Tag Archives: Obama

Obama-Legacy2

How Far Will You Go to Protect a Legacy? (Even a Bad One?)

In eleven days, Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, thus ending the eight year tenure of Barack Hussein Obama.  It has become apparent that all thoughts and efforts, as of the November election, have turned to preserving the legacy of the outgoing 44th President.  Secondarily, it has become apparent that the Democratic party is also trying to preserve some kind of legacy.

What exactly is Barack Obama’s legacy going to be?

Obama Care?  (The Affordable Care Act that was not so affordable?)

Quadrupling the national debt to a staggering $20 trillion, plus or minus a few hundred billion?

Overseeing the military response to Benghazi?

The picture of American sailors on their knees after being captured by the Iranian navy?

The picture of him kissing the ring of the King of Saudi Arabia?

“If I had a son, he would be just like Trayvon Martin.”

Placing the most people in US history on welfare and food stamps?

Overseeing 19 million people leaving the US work force?

Help me out here!  I am trying to come up with something positive for POTUS 44 to hang his hat on, and I am coming up short.  He will be the first black President, but that is obvious and now I may be branded a racist for pointing out the obvious.  He may very well be the first Muslim President.  This has never been confirmed by the liberal-biased main stream media.  Of course, any media outlet that would have the cajoles to speculate about his religious preference would immediately be branded as ‘Islamophobic.’   Ah, but there is something that can be attributed to POTUS 44.  Political correctness!  We have now been inundated with people being black, gay, lesbian, illegal alien, transgender and a host of other things as not only being equal to the citizenry of the United States, but being special!  If you do not buy into that program, you are automatically branded as a racist, xenophobe, Islamophobic or any other of a myriad of phobias with negative connotations.  So, I, Grandpa T, hereby declare POTUS 44 as the President of Political Correctness.  Ta  da!  I knew I could come up with something positive.

But, with all the baloney aside, have you noticed the efforts on the part of Obama and the Democratic Party to save Obamacare?  Let me provide a little history for edification.  In 2009, immediately after being inaugurated, and with control of both the House of Representative and the Senate, the Affordable Care Act was rammed down the throats of the country.  It was not so much of an issue of being passed, but how it was passed.  It was passed without anyone knowing what was in it as it was almost 2000 pages long.  It was passed without any input by the Republican party, regardless if they had ideas that would have improved the bill or not.  It was passed by the Democratic Party without anyone  reading the bill.  Do you remember those infamous words of March 9, 2010 by the vaunted Nancy Pelosi?  “We will have to pass this bill to find out what is in it.”  Say what?  This is how government works?  Even at the time, I was shocked that so stupid a statement by Nancy Pelosi and so stupid an action by our Democratic controlled government took place.  Instead of ‘shoot first, and ask questions later,’ our Federal legislature decided to ‘enact first and work out details later.’  At the time of enactment, the Democratic Party basked in the glory of having taken total credit for the Affordable Care Act without interference or input from the opposing party.

Now comes the election of 2016 and with it comes the the victor, the future Non-Political Correctness POTUS 45, Donald J. Trump.  Donald, being a successful businessman by all measures, knows the Affordable Care Act is too costly for the users and it is just not working.  The promises made, such as lowering health care costs and being able to keep you present physician, turned out to be false.

So now we get to the legacy of what the current Democratic Party will have for now and in the future. That legacy will include being whiners, criers, divisive, counter-productive, poor losers and not being able to grasp reality.

Beginning with the Affordable Care Act, the Democrats are saying (even before Trump is inaugurated) that the Republicans do not have a plan. In reality, there are about 15 different plans floating around, and hopefully, there will be constructive discussion about what is the best and most affordable plan for America, utilizing the best from each plan including some parts of the original Affordable Care Act.  Of course, the Democrats do not want to replace the Affordable Care Act because they dubbed it Obamacare.  And, by totally repealing it as the Republicans have promised, would tarnish the largest part of the outgoing POTUS’s legacy.  I do not see the Republican controlled legislature replacing Obamacare without discussion and input from both sides….something the Democrats did not do in 2009.  But I would also like to point out that if the Democrats would have taken the time and effort to improve, read, and cooperate concerning the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, it would not have to be repealed today.  You screwed up…all to buy votes.

As poor losers, the Democratic party is going all out to purvey that Donald Trump’s presidency as not being legitimate.  They cannot believe, or get over the fact that their candidate is not being crowned ‘Queen Hillary the First’ in eleven days.  Never mind that she never campaigned in the formerly blue states because of over-confidence in winning them.  Never mind that her opponent made three times more speeches and campaign stops than she did.  Never mind that her campaign palaver was based on poor versus rich, common people versus large, evil corporations or that the common American could not survive without the interference and support of a bloated federal government.

But Hillary, here is where you lost the election.  95% of my and Grandma P’s friends and acquaintances are either college graduates or military veterans, or both.  90% of them supported Donald Trump.  And you, Hillary, from the view of your ivory tower, determined that you were omnipotent and were justified in calling us and our friends, deplorable and irredeemable, because we supported Trump. All of this from a woman whose husband was a draft dodger.  All of this from a woman that allowed four Americans to be murdered in Benghazi.  Who is deplorable now?

The Trump presidency will be considered illegitimate because Hillary won the popular vote.  Hillary did win the popular vote. (Thank God for the electoral college!)  But if you subtract the votes from one state, California, Trump wins 49 states and Hillary will be the ‘Queen of California!’  We need to take a closer look at California.  California has a Hispanic population of 14,990,000.  It has a Caucasian population of 14,920,000, 5,736,098 Asians, 2,552,858 blacks, and 648,172 American Indians.  This gives California a total population of 39,487,345.  But here is where it gets interesting.  34% of the United States population receiving welfare, live in California even though California accounts for only 12% of the total US population!  To simplify, there are 23,113,200 welfare recipients living in California…over half its population!  So, if you subtract the votes received from both candidates that were cast in California, Trump wins!  Now I am going to speculate and put myself out on the ‘xenophobic’ limb; how many illegal aliens do you suppose voted in California?  If the United States required voter ID’s to vote, such as the picture ID’s with thumb print and hologram as required in Mexico to vote, how do you think the vote total would change?  Hmmm. (California needs to re-think the idea of ‘sanctuary cities.’  Without federal aid, it would be bankrupt in seconds!)

I forgot.  The Russians are responsible for skewing the election to Donald Trump.  Even though the US intelligence community has said numerous times that the Russkies did not directly affect the vote total, that is not what the Democrats want to purvey.  Never mind that John Podesta’s email account password was, well, ‘password’.  Those darn Russkies released all kinds of unsavory things that skewered the election.  Unsavory Clinton foundation illegal foreign contributions?  Paid demonstrators to disrupt Trump rallies?  What were those Russkies thinking?

Did you know that there are efforts in five states to keep Trump off the ballot in 2020?  Yup. Maryland, California (no surprise there!), Maine, Massachusetts and New York are all trying to take his name off the ballot if he does not release his tax statements.  I never knew one’s tax statements were a condition of running for office.  Talk about sore losers!

Of course, in true whiner, crier, divisive and counter-production form, the Democrats are already toting that they will fight against any supreme court justice nominee, and play devil’s advocate and fight most cabinet nominee appointments.  None of this was done by the Republican party in 2009 after Obama was inaugurated, but the Democrats, with their addled thinking, are justifying why they will do it now.

So what has the Democratic party become?  Do you remember any riots, protests, movie star bad-mouthing, politicians swearing non-cooperation when the incoming Obama was elected in 2008?  No?  That’s because there weren’t any!  Bad behavior, lack of respect, the use by celebrities to use their station in life to exacerbate lack of respect, the promise of non-cooperation by politicians now in the political minority are only traits of today’s Democratic party.  That is what the ‘ivory tower’ attitude, justified in their own minds, Democratic party has become.  With all of the Democratic machinations that have taken place since the election, Hillary really needs to reevaluate who the ‘deplorable and irredeemable’ really are.  It’s you.  And this will be the Barack Obama and Democratic party legacy.

Clinton-North-Korean-Deal

A Dictator By Any Other Name Wouldn’t Rule As Sweet

There is nothing more depressing than waking up on a Tuesday morning and learning that your favorite football team got hammered during a late Monday Night Football game.  Adding to the grief, you also learn that Kim Il-Sung has stated he was going to wipe out the United States with nuclear weaponry.  Don’t those North Koreans watch football?  Don’t they know it is depressing enough to have your team lose?  And now they want to wreck my day by threatening to incinerate us with his nuclear weapons.  Couldn’t they at least wait until tomorrow to hit our country with these threats?  Just how barbaric could these North Korean dictators be?

Well, the short answer is they can be pretty darn barbaric.  Everyone has heard the saying, ‘The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.’   And also the one:  ‘Like father, like son.”  In the case of North Korean dictators, that last saying can be modified to read, “Like father, like Sung, like grand-Sung.”  In other words, North Korea has had three generations of dictators since World War II.

The granddaddy of the current idiot was Kim Il-Sung.  He gained his fame by fighting the occupying Japanese during World War II.  After the war, through political intrigue and assassination, he gained dictatorial powers in North Korea.  One thing can be said about Kim Il Sung:  there wasn’t a publicity agent in Hollywood, New York and D.C. that could have polished and fabricated his image the way he had it done.  Later in his life, his publicity agent was his son and successor, Kim Jong-Il.  So, granddaddy Kim Il-Sung pretty much established his authority in 1948, and ruled with an iron fist until his death on July 8, 1994.

Granddaddy Sung’s other claim to fame is that he, deciding that Communism was the best choice of government, invaded the democratic South Korea.  That little action caused the Korean War, or, in the words of the North Korean dictator, the ‘Fatherland Liberation War.’  The word ‘liberation’ sounds very much like the word ‘liberty.’  Rest assured, Granddaddy Sung was not going to grant liberty to anyone if he had conquered South Korea.  That war ran from June of 1950 to July of 1953.  The United States suffered the loss of nearly 34,000 military personnel in that war.  (As an aside, there was never a formal peace treaty between the US and North Korea.  Technically, we are still at war with North Korea!) Clearly!  Hence, the speak of nuclear aspirations!

So upon the death of Kim Il-Sung, his demented son, Kim Jong-Il came into power.  Much like his father and grandson, he assassinated anyone that stood in his way of gaining power or disagreed with his policies.  He lived the lifestyle like that of a French king in Versailles, all while his people were starving.  He ran his country into the ground.  But alas, he did do one thing that creates his notoriety….he developed nuclear weaponry.

In December, 1985, North Korea became a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).  On April 10, 1992, its NPT safeguards agreement entered into force.  In May, 1992, North Korea submitted its initial report to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and inspections began.  Not surprisingly, these inspections revealed discrepancies in what North Korea was reporting and what the inspectors were finding.  In April, 1993, the IAEA concluded that North Korea was in non-compliance with its Safeguards Agreement and referred this finding to the UN Security Council.  North Korea then announced its withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation treaty.

As can be imagined, this caused an international stir.  Though Kim Jong-Il may be demented, he was not stupid.  So in November of 1993, North Korea proposed to the United States that the two governments negotiate a ‘package solution’ to all of the issues dividing them.

Now we need to back off a step or two and access the political climate in each of the two countries.  Kim Jong-Il is the dictator of a starving country.  They can’t grow enough corn or rice to feed their people, but they have money to make nuclear weaponry.  Bill Clinton is on the hot seat concerning a certain White House intern.  In November of 1993, he is gearing up for reelection.  This would be a major feather in William Jefferson Clinton’s hat.  It would also be a strategic distractor from all those pesky women that keep coming out of the woodwork claiming that Bill was accosting them.  So the negotiations begin.

North Korea would allow one non-comprehensive inspection by the IAEA.  The US would suspend war games with the South Koreans.  There were many other provisions, but the end result was a pact that was neither a treaty subject to Senate approval, nor a legally binding executive agreement, but a non-binding political commitment between the two countries, as noted by the UN Security Council.  There you have it…a non-binding pact!  Most of you will remember the pomp and ceremony when Madeline Albright was at a banquet with Kim Jong-Il.  You also remember the notoriety the media gave to Bill Clinton for gaining such an international political coup!

What were the final results of this pact?  Well, Clinton gets reelected amid international accolades.  The conniving Kim Jong-Il?  He got millions of gallons of fuel oil, two light water reactors, and tons of food stuffs provided by the United States to feed his starving population!  How did Kim Jong-Il explain all the American boxes of food to his populace?  Simple.  He told his people that the United States was providing the food as war reparation for having invaded North Korea!   And it is now quite evident that the North Koreans have certainly never stopped the production of nuclear weapon materials!  Kim Jong-Il ruled North Korea until his death on December 17, 2011.

Now we have the grandson, Kim Jong-un.  There were some hopes for change, as he was educated in the west, but those hopes are unfounded.  Like his father and grandfather, he has ordered that those getting in his way or disagreeing with him be assassinated.  He had his own uncle put to death!    So here is what I woke up to this morning in addition to my football defeat:  North Korea said on Tuesday its main nuclear complex was operating, and it was working to improve the ‘quality and quantity’ of its weapons which it could use against the United States at ‘any time.’

Here we go again!   The three dictators?  Well, they all were heavy handed.  They all had unbelievable publicists to polish their images within North Korea.  They all resorted to torture and assasination without impunity.  They all loved and craved attention on the international stage and would do anything to get it.  Is this what Kim Jong-un wants?  International attention at any cost much like his father and grandfather?  No one knows for certain what this idiot will do to garner that attention.

So why have I given this history lesson about the three North Korean dictators?  Well, it is apparent that history is going to repeat itself.  Another democratic American president and another third world crap hole that is threatening world peace by using its nuclear capability.  That country would be Iran.

You are familiar with Iran.  It is the country that sponsors, either directly or indirectly, ISIS, ISIL, al Qaida and any other Muslim extremist terrorist group with an acronym.  And yet, our Secretary of State and POTUS are falling all over themselves attempting to come up with some sort of agreement to assure world peace.

My question is this, “Is it possible to enter into a mutually respected agreement with Iran that will prove to be beneficial to our country?”

I don’t believe it is possible for a variety of reasons.  Firstly, they are the sponsors of most of the terrorism going on in the world.  Whether we want to face it or not, they have declared war on our country in particular and Christianity in general.  The one thing that all these terroristic extremist groups have done is create thousands of refugees.  These refugees are spreading to Europe and the United States and creating a financial burden for many of these hosting countries.  For these extremists, its a twofer!  They are obeying Sharia law by spreading Islam, even to places that really don’t want it, and they are creating an excessive financial burden on the hosting Christian countries.  Make no mistake about it, unlike our immigrants in the early 20th century, these immigrants have no intention of assimilating into the culture of the hosting country.  Why aren’t those refugees running to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or some other stable Arab country?

On September 10, 2014, I published a blog titled, “What Flavor of Islam Do You Like?”  In that blog, it listed some of the principle tenets of Sharia Law, the law that rules the second largest religion in the world.  Here is one of those tenets:  ‘Muslims should engage in Taglyya and lie to non-Muslims to advance Islam.’  Iran is ruled by a caste of religious fanatics.  You can bet they follow Sharia law to the letter.  Can we trust what they say or do, knowing that lying to non-Muslims is not only encouraged but also prescribed?

Our country, the United Nations and the European community have all had serious trade and commerce sanctions placed on Iran.  Some of this involved freezing their bank assets.  These assets are estimated to be about $100 billion.  What do you think Iran will do once it gets its hands on that money?  The liberals are saying they will spend about half on infrastructure and half paying back debts to the Chinese.  I am a lot more skeptical.  I don’t see Iran building roads, bridges, schools or libraries anytime soon.  I can see a large chunk of that money finding its way to sponsor more terrorism.

Do you think that a nuclear deal with Iran will work?  Did we not learn anything from North Korea?

Electorate

Why Hillary Will Win in 2016

I have published 52 posts.  One of those posts was written by Dr. Walter Williams.  Every once in a while, someone authors an article that is excellent.  Here is another one of those articles.  It is written by a rabbi; Rabbi Steven Pruzanshky.  Rabbi Pruzanshky is the spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, New Jersey.  He writes his own blog.  He does possess some notoriety.  As I googled Rabbi Steven…. his name came up without adding his last name.  Gee….if that would only happen with Grandpa T!

But I digress.  It has always amazed me that the majority of people of the Jewish faith vote for Democratic candidates.  This puzzles me in that Israel could not have had better allies than our former Presidents Nixon, Reagan, Bush and Bush.  The jury is out on our current POTUS and his support for Israel.

Anyway, I am not of the Jewish faith, but this article crosses all religious boundaries and is applicable to all faiths and all Americans.  Here it is:

“The most charitable way of explaining the election results of 2012 is that Americans voted for the status quo – for the incumbent President and for a divided Congress.  They must enjoy gridlock, partisanship, incompetence, economic stagnation and avoidance of responsibility.  And fewer people voted.

But as we awake from the nightmare, it is important to eschew the facile explanations for the Romney defeat that will prevail among the chattering classes.  Romney did not lose because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy that devastated this area, nor did he lose because he ran a poor campaign, nor did he lose because the Republicans could have chosen better candidates, nor did he lose because Obama benefited from a slight uptick in the economy due to the business cycle.

Romney lost because he didn’t get enough votes to win.

That might seem obvious, but not for the obvious reasons.  Romney lost because the conservative virtues – the traditional American virtues – of liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and aspirations to moral greatness – no longer inspire or animate a majority of the electorate.

The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible to compete against free stuff.

Every businessman knows this; that is why the “loss leader’ or the giveaway is such a powerful marketing tool.  Obama’s America is one in which free stuff is given away: the adults among the 47,000,000 on food stamps clearly recognized for whom they should vote, and so they did, by the tens of millions; those who – courtesy of Obama – receive two full years of unemployment benefits (which, of course, both disincentives looking for work and also motivates people to work off the books while collecting their windfall) surely know for whom to vote.  The lure of free stuff is irresistible.

The defining moment of the whole campaign was the revelation of the secretly-recorded video in which Romney acknowledged the difficulty of winning an election in which “47% of the people” start off against him because they pay no taxes and just receive money – “free stuff” – from the government.

Almost half of the population has no skin in the game – they don’t care about high taxes, promoting business, or creating jobs, nor do they care that the money for their free stuff is being borrowed from their children and from the Chinese.

They just want the free stuff that comes their way at someone else’s expense.  In the end, that  47% leaves very little margin for error for any Republican, and does not bode well for the future.

It is impossible to imagine a conservative candidate winning against such overwhelming odds.  People do vote their pocketbooks.  In essence, the people vote for a Congress who will not raise their taxes, and for a President who will give them free stuff, never mind who has to pay for it.

That engenders the second reason why Romney lost: the inescapable conclusion that the electorate is ignorant and uniformed.  Indeed, it does not pay to be an informed voter, because most other voters – the clear majority – are unintelligent and easily swayed by emotion and raw populism.  That is the indelicate way of saying that too many people vote with their hearts and not their heads.  That is why Obama did not have to produce a second term agenda, or even defend his first-term record.  He needed only to portray Mitt Romney as a rapacious capitalist who throws elderly women over a cliff, when he is not just snatching away their cancer medication, while starving the poor and cutting taxes for the rich.

During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai Stevenson: “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!”  Stevenson called back: “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!”  Truer words were never spoken.

Obama could get away with saying that “Romney wants the rich to play by a different set of rules” – without ever defining what those different rules were; with saying that the “rich should pay their fair share” – without ever defining what a  “fair share” is; with saying that Romney wants the poor, elderly and sick to  ‘fend for themselves” – without even acknowledging that all these government programs are going bankrupt, their current insolvency only papered over by deficit spending.

Similarly, Obama (or his surrogates) could hint to blacks that a Romney victory would lead them back into chains and proclaim to women that their abortions and birth control would be taken away.  He could appeal to Hispanics that Romney would have them all arrested and shipped to Mexico and unabashedly state that he will not enforce the current immigration laws.  He could espouse the furtherance of the incestuous relationship between governments and unions – in which politicians ply the unions with public money, in exchange for which the unions provide the politicians with votes, in exchange for which the politicians provide more money and the unions provide more votes, etc., even though the money is gone.

Obama also knows that the electorate has changed – that whites will soon be a minority in America (they’re already a minority in California) and that the new immigrants to the US are primarily from the Third World and do not share the traditional American values that attracted immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries.  It is a different world, and a different America.  Obama is part of that different America, knows it, and knows how to tap into it.  That is why he won.

Obama also proved again that negative advertising works, invective sells, and harsh personal attacks succeed.  That Romney never engaged in such diatribes points to his essential goodness as a person; his “negative ads” were simple facts, never personal abuse – facts about high unemployment, lower take-home pay, a loss of American power and prestige abroad, a lack of leadership, etc.  As a politician, though, Romney failed because he did not embrace the devil’s bargain of making unsustainable promises.

It turned out that it was not possible for Romney and Ryan – people of substance, depth and ideas – to compete with the shallow populism and platitudes of their opponents.  Obama mastered the politics of envy – of class warfare – never reaching out to Americans as such but to individual groups, and cobbling together a winning majority from these minority groups.  If an Obama could not be defeated – with his record and his vision of America, in which free stuff seduces voters – it is hard to envision any change in the future. The road to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and to a European-socialist economy – those very economies that are collapsing today in Europe – is paved.

For Jews, mostly assimilated anyway and staunch Democrats, the results demonstrate again that liberalism is their Torah.  Almost 70% voted for a president widely perceived by Israelis and most committed Jews as hostile to Israel.  They voted to secure Obama’s future at America’s expense and at Israel’s expense – in effect, preferring Obama to Netanyahu by a wide margin.

A dangerous time is ahead.  Under present circumstances, it is inconceivable that the US will take any aggressive action against Iran and will more likely thwart any Israeli initiative.  The US will preach the importance of negotiations up until the production of the first Iranian nuclear weapon – and then state that the world must learn to live with this new reality.

But this election should be a wake-up call to Jews.  There is no permanent empire, nor is there an enduring haven for Jews anywhere in the exile.  The American empire began to decline in 2007, and the deterioration has been exacerbated in the last five years.  This election only hastens that decline.

Society is permeated with sloth, greed, envy and materialistic excess.  It has lost its moorings and its moral foundations.  The takers outnumber the givers, and that will only increase in years to come.  The “Occupy” riots across this country in the last two years were mere dress rehearsals for what lies ahead – years of unrest sparked by the increasing discontent of the unsuccessful who want to seize the fruits and the bounty of the successful, and do not appreciate the slow pace of redistribution.

If this election proves one thing, it is that the Old America is gone.  And, sad for the world, it is not coming back.”

The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.

There you have it!  Would it surprise you that the good Rabbi Steven Pruzansky has been described as a radical?  Personally, I think the good rabbi has hit the nail on the head….about many things affecting this country.  He refers to the current happenings as being a ‘wake-up” call to Jews, I think it should be a wake-up call to America.  Thankfully, we still have educated and informed people such as the rabbi that will state the truth.

Hillary-Clinton

Some Baggage Is Just Too Heavy

Grandma P and I have recently returned from an extended cruise around South America.  Truly a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip.  It was marvelous, and I would recommend that cruise as a ‘bucket list’ event.

Getting ‘geared up’ to write this blog after this hiatus has been very difficult.  As I have said many times, “Retiring is tiring!”  Consequently, I have needed additional time to reignite my creative juices.  There were plenty of events taking place during the cruise that were worthy of a blog, so material was certainly not the issue.

It is always fascinating to meet so many interesting people on a cruise, especially a long cruise.  Not only are there the Americans, but the ship had many Canuckians, Brits and Aussies.  Having an opportunity to hear their opinions about the United States really did pique my interest about their perception of our country.  Answering their questions about the United States, especially about our politics,  kept me on my toes!   I digress, but I will discuss this further in a later blog.

The one thing that has been constant in all our travels is Grandma P’s ability to limit the amount of baggage that we take on vacation.  All of our luggage for the 49-day cruise consisted of two large bags that had to be checked, and two carry-on bags.  All of this fitted nicely in the back of a rented Ford Escape on the way to the departure port, and in the hold of United Airlines after leaving the ship.  But just like the television infomercials, “But wait!  There’s more!”  Grandma P is so adept at packing, that we made it home in good order with all the trinkets and souvenirs that we purchased in our concerted effort to stimulate the economy of South America!  Yes, she did an amazing job of limiting our baggage.

There is one person that I am familiar with that has way, way more baggage than Grandma P, and that would be Hillary R. Clinton.  You know Hillary.  She has announced her candidacy for President of the United States for 2016.

Here is just some of the baggage with which Hillary has to contend.

The Clinton Foundation

According to one source, “The Clinton Foundation’s finances are so messy that the nation’s most influential charity watchdog put it on its ‘watch list’ of problematic nonprofits last month.  The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.”

Wow!  Double wow!!  $140 million?  According to their 2013 tax forms the charity spent $30 million on payroll and employee benefits; $8.7 million in rent and office expenses; $9.2 million on conferences, conventions, and meetings; $8 million on fundraising, and nearly $8.5 million on travel.  They must travel first class on the space shuttle!  Now here is the amazing fact.  None of the Clintons are on the payroll.  This includes Hillary, Bill, Chelsea and whoever………..  But, they all enjoy first class flights paid for by the foundation.

Some of the tens of millions of administrative costs finance more than 2,000 employees, including aid workers and health professionals around the world.    But that is still far below the 75 percent rate of spending that nonprofit experts say a good charity should spend on its mission.  Charity Navigator, an organization that rates charities, refuses to rate the Clinton Foundation, as it does not meet their criteria.   Hmmmmm.  There are allegations that the Foundation has a ‘Clinton Family Slush Fund’ at its core.  (Are we surprised?)

Another large ‘red flag’ concerning this foundation is, “Who are its contributors?”  It appears that political favors granted when Hillary was Secretary of State have manifested as donations to this foundation.  While in that position, Hillary signed off on a deal that allowed a Russian government enterprise to control one-fifth of all uranium-producing capacity in the United States.  Rosatom, the Russian company, acquired a Canadian firm controlled by Frank Giustra, a friend of Bill Clinton’s and member of the foundation board.  Giustra has pledged over $130 million to the Clinton family charity.  Ronald Reagan has got to be turning over in his grave!  Russians?  Our uranium?

Recently, there have been other inquiries about other foreign contributions during the time of Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State.

That foundation alone provides enough proverbial baggage to fill the overhead compartments of a few large passenger planes.

Deleted Emails

I could not possibly say anything about the deleted emails as well as what was said by the National Post, a leading Canadian news source.   In that regard, I am going to share with you three paragraphs of their lengthy report on Hillary Clinton.

“Hillary, during her tenure as Dowager Empress at State, decided, all on her imperious own, that normal practice for record keeping, as required by law and precedent, did not apply to her.  (How could it?  She’s Hillary.) For her entire tenure – so she tells the world – she stayed off the State department’s own encrypted and secure system, and instead set up her own computer, on her own server, in her own house.

On that private and secret system, she conducted both personal and State Department business.  Then about two years after stepping down, under force of exterior revelation, she held a press conference to announce she had her staff review them all, extract what she said were official emails, and sent those self-selected emails back to State.  The rest, 30,000 according to her, were personal, and they  – along with the server! – were then destroyed.  There is now a memory hole in the history of U.S. foreign affairs.  The record of the second-most powerful office in the world, where it is not a perfect void, is questionable, selective and, inarguably, imperfect.

These emails are not text messages from a high school dance organizer.  The Secretary of State is not a teenager.  The record of diplomacy, the electronic conversations with staff, with foreign leaders, with her President, are not for her to dispose.  She has blotted out part of her own country’s diplomatic history.  This one practice alone should bar her from seeking the presidency.  It was the most monumental piece of official arrogance since the ancient Chinese Emperor declared the beginning of his reign was Year One.”

Wow!  Those Canuckians are brilliant!  That really sums up that piece of baggage quite well.  I can move on.

Benghazi

Here is a Hillary situation that will not go away.  Benghazi involved the slaying of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.  There is a House Select Committee that will again meet in the coming months concerning this event.  If I am reading the ‘tea leaves’ correctly, the original focus of the investigating committee was to determine if the deaths were caused by mismanagement by Hillary Clinton while Secretary of State.  And then, and then……..they discovered that most documents surrounding this event were emails destroyed in the 30,000-email massacre!  This has provided more fuel for an already burning fire.

But wait.  Rumor has it that as the House is now controlled by Republicans, they are going to take a silk glove approach to this matter.  Why?  Because they do not want to appear to be bullying Hillary before the 2016 election.  They are afraid they will look bad and create a sympathetic vote for Hillary.  (If she were President, do you think Vladimir Putin would use the silk glove approach?)

While being questioned by yet another committee, this one concerning Benghazi, it was asked if the State Department thought this was a terrorist act, or if these people were out for a stroll and decided to kill some Americans.  Her reply, “What difference does it make?”  It makes a huge difference, because it was obviously a well-planned terrorist attack and our government decided to give it a pass.  What I want to know is if the rumors are true that a military relief force was on the way from Italy, and our government directed the military to cancel the mission.  These rumors indicate that Obama made the decision based upon State Department input, meaning Hillary.  So much for saving the Ambassador and those Americans defending him.  Another big piece of baggage.

Bill Clinton 

I believe Bill Clinton brings more baggage to this campaign.  “I did not have relations with that woman.”  “It all depends on what the definition of is, is.”  Remember all of that?  How long are the Clintons going to continue this sham of a marriage?  If they are living within 200 miles of each other, I would be surprised.

I would like to think that people seeking political office are doing it to improve the ‘greater good’ of the electorate.  They need a plan to outline their goals and a plan for achieving those goals.  Have you heard any of what those goals are from Hillary? (Hope and Change worked for Obama.  Why have a goal or plan?  Rainbows and unicorns seem to be enough promise for voters.)   I know I am being overly optimistic about my expectations for politicians, but I do believe the only reason the Clintons are together is because of their quest for power.  Power brings money.  Power brings prestige.  Bill has been to the top and Hillary wants it, too.  She experienced it as a U.S. Senator representing a state she never lived in, and as the Secretary of State.  Both of the Clintons are automatons when it comes to the quest for power.

So there you have it.  Even with Grandma P assisting, I do not believe Hillary could manage all her baggage.  There is much more luggage in her closet than what was discussed in this piece. (Travel gate, Whitewater, Vince Foster…)  We managed our baggage with a Ford Escape, Hillary would need an aircraft carrier.

My biggest hope, is that the electorate of the United States will wise up and see through the facades of many of these presidential candidates.  Let us do something different this time and elect someone who has a goal for the country, a plan for obtaining those goals, one which protects Americans and America and places God and country first.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?  Feeling HOPEful for real CHANGE!!!

Kick-The-Can-Down-The-Road

COMMON SENSE – A Rare Commodity

For most of my life, I have been of the opinion that ‘common sense’ was just that – common.  As I get older and watch how the world is changing, I am now of the opinion that ‘common sense’ is a rather rare commodity.

Grandpa T’s Common Sense Rule # 2:  Never use your weed whip with your mouth open.  This is especially true if your neighbors walked their dogs on your lawn the night before.

To clarify my understanding of the term ‘common sense,’ I consulted my favorite online source of information, Wikipedia.  I am not exaggerating when I say there are 16 pages on Wikipedia about the definition and history of the term ‘common sense.’  Common sense tells me that one paragraph would have been sufficient.  For the sake of brevity, here is the first sentence of the 16 pages: ‘Common sense is a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things which is shared by nearly all people, and can be reasonably expected of nearly all people without any need for debate.’

Here is my argument about ‘common sense’ becoming a rare commodity.  You have just read Grandpa T’s Rule #2.  How could anyone disagree?  How could anyone disagree if I were to relate that I, Grandpa T did not heed his own advice last summer.  The result was that some multi-legged bug ended up in my mouth!  Yuck!  All people now believing that Rule #2 is the epitome of ‘common sense,’ raise your hands.  That’s what I thought.  Unanimous!

Here is the chink in the ‘common sense’ armor.  The definition says that common sense is ‘a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things which  is shared by nearly all people.’  What if the majority of the people understand and judge incorrectly?

An example:  Suppose you are the retiring CEO of the largest bank in the world.  Your bank has multiple branches across the U.S.  You are tasked to hire your replacement.  One candidate that applies has 18 months experience as a bank manager at one of the many banks.  Prior to that, he was a teller in another of the smaller branches.  His experience before being a teller was that he organized Girl Scout cookie sales for a large metropolitan area.    He was average in his performance at every position.  Would you hire him?

Another candidate has years of experience as CEO of a large competitive bank.  He also had years of experience as a regional manager.  He was exceptional at every position he held.

Which candidate would you hire?

By now, you smart readers realize that my analogy relates to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

At a critical time in our nation’s history, facing financial and budget problems galore, the majority of the American public voted to reelect for a second term the individual that caused most of the problems.  Where did common sense come into play with that decision?

Grandpa T’s Common Sense Rule #3: Never, ever believe a woman that says she does not want anything for her birthday, anniversary, or Christmas, because she has everything!  I bought into that logic just once in my life, and the divorce was greatly more expensive than the gift.

Do you know the difference between the national debt and the national deficit?

The national deficit is the difference between federal government revenues and federal government expenditures for a one year budget.  The national debt is the accumulation of these deficits.  As close as I can figure, the deficit for FY 2014 will be $744 billion.  This will result in a national debt of $18.2 trillion. (The projected national debt at the end of FY 2018 is currently projected to be $21.69 trillion!)

I bring this up for two reasons.

A few days ago, some noted financial analyst lauded the POTUS’s efforts to reduce the national deficit for the current fiscal year.  He pointed out, with the use of graphs, that our deficit is now a smaller percentage of our expenditures than with previous administrations. This noted person went on to say that, as a result, the government was not spending enough money to stimulate the economy and should consider spending more money! (The percentage is smaller, because the spending is so much higher!)  Common sense tells me that this analyst was weed whipping a marijuana field with his mouth open!

Does this pass the common sense test?  Have we not learned a thing by watching what is happening in Greece, Italy, Ireland and Spain? Ireland has pretty much resolved their financial issues.  They did it with spending cuts coupled with tax increases.  ( I agree with my friend, Banker Bob, that spending cuts and tax increases are what needs to be done here, but I want to see a viable budget first.)  Are we so contrite that we believe our government is ‘too big to fail?”  I am sure Rome had that same attitude two millennium ago.

Secondly, why do we continue to elect officials that are unwilling to face financial reality?  Could it be that the people with ‘common sense’ are being overtaken by people that have no vested interest in the U.S other than to bleed our country dry for unearned entitlements?

I find it interesting that many states in the U.S. do not require photo IDs to vote, but the country of Mexico does, in fact, require identification.  How ironic is that?  Indications are that there are one million illegal aliens in Los Angeles county alone.  What could possibly be the reason that photo ID’s are not required for voting in national elections?  Can we attribute the political life of Maxine Waters, Barbara Boxer, Harry Reed and Nancy Pelosi to illegal aliens that vote?

Grandpa T’s Common Sense Rule #1:  Politicians are more concerned with being re-elected  than with legislating for the public good.

(If I had started the blog with this at #1, you would not have read this piece!)

Need proof?  If you are in touch with the Washington happenings, you are aware that there was a budget passed just prior to Christmas.  I believe this was a first for this administration.  Have you seen any of the details about that budget?  Try as I may, I cannot find any of the details involving our landmark first Obama budget.

The reason for our first budget?  Simple.  2014 is a mid-term election year and nobody from either party wants to look like a villain before these elections.  There were more mandatory sequestration cuts that were to be implemented without a new budget.   Those cuts will now be substantially reduced even though they were not so great.  Common sense tells me that the American public got shortchanged and screwed yet again.  The can continually gets kicked further down the road.  All of this is being done for the sake of re-election.

It appears that our government has become anemic when it comes to leadership.  Rather than cutting back on welfare programs, reducing unnecessary expenditures or eliminating unnecessary bureaucracies, our elected officials would rather sink the ship – our country.  Heaven forbid a politician not give maximum attention to private interest groups and lobbyists that come with campaign contributions at the expense of doing what is right for America. (Why is it that we always appear to be running out of Social Security money, but never appear to be short of welfare money?)

There is not one person in America that does not know they should not spend more money than they earn.  Yet, we allow our government a pass.   That continual pass has now cost us trillions!

Unfortunately, many Americans do not understand the earning/spending relationship.  They have over-extended themselves with credit card debt.  They are facing foreclosure.  They clearly take their cues from our government.  Too many Americans have adopted this growing sense of entitlement, having learned it from our government.  The trickle-down effect has created a huge problem.  Outrageous spending at the expense of others!

The approval ratings for our Congress are lower than our general opinions of a slick used car salesman.  Common sense indicates that we need to elect qualified, educated, honest leaders with integrity to lead this country in the upcoming mid-term elections.

Has the American public become so apathetic concerning the shenanigans of our government that Honey Boo Boo and Kim Kardashian are deemed more important?

Americans know what is right, but Americans have also become dependent on government spending.  We have become much too willing to give up our individual freedoms in exchange for government intervention and control.

Will America wake up in time to save itself?

Common sense tells me that we will, but common sense has become a rare commodity.