with the media is not fair.  Anyone who has read a paper, blog or watched a news program knows the media has an insatiable lust to destroy this president and he is not covered fairly.  And, whatever your definition of presidential is, chances are President Trump does not fulfill it and never will.

They each blame the other for starting the fight but the truth is they are both responsible.  I’m sure this will not surprise you but neither party will ever accept responsibility for their part in this fiasco.

I am not a fan of either one.  I wrote for newspapers for more than a decade and know firsthand the majority of the media has an institutional bias against any thought that is not Liberal.  It’s obvious the media will do whatever it takes to punish this president for giving it a taste of its own medicine.  And, likewise, the president will go to any extreme to return the favor.

This is like watching a championship game between two teams you despise.  Regardless of who wins you are simultaneously happy and miserable.

When the liberal nut job James Hodgkinson decided to make target practice out of a Republican baseball practice in 2017, not a single member of the media blamed Bernie Sanders.  Hodgkinson was a Sanders supporter and even worked on Sanders presidential campaign.

The coverage of the incident was sparse despite the attack nearly killed House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and wounded several others.  In the old days when news media was more concerned about the story instead of the agenda, an assassination attempt was typically considered news.

When Senator Maxine Waters encourages Democrats to be violent towards the Republicans you heard crickets from the media.  When former Attorney General Eric Holder advocates physical violence towards Republicans we do not get soapbox diatribes from the media.

Senator Corey Booker, Senator Chuck Schumer, and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi have all condoned violence towards Republicans yet we hear nothing about the vitriol rhetoric in Washington, DC from the talking heads. However, when conservative nut job Cesar Sayoc sends non-explosive pipes to several Democrats and the media is automatically blaming President Trump for inciting hatred.

On the flip side, President Trump screams the media is fake even when the media asks legitimate questions. Asking about President Trump’s tax returns is fair game during a campaign. Members of the public need to know where their public officials make money.  Asking him if it is uncomfortable supporting a man accused of molesting a woman when he, himself, faced the same accusation is also fair.  Another a fair question is asking if his rhetoric may prompt some nut job to lose touch with reality and act.

Where I draw the line is after you ask and he responds move on.  The media doesn’t.  It goes out of its way to badger and unfairly accused President Trump of things out of his control. Likewise, it is fair for Americans to ask the media if it thinks biased coverage can lead to frustration and drive some people to act.

In my championship game example, even though you despise both teams there is one team that you dislike a little more.  For me it’s the media because of its arrogance in believing it is untouchable and entitled to be believed.

Did I just describe President Trump? See the quandary. Is there any wonder why the country is evenly divided about him?

The truth is they are both to blame for starting and continuing the stupidity.  And do you know why?  Because words mean things.

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Perhaps we should start giving participation trophies to the losing candidates in elections.

I find doing what is “good for the American people” is directly related to a politician not getting his or her way.

It seems most politicians divine what is best for the American voter when trying to push a narrative that is oddly related to a failed endeavor they desperately want to reverse.  In 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel refused to have a hearing for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.  He said it was not fair to the American people’ to have a hearing in the final year of a lame duck president’s term.

The Democrats screamed bloody murder saying it was not fair to the American people not to have a hearing.  Of course, Democrats conveniently forgot to mention they did the exact same thing in President George H. Bush’s final year in his first term in 1992.  Then Senator Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was the leading proponent of the edict.

The difference being it was in President Bush’s first term as compared to President Obama’s second term.  Recently, Senator McConnel said he would not favor such a position in the 2020 election year if that is the end of President Trump’s second term.  Interesting how the goal posts move for the party in power.

The 1992 decision drove the 2016 action.  And the Republicans preventing Garland’s hearing is the main reason the Democrats turned a hearing into a character assassination tragedy play. Was any of this good for the American people?  I think the whole mess could have been avoided if the politicians followed the rule of law and not the rule of party.

But the Democrats are continuing to hold their breath and take their ball home.  Many are promising impeachment hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh if they return to power in Congress.  Gee, another two years of committee hearings on nonsensical issues.  Can’t wait for that.

Washington Post columnist EJ Dionne is advocating Democrats to stack the Supreme Court with Liberals if the Democrats take the House.  FDR tried that but was shot down in a rare fit of sanity by the Senate.  Dionne contends the current majority of the Supreme Court is there through illegitimate means because President Trump did not win the popular vote and is therefore an illegitimate president.

By his (il)logic, that means Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Kavanagh are unlawfully seated.  Apparently, he is not a fan of the Electoral College.  Someone needs to tell him that it doesn’t matter if the losing team in Baseball outhits the winning team.  The runs scored is what matters and what determines the winner.

Democrats still cannot get over the election results and, much like 2002, are trying to overturn the decision of American voters.  Republicans are no better as they mercilessly went after President Bill Clinton and many said “He’s not my president.” That refrain was echoed by Democrats against President George W. Bush, and then by Republicans against President Obama and now by Democrats against President Trump.  I see a trend.

I have an idea.  How about politicians accept election results and spend their time out of power thinking of ways to make the country better so they can get back into power. Actually, I much rather prefer politicians forget about getting into or falling out of power and just focus on doing what is right for the American people.

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A new Supreme Court Justice; reputations destroyed; societal damage in gender relations; just another day for our politicians.  Time to remove them from office

The circus surrounding the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings is as complex and simple as peeling an onion.  There are many different layers to this fiasco but a lot of things are lost along the way.

This tragic drama had character assassination on two fronts.  The most obvious is to Kavanaugh.  To some he was wrongly accused and found guilty by the media, Democrats, lawyers seeking the limelight and those paid by George Soros.  But what about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford?  If you believe that Kavanaugh is wrongly accused than you believe Dr. Ford is lying.  If she is not lying her character has been forever impugned.

The Republicans and Democrats do not care about either person.  They were simply a means to an end – a casualty of ideology.

I doubt they even care or comprehend the damage they created downstream.  I have two sons.  I need to make sure they understand the dangers to their reputation if they find themselves in any situation where any woman can claim they did something.  I have a daughter.  How do I make sure she stands up for herself if some pig of a man tries to take advantage of her?  How can I assure her she will be believed?

My pat answer is make sure you have corroboration.  Of course, that’s all fine and good until I’m faced with a situation where it’s her word against his word.  Guess who I’ll believe?

The incredible societal damage the politicians created with this episode is undeterminable.  Is getting your choice –for either party – worth the damage?

There are some who will say the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. I agree with that sentiment when it comes to managing a nation – I just prefer to do it without destroying people’s lives.

Another big shame of this episode is the damage created to the #MeToo movement.  The tragic irony is women perpetrated most of the damage.  Women who claim a woman must be believed regardless of evidence do a complete disservice to women.  It tells anyone with logic there may be an agenda behind the movement.  However fair or unfair that last statement is now a reality in some circles.

The bottom line is Dr. Ford believes she was assaulted by now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  She felt compelled to share her misgivings with her Senatorial representative who promptly betrayed to drive an agenda.  That started this whole thing in motion.  Senator Diane Feinstein created this mess by not doing the proper thing and validating the claim.

She did not do that.  Instead she used the information as a battering ram in hopes of derailing Kavanaugh’s confirmation.  In the process she ruined the reputations of two people, created countless heartache for people, and showed the world politicians are as evil and terrible as the stereotypes portray.

This episode also has energized both bases to get out and vote.  My hope is it energized a third base.  A base of people who are tired of politicians and will show up and vote them out.  Let’s replace them with real people with real emotion who are interested in managing the nation and not their agendas.

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Mounting focus on drama versus work of the nation begs for a convention of states to create term limits

The interesting thing about the fiasco involving Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is I think it’s a set up to trap President Donald Trump.  I have no proof but in today’s new world of no evidence assertions being acceptable I may have a legitimate case.

The New York Times published what many are hyping as a bombshell story purporting that Rosenstein wanted to secretly record the president in hopes of proving he is unfit for office and invoking the 25th amendment.  In short, the 25th Amendment deals with ways to remove a president if he is deemed “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office…”

Knowing President Trump’s volatile nature when others question his ability, my theory is this was a ploy by those in Washington, DC who will stop at nothing to oust President Trump.  I think they are trying to goad him into firing Rosenstein so they can then mount an obstruction case.

Remember, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate President Trump for collusion with the Russians to steal the 2016 election. After 16 months on the job Mueller has not found a shred of evidence to prove such a thing but has indicted two fringe players on the Trump campaign team for crimes committed 10 years ago not associated with the campaign or Russians.  With results like this perhaps Mueller should consider another line of work.

It seems the anti-Trump politician prefers to do their dirty work through accusations without evidence from decades past.

The fact this story came to life right after Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, cut a deal with Mueller seems curious.  Equally intriguing is the story came on the heels of the New York Times guest editorial from an anonymous person in President Trump’s white house claiming his administration is trying to stop President Trump.

If President Trump fires Rosenstein, I am wiling to bet the Democrats will claim the firing is to stop the Mueller investigation because the next Deputy Attorney General can shut down the probe.  They will claim it’s obstruction of justice right before the mid-term elections.  How convenient.

Those Republicans who hate President Trump more than the Democrats will gladly join the fracas – especially if they lose seats in Congress and the Senate.  That means another year to two years of special investigations, uncorroborated accusations, and an incredible amount of wasted time.

That also means less attention to the economy, the wall, immigration reform, trade, and defense.  You know, the things we supposedly elect our politicians to focus on versus destroying each other.

Rosenstein has denied the story and says it’s inaccurate. I wonder if he now believes in Fake News?

The irony is rich.  The drama is over-hyped.  The distraction is just another episode of “As the White House Turns.” But the reality is our political leaders are not doing the work of the nation.  They all need to be replaced.

I was never in favor of term limits for Congressmen and Senators but my view as changed after watching the slop we call political leaders in Washington DC.  I agree we need a Convention of States as outlined in Article V of the U. S. Constitution.

Article V gives states the power to call a Convention of States to propose amendments. It takes 34 states to call the convention and 38 to ratify any amendments that are proposed.  I seldom, if ever, propose signing petitions but I’m so disgusted with these politicians that I suggest we all support a Convention of States.

In reality, whomever occupies the White House for eight years cannot create nearly as much havoc as a politician in his or her seat for 30 to 40 years.  It’s time they all go home.

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