Category Archives: Midterm Election Results

Jesse-Ventura

Accountability in the Ring

Just about the time Grandma P and I were planning to leave on vacation, (Grandpa T’s Rule Number 3 – Retiring is tiring!) someone else stepped up to trample all over the concept of common sense.  Egads and gadzooks!  Don’t these people realize that is the reason I write this blog?

James George Janos

One recent violator of the common sense belief is none other than James George Janos.  James has taken it upon himself to criticize the late Chris Kyle of American Sniper fame by saying, “You can’t have honor if you’re a liar.”  He has gone on to say that he will never watch the movie American Sniper, as he calls it war propaganda.  Apparently, James George Janos has never lied in his life, so that should make him the ‘paragon of truth.’

But wait.  You don’t know who James George Janos is?  I am shocked!  After all, he now goes by the name of Jessie (The Body) Ventura.  Now do you know about whom I’m speaking?

Yes, the man who successfully sued and won a libel case against the widow and estate of the late Chris Kyle, has said publicly that Chris Kyle is no hero.  That is quite an accusation coming from a man who has lived most of his life using an alias.  Isn’t an alias really a lie about who you really are?

Jessie has had quite a career.  He was a member of a Navy Seal Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) during the time of the Vietnam war, thus his association with Chris Kyle and the Seals.  After that, he did some acting.  Of course, he made most of his fame and fortune as a wrestler.  Now there is a profession worth discussing.  Professional wrestling,  a profession that rings with thoughts of honesty and integrity.  I’ve always wondered how there could be about a dozen ‘world titles’ at any one time.  I’ve always wondered how someone could take an elbow to the throat, get their head pile-driven into the mat, get hit over the head with a chair and still come back to win the match!  It all had to be real, right?

After his wrestling days were over, Jessie ran as an Independent and was elected Governor for the state of Minnesota in 1998.  He was elected primarily because the electorate was tired of the gridlock of the traditional two party system.  He was also elected because, during three pre-election debates, he outshined his two ‘party entrenched’ opponents by offering, and I can’t believe I am writing this, common sense solutions to problems presented at the debates.  His answers were much of what the average voter wanted to hear, as they were devoid of the normal political line.  He struck a clear chord for personal responsibility.

So, after a stunning upset in that election, James, oops, Jessie Ventura was now Governor of Minnesota.  And……….within weeks of being elected, with the voter exuberance and expectations at fever pitch, James, err, Jessie did what Jessie did best…….he once again became a ‘rassler’.  He, as Governor, refereed a WWF title match in Minneapolis for a reported $1 million!  He received much publicity as a result of his ‘photo ops’ with Vince McMahon and with two Amazon ‘rassler’ women.  He took a job as a color commentator for the now defunct Extreme Football League (XFL) while he was in office!    He told the press that his job as Governor was a Monday to Friday job, and what he did on the weekend was his business.  He did not run for re-election.  That was an excellent decision, considering his approval ratings were lower than the temperature in Minnesota on a January morning.

So now, James, the class act that he is, has said that the late Chris Kyle is no hero.  Let me be perfectly clear to all of the Chris Kyle critics.  Chris Kyle volunteered to become a Navy Seal.  He then became a sniper, and from all military accounts, he was a very, very good sniper.  He was trained and tasked to do a job….. a very necessary, oftentimes gruesome job.   What was that job?  He was to protect American soldiers and Marines from getting killed.  Let me put this in simple terms, so it is easier to comprehend.  Without Chris Kyle (or any other sniper), more letters from the Department of Defense would be notifying parents/spouses of the loss of their loved ones.  Argue the politics about being in Iraq all you want, but never, ever be so small-minded and petty as to criticize those who are willing to serve.  James, er, Jessie’s whole life has been fabricated, including his name; and yet, knowing no limits, he has the audacity to call the deceased Chris Kyle a liar.   That ‘rassler” sure has balls, if not brains.

Benghazi

There has been a House of Representatives special committee appointed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the Benghazi attack that resulted in the death of the US Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.  This committee is being chaired by  Representative Try Gowdy (R-SC).  Mr. Gowdy has promised to ‘ratchet up’ this investigation.  This 12-member panel was created last May.

Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the panel’s senior Democrat, complained that the committee’s investigation was moving at a ‘glacial’ pace and said that he and other Democrats, “have grave concerns about the partisan path this committee has taken over the past year.”

The Democrats are already crying foul and are accusing the committee of being involved with ‘partisan politics’.  In other words, it is apparently a partisan ‘witch hunt’ if any Democrat’s reputation is being besmirched.  How could this not be the case?  Common sense tells me that if the Secretary of State, the Attorney General and the President are all Democrats with a Congress that was Democratically controlled at the time of the incident (9/11/2012), then most likely any indication of malfeasance would fall on the shoulders of some Democrat.  No foolin’?

The committee has been moving at a snail’s pace because of the lack of cooperation from the State Department, under the leadership of Hilary Clinton at the time, and from other agencies.  One of those agencies is the CIA.   It appears that Mrs. Clinton has now agreed to appear before this committee.  No doubt this change in attitude has arisen because of her presidential aspirations.

Common sense tells me that the Democrats can create smoke screens, scream ‘partisan politics’, and stonewall the investigation until the cows come home.  However, most likely a Democrat will be at fault for this fiasco if malfeasance is determined because they were the party totally in power at the time.  Personally, I want to know if the rumor about the military launching a rescue operation, only to have it called back by a ‘high office’ is true.  So much for protecting the Americans (soldiers/marines/ambassador) on the ground!  Someone in power needed a dose of the ‘sniper mentality’ that Chris Kyle possessed in supporting his people on the ground.

Lois Lerner

I, like most Americans, would like a well-oiled, accountable, functioning federal government.  I would like to see both political parties make a bipartisan effort to work together to legislate what is best for both America and for Americans.

Having said that, I want a partisan, conservative, Grandpa T-endorsed ‘witch hunt’ to take place concerning Lois Lerner and her use of the IRS prior to the 2010 midterm elections.  This woman, as head of the IRS, used her office to stifle the political process by stonewalling the creation of conservative groups opposed to her and the government’s liberal agenda.  In particular, they targeted the Tea Party movement.

Let me be clear.  I have never attended a Tea Party seminar, meeting, beer party or any other event that they held.  (Though I have had tea once at Harrod’s in London, but I digress.)  I have never researched what they really represented.   What I take a very strong exception to, is that a governmental agency would deliberately impose its power to stifle the political process in our country.  Don’t these yahoos work for us?  Are they not being paid by our taxes?

The plot has thickened concerning this obvious abuse of power since it occurred.  Ms. Lerner resigned her position.  She has been called before investigative committees and, as a former government employee, pleaded the 5th amendment to very direct questioning.  Really?  Someone on the government payroll (and now retirement payroll!) is able to plead the 5th amendment about her duties while serving the people?

During these investigations, emails and other documentation were requested.  These requests were greeted with the response that all of this material has been ‘deleted’ and is therefore unavailable.  Well guess what?!  Through the miracle of modern technology and the help of a bunch of independent ‘computer nerds,’ these deleted documents have now become available!

And guess what those ‘unavailable’ documents indicate?  The recovered emails Lois Lerner attempted to delete – those concerning the allegations against the IRS and their supposed targeting of conservative groups – show that the Department of Justice was helping the IRS!  Great!  We have a frickin’ conspiracy between the IRS and the Election Crime Division of the Department of Justice!  There are over 800 pages of documents concerning Lerner’s visits with the DOJ just prior to the 2010 midterm elections, and the DOJ is refusing to provide those documents!   Some documents were recovered, which show that Lerner had discussed the possibility of prosecuting tax-exempt entities with the assistance of the DOJ.  Lerner provided the DOJ with a 1.1 million-page database of information from tax exempt organizations.

The plot thickens further.  There is an independent organization called Judicial Watch.  The president of Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton, said it is outrageous that the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section, which is supposed to be investigating such abuses of power and authority, was shown to be involved in the IRS scandal as well.  Holy crap!  Isn’t the DOJ under the auspices of the Attorney General?  That would be Eric Holder.

So here is my common sense inquiry.  Why are Lois Lerner and possibly Eric Holder walking the streets, collecting government salaries and retirements?  Holder wants to step down as soon as a replacement can be confirmed.  I can see why.  I see a deliberate abuse of power like no other during my lifetime.  Isn’t that treason?

Common sense tells me that some prison time might be appropriate, but then again, the Democrats would just scream ‘partisan politics’.

Yeah, with all this going on, Grandma P and I are determined to have a good time on vacation.  Rest assured, I will make a valiant effort at having fun.  First thing – shut off  the TV.

Decisiveness

The Fable of the Tortoise and the U.S.

I am amazed at how quickly some issues can be resolved, seemingly faster than the Starship Enterprise at warp 9.  Alternately, I am also amazed at how slowly some issues get resolved.  These issues move more slowly than a centipede in maple syrup.

As I am writing this, there is all kinds of terroristic turmoil taking place in Paris.  As you are likely aware, there was a very well planned attack executed on a French magazine.  Their crime?  They (the press) had the audacity to exercise free speech and to make cartoons that satirized the Islamic religion.  (This is very similar to the Danish cartoonist that is still under 24/7 security protection for cartoons he drew ten years ago!  This was discussed in a previous blog.)   Three shooters entered the magazine publishing offices and killed a dozen innocent people.  They obviously had training, as they were quick and precise in their attack.  The hub-bub on TV now was that two of the attackers had taken hostages in one location, while one of their sympathetic friends took hostages at another location:  a Jewish deli.  Two hostage situations at the same time within 24 hours after the initial attack on the magazine.  What a nightmare for French security forces!  Ultimately, the three gunmen were killed, but sadly, hostages at the Jewish deli were also killed.

The point is this, the French security apparatus moved quickly and decisively in handling these situations.  Although innocent lives were unfortunately lost during the assault, the rapid security efforts should be commended as both decisive and timely.

Need an example of a slow response situation for comparison?  Remember Benghazi?  Oh yes, we all suffer from short term memory on occasion.  On this occasion the American ambassador in Libya came under attack.  The compound that he was occupying was attacked by a group that was a little too organized to be a random crowd of displeased Libyans.  This was the initial report from Washington.  The attack took place because disaffected Muslims were upset about some movie.  Yeah, right.  Another DC cover-up.  Unfortunately, this was a very feeble attempt at a cover-up.  The real story is that this attack, which took place on September 11, was conducted by a militia that was originally organized to combat Gaddafi.  The Ambassador to Libya, another embassy employee and two former special forces personnel were killed during this attack.  The U.S. response to the attack?  There wasn’t a response.  No attempt was made by our government to save our citizens in Libya.  Rumor has it that the military had a reaction force and airstrike on the way, but were called back at the insistence of then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

A quick French security action versus a slow, non-action on the part of the United States.  Who would have thought that?

Need another example?  Recently, the computers were hacked at Sony.  This hacking allegedly took place because Sony was going to release a movie entitled The Interview.  The plot of this movie included the assassination of the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un.  Consequently, some group calling itself the Guardians of Peace hacked personal information of various actors and actresses and intercompany messages with the warning that the movie should not be released.  Supposedly, over 100 terabytes of information were stolen from Sony.  I have difficulty fathoming a terabyte, but it sounds like a boatload of information to the average person.

Anyway, when personal emails were released, that is when the proverbial defecation hit the ventilation.  Someone had the audacity to say that Angelina Jolie was a ‘spoiled brat’.   Other personal messages mocked the POTUS for being black, even though the ‘mockers’ were significant Democrat supporters.   But it was amusing to an outsider like me to see that no one was really concerned about the hacking of the Sony computers until the comments about Angela Jolie became public. 

We have an example of two quick responses to a situation.  The first decisive and quick action was by the hackers.  They also displayed no small measure of technical expertise.  The second quick response was by the actors and actresses that came to the defense of Sony, in general, and Angelina Jolie, specifically.  If there was a red ICBM fire command button located in Hollywood with the missiles aimed at North Korea, someone would have pushed it!  Some of the idiotic comments that came from Hollywood celebrities concerning this event were priceless.  The media took great efforts to suppress the stupidity.  It was indeed entertaining.

Another example of slow?  Do you recognize the names of Nadal Hassan and Dzhokhar Tamerlan?  I know you would instantly recognize them if I mentioned Fort Hood shooter and Boston bomber.  Yup.  These are them.  Nadal Hassan, an American citizen born in the US, killed 13 military personnel and wounded 30 others on November 5, 2009.  His court martial finally took place four years later, without much fanfare and little publicity.  As a matter of fact, I was unaware it had taken place.  He was found guilty on August 23, 2013, and sentenced to death on August 28, 2013.  It took almost four years to try this monster for killing thirteen people!

The jury is still out on Tamerlan, as it has not yet convened.  Tamerlan and his brother took the April 15, 2013, occasion of Patriot Day in Boston to set off a bomb filled with ball bearings inside a pressure cooker.  Three people were killed and 264 wounded.  Many of these wounded were injured seriously, as many of them lost one or two limbs.  So here we go again.  Two terroristic activities that should be cut and dried, but have taken forever and a day crawling their way through the judicial process.  Wouldn’t you think we would have passed laws after 9/11 that would have expedited the judicial process for terroristic acts?

Are we all tired of the gridlock in Washington, DC?  Time for a federal budget?  Time to address social welfare programs?  We were so tired of gridlock under the former congress that we voters gave the Republicans control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives in the last midterm election.   Last Tuesday, January 6, 2015,the new legislators were sworn into office.  Bill Maher, that great political pundit and part-time comedian, chided the new congress on Tuesday night for not having accomplished anything as of yet.  Now that would be fast!

But you do know who is speedier than a little bunny on steroids.  That would be our President, Barack Hussein Obama.  How fast is he?  He is so swift, that before one piece of legislation has been forwarded to him, he threatened on Wednesday, one day after the new congress was sworn in, to veto any legislation being proposed by the Republicans.  Now that is quick!  (Not to mention incredibly stupid!)  What are the principle issues causing the ‘veto’ threat?  The first is the proposal to proceed with the XL pipeline project.  As one senator pointed out, the XL pipeline proposal has been on the table longer than it took the United States to win World War II!  The second item of contention is the Affordable Care Act, aka, Obamacare.  It appears the Republicans want to repeal the law.  It only took a majority to pass the act, but it will take 2/3 to repeal it.  Even if the numbers are there, Obama has threatened a veto.  After all, his name has now been associated with the act.  There are other issues that will be proposed by the new congress, but rest assured, the POTUS will put jet fuel in the inkwell of his ‘veto pen’.

But wait – there’s more!  President Obama has not only placed the threat of vetoes on a fast track, he has also been on the fast track in issuing executive orders  since the midterm election.  Realizing that congress would be controlled by the Republicans, he loaded up his executive order pen with rocket fuel!  Do you know how many executive orders the POTUS has issued between the midterm elections and the three months before the new congress convenes?  Two?  Three?  No, our over-achieving, fast-moving POTUS managed to squeeze in six executive orders before the new congress convened.  Does illegal immigration and amnesty ring a bell?  Now that’s prompt – and efficient!

So, I have come to the conclusion that speed can be attained when necessary, and slow can be attained when convenient.  In the meantime, if you were hoping for the government to achieve results with compromise and eliminating gridlock, you may once again experience an example of stagnant, feet-dragging inefficiency.

GOP

Midterm Election Results – Who are the Real Winners and Losers?

I, Grandpa T, am taking full credit for the Republican victories in the November 4th midterm elections!

OK, I did not have anything to do with it.  But if Al Gore can claim inventing the internet, Barrack Obama can claim you could keep your old health insurance policies and George H.W. Bush can claim “no new taxes,”  I should be able to get at least a little credit for this election.

There are no shortage of articles being published or ‘talking heads’ on TV giving their assessments of what went right and what went wrong for both parties.

This article is about an outsider’s opinion as to who are the winners and losers.

Winner – Republicans

If you are going by sheer numbers alone, the Republicans had a great election.  There were 51 new Republican candidate winners and 17 new Democratic candidate winners.  This would be considered a rout if it were a football score:  51-17.

I view this impressive victory as being similar to an oreo cookie.  The top layer represents the existing 113th Congress.  This Congress, the Congress with the lowest approval rating since ratings were initiated in 1974, still has until January 3, 2015 to reign mayhem upon the public.   There are already rumors about ‘ramrodding’ some Democratic nominations while the opportunity still presents itself.  The POTUS, with the prospect of a Republican-controlled Congress after the first of the year, has publicly stated he will initiate immigration reform using the Executive Action excuse.  No doubt this will be done to make that new Congress look mean and evil for not wanting to grant amnesty to about two million illegal aliens.   As of this writing, the Washington ‘three ring circus’ will still be functioning for about another eight weeks.

The middle layer of the oreo cookie is the impressive number of Republican victories.  The Republicans gained thirteen seats in the House of Representatives and won enough senatorial seats to take control of the Senate.  The greatest achievement from gaining control of the senate?  Getting rid of Harry Reid as the House Majority leader!  Harry Reid – the person who has single handedly stonewalled democracy by using his status as the ‘gatekeeper to hell.’  Nothing was presented to our US Senate for either debate or vote, unless Harry allowed it.  (A reported 382 bills, passed by the House of Representatives, are allegedly sitting on his desk!  He will not bring them to the Senate floor for consideration!)  He said in 2008 that while he was Senate Majority leader, no US budget would be discussed, approved, or voted on.  He is a man of his word.  Not one budget has been approved for the largest economy in the world for all of Obama’s term of presidency because of Harry.  I was hoping he would lose his position as senate minority leader.  But Harry, ever diligent, always thirsting power, has decided he wants to continue as Senate Minority Leader, no doubt hoping for a comeback in 2016.  If you want a person to point a finger at for the fact that the 113th Congress has been ineffective, Harry would be a damn good target.

The bottom layer of my oreo cookie is that we are now an ‘instantaneous’ society.  Everything has to be quick (ie texting, email, microwave ovens, Instagram) and the results have to be quick.  By the way, Grandpa T has no idea what Instagram is, but the very name implies instant!  We have become a society that does not allow any grass to grow under our feet.  We won’t wait that long.  So, we will now expect the new Congress, that Congress we just voted into Washington, to provide us with instantaneous results in exchange for our votes.  There is only one major flaw with these expectations for the new 114th Congress.  They all get sworn in, find their offices, get their pens and pencils in the right slots in the right drawers, hire their staffs, find housing, get their kids in school, meet their peers, and then get to work.  How long do you think it takes to get acclimated as a newbie in Washington, D.C.?  Lets say, for the purposes of argument, that it will take six months to become fully acclimated.  Reasonable?  So now that they are all bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to legislate everything that is good and honorable for the good of the old United States of America, what happens next?  WE BEGIN ANOTHER ELECTION CYCLE!  Unlike Great Britain, which allows only 6 weeks for election campaigning (how heavenly would that be?!), our 2016 election year will begin early – especially since it is a presidential election year.  This campaigning will be long, expensive and distracting.  My point to all of this?  How much can we really expect these people to accomplish in the midst of the upcoming election campaigns?  The onus will be on the Republicans to perform regardless.  Thus the bottom layer of the oreo cookie.

Loser – Democrats

We are all familiar with the numbers and the results.  What we don’t take into consideration is that a promising younger generation of democrats got defeated and may never run for office again.  The downside to all of this?  We are stuck with the old democrats:  Hilary Clinton, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi…..the list can go on and on.  I can remember when the accusations were that the Republicans were a bunch of fat-cat, cigar smoking, greedy rich guys.  Now that mantra is more befitting for the reigning democrats than for the republicans.

Winner – United States of America

Here are some of the demographics concerning the 68 new members of Congress.  Twelve have had prior military experience, nine Republicans and three Democrats.  (This is a far cry from the 70s when 80% of all Congressmen had prior military service!)  Thirteen of the newly elected Congress members are women, representing 20% of those elected.  Four of the newly elected are black women, three of whom are Democrats and one is a Republican.  Forty-one percent of all those new Congressmen are under the age of 50.

But here is what impresses me.  I am totally impressed by the character and demeanor of some of these incoming Congressmen.  I have heard the following three winners speak on TV, without teleprompter, and I have to say I am very enthusiastic about each of them.

The first person is Joni Ernst who was elected as the first female federal representative from Iowa.  What a woman!  She is a combat veteran having served 14 months in Kuwait.  She is currently a LTC in the Iowa National Guard.  What people do not know, as the media did not cover this, is that LTC Ernst was in uniform two days after winning the election, as she had to make up drill days lost during the campaign.  She believes in and supports a balanced budget amendment, free-market health care, gun rights, partial privatization of Social Security accounts and protection of accounts for seniors.  She opposes both cap and trade and a federal minimum wage.  It’s almost like she reads my blog!  She is educated, personable and very articulate.  If she sold stock in herself, I would be an investor!  I predict she will be a political ‘bright star’ in the future.

Another person that I have been extremely impressed by is Mia Love, the representative elect from Utah’s 4th congressional district.  She is a black woman of Haitian descent.  Interestingly, she was raised a Catholic but converted to the Mormon religion.  Her political beliefs are for fiscal discipline, limited government, personal responsibility, domestic energy exploration, gun rights, and is pro-life.  My infatuation with Ms. Love began when some ignorant reporter asked her if she got elected because ‘she was black.’  Her response?   “I did not get elected because I was black.  I got elected because I represent the values of the people of the State of Utah.”  Kapow!  Another ignorant reporter that got cut off at the knees.  Ms. Love is also educated and articulate.  I predict a ‘bright star’ in her future as well.

Tim Scott won his first term as the Republican senator for the State of South Carolina after being appointed in 2013 by the Governor to fill the vacated seat of Jim DeMint.  Did I mention that Tim Scott is a black man?  Mr. Scott previously served as US Representative for the first congressional district.  This made him the first black representative from South Carolina since 1897!  Senator Scott supports a balanced budget amendment, repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act, and an immigration policy similar to that of the State of Arizona.  He, like the two others that impressed me, is both educated and articulate.  If you hear him speak, you can’t help but be dazzled.

I believe that both Love and Scott are going to be political nightmares for the Democratic party.  Why?  Because they, as well as some of the other newly elected black Congressmen, present a far better, more promising role model for black society than the old gang of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Maxine Waters.  With the Democrats continually using ‘class warfare,’ ‘rich versus poor’,  and other discriminating rhetoric to pander their ‘us versus them’ mantra, the last thing the Democrats want to see is successful, articulate, conservative minorities!

I am optimistic, that with the elections of Love and Scott, America may have grown up and decided that they will not vote for someone just because of the color of their skin.

Martin Luther King said it best: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Senator Scott and Ms. Love have both aced the character test.  America Wins!