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.

Wanted: A Great Leader To Govern America

Will an overwhelming majority of Americans ever be supportive of a president again? I’m referring to a plurality in the high 50s or more.

During the past several administrations, voters have tested new personality traits in leadership positions. The experiment has not been so rewarding as no president in recent years has mustered and kept a strong mandate among American voters. Moreover, the political venom between the two major parties has seldom been worse. Americans either love or hate with their heart and soul the men who have led this country for the past several decades.

It’s interesting to consider the qualities of a president that would be attractive to a diverse number of Americans. Leadership, integrity, intelligence, empathy, support of our Constitution and recognition of the many evildoers in the country and the world that want to harm our lives and society are just a few. Unfortunately, recent presidents have fallen short on important characteristics that can help make a president great. I fully recognize that there is a wide range of opinions regarding the attraction or aversion of each president.

Often times, changing or evolving political preferences of politicians have cause voters to withdraw their support. A conservative who thinks that a candidate has all the qualities needed to be effective, may not vote for a candidate who is for abortion or open borders.

Americans pick their leaders for different reasons. Some want presidential candidates who act like leaders. Some want effective leaders who are able to deal with other countries. Some want those that can form a consensus or a coalition. And some will vote for a person who has the same perspective on cultural and social issues such as the right to life, gun control and the like.

I believe more than a majority of Americans vote for a person because they agree with the candidate’s perspectives on only one issue. If you’re a union person, you will vote for a pro union candidate regardless of how the candidate feels about Russia or climate change. If your candidate agrees with your perspectives on birth control, they may avoid casting a ballot for candidate supportive of unions.

I think it is folly to vote for candidates based solely upon their experiences. Character matters greatly. Honesty is important. The ability to lead is critical. A candidate whose only experience is writing laws on Capitol Hill for many years may not be the best choice. Can the person negotiate across the aisle? Does the candidate appreciate the cultural backgrounds of his constituents?

Just because a man or a woman may have been a CEO of a large corporation does not mean either can lead the most advanced country in the world. The last president was a perfect example of this phenomenon.

It would be impossible to set out all the traits we want in our presidents. Rather, looking back and pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of other presidents could be an interesting exercise.

Jimmy Carter was probably one of the most intelligent presidents in history. And yet, his administration was a dismal failure because he was not strong or shrewd enough to gain the freedom of Americans being held hostage by Iran’s newly formed theocracy.

Carter’s successor, Ronald Reagan, started off with a bang. He in no uncertain terms threatened severe consequences if the aforementioned hostages were not released immediately. They were. Reagan was a great president in one way that is quite revealing. He assembled a cadre of advisers that was second to none, and he followed their advice. Look up the members of his cabinet. You will recognize and admire many of them.

George Bush 1 was probably the most experienced president. He was a congressman, head of the CIA and vice president under Reagan. He had the pedigree to be great. But he added the words “no new taxes” to a speech and failed to keep his promise. He lost his reelection campaign.

Bill Clinton’s libido brought him down. He was dynamic, attractive, intelligent and he took control of the country as it was recovering economically. Most people like Bill, but he is a scalawag.

George Bush 2 grew into the job with the help of experienced advisors. Some people questioned his intelligence, which was uncalled for and ridiculous in my opinion. He led the country through difficult times including 9/11 and subsequent confrontations with Iraq.

Barack Obama was probably one of the most inexperienced presidents in history. He was popular and smashed through the racial glass ceiling. He was a loner, as a leader, and his performance suffered because of it. Politically, he was inept in spite of winning two national elections.

Donald Trump is a narcissist and was a horrible president. Enough said.

The jury is still out on Joe Biden. One of the main concerns is that he might not be capable, physically and/or mentally, to lead the country effectively. The ramifications of this are extremely serious. For one thing, he will be influenced greatly by the people that he picked to advise him. In this regard, as payment for helping him get elected, he has chosen very progressive individuals that are not interested in working on a bipartisan basis and will take the country down a path of radical liberalism, if not socialism. Unbridled spending and attempting to cure domestic evils of the last 200 years during the course of one administration could make it difficult for Joe Biden to be successful.

Are there any JFKs or Abraham Lincolns or Teddy Roosevelt out there? If so, I wish they would step up and run for office.

The US Will Change Dramatically Without The Senate Filibuster

I believe the press and political talking heads are significantly understating the significance of proposed changes to Senate filibuster rules.

The filibuster protects the minority in the Senate, no matter which party is in control. It effectively requires a supermajority to pass controversial legislation. It is a God-send tool of the minority that enables those not in power to force a supermajority vote on legislature that is frivolous or dangerous.

Two reiterate, the filibuster protects the interests of the party that is in the minority. Given that the control of the Senate has changed rather frequently in recent years, both parties have used the filibuster extensively.

Changes in the filibuster rule have taken place in recent years. In 2013, Democrats were in control of the Senate, and with a simple majority adopted a new rule for confirmation of federal judges. No longer could the minority force a 60-vote minimum for confirmation of these lower court nominations.

In 2017, Republicans, then in control of the Senate, changed the rule for confirmation of Supreme Court Justices to a simple majority. This enabled Republicans to jam through the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh, who was barely confirmed with a majority vote.

After the death of Senator Ted Kennedy, Democrats lost a supermajority in the Senate because Scott Brown, a Republican, won Kennedy’s seat. Democrat seats decreased from 60 to 59, depriving Democrats of a supermajority. This occurred just after the enactment of Obamacare, and effectively ended Barack Obama’s plans to radically change our economy and our society. He had to govern with presidential mandates for the balance of his tenure being unable to override filibusters by the minority.

Note: Mandates by former presidents are easily reversible with a strike of the pen by subsequent presidents, which Trump affectively did when he was elected, and Biden is doing now. The executive power is often criticized because the president is, in effect, enacting laws without congressional approval.

So, what we have seen is that the party in power in the Senate frequently calls for weakening of filibuster rules, only to regret it after they are relegated to the minority in subsequent years.

The fairness argument is pretty solid for both sides. The party in power should dominate the enactment of laws, and filibusters make this difficult. On the other hand, the most important legislative actions in our country should be bipartisan. Another important tidbit is that filibusters give small state senators a much bigger club, as any senator can stand up and demand a supermajority vote on any legislative proposal.

What’s going on now? Democrats are in power and have free reign to enact a progressive agenda of legislative items, affecting the most important political, societal and economic issues. With the control of the presidency and both houses of Congress the only barrier to new legislation would be a Republican filibuster that requires a 60% Senate majority vote.

Even if you are a Democrat, do want your party to have unlimited power? Don’t you want to hear both sides of complex and strategically important issues? Wouldn’t you rather see bipartisan votes in Congress and not automatic votes along party lines?

Biden and his liberal colleagues are going to try to change some really important laws in coming months. I would like to hear what the implications of this legislation are from both sides, wouldn’t you?

Unbridled Spending Could End Liberal Dominance Prematurely

Democrats are at a crossroads shortly after taking control of the government in January. Should they take a lesson from Barack Obama and be humble, or should they ram through progressive and costly programs that transfer wealth to people at lower socioeconomic levels on the shoulders of the affluent? How will this philosophy impact the growth and well-being of our economy and society?

President Obama responded aggressively to the Great Recession, although many of his advisers believed he did not go big enough in deference to Republican objections. An $800 billion spending plan in 2008 was a seemingly bold plan involving federal government support. It was the largest amount of fiscal aid that has ever been provided. No one knew what the ramifications of such a large capital infusion would be at the time. Progressives said it didn’t matter, and Republicans predicted it would have a significant impact on inflation caused by astronomical spending by the federal government.

Biden and his fellow Democrats are once again testing the limits of fiscal giveaways by enacting a law that provides $1.9 trillion of assistance. The new president ignored the warnings of his rivals about the national debt, the weakening of the dollar and other things such as support of state budgets. Not one Republican senator voted for the legislation.

Progressives lauded the amount of money dedicated to minority causes, climate control, etc. The financial impact of the Covid pandemic was the impetuous upon which progressives passed this legislation. The total Covid related funds provided by the federal government are now several trillion dollars, although a large amount of the funds will be used for unrelated purposes. How will this impact the country economically?

The result of this overfunding will ultimately determine the fate of Democrats politically in the near future. If the country bounces back and inflation remains low, liberals will be celebrating more gains electorally. If the aid package does not do what progressive say it will, or if the country is subjected to inflationary pressures, the Dems will be struck down in the 2022 midterm elections.

Biden has gotten off to a horrendously bad start on the immigration front. The problems, suffering and confusion on the southern border, will be painful politically to liberals. The US is enabling thousands of destitute illegals to enter into the country without an infrastructure to manage the process. Towns and cities across the country will be hard pressed to accommodate these poor individuals.

The next thing on Biden’s agenda may be elimination of the filibuster. This will give liberals an opportunity to tear down our capitalistic society and keep the spigots open to fund illegal immigration and costly new entitlements. Forgiving college debt will soon be discussed, another trillion-dollar adventure.

Open Borders: A Social, Economic and Political Disaster

The horrendous struggle at the southern border has become a national crisis of the greatest proportion. Biden has opened our borders effectively encouraging unbridled and illegal immigration into the US. The perspectives of both political parties have morphed into an unwise and costly battle that will affect Americans socially and economically.

Liberals criticize conservatives for not being empathetic. They say, how can the US allow millions of people in Central America and in Mexico to be subjected to tyranny and human rights abuses? How can we ignore the cries for amnesty? The answers are that the US cannot stop suffering and abuse around the world on its own.

While Americans are demanding more money for childcare, education, health care, homes and a wide variety of other types of assistance, we are coming to the aid of foreigners and illegal immigrants who are competing for the same dollars. All mouths cannot be fed. The US must care for its own citizens before taking up the causes of others around the world. There isn’t enough money to pay for all of the demand.

I have a skeptical perspective of Democrat efforts to open our borders. Are they doing so to build a new social caste in America that is beholding to liberal politicians? Are they doing crazy things at the border for votes 5 to 10 years into the future? Or maybe they want to once again denigrate other efforts to bring sanity to immigration from the south.

Not often enough do liberals consider the ramifications of unfettered spending. For instance, who is going to pay for the illegals crossing the border? Taxpayers, taxpayers, taxpayers. Democratic leaders are threatening our capital system by refusing to balance the books. Of course, I appreciate that our nation needs stimulus to save businesses and its citizens. But why are we taking on responsibility of thousands of interlopers who came to our country illegally?

We don’t know anything about most of the people flooding across the border. Are they criminals, drug dealers, murderers? Are they infected with disease? I cannot believe that this country is inviting people into it with no documentation.

And where are illegals being sent after they arrive? Do they get transported to border cities, or Chicago or Los Angeles or New York? Where will they live? How will they get food? The stress that illegals put on the ultimate destinations is monstrous. You cannot invite people into the US and not give them medical attention and seats in public schools. What about the language problem? How are illegal children learning in classrooms that are taught in English. Seems to me the liberal politicians have put the cart before the horse. If they want to increase immigration, they must have an infrastructure to manage the process.

There are thousands of people who are working through the system and becoming citizens. They follow the rules. What are they thinking about the mad rush to make every person who steps on US soil a citizen without quid pro quo?

As I scanned the newspapers yesterday, I saw no substantive articles on immigration. The liberal media is just going along with this fiscal insanity and humanitarian excess.  

Meg and Harry v the Royal Family

Like millions of others, I watched the Oprah Winfrey interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Sunday night. There’s nothing like some palace intrigue to sate one’s appetite for juicy gossip. Unfortunately, the interview came up short in a number of ways. Most importantly, Meg seemed to have ulterior motives for doing the interview.

Apparently, Oprah is close to the unhappy couple. She proved her friendship by tossing softball questions at the twosome and giving Meg a chance to talk about her background. Everybody watching knew that her mixed ancestry was going to be a major topic of conversation. But never during the multi-hour discussion did Meg or Harry name names. The viewers and the world want to know which members of the Royal Family are bigots. This omission has created a great deal of skepticism about what was said during the lengthy interrogation.

Oprah’s interview started out with a huge issue (not). Did Meg make Kate Middleton cry? I’m sure the world was waiting anxiously to find out whether Meg was unkind to her sister in-law about something, that brought her to tears. Well, it turns out, if you believe Meg, Kate made Meg cry about dresses the younger children were wearing during Meg’s wedding. Kate has since apologized and sent flowers. Thank goodness that crisis is now behind us.

Meg reviewed a laundry list of hurtful things perpetrated by her new relatives and the palace staff. She said that her in-laws were very concerned about the color of her son Archie’s skin before he was born. Meg was virtually imprisoned for many months and was unable to leave the palace and visit with her friends. And most disturbing was a claim that the palace hierarchy was refusing to provide security to Harry and his family because they were decreasing their role in the Royal Family.

It should be pointed out that kind words were expressed about the Queen and Kate, while Charles and William, not so good.

Meg is a self-proclaimed advocate of women’s rights, which she was unable to pursue after her marriage because of Palace protocols. She said the authorities did little to protect Harry’s family, including her, from venomous attacks and lies in the press.

By the end of the interview, I wanted to hear the ultimate gossip. Who mistreated Meg and why didn’t Harry come to her rescue? She refused to identify anyone, but often times referred to the strict group that manages the affairs of the Royal Family.

After all the nickel and dime nonsense came to an end, I began to wonder what the practical reasons were for the existence of the Royal Family? [Keep in mind I am a viewer of the acclaimed series The Crown.] Does anybody really care what Queen Elizabeth says, including fellow Brits? What function does the Royal Family serve? Do they influence UK politics or policies? Do they ever attend important summit meetings with world leaders?

For her tireless efforts, the Queen receives an annual stipend of $97.2 million, which was recently doubled, and she has accumulated a net worth of $350 million. I wonder if she pays income taxes like her subjects. The entire British monarchy has a net worth of $88 billion. Do these people deserve this money for making public appearances and hosting galas? The people of the British Commonwealth should ask themselves what value added they’re getting for their money.

Probably the most important item during the interview was Meg revealing that she had suicidal thoughts while she was cooped up at the Palace for many months. This was a terribly sad and shocking revelation. She finally admitted to Harry that she was suffering from severe depression and was unable to get help from the Palace staff. This turn of events was a significant reason why Meg and Harry decided to separate from the Royal Family. I’m sure the experience of his mother weighed heavily on the prince.

I can’t help but offer my opinion of Harry and his performance during the Oprah Winfrey scoop. It seems as if Oprah was more interested in what Meg had to say about Royal life than Harry. Moreover, Meg was interviewed alone for the first half or more of the program and spoke often during the time that Harry was answering questions. Frankly, unless Harry was trying to prevent serious blowback from his Royal relatives, he appeared to be guarded in his responses about sensitive issues. In fact, I would even classify his performance as unimpressive, an empty suit of armor.

At some point the Royal Family is going to have to address the issues that Meg brought up during the interview. I suspect Meg and Harry’s immodest lifestyle will be at issue as well as their need to provide security for their own family. It’s really difficult to have sympathy for people that get paid millions for representing their family. It seems like Meg will not be a long-term member of the Royal family from my viewpoint.

Hugs And Kisses May Bring Down Cuomo

The governor of New York is doing a dance in front of television cameras and reporters in an effort to retain his office. What separates Cuomo from other serial sexual abusers is that he has managed to downplay even worse actions involving nursing home victims of Covid.

Seems to me the media has confused priorities. Why isn’t the death, from potentially negligent behavior and a cover-up, more significant than a stolen kiss or an inappropriate touch? Has political correctness gotten to the point where social abuses are more significant than homicide?

Earlier this week, a teary-eyed Cuomo said he often times greets friends and acquaintances with affection. A kiss on the cheek or a hug are commonplace at his social get togethers. The NY Times published a picture of Cuomo preparing to plant a kiss on a shell-shocked woman who outed Cuomo. You can’t fool a camera, Andy.

When do “harmless gestures” go over the line? The answer is that they are taboo if a woman ultimately objects to them any time in the future. How does a man know when an affectionate gesture is in order? There’s only one sure-fire answer. If a woman initiates a kiss or a hug it’s legitimate and doesn’t violate any social rules. Yet, the best policy for men is to keep their distance and avoid any contact at all with female co-workers.

One of the new norms with Covid is to fist bump or elbow bump others, rather than shaking hands. Maybe we should continue this tradition when the virus is defeated, in place of any other type of physical contact whatsoever. Men would be much less likely to run afoul.

And what about the families of elderly people mismanaged by Cuomo. Do you think they really care about governor’s addiction to greet and touch? Are the families going to get justice for their losses? Why isn’t the media screaming for Cuomo’s ouster and prosecution?

It is alleged that Cuomo concealed the number of Covid deaths from nursing homes in New York State. He was trying to hide the number to avoid criticism relating to a policy to send recovering Covid nursing home patients back to their homes to avoid crowding at hospitals. This tactic may have caused unnecessary deaths of older people. As part of the cover-up, investigators are saying Cuomo’s staff fudged Covid numbers to prop up the governor’s reputation.

It is stunning that even Democrats are calling for an accounting of nursing home deaths and Cuomo’s resignation. But, just like the press, most are focused on the greet and touch accusations rather than the loss of life.

A lot of things have changed in the past 25 years. One of the greatest is the relationship between men and women. If I were making rules for interaction between the sexes, I would teach young boys that touching a girl or woman is dangerous under almost every circumstance.

Biden Promised Unity?

Not surprisingly, the animosity between politicians in the nation’s capital has not receded in the least. The promises of unity made by the new president to work with the opposition were abandoned during the first few months of his tenure. Many Americans of all persuasions had hoped that Biden would introduce a new, and more inclusive way to govern after four years of hardship and a dearth of comity.

Joe Biden’s vows are almost laughable. As a signal of his disdain for conservatives, he issued many mandates on his first day in office that virtually negated Trump’s mandates during his time in office. Trump did the same thing four years ago to Obama’s legacies. Nothing was discussed or negotiated with the other side.

It must elate Trump haters when Biden is disrespectful to the other side. After all, Trump deserves to be treated in such a manner after his reign of terror. But, keep in mind, 70 million people voted for the loser last November. Democrat’s actions and rhetoric are also aimed at conservatives who are in a position to make life miserable for the Democratic controlled Congress.

What’s really unfortunate is that the Biden administration is already taking credit for progress relating to Covid. It really doesn’t make any difference who’s responsible, so long as it gets done safely and quickly. Covid should be above politics. Biden’s statements and actions aren’t going to make any friends on the other side of the aisle. It’s not popular to give Trump credit for anything, but he got the vaccine produced in record time, although his distribution plan was abominable.

The progressive Democrats are already at odds with their more peaceful and sensible colleagues. Doling out trillion-dollar security packages feels good to Americans and the sponsors of such legislation, but it can have a fateful impact on our economy. Is anybody in Washington concerned about the impact of such actions on our money supply and inflation?

Border problems continue to plague the country and divide many members of Congress. Is it possible that Democrats want to open borders because all illegals that ultimately get citizenship will probably vote for liberal candidates? Are progressives OK with destroying the financial condition of border states and even some states up north by inundating these places with thousands of new mouths to feed, health care and education?

I’m for giving individuals already in the country a path to citizenship. But they must obey our laws and earn this great honor. US citizenship is the most valuable treasure for a person who lives elsewhere in the world. We are eroding the prestige of this gift if we grant it without unconditionally.

Donald Trump is once again spewing his venom and claiming the election was a fraud. Talk about a bad loser. Many Americans were hoping that the former president would retire, tend to his personal business and confront a wide array of agencies that want to punish him. To think Trump would be silent was naïve, as he addressed CPAC and was as aggressive as he always has been.

It’s very important that the media and Trump’s opponents ignore the rantings of this madman and focus on the policies of the new government.

Someone characterized Joe Biden as a Trojan Horse for ultra-progressives in his party. This scenario is frightening from a number of different perspectives.

It is possible that Biden’s colleagues on the far left will propose a diverse and far reaching menu of liberal aspirations. Some of these could include a restructuring of society and wealth redistribution. Other items of great concern include the importance of capitalism to our economy and the ability to be successful beyond others though hard work.

One final thought is the tsunami of political correctness overwhelming our country. It is a great time for minorities including women, people of color and those of different sexual persuasion to make meaningful gains. As humans, we tend to push very hard and move quickly. Oftentimes haste results in bad policy and resentment on the part of those who are in opposition. It’s time to regroup and determine what’s really important in the short, medium and long term. The leaders of these movements must work closely with all members of Congress to ultimately achieve their most important objectives.