There was a celebration in New York awhile ago. The legislature passed a bill that allows abortion even if the birth process is under way. More recently there was a celebration in Alabama. Their legislature passed a bill that virtually outlaws abortion and would imprison doctors.
I believe that more people would favor a middle of the road bill than either extreme. Unfortunately, those people are not in power. Instead, we have a government in which one party caters to New Yorkers and the other Alabamans. Frankly, both parties are more interested in pushing their extremist agendas and fighting the other side than they are in the welfare of the American people.
Right now, there is not a viable third party so we are stuck with the Democrats and Republicans. Hopefully, either the two parties abandon their rigid ideology or another party comes along.
Many politicians see the world in black and white. They are 100% right and the other side is 100% wrong. As a centrist, I often believe both sides are wrong. China is a case in point.
The Obama administration did a horrible job with China (and many other countries). China could do whatever they wanted. Our response was either lukewarm or nonexistent. Joe Biden seems to be following course. He recently said China was “no competition for us”.
President Trump is getting tough with China but, no pun intended, is like a bull in a china shop. He seems to focus only on the balance of trade. His tariffs are hurting our economy. No company can afford to absorb them so they are passed along to consumers. Their retaliation is costing us exports. They used to buy our soybeans but now buy from Brazil. Some jobs do return to the US but at a very high cost.
China aims to be the leading superpower in the world. One day they will have the planet’s largest economy. They want to be dominant in intellectual capital. They have an aggressive foreign policy and are becoming a military superpower. They also play by their own rules. There are millions of young engineers and scientists but they also steal trade secrets.
We should neither fear them nor demonize them. Instead, we need to meet the challenge head-on. We need to become a stronger competitor and deal with them on all fronts. If they break the rules (as we see them), we need to respond. That means going after companies and individuals that do wrong rather than expect their government to do our bidding.
International relations is a lot like surgery. It requires a firm but delicate touch. That’s why doctors use scalpels instead of meat axes. We would be better off if President Trump had a few scalpels but that’s not his style.
The House Judiciary Committee voted to find Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. His crime: refusing to break the law. He released 98.5% of the Mueller Report. By law, he cannot release such things as grand jury testimony and the mention of people not indicted. He even allowed them to view the entire report at the Justice Department. Nonetheless, they went ahead and cited him for contempt.
I find the behavior of the Democrats on the committee contemptible. It’s also very puzzling. They bet the ranch on collusion and now seem to be doubling down. Next year they face the voters. Instead of focusing on the issues, their attention is on something few outside the beltway care about.
I have heard that the real purpose is to try to destroy Barr before investigations into Justice Department and intelligence agencies role in the collusion investigation are completed. I think they are so focused on their hatred of Donald Trump that they aren’t being logical. Committee Chairman Gerald Nadler once said President Trump committed obstruction of justice every time he called the Mueller investigation a witch hunt. Apparently, he doesn’t believe that the First Amendment applies to Donald Trump.
I am in no way a fan of Trump. I was a Democrat most of my life but am now an independent. The party I once belonged to bears little resemblance to today’s bunch of hatemongers.
I have written many times that preserving our democracy is far more important than whoever happens to live in the White House. In the past I would have expected that an overwhelming percentage of both parties would agree with that. Now I am not so sure. It seems that more and more on the Left feel that getting Trump out of office is all that matters.
We have seen one pathetic attempt after another to overturn the 2016 election. First were recounts that didn’t have a chance of being overturned. They tried to convince Republican electors to vote for Clinton. Some have talked about the 25th Amendment. Now we are seeing impeachment gearing up.
Some state legislators believe they should have a say who the Republicans can nominate. Bills have been introduced in seventeen states stating that a candidate cannot be on the ballot unless they release their income taxes.
Each state has rules on what a political party needs to do to get on the ballot. The party then nominates a candidate. They can choose anyone they want that can legally assume the office. If they want to pick a homicidal maniac, that’s their right.
You might think I am making a mountain out of a molehill. None of these idiotic ideas are going anywhere. However, our democracy is weakened when people start giving up on it.
Grouse are a family of chicken-like birds. In the spring the males dance hoping to entice a female. I once saw one that was successful but was so intent on fighting the other males that she moved on. This seems to me to be a perfect analogy to how Democrats in the House are behaving.
Winning the House was a tremendous victory for them. There is little they can to get their agenda to pass in the Senate and be signed by President Trump. However, this is a great opportunity to pass bills that can help them win in 2020. This is what Republicans did when they repeatedly voted to abolish Obamacare.
Instead, they are totally absorbed in fighting President Trump. Ever since Trump won the election, they have been trying to get him out of office. Apparently, they like democracy only if their candidate wins.
They had high hopes that the Mueller investigation would find that he and his campaign staff colluded with Russia. Rather than moving on, they are more determined than ever. Right now, their focus is on demonizing Attorney General William Barr. Barr has a long history of service and is not as political as many of his predecessors. He held the post in the George W. Bush administration. He received unanimous approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee and was nominated on a voice vote.
He walked into a political buzz saw when the Mueller report was released. He was under no legal obligation to send it to Congress. He worked with Mueller to prepare his summary. He kept the White House totally out of the loop. Later the entire report was released except for grand jury testimony and classified information. I’m not sure what else he could have done. Congress has ripped him to shreds and Nancy Pelosi accused him of perjury.
Like that poor grouse, their behavior could cost them.
You would think that mayors would care about the citizens of their cities. All too often, that is not the case.
I recently heard an interview of a woman from Los Angeles. Her family has owned a business in downtown LA for over a century. Her business is in a neighborhood that is starting to resemble a third world nation with human waste on the sidewalks and streets. She has tried repeatedly to contact city hall without success.
Many mayors are willing to put their citizens at risk. They defy federal law to put convicted felons back on the streets.
These mayors are not only putting their jobs at risk. They are driving off people that pay taxes to support the cities. That creates a vicious cycle of higher and higher taxes causing more people to leave.
Nineteen serious candidates have filed for the Democratic presidential nomination. There are certainly more on the way, including Joe Biden. I will take a look at those most likely to be successful.
Biden and Bernie Sanders currently are in the lead. Much of that is based on name recognition but each brings a lot to the table. Biden has built a lot of contacts and good will from his many years in politics. Many are fighting for votes from the extreme left, leaving Biden with a large bloc of voters. Sanders has the organization he built in 2016.
The biggest challenge most face is standing out from the pack. Kamala Harris is black and female. Being from the most populous state won’t hurt. Pete Buttigieg has more going for him than just being gay. He is young, energetic and a dynamic speaker.
My surprise pick is Julian Castor. Only forty-five, he has served in the Obama cabinet and is Mayor of San Antonio. He has intimate knowledge of big city politics and a political family to back him up.
Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke have gained lots of attention. I don’t think she can get past her claims of Native American ancestry. He has had his day in the sun.
A lot can happen over the next year. Nobody would have considered Donald Trump to have a chance four years ago.
This may be news to some Democrats but the 2016 election is over. Donald Trump was the winner. Many couldn’t accept it. They tried recounts and convincing Republican electors to vote for Hillary Clinton. Of course, their ridiculous schemes didn’t work and Trump was inaugurated.
They turned their efforts toward impeachment and conviction. The Constitution uses the term “high crimes and misdemeanors” but doesn’t define it. To me, it is a serious criminal act. As a moderate, I don’t have a political axe to grind either way so I can be impartial.
For two years Democrats pinned their hopes on the Mueller investigation. They were dashed when the report said there was no collusion. A few diehards still insist there was collusion, citing the meeting Donald Trump junior attended. Just having a meeting is no proof. Using that logic means anyone a criminal talked to could be indicted. Now some are pinning their hopes on obstruction of justice. The investigation proceeded unmolested until its conclusion. Besides, how can there be obstruction if there was no crime?
Now there is a fishing expedition into his financial affairs. Some are making a big deal about getting his tax return. It wouldn’t reveal any detailed information about his business dealings. I once looked at the Clinton return. I could tell what they earned from speeches and book royalties but little else. They may find something in his business affairs, but right now there is no evidence of an impeachable offense.
I think some are caught up in what conservatives call Trump derangement syndrome. If they want, they can impeach him for jaywalking. It would take 67 votes in the Senate to remove him from office. That means 14 Republicans would need to agree.
As we all know, there is an election next year. Democrats could talk about all the great legislation the House passed or that they spent two years trying to dig up dirt on President Trump. It should be clear which strategy gets them the most votes.
I have done a few posts on President Trump and his obsession with immigration. It has been over a year since I wrote about the extremism we have seen on the left.
Some of it is just talk. Beto O’Rourke wants to tear down all the walls. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says all Hispanics should be let in because they are native peoples. It’s a free country and they are entitled to their opinion.
The actions of many cities and the state of California are far more dangerous. Whether or not police ask someone about their citizenship is within their discretion. The sanctuary movement won’t notify federal authorities if a convicted criminal is being released. How an elected official can care more about felons than the safety of their citizens is beyond my comprehension.
President Trump has talked about releasing illegal aliens into sanctuary cities. I don’t have a problem with that assuming that they get the support they need and are not just dumped on the streets. He once talked about them infesting America. Describing people with a term normally reserved for cockroaches and rats is a good indicator that he isn’t very concerned about their welfare.
We are in desperate need of immigration reform. As with so many other issues, both extremes make that impossible.
President Trump has backed off of closing the border, at least for now. During this episode he has displayed two characteristics which will hurt his popularity and his presidency if he doesn’t change his ways.
He is not a stupid man. Graduating from Wharton is clear proof of that. It appears that he doesn’t like to engage in deep thinking. He made the statement that closing the border wouldn’t hurt the economy much since we are running a trade deficit. He doesn’t seem to realize how interdependent are economies are. If he stops cars from coming in, car dealers will be out of business. Car parts move back and forth across the border. American assembly lines will shut down because they don’t have radiators or steering wheels coming from Mexico. He hasn’t made it clear if he wound want a total cessation of trade. That would mean the deaths of tens of thousands of Mexican citizens who are denied access to pharmaceuticals and other medical equipment and supplies.
If the borders are closed for a long time, our economy will go into a recession. Mexico’s will likely go into depression. That will lead a massive increase in illegal immigration. Since they can’t trust us, Mexico would look elsewhere. China would be the most likely candidate.
I’m no psychologist, but it seems that he is so confident of his gut instincts, that he not only doesn’t need advice, he also doesn’t need facts.
I also don’t understand his obsession with immigration, both legal and illegal. He just terminated a deal that would allow Cubans to play major league baseball here. Immigration is certainly an important issue. But so are the economy, health care and others. It seems like they are much less important to him than immigration. He had a compelling story to about the economy but focused almost totally on the wall during the midterms. That cost a number of Republican their seats.
I don’t expect this to change. He has been in office more than two years and he is still the same guy we saw in 2016.