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.

If Democrats Win

Americans are going to have to live with a president that they don’t deserve for another four years. No matter who wins the election, we are going to be short-changed. I think we all know what it would be like with four more years of Trump deception and narcissism. Let’s discuss what might happen under a Biden administration.

I’ve selected four broad topics to consider in this assessment. They are: socialism, patronization of violent protest, out of control spending and unrestrained illegal immigration.

Are Americans prepared to reside in a country where exceptionalism is a dirty word? Do we want everyone to earn the same amount of money, live in the same size house and not benefit from extra effort, ambition or innovation? The part of the American dream that is rarely discussed is the possibility to make it big and have a great life. Most Americans want to grab the brass ring even though they know that becoming a wealthy is a long shot.

Our country has so many people who have had incredibly productive careers in which many lives have been influenced and improved. All the high-tech opportunities would never have materialized if there were no avenues to raise capital that led to high returns. But, it’s not just money. The personal satisfaction of giving a better life to your family and to your employees is the ultimate rush. This satisfaction is far more noble than just accumulating money in your bank account.

Americans want a chance to do well and win the contest. They want to be recognized as honor students, as employees of the month, as entrepreneurs of the year, as new chief executive officers.

Americans don’t want to be classified as equals. They don’t want their government to tell them where to live, what schools they should attend, what occupations they should have or how much money they can make. Americans want to excel and over-achieve.

There is no way that the country will stand by and allow its leaders to institutionalize important aspects of life. Americans don’t want salary or price controls, limits on outsized compensation, free (and substandard) medical care or less innovation that might improve our lives, our wellness or happiness. Socialism is a nonstarter, even if Biden wins.

More and more average citizens are standing up and saying they support the right to protest, but they abhor the individuals that are agitating for more violent action against federal and local governments and the police. Even Biden has said so. Men like Gandhi, Mandela and King have made long-lasting impacts on their countries and civilization by protesting peacefully.

Uncivilized and uneducated people that have no hope must sometimes resort to violence. Anarchy and unrestrained leadership encourage violence. That’s not what we have in our country, even with the likes of Donald Trump at the helm. America does not want a king or a despot, or anyone who strives for this type of power. They cannot thrive politically in this country.

Radicals have implicitly endorsed violent behavior that is taking place in the country. Some overly aggressive progressives have used the plight of Blacks to espouse an aggressive strategy to force change. It’s a terrible way to encourage change. Violent action will be met with violent pushback.

When compromise and men and women of peace and good intentions are stifled by killing, looting and anarchy, the improvements that are sought take much longer to obtain. Blacks deserve better than what they have been subjected to for the last 200 plus years. The tide is in their favor. The time is right. The political environment has never been better. Violence will spoil these efforts, and Democrats should be advising their constituents accordingly, and not turning a blind eye to anarchy.

The deficit is out of control it was impossible to avoid this situation with the pandemic. The government needed to spend to help the middle class, unemployed Americans and struggling businesses. As normalcy returns, the spigot must be turned down or the dollar and the economy will be permanently damaged. The crazy proposals at this time made by Biden and his followers will only make matters worse.

Certain entitlements are necessary now, but most new proposals should be delayed until after the current economic crisis subsides. Suggesting universal health care, forgiveness of school debt and a massive climate control program now shows just how out of touch liberals are.

It’s time to address the causes of poverty with a job for every able-bodied citizen, as opposed to cash payments from the government with no quid pro quo. Everyone should have a job and those that cannot work should be given enough money to live comfortably. This investment will pay off over time.

Democrats are going to load us up with new entitlements if they take control, just like Obama did with Obamacare.

America is having a difficult time taking care of its citizens. We don’t need any more illegals in the country. The interlopers are creating gigantic financial stress in many places throughout the country. Ultimate citizenship for those already in the US should be an objective, but only if new illegal immigration is curtailed.

Democrats want open borders. It’s political, as most of the people, if they become citizens, will likely vote Democratic. We cannot afford to take care of more illegal immigrants.

A vote for Biden will lead to economic and social chaos. Joe is not a moderate, and his administration will be chock full of radical individuals that will push social and economic change too soon.

Democrat Lies And The Impeachment Hoax

I’m disgusted and frustrated by the ongoing spectacle of impeachment that is taking place in Washington and have a strong sense that my readers are equally ashamed and disillusioned by the behavior of our elected officials.

The problem I have is based upon the underhanded, unfair and deceitful actions of House Democrats to effectively attempt a coup d’état of the US Government.

Donald Trump has contributed greatly to the current imbroglio. He’s a despicable person, and one that I didn’t vote for in 2016 and have no intention of voting for in 2020. My blog, Softball Politics, has repeatedly criticized the president’s un-statesmanlike persona, attitude, racism, self-aggrandizement and narcissism.

Our current leader is not the kind of person we should have in the White House. Nevertheless, he won the 2016 Election, in spite of all his shortcomings.

All the twisted and partisan crap relating to collusion between Trump and Russia has been debunked. Frankly, Trump’s minions didn’t, and still don’t have, the experience or the chops to orchestrate a voter fraud on a national level. There should be no concern that Trump will do anything sinister in 2020 regarding the election.

Trump has surprised Americans and the rest of the world with shrewd gambits. He’s crude in his execution, but you can’t deny that the US economy is moving ahead great guns. Trump has exposed the inequities in economic and strategic military agreements. He has no inhibition about calling out anyone who attempts to cheat our country. The president has been an unfaltering supporter of Israel. Many of his domestic policies have positively impacted the employment and lifestyles of minorities.

But disingenuous liberals are leading too many Americans down a primrose path. House Democrats have convinced each other that a sitting president is fair game for frivolous impeachment charges in the interest of partisan politics. In reality a president should only be threatened by the specter of impeachment if he has committed high crimes and misdemeanors, and his accusers can prove it.

The same group of Democrats who bungled every aspect of the Russian collusion fiasco has trumped up new charges that at one point or another involved bribery, abuse of power, obstruction of Congress and other lesser accusations that, even if proven, do not rise to the level of impeachable offenses. Yet, with the majority in the House, Democrats are wasting time and money in a monstrous hoax.

In fact, the Democrats are the ones guilty of abuse of power. They have twisted hearsay and innuendo into impeachable indictments of the president. These malcontent politicians are sanctimonious liars whose mission in life is to destroy a US president who sees the world differently than they do. Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler have created a constitutional crisis. This was unnecessary because in a few short months Americans will have the opportunity to vote for Trump, or one of his Democratic rivals.

I’m sickened by the thought of hearing more of Trump’s hyperbole and inarticulate blathering about his greatness. Yet I’m even more disheartened that House Democrats have exceeded their constitutional authority. Deposing a president should only be possible if you can prove high crimes with real evidence according to the rule of law.

 

Democratic Monkey Business

The impeachment stage is thankfully coming to an end. Articles should be delivered to the House of Representatives soon, and Democrats, with their majority will impeach Donald Trump. The Senate will then convene and acquit making the whole process a colossal waste of time.

There are a number of important takeaways that can be drawn from this horrid experience, none of which are positive things for our country or the people we elected to represent us.

The process to impeach the president has completely disregarded the rule of law. It is defined as “a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated.”

The law has not been fairly applied by Democrats during the impeachment of Trump. They kept the whistleblower’s identity a secret for reasons unknown. How can the person who initiated this process not be questioned? Customarily the accused have the ability to face their accusers.

Defendants are supposed to be able to call witnesses. This was not permitted in the House proceedings. And hearsay is typically not admissible. Democrats have not presented one witness who saw or heard with his or her own eyes or ears the commission of an impeachable offense.

There have been multiple accusations against Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the impeachment brigade. Republicans objected to the aforementioned rule of law violations and the way the congressman has scornfully led the process.

In the future any majority in the House will not hesitate to impeach a future president based upon current events. The problem with impeachment is that it costs millions of dollars of taxpayer money and completely paralyzes Congress. Our lawmakers cannot effectively conduct the business of the country while attempting to destroy a presidency.

But most important thing about impeachment is the animosity it engenders. Republicans and Democrats in a two-party democracy must serve as a check and balance against corruption, obstruction and misuse of taxpayer money by the other party. But the venom existing between the parties will likely change the way that lawmakers negotiate with each other in Congress in a bad way.

Democrats moved forward with impeachment despite the fact that another presidential election is right around the corner. Sixty-something million Americans voted for Trump, and he collected 304 electoral votes in 2016. Why wouldn’t Democrats defer to the electorate, rather than defying the will of the voters with such laughable evidence?

The answer is obvious. Democrats do not have a candidate that moves the country. The only way for Dems to beat Trump is to remove him legislatively from office before the 2020 election. Moreover, Dems think that rapid-fire accusations- Trump is a traitor, he colluded with Russia to win in 2016, he obstructed justice, he bribed Ukraine into helping him in 2020 and so on- will denigrate Trump and enable a liberal to win next November.

Things in Washington have never been worse. Yet, the country is chugging along nicely economically, and most Americans are benefiting by high employment, higher wages, low energy prices, etc. There are major foreign affairs issues that threaten our peace and prosperity, but Trump seems to be doing quite well dealing with them.

It’s amazing that conservative and liberal perspectives about the impeachment are so different. Frankly, I think Democrats have struck out during the proceedings. They are not going to be able to throw Trump out of office with hearsay. They have already struck out twice before trying to prove collusion and obstruction.

I hope that voters punish Democrat lawmakers for damaging our country in 2020.

And, of course, there is Trump, the man that Obama installed into the Oval office. He’s a menace, but he’s going to be leading the country for another five years. So, everybody, get over it.

President Donald Trump. Give Me a Break!

By Sal Bommarito

The presidential primaries are ramping up as we approach the Iowa caucuses on February 1st.

Donald Trump continues to hold a commanding lead in the national polls, although Ted Cruz is challenging him for Iowa delegates.

Why has the American electorate been so enamored with Trump?

From my perspective, Trump is brash, confident and courageous. Courageous? Yes, he is unafraid to discuss the most sensitive and controversial issues impacting America without concern that political incorrectness will derail his political aspirations. Trump frequently drills deep into controversies that weigh heavily on the minds of Americans, but are never surfaced by them for fear of being a labeled bigot, misogynist or xenophobe.

Yet, even Trump supporters are frightened by the possibility that “the Donald” may be negotiating with Russia, China, the European Union, Mexico and the ayatollahs one year from now.

This reticence is based upon the fact that Trump does not fit our image of an American president. Historically, these men have been gentlemanly, tactful, intellectual and religious. Trump is a blood and guts real estate developer with a spotty history that he challenges anyone, the media and his opponents, to dispute.

The polls show that less educated and younger Republicans are most attracted to Trump’s swagger because he has not been tainted by Washington political canon. Trump is always in everybody’s face and seemingly oblivious to naysayers. A most frequent comment by the Donald is: “If you don’t think I can’t be president, look at the polls. I’m leading every one of my competitors.”

Most former presidents have had at least some political experience. Deals made in the White House and with Congress are not the same as deals negotiated in Trump Tower for the construction of a new building or a shopping mall. The players in skyscraper transactions are very different than those negotiating nuclear non-proliferation treaties.

We all know there are thugs that lead countries in the world. I suspect Trump will be adept at dealing with tough guys. Some of these street fighters have nuclear weapons at their disposal, so being a master at this negotiating art form could prove to be very helpful.

Exclusively well-bred and diplomatic participants need not manage all peace negotiations. Maybe, a much more aggressive person like Trump, as opposed to Obama, could make some headway reigning in the likes of Vladimir Putin, Bashar al Assad, Kim Jong-un and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Barack Obama is the polar opposite of Trump. The former avoids confrontation, while Trump relishes the opportunity to mix it up. Obama is cerebral, deliberate and insular, while Trump shoots from the hip and wants the whole world to know what he’s up to. One important comment made by Trump indicated that he was intent on finding the best people to advise him. This separates him from Obama who appears to make all decisions with very little outside expertise.

Trump is the kind of person who cannot bear to have an important issue unresolved. Then again, a real estate problem is easier to resolve than a brewing international crisis. I doubt Trump’s bellicose style will be an asset if he has to decide whether to put our GIs in harm’s way.

From the beginning of this crazy political cycle, I thought Trump was just looking to promote himself. He is the ultimate salesman who bullies his way into the spotlight. The Donald wants to be photographed with beautiful women and powerful people. The Clintons  attended his third marriage. Why? I have no idea.

On one important issue facing the nation, Trump has been truly outspoken and indelicate. His stance on immigration has catapulted him into the limelight. Trump wants to send undocumented Mexicans back to their homeland, and he wants to suspend the immigration of all Arabs from Middle Eastern “hot spots” until the radical Islamic crisis is put to rest; that’s going to take a long time.

A very successful tactic of Trump has been to dare any opponent to challenge his ability, sincerity, business acumen or honesty. Those who have questioned him in sensitive areas have experienced unbridled anger and retribution. Generally, his Republican competitors are afraid of incurring his wrath.

Frankly, I think the Trump candidacy for president is like a bad joke. He should not be elected to the most powerful position in the world, except that millions of Americans want to vote for him. I’ve said that I’m ashamed that Trump may be the best candidate we have in the Republican Party, but his lead in the polls makes me question my judgment on this matter.

Many are still predicting that voters will come to their senses before it’s time to pull a lever. Well, I’ve been waiting anxiously for this, and it hasn’t happened.

Trump told us in his autobiographical books that he is the consummate deal maker, and  he will reason with Congress and world leaders to bring back the glory days of America. No doubt, the man is a successful businessperson. But, what does he know about making deals in Washington and on an international stage?

I’m a Republican. Yet, I’m truly undecided in a likely contest between the Donald and Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, one of them is likely to be our next president. I can only hope for an unforeseen event or misstep that allows a more qualified Republican to gain the nomination.

It Will Take Leadership To Fix Our Broken Election Process

By Sal Bommarito

America is engaged in finding a new president to replace Barack Obama. The current administration has not lived up to the expectations and hoopla of the 2008 and 2012 elections, so the next election should be that much more intense, competitive and demanding of the candidates. Further, ideological biases have dominated the presidency and the overall political landscape for years making it difficult to nurture and elevate real leaders into positions of power.

There are many issues that dog our country and make it impossible for those who want to make the U.S. stronger, more prosperous and sensitive to the needs of all classes of Americans. In this essay, a two of the most debilitating situations impacting America will be examined.

The political system in this country is broken because politicians and judges have not had the courage to effectively address campaign finance reform. Despite never ending rhetoric by both major political parties to decrease the influence of big money donors, and the sensibility of such an objective, the powers that be insist that contributions are protected by free speech.

“In a landmark decision, Citizens United v. FEC, the United States Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation.” Certainly, our forefathers never considered the ramifications of money in politics in this regard, nor would they have opted to bastardize the interpretation of the First Amendment in any case. Instead of protecting our political system from those who seek to buy votes, the court endorsed a new threat to our election process. Politics, not wisdom, won the day.

Candidates and their supporters have been given a green light to raise as much money as they can to fund political action committees with few restrictions. The amount of money being solicited is in the billions of dollars. Candidates who can raise the most money will likely win elections. Fundraising skills have replaced competence as the primary reason candidates are elected to office.

One of the greatest fallacies is that leaders become more productive the longer they hold an office. Unfortunately, the only important consideration of long-term politicians is reelection at any cost. The temptations of extended tenures in office have destroyed the careers of many lifers in government.

The talking heads often discuss the freedom and productivity of lame duck presidents. Without the pressures of a reelection and the fundraising affiliated with it, lame ducks can focus on the needs of America. It’s just the opposite for politicians who must remain in a campaign mode all the time.

Lifetime politicians generally have no practical experience, which is so important in today’s complex world. Yet, how can we expect our elected leaders to facilitate laws that limit their tenure in one position? Without term limits, new blood is virtually nonexistent while old feuds and corruption flourish.

The problems that hamper the efficient selection of new leaders are many. It will take leadership and courage on the part of our elected officials to remedy the problems.

Jeb Bush’s Commets About His Brother’s Decision To Invade Iraq

By Sal Bommarito

Jeb Bush created campaign drama with comments he made about his brother’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003. This is part of an effort by his detractors to use Jeb’s family against him. For sure, Jeb is loyal to George Bush and is concerned about his brother’s legacy. Nevertheless, hypothetical questions in every election about previous events are like quicksand that can mire a candidate. Jeb needs to tread carefully.

One such question posed to Jeb was: Would Jeb make the same decisions about Iraq as George knowing what he knows now? The query is an obvious booby trap. The public will likely judge any comment supportive of George’s Iraq policy as unfavorable. The decision to invade led the U.S. into an extended conflict in Iraq that is still in progress, and may be a reason for the proliferation of terrorism in the region.

Most importantly, Jeb does not have all the facts about the decision-making process in 2003; he was not affiliated with the George W. Bush administration.

Given that the public is almost universally negative towards the second Iraq war, Jeb should have dodged the hypothetical game played by his critics and the liberal press. His answer should have been the war was a mistake considering that weapons of mass destruction were not discovered. They were the principal justification of the war and could not ultimately be verified. In a sense, he would not be indicting his brother, but rather those who assured George that WMDs were in play, and Saddam would likely use them against his enemies.

I’m sure Jeb really feels this way. But, putting himself in George’s shoes and considering his affection for his brother, he has attempted to justify the “go to war” decision. Since it was based upon a misreading of Saddam’s WMD capabilities and inclination to use such weapons, the decision is indefensible.

For a moment, let’s consider George’s dilemma. It was not crazy at the time for George to think that Saddam had WMDs based upon the intelligence offered to him. This being the case, it made perfect sense to eliminate Saddam and take the threat of WMDs off the table in the Middle East. Use of such weapons could have easily mushroomed into a much broader conflict and possibly World War III. If a nuke were to be used against Israel, it certainly would have retaliated and obliterated Iraq. Moreover, Saddam possessed WMDs in the past and used them against Iran in an earlier war. The man appeared ready, willing and able to employ WMDs and gave his enemies every assurance that he would do so. Given this, some think it would have been irresponsible to not take out Saddam.

Maybe the voters and all the talking heads should focus on more pressing issues that are plaguing the region such as ISIS, Russian aggression in Crimea, Israel’s plight, Iran’s nuclear program and the proliferation of terrorist organizations in America and across the globe. Rehashing the past is not informative or productive because everyone knows, in hindsight, that America and the world would have been better off if the Iraq invasion did not take place.