Category Archives: Congress

donald-trump

An Open Letter to President-Elect Trump

Dear Mr. Trump,

Congratulations on your recent victory as the President-Elect of the United States of America.  I was one of your supporters from the minute you announced your candidacy.  Admittedly, I thought the winning ticket would be a Donald Trump/ Marco Rubio ticket.  I can see why, as a result of a very tumultuous and nasty debating season, you did not take Senator Rubio as your running mate.  I was not familiar with Mike Pence, but he is indeed the perfect person for the Vice President. Grounded, experienced, loyal and intelligent, he is everything a person could want as the Vice President.

I was your supporter from the beginning because I believe a businessman who could establish a successful financial empire is more qualified (and needed in this country!) than a slew of career politicians who seem hell-bent on destroying a perfectly good country and government.

You have had an excellent start on making America Great Again.  I agree with many of the efforts you have initiated and would like to add my two cents in hopes of making these positive changes for the good of our country.

Voter ID.  Could we please pass a law making it a requirement to present a valid photo ID to vote in a federal election?  In Canada, to be able to vote you must have: (1) A driver’s license, or, (2) A provincial or territorial ID card, or, (3)  Any other government card with your photo, name and current address.  But like the those shopping channels on television…..wait, there’s more!   To be able to vote in a federal election in Mexico, you must have:  (1) A government issued photo ID card with a thumbprint and an embossed hologram, and, (2)   All citizens are required to personally enroll and show proof of birth or citizenship, and, (3)  Applicants are required to personally return to collect their voting credentials.

Why do our neighbors have more practical, stringent and sensible federal voting requirements than our country, and yet at the suggestion of such requirements it is considered racist?  To not have ID requirements simply wholesales the value of our citizenship in comparison.  All those wars fought, all those battles won, and all those lives lost….all to protect our country, and yet, we allow people who do not share our values, who will never contribute to the well-being of this country, who are here to be takers and never contributors….to vote and sway our national elections.  A travesty by any measure.  Shame on us and our political leaders for allowing our democratic principles to be compromised and abused and degraded by the use of voter fraud.

Job Creation.  Keeping businesses in America, bringing new foreign businesses to America, and bringing off-shore American businesses back to America would create jobs for Americans.  Two things could be done to make this happen and to stimulate the economy.

First, cut the existing federal corporate tax rate in half.  The U.S. already has the highest corporate tax rate of the industrialized nations, and corporate taxes account for only 11% of all federal government tax receipts.  Individual income taxes are responsible for 47% of all federal government tax receipts, while payroll taxes contributed by employers and employees account for another 34%. Corporations are in the business of making money.  By allowing them to keep a larger share of their profits, they will purchase more raw materials, expand facilities and hire more employees….thereby increasing the amount of federal tax revenues from individual income tax payers because there will be more people working.  

I am sure you know that there are 112 million people working in the United States and 106 million receiving some form of government assistance?  Admittedly, some of the 106 million are social security recipients that have paid into, and are now collecting their benefits.  But, there are 90 million people capable of working that are not working, or at least they are not paying taxes.  That needs to change. Jobs need to be created, and the welfare system needs to be revamped.  You have made strides in that direction and I fully support those efforts.

Secondly, abolish the (Un)affordable Health Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.  Before the true expense of this program was known, employers were estimating that the cost would be 20%-25% of their total payroll expenses.  What did the employers do?  They quit hiring, began firing, or reduced working hours for their employees to 32 hours or less to avoid the burden of the program. This was necessary for businesses to remain competitive in the international marketplace, or go out of business.  This program, more than any other, has inhibited job and wage growth for Americans.

This program needs to be replaced with something that is affordable and practical for both the insureds and the insuring.  The federal government needs to get out of the health care business and let the bulk of this program rest on the shoulders of a competitive, free-market economy of insurance companies and health care providers.

Welfare Reform.  The largest single item in the U.S. budget is welfare.  The federal budget provides 75% of the funding for welfare programs.  The states provide 25% of the funding but are tasked to supervise the welfare programs in their respective states.  Unfortunately, even though there were laws passed during the Clinton administration limiting welfare to a five year term, most states conveniently ignore this law.  Why?  Because with the federal government footing the bulk of the cost, the states view this as another form of income for their state.  I would propose that the federal government reduce the amount of welfare payments to the states to an equal amount, cutting their 75% contribution by 2/3.  This would assist our federal budget and cause the states to be more prudent in their dispersal of welfare. (See Welfare Cost – The Big Gorilla in the National Budget, published 2/21/2013)

It is appalling that so many people included in the 106 million receiving federal government assistance have lowered their lifestyles to live solely on government assistance.

Term Limits.  The life expectancy during the times of our founding fathers in the 18th century was 35 years old!  To be 50 years old was considered to be a very old man.  Many of the original members of Congress served out of duty and patriotism, while at the same time making huge personal sacrifices.  Many of these people lost their businesses and homes because they were away tending to the needs of a new nation.  Needless to say, they did not ever foresee the eventuality of career politicians.

We all are aware of the disadvantages of having long-term career politicians.  Too much influence, too much money, too much campaigning, and too many lobbyists and personal interests.   Their primary concern is to get reelected and not necessarily what is ‘right for America.’  (Thus, one reason for your stunning victory, Mr. Trump.)

May I suggest that in the future, say 2028, all members of Congress are limited to 12 years of service.  Senators get two, 6 year terms and representatives get six, 2 year terms.  I would also like to propose that the Supreme Court justices be retired at age 70 or 72.  Here again, our founding fathers could not have known that we would let people ‘fossilize’ in place while serving on the Supreme Court.

Mr. Trump, if you can get legislation passed imposing future term limits, I would believe you could walk across Lake Okeechobee without getting your feet wet or without getting eaten by an alligator. Good luck with that.

The Wall.  I would like to point out that in 2014, over 47,000 Americans died of drug overdoses and over 35,000 were killed in traffic accidents.  Who would have thought that there would be more drug overdose deaths than those of autos?  Some of these drug deaths were because of the improper and illegal use of prescription drugs (opiates) and some from illegal drugs.  Whatever the reason, the bulk of the flow of illegal drugs in this country is coming from our southern border.  If it takes a wall to stop that flow, then that wall should be built.

Of course, we need to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into our country.  If they are here with the best of intentions, then an application procedure needs to be established.  Because Mexicans require a photo ID with a thumbprint to vote, doing a background check should not be impossible.  It would not be surprising to learn that other Central/South American countries have similar ID’s. Unfortunately, many of the ‘border crossers,’ are here for nefarious reasons, or are unaccompanied minors.  Illegal immigrants involved with crime need to be sent back to their respective countries. If caught again, they need to be imprisoned.

Safety and Security.   Mr. Trump, the three classes of people that I hate the most are terrorists, murderers, and pedophiles.  I am personally not interested in ‘reforming or rehabilitating’ anyone accused of terrorism or murder.  I believe that capital punishment should come into play for these two crimes and the sentences should be carried out within a two year period.

I believe that anyone charged with killing a policeman, fireman, or medical rescuer should be given the death sentence.  I believe that any terrorist that kills an American should be given the death sentence.  I cannot think of a punishment cruel enough for a pedophile, but I suppose we would have to settle for incarceration.  After all, what kind of society have we become if we cannot protect our children.

The military needs to be expanded and updated to meet the challenges of our potential enemies. Whether we want to recognize the threat or not, both Russia and China have greatly expanded their military presence and have used them for expansionist purposes.  The goal of Russia is to put together the old USSR as much as possible beginning with the invasion of the Ukraine.  The Chinese are saber rattling and expanding by making strategic artificial islands in the South China sea.

Does anyone know for sure the real ambitions of Iran or North Korea?  Both have threatened with the use of missiles and nukes.

These are just a few of the problems to be faced with your upcoming administration.   There are many more.  So far, you have done an amazing job of cabinet selection.  Surrounding yourself with the best and the brightest should make your job easier and make for a better America.  I apologize for not writing sooner, but it took me a month to sober up from your victory party!

God Bless America.

Respectfully,

Grandpa T

 

 

 

respect

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find out what it means to me!

Aretha Franklin is the Queen of Soul.  In 1967, her big hit was a song titled, ‘Respect.’  It was a fantastic song, as were most of her songs.  My favorite Aretha song was, ‘You Better Think.’  Even though it was released in 1968, it really hit popularity when she sang it in the 1980 movie, ‘Blues Brothers.’  The movie and the song are some of my all-time favorites.

Even though ‘You Better Think’ would be an excellent subject for this blog, today it happens to be about RESPECT.  Not just the song, but the character trait.  Do you have respect for anything in today’s world?

When I was young, I was always told to respect my elders.  If an elderly person entered a room, I was taught to get off my duff and offer my chair.  Recently, Grandma P and I were visiting some of our grandkids.  I was making a move toward the chair with the best view of the TV, when my grandson, Spike, decided it would be hilarious to run around me and plop his butt into this chair before Grandpa T could nestle his posterior comfortably in the aforementioned chair.  Coercion and threats did not work to move Spike.  Finally, it became physical.  Spike and I would arm wrestle for the chair!  I cheated and won!  I had to cheat as Spike is one pretty tough nut for a 6 year old.  Anyway, we decided to compromise.  We both sat in the big comfy chair and watched TV together.  I made sure (as the elder!) that I got the biggest portion and most comfortable spot.  He just wanted to jerk the chain of his Grandpa and spend time with me, and I respect him for that.  Now whether he respects me is a whole different ball game.  Time will tell as we have plenty of time to mold his little body into something respectful.

Do you respect authority?  I would like to limit this portion specifically to teachers and law enforcement.  Do you know how many officers have died in the line of duty so far this year?  The answer is 99 officers.  In 2015, the number of officers killed in the line of duty was 130.  Of the 99 officers that have died this year, 44 of them were killed by gunfire.  Does that show respect for law enforcement?  Growing up in a small town as I did, I knew all the local policemen, most of the deputy sheriffs, and practically all of the local highway patrolmen.  They were all great people with wives and kids just like everyone else, just attempting to do their jobs in the best possible manner.  They were all respected as law enforcement and they were all respected for being contributors to our community.

As I was growing up, we were to respect our teachers…..or else!  Three of my six elementary school teachers had husbands that worked with my dad, Big Daddy G.  Big Daddy G did not have to attend any parent-teacher conferences, because the drums of misbehavior beat often and loudly in our small town.  Between Big Daddy G knowing all the policemen, and working with the husbands of my teachers….I could not get away with diddly squat!!  If I went to a drive-in movie 12 miles from our hometown (there were two in opposite directions) on a Friday night, by Saturday noon he knew where I had been, who I was with and what movie was playing.  I digress.  I could not be a teacher today and I admire those that are.  Some of the school districts across the nation are not only turning out substandard students unwilling to learn, but the teachers are at risk of bodily injury.  Every day, an average of four teachers are accosted in the Baltimore school system.  From all indications, this is not uncommon.  If I would have ever been brain dead enough to attack a teacher, I would have had to call the police to protect myself from what Big Daddy G was going to do.  The teachers were right, no questions asked.  The student was wrong.

How about that media!  You know who they are.  Their job is to ‘report the news fully, accurately, and fairly.’  As I am writing this, the latest Gallup poll indicates that only 32% of the population either has a ‘great deal or fair amount of trust’ of the media.  That’s less than 1/3 of the population!  It is also the lowest rating ever given to media in terms of trust since Gallup began polling this question in 1972! The level of trust has dropped 8% from last year.  I am using trust and respect somewhat interchangeably as the New York Times and the Washington Post have slumped to levels only achieved by the National Enquirer and The Star publications.

I witnessed a perfect example of misrepresentation recently.  Donald Trump was making a speech in Ocala, Florida.  Early in the speech, the TV networks were flashing one of those banners at the bottom of the screen while the speech was still going on, saying that Donald Trump said, “If you are not registered, get the hell out of here.”   What he really said was, “If you are not registered, get the hell out of  here and register!”  If you did not see the beginning of the speech, you would have been resigned to reading the banner that was flashed numerous times during his speech telling perspective speech listeners to get out if they were not registered.  How can you respect a media that omits pertinent information, adds fictitious information or generally massages a story to express their political beliefs for personal gain?  You can’t, as the Gallup numbers indicate.  The media is suppose to be the ‘society truth filter,’ and sadly they are anything but that.

For all twelve years of elementary and secondary school, we all began the day by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.  Whenever we heard the national anthem, we sang it with gusto and reverence.  In our town, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion were large and very much respected organizations.  We had three generations of my family that all belonged to the American Legion.  My grandfather and uncle were members of the VFW.  Grandpa had fought in WWI.  Never, ever, would we have ever thought of disrespecting these veterans by disrespecting the flag under which they all fought and served.  When I see these people that do not stand for the national anthem and pay homage for the privileged life they lead in this country, because of the sacrifices of others….it makes me sick….and angry.  I have often thought that this country should institute a policy of mandatory military service for males, just like the countries of Israel (includes women), Switzerland, most of the Scandinavian countries…22 countries in all.  Why?  An opportunity to gain maturity, responsibility and direction in making future life decisions.  A dose of discipline does not hurt anyone.  But more importantly, it is difficult to disrespect your flag and your country if you saluted the flag every day, and fought for your country.  In other words, unlike a certain spoiled NFL quarterback, a veteran has ‘more skin in the game.’  While the NFL QB is sitting on his ass and collecting millions, there are military people fighting and sacrificing to keep his freedoms secure for 2% of what he makes in a year.  But, why has the media dubbed him a hero?  What kind of demented media would ever impart one word of praise on anyone that is a selfish, self-serving dickwad.  And now…college teams and high school teams are following this idiot’s example because they feel they are victims of an oppressive society, too.

Do you like the direction our government is going?  According to the 2015 Pew Research report, only 19% of the respondents feel the government is doing a good job, ‘just about always (3%) or ‘most of the time (16%).  This is a far cry from say, 50 years ago when in 1965, about 65% of the people thought the government was doing a good job.  Do you know the last administration that achieved over a 50% approval rating?  That would be between 2000 and 2003 during the George W. Bush years.  My, how things have changed.  This country faces some real problems and some real enemies, and we are focused on political correctness and what bathrooms everyone can use – depending if you feel like a man or woman on any particular day.  How can you respect a government that appears to be lost for direction and unable to establish priorities.  How can you respect a government full of people more focused on getting reelected than of doing what is right for America?  This includes accepting money from special interest groups whose interests are nowhere near to what would be best for the country.  I have said it in previous blogs,  Grandpa T’s Rule #2, “A politician in power is most concerned about getting reelected, rather than in doing what is right for the country.”

So there you have it, readers.  Why are so many organizations losing respect?  The media and the government are less trusted and respected than a crooked used car salesman.  Our teachers and law enforcement personnel are attempting to function in areas that approach combat zones.  We have millionaire athletes disrespecting our flag and national anthem because they feel America is an oppressive country.  These are our children’s role models.

After all is said and done, I do know this; respect is earned, not granted.  If you have lost respect, then you are failing in your job, such as the government and the media.  I am determined to earn my respect, even if it means arm wrestling Spike one more time for the comfy TV chair.

baby-boomer-parenting

How the Heck Did We Get Here: Blame it on the Baby Boomers??

I am sitting in my office scratching my head about the upcoming election.  How did we get to this place where neither candidate is trusted or believed, and a large number of citizens are considering a third party candidate just to avoid voting for the two primary party candidates.  Our country has become a country of entitlements, political correctness, and media manipulation.  I certainly don’t have all of the answers, but I think my generation contributed to this mess.

I am a baby boomer.  Most of the time, I am proud of being a ‘seasoned senior citizen.’  We baby boomers were born between the years of 1946 and 1964.  That would make the oldest of us 70 years old, and the youngest would be 52 years old.  In some respects, the younger generations would consider us ‘overly seasoned’ or perhaps, ‘fossilized.’

Our generation was the first that had a name.  We were those people born immediately after WWII. Take a bunch of war veterans and mix them with a bunch of women that haven’t had a real date in years, and BOOM, the world experienced an explosion of births.  Our parents were a tough bunch. They all lived through the Great Depression.  Then, as teenagers and 20 somethings, they fought and won WWII.   Tom Brokaw later referred to them as the ‘Greatest Generation.’  They knew of, and sometimes experienced the atrocities of WWII.  Immediately after WWII, we were back in Asia fighting a war in Korea.  It became apparent that not all countries wanted world-wide peace.  At the same time, numerous countries were conducting nuclear bomb tests.  That warm relationship between the US and Russia during WWII was not all that warm.  The possibility of a nuclear war hung over us for most of our childhood years.

This made our parents a rather tough bunch.  We were taught the difference between winning and losing.  We did not receive any ‘participation’ trophies.  We were instructed in ‘bomb drills,’ in the event of a nuclear attack.  Our teachers were always right and were always respected.  Any deviation from good behavior resulted in punishment.  In my case, I got spankings by my mom and five ‘beltings’ by big Daddy G.  I deserved every one of them.  This was not considered child abuse, it was considered parenting.  There was no pretense that our parents were going to be your ‘best friends.’  They were going to be disciplinarians, and they filled that role marvelously.  (My dad was not my friend until I was in my 30s.)  We were taught to be independent and to work hard.  Being blue collar was not a stigma.  It was instilled in us that if we wanted something bad enough, we could obtain it through hard work and diligence.  Anything was possible!

Every school day was started with the Pledge of Allegiance.  We sang our national anthem with fervor. Then, as we got older, we were called upon to represent our country in another war….the Viet Nam conflict.  Many volunteered or were drafted and performed their duty to fight in a war without a genuine purpose.  To this day, the best explanation for fighting this war was the ‘domino theory.’  That theory was the belief that if one country fell to Communism, then others will fall to Communism.  But Lyndon Johnson took this to the extreme by committing over 500K troops to Viet Nam.  He made Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) the 23rd largest American populated city in the world.  Over 57,000 Americans were killed in this war, with hundreds of thousands more suffering psychologically from what they had experienced and from the way they were treated once they returned home.  Americans believing they had served their country were now being spit upon and called ‘baby killers.’  Many lives were lost, and many more minds were destroyed because of this war.

So there you have it.  A very brief description of what formed and what affected the lives of the baby boomer generation.  What was my purpose for relating this information?  Well, because of the way we were reared, we, as a generation, decided not to be as strict and structured as our parents on our children and our grandchildren.  We became adherents of the ‘live and let live’ theory.  We became more concerned about ourselves and our families to the point of missing the gradual changes to our society.  And now, as I look back at the way our country has evolved since my childhood, I want to publicly apologize to Generation X, Generation Y (Millennials), and Generation Z as to how the Baby Boomers have failed you.

We Boomers need to apologize for the level of entertainment on our televisions and our movies. In our youth, all movies and TV programs were appropriate for all ages.  We did not need a rating system designating P, PG, R or anything else.  I am not a wilting flower, but it is difficult for me to believe the amount of profanity, sexual innuendo, sex, violence and gore that has permeated our entertainment.  Parents of today need to realize that your children are seeing this garbage and they are being affected by it.  How could they not see it?  It is on at prime time on numerous channels. Instead of having three good TV channels like when I was young, we now have hundreds of bad channels.  Look at how few good comedies we have today.  We had many while growing up.  Reality shows and cop shows seem to be the general format of TV today.   Garbage entertainment really began in the late 60s and early 70s.  TV was still somewhat regulated, but the movie industry had taken a definite turn for the worse.

Our Boomer generation invented the computer.  This led to the popularity of PC’s and laptops in every home. Technology is marvelous for all it can do.  But as one pundant has surmised, home computers have become a ‘pipeline for pornography.’  Do you think people are being affected by that?  Coupled up with violent video games, do you think our children are being affected by it?  I am not quite sure how we could have stopped this garbage, but I will apologize anyway.

I apologize that we appointed a Supreme Court that overturned term limits on federally elected officials.  Yes.  Legislation was actually passed during the Clinton administration limiting term limits, only to be overturned by the only organization without them…the Supreme Court.   Now we have career politicians and all the graft, corruption and personal enrichment that are a result of it. Decisions are being made every day by our elected officials for personal gain without regard for what is best for the country.

Our newspapers, magazines and TV news at least attempted to appear impartial during elections held in the past.  This year?  The gloves have come off with such notable organizations like the New York Times and the Washington Post not even attempting to hide their support of Hillary Clinton.  In previous elections, news organizations would show their support for a particular candidate in an editorial.  Not now.  They show their support by smearing their candidate’s opponent.  The latest is the release by the New York Times of Donald Trump’s 1995 tax returns which show a loss of over $900 million being carried into following years to reduce any future tax burden.  The crime here is not Trump’s taxes and carry-over as that is perfectly legal and by IRS statute allowed.  The real crime is the publishing of his taxes by the New York Times.  They claim that they received them in the mail. Yeah. Right.  Any CPA doing such a thing would lose their license to operate.  I believe the IRS themselves did it.  This is the same group that targeted conservative groups prior to the 2010 mid term election.  In particular, the Tea Party movement.  Who would investigate this matter?  Well, the FBI.  That same group that let Hillary off the hook for emails even though the FBI director’s brother provides legal services to the Clinton Foundation.  Sound fishy?

Isn’t it a shame that most of our printed media has reduced itself to the level of the National Enquirer?  In some instances, the National Enquirer is more believable.

Do you trust the government?  During the 60s, when the unemployment rate was reported, it actually meant the number of people who were without jobs that wanted them.  Today’s unemployment rate has been reported at less than 5%.  I assure you, this is for purely political purposes in an attempt to show how wonderful our economy is faring before this election.   In fact, the real unemployment rate is just under 10%.  Why?  Because so many people have quit attempting to find work.  But wait….there’s more.  Do you know how many households in America do not have anyone working?  Over 22%!  Yes.  Over 22% of the households do not have a breadwinner.  How are they surviving?  Working for cash?  Welfare?  How wonderful does our economic picture appear now?

Do you like our current policy of allowing anyone to use any bathroom depending on what sex they feel like on that particular day?

So, as I look back on my life, the goal I have always had is that I leave the world a better place than when I entered it.  My generation of Boomers has failed.  We have made mistakes.  We allowed the country to become so liberal, so politically correct, so dependent on the government and so militarily weak that it is not the same country of our youth.  We have taken free speech to such an extreme that we now have public disrespect for our flag and our national anthem being considered heroic. Yet, only 1% of our citizenry has served in the military to protect our country and our freedoms.  We now have groups of people attacking and killing our police because they think they are ‘entitled’ to do so. We have had deadly Islamic terrorist attacks on our people.  We allow people of unknown origin to enter this country every day without having any idea of their true purpose in coming here.  Many times, it is not to assimilate like previous immigrants.

I want to make a plea.  I know many people who are not enamored by either candidate.  For their personal beliefs, they are going to vote for a third party candidate.  That has been tried before with disastrous results.  Rather than giving George H.W. Bush a second term, Ross Perot siphoned off  enough conservative votes to give Bill Clinton the presidency without having received a plurality.  Do you want to vote for the Libertarian candidate who did not know what an ‘Aleppo’ is, or could not name his favorite foreign leader?  If you like the policies instituted by the present administration, by all means you should vote for Hillary Clinton.  If you truly believe that the country is heading in the wrong direction, then do not waste your vote on a third party candidate, hold your nose and vote for Donald Trump.

I am considerably older than those members of Gen X, Y, and Z and here I am apologizing for the direction our country has taken in the last 60 years.  My fervent hope is that in 30 or 40 years, you will not be writing a blog apologizing for the bad decisions your generation has made and suffering from the consequences of bad decisions.

Republican-Convention

Republican National Convention. Cleveland Rocks!

The Republican National Convention was recently completed.  It ran from 18 – 21 July and took place in Cleveland, Ohio; formerly known as the ‘mistake by the lake.’  There were many interesting facets to this convention.  Some good.  Some not so good.  One of my big concerns is that Grandma P has become a political junkie.  She watched more speeches during this convention than she has watched totally in the first almost 30 years of our marriage.    She maybe missed 90 minutes of the convention.  Should I be concerned?

Anyway, it is always more interesting to talk about the negative facets first, so here we go!

NEGATIVES

Do you realize how much money a convention brings into the hosting city?  It is in the tens of millions of dollars and the competition to be the host city is only exceeded by a city wanting to host the Olympics or a Super Bowl.  So, with the convention being in Ohio, where was the governor of Ohio, John Kasich?  Oh, I remember, he was one of the many participants in the Republican debates that swore they would support the eventual Republican candidate.  So much for your word, Mr. Boob.  You did not even have the decency to appear and welcome the delegates to your state.  You are only the first of many people that went contrary to ‘your  pledge of support.’

Ted Cruz.  What more can be said about a sore loser whose ego is barely eclipsed by the size of the state he represents.  That would be Texas.  Rather than show anything that approached denoting party unity, the wienie took his opportunity to extol his virtues, without endorsing Trump.  He was rightfully booed off the stage.  The next morning, he was speaking to the Texas delegation and was asked very pointed questions as to why he did not endorse Trump, the Republican candidate, as he had pledged.    Again, it was back to his principles and he was a master at ‘politcal speak’ in that his answers chewed all around the cookie without having to take a bite.  It was obvious it was all about him.  Never mind what is good for the country or what the electorate wants.   My respect for wienie Cruz has declined into negative numbers. (Is his ego so large as to run as a third party candidate just to defeat Trump and hand the victory to Clinton?)  Ted is lucky he has two more years to his term as senator, or he probably would have lost an election this fall.

Jeb Bush.  Another of those people that pledged support to the Republican candidate that just could not find the time or effort to attend the convention or even make a statement about party unity.  Quite honestly, he was not missed.  Jeb always seemed to be out of touch with what was important to the electorate, anyway.

The two people I am rather disappointed with are George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.  As the two former Republican presidents, they could have at least made some statements via video to support the party principles and bury the hatchet about the divided party by at least wishing Trump well in his upcoming campaign.  I like and respect both of those gentlemen, and it would have been my hope that they would have risen above the butt kicking their brother/son took during the primaries and shown some interest in the political party that got them both elected.  I do not remember any former presidents shunning the following party conventions such as the Bush’s have done.

After Trump’s speech on Thursday evening, Texas billionaire Mark Cuban went into warp drive tweeting his dislike for Donald Trump, referring to him as stupid and lazy.  What is it with these Texans?  Ted Cruz, the Bush’s, and now Mark Cuban?  Just because you lost the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, doesn’t mean you should carry a grudge for almost 200 years!  Just because Trump is not from Texas, doesn’t mean he can’t be president.  So here are my words for all four of you…..“GET OVER IT!”  Do any of you four believe the country and world would be better off with President Hillary?  Mark Cuban supported Trump until a few months ago.  What happened?

POSITIVES

I was very impressed by the quality of the majority of speeches given during this convention.  Yes, there are always a couple of marginal speeches, and some were clunkers, but the vast majority were very, very good.  Did you notice how many of the speeches were given by minorities and women?

Newt Gingrich.  Some of the speeches were beyond excellent.  Newt Gingrich gave an excellent speech.  I wish my college professors were as good as Newt.  I may have gotten better grades if they were.  He laid out the difficulties our country and the world will be facing because of Islamic Muslim extremists.

The Trump Children.  I would not know how to pick the best speaker from the four Trump children that gave speeches.  Not only were the speeches outstanding in content, they were delivered to near perfection.  Donald, Jr., Eric, Ivanka and Tiffany all did an absolutely wonderful job.  If the children are truly a reflection of the parents, then I would say that Donald Trump has done an excellent job of parenting.

Melania Trump.  Another great speech by another Trump.  But almost as soon as it was completed, the Democrats started yelling ‘plagiarism,’ as 58 out of the 1400 words were similar to a speech Michelle Obama gave in 2008.  With all of the things that have happened recently, this is the what the Democrats focus on?  I would say that criticizing this speech as a part of what all is taking place in this country and the world is a clear indication of ‘pole vaulting over mouse turds’ by the Democrats.

Make America Safe Again.  Make America One Again.  Make America Great Again.  I don’t know what adviser came up with these slogans, but they pretty much framed the content of all the speeches given during the convention.  I believe all of these issues are important to the electorate. With the latest ambush of the police, with the latest terrorist attack, and with the largest racial divide occurring in this country during my lifetime, how could the electorate not be concerned about these issues?

Donald Trump.  I will give Trump an A for the content of his speech, but only a B+ for delivery.  As Grandma P pointed out, there were times when it appeared he was screaming.  (I noticed it, also.)  But Donald is a very passionate man, and it is obvious he believes the United States is heading in the wrong direction because of the policies of the present administration.  I agree with him.  He is not a professional, lifetime politician who makes large group speeches for a living and for contributions.  I find that to be an asset rather than a liability.  If he is elected, he can scream all he wants if he can correct those passionate issues.

The Party Plank.   I thought the Republican National Committee did an excellent job of framing the issues and direction of the party.  By tying the slogans with the content of the speeches, a viewer would definitely see the direction that the Republican party is taking.  Background checks for immigrants.  Check.  Second Amendment rights.  Check.  Border Security.  Check.  Reducing the national debt.  Check.  Creating jobs.  Check.  Placing citizens before immigrants.  Check.  Assuring citizen safety.  Check.  Support the police.  Check.  Rebuild the military.  Check.  Did I miss anything?  Probably.

Democratic Critique.  Now that the convention is over, Hillary and her media machine have framed the convention as nothing but ‘doom and gloom.’  Just like Chicken Little, the Republicans have been accused of promoting ‘the sky is falling, the sky is falling!’  Even though I find this somewhat amusing, I believe the issues brought forth at the convention were brutally honest about situations and conditions that need to be addressed and corrected.  Democrats apparently do not want to face these issues and continue to portray the world and our country as if everything is just hunky-dory. This is disturbing as it would be my hope that the two parties would come together to resolve some of these various, serious issues.

So there you have it, readers.  My assessment of the Republican National Convention was that I was seldom bored and it was done very professionally.  The speeches were, if not perfect, very informative.  There have been accusations that Donald Trump is not a conservative.  I cannot even fathom how that could be proposed after watching this convention.  One political pundit said it was one of the most conservative conventions he has ever witnessed.  I agree.

If Donald Trump gets elected and is able to do half of what was proposed at this convention,  the country will indeed be heading in the right direction.

Trump

The Late Republican Party. Suicide By Stupidity!

There has been much political speculating that the Republican party will not survive if Donald J. Trump is the Republican nominee for POTUS.  I have been mulling this over and I have come to the conclusion that maybe the Republican party should not survive, and here are my reasons.

Two years ago, during the last mid-term election, the voters of America once again gave control of the House and the Senate to the Republicans.  That election should have been taken as the ‘warning shot across the bow,’ indicating that voters were no longer satisfied with the status quo or the Obama administration.  My initial thoughts were that at least, with both houses controlled by the Republican party, a set of brakes would be applied to stop the Obama insanity.  What have they done?  They were elected to overturn Obama Care, and they have not done that.  (Yes, I understand that Obama would veto anything concerning his health care program,   More on that later.)

We got rid of the gatekeeper from hell, Harry Reed,  as senate majority leader, and actually submitted and voted on budgets for the first time of the Obama administration.  Are those budgets being followed?  Are they cutting costs, eliminating waste, and reversing the spiraling national debt?  No. No. And No.

What has this Congress done?  From my viewpoint, Obama has forged ahead with all of his crazy ideas.  We elected that Congress to protect its citizens.   We elected that Congress to straighten out the financial mess that this country faces.  Why do we have this Congress, and all of the expenses of supporting it….if they don’t do anything?

With the Republicans in control of both houses, I blame them.  It has become obvious since the beginning of all those Republican presidential debates that the Republican party has lost contact with the average, conservative American.  Rather than listening to what the average American is concerned about which caused the Republicans to gain control of Congress, apparently they are too stupid to have read the tea leaves, or, they are so self-serving they just don’t care.  The perfect paragon of this was Jeb Bush.  Two years ago, he was the ‘golden boy’ of the Republican party.  He was known, and he was a dynamic fund raiser.  But how well did he do in the debates?  It was obvious that Jeb, much like the Republican party, had underestimated the concerns and anger of mainstream America.  Gun control.  Border security.  Immigration control.  Job creation.  When Jeb was talking, if you would have shut your eyes, it would have been difficult to tell which party he represented.

And there is one more very big thing that both parties have underestimated.  People are tired of the status quo, and they are really becoming tired of career politicians.  It was refreshing to see three non-political career people in the debates:  Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, and Donald Trump.

Now here we are with less than two weeks before the Republican national convention.

Dump Trump!  Anyone but Trump!  Trump Sucks!  There is no shortage of this, and unfortunately, much of it is coming from career Republican politicians.

Here are three possible scenarios for the convention.

1.  Attempt to undermine the delegate process and replace Trump with another candidate.  

Now you would think that if your apparent front runner brought out more voters to vote in the primaries for one candidate than ever before in the history of the United States, your party would be ecstatic.  Obviously that is not the case.  There has been much talk about attempting to sabotage the delegate procedure and put someone else in, rather than Trump.  Who would they get?  That smooth talking Mitt Romney, who has gone out of his way to back stab and denigrate Trump at every possible opportunity?  His little tirades are so despicable that I am sorry I voted for him in 2012.  I would not vote for him in 2016.  Many Americans who voted for Trump during the primaries would not vote for someone else if they feel their wishes have been cast aside.  If this were done, for sure Hillary Clinton would be voted in as POTUS.

I have to admit that Trump has kind of been my guy from the beginning.  I don’t have his hats or bumper stickers or have my lawn covered with his signs.  When asked if I support Trump, my answer has always been the same, “Donald Trump may not be who you like, but he may be what this country needs.”

This is similar to the Rush Limbaugh approach.  During the debates, one Cruz supporter called his show and wanted to know why Limbaugh had yet to attack Donald Trump.  Rush’s response was priceless.  “I will not attack anyone who has a chance of defeating Hillary Clinton.”  That attitude should have been adopted by the Republican party.

2.  Run someone as a third party candidate.

This option gives me nightmares!  It brings to mind the 1992 election when Ross Perot ran against George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  Bush was seeking his second term.  Perot, an egocentric conservative decided to enter the race.  The end result?  Bill Clinton won the election with only 42% of the popular vote.  58% of the country voted conservative, but the liberal won!

Just think.  If it weren’t for Ross Perot, we may never had heard about Bill or Hillary Clinton.

Anyway, this is the worst possible scenario for the country.  If some established Republicans decide this is feasible, they obviously don’t care what happens to this country.  Hillary Clinton would win handily if the conservative vote is again divided.

3.  Support Trump.

It would be about time for the Republican party to step up and support Trump financially and morally.  He did not win so many delegates by mistake.  There is no mistake about what he is thinking.  He may not be as eloquent as Reagan, Kennedy or FDR, but everyone understands what he is saying.

Paul Ryan has played patty cake politics with his lukewarm, milk-toast attitude.  So hear is a word of advice to Paul and all of the other backroom schemers concerning this convention:  Support the people’s candidate….or be prepared to suffer the people’s wrath at the polls!  

Mr. Ryan, you are the speaker of the House of Representatives because the people entrusted the Republican party to right this floundering ship of state.  If you or the party decide to pull any underhanded shenanigans in this convention, you will not be speaker after the election, and you may not be a representative.

You gained control of Congress to repeal Obama Care.  Will you accomplish that with Hillary Clinton as President?  You gained control of Congress to provide security to the people.  Will that occur if Clinton continues with Obama’s policies?  Closing borders, and vetting immigrants are a top concern of the average American.  Have you kept track of the number of murders being done by Islamic terrorists in our country and in other Western countries?  Will anything be done about this if Hillary is President?  The Liberals look at an open border as providing more potential voters for the Democratic party.  How about the national debt?  If people think it is a difficult economic environment now, what would happen if the US basically goes bankrupt like Greece.  Like Spain.  Like Italy.  All Western countries whose socialistic policies have created a unmanageable burden because the governments were too weak and unwilling to address the overspending.  Do you think this would improve with Hillary as president?

I am definitely tired of living under an administration where the cops and the military are the bad guys and the black thugs are the heroes.  Is this what Obama meant when he said he was going to ‘bring the country together?’  This country has never been so divided!

So, Mr. Ryan and all you career politicians that appear to be quaking because a non-career politician may see just how deep the cesspool is in Washington, D.C; I suggest that it is time to quit worrying about how you are going to be reelected, and begin doing what is right for this country.  If the Republican party does not unite to defeat Hillary Clinton, then the United States will suffer and the Republican party may very well disappear because of stupidity, timidity and internal bickering by self-centered, power hungry bureaucrats.  Is this what the Republican party wants as its legacy?

Like I said earlier, “Trump may not be who you like, but he may be what this country needs.”

Make American Great Again.  Amen.

PS.  This blog was written the afternoon before the shooting of eleven police officers in Dallas, five of them fatally.  My heartfelt condolences to the families of these policemen that were murdered by snipers in a coordinated attack during a protest.  Some of these officers were standing in support with the protesters.