Dead Children And Gun Control

A deranged young man has killed more children at a school. Once again we begin the process of analyzing the reasons behind such heinous acts, and listen to pie-in-the-sky liberals who call for dramatic and unrealistic reductions in gun ownership in the US.

Americans will not give up their weapons. The protests by children and survivors of the children that have been slaughtered are not enough to overcome the Second Amendment (and the N.R.A.).

Yet government officials seem to be taking protests by families that have been devastated by shooting violence more seriously this time around. President Trump is listening to the pleas of this group and preliminarily supported some of their suggestions.

Americans are rightly concerned about the safety of their children while they are at school. The following statistics should confirm that the safety of children in the classroom is a gargantuan ongoing project that will require a lot of government and parental support and money.


  • In 2017 there were 50.7 million students attending public elementary and secondary schools in the US.
  • 6 million children are attending prekindergarten through 8th grade.
  • 1 million children are attending grades 9-12.
  • 2 million children attended private elementary and secondary schools.
  • 6 million teachers were educating our children in 2007-2008.
  • The US spends $19,050 per full time student annually. Multiplying this number times 50 million students results in nearly $100 billion of expenditures.


The enormity of the educational system makes it difficult to affect changes rapidly. The number of diverse school locations is also daunting (urban, suburban and rural). Each school has distinct issues and challenges (including budget constraints and physical layouts) that must be considered before implementing new general policies.

The situation is further complicated by the relationship between local, state and federal educational agencies. Each one of these groups is competing for more money and influence.

Back to safety. The principle issue is crime committed with rifles and handguns at schools by two distinct groups (1) children attending the school and (2) others who are not students at the school. The latter could be parents of children or complete strangers. There are many safety issues, but let’s stay focused on the Parkland type massacre.

One way to prevent a person from bringing a deadly weapon into school is to have screening machines that are manned by armed and highly trained security personnel. Some schools, private and others in urban centers, already have screening facilities. It’s an effective tool to fight gun violence.

Most schools in the country don’t have tight security, nor could they afford it. Transportation Security Administration-like protection has proven to be effective stopping terrorism in the air. Unfortunately the cost of such systems at schools would be astronomical (for the installation of equipment) and perpetual (for salaries of security manpower and maintenance).

An alternative to screening, which could repel violent students and non-students, is arming teachers. This method is much more risky for obvious reasons. For one thing weapons could still be transported into classrooms. The deterrent would be trained armed teachers who would be authorized to gun down any person threatening to use a weapon at the school. Philosophically, does it make sense to stop gun violence in schools by bringing more weapons into play?

The focus of most mass protest is the number of weapons in America. The theory is that fewer weapons would result in less violence. Given the prevalence of weapons and illegal availability of guns across the country, it is doubtful that an attempt to limit guns will be effective in the short term.

Exacerbating the situation is the Second Amendment which in its entirety states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” That’s it. The amendment affords Americans an open-ended right to own weapons without any restrictions.

Technically it would be unconstitutional to prevent any persons from owning arms. Laws at the state and local levels have created some restrictions including age limits. Additionally, over the years, some states have enacted laws requiring background checks, which are used to prevent “undesirables” from owning a weapon.

The N.R.A. has hidden behind the skirt of the Constitution for many years to defend the right to bear arms. A strict interpretation of the few words of the Second Amendment gives their position great strength. It’s too bad our forefathers didn’t provide any leeway (in writing) to modulate the sale of weapons. They were exclusively concerned that armed citizens be prepared to repel external challenges that would attempt to steal our liberties. It would have been beneficial if the forefathers had assumed that times would change and reasonable restrictions would be necessary to keep the peace and ensure every citizen’s security.

With this in mind the heartbreak of all those who were related to or knew victims will likely be muted by the technicalities of constitutional law.

The application of any common sense laws and restrictions will be a real battle prospectively. It is true that lawmakers have instituted some bans over time, as bazookas and hand grenades are regulated. This concept logically could be expanded to include automatic and semi automatic weapons. It could include large capacity magazines and bump stocks that effectively convert semi automatic weapons to automatic. It could restrict the number of bullets anyone can possess (this is an Israeli tactic). It could tighten up background checks and extend waiting periods. And the federal government could spend more money on security and education.

Most important, every citizen should be on the lookout for individuals that are on the edge of sanity. Depressed and angry persons are the ones most likely to fire an automatic weapon into a crowd of innocent people.

The issue of child safety is a large one that will require compromise between our government and the N.R.A. I’m not optimistic that very much can be done to eliminate risks for our young ones at school in the near term.

Romney For President

Donald Trump has no chance to be reelected president of the United States even if he is able to implement his agenda. Too many people cannot stomach the president any longer because of his persona. Americans want effective government in Washington and Trump is not the man for the job. Some are suggesting that he will walk away from the White House after his first term. That would be a blessing, but his ego will likely drive him to enter the primaries once again. Alas!

A short time ago Mitt Romney indicated he was going to vie for the seat that is being vacated by the legendary senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). It really felt good to see Romney’s face on TV once again. Then it struck me, the man still wants to be president, and the senate seat is going to be a stepping-stone to a presidential run.

Why not Romney? Unlike Trump he is directly out of central casting. As embarrassed as we are with president’s demeanor, behavior and sordid history, Romney election would give Americans a man to be proud of. He is a religious man with great character. He looks like a president and statesman. In spite of all his financial success Romney empathizes with those who are needy.

Romney is a seasoned professional and has the benefit of competing for the presidency in 2012 (He was also governor of Massachusetts.). He lost to Obama for all the wrong reasons that had more to do with his mismanaged campaign than anything else. But we can rest assured that Romney will not make the same “rookie” mistakes again. His ability to connect with all Americans, rich and poor, will enable him to win the presidency. At age 70 this is the man’s last chance to build a fabulous legacy as a businessman and politician.

You might be saying that I’m getting ahead of myself. Trump recently endorsed Romney for the senate seat. So everything is copacetic between the men. Not!

Romney bashed Trump during the campaign. He said “. . . dishonesty was Trump’s hallmark.” And Trump “[was the] dumbest and worst candidate in history.”

Trump returned the favor by reminding us that Romney “choked” in his loss to Obama. And “[Romney was] one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics.” No kidding, they said the same thing about each other.

Some think Romney is just getting back into the political game with his run for the senate seat. He will easily be elected in conservative Utah (Hatch also endorsed Romney), but his objective is still the White House.

The $64,000 question is whether Trump or any of his hacks have figured this out, and whether Trump’s endorsement is supposed to prevent a challenge by Romney in 2020. The president probably thinks his endorsement will make him and Romney BFFs. I don’t think so.

Can Romney win a presidential election? He was a very successful businessman and earned a fortune during his tenure as head of a private equity firm. During the 2012 contest with Obama, Romney seemed very detached and uncomfortable when grilled about his feelings for poor people. He is an aristocrat. How could he be good for the needy in America? Republicans can be sure that Romney will be better prepared to address this issue. He will show great empathy for lower socioeconomic groups, illegal aliens and people of color.

Trump is going to be livid when Romney challenges him, a sitting president, for the nomination. After all he will be helping Romney get elected to the Senate. I can hear Trump now saying, “How could Romney be so disloyal to me?” The answer is that Romney thinks Trump is intellectually, morally and metaphysically incapable of governing 320 million Americas. There are a lot of citizens who agree with this perspective.

Republicans will once again put on another great sideshow during the primaries. “Mitt, you lost the last time you ran. Americans hate losers. They love me because I’m a winner. First time out of the box I run for president, and here I am in the White House.”

“Donald, you have no soul. You’re an empty suit. You’re a misogynist and a scoundrel. You cheated people in business all the time. You are a liar. For four years you never told the truth to the American people.”

“Mitt, you don’t have the balls to be president. Putin and the Little Rocket Man will walk all over you.”

“I can assure you I will be firm with America’s enemies. They think you are nothing but a windbag.”

I could easily write the script for entire primary race.

Ironically Dems think the presidential election will be a cakewalk. Either Trump will be nominated, and he has several tons of baggage, or Romney, the loser, will be the opponent.

Not to worry fellow conservatives. Romney will win the primary hands down and will crush whomever the do-nothing, obstructionist Dems nominate.

What Are The Prospects For Sensible Gun Control?

The pathetic gun control debate has resurfaced in the aftermath of yet another mass murder involving youngsters in Parkland Florida. The list of attacks has grown so long it’s impossible to fathom the pain and suffering that overwhelms the survivors and communities that have been devastated by shooting sprees. Mass murder has become a disease, like the flu, that has overcome mentally unstable members of our society. The blame of the recent attack is being improperly dropped on the shoulders of the FBI and local law enforcement officials.

There are over 300 million Americas in the country. Any one of them could become a shooter in a moment of rage or depression. Think of it. An individual could snap if he or she loses a job, has a death in the family or is cheated on by a spouse. The availability of weapons makes the situation potentially deadly for family, co-workers and complete strangers.

The latest shooter is a troubled young man who telegraphed signals that he was a danger to society. And he was blatant about his feelings of loneliness, desperation and self-dread. All this drove him to hunt down innocent people who had nothing to do with his personal problems.

How many people are severely depressed in the country on any given day? Frankly it would be impossible for authorities to keep tabs on so many and anticipate every deadly tragedy.

Nevertheless all Americans must be diligent and look for signs that a neighbor or a relative might be on the verge of exploding. Officials did not do a good job responding to warnings about the shooter in Parkland, and he slaughtered innocent children.

Unbalanced individuals should not be allowed to possess weapons. Every American, including all members of the N.R.A., feels this way. But how can the authorities monitor so many potential problems? And what is the definition of the aforementioned unbalanced person?

We are all depressed at one time or another. How would you feel if a neighbor turned you in to the authorities because you had a loud argument with a family member? Overreaction to other people’s behavior would result in utter chaos. But you never know when a person is on the verge of a violent action.

The unbalanced person approach to gun possession is a slippery slope unless the individual has a history of violence, or greater still, has publicly expressed his or her desire to kill or harm others. Unfortunately the US would need a far larger force of officials to monitor all the tips received about these “potential” killers.

Another way to respond to increasing violence would be to deny certain Americans the right to own arms. Keep in mind that illegal gun ownership has not impacted the prevalence of weapons among gangs and organized crime, the greatest offenders.

Gun possession could be declared illegal in populated places such as urban centers. However any prohibition of gun ownership would likely be challenged constitutionally. The Second Amendment gives America no help in limiting ownership. It indicates that Americans have a right to own guns.

Nor does the amendment delineate what types of weapons could be banned. So it’s unclear about ownership of automatic and semi automatic weapons as well as high capacity bullet magazines. These items make it easier for a mass murders to increase headcount in an attack. Anti- gun advocates have often said there is no practical need for an automatic weapon. Its primary use is to kill other humans. The amendment does not say or imply that bazookas and hand grenades are illegal either. Yet society has established rules that forbid their use.

So what is the solution to the gun controversy? This questions pits gun advocates, who say that guns don’t kill people, people kill people, against anti-gun advocates who say the prevalence of weapons makes violence more likely in the country.

Changing the Second Amendment at this time would seem an impossible dream especially if changes would limit or prohibit the ownership of guns by Americans. But, what about new legislation?

The N.R.A. is the strongest special interest group and lobby in the country. It completely dominates many of our elected officials, particularly in the heartland of the country. This means that politicians in the interior of the country would not favor any decrease in gun rights. Politicians on the coasts and in the largest urban areas do not have the votes to effect any legislation.

The only reasonable path moving forward is to enact common sense legislation to address fringe issues. It is possible that over time common sense could win the day. The most obvious areas of interest would be automatic weapons, large magazines, felons or any persons who have been treated for mental issues and schools (a likely targets of shooters in recent years).

The gun lobby will not accept any of these suggestions and crafting the legislation will be a nightmare. It will be a fight to the death, as it always has been. But, pressure on lawmakers is increasing on the heels of the dreadful executions of women and children.

On the other side of the coin is our current president who is sympathetic to the gun lobby.

Entitlement Reform Is The Only Way to Curb Federal Deficits

The president delivered his budget wish list to Congress this week. The country is facing many daunting and expensive issues that are reflected in this proposal. It’s important to remember that his budget is far from the final word. It’s up to Congress to craft an acceptable law. This is going to be a battle royal on the hill considering the bad blood in both houses of Congress.

There are two overriding concerns regarding the budget. The first is funding for several major initiatives (such as infrastructure), rehabilitation of the military, new entitlements and other aid programs.

The second concern is the rapidly growing annual deficit and national debt that will be accelerated by a new round of spending. Americans will be hearing a lot about these broad issues in the coming days and weeks. This essay will hopefully clear up some commonly held misconceptions about spending and debt at the federal level.

Right out of the box Democrats are going to step up criticism of the administration for the recent tax cuts in the face of greater proposed spending. They will ask why tax relief was bestowed upon corporations and affluent people. The response to this query is that lower corporate taxes will make America more competitive and boost the economy. Workers will (and already have) shared in the improved conditions.

Affluent people are not directly benefitting from the tax cuts. The fact is Americans in the highest tax brackets will be paying more to Uncle Sam. However it is true the group should enjoy higher stock prices that will result from greater corporate profits.

The question is whether tax reform will actually bolster economic activity and increase pretax profits for companies and individuals. The latter will increase federal tax revenues. If so the impact on the deficit will be negligible or at least bearable.

The new budget, if enacted in whole (highly unlikely), or in part (more likely) will increase the deficit by several trillion dollars even with a 3%+ economic growth rate. The latter is the growth estimate being used by Trump’s people. It’s about 1 percentage point higher than most other estimates.

The next thing to consider is whether the federal government should set aside concerns about inevitable higher federal debt. In other words, can the government service substantially higher debt in the future? The answer is based upon one’s estimate of economic growth and, more importantly long-term control of entitlements.

Regardless of whether the economy grows at 2% or 3%, entitlements such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are going to create a financial crisis down the road. Our population is ageing, and so everyone will be spending more money for health care including the federal government. A larger population of seniors will also increase social security payments dramatically over time.

With this in mind it makes sense to try to control discretionary and defense spending, but it will not be enough. Our politicians refuse to focus on the real long-term problems. The federal government’s deficit will continue to skyrocket so long as entitlements continue to be untouchable.

The political implications of decreasing medical support and financial security are too much for most politicians. This is precisely why America needs change in Congress. We must replace the current group of underachievers that does not have the courage to tell the truth about entitlements, with individuals that are courageous enough to identify problems and offer solutions even if they are unpopular.

Everybody wants more services and more aid, and everybody wants military strength and lower taxes. The resultant numbers don’t add up. This means that the budget being presented will be a threat to America’s financial security.

The impending debate is going to be a colossal subterfuge, a lie about the ability of our government to meet its obligations to its citizens and its creditors. For more than two and a half centuries our country has only increased services without asking for anything in return. We can no longer afford to pay for outdated aid programs, or outdated weapons systems. And we can no longer protect the entire world.


Destroy The Trump Presidency: The Only Political Objective Of Democrats (and the liberal press)

The time has come for Republicans and President Trump to call the bluff of obstructionist Democrats. There is no conceivable reason for the president or conservatives to give any ground or to cooperate with the uncompromising and hatred-driven opposition. Trump’s detractors in Congress and in the press are becoming more brazen and disrespectful every day.

The most current and absurd criticism of the president has to do with his refusal to approve the declassification of a Democratic memo relating to a FISA warrant. It gave the FBI permission to spy on an American who was a minor campaign worker for the Trump administration. The president wants Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee to delete comments in their memo that reveal national security information, a perfectly reasonable request in the minds of everyone except partisan Democrats.

Republicans are claiming that Democrats intentionally included sensitive information to encourage Trump to demand redactions. This would enable them to say the president is being unfair because no such redactions were made to the corresponding memo written by Republicans. Trump and everyone who has read the Republican memo know there is no secret information in it.

This political jockeying is a total waste of time. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member on the committee, a notorious partisan and leaker to the liberal press, is engaged in a non-stop conflict with Devin Nunes (R-CA), the Chairman of the committee.

Trump said he would approve the declassification of the Democratic memo when the security changes were made. It should be noted that every Democrat on the committee opposed the declassification of the Republican memo, while Republicans voted unanimously to approve declassification of the Democratic memo.

Another stupid commotion has arisen relating to the firing of Rob Porter, former White House Staff Secretary for the president. Most people have said that Porter was a very bright and productive member of the administration. Because of some issues relating to his two former wives the FBI did not give him a top-secret clearance during the past year.

It came to light that Porter physically and mentally abused his wives, which certainly justifies immediate dismissal. Democrats have said that the Trump administration was dragging its feet on Porter and protecting him. The fact that President Trump fired him 48 hours after the revelations of serious abuse became public has not tempered the controversy.

Why are we wasting time on the timeline of Porters’ dismissal? Trump fired him, end of story. The press is slashing away, and now, John Kelly, Trump’s Chief of Staff, is under pressure for not moving more quickly on Porter.

What is hypocritical is that the media, which has its own bushel of sexual scandals, is sanctimoniously attacking others for “not moving quickly enough” when men like Matt Lauer, Roger Ailes and many other industry types have been ravaging women for years.

The never-ending attacks by the left are making it impossible for Trump to govern. In fairness the president’s attitude is not making his life any easier in the White House. He’s rude and combative, but he’s not going to change. 2020 is just around the corner.

Trump’s agenda is still sound and should be pursued in spite of all the hate emanating from liberal ranks. There is no hope of reconciliation, so the president should press forward and give Schumer and Pelosi more rope to hang themselves and destroy their party of obstructionists.

The saddest aspect of all this craziness is that important issues affecting our country are not being addressed. You know the list, national security, poverty, education, infrastructure, military strength and so on. Democrats would rather continue on with the witch-hunt relating to Russian collusion. Suffice it to say not one shred of evidence has implicated Trump to this point. The current Special Counsel has once again proven that his employment is disastrous for our political system.

Voters yearn for a well-oiled Congress that works together to deal with important issues. They also dream of a press corps that is fair and dedicated to the truth, not their political bias.




Why Can’t Our Government Govern and Legislate?

What motivates our leaders and lawmakers? Are these tendencies different than in years past? Most would say getting reelected has always been the driving force behind presidential and congressional actions. Too often the aspirations of constituents are not the main concern of this group, but rather raw ambition and domination of opponents. The latter is a recipe for bad government.

Most Americans would prefer to have their government representatives always looking out for their well-being and ensuring traditional American ideals. Among them are liberty, happiness, privacy and security. Nowhere is there a requirement that our country provide free medical insurance, social security, welfare and education. The federal government provides these generous and altruistic gifts because America takes care of its own. Over the years these gifts have been inappropriately reclassified as entitlements.

Our forefathers expected all Americans to work hard and earn a living, and no able-bodied individuals should be sitting at home waiting for the next check from the federal government.

America has been bifurcated into a two-party system for many years. These groups are most obviously different in the way they perceive the role of the federal government. For Republicans the goal is a smaller bureaucracy, less interference and greater states’ rights. For Democrats it’s big government that is, sometimes, overly generous to certain groups. This perspective has led to a growing national deficit.

It makes perfect sense that the majority never has total control, and that the minority closely monitor the one in power. Supplementing this very wise arrangement is the press that’s always ready to expose unfair and “non-democratic” decisions by those in power.

Today Republicans dominate the political landscape. It’s an interesting time in history because Congress is so evenly split (the Senate has a 51-49 division). Yet the majority has been unable to govern effectively even with a president from the same party. As an aside Democrats are not the only ones hampering legislation. Radical conservative elements in both houses have created roadblocks on a regular basis.

There are a number of reasons for this phenomenon of legislative paralysis. The Senate filibuster has a huge influence on lawmaking. Basically a 60 “yea” vote is required to pass legislation on many of the most important matters that come before the body. The minority has used the filibuster aggressively in recent years, to an extreme in the opinion of some. A growing number of political scientists are coming to the conclusion that the filibuster is hurting our country and should be abrogated. This would enable the majority to take back its rights in the legislative process and make the government more efficient and productive.

There are other reasons why lawmaking has become so complex. They generally have to do with the disappearance of comity and compromise in Congress. Confrontation, rather than negotiation, rules the day. In the past lawmakers debated aggressively, but liked each other personally for the most part. And there was always a way to make a deal that both sides could live with for the benefit of the country.

Exacerbating the bad feelings on both sides is the liberal bias of the press. Many pooh-pooh this fact, but it has a tremendous effect on our government. It has become such a huge problem for conservatives that a new news network was born. The media war is not yet a fair fight, but there is now a place for conservatives to tune in and hear someone who thinks like they do politically.

The ambitions and motivations of politicians on both sides have become so warped that the electorate decided to give an inexperienced outsider an opportunity to be president. Donald Trump’s rise to power occurred for a number of reasons, one of which is that he was not borne out of Washington. And voters were sick and tired of government paralysis. How has this experiment worked out? Regardless how you answer this question, our government is still paralyzed.

Unbelievably the new president was mauled personally even before he took office. There have been few times in history where a duly elected president was hated on his first day on the job. Keep in mind Trump was elected by clear majority of electoral votes and just less than a majority of the popular vote. That adds up to a lot of Americans. His performance has been questionable to this point. This author has lauded the president’s agenda and denigrated, regularly, his lack of statesmanship among many other things.

The situation is dire. America needs fixing. Our military is not up to snuff and needs rehabilitation. Our infrastructure is crumbling. The number of needy Americans seems to grow every day. Our borders remain porous and there are over 10 million illegal immigrants living in the country draining the resources of those states that house them. Congress is virtually unable to pass legislation. The minority party has one objective- obstruct Trump. There are rogue nations developing nuclear weapons that are challenging the US. And the list goes on and on.

There are three more years remaining in Trump’s term. Can the country prosper under current conditions in our government? It seems doubtful. Our leaders and lawmakers better change their attitudes and deal with America’s problems before it’s too late.

One immediate suggestion is to punish lawmakers this year that have intensified partisanship in the country in the mid-term elections. A second step is to somehow force lawmakers to enact term limits at every level of the federal government, which will enable us to finally rid the country of embedded, unproductive congress people that have done such a lousy job.

Pope Francis Is Not Aggressively Dealing With Sexual Abuse By Priests

The New York Times published a story that’s emblematic of the Catholic Church’s resistance to dealing with abuses within its ranks, and the complicity of high-ranking officials all the way to the pope himself.

The story involves a man by the name of Juan Carlos Cruz who was abused by a priest in Chile. His attacker was Fernando Karadima. The crime occurred several decades ago.

Mr. Cruz documented his accusations against Karadima in a letter addressed to Pope Francis in 2015. He explicitly detailed his experiences and said that a bishop named Juan Barros Madrid, “witnessed” the affair and covered it up. Supposedly one of the pope’s top advisors delivered the letter directly to the pontiff.

Catholics around the world believe the pope should aggressively address despicable acts perpetrated by members of the priesthood that could span over hundreds of years. Like his predecessors the pope has chosen to sweep accusations under the rug and divert critics by addressing other temporal issues in an effort to “protect” the Church.

The current global revolution that is exposing abuse by men has now engulfed the Church. Chileans are outraged not only by the abuse of Mr. Cruz but also by the bishop who protected the abuser for many years. The pope has publically expressed his support of Barros to the dismay of his follower.

The Church’s sex scandal has become far greater than anyone had imagined it would, and dwarfs the imbroglios that are plaguing the US. It’s possible that members of the clergy have abused thousands of young boys over the years. And yet the Church continues to downplay the massive scandal. Most disappointing is the ambivalence of Francis relating to this situation.

It’s useful to compare other cases of abuse to the Chilean crimes. For years Harvey Weinstein molested young women and was in effect protected by his Hollywood associates. Weinstein threatened anyone who might possibly expose him. Those people who covered up this man’s disgraceful behavior are now suffering the consequences of doing so. In fact even women who were abused have expressed regret that they did not step up earlier to protect those that were ravaged after them.

Another comparable episode to the Chilean ordeal occurred at Penn State University. A man affiliated with the football team preyed upon young boys for a long while. Coach Paterno and Penn State officials covered up the scandal. They and the institution have paid a dear price for turning a blind eye to this criminality.

The fact is priests were, and may still be, molesting young boys. The Church has historically identified these perverts, counseled them and then reinstated them where they again practiced their dirty deeds.

The individuals that protected these criminals, including pastors, bishops, cardinals and popes are culpable and should be prosecuted. They enabled known molesters to attack innocent children once again, or twice again, or more.

Francis indicated that he would deal with this blight on the Catholic Church. He has not and is doing everything possible to once again “protect” the Church.

Only when every molester, abuser, rapist and pervert is named, defrocked and prosecuted will the Church find redemption. Francis is doing a disservice by continuing to ignore the sins of his fellow holy men.

Who Is Responsible For Our Dysfunctional Government?

The US Government has been in a state of paralysis since the election of Donald Trump. The venom that exists between the two major political parties has hampered the effective operation of the country to such an extent that national security, infrastructure, economic stability and global reputation are in jeopardy.

Both parties share the blame for the current state of affairs. Liberals are so incensed by the election of and subsequent actions by Trump that they are hurting the future viability of their own party.

All efforts by Democrats are directed at stymying Trumps initiatives, not acting responsibly as the opposition party. Voters are taking note that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are dinosaurs and cannot provide the leadership that is so important to the group not in power.

If I were a Democrat I would be demanding that my party offer real alternatives to Republican rule. Unfortunately liberals in Congress are becoming too radical and obstructionist for no greater end.

The actions of Democrats are not those that one would expect of a national political party vying to win the hearts of Americans. For one thing the over sensitivity towards illegal immigration should not be the party’s principal issue. In effect Democrats are siding up to 10 million people in the US who have improperly entered our country, negatively impacted the financial stability of the nation and cannot vote.

American citizens should be scratching their heads by this time asking why every Democratic action is somehow related to illegals, Dreamers, the wall, migration and the lottery, and not poverty, national defense, health care, education, terrorism, etc. Democrats are not going to win elections based upon amnesty for the aforementioned group.

Making matters worse, Democrats are taking hostages along the way that includes any forward thinking initiatives proposed by Republicans. In fact they have and will likely, once again, shut down our government because of minor disagreements about Dreamers. How can 800 thousand people be the primary focus of a political party that is supposed to be concerned about 320 citizens?

In the meantime Republicans, inspired by the hated Donald Trump are at least trying to implement initiatives to bolster the economy, increase US competitiveness overseas, rebuild our decimated military, eliminate harsh regulations and so much more. You may hate the guy that’s orchestrating all this, but at least he’s attempting to make America better.

I keep hearing about Democrats cleaning up in the mid-term election. Why would anyone vote Democratic? What has the party done to win you over? The only group they are concerned with seems to be illegals. Meanwhile problems fester in the country,

Not having a responsible and active opposition party is bad for America. It is resulting in unnecessary and unproductive government paralysis. Problems are not getting fixed because Democrats are too busy telling us that Trump’s not a nice guy.

I want to make two things clear. One is that I want a resolution of the immigration crisis in the country. It’s important for many reasons. A path to citizenship for Dreamers and the other 9 million illegals is moral, humane and in the best interests of the country. I just don’t believe it should be the only issue being debated in Congress.

The second is the president. If he were a more likeable person he would be more productive as our leader. He doesn’t get it. I totally understand how his narcissistic and immature demeanor can drive Americans, and many others around the world, mad. I don’t care if his State of the Union address had more viewers than Obama, and it didn’t. Nor do I care if the tax deal was the largest in history, which it wasn’t.

I would be astonished if Republicans even consider Trump for a second term. Therefore I predict he will not even win the Republican primary. It the party loses its collective mind, and he is nominated, he’s going to lose big time in the election. This assumes a suitable candidate for the Democrats. Hopefully this person is interested in more than just immigration.

Republican Memo Is Critical Of FBI Top Brass

The memo about abuses at the Department of Justice and the FBI prepared by the House Intelligence Committee has been declassified and made public. It contains serious allegations of abuses of power by the federal government.

At the heart of the controversy is a dossier prepared by a former British spy named Christopher Steele that was handed over to the FBI. Many say the dossier contains false accusations and is a vicious personal attack directed at Donald Trump. For political reasons and in their zeal to incriminate the president, certain FBI bigwigs did not vet the dossier for accuracy before using it to justify surveillance of a Trump campaign operative.

After the FBI received the dossier it obtained a warrant to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, the aforementioned Trump supporter, an American who had previously been under investigation as a double agent for Russia. The dossier was part of a larger package presented to FISA (Federal Intelligence Surveillance). The FBI did not inform the presiding judge that the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign funded the dossier. The surveillance warrant was approved.

Interestingly Steele leaked the dossier to some media outlets including Yahoo News who reported the story. This reporting was cited as credibility of the tainted information in the dossier. It is an unethical tactic called “circular journalism” in which information is provided to a news agency, which is then used as a source.

If all the items above are true the major problems with this whole affair include the following:

  • The dossier was not totally factual.
  • The FBI did not vet the information in the dossier.
  • The FISA judge was not told that information detrimental to Donald Trump was orchestrated and paid for by the Clinton campaign.
  • A bogus warrant was issued to spy on an American citizen.

Trump’s opponents, including the entire Democratic Party, are saying that the Republican memo is inaccurate and presented events out of context. Additionally they are claiming that the episode has been drummed up by conservatives to degrade the efforts of the Special Counsel investigating Trump collusion with Russia in the 2016 Election.

Republican supporters believe that top people at the FBI and the Department Of Justice are Trump-haters (both organizations are supposed to be apolitical). And the use of an un-vetted dossier for a FISA warrant was a serious violation of an American’s right to privacy.

The story will have a long tail. Democrats have drafted a competitive memo that they say points out faulty accusations in the Republican document. And there are many questions to be asked and answered about the activities of the FBI and Department of Justice leadership, including the dismissed head of the FBI, James Comey, the dismissed second in charge of the FBI, George McCabe, the former Deputy Attorney General and the current Assistant Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein.

The next few weeks will be a whirlwind of political sabre rattling, mudslinging and fake news. Hold on tight.




Republicans Will Retain Their Congressional Majorities In 2018

It’s time to start thinking about mid-term elections. Will Republicans be able to retain their majority in both houses, or will Democrats win enough seats to change the political landscape?

Here are some of the most important issues relating to the impending elections ten months from now.

Senate Democrats have several candidates running for reelection in states carried by Donald Trump in 2016. In an earlier post I indicated the following: “By my count Democrats have 12 vulnerable seats going into the 2018 elections and 9 of them are in states that Trump carried in 2016. Of these 5 were states where the president won by 5 or more percentage points. These include McCaskill (MD), Tester (MT), Heitkamp (ND), Brown (OH) and Manchin (WV).

Democrats must win most of these seats to even have a chance to change the current 51-49 split in the Senate. Odds are that Republicans will keep their majority.

Up to this point fifty-five members of the House are retiring this year, 38 Republicans and 17 Democrats. The latest is Trey Gowdy (R-SC), a popular and effective member of the Republican caucus. The impact of these retirements depends upon whether the districts involved are prone to change parties. Democrats would need a net gain of 24 seats to obtain control. This number seems remote.

Many opponents and supporters of President Trump frequently cite his persona as his greatest vulnerability. The question is whether Trump’s personality will impact the 2018 elections. Given that the president’s base is still strong because he has been keeping his campaign promises, or trying to do so, annoying presidential tweets and his demeanor will not materially hurt Republicans in state and local elections.

If Trump is unable to push through more legislation, such as immigration reform and new infrastructure projects, it could cost his congressional allies votes. But this contingency should be offset by Democratic obstruction. Trump knows this and will attempt to pass the blame of legislative paralysis to his congressional opponents.

The immigration controversy is going to hurt Democrats more than Republicans. Claims of xenophobia carry more weight on the two coasts. Voters in the heartland will not be swayed by Democratic focus on illegal migrants, as opposed to the needs of average Americans.

Trump has made a proposal to save DACA immigrants that he believes is fair. The opposition will disagree and obstruct. Without a credible alternative plan Democrats are going to be hurt severely by this specific issue.

Similarly Trump is moving forward with an infrastructure proposal of $1.5 trillion. This amount is less than what the nation needs to refurbish its crumbling roads and bridges, but government participation could excite private investors and result in far more new projects and employment opportunities. So far there are no details and debt hawks are concerned about the growing national deficit. Additionally higher expected interest rates could impact this monumental effort.

And there is the economy (stupid!). Trump is “trumpeting” economic growth at every opportunity. Although he is not entirely responsible for gains to this point, presidents usually get credit for good times. When Americans take note of more money in their pay, higher wages, more employment and increases in pensions and 401Ks, they are going to reward Republicans. More cash in the pockets of voters may become the most important political factor in 2018.

Democrats are dreaming if they think their obstruction and sour faces (during the State of the Union Address) are going to win them votes. If liberals don’t formulate alternatives to Trump’s gambits they will have a very bad November. By the way, I firmly think that all the success I am predicting for 2018 will not help Trump win his own primary election in 2020, if he chooses to run at all.

One qualification. Terrorism, North Korean craziness, Iran subterfuge and other geopolitical activity could change everything.