Category Archives: Congress

Barack Hussein Obama…The Worst President Ever???

I am not a sexist!  My realtor and my investment adviser are both women.  During my stint with cancer, two of my three doctors were women.  One of these women, Dr. White, performed three surgeries on me.  During one of my surgeries, my entire operating staff was women.  I know of many fine female officers and female enlisted people in the military and have had the privilege of serving with them.

I am not a racist.  I get along famously with people of all races that share my values.  During my experiences in the military, I was ‘color blind.’  That is because the military is truly an ‘equal opportunity employer.’  An officer or an enlisted person of color had to reach the same milestones, perform to the same standards and obtain the same educational standards as us ‘white guys.’  Everyone was held to the same standard.  Period.  No one was more or less privileged because of race.

I am not any other ‘phobe’ or ‘ism’ as interpreted in today’s media.  So, now if you have read this far, you are wondering why the wordy introduction.  Well….it’s because I am going to say and write something that very few people have the courage to say or even discuss.  I believe Barack Hussein Obama will go down as the worse POTUS this country has ever had and grossly abused his presidential powers while in office.

TEA PARTY

Prior to the 2010 midterm election, there was a movement afoot that was called the ‘Tea Party.’  The purpose of this organization and its increasingly popular movement was to basically cut taxes and spending within the federal government.  They derived their name from the infamous tea party during the Revolution, in protest of the Brits placing taxes on tea and other British imports.  Many of the chapters of the growing Tea Party movement applied to the IRS for tax exempt/non-profit status.  This was so they could raise funds and purchase advertising to advance their conservative cause.  The result?  Lois Lerner, then head of the IRS refused tax exempt status, and then started promoting IRS investigations and audits into the founders!  Personal vendettas were waged by the IRS!  Do you remember Lois Lerner?  She was the one called before a congressional inquiry and pleaded the fifth amendment when asked questions!  A government official, paid by us tax payers pleaded the fifth.  She immediately resigned her position and began collecting a golden parachute retirement.   Lois Lerner was not smart enough or ‘ballsy’ enough to wage this vendetta on her own.  It had to come down from her boss and from her bosses boss.  That would have been Barack Obama.

URANIUM ONE

While Hillary was Secretary of State, the United States decided to sell a large portion of its uranium reserves to…of all the people in the world…the RUSSIANS!  Oh yeah!  These are the same Russians that are being investigated for tampering in our elections.  But during this marvelous deal, the Russians got the uranium and the Clinton Foundation got a $147 million contribution.  Where did that uranium go?  Who will use it and for what purpose?  Will it be used in weaponry against us or our allies?  So, who is ultimately responsible for this deal?  That would be Barack Obama.  And, dear readers, what will be the consequences if a nuclear explosive device is used and the device reads, “This uranium was graciously provided by the people of the United States.”  (As a speculation, do you think all of the $147 million stayed with the Clinton’s, or could some of it been used to grease the wheels of this transaction in Washington?)

BOWE BERGDAHL and BENGHAZI

Do you remember what the reasoning was for exchanging the AWOL Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban commanders being held in Guantanamo Bay?  Well, according to Carolyn Hayden, spokesperson for the National Security Council, it was for “protecting the lives of Americans abroad and protecting US soldiers.”  (Three of those five Taliban commanders immediately joined the battle against America.  How is that for protecting US soldiers?)   By law, Congress was to be notified 30 days in advance of any releases to be made from Guantanamo Bay.  How long a notice did the White House give Congress?  TWO HOURS!

If the White House was so concerned about American citizens abroad, then we should have sent at least two naval armadas to rescue the US ambassador to Libya and the American protection staff.  But, sadly, we did nothing.  Rumors persisted from the Pentagon and through military channels that a relief flight of planes were dispatched from Italy, but were ordered to return to base.  The rumors also stated that the stand-down order came from the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.  But, the Department of Defense and the Pentagon do not take orders from, or answer to the Secretary of State.  They take orders from one person only; the Commander in Chief, Barack Obama.

So let me get this straight.  One AWOL for five experienced terrorists represented good American policy, but rescuing Americans in Libya from terrorists was not.

PAYMENT FOR AMERICAN HOSTAGES and THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR DEAL

I will be the first to say I am confused about the two events mentioned above.  Supposedly, we shipped $400 million to Iran to release Americans held by the Iranians.  Rumor has it that they were not released until a cargo plane loaded with pallets full of $100 bills arrived in Tehran.  The chiropractors in Iran were busy for weeks adjusting the backs of those poor individuals that had to carry all that money.

Then there is the murky Iranian Nuclear agreement.  Supposedly, for a paltry $1.7 billion, the Iranians would discontinue nuclear material production.  Who provided that money?  Did France, Germany or England provide any of that money?  Now, they are criticizing Trump for leaving this deal?  Also, the Iranians are threatening us by stating they are going to step-up production of nuclear material.  Do you believe for one New York minute that they ever stopped?  I surely don’t, and, we gave them enough money to fund terrorism for quite some time.  Look at what they are doing in Syria and what they have continually attempted to do in Iraq.  There weren’t any teeth in that initial Iranian nuclear agreement for non-compliance and now the Iranians are waving the stupidity of that deal in our faces using our money.

ROBERT MUELLER INVESTIGATION

Are you getting tired about this investigation?  I know I am.  But here is the spin coming out of the people trying to hide the real intent of this politically motivated witch hunt.  The US government was concerned about the Russian interference in US elections. So where did they decide to look for glaring examples of this Russian interference?  Well, the best place to look would be in the campaign headquarters of the new Republican candidate for President, Donald Trump.  They must have thought there were Russians under every desk and borscht and cheap vodka running down the hallways.

But wait…what was the basis of looking only at the Trump campaign headquarters, and not the Democratic presidential headquarters?  Well, it was a document put together by a former British, disgraced agent working for a company called Fusion GPS.  The purpose of this company is to dig up smut on political opponents. And the Fusion GPS policy is that if smut cannot be found, then make it up.  This matches most of today’s media coverage.   The FBI, under the watchful eye of its egotistical leader, James Comey, received warrants from the Justice Department allowing wiretaps of Trump staffers.  And now, we have learned lately that the FBI placed a mole within the Trump organization.

This whole affair is politically motivated from top to bottom.  How can I say that with certainty?  If the FBI was indeed looking for only Russian influence in US elections, wouldn’t they inform Trump or someone on his staff about what they were doing and ask their cooperation?  From the reaction by the Trump administration, I am sure no one knew about any FBI informant and wire tapping.   And who was the first national politician to use Fusion GPS?  That would be Barack Obama, as he hired them to find smut about Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential elections.  Who do you think authorized this witch hunt and allowed the placement of a mole in Trump headquarters?  Again, I contend that would be Barack Obama.  This, my fellow Americans, is strictly against the law!

SUMMARY

If, as I suspect, Barack Obama ordered or allowed the placement of an informant in Trump’s campaign headquarters, he broke the law.  He has used the Justice Department as his battering ram because of two weak attorney generals that would acquiesce to any of his wants, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch.  This could ultimately make Watergate look like a pizza party in comparison.

Barack Obama bypassed congressional procedure by releasing five dangerous Taliban commanders without proper notification.  This is a dereliction of duty and an over reach of presidential power.

Barack Obama stifled political freedom by utilizing the IRS as a battering ram to squelch the emergence of the Tea Party movement during a mid-term election.    This, my fellow Americans, is against the law.  And with Lois Lerner pleading the fifth amendment to direct congressional inquiry questions, the obvious link between her and Obama was never established.

The Obama administration policy concerning dealing with anything Muslim was very muddied.  We trade five Muslim extremists for one AWOL soldier, pay $400 million for the release of our hostages from Iran, do not attempt a rescue in Benghazi from Muslim extremists, and give $1.7 billion to Iran in the hopes that they will abide by ceasing the production of nuclear materials.  If this were a game, the score would be: Muslim extremists – 4, USA – 0!

But the one act that is the most serious is the Uranium One deal.  That deal should never have happened and it did by bypassing Congress.  If the Russians sold that uranium to North Korea, Iran, or any other country for nefarious purposes, then I would say that Barack Obama has performed a treasonous act.

The one thing that concerns me the most about Barack Obama and his administration?  With very few exceptions, he has been given a pass by the media for all of these events.  Real reporting, real journalism should have uncovered these events and exposed the gross negligence of his administration.  He has been given the presidency and excuses, because of his race.  Did he get a pass because anyone who criticized him would have been branded a ‘racist’ during his politically correct administration?   He should not have had a second term.  In a word, he made the ‘swamp’ deeper and wider.  I am confident history will prove me right.

There you have it and I will no doubt be called a racist for my remarks.  But just like a stalwart statue in the wind, I am not going to waver even though I may have some pigeons crap on me!

‘Obstruction and Negativity’—-The Liberal Party Plank!

How long can you tolerate watching national and world news?  In the good old days of my youth with vigor and vitality, I could tolerate up to 30 minutes.  Now that I am older and wiser, I can tolerate watching national and world news for 20 minutes.  If I am having a really, really good day, I’ll watch it for 10 minutes!

Why the decrease in time, you ask?  It is quite easy to understand.  The vast majority of the news being reported (or made up!) has a negative connotation for either our country or for the POTUS.  Between the liberal media and the Democratic party, they will go to ungodly and disrespectful lengths to assure that anything this POTUS has accomplished be minimized.  The negatives get accentuated and the positives fade into obscurity.

The greatest example of obstruction took place about 4 months ago.  Do you remember when the Democratic party was vehement about the fact that something had to be done to address the problem of the ‘dreamers.’  The ‘dreamers’ are those people that were brought into this country by their parents who were illegal immigrants.  The Liberal ‘warm and fuzzy’ feeling regarding this issue was that as children, these ‘dreamers’ did not have any choice.  Consequently, they should be granted US citizenship.  The extension to this was that their parents should also be given US citizenship, because, gosh darn it, look at how long they have been here.  The liberals stated that there were 900,000 dreamers in the US, and gosh darn it, every one of them was a smart and productive American citizen candidate.  (My first thought about hearing this liberal approach was that if these ‘dreamers’ were so smart, why didn’t they go through the naturalization procedure long before.  I digress.)  Do you remember Trump’s response?  Trump said that a 10 year procedure would be put in place for 1.8 million dreamers.  This would allow twice the number of dreamers to become naturalized American citizens as being vetted by the Liberals.  The one big caveat that required 10 years to become a citizen?  A clean criminal record history.  In other words, if you have a criminal record, you could not become an American citizen, and could be deported.  The Liberal response?  Have you heard one word about the ‘dreamer’ issue in the last 4 months? The ‘dreamer’ issue was an issue thrown up against the Washington crap wall to see if it would stick in making Trump look like he was a racist and opposed to any path for the ‘dreamers’ to become US citizens.  It backfired on the Liberals and the liberal media instantaneously obliged by eliminating any more coverage of the ‘dreamer’ issue.  In the meantime, a very good and fair proposal got tossed onto the Washington crap pile.

What is the continued purpose of the Mueller investigation?  When I was young and living on the farm, one of our dogs strayed.  After a couple of weeks, we were pretty gosh darn sure that Chuck, my samoyed was not coming home.  After almost a year and a half of investigating, Mueller and his team of seventeen lawyers, a  prosecutorial dream team have not come up with anything.  Remember, this investigation was put together for two purposes, even though they are more inclined to focus on one of the purposes.  The first purpose was to investigate the possibility of Russian influence in our last election.  The second purpose was to investigate possible collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign.  So Robert, let me help you and your very expensive staff of attorneys.  Russian influence in our last election?  Yup. No doubt about it.  Collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians?  Probably not.  But…what if that answer was just ‘probably.’  Then what?  I would think you and your staff of legal geniuses would know that even if the collusion existed, it is not illegal!  So, Robert, what is the real purpose of your investigation?  Is this another attempt at throwing more defecation at the Washington crap wall?  Another arrow in the quiver of impeaching Trump because Hillary lost the election?

Remember, Robert, your whole investigation was triggered by a fictitious piece of propaganda by Fusion GPS that was funded by the Democratic National Committee; and yet you treat it with more relevance than Moses receiving the ten commandments on Mount Sinai.  At least Moses received the commandments on stone tablets.  Your Fusion GPS propaganda was written on used toilet paper. Yet you have kept this expensive charade up for well over a year.  My suggestion?  End this politically motivated (yup, I do believe there is a definite liberal agenda) witch hunt now, and send your bill to the Democratic National Committee instead of the taxpayers of America.  And Robert, if you really need something to investigate concerning the Russians?  Please start with the Uranium One deal between the Obama administration, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Russians where we sold them our uranium reserves.  Remarkably, the Clinton Foundation received a $147 million donation after the sale.  That whole incident smacks of treason.  Where did that uranium go?  To Iran?  To North Korea? To Syria?  What if that uranium is used against us or our allies in the future.  Could you possibly find it in your black heart to investigate that?  Or, rather than worrying about the Russians stuffing the ballot boxes, why not investigate voting requirements in each state.  I am sure that there were many more votes cast by non-US citizens than the Russians could dream of.

I know exactly why Donald Trump has become a moving target to the Liberals and their media.  Firstly, the Liberals are deathly afraid that Trump may actually accomplish something that may benefit America and make them look bad.  Thus their ‘obstructionism’ policy.  Don’t vote for any of his programs.  Don’t vote for his cabinet/department/supreme court nominees.  Besmirch the reputation of any nominee and get the media to sensationalize it.  Attack the mental state of the POTUS. Does any of this sound familiar?  Secondly, it has shaken the Washington cesspool to the core that a none-politician could be elected, and succeed as POTUS.  Every other President during my lifetime has had a political background.  What these liberal geniuses have not figured out is that Trump got elected because he did not have the political background.   Hillary Clinton was swimming in the Washington cesspool up to her neck.  Trump was not.  Thirdly, Trump fights back!  When some liberal politician of liberal media outlet makes an outlandish claim (and there are many of them!) about Trump, he responds.  Like most people, I wish he would tweet less, but I understand why he does.  Trump is being Trump.  Fourthly, Donald Trump did not have to rely on selling his soul to any lobbyist for political funding to get elected.  He spent half the money on his campaign as Hillary Clinton.  And, lets face it, anyone that can’t be bought or controlled scares the hell out of all those career politicians in Washington.

So, to demonstrate the negativism that exists in the media, let me recap some of the Donald Trump accomplishments in his 16 months as POTUS: 1.  Reduced corporate and individual income taxes.  2.  Stimulated the economy and stock market.  3.  Lowered the unemployment rate to the lowest point in decades.  4. Smacked the crap out of ISIS, something the previous POTUS said was impossible.  5.  Faced down a North Korean deviate which may lead to the de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. 6.  Forced a better trade deal with China.  According to Newsweek Magazine on the one year anniversary of the Trump presidency, he has achieved 82 significant accomplishments.  Holy Cow!  How many of those accomplishments have you seen denoted in the media?  I read the list in that Newsweek and if you would read it, you would be amazed at what he has done!  (OK.  Name three Obama accomplishments.  When you get them, text me.)

During Ronald Reagan’s administration, he was referred to as “The Teflon President.”  That is because regardless of what Reagan did, nothing seemed to stick to him.  Politicians and the media treated Reagan respectfully.  During George ‘Dubya’ Bush’s years, he was referred to as “The Velcro President”.  This was because everything he did, but mostly the perceived bad decisions, stuck to him like Velcro.  He was the POTUS during the second Iraqi War and received much flack about it.  Now we get to Trump.  What should we call him?  Many may want to call him the ‘hamburger’ President, because everyone wants to take a bite out of him.  I would rather call him the ‘Oreo’ President, because when it comes to being between the Liberals and the liberal press, Trump is definitely the white filling of an Oreo cookie.

PS.  This is blog 101.  I was going to stop at 100.  Two of my faithful readers have convinced me not to quit blogging.  Grandma P also wants me out of her hair.  I’m back.  Enjoy.

Stop Killing Our Kids!

Since the tragic school shooting in Florida, there have been no shortage of theories as to why it took place.  And, as is common in today’s society, there is no shortage of blame.   I have a different theory from most, but it requires some background history.

In the late 80s and early 90s I was very much involved with the military.  For some unknown reason, my fellow officers and I and the NCO’s were continually being contacted about joining the NRA.  For the most part, none of us joined the NRA.  I am not a member today, even though I strongly support the 2nd Amendment.   There was a major controversy taking place at the time about assault weapons in the United States.  All of us in the military were very familiar with the M-16 rifle.  The Vietnam veterans were intimately familiar with the rifle and its characteristics as they utilized the weapon in a combat environment.  The M-16 was adopted by the military in 1964, replacing the heavier M-14.  The rifle utilized a high velocity 5.56 mm cartridge, with a 20 round magazine.  Later, along with other improvements, that capacity was increased to a 30 round magazine.  By taping two  30 round magazines together, 60 rounds were available in a matter of seconds by changing magazines..  With the use of a selector switch, the military version rifle could fired automatic or semi-automatic.

So here we were with the NRA facing off against Congress to determine the future of assault weapons in the United States.  I place part of the blame on the NRA, because they were using the 2nd Amendment (and their political contributions) as a sledge hammer to bludgeon politicians into assuring there would be no restrictions on any weapon.  Let me point out that this is the primary purpose of the NRA; to assure there are no restrictions on any weapon.  In other words….they were doing their job as required by their very extensive paying membership.

But, I also put part of the blame on Congress.  Many of these politicians received significant funds from the NRA in their election and reelection campaigns.  So at a time when common sense could have prevailed, nothing happened.  For instance, there could have been a limit as to the number of rounds for magazine capacity.  I was a hunter, and the largest capacity that any of my hunting rifles or shotguns had was 7.  Where I hunted, if you didn’t hit what you were aiming for in the first three shots, you were pretty much screwed.  Mostly, the third shot was a desperation/frustration shot after having missed with the first two shots.  So could the magazine capacity been limited to 8?  10?  Should assault style weapons have been banned from the beginning before becoming available to the civilian population?

The reason my fellow military compatriots and I did not join the NRA was because we felt that only the police and the military should have that weapon.  Military and police ‘wannabes’ began buying the M-16 and other assault style weapons by the millions, even though they weren’t for hunting and were not very good target weapons.  There have been over 8 million M-16’s produced.  But the real winner of the assault weapon sweepstakes is the Russian AK-47.  Originally designed with a 30 round magazine, later versions allowed for a 40 round magazine and a 75 round drum magazine.  Russia was the initial manufacturer of the weapon, but then China and many of the old Soviet satellite countries began knocking them off.  After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, the gun markets were flooded with some version of the AK-47.  While attending gun shows in the early 90s, a person could purchase some version of the AK-47 with a case of ammunition for $200!  There are over 100 million AK-47s or it’s knockoffs in the world!

Now we fast forward to today and face the tragedy that there have been over 200 school shootings in the United States.  In order to be classified a ‘mass shooting,’ there must be four or more victims.  In the first two hundred years of this countries existence, there were 7 mass shooting school incidences.  (The first occurred in 1764 in Pennsylvania, when a schoolmaster was shot by marauding Indians, and nine students were bludgeoned to death!)  Since July 4, 1976, this country has experienced 17 mass-murder school shootings!  Twelve of these shootings have taken place since 1999, beginning with the infamous Columbine School shooting in Littleton, Colorado.  If we include school shootings with less than four victims, the number of school shootings would increase to 17 since Columbine.

Why the large increase since 1999?

Well, for one thing, let us look at our entertainment since 1999.  For starters, our television and our movies have become more violent, more sexually explicit, and more vulgar.  During my childhood, what use to take imagination now takes little imagination as everything in so explicit.  We did not see the murder, but would see blood on a wall or shadows on a curtain.   Today, many programs are a compendium as to how many ways a victim can be murdered.  The more gruesome, the better.  What happened to comedies?  What happened to shows showing a normal, stable family environment?  What happened to westerns?   What happened to variety shows?  If you don’t remember these shows, ask your grandparents.  They can give you a list.

Video games.  Have you seen some of these?  They are very similar to our TV and movie entertainment, except worse!  You may think they are a cartoon, but these games are nothing like any cartoons during my childhood.  Killing, sex, and vulgarity are the mainstay of many of these video games. (Can’t the Angry Birds become the Happy Birds?)

Our news reporting does not miss an opportunity to sensationalize a tragic event.  I had to stop watching the news for four days because of the Florida school shooting.  There was not a facet of that event that was not discussed at depth….24/7.  Unfortunately, because of this extensive news coverage, what is a tragic event for the sane becomes a pathway to infamy for the disturbed.  (Gee, if I kill a bunch of people, I can be on television!)  And, because of their extensive, in-depth coverage, they almost provide a road map as to how the crime can be done.

What happened to respect?  We don’t respect the police.  We don’t respect our teachers.  We don’t respect the opinion of others.  We don’t respect the rights of others.  It appears to me that the word ‘compromise’ has been removed from the English language and replaced by the word, ‘confrontation.’  I was continually told while growing up that I should ‘respect my elders.’  Now that I am an elder, that is not working out real well for me.  What’s with that?

So how do we stop school shootings in America?  It has been proposed to arm certain teachers.  An ‘in-school’ reaction squad.  Check.  We can provide in-depth background checks for gun purchasers.  Check.  We can raise the minimum age for purchasing a gun.  Check.  We could ask for military and police retirees to volunteer to assist in providing school security.  Check.  Have our legislators enact legislation against high capacity rifles and pistols.  (Pistols are actually the murderer weapon of choice.)  Check.  Increase gun violation punishments.  Check.  There are a myriad of things that can be proposed or enacted.  Many of which I do not agree.  But here is the one thing and one problem no one has ever approached……..

Our world and our society has changed significantly during my lifetime.  The technological advances have been amazing.  The technological advances have impacted every facet of our society:  how we eat, how we travel, our recreation, information resources, our military hardware, health treatment and services…..the list is endless!

But the one thing that has remained constant during this entire tumultuous period?  Parenting.  Our kids are bombarded and are exposed to sensory overload like no other previous generation.  Who is responsible for the movies and television that children are subjected to and watch?  The parents.  Who controls the usage of video games?  Parents.  Who teaches respect for others?  Parents.  Who has the best idea if a child is emotionally or mentally disturbed?  It would be the parent.

I empathize with anyone who has lost a child to violence.  But the fact remains, a gun or rifle did not load itself, jump out of a box, and then deliberately kill.  It requires the human element to pull the trigger and that is where the weakness of our murder prevention system lies.  Most mass school shootings are done by the young.  Blame others if it makes you feel better, blame the guns if it makes you feel better, but until our young are raised by parents that get into every aspect of their children’s lives, you can expect more of the same.  Stop being a friend and begin being a parent.  Its a much more difficult job, but society will get a better result.

Retirement and Politics…..Bad for Your Health?

Being retired definitely has its advantages.  I can play video games any time I want….and in my pajamas!  I can go days without shaving.  I get ‘old fart’ discounts at restaurants.  I can watch anything I want on television, anytime I want.  Vacations aren’t a problem…we can go whenever and wherever we please.  We just need to make a withdrawal from the grandkids college funds. Voila!  We’re sailing in the Caribbean!

But, alas, there are some disadvantages.  For instance, If Grandma P and I did not have doctors appointments, we would not have a social life.  In that regard, it sucks to get old.  Another disadvantage is that Grandma P knows she can shame me into doing any repair work around the house, any time it needs to be done.  In her eyes, I am a ‘handy man’ available 24/7.  Change that light bulb.  Mow that yard.  Paint those faded lawn ornaments.  You get the drift.

But there is one really, really big disadvantage about being retired.  As I am doing the fun things I want to do, usually in my office, usually with the television on, I get to watch all the political machinations that are taking place in Washington, D.C.  I get to watch the daily press briefings.  I get to watch any congressional fact finding commissions or panels.  And, as a result, I have noticed two things.  Firstly, how stupid most of the reporters are at the press briefings and how stupid most of our elected officials really are.  Secondly, it is obvious that most politicians are not concerned about what is best for our country.  They are far more concerned about pandering to their political base (whatever that is!) and getting reelected.

As I am writing this blog, the government is approaching its third day of shutdown.  A very unnecessary, dangerous shutdown.  As a former business owner, there were times, because of the economic environment, when I had to expand or contract my work force.  It is logical that I would want to hire the best most productive people possible.  It is also logical that in times of contraction, I would release the least productive people.  So, how is it that the people, in this case the Congress of the United States, that are responsible for this shutdown are the only people exempt from the ramifications of the shutdown?  I think their paychecks should be the first casualties of a shutdown!  Just sayin’.

Our country is currently facing many challenges.  The war in Afghanistan.  The federal budget.  North Korea has not gone away.  The wall.   Dreamers.  Illegal immigration.  And now, we have a government shutdown.

My frustration grows…..

A couple of weeks ago, much media attention was given to Donald Trump allegedly referring to Haiti as a ‘shithole.’  Many people attending this meeting said that the POTUS did not say this.  The POTUS stated he did not say it.  The one person who got the press was Senator Dick Durbin (D) from Illinois. (Nothing is sacred or secret in our government if the slightest tinge of political gain can be gotten.)  So this issue became a political hot potato.  It got better.  There was a Senate Judicial Hearing concerning Homeland Security.  You know these Homeland Security people, they are responsible for  everything about public security in the U.S., including TSA, Immigration, border security,  cyber security, the Secret Service, etc.  During this hearing with the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Neilsen; Senator Cory Booker (D) New Jersey, decided that rather than asking pertinent questions about the public security of our country, he would go into a tirade about how he cried when he heard the purported remarks the POTUS made about Haiti from Dick Durbin.  He passed up his opportunity to better our country to pander to his constituents. After all, Cory Booker has never met a television camera he did not like.  (This is not an uncommon trait among senators!)

I have to admit, when this story first broke about what the POTUS said, I was a little perplexed.  But then I had to fall back on common sense.  I had to consider the source.  In this case, this was the same Dick Durbin that was quoted as saying we need to cease using the term, ‘chain immigration’ because it reminds the black race that their ancestors came to America in chains. Say what?  Are you kidding me?  If that is the case, then there should be marching and burning in protest to the term, ‘ minority whip.’  That is the person from the minority party in the House of Representatives that is tasked with keeping the party members in line with the party platform by supporting the platform with their vote.  In this case, the minority whip would be a Democrat.   I digress.  (Dick Durbin’s analogy is absolutely stupid.)

I wish that the POTUS  would not use the term ‘shithole’ when referring to a third world shithole like Haiti.  It upsets people and creates liberal press fodder, even though it is a spot-on descriptive.  Haiti has had billions of dollars poured into it, without any benefit to the common people.  Where did the money go?   I don’t really care if Trump said it or not, as I know that Haiti is a shithole because it is the only country in the Caribbean that Grandma P and I have not visited in our 20 cruises throughout the area.  If it were anything else, it would be a port of call.  (We have been to the Dominican Republic numerous times at the other end of Hispaniola.  It is beautiful!)  What concerns me is that a US senator turned a serious Senate Judicial hearing into a carnival sideshow.  All of this because another US senator decided to mow political hay with the purported description used by Trump.

Frustration building…..  (1.  Take a deep breath.  2.  Paint some faded lawn ornaments!)

How about the political circus surrounding the government shutdown itself?  95% of the Republicans voted for the funding measure to fund the government, effectively ending the shutdown.  95% of the Democrats voted against the funding measure and initiated a filibuster to halt the vote in the senate.  The Democrats want the funding of our nations military and security apparatuses to go unpaid while they are wanting a full amnesty for the ‘dreamers.’  You know who the ‘dreamers’ are.  They are the children brought into the US by their illegal immigrant parents.  But the Democrats want to take it further.  They want citizenship for the ‘dreamers’ as well as their parents who illegally entered this country.  But, with the assistance of an all-too-willing liberal media, the Democrats are blaming the POTUS and the Republicans for the shutdown.  Hopefully, most people in America are smart enough to see through this.

Speaking of the media, you should have watched the news conference about the president’s health.  The examining doctor was kept on the podium for over an hour because of some of the dumbest questions you would ever want to hear.  How can you say he is physically fit?  How can you say he is mentally acute?  How can you say he is physically fit when he eats cheeseburgers?  (As do 300 million other Americans!)   Apparently these people are of the belief that if you ask the same question four times, the answer may change.  Not likely.  Many press briefings follow this same, repetitive scenario.

(Where is the President’s doctor when I need him!  Blood pressure..up!   Heart rate..rising!  OMG!  I ate a cheeseburger last week!  I’m a goner!)

Did you know that five representatives are not attending the State of the Union Address because they claim that Trump is a racist.  Is that how you want your representative to represent you?   What kind of respect and cooperation can these five people expect in Congress, when they don’t show any respect for others.  These people may be loud, and brash, and get reelected, but they will not get much legislation passed that will benefit your legislative area as other Congressmen will not show respect and cooperation for them.

So I have a challenge for my retired friends.  Please take time to observe a weeks worth of White House press briefings.  Observe the stupidity of the press corps and their questions.  You will be astonished.  For those still working, I am sure you can tape these briefings and watch at night.  They do provide some of the best entertainment on television.

My second challenge is for everyone to make an attempt at observing your federally elected officials at work.  There is no question that some of these people are brilliant and have the best interest of our country at heart.  There is also no question that some of them are egocentric, stupid, and are more concerned about reelection than results.  I have pointed out a couple, but you can make your own judgement.

I get so upset about the maneuvering that is taking place to create shutdowns, belittle the President’s physical condition, belittle the President’s mental condition, and basically ‘stonewalling’ anything that is positive for this country that I have to turn off my television.  Are these the people you want to represent you?  Observe your politicians at work.  You may be surprised  how they represent you.

(Shut off the television.  Heart rate…declining.  Blood pressure…normal.) 

Well, its rainy and dreary outside.  Time for a nap.  Ah. yes.  The advantages of being retired.

We Defeated the Communists, and Then We Became Them!

My oh my!  Recently, there has been no shortage of world-wide events that have distracted our government from taking care of domestic issues.  There was hurricane Harvey, hurricane Irma, and now, once again tearing through the Caribbean, hurricane Maria.  These were catastrophic to the United States, and they totally destroyed some small Caribbean countries.   Last week, there was a ‘bucket bomb’ that exploded in a London subway.  And, much like an infant with a broken rattle, we can always count on Kim Jong-un to fire another missile anytime he thinks he is not getting enough attention on the world stage.

Because of these major events, not much attention has been given to our domestic problems. Obama Care has not been repealed or replaced.  The tax codes have not been revised.  And, have you recently heard any news referring to the federal budget?  This got me to wondering.  How is the federal government currently spending our money?  It is our money, isn’t it?  More importantly, how has the government spent our money in the past?  So, as a matter of personal interest, I have decided to compare our 2016 federal budget to the 50 year earlier, 1966 federal budget.  This was not an accidental choice, as I graduated from high school as a wet-behind-the-ears, know-it-all eighteen year old in 1966.  And, yes, I can still muster up enough memory to remember the era.  Let me set the stage.

1966

1966 was just over 20 years after the completion of WWII.  There were no shortage of veterans from that war.  They were our parents.  We fought an on-going war in Korea.  Because of what was called the ‘domino theory’ we sent military advisors to a country called South Viet Nam.  Eisenhower began this program, Kennedy expanded it, and Lyndon Johnson turned Saigon into the  twenty-third largest American city.  Little did we know in 1966 that Viet Nam would ultimately cost us over 57,000 American lives.

Our WWII ally, Russia, was now our dreaded enemy.  They became the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), which was comprised of Russia and all the countries it decided to keep in its ‘sphere of influence’ after WWII.  The majority joined unwillingly by the use of Russian military force. We had NATO, and the USSR had the Warsaw Pact.  They built the Berlin wall and shot anyone that tried to cross it.  Winston Churchill dubbed this policy of isolation as the ‘Iron Curtain.’

In 1962, we had a little dust-up in the Caribbean called the Cuban Missile Crisis.  The USSR wanted to install nuclear warheads and missiles in Cuba.  US versus USSR.  Kennedy versus Khruschev. Good versus evil.  Eagle versus the bear.  Democracy versus communism.  According to all historical accounts, it was the closest the world has come to a nuclear holocaust.

In 1963, Kennedy was assassinated.  (I was hoping I would find out who was responsible before I died, but time is running out!)

On the domestic front, the ‘baby boomers’ were entering the workforce.  As a high school graduate, there were three life choices available:  go to college, get a job, or get drafted.  That was pretty much it.  The economy was booming because there was a war to fuel it.  Just about anyone that wanted a job had a job.  As eighteen year olds, we could not wait to move away from home and become independent.  We never moved back home.

With these events as a background, how did our government spend our money?  Our GDP in 1966 was $4.12T.  The total government receipts were $689B.  Our total outlays were $708B.  (Yes!  We dealt in billions and not trillions!)  Our deficit that year was $19.5B.  Ah yes, don’t you long for the good old days now?  42% of all revenues came from individual income taxes.  Payroll taxes accounted for 20% and corporate taxes accounted for 23% of revenues.

On the spending side, 43% of all funds were spent on national defense.  But here is the biggie….medicare and general health spending was only 2% of the budget that year.  Spending on social security, unemployment and labor in 1966 was about 23% of all outlays.

In raw numbers, the Dept. of Defense got $298B, Health and Human Services got $30.1B, Social Security Administration got $109B, Treasury got $61.9B and NASA got $31.2B.  The Treasury received their money largely to pay the interest on our $1.74T national debt.  Of course there are other departments, but these are the largest and pertinent to this blog.

2016

Now we fast forward 50 years to 2016, the last year of the Obama budget.  There were only two budgets put forth by the Obama admistration in his eight years as POTUS.  Harry Reed, the senate majority leader, promised not to bring a budget to the senate floor and the ‘gatekeeper from hell’ kept his word.  In 2016, the government took in $2.99T in tax revenues.  (Yes, we got to the trillions!) 49% of these revenues came from individual income taxes.  Payroll taxes accounted for 33% and corporate taxes accounted for 9% of total revenues.  The national debt now exceeds $16.7T!

The sources of revenue did not change substantially in 50 years.  But how the revenues have been spent have significantly changed.  Remember that the defense department accounted for 43% of the 1966 budget?  Well, even with all the shenanigans going on with terrorism and wars, the 2016 budget only spent 15% on the defense department.  Wow!  Where did that money go?  The 2% of monies spent on medicare and general health spending in 1966 now consumes 28% of the spending.  Spending on social security is now 37% of the budget as compared to 22% in the past.   Entitlement programs now consume 65% of our national budget!

The raw numbers are staggering.  The Dept. of Defense now spends $515B.  The Dept. of Health and Human Services goes from $30.1B to a staggering $995B!  The Dept. of Treasury goes from $61.9B to $484B!  Much of this is to pay the interest on our growing, inflated national debt.  Not to be outdone, the Social Security Administration received a nice bump, going from $109B to $866B!  NASA, on the other hand, had its 1966 budget of $31.2B reduced to $17.2B in 2016.

I need to provide a small history lesson at this point.  Do you know what the original responsibities were of the federal government?  Why the federal government was founded?  It was founded for two reasons; national defense and international trade.  End of list.  It is astounding how the federal government got to its present size.  Back to the blog.

There are some logical explainations for these large differences in these federal budgets.  In 1966, the huge ‘baby boomer’ generation entered the work force.  They worked.  They paid taxes.  They paid into the social security fund.  In 2016, guess what?  The ‘baby boomers’ aged.  They retired and they began collecting the social security in which they paid for after about 50+ working years.

In 1966, there wasn’t any government provided health care program.  We never expected a federal health care program.  But now look at what is happening.  Obamacare happened, and it has pretty much been a mess ever since.  Everyone agrees it needs to change, but we can’t get two people in a room of 100 senators to agree on how it should change.  Personally, I think the federal government should get out of the health care business altogether, but the proverbial cat has been let out of the bag.  Unlike the old days of 1966 where we did not believe in such a thing as a free lunch, we have people perfectly capable of working that expect a free lunch.  In 1966 we were raised under the mantra that, ‘you ate what you killed.’  Now our national conscious is that everyone should eat, even if they haven’t done one thing to feed themselves.

As amazing as it is to see the differences in our budgets after 50 years, it appears this is outdone by our expectations as to what the government owes us in entitlements.  Most of these entitlements did not exist 50 years ago, and yet we survived.  This is borne out by a Health and Human Services budget that is over 30 times larger than in 1966.  (Think ‘welfare’)

During the Cold War, we spent trillions of dollars to defeat those socialistic Communists.  Russia has turned from its socialistic/communistic society.  You remember socialism/communism.  That is the economic and political theory that advocates the means of production, distribution and exchange should be regulated by the community (government) as a whole.  Our electorate has seen fit in the last 50 years to elect officials that institute welfare programs that we can’t afford,  with money we don’t have, for people who should not receive them.   We have given up our independence.  Now, with our dependence on our federal government, we have taken the place of the former USSR.   Have we become the New Socialists/Communists?

It gives a whole new context to the motto, ‘Land of the free……..’