Thank goodness saner heads have prevailed and this government shutdown silliness is over. While the Democrats should take the heat for this one, both parties are serving us poorly. Far too many of our elected leaders are focused on using every weapon possible to bludgeon the other side and refusing to compromise. Political infighting and maintain ideological purity is more important to them than the needs of the country.
The only reason we even have a country is that men with differing views got together and worked out a compromise. That is how a democracy is supposed to work. It is certainly possible to have strong views and still be willing to work with the other side. Nobody will doubt Ted Kennedy’s liberal credentials but he often worked with Republicans to get legislation passed. I once heard former Oklahoma Senator Tom Corburn say he was so concerned about the state of the country that he was willing to give more than 50% of what he wanted to get something done.
I urge you do follow my example and say no to both parties. It can be frustrating to be stuck with the choices they give us. Please be patient. One day our voices will be heard.
As of this writing, the government is shut down. Both parties are blaming each other but the fault clearly lies with the Democrats. Republicans, with the help of a few Democrats, secured sufficient votes to pass the bill but Democrats chose to filibuster it. It looks to me that this was a deliberate political decision that has nothing to do with DACA. Even though they did it, they are blaming Republicans. They claim that it’s their fault since they control Congress.
I believe in the filibuster. It keeps the majority from running roughshod over the minority. However, the minority must use it responsibly. That is clearly not the case here. When the Republicans shut down the government (also a really stupid move) they were called arsonists, terrorists and bomb throwers. Evidently it is now something noble.
Democrats continue to amaze me with their unbelievable stupidity. I can’t understand how they can think that sabotaging the government and inconveniencing millions is a good idea. They are just like those people in New Jersey who thought that closing lanes and creating a traffic jam was a smart political move.
I intended this blog to discuss my political opinions. It was never meant to be about me. My life has changed so much these last few days that I have to write about it.
My back was bothering me so I went to a spinal orthopedist. After taking some x-rays, he told me that the problem was in my hips and both would need to be replaced. This was certainly unwelcome news since I am overdue for a knee replacement. Something showed up on the MRI. Another MRI indicated there was a growth. The next step was to get a CT scan and see the oncologist.
The appointment was on Friday. I thought I was prepared to hear that I have cancer. I was most definitely not prepared to hear that there is a malignant tumor the size of a volleyball in my abdomin. I spent a couple of days calling people. Telling my elderly parents was really hard. Everyone has been incredibly supportive. I feel really blessed to have them in my life.
I am an analytical, math geek type of person. It has served me well. I haven’t freaked out and have laid out everything that needs to be done. Now I need to wrap my head around this. I feel the same as I did before. Obviously this could be a bump in the road or the end of the road. It is really bizarre.
There are a number of items on my bucket list. My initial thought was why bother with it if I can’t complete them. The journey is what’s important, not the destination. I had been planning a trip this fall and am back working on it. Whether or not I go is beside the point. It is so easy to get wrapped up in our daily lives that we forget what is really important. We must make each day count because none of us know how many are left.
Next time I will be back bashing one or both political parties.
I am certainly no fan of Donald Trump. Like it or not, the election is over. Now is the time for Democrats to focus on upcoming elections. They have a lot of work to do, including developing a cohesive statement of what they stand for and reaching out to voters that deserted them. Instead, many Democrats are still trying to get rid of President Trump.
First they tried election recounts. Then they tried to convince Republicans electors to vote for Clinton in the Electoral College. Fourteen months later they are still working on two approaches. One is to remove him from office by declaring him mentally unfit under the 25th Amendment. No matter what they do, the vice president would need to go along with them. That certainly won’t happen.
The other approach is to impeach him. According to some Democrats, nasty texts and unproven charges of collusion with the Russians qualify as high crimes and misdemeanors. That is utterly ridiculous. Even if they get control of the House, there is absolutely no way 2/3 of the Senate would vote to convict.
I realize that I have been attacking Democrats a lot lately. It is not a matter of partisan prejudice. As an independent moderate, I am disgusted with both parties. As a political analyst, I am frustrated by their unbelievable incompetence as they try to rebuild the party.
We are hearing talk of a “Blue Wave”, a huge Democratic win in the fall election. In its most extreme form, there is talk of winning the Senate and Texas turning Democratic. Promoters of this theory cite the election of two Democratic governors, Doug Jones winning in Alabama, President Trump’s unpopularity, a poll showing people prefer Democrats and the low ratings given to Congress.
The governors won in New Jersey and Virginia, two Democratic states. There is no way Jones would have won without the accusations of sexual misconduct against Moore. President Trump is about as unpopular as he was on Election Day. Polls ten months out are meaningless. People have hated Congress and liked their representatives for decades.
Even if there was more solid evidence of a blue wave, Democrats must overcome a number of hurdles. They include:
1. Disunity – There is a deep division between the Establishment and Far Left. The GOP has the same issue but it’s less intense.
2. Numbers – It is virtually impossible for them to win the Senate. They have to defend ten seats Trump won while Republicans have only one seat Clinton won.
3. Message – They need to state what they are FOR. Virtually their only message is to vote for them because Trump and the Republicans are evil.
4. Become a national party again – Much of their success comes from the Pacific states and Atlantic states from Virginia on north. The other thirty-five present a much different picture. Hillary Clinton won in only six, Democrats hold both Senate seats in only five, they have a majority of the congressional delegation in four and control the governor’s mansion in only three.
Can we actually have a blue wave? In politics almost anything is possible. However, they have made little progress in the sixteen months since the election. Their best hope is that Republicans will be even more fouled up.
This has certainly been an eventful year. Given my great powers of prediction (I had Hillary Clinton winning the election), I thought I’d a shot at what might happen in the coming year.
1. Republicans keep the House and add a few seats in the Senate.
2. The Russia probe will end with no evidence of any collusion.
3. Sexual harassment scandals will no longer be in the headlines but they will permanently change the guidelines of acceptable behavior.
4. The stock market will keep moving up but will be down for the year.
5. We will have a new Attorney General.
6. Nancy Pelosi will not keep her job.
7. We will make little or no headway in dealing with North Korea.
8. Trump infrastructure bill will die when Democrats refuse to support it.
There you have it. It doesn’t matter if I am right or wrong because everyone (including myself) will not remember any of them.
Traditionally the Republican Party was seen as the party of the wealthy while the Democrats were made up of regular people. This makes it very ironic that the one presidential candidate who spoke to and for those people was billionaire Republican Donald Trump. You would think that losing the presidential election and see the lowest Democratic representation in Congress since the 1920’s would wake up the Democrats.
Instead, they seem more out of touch than ever. The core of the party is a self-appointed elite that listens to nobody but themselves. They seem more interested in venting their hatred of President Trump than mending fences with their disaffected constituents. There is much in the tax reduction package that they don’t like yet not a single Democrat tried to work with the GOP to improve the bill. Nancy Pelosi said it was Armageddon. They didn’t seem to care that those regular people that once voted for them are getting tax cuts.
They have manufactured a crisis with the supposed imminent firing of Robert Mueller. Some, including Eric Holder, urged people to take to the streets if that happens. While they have urged that demonstrations be peaceful but we all know some would turn violent. How does that help their cause?
They have threatened to shut down the government over the handling of illegal immigrants brought here by their parents when they were children. I agree something needs to be worked out but question the political wisdom of potentially antagonizing millions of voters to protect a group that cannot cast a single vote.
Some Democrats see the need for change but most seem to want to double down on the strategy that got them into this mess.
Next year marks the seventieth anniversary of the formation of Israel. Sadly, it will also mark seventy years without the Palestinian question being resolved. This is a very emotional issue with feelings running high on both sides. Supporters of each side blame the other for all the bloodshed. There is plenty of fault on both sides.
It seems like every president thinks they can break the logjam. President Trump has talked about taking on the issue. I see little chance of success. Before getting into thorny issues like the settlements and Jerusalem, Palestine has to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Israel tried trading land for peace with the Gaza Strip. They have been subject to thousands of rocket attacks and countless acts of terrorism.
There is an enormous amount of hatred toward Israel in the world. I do think moving the embassy to Jerusalem was an unnecessary provocation but it certainly doesn’t warrant action by the UN. I think some that talk of a two state solution wouldn’t mind seeing Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
The ball is in the Palestinian’s court. Hopefully something changes in the next sixty-nine years.
The Obama administration Department of Justice had many shady dealing. One I found particularly unsavory was the way they handled cases against some businesses. They would offer to settle if the firm donated money to a liberal nonprofit. Undoubtedly some of that money found its way to democratic candidates.
We are beginning to see evidence of a two part conspiracy to get Hillary Clinton to the White House. Part one was to clear her clear her of any charges related to her mishandling of government secrets. To me the evidence is fairly strong. Key witnesses were not sworn in. The report exonerating her was begun well before the investigation concluded. It was also watered down. After the uproar over the Attorney General meeting with Bill Clinton, she said she would follow the recommendation of FBI Director Comey. I doubt she would have said that if she didn’t know what he was going to say. He way overstepped his responsibilities. His job was to investigate, not reach a conclusion.
Part two was to do harm to Donald Trump’s chances of winning the election. The evidence is much less clear but some tantalizing facts have come to light. We do know that either the campaign or DNC paid a firm to do opposition research. It resulted in the phony dossier about collusion with Russia. We also know that the FBI used some information to allow them to spy on members of the Trump campaign. The campaign was publicly accused of colluding with Russia. Russia did try to undermine Clinton. President Obama knew about it before the election but chose to do nothing.
Everything outlined above did happen. There is no way to prove a conspiracy with connecting them up. Within the last few days two possible links have come to light. Peter Strzok, a senior FBI official, texted his girlfriend, an FBI lawyer, about a meeting they had with Andy (presumably Andrew McCabe, then Deputy Director of the FBI). He mentioned an idea Page threw out at the meeting. It had something to do with a plan to keep Trump from being elected. Strzok compared it to life insurance. We also learned that the wife of Bruce Ohr, an associate deputy attorney general, worked for the firm that ordered the dossier and that he met with the president of that company.
These two facts are certainly are not enough to prove a conspiracy. It is clear that some in the Justice Department and FBI deliberately interfered in the election. Everyone, regardless of party, should be outraged. Promoting our democracy and ensuring liberty and justice for all is far more important than who wins an election.
Just a few months ago the idea of a Democrat winning in Alabama would have been unthinkable. Now it has happened. I have heard some talk about how this portends good news for Democrats in 2018. The only lesson we can take from it is that having accusations of sexual impropriety against you has a detrimental effect on your chances.
The more I think about it, the more I believe it was a blessing in disguise for the Republicans. Of course losing a seat when they already had a thin majority is a huge blow. It will make it much more difficult to pass legislation.
However, consider what it would have been like if Roy Moore had won. Deciding what to do about him would have been extremely divisive. There is no guarantee that they could get his vote. He is a self-righteous grandstander that would have made life miserable for his fellow Republicans.
The impact on next year’s election is even more important. I believe that the main reason Democrats pressed Conyers and Franken to resign was to give them the moral high ground. Last year they relied almost exclusively on demonizing Donald Trump and the Republicans. In addition to being racists, sexists and homophobes, they could add gropers and child molesters to their litany of GOP evils.
I was surprised that President Trump came out so strongly for Moore. He must believe that he will be fine as long as he stays with the hard-core base. He should realize that the main reason he won the election was because the Democrats had a really bad candidate and a terrible strategy.