Is Unfair Media Coverage a Symptom or the Disease?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a brilliant legislator with a canny mind possessing shrewd political skill.  That statement no doubt elicited a fast response from you.

Depending on your political persuasion you either think I’m an idiot or a sage.  It does not matter if that statement is true because your perception of her is set and chances are not likely to change.  The Conservative media portrays her as an ignorant former bartender leaping higher hurdles of stupidity by the day.  Meanwhile, she is the darling of the Liberal media that can do no wrong. 

The truth is she is a 29-year-old person who draws on her life’s experience to date to determine her actions.

For those of us almost twice her age, we know she may be a bit naïve at how the world works and enamored with her new-found fame.  We also know she suffers from a mistaken belief of self-importance.  In short, a typical 29-year-old perso9n and definitely your average politician. And, we know she is headed for the stark realization that she is a drop of water in the ocean of Life.

But to the media, she is a story.  Not a person with feelings, fears, and aspirations.  She is a subject that gets clicks and people to read.  She is a punchline to some and inspiration to others. Rather than analyze her ideas, we comment on her style and actions. 

It seems to me President Trump has the same fate.  Only for him the Liberal and Conservative media have the opposite opinions than that of AOC.  And, his actions matter.

Both people are lightning rods because of their behaviors, actions and words. Both have earned the contempt and adoration from their supporters and detractors.  Regardless of what you think of each individual, the one thing that is true is they are both subject to unfair media coverage.

The Conservative media uses unflattering pictures depicting her as bug eyed or donkey-teethed.  The Liberal media go out of their way to use a picture of President Trump scowling or hair flapping in the wind.  Whatever happened to the staid headshot the media used in the past? You know; the good old days when they covered news and not opinion.

But is the unfair media coverage a news outlet searching for an audience or an audience searching for a news outlet? Does the American public want to watch a news broadcast that supports their political view or are they looking for the news?

By the same token, is following current events no longer a dialog?  It is bad enough the two political parties spend more time trying to destroy each other; now we have news outlets reporting on the competition’s missed facts. 

This is no way to advance a nation. I prefer news not be entertainment and want the politicians to manage the nation – not the next election cycle.  But it starts with us. We control what we watch and who we send to Washington.

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A Clear Choice Looms for 2020 Thanks to The Media and Democrats

The biggest boost to President Trump’s re-election chances are the Democrats and the media. Recent events highlight both groups continually make the same mistake in their quest to ensure he becomes a one-term president.

Namely; they inadvertently prove him right about their motives and that is becoming the story.  Democrats should be doing is showing the voters they have an alternative and clear plan to improve the nation.  The media should be reporting the news versus delivering biased coverage.

I’ve written this many times in the past.  The media should simply report the news and let the American voter decide President Trump’s fitness for office.  Instead, the media insults his base and infuriates independent voters by constantly trying to prove he is an illegitimate president.

It’s an old tune.  President Reagan was senile.  President George H Bush could not relate to the common man because he did not know how much it cost for a gallon of milk.  The Supreme Court stole the presidency from Al Gore and awarded it to President George W Bush.  Ever notice all the Republican presidents did not belong but President Clinton and Obama were saviors?

Note to the media: You can only cry wolf so often before no one believes you. 

The Democrats are no better. Their actions lend credence to President Trump’s claim of a witch hunt and position him as a clear choice against socialism and obstructionism.

It seems the Robert Mueller investigation will end without proof of any collusion by President Trump’s campaign.  However, watching this soap opera unfold there may be a compelling case that members of the Justice Department may have conspired to reverse the election results.  Think about that for a minute. 

The Democrats did not get the outcome they wanted from Mueller so Congressman Adam Schiff wants to investigate President Trump’s finances. He claims President Trump is making decisions based on his own financial interests versus doing what is best for the nation.   As the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee he has every right to launch the investigation.

Will he find a smoking gun that proves President Trump made a decision that jeopardizes our national interests to make a buck?  The probability of that happening is extremely remote and most sane people will see right through the charade.  That will anger voters even more towards what they believe is an unfair attack.

People may not like President Trump’s style but they despise unfairness more.  The Democrats are appearing to be more concerned about obstructing his efforts than helping the nation and voters don’t like that optic. 

President Trump will continually beat the drum about another witch hunt on the campaign trail.  It will play well to his base and also resonate with uncommitted voter. 

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez is the gift that keeps on giving.  Can President Trump have a better ad than the billboard in Times Squares that screams “Thanks for nothing, AOC?” It claims her socialist views cost New York City 25,000 jobs, $4 billion in lost wages, and $12 billion in lost economic impact for New York city?

Thanks to her Green New Deal resolution all 2020 Democratic hopefuls must sign onto the concept in order to get through the primary.  It’s one thing to play to the far-Left fringe in the primary, it’s quite another to attract moderate and independents to a socialist agenda in the general election.

 She is single-handedly giving President Trump the clearest reason to vote for him since he unveiled his list of Supreme Court nominees.  And speaking of which, he’ll have a field day painting his challenger as a socialist chomping at the bit to add a socialist supreme court justice.

Finally, we come to the wall.  President Trump will be able to forge a clear difference between him and his challengers.  Democrats will have a hard time explaining all those videos of them supporting a wall during President Obama’s administration and their about face during President Trump’s term.

It’s early in the process so anything can happen and change but it seems more likely by the day that 2020 will be another choice between the lesser of two evils.  Moderates and Independents will not support socialism and President Trump has a strong base. That’s a recipe for re-election.

If Democrats want to fulfill their dream of a one term Trump presidency they may want to find a moderate that can articulate why she or he is better for the nation than President Trump. 

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Is It Time For the Rise of the Independent Party?

On one side we have the extreme left wing of the Democratic party coming out of the woodwork to announce their intentions to run for president of the United States.  On the other side we have President Trump.

Once again, we’ll have to choose the lesser of two evils.  Based on statistics derived from polling, 40 percent of the country will support a hard-left candidate.  President Trump supporters comprise 45 percent of the electorate.  If these numbers are accurate that leaves 15 percent of the voters that encompass the mythical undecideds.

In some circles, they are known as independents.  The 2020 election is shaping up to be a brutal marathon between two diametrically opposed views on the best way to run the government.  I would love to see a real debate between the merits of both views but we all know it will devolve into a litany of lies, manipulations, and character assassinations.

I find the term “Character assassination to be an oxymoron because I have yet to find any politician with character.

Instead of a healthy debate on why a liberal approach to government is better than a conservative approach, we’ll get reasons why the other candidate is the wrong choice.  I want the candidates to tell me why their viewpoint is better for us not why their opponent is the evil incarnate of Beelzebub.

Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks, is considering a presidential run as an independent.  At first blush he seems like a centrist.  Of course, anyone slightly right of Senator Bernie Sanders and his merry band of socialists, will look like a centrist.  I need to read more about his policies to see if he can be a legitimate third-party candidate.

He is a registered Democrat who is not fond of the hard left turn his party is taking and has openly questioned President Trump’s fitness to be president.  At this point, the only thing a third-party candidate will do is split the Democratic vote ensuring another four years of President Trump.

Most Democrats are not on the extreme and as the primaries unfold, they will become increasingly concerned about the viewpoints of baby socialists running around the capital. There is no way they will lever vote for President Trump so a centrist who happens to be a Democrat will be appealing.

Meanwhile, the never Trumpers will find a third-party candidate appealing.  But the Trump supporters, will not abandon the man that epitomizes their dreams.  It doesn’t help when those in the media insults them by calling them “rubes” like Dave Weigel, of the Washington Post, did this past weekend.  Or when candidates call them “deplorables.”

They will circle the wagons. 

However, I think it is time for a third-party to rise from the Phoenix and take advantage of a rare opportunity.  A middle-of-the-road candidate that is logical, calm, and fair with a professional demeanor may catch lightning in a bottle.

And that would be the best ever message to send Washington.  Get rid of the swamp in the best way possible…vote them out.

Both political parties have been hijacked by the respective extremes and none represent my views. I think the right third party candidate can garner enough support. I am hoping to have an actual choice in 2020 and not have to cast a vote against the lesser of evil of two extremes.

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The Power Game is Not About a Wall but the Composition of Congress

Ever watch a Super Bowl where you despise both teams?  You don’t really care who wins but your ecstatic that one of them lost.  It feels like that as we watch the budget standoff doesn’t it?

Even the most partisan supporter of either side must see the stupidity of the situation.  I’m hoping it wakes us up to the need for a whole new set of leaders.  Neither side cares about their stated position.  The Democrats had the same position as President Trump before President Trump had his position.  Conversely, President Trump has used illegal immigrants as laborers.

The reality is they are a bunch of lying, dishonorable people. Normal people care about being decent people but politicians are a different animal.  They are power drunk and morally challenged. The politicians are using the voters as pawns in a no winners game of chicken.

To politicians, the underlying danger is not the safety of Americans.  Nor is it the altruistic desire to help the downtrodden.  Those are all nice sound bites but nothing else.  No, the real reason is it’s strictly a power game.  Ironically, illegal immigrants are the power brokers in this game. 

On the surface, President Trump will gain more power among his supporters and base by building a wall and keeping his campaign promise. Likewise, preventing him from building a wall will swing the power pendulum to the Democrats. That’s on the surface.

Look deeper. The power is not preventing one from fulfilling a promise or proving you’re above the rest.  Nope.

It’s all about the population.  According to Article One of the US Constitution, the House of Representatives represent congressional districts that are allocated to each of the 50 states based on population as measured by the U.S. Census.  The total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435. 

Therefore, each representative must represent an equal number of residents.  As the population increases, the congressional districts becomes smaller in land mass in the most populous states and larger in the less populous states. 

As of the last Census (2010), each district is comprised of 711,000 residents so those states that grow get more representatives.  Guess what? Illegal immigrants will be counted in the next census thanks to a 2016 Supreme Court ruling that stated the “principle of one person, one vote doesn’t require localities to only count those who are actually eligible to vote when they are deciding how many people to put inside of each district.”

According to a Washington Times article on April 4, 2016, “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the court, said even though only eligible voters are supposed to cast ballots, elected officials represent all people within their districts, and it is that act of representation, not the election itself, that the boundaries are drawn to.”

The more illegal immigrants that pour into a state – I don’t know, let’s say California – the more members of Congress it will have in the chamber.  Further, the more illegal immigrants voting the more likely the Democrats will win their districts.

Anyone that tells you there is no voter fraud is lying.  The best way to prevent voter fraud is to present valid ID at the polling booth s but we all know the Democrats insist requiring any form of ID to vote will disenfranchise minorities.

Two things on that: One, getting a fake ID is easier than climbing a wall so that really isn’t an obstacle for those set on voting illegally. Two, I do not see many minorities feeling disenfranchised when they have to prove their identity to download songs on iTunes!

But, I digress.  Back to my point. As states with sanctuary cities continue to grow, they will gain congressional representatives while states in the Midwest lose them.  The Electoral College, another target of the Democrats, will soon be rendered moot.

The 2020 census is around the corner.  The congressional map will shift.  Do you wonder why Democrats support illegal immigration? On the surface, I’ll enjoy the fact one of these two warring parties will lose this battle. Much like I liked the fact the Patriots lost to the Eagles in the 2018 Super Bowl despite the fact I despise the Eagles.

In reality, the winner of this battle will determine a lot more than the use of $5.7 billion.

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Rhetoric, Hyperbole and Fact Surround a Wall but Where is Truth?

The dialog surrounding illegal immigration becomes exceedingly frustrating when the actual argument is lost between hyperbole and fact.

President Trump positions the wall as the first line of defense from a marauding pack of criminals salivating at the chance to rape, pillage and plunder on American soil.  This is not true.  The wall will not stop any criminal from entering our country much like gun laws do not prevent a criminal from getting a gun.

Criminals seem to be adept at doing crime. 

However, it is true that every illegal alien becomes a criminal the second they cross our border illegally.  You see, the term “Illegal” in front of immigrant is the dead giveaway to me. The wall is important to President Trump only because it fulfills a campaign promise.  I do not think he believes the wall will stop criminals.

The actual criminals will find a way to get into our country and will continue their criminal activity in America.  That’s what criminals do and need to be stopped.  That’s where law enforcement comes in and is extremely skilled at catching criminals.  That’s what they do best.

I’m going to split hairs now but stay with me. The narrative of the wall should not be about crime or criminals.  It should be about protecting our nation from people who want to enter it illegally.  Of course, entering our country illegally is a crime but the majority of people doing it are not criminals until after they enter our country illegally.  Did you follow that?

According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform  (FAIR), “at the federal, state, and local levels, taxpayers shell out approximately $134.9 billion to cover the costs incurred by the presence of more than 12.5 million illegal aliens, and about 4.2 million citizen children of illegal aliens.”

Why would anyone oppose a wall if it can prevent or lessen that much money from being spent on annual basis?

A wall will serve as a barrier for most immigrants wishing to sneak into our country without permission.  I’m OK with that and that is why I voted for President Trump.  I want something that prevents people from entering our country illegally and a wall, or fence, accomplishes that goal far better than nothing but an imaginary line on the ground.

The Democrats refer to the wall as being immoral.  How is trying to ensure people follow the rule of law in America immoral?  The Democrats use that term simply to position President Trump as a heartless, mean-spirited man who makes Scrooge look like Mother Theresa.  The Democrats, of course, were the ones pushing for the wall when President Clinton and President Obama needed it to get votes for their re-election.

In fact, they appropriated $16 billion for it.  Now, a $5.6 billion request is considered too extravagant.  And politicians wonder why most Americans dislike them with the intensity of a teenager staring at their smartphone?

The Democrats new initiative is for infrastructure projects.  I agree with them because the Federal Government needs to make itself useful and improving the country’s infrastructure will help commerce. Interestingly, part of infrastructure projects is building those sound barrier walls we see along the highways.  The walls protect homeowners from traffic noise. The most recent figure I’ve been able to find indicates Sound Barrier walls cost $2 million per mile to construct.  That means the government will spend $6 billion after 3,000 miles of sound barriers.

We are willing to spend $6 billion to protect our ears but not the sovereignty of our laws.  Does anyone else think that’s stupid?

Anyway, I suspect the wall issue will end soon.  According to a recent Gallup Poll, “the top problem cited by Americans is “government,” and the second top problem is “immigration.” Uh-oh, it seems like the Democrats have once again misread the American public. The survey was conducted after the mid-term election and shows 16% of the respondents think illegal immigration is a problem.

But here is all you need to know.  When broken down politically, 29% of the Republicans polled chose illegal immigration while only seven percent of the Democrats selected it as a problem.  One of the parties is not listening to its constituencies.

Forget the rhetoric.  Building a wall males sense to save the country money and keep the rule of law in order.

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The Future Blames the Past for Not Thinking About the Future

The premise of a representative government is for the masses to be represented by a few.  If I recall my grammar school history classes correctly, the intent of public service was to fulfill a temporary duty.

Today we have career politicians that rely on nameless and faceless bureaucrats to “manage” the government.  The sole purpose of any politician is to continually win election to office.  This leads to short-sighted decision making rooted in the objective of re-election and not what is best for the country.

Some cynics will claim politicians do not care about the country and only care about themselves.  I understand that sentiment and have been known to say it or write it on numerous occasions.  In truth, I do not think any person wakes up each day and asks “how can I screw up today?”

I believe most people act in their own self-interest.  Ironically, we, as voters, typically vote in our own best interest so why are we surprised that politicians will act in the same manner. That is why I am happy to see Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Francis Rooney propose a Constitutional Amendment for term limits.  

The amendment would restrict senators to two six-year terms and House members to three two-year terms.  It was co-sponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, and David Perdue .  Senator Cruz made a similar proposal in January of 2017.

The time has come for such a measure to happen.  In fact, I would go one step further and only have one six-year term for Senators and one, four-year term for Congressman.  I want to eliminate the allure of re-election.

If politicians only had to worry about governing the country, I think they will make decisions based on the issues and not politics.  I think then they would aspire to what President John F. Kennedy once said” “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame on the past.  Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

And the future is what concerns me most when you have short-term thinkers leading the nation with the goal of making the other party look bad and improving their re-election odds.  Focusing on the short-term to ensure votes from your constituencies is great for re-election but not so good for the future.

President Trump has brought back manufacturing jobs to America.  That is good but is it the right decision?  Is the country’s future in manufacturing and coal or is it in some forward looking technology?

Time will tell but by the time that time comes our future will be our past.  Having term limits will help bring people to public service with a desire to move the country forward, not their political careers.

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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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