The Election Is Upon Us, Vote!

The debates are over. There will not be any assistance for Americans out of work. All we need to do is deal with the 10s of millions of dollars of attack ads on TV, most of which are shameful distortions of the candidates from both parties.

Regarding the latter item, the opponent of Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has purportedly spent over 100 million dollars during his campaign. What has the political world come to? Wasting money and mudslinging is what it’s all about. Just think about the productive things this amount of money could have been used for. Unfortunately, current law allows unlimited donations, in certain circumstances. Giving money to political candidates has been deemed to be a form of free speech, and constitutional.

Millions of people already have voted, and it appears that more than half of all voters will cast their ballots before Election Day. If this results in greater participation by eligible voters, I’m supportive. It remains to be seen whether Trump’s worst nightmare, illegitimate ballots, will be an issue. And, the ability of the US Postal System to handle the increase in activity resulting from mailed in ballots also remains to be determined. I voted early and am relieved I will not have to stand on a line for hours to cast my ballot.

There are several contentious issues that may have an impact on the election results even though many people have already voted. For sure, the inevitable confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett is one of them. The judge’s qualifications have been minimized by accusations of political foul play. Democrats don’t believe that a sitting Republican president and a Republican Senate should be able to confirm a new SCOTUS justice because the president’s term is nearly ended. The Constitution clearly states that the current president, not a future president, has the duty to nominate a new justice, and the Senate must advise and consent in its own time. Both parties are doing their jobs as required by law.

Democrats are saying that ACA is under attack, and Trump wants to take away the right of Americans to obtain insurance if they have existing medical conditions. The Supreme Court, with Amy Barrett on the Court, will decide whether ACA is a viable law without the mandate that has been deemed unconstitutional. Trump is not adjudicating the case. The president has said numerous times that pre-existing medical conditions will not prevent Americans from getting insurance, and that this will be part of any new medical insurance reform.

One other issue that could, and should, impact voters is whether Joe Biden is lying about his relationship with his son regarding corruption accusations. Actually, it has been proven, it’s on tape, that Biden lied during the debate. The question is whether his family has inappropriately accepted money from foreign sources. It looks bleak for the candidate.

I can safely say the past year has not been a golden moment for American politics. Trump has gotten things done, but his style is the worst of any president in history. Democrats had a great opportunity to walk away with the presidency if they had just nominated a dynamic person. This is the second time in four years they did not. Time will tell whether they will lose for a second time because of another horrible political blunder.

MRI Redux

When most people go to a doctor, the things they’re most concerned with are either being given a bad prognosis or being subjected to an invasive procedure. I’m not one of those people. Rather, I dread being told that I need yet another MRI.

And so, I decided to expose my fear of going in the tube for a half an hour of terror, hoping that writing about my phobia would help me deal with it more effectively. In two posts, I told my story. Little did anyone know that I was due to have another torture chamber moment at an imaging facility.

By way of background, I have let it be known to every person I know that MRIs frightened me to no end. I never knew I was claustrophobic. When skiing, I experienced some fear of heights. It was easy to deal with, as I never stood at the top of a trails and looked down steep slopes and huge moguls. I just jumped in. It worked like a charm.

An MRI, I hate to say, reminds me of a coffin. The noise it makes is ridiculously loud (unlike a coffin). The operators can’t believe that a tough guy like me acts like a hysterical sissy when I see the behemoth machine. I once was in an MRI and begged to be released, much to the chagrin of the operator.

I detected something different this time. The forms you must fill out before the procedure now ask specifically if you are claustrophobic. Thankfully, the medical profession is recognizing that more than a few patients are afraid of closed spaces. I checked yes, very. The day before the test, one of the assistants actually called me to ask me if I was taking a sedative before the procedure. I told her I was not.

In my last post, I indicated that my fears begin weeks before the procedure. I think about being stuffed into the tube, which is not really wide enough for me. I lose sleep, have anxiety attacks and so on. I decided I had to do something in an attempt to alleviate my fears.

So, I devised a three part plan. I practiced for the ordeal, kind of like getting ready for the big game. I stayed perfectly still on the floor with my eyes closed for 10, 20, 30 minutes, which is what I would be doing in a few days when I was tested. The second thing I did was meditate and try to convince myself that I could relax for an extended period of time without moving. My yoga instructor helped me greatly (thanks C.). And finally, I ensured that the imaging facility had prism glasses that would enable me to see backwards out of the MRI tube. This gadget is heaven-sent.

When I arrived, I was pleasantly surprised that the procedure would only be 15 minutes, if I did everything I was told and behaved myself. The bad news was that it was a “participating MRI,” as opposed to a procedure where you lay still like a corpse.

I had to repeatedly exhale and hold my breath. I prefer to lay still and think of nothing except when I would exit the tube. Every time I held my breath, it felt like two or three minutes passed, when in reality, it was 10-20 seconds. I goofed one time and was ordered to do it again (my only transgression).

Well, guess what? I performed without a hitch. I was totally cool and courageous, if I do say so myself. No hysterics on my part, and I got MRIed like a big boy. I bumped elbows with the MRI operator, and he said I did a good job and would see me next year. He probably thought I was a pathetic wimp. All my preparation was well worth the time and effort. Even more importantly, my test was perfect.

If anyone is going to take an MRI and has fears, you may contact me, and I will give you a pep talk. It only took me 20 years to finally overcome my fear of the MRI bogeyman.

What If Democrats Sweep The Elections

What, specifically, am I worried about assuming Democrats sweep the elections? If they win the presidency, gain control of the Senate and retain a majority of the House, our political and economic systems will be turned upside down.

The most important issue would be action by the legislative branch to emasculate the Executive Branch, an overreaction to the past administration. In other words, members of Congress, including Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Chuck Schumer, will assert themselves and usurp the power of the presidency.

Frankly, Joe Biden is not strong enough leader to resist the majorities in both houses of Congress. Kamala Harris and Biden are products of the legislature. They may not even resist attempts to decrease the power of the presidency at all.

The first thing that Schumer will likely do is eliminate the filibuster in the Senate so that majority rules on all legislation. The minority will not be able to stop any initiatives by Democrats, an age-old right of the opposition party.

On the dark side, the new president and the Senate could pack the Supreme Court in the wake of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation. By adding two or three judges, liberals would then control the Judiciary as well. The right to bear arms would be one of the first to be attacked.

Together, the House and Senate would work diligently to fund their socialistic agenda. Unlimited amounts of money will be appropriated to pay for universal health care, free college tuition, welfare gifts, more power to unions, greater outlays for green projects and scores of other multi-billion-dollar entitlements.

The plan is to bilk the affluent class in America by taxing them out of existence. Tax rates will immediately be increased on the wealthy class as an oening salvo to decrease income inequality. When Democrats finally figure out that the top 1% cannot pay for all they need to fund their new entitlements, the middle class will experience higher taxation as well.

In the meantime, the government will need to borrow vast amounts to stay afloat. This will increase rates for mortgages and bank loans to corporations and individuals. The dollar will weaken against other currencies in this event.

Liberals will also abrogate regulatory reform signed by Trump during his tenure. These affectively will increase costs of most companies and devastate our economy. Stock prices will plummet, and 401K’s of the middle class will decline in value.

Socialism will kill exceptionalism, the desire to compete and be the best. The profit incentive will disappear, and innovation will peter out. The US will become a second-class nation soon to be outpaced by China. But, Americas will all be equal.

The big story in the short term is what liberal Democrats will do on Election Day. Will they encourage violent protest and behavior? Will they encourage outright anarchy if Trump is victorious? This will be the real test of Democrats. If they call for a peaceful election, will the radical wing of the left respond patriotically?

Amy Coney Barrett, Supreme Court Justice

Democrats are trying to discredit Amy Coney Barrett this week as she bids to become the next Justice of the Supreme Court. They have been unsuccessful for a number of reasons. Two of the most important ones are that ACB is very well qualified and her demeanor is ideal for a Supreme Court Justice.

Listening to ACB lecture the left-wing senators was bittersweet. On the one hand, she established that she is an expert on constitutional law. On the other hand, a number of Democratic senators showed the nation that they haven’t a clue about what it takes to be a jurist and writing opinions. Yet these senators are deciding ACB’s fate.

Watching ACB was like being in a classroom at law school. She defined legal terms. She informed the uninformed how SCOTUS operates and what rules the members are bound by. It was great for all those who tuned in.

Unfortunately, the Dems showed that, in spite of their membership on the Senate Judiciary Committee, they do not understand the nitty gritty of jurisprudence at the highest level. The Constitution requires that the Senate advise and consent on all nominees to the Supreme Court. If this was not the case, the current group of liberal senators would be dismissed for incompetence with few exceptions.

And why did the Dems go toe to toe with ACB? She is highly experienced, well written, eloquent as a judge and as qualified as any recently confirmed justice. She made her attackers look foolish. She is far more knowledgeable than any opponents who were grilling her.

Everyone knows that if the tables were turned, Democrats would be doing exactly what the Republicans are doing, pushing for their nominee. First of all, if a party nominating a judge to SCOTUS holds the presidency and the Senate, a confirmation hearing should not be contentious unless the opposition uncovers untoward behavior on the part of the nominee.

I should remind Dems, Trump is president, Republicans control the Senate and ACB is lauded by almost everyone who has come into contact with her, including fellow judges, mentors, mentees, students and virtually every professional organization that rates judges. She may not opine on legal issues the way you want her to, but she is always prepared, professional and diligent.

The Dems didn’t give any credence to this moment in history. A woman, who has been highly successful in every aspect of her life was vying for the position of an equally great woman, RCB. It’s pretty obvious that ACB is a superstar mother and person, and her religious beliefs have helped her live a righteous life.

The confirmation process for judges and justices leaves a lot to be do desired. Why does it need to be so confrontational? Why did Dems portray ACB as a person who will destroy America’s value system? This perspective is utter nonsense. The judge is an originalist. Her objective is to opine about the constitutionality of laws enacted by Congress.

SCOTUS does not create laws. It’s a responsive arm of our government. If a law is deemed to be in tune with the text of the Constitution, justices should support it regardless of their personal feelings. ACB swore never to change laws that have been endorsed by earlier courts unless there is a serious issue. In other words, she will respect precedent (known as stare decisis). This means that ownership of guns and a woman’s right to choose, in the absolute, will be protected in perpetuity.

Many Dems suggested that ACB will be the deciding vote regarding ACA (Obamacare). She said numerous times that SCOTUS was not deciding whether ACA is a good law, only whether the law makes since without the mandate that supports the law (Is the mandate to tax/penalize citizens severable?). If ACA is viable without said mandate, SCOTUS should support the continuation of the law. In this regard, ACB said at least 100 times that SCOTUS is not a group that should be making law. It is supposed to ensure laws are constitutional. SCOTUS justices are not supposed to be activists or policy makers.

Finally, Democrats repeatedly asked ACB about specific issues that my come up if she is confirmed. The justice responded that she could not discuss these situations per the code of conduct (she may have to opine on them in the future). This happens at virtually every SCOTUS confirmation and should end to save time and aggravation for all.

Everything about ACB leads me to believe she will be an outstanding justice. True, the Court will tilt to the right because she will replace a more liberal justice. This is all a function of when judges step down or pass away, who is president and which party controls the Senate. Confirmation of a judge should not be open warfare. The party in power decides who will be considered, so conservative presidents and lawmakers will nominate conservative judges and liberal presidents and lawmakers will nominate liberal judges. The power to change the mix in of the Court ultimately lies with voters who vote for presidents and lawmakers of our country.

Don’t Discuss Politics While Eating

One of the great advantages of publishing your own blog is you are able to express your opinions on any subject you want, protected by the First Amendment, without getting into tiresome and ubiquitous political arguments. I don’t have to listen to the blathering of the uninformed, and they don’t have to listen to me.

During the Bush years, I learned that I was not going to change anyone’s mind, particularly about Republican presidents. At rubber chicken dinners, the lefties would tell me Reagan slept during cabinet meetings, George H.W. Bush was an elitist and racist, George W. Bush nearly flunked out of Yale, and Trump is a megalomaniac, narcissist and despot. I already know these things. What facts can you recite to support your political preferences? Spare me the platitudes.

I don’t know what Republican-haters really have on their minds because they are masters of hyperbole, and they censor free speech on campuses. Consider Berkeley a couple of years ago. Radical left wingers protested a conservative speech by burning buildings and cars near the campus. Were these actions another form of free speech? The peace and love party of the 60s is now controlled by aggressive, anti-American bad boys and girls. You would have thought that gun-packing conservatives would be the more violent group.

Softball Politics has continually derided Donald Trump. Trust me, I know he’s a bad guy and didn’t vote for him in 2016. I’ve called him every horrible name in the in the book, and I never he used any foul language in the process. I continue to believe his election in 2016 was made possible by the incompetence of Hillary Clinton.

In 2020, it could be a repeat performance as the Democrats are relying on yet another unqualified and weak candidate. Heaven help us. You would think the king makers in our country could do a better job. Don’t we have capable men and women ready to serve who could lead the greatest country in the world? Based upon the candidates in recent years, I don’t think so, or potential candidates are just too wise to get caught up in today’s politics.

Some people can’t help themselves these days. So many hate Donald Trump that they were actually gleeful when the coronavirus struck the president. Can you imagine civilized, intelligent people hoping that their president would succumb to a deadly flu? There was an op-Ed piece in the New York Times last week that discussed the metaphysical implications of praying or hoping for someone to fall ill because you don’t like them or their politics. It’s interesting reading.

Fact is, Trump governed us for nearly four years. He took us through a financial crisis, and he’s doing the best he can to fight a disease that even health officials have no idea how to deal with. Americans are suffering and dying, and the naysayers are putting it all on the president. Democrats control the House, and I haven’t seen any brilliant ideas how to end the pandemic other than donning a mask 24 hours a day.

Anyway, I was out to dinner at a restaurant recently. The couple began to remind me that Trump is a misogynist, a narcissist, a liar, a thief, he has bad hair, a despot, a lousy president, responsible for the pandemic, etc. I said stop, I’m not talking politics. I want to enjoy my meal.

All of my thoughts and concerns have been documented in my blog. I’m not hiding from anybody. If you want to know what I think about Trump, Pelosi, McConnell and Schumer, look it up. But, please don’t ruin my meal on the sidewalks of New York.

Power and Personal Ambition

What motivates leaders of our country? Clearly, power is an aphrodisiac savored by most politicians. When do the personal objectives of people in power interfere with the needs of the many? The answer should be never, but it is frequently the case.

Most politicians believe their ideas and solutions to problems are more valuable than others. Too often, they turn a deaf ear to constructive suggestions. And so, there are two major political parties who espouse different ideologies that hopefully will give us peace, prosperity and equality. But the road to a good life is only made possible through compromise, something that can be very difficult to orchestrate these days.

Donald Trump is the best example of a man who wants the best for America and its citizens, but his actions are often unclear because of a personal agenda. Supposedly, Trump is very wealthy, so he is not driven by monetary gains, but, is this really true? Although he ceded the management of his personal assets to his sons and other confidantes, the Trump empire seems to benefit greatly because the real force behind the company is the president of the United States.

Our forefathers anticipated this circumstance, conflict between personal wealth for those in a position of power, and the good of the nation. And so, over the years, presidents were required to divest ownership, or at a minimum, control over assets that could be affected by their position in government. Trump is an excellent example of how personal priorities can result in poor presidential decisions.

Let’s dig deeper into the issue of conflicts. For some reason, Trump has decided to take a leading role in the handling of the pandemic. He has made quite a few decisions that others, including health experts, have disagreed with.

One could say that the health care community was caught with their pants down during the initial onset of Covid. This blog has been critical of medical efforts that resulted in more cases of the disease and more deaths. What have researchers been doing in the last 100 years, since the last great pandemic, to protect mankind against an existential health threat? Seemingly very little, or they have been diverted by other research projects. Medical experts get low marks for there preventative work as it pertains to influenza.

How has Trump responded? He, believing that he is the smartest person in the world, initiated actions that were not endorsed by health experts. The layman, Trump, morphed into an infectious disease guru. Trump established protocols that were derided by the health community. Did he do so because he had no confidence in the “experts,” or is he just a control freak thinking that he could be the person who saves mankind? Incidentally, he has insisted on using therapeutics that are still in the research stage for his own care.

The largest mistake that Trump makes on a daily basis is that he does not rely upon his aides. A president can recruit virtually anyone to help him or her govern the country, and Trump has been chewing up and spitting out quite a few of such people. They leave positions of great power because it is so hard to work for this president.

Why is this so? It’s because Trump has a personal agenda. He wants to be legendary. He wants to be a great hero. He wants to be adored and beatified by the people. He wants to show every American and every other person on Earth that he’s the greatest. He will steamroll anyone who challenges his ultimate authority. He is a clear and present danger because of his pride. Pride is a deadly sin.

So, what do we do now? The choice is between Trump, a megalomaniac undeserving of such great power, and Biden, an older man who will not actually govern the country. If Biden wins, it’s likely that left-wing liberals like Pelosi, Harris, Sanders, AOC, Schumer and scores of caucuses in Congress will usurp power from the president and the executive branch of government. We now have a president who has too much personal authority. Under Biden, socialists and anti-American groups will have a field day. Good luck picking a candidate.

Total Craziness and Confusion In Washington

The death of JFK, the resignation of Richard Nixon and the 9/11 attacks were challenging events on a par with the medical, socioeconomic and political drama playing out today. But with a growing electoral confrontation, a contentious SCOTUS confirmation and a stubborn pandemic, 2020 events may soon pass the other dark moments in America.

The announcement that the president and the First Lady tested positive for COVID-19 was a fitting end to recent craziness in Washington. Besides fretting about bogus election ballots and more corona virus cases (and deaths), we must now consider what will happen if the president dies or is too sick to govern. The complexity is disconcerting because there are so many different things that may take place if these contingencies occur before (and after) the election.

The New York Times outlined the possibilities and brought up a unique concern. Granted, it is highly unlikely, but if Trump and Pence die or are incapacitated (they could both afflicted with serious Covid sickness), would the reins of government pass to the Speaker of the House? That is the procedure that most average Americans believe is true (president, vice president, speaker then president of the Senate). Some constitutionalists are suggesting that an official from the executive branch should supersede the two leaders of Congress, like a cabinet member (the first would likely be the Secretary of State).

Given that Trump is a male, over 70 and overweight, he is in the vulnerable group relating to the pandemic. However, the odds are higher than 90% that he will recover, in great part because of the extraordinary medical care he is receiving.

Another brewing item is whether the Senate Republicans have enough votes to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett, since Senators Lee and Tillis have contracted the virus. Both are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In response to this, Republicans suggested that senators should be protected and proceedings be done virtually. Guess what? Democrats objected to this proposed change in voting. Nobody is cooperating with anybody. The rule is senators must appear in person to vote on any issue.

Neither politicians nor average Americans are amenable to negotiation and are acting in the most uncooperative manner. Disease, a presidential illness and an election are not enough to bring the political pit bulls together. Everybody has been asked to pray for the president and his wife, but what are they praying for? I’ll allow you consider this question.

In the meantime, our president is hold up at Walter Reed Hospital fighting the virus. Let’s all hope the situation does not become even worse giving opportunists more avenues to create political chaos.

One Of These Guys Will Be President

I assume very few knowledgeable people were surprised about what happened during the presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. I listened to several talking heads afterwards and continue to feel the confrontation was shameful. One of these guys is going to be the next president of the United States. Heaven help us.

If any of my children behaved the way Trump did, it would result in a timeout. I wonder if the guy is like this all the time. Does he interrupt and belittle his aides? Does he scream at his wife and family? As a CEO of a big company, did he act rudely to customers, bankers and fellow workers? Does he verbally browbeat leaders of other countries if they don’t comply with his wishes?

Perhaps he was raised to be a bully by his father. What does a dad say to his son that makes him act like an uncouth ape? It’s no surprise that Trump can never behave like a normal person. As far back as the 2016 debates, he acted like a jerk. Seemingly, he’s never been embarrassed by his actions.

The only time he’s in his element is when he’s speaking to his constituencies at big rallies when he is on display. Trump is really dynamic, frequently going off script. Yet, anything goes. It’s anybody’s guess what might come out of his mouth.

Trump’s objective was to addle Biden. He wanted to confuse Joe by keeping unrelenting pressure on his opponent. Breaking Joe’s concentration was his objective, which he did numerous times during the debate. Biden, at one point, told the president to shut up. I was thinking the same thing, as was Chris Wallace. Trump was interested in proving Biden is feeble and not strong enough intellectually and otherwise to be president.

Joe Biden speaks in platitudes. He offered nothing specific to allay concerns about his mental proclivity. Maybe in the old days, Joe had a quick wit, I really don’t remember, one way or the other. But, during Tuesday night he said nothing other than Trump is an embarrassment and that he has done a lousy job as our president.

The problem with Biden’s approach is that he was playing Monday morning quarterback on the handling of Covid and other problems. The pandemic was new to everybody, including the real estate developer who was our president. And furthermore, if the US did what Joe suggested, the number of deaths would have been greater according to some experts.

The fact checkers were busy parsing every word Trump said, but they forgot to listen to Biden. His comments about the economy, health care and foreign relations were not particularly accurate.

But most of all Joe is whining too much for my taste. He is not strong, like his adversary. He also keeps telling the world about his life tragedies. We all must face demons and difficult times during our lives.

Joe Biden has started to set himself apart from the more radical elements of his party. He started out by saying he “is” the Democratic Party, a strange pronouncement. He said violent protest should be prosecuted. He is not in favor of de-funding the police. I’m wondering what AOC and Comrade Sanders are saying to their confidantes.

I don’t think many minds changed during the debate. Trump was loud and domineering. Biden seemed fragile and unprepared. He apparently had a list of statistics he wanted to mention and not forget.

The affair did not disappoint me because my expectations were so low to begin with.