NY Times Bashes Sen. Manchin

The New York Times showed its true colors in an editorial that was supposed to be a balanced account of some of the most controversial politicians. It’s not balanced and is indicative of why left wing, radical, liberal journalists deserve the trouncing they will experience in 2022 and 2024.

The author is an individual named Michelle Cottle, a member of the Times’ editorial board. I never heard of her so I googled her. She’s a long-time political writer for some liberal publications. She might as well be a member of Biden’s public relations team. The way she coddles politicians of her ilk is shameful and misleading. In particular, her effort to make excuses for Kamala Harris’ pathetic performance was sad.

It wouldn’t bother me if the cutesy pot shots were directed at buffoons on both sides of the aisle. Cottle’s “The 2021 Yearbook of Politics” was just too one sided. She loses credibility by not including President Biden, Bill de Blasio and the “Squad “ in Congress.

It’s amusing how two people can examine the same set of facts and have totally different perspectives. The most outrageous comments were directed at Sen. Joe Manchin. She writes that he is the “Biggest Pain in the Butt.” I’ll bet Manchin is not returning her phone calls or emails.

She indicates that Manchin spent the year obstructing his party’s legislative goals. Thank goodness the senator saw the light. Democrat proposals included a several trillion dollar giveaway that would have exacerbated inflation and ballooned our national debt. The climate change features of the legislation would have made us dependent on coal and natural gas from other countries. There was no way that the country could pay for the Biden smorgasbord of entitlements in the package. I’m ecstatic that Democrats were unable to ram the bill down our throats.

Cottle wrote that Manchin was “scrounging for Republican buy-in on voting rights legislation. Why would Republicans accede to a massive reformation of voting rights when the majority has only a razor’s edge advantage? Massive new legislation should be a compromise between the two national parties. Cottle, like Biden, overestimates the mandate from the voters.

The author wrote that Manchin regards his constituents “a bunch of slacker welfare cheats.” Really? I’d like to read Manchin’s words in context.  She called him a pious, pompous pointlessly destructive prat. (this word means “idiot”) . .” In the meantime, the senator risked his future and his legacy trying to do the right thing for West Virginians.

I believe Manchin saved the country from a terrible economic disaster by standing up to his misguided colleagues. He is a hero. Cottle just doesn’t like anyone who doesn’t vote for open borders and entitlements with a quid pro quos.

It’s my blog and so I get to write about a person who should be in the yearbook.

Joe Biden, our president, is a modern day political Methuselah (he lived for 969 years). Biden rose to power because the country regretted the election of Trump, and the other Democrat choices were all sad alternatives. He has proven to be a pathetic leader and unable to manage Congress. The administration has managed the pandemic ineffectively and given Americans no confidence that the virus will be defeated.  And worse, the president is constantly lying and making misstatements.

With hit pieces like this emanating from newsrooms, it will be a long time before politicians from both sides of the aisle work together for our nation.

Americans Must Be More Negotiable

Many Americans have become disillusioned with the behavior of their neighbors and leaders pre-election, post election and during the very annoying and disconcerting pandemic. Given the severity of the overall situation, I had hoped everyone would join together to battle the horrible and deadly viruses that have plagued us for two years. It seems that just the opposite is happening.

For our governmental leaders, the pandemic is not war like WWII. Men and women enlisted in the armed forces to fight an enemy that threatened our freedom and our lives. Correspondingly, our leaders told the truth about impending danger as a courtesy to those at home. They did not withhold information from the minority leaders in government, as their support enabled our forces to be more prepared to fight. Both groups worked together to annihilate the enemy for the benefit of America. Politics was set aside for the duration of the war.

These days politicians are running for office 100% of the time.  All their communication is wordsmithed to help these individuals win future elections. The personal interests of our politicians are considered ahead of the security of our nation. It’s time this ended.

Today, in Congress, there are all types of special interest groups that are interfering with the smooth operation of the government. But, what about those who are not members of an interest group? Who’s looking out for their needs?

Then there are the pols that are driven by their feelings about social issues. How can a senator follow his conscience about a woman’s right to choose if 60% of his or her constituents are on the other side of the issue? I think pols should not vote their conscience on controversial issues unless his or her constituencies are in agreement.

Our country has wasted so much time, effort and money arguing about social issues, like the aforementioned women’s rights. The way to put controversy to rest is to compromise. We should not attempt to change the laws previously enacted every time the Supreme Court moves to the left or to the right. Women are legally able to obtain abortions. That is the law. Why can’t we just agree on a period of time that a woman must choose to move forward, whether it be based on the viability of the fetus or a time that is consistent with scientific facts?

Gun control is another issue that raises the temperature in Washington. Many believe owning firearms is mandated by the Constitution. Others disagree. The endgame in this battle on a national scale is common sense and negotiation that will make everyone safer. Keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals, mentally ill individuals and minors without parental supervision is good for everyone. When a crazed individual killed 20 babies in Connecticut it should have encouraged our leaders to find ways to secure the safetyof all individuals as it pertains to owning weapons.

There are all kinds of disagreements relating to income inequality. For some reason, people on the left believe that the most wealthy and successful among us are stealing from the poor. I can assure you that these people are unable to cheat and avoid prosecution. The tax laws and the perspectives of the authorities are so stringent and lopsided that it is impossible to get away with illegal activities, especially when the target is a wealthy person. Bernie Madoff had no chance to walk away from the people he swindled. And now he is suffering the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life in prison.

One of the most misunderstood perceptions relating to welfare, entitlements and other assistance is that it cannot be perpetual. Our country cannot afford to subsidize able-bodied people in perpetuity. Aid should be enacted to respond to a need, a moment in time.  Eighty percent of the country cannot live off the government unless we abandon our capitalist society. Assistance should come and go as needs materializes. A beneficiary should have the responsibility to find a job and escape welfare. Providing for your own family is the end game that will satisfy those Americans who are paying for entitlements.

Americans must take the lead in changing our world from a place where wars start on a daily basis and human rights violations are commonplace. As a separate point, all American should appreciate that the US is by far the most advanced place in terms of security and standard of living. To see people marching in the streets and protesting violently is a sad sight for those of us who appreciate the benefits of living in America. Where else could these people live more happily than in this country? But the problem is that the global community spends far too much on bombs and rifles. Perhaps, one day, this money will be used for social advancement.

Back to the pandemic. For starters, I believe everyone should have the option to be vaccinated. But there is a huge potential downside to not doing so. The doctors and scientists say the virus will be controlled sooner if everyone takes the shots. So why do some eschew the vaccinations? To some it is a violation of civil liberties. I think the antivirus people should open their minds, be considerate and join the team. By doing so we will be able to lead a normal life much sooner without fear.

If non-vaccinated people persist they will be ostracized more every day. Already one cannot eat at restaurants and attend parties without proof of vaccination. This phenomenon will continue as the pandemic proceeds.

In summary, Americans and their leaders need to be more tolerant and flexible and end negativity and confrontation.

Manchin’s Actions Are Heroic

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has shut down President Biden’s “Build Back Better” initiative. He has been threatening to do so since the summer. During that time the senator previewed all the issues that disturbed him. As an aside, I’d like to know who dreamed up the inane title of this legislation. Is it grammatically correct?

Manchin is a centrist Republican in Democrat clothing. He is the most popular politician in West Virginia even though he is a Democrat. Note: Trump carried the state by 39 points in 2020.

Manchin is extremely concerned about his constituencies and the risks to West Virginians affiliated with new eco-strategies, before technology is developed. Why stop or encourage decreases in production of fossil fuels when so many electric facilities need it to operate? Why create a dearth of coal in the US that may necessitate importation of the resource from other countries?

Manchin found himself in the enviable (or maybe unenviable) position of being the pivotal vote for Biden’s spending extravaganza, and entitlement smorgasbord. It’s not Manchin’s fault that the Senate is divided 50-50. The real problem for Democrats is that they are trying to make gargantuan social and economic changes that could markedly change America for decades with razor thin margins in the houses of Congress. The Democrats strategy was (is) a fool’s errand.

Manchin is concerned with inflation. Is this a foolish perspective? Costs of critical purchases, including gasoline, have skyrocketed in recent weeks for all Americans. Should politicians ignore the potential ramifications of a presidential plan to jam new entitlements down the throat of Americans if they increase costs to consumers further? There is no consensus about this issue among economists, so why isn’t moderation a reasonable position? Hopefully, inflation inflationary pressures will recede, and new initiatives can be reconsidered at that time.

Legislators often shroud new spending to make it seem less expensive. They play tricks, sometimes assuming an end to funding by applying sunset clauses. The cost of an entitlement that is scheduled to end in 10 years is obviously much greater than the same annual installments over five years. Sometimes legislation is assumed to end when everyone knows it will not. Democrats are using a number of tricks and faulty estimates to decrease the expected cost of the legislation. Manchin has called his colleagues on this issue.

And one other note. If you’re attempting to solicit the cooperation of a fellow senator, of the same party, why would you denigrate him or her and make it personal? Fellow Democrats are calling Manchin a liar! This is not a savvy tactic to change a person’s behavior.

What has Manchin done politically? For one thing, the West Virginia senator has single-handedly halted an ill conceived, progressive initiative that would be detrimental to the country. It’s too big. We are in danger of an inflationary crisis.

Expediting grand climate change initiatives before technology is updated would potentially create huge energy shortfalls for the US and make us dependent upon other nations.

Trying to change our country dramatically without a real mandate in Congress is folly.

The downfall of this legislation is yet another reason to not vote for Democrats in 2002 or 2024.

As I wrote in earlier blogs, Manchin could become a factor in the 2024 presidential campaign, maybe as a Republican presidential candidate.

An Optimistic Perspective

One of my readers indicated that Softball Politics has become unduly negative during the past few months. After musing about this observation, I decided to write an upbeat post. Thank you Chris T.

In case you have not noticed, newspapers and news outlets are generally focused on tragedies and unhappy events. Scan the front page of the NY Times and see for yourself. Political intrigue, natural disasters, homicides, rioting, wars, human rights violations, sexual misbehavior, pandemics, illness and crime are all the rage. But today, in this essay, I’m going to say some positive things about our country and our world.

Note: Today’s headlines in the Times include the following: “Manchin Says No, Deserting Biden. .  .” “Potential Fatal Blow Hits a $2.2 Trillion Spending Plan,”  “Most Shots Used Abroad May Not Halt Omicron,” “Shelters Rely On Landlord Called Worst,” “How the I.O.C. Shields China,” etc.

To begin with, our nation is fighting valiantly against Covid and it’s mutant offspring. Sometimes the government seems befuddled, and a significant number of Americans have chosen not to be vaccinated. But our pharmaceutical companies have performed magnificently. They created vaccines in record time, thereby saving millions of lives. It’s unknown how long the pandemic will disrupt our lives, but America will not give in to this deadly disease.

Our children are back in school for the most part. Educators agree kids learn better when they do it face-to-face with their teachers. Some of our young ones are probably a little behind, but there is ample time to catch up. Thankfully, our teachers have cooperated in recent weeks with back to school mandates across the country.

The stock market has rewarded investors who have had the courage to stay invested during Covid. Liberals don’t accept trickle down economics, but the current rally in the markets will generate a lot of money for charities and social programs moving forward.

I hope cultural events continue to increase. There has been some hesitation recently. However, sports events, concerts, movie theaters are more prevalent these days. During the health crisis, so many activities were canceled leaving Americans with a death of entertainment options. Covid has benefited the likes of Netflix and HBO.

It’s hard to quantify, but I believe American families have grown closer during the pandemic. Parents spend more time with their children. This will pay dividends in the future. Unfortunately extended family activities have been deferred in many situations.

I think first responders including teachers have done a remarkable job. Many risk their lives every day. Many sick individuals were saved because of their bravery, empathy and the dedication of doctors, nurses and emergency medical teams.

The world has become healthier and more diligent on the heels of Covid. This may be a very important phenomenon for the future as Mother Nature challenges our determination to survive. Who knows what sinister health issues may arise in years to come?

On a related note, more money for more research needs to be spent to protect our world.  Perhaps the global community will be more conscientious and spend less on nuclear weapons, bombs and rifles. This savings could be used to anticipate the next pandemic.

As we look forward, what improvements can we expect? Domestically, we must improve the quality of our leaders. They need to be more concerned with the well-being and safety of their constituents and the country, rather than only trying to retain their seats in government. What ever happened to term limits?

Our leaders and lawmakers must be mindful that indiscriminate spending will result in more inflation. Carefully crafted entitlements are the key to helping the needy and ultimately balancing the budget.

Americans must practice their right to protest, peacefully. Our police departments should consider their protocols and find agreement with local leaders.

Our borders are vulnerable. The government needs to enforce new policies to protect our homeland.

The education of our children is critical to our future. Powerful unions have been an impediment to better conditions and performance. It’s time we all worked for the same goals.

Internationally, our focus should be on peace, human rights and disease control. We, and the rest of the world, have a long way to go, so the US must assert itself in the future to insure better conditions for everyone.

Dire Election 2022 Update For Democrats

The 2022 elections will be a politically earthshattering affair. They will set the stage for what happens two years later when Americans elect a new president.

History tells us that the presidential party in power usually loses congressional seats during off year elections. Joe Biden’s performance should ensure that Democrats will suffer in the House and probably the Senate. After the 2024 elections, the entire government may once again be in the hands of conservatives. The progressive experiment will then be declared a failure and pols like AOC, Sanders and Pelosi will be relegated to the backbenches in the House and Senate.

The immigration tragedy on the southern border, the clumsy and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan, bumbling of COVID and related disease responses, relations with China and Russia, the economy, inflation and other issues are wreaking havoc in presidential opinion polls. And rightly so. Democrats are shunning the president’s support in their local elections, the first sign of abandonment by politicians on the run.

Democrats are splintered ranging from very liberal to radical liberal. Only Manchin and Sinema in the Senate have shown courage by resisting entitlement increases and spending that will exacerbate inflationary pressures. America is feeling the effect of higher prices across the board right now. The party in power always pays the price for economic strife.

For some reason, Biden continues to support efforts to relax sanctions on Iran. This is the most militarily preposterous action imaginable. Iran is our deadly enemy, and it wants to develop nuclear weapons. It is mad to give the ayatollah’s such a deadly weapon. They will use it to intimidate any country or party that is not Shiite. A third World War becomes a realistic concern with a nuclear Iran.

China and Russia became more aggressive with the arrival of Biden and the Democrats. They have no fear of our military might with the current president as commander-in-chief. China is expanding its influence across the globe, but most notably in the South China Sea and neighboring areas. Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine. Thousands of soldiers are mustering along the common border of Russia and Ukraine.

The continuing movement to the left by the Biden administration is really beginning to irritate Americans. Persistent support of violent mob protest, defunding police, high crime rates, rioting in the name of income inequality are beginning to erode support of Democrats. Law and order will be an important issue when Democrat candidates debate Republican candidates prior to the midterm elections.

The blow back is so dire for the liberal crowd that even Donald Trump is rallying, God help us. His reemergence is the only hope for Democrats. Let’s hope Trump is unable to muster any support, as his presence will drive voters away from Republican candidates.   

Old Age Is A Bitch

I have a newsflash for young people. You will have increased medical issues as you age. The choices you make when you are 20, 30 and 40 years old will have a very strong influence over your lifestyle when you are 50, 60 and 70.

As each successive birthday passes, you will be seeing doctors more often and discussing health issues with your friends. Of course, you have choices. You can ignore things that your body tells you, but you will increase the odds of dying young and leaving your family prematurely. My father refused to go to the doctor and get treatment for high blood pressure, and he had a deadly stroke at age 60.

For more years than I can count, I recall watching TV commercials about wonder drugs. Today there are medicines for every ailment, high blood pressure, cholesterol, blood clots, constipation, depression, digesting problems, ulcers, diabetes, skin problems, eye problems and the list goes on. In the old days, I paid little attention to these advertisements, but today, I listen and take note about which drugs I take now and which I might need in the future.

When you were young, you think you will live forever. At 20 and 30 years you should have very few ailments unless you abuse your body, or you are an unlucky person. Eating excessively, rich foods, alcohol, smoking, too little exercise are all a threat. Moderation is the key, but when you are young you don’t give a damn about such things.

Then as you reach 50 or 60, people your age begin to experience serious illness and pass away. Every story is different, every death is sad. But the realization that we don’t live forever begins to create stress and many times it relates to good health.

And of course, the death of grandparents and parents creates a new awareness and more family responsibility which can be stressful for many.

As a septuagenarian, I spend an inordinate amount of time at doctors’ offices. Earlier in my life, I would have my general practitioner perform an annual checkup. Now, I see my cardiologist at least four times a year. My urologist twice a year. Eye doctor twice a year. Dentist twice a year. If you get examined often enough, doctors will find something wrong which results in other tests, usually scans, MRIs, blood tests, urine tests, EKG’s etc. It seems like every week a doctor is poking, probing and testing another part of my body.

My family is blessed because we have excellent health care insurance. What do you do if you cannot see doctors and specialists because they are not approved by your insurance company? Worse, what if you cannot afford to pay for increasingly more doctor visits? These are issues that millions of people face every day not to mention the stress of collecting money from insurance companies after treatment.

When you think about it, the whole story of life and death makes sense. When a car ages it has it has more issues that need to be dealt with. As we age, our bodies and individual parts of our bodies become tired and cease to operate efficiently. Doctors are available to assist us when problems arise. They treat these afflictions by using drugs in many situations. In fact, the use of prescription drugs and pain relievers has become a separate issue for many Americans.

When you get older you feel more aches and pains as your body screams out telling you to slow down and be more selective of your activities. In my case, I played contact sports for many years and that added to the amount of pain I feel every morning when I get out of bed. I’ve learned to live with these aches and pains without using medication which I think is the wisest choice.

We all age. We all have pain. And we all die. These are realities that we must deal with as we grow older. In many cases, people choose to rely on their religion to deal with problems they face and their ultimate demise. In my humble opinion, I think that religions were in part created to help individuals with the many transitions that they have to make during their life. The biggest one of course is death.

This essay is not an analysis of life and death. It’s not sad to age. Our golden years can be wonderful filled with the joys of family. It is a statement of fact and a warning that as time passes there are more problems to deal with then less. Chief among them are our health and quality of life.

Where Have All The Leaders Gone?

In recent weeks, I’ve been shocked by the incompetence and dearth of leadership exhibited by our government and those that control Congress and the White House. Being a great leader is not just a matter of getting elected, it is a measurement of the skills one has to protect his or her constituency and solve problems, even if they arise because of actions of others.

Consider the COVID situation. You would think our nation would come together in the midst of a deadly pandemic. You would think that our president would work with governors from all 50 states to create a comprehensive list of protocols and mandates to protect our country from unnecessary sickness and death. You would think world leaders would collaborate in an attempt to work together to stymie the spread of a killer virus. This has not happened, and so people around the world are dying.

For selfish, personal reasons, the pols along with the medical community are incapable of creating a consensus, delivering it to the public and suppressing the spread of COVID and its mutations. Professionals in government and health organizations have not worked hard enough to allay the fears of average Americans. The average Joe has no idea whether vaccines prevent COVID or mitigate the symptoms of the sickness. The public has not been convinced that taking the vaccine is a surefire remedy. Some say it is, and some say it is not. Who should we believe? This is the reason for the reticence on the part of some Americans about taking vaccinations.

There is a huge population of Americans who don’t trust the government regarding Covid and vaccines. This perspective was caused by the rhetoric of liberals who convinced each other that if Donald Trump is involved, a cure for the disease won’t work. Now conservatives have turned the tables and are saying if Sleepy Joe endorses the vaccination it will not be effective.

A true leader would try to convince every American to take the vaccine, and that it is the best answer to the pandemic available at this time. Biden has been ineffective in this regard. He continues to be swayed by Fauci who keeps changing his mind about important issues. As president, Biden should replace Fauci and find new experts who are more decisive and convincing.

Consider the chaos on the southern border. Thousands of unvaccinated people are illegally crossing our border. These same people are sapping the resources of border states and other places where they are being shipped.

Biden told his Vice President to deal with the situation because he had no idea what to do himself. She hasn’t spent any meaningful time or effort in finding a solution to the illegal immigration imbroglio because to do so who expose her lack of leadership.

A country is not a country if its borders are not secure. Americans cannot save the world. Millions and even billions of people would immigrate to America if it were possible. We have the highest standard of living in the world bar none. Who would not want to live here? Our country must be selective and wise about its immigration policies, which it currently does not have.

The president must make tough decisions to protect America and Americans even if it results in disappointment for those camping on and approaching our borders. Call out the Army reserves, increase the number of border agents, stop illegals from entering the country and send those in detention back to their countries of origin. Be a leader President Biden. Make the tough calls.

In the meantime, Biden is working hard to find a peaceful resolution of the nuclear conflict with Iran. I’ve written about the stupidity of negotiating with a country like Iran. The rogue ayatollahs want an atomic weapon so they can intimidate their neighbors and non-Islamic people. They hate their brothers and their sisters who pray to the same God if they are Sunni. They really hate westerners and Jews. Iran wants to destabilize all those who disagree with their politics and religion.

Iran is a menace that threatens the Middle East. The only reasonable course is to continue to ratchet up sanctions, bankrupt the country and encourage regime change. There is no hope for Iran under its current leadership. Biden should be working closely with Israel to parry terrorist activities funded by Iran with deadly force. It will take true leadership and courage, and Biden doesn’t have the chops to do what must be done.

Presidents have worked both sides of the aisle for more than two centuries in this country. Presidents found compromise for the good of the nation. Biden lied to every group in America when he campaigned for president. He is not a moderate Democrat. He caters to progressives and far-left wing interests. He has alienated Republicans. He bit off more than he could chew economically. Unfortunately, he is unable to spell economics or inflation.

Biden will not pass his super entitlement program thanks to Senators Manchin and Sinema, real American politicians.

The reason why America is lacking true leadership is because I personally know so many men and women who eschew politics and elected office. It is a dirty profession. These people are all making a life and a fortune and a reputation in other areas when they would could be saving America. Unfortunately, the great leaders choose to stay away from government, and the US is less for it.