Republicans Will Obstruct Liberal Initiatives

It’s seems early to think about the 2022 elections, but Republicans are already developing their talking points in an effort to win back the hearts of American voters and regain control of the federal government. An excellent article in the New York Times discussed many of the important issues near and dear to the minority.

Republicans are already attacking Democrats regarding their stance on the following issues: Supreme Court packing, the elimination of the filibuster in the Senate, defunding the police, legalizing the status of immigrants (and open borders) and statehood for Washington D.C.

Supreme Court packing could increase the size of the Court to say 13 justices by confirming four liberal judges to fill new congressionally authorized seats. What happens when Republicans regain control of the presidency and the Senate? Will the number increase to 18 or 20 justices? We should respect the age-old system of nominating and confirming new members in the Senate and not tamper with a system that has worked effectively over a long period of time.

Defunding police departments is not the solution to decreasing illegal and aggressive arrests. Given the number of police officers in the country, there will be bad apples. The number of publicized cases of deadly Black and police confrontations in relation to deadly Black on Black confrontations is miniscule. Where’s the outrage and protest relating to these situations?

Minority communities and all Americans need police protection. But, clearly, cops need more extensive training in the use of deadly force. Renegade cops should be prosecuted aggressively. And all police forces should be recruiting more people of color.

Is the security at our borders and financial well-being of border states less important than having open borders? Why do Democrats want open borders? Is it possible that they want to increase the number of voters who support their candidates? The price to pay for open borders for political gain is too great. There are Americans who need aid, so why allow interlopers to enter the country illegally and use precious resources?

Related to the aforementioned is the Democratic objective of making Washington D.C. a new state, an effort to increase the number of blue states in Congress. Our forefathers believed the nation’s capital should be managed and funded by our federal lawmakers. Nevertheless, residents in the capital initially received the right to vote. In fact, Congress can bestow as much money as they wish on the district.

And finally, there is the Green New Deal. Economists used to believe that America’s access to the capital markets was unlimited. No more. Our government is pushing the limits that America can finance any new project, especially the naïve and extraordinarily expensive proposals to decrease pollution. This situation is exacerbated by the global competition with China. America cannot afford to clean up the entire world alone in the next 50 years.

Republicans have many practical criticisms of their opponents. Trying to “socialize” the country by overspending will result in unfortunate economic turmoil. If conservatives play their cards carefully, they have an excellent chance to win back one or both houses of Congress.

Jobs Not Welfare

Joe Biden is about to restructure welfare in the country. For political reasons, he included a significant amount of money for social needs in the proposed infrastructure legislation. In fact, the welfare aspect of the law is expected to be much greater than the part dedicated to roads, bridges, etc.

The political infighting has already begun. Republicans are saying that the majority is overspending and creating new entitlements that America cannot afford.

Democrats claim their opponents are not empathetic to the needs of poor people. Republicans have no heart, and all they wish to do is keep taxes low even if women and children starve to death.

The reticence of Republicans regarding welfare is dramatically misrepresented by the other side. Virtually all Americans, including conservatives, want needy people to have the ability to feed and house their families. In fact, they are asking why Dems are so anxious to open up our borders and admit millions of dirt-poor people, while so many of our neighbors are living hand to mouth.

It’s dangerous to distill such a huge problem such as social aid down to a few issues, but I’m going to do it anyway.

The first thing to consider is how much further can our country increase entitlements by printing money and/or taxing Americans at higher rates? The answer is that after the spending spree orchestrated by Barack Obama, including a multi-trillion health insurance behemoth, and aid endowed by Donald Trump to fight off the economic effects of Covid, the Treasury and the capital markets are starting to stress out.

Continued spending is going to stymie the economic revival before it has run its course if cooler heads do not prevail. There are still many Americans trying to get back on their feet after months of belt tightening and lost jobs. The stock market is doing well, but it doesn’t represent great prosperity for all Americans.

Increasing the money supply without considering the consequences of doing so could result in a shortage of capital for long term economic growth and may foster inflationary increases. Just as wages are reaching historical highs, they may stop growing if our government is not more frugal in the short to medium-term.

The second issue, which is totally ignored by the left-wing Congress, is the long-term effect on our capital system and society as government pays for more and more entitlements. The US cannot support 50% or more of Americans as they eschew work and stay home. The US cannot offer welfare in perpetuity. There is a limit. The solution is that the US should not offer aid that it does not have a beginning and an end to it.

Except for the unfortunate among us, who have a life-long disability or other issues, government aid should have a time limit. The objective of aid is to give people a chance to pull up their bootstraps and earn enough money to care for themselves and their families. Aid should not be a life-long paid vacation for able body Americans. Once again, I’m not including those with any type of handicaps.

What do we need to do to make this happen? We need better education for children. The more education an American has, the more money he or she will earn during their lives.

For adults, education, or more accurately training, is the road to self in sufficiency. Adults need jobs and must be able to take care of themselves if America is to reach its true potential. Biden’s credit card has limitations.

The most important thing our government must do, after securing the country, is to provide a job to everyone who can work. This includes childcare and training. I’m sure those who are paying higher taxes now are prepared to do so willingly, if the federal government tried to get all Americans into the workforce.

Most people do not want to be wards of the state waiting for a check each month. They want to care for themselves and make decisions for their families, not have lawmakers decide where they should live or what they should eat.

Censorship Diminishes Freedom

I just read a story in the New York Times that said a number of book publishers are turning away manuscripts received from “conservative” authors, in particular Trump and anyone affiliated with the former president’s administration.

Some blowback is coming from employees of the publishers who believe that any writer who supports Trump or any of his policies should be treated like a criminal, unfit to write and be published.

What the hell is this country coming to? Are we going to have book bonfires in coming months? Is censorship the ultimate demise for any books that are contrary to liberal ideology? Is dissent forbidden if it is not liberal based? What about all the protest for freedom of speech in the 60s at Berkeley? Has all the blood, sweat and tears affiliated with those efforts faded away in history?

I have great problems with the censoring of books by publishers and anybody in a position to do so. First of all, I am perfectly capable of deciding which books would be detrimental to me personally. I would never censor a book for another adult. That should be up to him or her to decide. But to have employees working at publishing companies effectively censoring what they feel is inappropriate is beyond the pale.

Just because Trump and some of his followers believe the elections were unfair, does not justify censorship of their opinions. I would remind you that 70 million Americans voted for the president. Note: just so all of you know, if I never heard the name Trump mentioned again, I would be very happy. Yet, I would never suggest he be censored.

Liberals have taken over our country and respond harshly to anyone who disagrees with them. They hate Fox. They hate Republicans. They hate anyone who questions their ideology. They brand anyone who doesn’t endorse their proposals regarding women, minorities and proposed legislation misogynists, racists and un-American.

Book publishers are going down a treacherous path, one which will degrade all Americans and rip apart a freedom that is basic to our country. Allow others to express their themselves even if their ideas are objectionable to you personally. You will be better informed by doing so and you will be protecting a cornerstone of our republic.

One more point that should be noted is that schools, and in particular colleges, are taking it upon themselves to censor not only historical books but new books on subjects that some might find objectionable. The best colleges are those that allow freedom of thought that represent both sides of the aisle and both sides of social acceptance. I’m often flabbergasted when I hear college professors and their students protesting to ban books, veto open discussion in classrooms and not allowing certain speakers an opportunity to express their opinions on campus. Once again, I recall Berkeley because that institution worked very hard in the 60s to protect our right to express ourselves.

Covid Report Card

Now that America is apparently inching towards the end of the pandemic, it might be worthwhile to critically consider what has happened since the Spring of 2020. Who has done a good job and who has not?

Let’s begin with some negative observations.

Frankly, the US and the world were not prepared to battle the Covid flu. One hundred years passed since the last major outbreak of a deadly virus, and it seems like doctors and researchers learned little since then and were caught by surprise by this new outbreak.

Billions of dollars were spent on research pertaining to various types of diseases including cancer and other maladies over the years. But comparatively speaking, far less was spent investigating deadly viruses. This strategy is questionable considering that Covid-like viruses could literally wipe out mankind. Donors were misled into directing their charity towards far less existential medical threats.

For the most part, the battle against Covid has been led by Anthony Fauci, the Center for Disease Control, state governors and the president of the United States. Differences of opinion have resulted in questionable actions that ultimately led to more infections and deaths in certain situations, and overreaction at other times.

For instance, the initial response time when Covid first appeared was not commensurate with the danger of the disease. Borders should have been closed immediately and masks and distancing should have been mandatory by law.

The disease is not as deadly to young people as it is to older people. Therefore, government mandated actions should have been calibrated accordingly. For instance, our children, perhaps, should not have been kept out of school for so long. Some say the danger of contracting the disease is less than the damage to their educational advancement by being taught offsite. The politicization of the issue by teachers has been disgraceful. In hindsight, very few children die from Covid, so the restrictions need not have been so harsh for them.

Conversely, elderly people were/are very vulnerable and need to be protected by government action. It’s horrendous that so many seniors in nursing homes were killed by the virus. The actions of governor Cuomo, if deemed to be true, were negligent at best, resulting in thousands of deaths.

Many countries, in particular China and members of the European Union, were overly concern with the optics of the disease and not so much the effect of it. It makes no difference who ignited the Covid flame. All nations should have been working together on day one to stop the its spread. National reputation is not more important than saving lives.

It’s unclear what actions should be taken by federal and state governments at this time. This is causing confusion and hesitancy on the part of Americans. Is it safe to fly commercial? Should every traveler be vaccinated before taking a flight? Should kids be back in school? Can you get the disease more than one time? There are scores of other questions in the minds of Americans. The answers have been slow to arrive.

Politicians never stopped being political during Covid. It’s shameful that these people have not been able to work together to help fight the pandemic for the common good of all mankind.

Here are some positive perspectives.

The end is near. Americans are being vaccinated in droves. Assuming most people get vaccinated, Covid will dissipate in the near future, experts believe.

First responders should be beatified. Our nation would have really had a big problem without all the brave doctors, nurses and medical personnel who risk their lives every day.

The vaccine was developed in record time. If this had been delayed, millions more Americans would have perished. Kudos to the pharma companies.

In this age of tele-schooling, moms and other caregivers should be recognized for their sacrifices.

Restaurants and all food suppliers should be complemented for keeping us fed safely.

It’s not over yet. There is a chance of another wave of the disease. The vaccine should make this contingency less likely. All nations should be working together to finally stamp out this menace.

Justice Triumphs

The trial of Derek Chauvin is a mixed blessing for our country.

On the one hand, the death of George Floyd, a black man, caused by a rogue cop is a tragedy. And the violent action by protesters leading up to the trial was America at its worst.

In the end, a guilty verdict that was based upon facts depicted in a video of Floyd’s death was justice being done at its highest level. It was a great victory for our legal system.

Now Americans and our lawmakers must do the really hard work. Coming to agreement about the size and authority of the police throughout the country is now up for discussion. Everyone agrees that deadly force should not be used unless there is an existential risk to anyone including the cops themselves.

How does this become a reality and a law? What is the definition of deadly force (kneeling on someone’s neck and suffocating him certainly qualifies)? How do you train the police to follow the rules? Are there too many cops? Should there be more black officers on the force?

There is, of course, another side to this sordid affair. It is the protest that always precedes and sometimes follows the adjudication of “racially motivated” actions by the police. Protest is legal and beneficial if it is not violent. Bad behavior by all criminals must be rooted out and accused individuals must face a jury. If protest is violent, Pandora’s box opens, and societal strife occurs.

Looting, fighting and incitement of strong emotion are not productive. Calling out antisocial behavior is totally acceptable if no one is hurt in the process. Many Americans are tired of rogue mobs disturbing the peace and destroying their neighbors’ homes and businesses. And by the way, the police have responsibility to keep the peace. So, the funding for cops is directly related to cops accomplishing their mission.

I hope that those who say there is no justice for victims of hate crimes remember this day. A guilty white man was easily convicted by the facts of killing a black man. A diverse group of our peers caucused and found the defendant guilty in about 10 hours. When the facts are undeniable and proven, guilty people go to prison.

When the emotional intensity of improper police actions is taken to an even higher level that is fraught with racial innuendo and often labeled as a hate crime, it does not improve our society.

The liberal media and misguided politicians are fanning the flames of hatred in this country. We don’t need reporters, senators or congresspeople trying to stir up violent behavior with inappropriate rhetoric. Consider Maxine Waters’ outrageous comments.

It’s time to settle down and finish the excellent job that George Floyd’s jurors started in Minneapolis.

The New Liberal America

The new ultra-liberal and politically correct America is upon us with a vengeance.

We are under the complete control of Democrat Senate and House members, who are preparing to run the table by “packing” the Supreme Court with four new liberal judges; first they must change the laws that apply to SCOTUS. When this occurs, if it does, Democrats will have an unprecedented grasp over every aspect of government, justice, society and finance.

Other events, some not popular with large swaths of Americans, are about to take place as well. The most liberal congresspeople want to de-fund police departments. A majority of Americans think this is an absurd proposal, as the people who will suffer the most are people of color in urban areas. This is happening as inner-city Americans look to ravage their own neighborhoods. Peaceful demonstration does not draw the same media coverage.

Similarly, the liberal press and radical congresspeople are giving license to this violent protestation around the country, currently taking place in Minnesota.

Every racially defined death that occurs among millions of police incidents each year unleashes a rash of unruly protest that destroys property and incites even more confrontations between protesters and the police. To make matters worse, minority areas are the battlegrounds, which makes absolutely no sense.

Protesters and activists never miss an opportunity to tag a dispute to some kind of racial issue that stirs up the masses. These repetitive and dangerous outbreaks are beginning to perplex sensible members of white and black America.

But there is much more than we can expect. Overly generous entitlements are being proposed by Congress every day. Lawmakers have taken a patrician attitude dealing with poverty, income disparity and the lives of the poorer classes of Americas. They believe they can fix racial issues by authorizing more financial support.

The fix is always more money thrown at the problems of minorities in urban areas, without sufficient study, debate and compromise. The money is flowing at a greater rate each day without quid pro quos. Long term, entitlements will only set the stage for more poverty and dependence on government assistance. The true answer is more jobs, not more cash.

Joe Biden promised to bring us together. Critics are now saying that he is yielding the government to the most radical members of his party. We should expect Democrats to use every opportunity to include social support as part of each new initiative. The inclusion of welfare money in the infrastructure law is an example.

Republicans may have to rely upon wise members of the majority party to save the day. The very few moderate Democratic members may be the ones who will put a stop to frivolous and unwise laws that waste our resources and increase the power of the majority over the downtrodden as well as the affluent class.

Israel Does US Dirty Work In The Middle East

[This essay was inspired by two articles published by the New York Times.]

“[The US and Israel] agree that Iran must never possess nuclear weapons … My policy as Prime Minister of Israel is clear, I will not allow Iran to obtain the nuclear capability to carry out its genocidal goal of elimination of Israel…”

This is a quote from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Israel’s policy of deterring Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. It is very similar to the US policy. And yet, Biden wants to renew a deal that would provide a path to an Iranian nuke in the not too distant future. Does it make sense? Not on your life.

Once again Israel has saved the day in the continuing efforts by the US and Israel to deprive the rogue state of Iran from developing nuclear weapons. In this regard, Netanyahu moved against Iran by sabotaging its underground nuclear fuel producing center at Natanz, the facility that manufacturers devices that enrich uranium.

The US said it was not involved in this operation, nor had it been aware of an imminent attack. The event occurs just as the US, several European nations and Iran are set to meet in Vienna to try to reinstate the Iran nuclear deal that President Trump abrogated during his tenure.

The damage done to the facility is extensive and will likely delay Iran’s goal of developing a nuke by several months. Netanyahu has been an opponent of the Iran deal since it was first signed and may have tried to upend the talks about a new deal.

Israel and Iran have been fighting a shadow war for some time. This has taken place in the desert near Natanz, along shipping routes in the Persian Gulf and in Tehran where the country’s leading nuclear scientist was assassinated, purportedly by Israeli agents.

Needless to say, the Iranian government is apoplectic about these “treasonous infiltrations.” The Islamic Revolutionary Guard is responsible for security of the nuclear facilities and the scientists who work in them. Heads will likely roll in response to this attack.

The real question is why does Israel appreciate the danger of an Iran nuclear program, while Biden wants to negotiate with the ayatollahs? Both countries have stated policy’s that they will work tirelessly to not allow Iran to build nuclear weapons, yet Israel is the only country to take positive action to assure that Iran never builds weapon of mass destruction. Once again, Israel is doing the dirty work in the battle against Iran. The original nuclear deal with Iran would have enabled Iran to build a nuke in about ten years.

Granted, Iran is in Israel’s backyard and has been threatened continuously by Iran. Israel believes that Iran poses an existential threat to it and must work towards de-nuclearization of Iran.

Given that the Biden administration has remained closed mouth about the attack in Natanz, it seems disingenuous to be dealing with Iran while Israel, our most loyal ally, is subversively at war with Iran.

The US owes Israel a debt of gratitude for supporting our interests in the region.

“Build the Wall” Says One Progressive

Bret Stephens, columnist at the New York Times, wrote a thoughtful and courageous piece that endorses the “wall” that Donald Trump began to build to stem the tide of illegal migrants from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. According to Stephens, a true progressive, a wall will be needed to gain control of our southern border.

Stevens’ characterization of the flood of immigrants is “people who have been driven by fear or want from their homes in Mexico and Central America, and who are willing to take grave risks and pay exorbitant sums to make it to the US.” He goes on to say that Biden’s concept of compassion was an inducement to recklessness on the part of desperate people.

Stevens takes a moment to remind his readers of his disgust with Donald Trump, and that walls are ugly, defensive, suspicious things created by closed minded civilizations. Thanks Brett, we understand your hesitancy to recommend anything proposed by the last president, even if it would be helpful to progressive dogma.

We need a deterrent to stem the tidal wave of immigrants, 170,000 in March, up 70% over February’s number and the highest in 15 years. Stevens also endorses the word “crisis” to describe the situation on the border. The Biden administration refuses to do so. Detainees are being treated terribly by local officials. This encompasses an inordinate number of children.

The US according to Stevens is risking a version of the European crisis of 2015 that inspired Brexit and the popularity of far-right groups that eschew a humane policy to deal with migration.

Many moderate Americans would consent to an immigration policy that includes citizenship for the illegals currently in the country, if the US can end new illegal immigration. Democrats can expect no help from Republicans without this quid pro quo.

The US cannot be a security zone for persecuted people from around the world. We cannot increase our population by another ten million illegals already in the country. Resources are being drained by this group and not available to Americans who need assistance.

It was great to see that at least one progressive has considered the value of the wall on the southern border. It may not be an answer in and of itself, but it should be a part of any immigration policy that Congress proposes. I laud Bret Stephens bravery in taking a stand that is unpopular with his followers and colleagues at the Times.

How Is Biden Doing?

Joe Biden has no shortage of major issues to contend with. The animosity between Democrats and Republicans has not decreased since he was elected making progress partisan. Covid is still rampant although deaths have been have declined materially. But there are very different perspectives regarding the continuing strength of the pandemic. The Biden administration is ramping up entitlement spending and accomplishing some of it by adding on to aid that was originally earmarked for individuals and small businesses. And finally, Iran, Russia, China and North Korea are stirring up trouble and testing the new president and his yet unannounced diplomatic objectives.

The far left in Congress and many among the administration corps are encouraging actions that could have a lasting and destructive impact on any number of situations. For instance, Biden has begun to negotiate with Iran, even though it is through backdoor mediation.

The problem is that Iran’s leaders are not truthful. The country is dedicated to building weapons of mass destruction with which it will create havoc with its neighbors. Its goal is to dominate the Arab world by increasing the reach of the Shia sect of Islam. The destruction of the Sunni sect is high on the list of objectives as well. Moreover, Iran intends to increase its influence in the region by playing a major role in expanding terrorism cells in peaceful countries that will encourage regime changes.

There is no upside to negotiating with Iran. We would be dealing with liars and religious zealots. Why aren’t Biden’s aides pointing out the situation to the president? Why aren’t they identifying the downsides of dealing with Iran to the commander in chief. Surely, his enthusiasm for negotiating with the ayatollahs would ebb if he had a complete assessment of the dangers involved in doing so.

Covid is not ended. Many people still need to be vaccinated. Many people are ignoring strong advisories to wear masks and distance themselves from others. We don’t know whether there will be another surge of even stronger versions of the flu. We don’t know if vaccinated individuals can become sick a second time. We don’t know how long the vaccine will protect us before we need to receive another dose. There are many hotspots in other countries that could re-infect us. We are going to be tempted to attend indoor and outdoor sporting events. Restaurants are being allowed to feed more and more people indoors. And there are many nations throughout the world that need the vaccine desperately. They make international travel dangerous to say the least. Finally, our leaders have not been able to come to terms with teachers about the return of children to school.

In spite of a booming stock market and capital market, the Biden administration is proposing more and more aid, and entitlements. The long-term impact of this strategy is dubious, especially since the programs are funding social programs, and not entirely dedicated to creating well paid jobs. The welfare system is growing. More and more people are being paid to stay home during an improved job market and low unemployment. Is it political correctness at its worst and an effort to re-distribute wealth? I think yes to both. They will be funded by increasing taxes and printing money, both of which will hurt our economy.

The constant barrage of bad behavior has been stoked in Russia, China and North Korea. These countries are our enemies. They want to destroy our capital system and our society. Biden should proceed carefully before making any long-term deals with them.

It feels like America is making some progress. Everyone wants to return to normalcy, but it would be a disaster to move too quickly and risk further suffering and death.

Joe Manchin Must Save The Senate

The jury is out. Democrats in Congress are governing and legislating with absolutely no input from the opposition. Representatives of around 70 million Americans will have no say in the proceedings and laws enacted by out of control progressives. Bipartisanship is a thing of the past, unless someone takes action to save the country now.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is in a very special position, given the 50-50 split in the Senate. Effectively, he has the deciding vote on many important issues. The only thing stopping Democrats from running the table is Manchin’s dream to see the Senate operate efficiently and fairly. The filibuster is the only way conservatives will be able to temper the government against overspending, open borders and appeasement of our enemies.

Mansion says he wants the Senate to be collegial. All the members should work together to keep the country great. No matter what you read in the liberal press, the filibuster is the only way to protect the US from crazy politicians and their mission to extinguish exceptionalism in our country. If they have their way, liberals will tax Americans mercilessly in their misguided efforts to eliminate income inequality.

Every majority in the Senate in recent years considered ways to end the protections afforded by the filibuster. It forces the Senate to operate on a bipartisan basis when controversial legislation is being debated. If a senator wants to enact a new law of some magnitude, he or she cannot do so unless he or she can whip up the support of 59 other senators. The damage a bad law can do is much greater than no law at all.

Back to Manchin. He’s the voice of reason. He’s in the majority and still believes the filibuster is an important tool for senators to avoid a calamity. The senator is one of a very few moderates in Washington who have the courage to vote against his own caucus. Manchin is someone who would vote to save the filibuster, and at the same time vote to oust Trump. We need more moderates in our government and in the White House. The senator from West Virginia can be this person. He is a fiscal conservative and a man with a liberal’s sense of social responsibility.

Goaded by radical members of Congress and his own cabinet, President Biden is proposing outrageous legislation without any regard to the damage it will do prospectively. I’m not sure he is being told about the downside to the immigration crisis on our southern border, or the damage multi-trillion dollar entitlements will do to our economy, or the danger of Iran producing a nuclear weapon and terrorizing the Middle East.

It’s time the Biden administration slows down and considers the carnage he is going to create with his outlandish proposals. If he calls for the elimination of the filibuster, the Senate will be just a second-class version of the House of Representatives.

If Biden does not see the light, Manchin may have to save the day. If he does, he will be in a perfect position to change parties and run for president.