The Washington Swamp Is Now A Bio-Hazard

Certain events over the past several months are creating great consternation in America. The unsavory actions of politicians, the press and our president are generating an inordinate amount of anxiety. And, most importantly, the behavior and some of the comments made by powerful people and influential institutions are not in the best interests of America.

The election of Donald Trump has been, without a doubt, a disturbing phenomenon. His disdain of statesmanship and presidential tradition has bewildered Americans, our allies and even enemies of the US. But Trump was duly elected and, in spite of all that has transpired, he deserves to be treated with respect.

It has been said many times that the election of Trump was made possible by the incompetence of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the mismanaged and directionless Democratic Party. Without their truly questionable tactics and combative attitude, Trump would likely be peddling real estate to this day, not leading the world, cutting taxes, abrogating lousy treaties and pissing off just about every person he meets.

The vicious attacks by Trump’s political opponents are something that has never happened before. The characterizations of the president are degrading and inappropriate. Future presidents will likely be treated similarly even if their demeanor is more mainstream than Trump’s.

But there are other things happening that are reflective of the poisonous climate in Washington. Take the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) recently mused about the unhinged questioning of Kavanaugh and subsequent comments to the press by Democrats during the confirmation process. He pointed out that until recently, most Supreme Court confirmations were not so confrontational.

Former presidents recognized that a lifelong appointment to the highest court in the land warranted an extensive vetting process. Problems were usually surfaced before nominees faced the Judiciary Committee. Most nominees were unanimously confirmed or received an overwhelming majority.

Today the venom between the majority and the minority is front and center. Opponents of Kavanaugh are blatantly attacking the man and questioning his integrity. Accusations of unsubstantiated perjury and misconduct have occurred every day. An honorable man is being besmirched for political gain. Liberals are “borking” him. This refers to the witch-hunt affiliated with the confirmation hearings of Judge Bork in 1988.

Graham went on to say that it is perfectly reasonable for a conservative president to nominate a conservative justice, and a liberal president a liberal justice. Why all the fuss about Kavanaugh? Did his opponents think Trump would do otherwise?

The fact is that Kavanaugh is a highly respected scholar and judge. He deserves to be confirmed. The disrespectful interrogation by Democrats has been disgraceful.

The presiding president gets to make nominations to the Supreme Court when an opening occurs, and Americans should not be surprised if that nominee is ideologically aligned with his sponsor. The best way to insure that Supreme Court nominees represent your perspectives is to elect a president that will pick people of your persuasion.

There has been a lot of talk about the possibility of impeaching Trump for all sorts of alleged crimes. This is an unproductive debate for many reasons. The most important one is that a president can always be replaced within four years without creating a constitutional crisis.

Impeachment is the accusation by the House of Representatives of crimes and misdemeanors committed by the president. A majority vote is required. Then the impeachment is sent to the Senate where 2/3 must vote to remove the president from office. Given the current division of Democrats and Conservatives in Congress, there is no way that a “trumped up” charge by Democrats (assuming they achieve a majority in the House in November) would ever be supported by a supermajority in the Senate. Frankly, the conversations about impeachment are tearing the country apart.

Liberals are so frustrated that they are moving further left than any time in history. Let me be clear, there should be great latitude for progressives. In fact I support a number of their positions. But to elect self-proclaimed socialists . . .?

Russia, China and India, three of the largest and most powerful countries in the world have given up on socialism. All have elections even though it’s questionable whether they are fair. Each of them embraces capitalism. They have recognized that capitalism and democracy (to some extent) is what most people want. Why is America poised to move in the opposite direction? All socialist countries to date have been abject failures.

At first I thought the concept of Fake News was a joke or a political ploy. Now I think it’s real. Our press that benefits by extraordinary protection in our Constitution is abusing its vaulted position. Too often reporting is editorial. Too often news zealots, who think that they can trick average Americans, twist the truth. To often stories and sources are not vetted. Too often the press walks back bad reporting.

Lastly are the outrageous actions and biases of the Special Counsel. He has refused to give anyone a heads up on his progress in determining whether Trump illegally influenced the elections in conjunction with Russia. The Special Counsel is not above the law, and is responsible to those that gave him his power. He is not a judge, jury and executioner. He should not have unlimited power and resources.

The midterm elections are just a few weeks away, and Americans have learned nothing from the Special Counsel, other than he has indicted several people not involved in Russian collusion.

The country is eroding before our eyes. Americans are at each other’s throats based upon political affiliation. Politics is now everything, and Congress is in a state of paralysis. We must enact term limits and rid the country of those lawmakers who have created such a destructive environment.

Obama Encourages Americans to Dump Trump

Barack Obama emerged from his cocoon with an expansive denunciation of the Trump administration, along with a personal attack directed at the president. Why did Obama choose this moment to speak up? Does he actually believe his administration left the country in better shape than when he arrived in 2008? Doesn’t Obama remember the bonehead moves he made during his tumultuous years that left the country in dire economic and political distress?

Up to this point, Obama has taken a low profile, and it’s not because he was concerned about violating the unofficial code that former presidents not interfere with current presidents. In the eyes of many, Obama was a failed president. The mention of his name, along with that of Hillary Clinton makes conservatives’ blood boil. His performance between 2008 and 2016 enabled yet another incompetent man to become president.

It would be burdensome to attempt to list all of Obama’s missteps, so I will mention just a few of the notable disasters he inspired.

Right out of the box, the former president misjudged his mandate. He campaigned as a progressive and went all in when he bludgeoned Congress into enacting Obamacare. The problem with this tactic was that the US could not afford a multi-trillion dollar entitlement coming off of large expenditures affiliated with conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moreover the economy was tanking and needed financial support.

You may not believe this, but misguided health care reform was a principal cause of Obama’s terrible performance. Immediately after Obamacare was enacted, Teddy Kennedy passed away and was replaced by Scott Brown, a Republican. This special election caused Democrats to lose their filibuster-proof majority. From that point, Obama’s agenda went up in smoke.

Democrats then lost their majorities in the House and Senate. Obama became a lame duck shortly after taking control of the White House, as Republicans refused to consider his legislative proposals and obstructed whenever possible.

Why did this happen? The new president was a neophyte, a self-proclaimed genius who attempted to personally manage the colossus known as the US. To make matters worse he surrounded himself with equally inexperienced sycophants. The ultimate result was a series of bonehead decisions, most of which were made by fiat and not with legislation. The most important of which was Obamacare.

A dearth of support in Congress did not stop Obama as he proceeded to initiate a series of regulatory mandates that cost businesses throughout the country billions of dollars and only served to make the economy worse. This deepened the ensuing recession.

To his credit, Obama heeded the warnings of more knowledgeable conservatives and propped up the economy lest it degrade into an outright depression.

All the while Obama kept trying to sell Americans on his pie in the sky ideals relating to social reform, climate change, inequality, the evils of capitalism and the sins of the 1%.

Regarding the last item, Obama encouraged class warfare that severely damaged the country. He made no excuses, and he said affluent Americans did not pay their fair share, and the 99% should join with him and strip 1%ers of their hard earned wealth.

Barack Obama was a not president of all Americans. His crusade, to steal from the rich and give to the poor without conditions, was a major reason his economic agenda was such a disaster. In any case, the US spent trillions on entitlements that exacerbated the economic distress of the day.

Internationally, Barack Obama performed like a true amateur. All of his smooth talking and blathering about inequality throughout the world fell on deaf ears. The world needed American leadership and he gave it platitudes while apologizing for the sins of America.

Most countries around the globe felt abandoned by the US because Obama pulled back in the face of terrorism, tyranny, imperialism, colonialism and nationalism. Russia and China made great strides as Obama stood aside in the Middle East, Asia and Crimea. The president did not have the courage to rein in either of our most important enemies, much less the murderous Assad in Syria.

Specifically, in the Middle East, Israel was abandoned by the Obama administration. If you don’t believe this read Bibi Netanyahu’s public statements regarding existential threats against the State of Israel and Obama’s feeble responses. It was the first time since the establishment of the Jewish State that America abandoned Israel and sided with the Palestinians.

The other major event was the inane nuclear deal with Iran. The stated policy of the US has always been to end the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The Iran pact merely delayed the development of nukes by Iran. The ayatollahs despise the US, all non-Islamic people and non-Shiite Arabs. The country contributes to virtually every anti-Semitic activity in the Middle East.

And so, Obama, Clinton and Kerry, for legacy purposes, made a deal that enabled Iran to have nukes in about a decade. Only a totally naive leader would do business with a mortal enemy, an enemy that lies and deceives others at every turn? How could Obama be assured that Iran would not cheat? Thankfully Trump has recognized that this horrible deal needed to be abrogated.

People speak of Trump’s efforts throughout the world in a disparaging manner. On the contrary, walking away from the Iran deal, renegotiating trade deals that cost Americans billions each year and forcing our allies to pay for their fair share of defense costs are noble objectives. The countries on the other side of these situations are understandably upset. Nevertheless, Americans should be ecstatic that Trump is cleaning up costly deals and mandates by Obama and his predecessors.

Barack Obama thinks he is the smartest man on the planet. Even if he is, he has proven that he was and continues to be incapable of leading America or even his own party.

I hope he and Hillary enthusiastically stick their noses into the mid-term and 2020 elections. This will result in great victories for Republicans.

What’s Great About America

Yesterday I presented a laundry list of important problems facing America. It was a dark and depressing assessment of our country and its leadership.

My feelings about the US and the prospects for it are much more optimistic than what you might think. In an effort to be balanced, I offer the following list of encouraging accomplishments that should give us all hope for the future.

  • The US was devastated on 9/11/01 when terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden hijacked four planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. For weeks all Americans, and particularly New Yorkers, grieved the loss of thousands of innocent friends and relatives. Our nation responded by attacking the terrorists where they resided. Navy Seals eventually killed bin Laden in Pakistan. The US has tirelessly attempted to root out and eliminate Al Qaeda and then ISIS, a more violent version of the former group. Our leaders and military have made great progress in this effort even though terrorists throughout the world are plaguing peaceful nations every day.
  • Our financial markets have rallied during recent years on the heels of the Great Recession. The individuals that warded off the recession did a masterful job and it has paid dividends, literally, to this day. Interest rates are low enabling many Americans to afford housing and for corporation to grow and prosper. Job creation has ultimately driven down our unemployment rate to more reasonable levels, although earnings have lagged somewhat reflecting fragility of the situation. All this has increased stock prices, which is a boon to shareholders from all socioeconomic groups.
  • The US is leading the technology explosion. The greatest companies in this broad industry category are domiciled in the US. They include the likes of Apple, Amazon, Google and many more companies that will continue to change and improve our lives.
  • LGBTQ groups have made great advances. Our country has worked hard to protect this group from discrimination and to ensure equal opportunity. The ability of gays and lesbians to marry enables all Americans to enjoy the personal and financial benefits of family life.
  • Although the war never subsides completely, our nation has totally fought off incursions against the right of women to choose. There have been many challenges, and women still are masters of their bodies. Hopefully this issue will fade away completely as public opinion along with our court systems solidifies this basic right.
  • Incredibly the US elected an African American to be president two times. Setting aside his performance, which is still being debated, these events have opened the door for Americans of all colors to become leaders in government and industry. The achievements of the first woman nominated to be president was similarly a monumental moment for our country.
  • Women are making great strides to assume greater roles in our country. Every year the pendulum swings further in the direction of more diversity in every aspect of our lives. Young women are making difficult choices in their lives mentored by older women who have already achieved great success while building strong families. Noteworthy is the progress of women on campuses around the country. Higher education is no longer an impediment for women to find great jobs and positions of leadership.
  • Longevity in our country is a mixed blessing. It’s wonderful to know that living until you are 80 and beyond is commonplace today because of great medical advances. Yet these people need to be cared for by their families and by the country. Extended lives means more expense.
  • We are free. Other than very reasonable laws that make our lives safer, Americans are able to do what ever they want, say what ever they want, travel to any place in the US with no restrictions and live anywhere they choose. America is so free that most people throughout the world would like to immigrate to our country.
  • Despite the unreasonable perspectives of some Americans, social equality is a reality in America. No law-abiding religion or cultural groups are restricted in any way. We recognize that some groups still feel denigrated in certain situations. We try to rectify these situations over time by instituting new laws that protect everyone.
  • A long time ago our forefathers, who were religious people, decided that the republic would operate more efficiently if there were a separation of church and state. This philosophy has served us well. State and God should not compete for the souls of Americans. There is a time and place for both. The result has been the greatest country in the world.

 

The problems facing the country have never been greater except during times of world wars. Americans have always had disagreements, which they have worked out over time. The horrible divide that exists in this country will eventually fade away in history. In the meantime Americans should be supportive of our government and work to change leadership at the ballot box if they are unhappy.

 

 

Neither Clinton nor Warren Are Great Presidential Candidates

By Sal Bommarito

The New York Post entered the debate about the next Democratic candidate for president. It is possible that history will repeat itself, and Hillary Clinton will once again lose out to an untested and more liberal primary candidate.

The odds of this happening are dependent upon the current perspectives of liberal voters and their desire to participate in the process- will black and young people to turn out to vote?

If the liberal base is more concerned with progressive government that is principally focused on income inequality and slaying the dragons of Wall Street, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) will have an advantage. If the base wants a person who might be successful in a general election, less radical and more experienced, Hillary Clinton should be the choice.

Since I am not going to vote for either of these candidates, my analysis is relatively unbiased (sort of). So, in that vein, it should be noted that Democrats are facing the same dilemma as Republicans, which is, can a radical candidate who has an advantage in the primaries win the general election without morphing into a more moderate contender?

You may recall that Mitt Romney had to lean to the right in 2008 to secure the Republican nomination. But, this tactic hurt him dearly in the general election. If Warren is successful against Clinton, she will likely have the same problem.

Regarding Warren, I hasten to point out that her resume is very similar to President Obama. Frankly, she has little experience applicable to being the leader of the free world, and we all have witnessed how a president performs when he or she has scant political and business acumen.

Warren was elected a U.S. senator in 2013, so her congressional knowledge is virtually nil. Previously, she was a Harvard Law professor specializing in bankruptcies. The only other important credit apparent in a Google search is that she served as an adviser for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. So, one might ask, how will she deal with the ISIS crisis, nuclear proliferation and Russian aggression? I hope American voters will not make the same mistake again and elect a person who brings little to the presidency other than hostility towards the financial services industry and affluent Americans.

Hillary Clinton is a known quantity. She is experienced, yet marginally successful as a senator and Secretary of State (in my opinion). Her claim to fame is that she is married and greatly supported by the most famous politician in recent history. But, she has lived in the White House as First Lady; she served in the Senate and led the State Department. A vote for Warren over Hillary would be strange and illogical decision.

Clinton has been around the block a few times. She lost in 2008 when she was expected to run away with the election. Some say she is a sub-par campaigner. Also, in recent months, Clinton has made several blunders on the road peddling her not so successful novel. She is starting to look tired and very beatable when stacked up against Warren’s liberal, bellicose and enthusiastic rhetoric.

My conclusion is that Democrats should find a third candidate to run for president because neither of the aforementioned can win the general election. Not that it matters, but I would not vote for either person if I were a Democrat.

OMG! Republicans And Democrats Are Working Together.

By Sal Bommarito

The political drama in Washington is both astounding and uplifting, after last six years of stagnation. Yet, I never expected Democrats led by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to trade roles with the Tea Party and call for closing down the government. (Hypocrisy? Maybe. Check out Warren railing against Republicans for shutting down the government in 2013.)

Warren beseeched her liberal colleagues to do everything possible to sabotage the passage of a bipartisan bill to fund the government. Warren was apoplectic about provisions in the bill that will take some pressure off the devils lurking on Wall Street. Warren assumed an aggressive posture even though the president said he would sign the bill into law.

In case you are not up to speed, Warren is a huge Fat Cat hater. She believes financial executives earn too much money, take too many risks, steal from the poor and commit crimes against humanity. Many pundits are predicting that she might be a radical alternative to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign.

This contingency is a juicy thought. Is it possible that an ultra-liberal Democrat may win the primary over a less liberal candidate, and then lose in the general election? Sound familiar? It should. Same thing has been happening to Republicans for years. The thought of Hillary Clinton getting whomped a second time by another relatively unknown would be satisfying to many Clinton antagonists.

But, Bill Clinton is not going to sit by idly and let this happen. It’s time for the Clinton smear brigade to descend upon Warren and put her into her place. I know nothing about Warren other than she despises a lot of my friends, so it will be amusing to learn about her skeletons.

Back to Congress. The passage of the aforementioned bill, which provides funding for the government through September, would be a real coup for Speaker John Boehner and his allies. He managed to recruit 57 Democrats to narrowly pass the bill. It proves that both sides of the aisle can work together on issues that are important to America. The Democrats who sided with Republicans gave up some things and Republicans sidestepped the immigration controversy for the time being. It was refreshing to see our leaders compromise and get something done.

If I were king of the Republicans, I would seek other opportunities to work with the minority. The obvious issue is immigration. Liberal Democrats claim that conservatives reject immigration reform and want to deport illegal immigrants, all 10-15 million of them, back to their country of origin. This is total nonsense. Conservatives have already accepted the fact that illegals will receive a path to citizenship. So, a compromise is waiting to happen.

From my vantage point, the only real challenge will be to stop further illegal immigration and cap the total number of aliens in the country. Aside from this, forging a deal that enables illegal immigrants to become citizens will not be a monumental achievement. For the most part, signing up, observing our laws, paying taxes and the passage of time are the principal deal points. All can be negotiated without animosity.

No matter what, a decision to naturalize millions should be a project for the president and Congress, not just the president.

2015 may be a better year for the U.S. politically. It was a pleasant surprise that the parties found a way to work together at long last.