Mitt’s Missed Opportunity

Mitt RomneyWith the presidential election less than three months away, I guess it’s time to give up on Mitt Romney entering the race. A year ago, early September to be exact, I kept a photo on the home page of my blog. It was side by side pictures of Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio, and the caption read: The Dream Team, Romney/Rubio 2016.  That was back when I was almost certain Mitt Romney would announce his candidacy for the 2016 election, and I couldn’t think of a better running mate than Marco Rubio.

Of course, Mitt never entered the race, but Marco Rubio did. I made it a point to learn as much as I could about Rubio, and in no time, he had my full support. His autobiography, “An American Son”, sealed the deal for me.

Fast forward to this past March, when Rubio suspended his campaign, and it looked like Donald Trump just might be our de facto nominee. Mitt Romney took to the airwaves soon after and publicly eviscerated Trump. He made a compelling argument for why Trump would be a disaster of a candidate, and I agreed with him. Of course, plenty of pundits castigated Mitt for his effort’s, but I admired the fact that he would as the so-called standard bearer of the GOP, speak his mind.

I was not the only one who thought it might signal his late entry into the race. I’ve never been a supporter of a third-party candidate, (I still resent Ross Perot) but if there was ever a year when it could work, it would be 2016. After Kasich and Cruz suspended, I kept waiting for Romney to jump in and save the GOP, but it never happened. It doesn’t appear that it will.

Governor Gary Johnson is making a bid, as is Evan McMillan, although it’s doubtful that McMillan will have an impact on the race. Governor Johnson is seeing an increase in his poll numbers that may garner him a podium at the presidential debates. However, his pro-choice platform will keep me from supporting his candidacy.

Of all the names tossed around over the last few months, Romney was really the only one who could have proven a threat to Trump. Candidates like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich still have a future ahead of them in political office, so it would have been a huge gamble on their part to run third-party. If they didn’t win, to quote Charles Krauthammer, “the longest political suicide note” in history.

Mitt Romney on the other hand, is unlikely to ever seek political office again, so he had little to lose by getting into the race. He already had the name recognition, he is a thoroughly vetted candidate, and he can most certainly gather the financial backing necessary to be competitive. He would have made a wonderful alternative to Donald Trump, and I truly believe many in the GOP, as well as Independents, would have flocked to support him. I think he could have swayed those Democrats who cannot forgive Hillary Clinton for ousting Bernie Sanders, or those who just plain don’t like or trust her.

This could have been Mitt’s year. I am still not sure what kept him from throwing his hat in the ring, but like many who are never-Trump and never-Hillary, I wish he had decided differently.

A Contentious Trump

New TrumpDonald Trump’s latest “deal” is negotiating the conditions under which he will agree to debate Hillary Clinton. A nonpartisan group, the Commission of Presidential Debates, (CPD) scheduled the debates almost a year ago, and they are currently slated for September 26, October 9, and October 19. The first two debates are opposite NFL football games, and Trump is not happy. He claims to have received a letter from the NFL arguing that the times are “ridiculous” (although this is in dispute), and he argues that it will adversely affect the number of viewers. Actually, the two 2012 debates that fell on the same night as NFL games garnered the lion’s share of spectators.

Trump is using his usual “rigged” system approach, and made a tentative commitment to participate, pending a fair outcome in the negotiations. In contrast, the Clinton campaign has agreed to abide by whatever the committee decides and appears eager to engage in the televised debates. Presidential debates have historically benefitted the underdog candidate, and with Hillary Clinton leading the polls, Trump would reap the reward of a good performance.  This is vintage Donald Trump though; he is in his comfort zone when he wheels and deals, and his approach to the political scene differs little from his approach to big business.

However, the CPD seems immune to Trump’s efforts and intends to go forward with the established schedule. It’s not in Trump’s best interest to maintain his stubborn stance, and unfortunately for him, he cannot draw from his argument in the primary that his appearance equals high ratings. Debates are always a ratings draw, and many voters make their final decision on a candidate based on his or her performance.

Trump is a loose cannon, and anything is possible with him, but it would be ill-advised for him to take the debates lightly. Hillary Clinton is a formidable opponent, and Trump would be wise not to underestimate her. If he’s nervous at the prospect of facing her in a debate setting, he has every reason to be. His bombastic comments carried him through the primary debates, and took the focus off of his lack of knowledge, but in a one on one format, that will not be the case. If he’s smart, he’ll listen to his advisers and do the necessary prep work to improve his chances. Smarter candidates than him have failed miserably in these match-ups.

One thing is for certain, it will make for some great television viewing.



Founding Fathers Got It Right

God governs in the affairs of menBen Franklin

The following paragraph appears in “Light in the Darkness”, by Father Jonathan Morris. The speaker is Benjamin Franklin, and he is addressing George Washington at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Apparently, the founding fathers were clear on who was in charge of the process of making America. I think it serves as a great reminder for all of us during this contentious election cycle.

The small progress we have made…is, I think, a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the human understanding…I have lived, Sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing Constitutional Conventionproofs I see of this truth, that GOD governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “unless the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.”

#Never Trump

WeddingThe Bane of the GOP

If you are enthusiastic about the candidacy of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, then this article is not for you. If you don’t find either candidate particularly appealing, but have decided to vote for one of them because “you have no choice”, then this article is not for you. If you are a registered Republican and beside yourself at the thought of casting a vote for Donald Trump, then you might want to read this article because misery loves company.
First, you are not alone. Actually, about half of the Republican voters in this country agree with you. Second, don’t give up hope. Even though Donald Trump is our “presumptive nominee”, the convention is still a few weeks away and there is a preponderance of discord within the party.
Some interesting facts:
1. Every poll since the beginning of the primary season has shown Donald Trump losing to Hillary Clinton.

2. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have the highest unfavorable ratings of any candidates in the history of polling.

3. Three out of Four women do not support a Trump candidacy. (Incidentally, women vote more often and have more influence over votes than men)

4. Trump has very low support among minority and millennial voters.

5. The GOP field was rich with 17 candidates when the primary season began, and the most inexperienced and vacuous among them is now our nominee.

When Donald Trump announced his candidacy back in June, most of us did not take him seriously. It appeared to be just another opportunity for him to grab the spotlight, but we obviously underestimated him. My favorite analogy of the Trump phenomenon comes from Greg Gutfeld of Fox News (also anti-Trump), “Donald Trump is like the guy in high school who tries out for the lead in the school play to impress a girl, never expecting to get the part.” The problem for many of us is, now that we have him, what can we do about it? The chances for a contested convention are off the table. With Cruz and Kasich out of the race, Trump will likely get the 1237 delegates he needs pre-convention.
The only real chance we have is with a third-party candidate, and historically this has not proven a winning situation. Most recently, in 1992, Ross Perot ran as an Independent and in so doing, managed to hand the election to Bill Clinton over incumbent George H. W. Bush. This is a risky endeavor, but the conservative movement is already at risk with Donald Trump at the helm of the GOP. Don’t kid yourself, he is not a conservative. Not now, not ever. Many Republicans fear that he will set the conservative movement back fifty years, if not destroy it completely. Trump will say what he thinks the conservatives want to hear, but at heart he is more moderate to liberal Democrat.
Remember, Trump contributed financially to the campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, to name just a few. Admittedly, he has also donated to Republicans, but more than half his donations have been to the Democratic Party, of which he was a recent member. Another fun fact, his adult children could not vote for him in this year’s New York primary, as they are still registered Democrats and New York has a closed primary. I think if an Independent could ever win, 2016 would be their best bet.
This idea of a third-party candidate is currently being researched by Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and outspoken critic of Trump. A few days ago, he met with Mitt Romney to float the idea and get Romney’s input on the viability of it as an option to Trump. Incidentally, Mitt Romney has said that at this point, he will not vote for either Trump or Clinton. He is not alone, either. Columnist and Fox News contributor, Dr. Charles Krauthammer, said on the O’Reilly Factor this last week that he has no intention of supporting either candidate. These people are highly-respected individuals who take the business of politics very seriously, so this is truly a contentious situation. Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, publicly stated his aversion to the Trump candidacy, and incurred the wrath of a lot of colleagues within his party.
Several months back, as Trump began to rise in the polls and was believed to be a legitimate contender for the nomination, a Twitter movement known as #Never Trump emerged. If you are not familiar with Twitter, the “hashtag” identifies a certain topic or subject matter to others who follow Twitter. “Never Trump” means exactly that. These people will not ever vote for Trump under any circumstance. The Never Trump movement took off almost immediately. Media pundits and politicos have spoken derisively of those who refer to themselves as “Never Trump”, but it is a force to be reckoned with. After Cruz left the race, and Trump became the de facto nominee, the media largely quelled the movement. They were premature though; Twitter is exploding with Never Trump tweets.
A majority of the population think we can do better than Trump or Clinton. They don’t feel well represented by either candidate, and they want another option. I am part of the #Never Trump movement because I cannot bring myself to vote for a man I consider vulgar, amoral, juvenile, bombastic, insipid, dangerous and totally inept in foreign policy and government. In my opinion, Trump is the antithesis of a commander in chief.
The fact that Hillary Clinton is every bit as distasteful does not make it any more palatable to vote for him. This is not a decision I make lightly. I love my country and I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to vote. I consider it both an honor and a privilege. However, implicit in this honor is following my conscience and making a decision based on my best moral judgment. I cannot do that and simultaneously vote for Donald Trump.
Nebraska Republican Senator, Ben Sasse, also an outspoken Trump critic, talks of drafting “an honest leader” to run as a third party candidate. In a lengthy Facebook post, the Senator outlined his thoughts on the Trump/Clinton candidacies, and invited open discussion among disenfranchised GOP voters for an alternative.
Will it come to fruition? Hard to say. At this point, only one thing in this crazy primary season is perfectly clear: the #Never Trump movement is alive and well.

How The Constitution Should Influence the 2016 Election

by contributing author

Dr. James Harlanimage

We are in the midst of an election cycle in which the two parties could not possibly be more opposed. On virtually every single issue, one party’s view is the exact opposite of the other party’s view. There is almost zero room for compromise. One party wants to abolish abortion, the other wants to increase access to abortion and extend the time frame in which it is legal. How do you compromise on that? Only allow abortion in odd-numbered years? One party wants to expand gun rights, the other would gladly send the police door-to-door to round up all the guns if they thought they could get away with it. How can you compromise? One party wants to abolish government-funded healthcare, the other wants to not only expand it, but to establish it as the only healthcare. How can you compromise? One party wants to deal with the national debt by cutting spending and decreasing taxes, the other wants to raise taxes and increase spending. We couldn’t possibly be more opposite.

At the end of the day, when two views are completely opposed, only one can be right—or at least, more right. So how do we decide? Fortunately, the Founding Fathers saw this moment coming. They were all educated people who had experienced firsthand what happens when a government becomes corrupt. The greatest empires in history—including the British Empire which the colonists overthrew—all became corrupt or too big to sustain themselves and eventually failed. Likewise, the Founding Fathers knew that, given enough time, the United States government could become corrupt. Hard to believe, I know. So, rather than doom future generations to a violent revolution, they decided to create a list of rules constraining the government, and a list of rights granted to the citizens which could not be constrained by the government. In so doing, they provided us a document—in essence, a rule book—to define what is “right.” Or at least, what is legal. They outlined the structure of the central government, and more importantly, the rights of the people. The latter subject is defined in the Bill of Rights, the former in the Constitution. Our government was never intended to be strong, and it was never intended to rule We the People. It was never intended to provide for us, nor to take from us (other than what it needed to carry out its day-to-day work). However, with each new administration and each new Congressional session, the government has grown. New laws are enacted while old ones remain on the books. The government creates new departments without removing existing ones. And every year the budget increases. The government we have today is vastly different from the one established in the late 1700’s.

Which brings us to our present conflicts. Today we really have two separate conflicts going on in politics, which many people (myself included) often forget to separate. One is the argument about what is ethically and morally just, and the other is about what is legal. Each party demonizes the other using a different argument. Unfortunately, what is legal is not always morally just, and vice versa. Is it moral to split apart immigrant families and deport those that are here illegally? No. Is it legal? Yes. Is it moral for evil people with no criminal or mental health records to buy guns and use them to kill others? No. Is it legal? Well, up until the killing part, yes. Is it moral to have an abortion? Many would argue that it is not. But is it legal? Yes. What we have to realize is that our government is not in the business of deciding what is moral and immoral. This is why we have religion and a conscience. The government is only in the business of deciding what is legal. The Founding Fathers were mostly religious people, and all of them assumed that the average American citizen would let their religion or their conscience be their guide. Boy were they wrong.

So, let’s simplify matters, and take both arguments separately. Setting aside morality for a moment, let’s examine just the legal argument. The Republicans argue that it is not legal, and that the federal government has no authority, to provide or mandate healthcare coverage. They are right. Nowhere in the Constitution is the government granted this power. Likewise, nowhere in the Bill of Rights are citizens granted the right to be provided with healthcare. Democrats demonize Republicans for being elitists and not caring about the millions of Americans with no access to healthcare, but they are using the moral argument. Republicans are against government healthcare because of the legal argument. It is illegal. Period.

Republicans—or at least, most of them—support gun rights. They support the 2nd Amendment. Most Democrats oppose it. Democrats appeal to our emotions, and they accuse Republicans and the NRA of not caring about the children dying in our schools. Again, this is a moral argument. Republicans support the legal precedent set by the Bill of Rights. Is it legal for the government to infringe on our right to bear arms? Let’s examine the text of the 2nd Amendment: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” No, it is illegal. Period.

The concept of “political correctness” has run amuck in recent years. College campuses and even some city governments (I’m looking at you, San Francisco) are now declaring which gender pronouns are accepted, which flags are not allowed to be flown, and what qualifies as “hate speech.” Individual special interest groups are declaring everything that does not sync up with their views to be “offensive,” and offensive language is being virtually banned from social media, Hollywood, schools, workplaces, etc. It seems any statement today can be misconstrued by somebody to be offensive, and therefore, not allowed. And, in an effort to appear inclusive, many entities—most notably colleges and primary schools—are cracking down on “offensive speech.” Of course, what constitutes offensive speech can apparently only be defined by those whom it offends. It comes as no surprise that the liberals and progressives in our society have jumped all over this bandwagon, and it is largely conservatives who are portrayed as racists and bigots and told to eliminate “hate speech,” whatever that might mean today. Is this legal? I believe the Founding Fathers can help us here, too. The 1st Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Granted, the restriction specifically applies to Congress, not local governments, but the right itself is granted to The People. And any right granted to The People cannot be overridden, by any other group of people or municipality. It is illegal. Period.

Many issues of today can easily be solved by looking at the Constitution or the Bill of Rights for the legal answer to the question. This is why we have a Supreme Court. The problem arises when the line between what is legal and what is moral become blurred, and there is no specific mention in our founding documents. Take, for example, abortion. The act of abortion is something that the Founding Fathers could never have imagined. Nobody in their time had even thought of it. Abortion was officially deemed legal by the Supreme Court on January 22nd, 1973, based on a vague interpretation of abortion as being somehow related to medical privacy issues and due process under the 14th Amendment, and based on an interpretation of the 9th Amendment, which states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” In other words, the Supreme Court didn’t actually say abortion is legal, they just said that it isn’t illegal. And it isn’t illegal because it didn’t exist when the United States was formed, so it falls under the vague “other rights retained by the people” clause of the 9th Amendment. Therefore, it is purely a moral argument, and we really should write legislation either specifically allowing it or specifically prohibiting it, rather than continuing in this gray area of “it is legal only because it isn’t illegal.” That’s a job for the next administration.

Marriage is a similar issue. Like abortion, the Founding Fathers never fathomed the concept of gay marriage. It simply didn’t exist in the 1700’s. They just assumed—like we all did up until about the 1980’s—that marriage is between one man and one woman. Republicans largely support this definition of marriage. Democrats largely support legalizing gay marriage, which they recently accomplished through the Supreme Court using a similar judicial precedent as abortion: it’s legal because it isn’t illegal. And, like abortion, the problem lies in the fact that nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government granted the power to define, legalize, illegalize, or otherwise say anything about marriage. Well then, who is? The Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, wrote the 10th Amendment for this reason: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Is it legal for the federal government to define marriage? No, it is illegal. Period. Whatever your views on gay marriage, the power to legalize it lies with the States or with the people. Not with the federal government or even the Supreme Court. Again, we have a purely moral argument, with no real legal guidance.

The problem with morality is that there is no one, single source for determining what is moral and what is immoral. It used to be that people were guided by their religions. Of course, now we live in a brave new world of progressivism, secularism, and political correctness, so our society can’t rely on religion to guide us anymore. Plus, our country was founded on the strict principle of separation of Church and State, a principle which I support. So how do we decide what is moral? I think in the case of determining morality for society, we have to look at nature. Since it is typically the progressive left that likes to think of humans as simply another species of mammal, formed by evolutionary processes, then this view should make sense to them. Is there any species of mammal that purposely kills its offspring while still in the womb? Is there any species of mammal where an individual willingly refuses to procreate with a member of the opposite gender and pass on their genes to the next generation, instead deciding to settle down with another individual of the same gender? After four years of studying biology in college, I can’t think of a single instance where this was the case. Therefore, in cases where there is no legal definition of morality, if it isn’t natural, then it probably isn’t something we should be encouraging our society to accept. At the very least, we should follow the 10th Amendment and leave it up to the States. Just because the citizens of the Democratic People’s Republik of Kalifornia want to legalize abortion and gay marriage, doesn’t mean the rest of America does.

Going through every important issue of the day in this manner could fill an entire book, so I won’t. My point is, in this election cycle, we as a people have to remember what the government is supposed to do, not what we want the government to do. Free college tuition and healthcare sound great, but the Constitution was written specifically to prevent the government from being powerful enough to do this and many other things the liberal left want this year, lest it become too big to sustain itself. I’m not saying the Republicans have the best answer on every issue, but at least what they want is more in line with what the Founding Fathers had envisioned.

Remember: A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything you have.

We Need A Leader


A year or so ago, while visiting Southern Methodist University in Dallas, I had the opportunity to tour the George W. Bush Presidential Library located on their campus. One of the exhibit areas is a theatre where they play a montage of scenes from September 11, 2001, and the days immediately following. That day is etched in my mind, as I’m sure it is for most other Americans, but my memory of what President Bush said and did during that time was a little foggy. As I watched the videos, including the scene where the President first hears of the attacks from Andy Card, his address to the nation late that evening, and his words of comfort to those mourning at the National Cathedral three days later, I found myself getting teary eyed.

As I sat there, it dawned on me that my feelings were not the result of the circumstances, as horrific as they were; it was because I had forgotten what it’s like to have a President who shows emotion. I had forgotten what it’s like to listen to a President speak, and feel proud of my country. I had forgotten what it’s like to feel safe, knowing that our president is going to protect the country. President Bush, though visibly shaken, managed to address the American people, and reassure us that he was in charge, and that an attack on our country would not go unanswered. I had chills as I looked at the video of him at ground zero, standing among the first responders, his arm around one of them, talking through a bullhorn to them, to us, and to our attackers, and letting us all know that this carnage would not stand, while in the background they chanted, USA! USA! USA!

Obama meme

For the last seven years, we have had a president who from his first apology tour in Europe, where he told the people of France that we are “arrogant and derisive”, has been confessing what he perceives to be America’s sins. He said we made “hasty decisions” and were “off course” in the War on Terror, and that we need to work through the “darker periods in our history”, and my personal favorite, how his election will see a “restoration of America’s standing in the world”.

President Obama has made the focus of his administration to demean and degrade our country. I think we have become so used to hearing what a horrible country we are, how we torture prisoners, purposefully target young black males, disrespect Muslims, and cling to our guns and religion, that we don’t even notice it anymore. What president in our history has derided our country like this? What president, especially when he is on foreign soil, disparages his country and his fellow citizens?

Sunday evening, President Obama spoke from the Oval Office to “reassure” Americans about his plans to fight ISIS and to abate the ongoing threat of terrorism. It was an exercise in futility, because he has no plan. Rather, he used the opportunity to call on Congress for stricter laws on gun control, as if that would have prevented the attack in San Bernardino, or any of the past attacks for that matter. More pointedly, he cautioned us against anti-Muslim rhetoric, and assured us that this violence has nothing to do with Islam. Apparently, the larger concern for him is that we esteem Islam and Muslims, and right off terrorists as random individuals who have just gone down the wrong path. I am not implying that all Muslims are murderers, but we cannot deny there is a radical form of Islam whose goal is to perpetrate the violence against the “infidels” they believe their faith and the Quran necessitate. What I do not understand is why the president is so solicitous of Muslims over Christians, and why he is so consistently derisive of our country.

His esteemed attorney general, Loretta Lynch, went so far as to threaten legal action against anyone who engages in anti-Muslim rhetoric. The last time I checked, this was a free country, where we have freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. As I listened to his address that night, it occurred to me that for the last seven years, he has fed us a steady diet of “propaganda”, one of the oldest tools of the enemy. Hitler used it, Mussolini used it, Stalin used it, Ho Chi Minh used it, and they all found it to be very effective. When you condition people with the same twisted information long enough, they begin to believe it. These men were able to convince their populace that their depraved actions were righteous and for the good of their country. Of course, we all know that they were insane, but most of those who lived under their totalitarianism could not see it, or had no choice but to endure it.

We do have a choice in this country. We call it “impeachment”, and I think it is long past due. Barack Hussein Obama has weakened our country militarily, and diminished our standing among our allies. He has put us in harms way with his incompetent leadership. He cannot see that we are in a “war on terror” whether he is willing to use the term or not, and whether he is willing to step up and fight or not. He has referred to attacks in our country that were obviously driven by jihad, as “workplace violence”, and attributed the attack on our embassy in Benghazi to an anti-Muslim video. The night before the attacks in Paris, he said we were “containing ISIS”. After the attack, he called it a “setback”.

He has used every episode of violence to further his anti-gun agenda, and to vilify Republicans because we are not inane enough to realize that every incremental move on the part of Democrats towards stricter gun laws is a step closer to surrendering our only form of defense. We certainly cannot count on our so-called Commander in Chief to keep us safe.

During the bulk of President Obama’s occupancy of the White House, we have been relatively inconsequential militarily. Obama routinely ignores the advice of the joint chiefs, whose purpose it is to advise the president on military matters. He refuses to acknowledge the danger that ISIS poses to our country, and will not commit to their defeat. He speaks of a coalition that is nonexistent, and the airstrikes he has ordered against ISIS, have been ineffective. The bulk of their financing is from oil, and he refused to bomb their oil fields or tankers, because he was concerned about the effect it would have on the environment.

I am not a military strategist, but I do know that 70 years ago we won a decisive victory half way around the world, against formidable opponents like Germany and Japan. I feel certain that their level of intelligence, strategic knowledge, and military preparedness far exceeded that of a group of thugs who live in tents in the desert. A year ago, President Obama dismissed them as the “JV team”, and his procrastination has allowed ISIS to expand their territory and their numbers, but even at their current size and military capacity, I have a hard time believing that the most sophisticated super power on the planet cannot level them.

In August 1945, President Truman made the most difficult decision of his life when he decided to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but he did it to end a war that had cost millions of lives, and would cost an estimated 500,000 more if we had to take the next step and invade Japan. As Richard Nixon said of Truman years later, “He was a tough son of a bitch; he had some of the best gut instincts I have ever seen in a president, he trusted them and he was usually dead-on.” Well, I wish Obama had even half of Truman’s guts.

I firmly believe that President Obama has no desire to defeat ISIS. I cannot imagine why, but he is either completely inept, or he has another agenda. Either way, he is not looking out for the best interests of this country, and that makes him a treasonous president. He is completely out of touch with the fear that American’s are feeling, and he cannot begin to fathom a strategy to defeat ISIS. An enemy in relative infancy outmatches the leader of the most powerful country in the world, with access to the latest technology and most sophisticated military capability.

That puts me in mind of something my very wise, but not always subtle Mother used to say to me when I would call her and complain about one of my toddlers who had me at my wits end, “Well hon, if you’re bamboozled by a two-year-old, you might as well turn your toes up”.

I think that applies here.


A Little Backbone Please!


One of the most essential qualities in the Republican presidential nominee for the 2016 election will be a backbone. That and a little knowledge of foreign policy would be nice. With the unrest in the Middle East, the tragic events that occurred in Paris last Friday evening, and the ongoing threat of ISIS, it should be apparent to everyone that our national security is of critical importance at this time.

Under President Obama, we have seen a regress in the image that we project to our allies and our adversaries alike; no one believes in us anymore; we do not stand for anything anymore. Our allies, like Israel, cannot trust us to have their back, and our enemies do not fear repercussion from us. Not a great combination.

To really understand the effect of a strong commander in chief, we can look back at one of the greatest, President Reagan. In 1979, during Jimmy Carter’s presidency, Islamic revolutionaries kidnapped sixty Americans from the United States embassy in Tehran. They held them hostage for 444 days, releasing them minutes after Ronald Reagan took the oath of office as the 40th President of the United States. Reagan’s intention to strengthen our military, his belief in American exceptionalism, his conviction of peace through strength, and his utter contempt for totalitarianism in all its forms, put the world on notice.

Reagan’s mental toughness and negotiation skills faced their first big challenge in the spring of 1981. Still recovering from the assassination attempt, President Reagan was notified of PATCO’s  (Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization) intention to see a 100 percent pay increase or go on strike, effectively grounding all commercial flights and even more importantly, posing a national security threat to the country by leaving the AWACS planes that patrolled our air space unable to fly. Reagan was a union man himself, and he was sympathetic to their desire for a pay increase commensurate with the increased pressures of their job. In addition, PATCO was one of the few unions that had supported Reagan’s candidacy, so he tried to negotiate a more reasonable settlement with them, but to no avail. It is illegal for a federal employee to go on strike, and each member of PATCO signed an affidavit stating they would not strike, and yet seventy percent of them still walked off the job. Reagan refused to accept it. Appearing in the Rose Garden, he announced to the press that if the strikers did not return to work within 48 hours, they would be fired, and they would not be rehired. The union thought he was bluffing.

The story had international implications, and everyone was watching, including the Russians. Britain backed President Reagan, France pressured him to make a deal, and Canada shut down Gander airport in a show of solidarity with the strikers. Reagan sent word to them through his transportation secretary Drew Lewis that if they did not reopen the airport within two hours, the U S would never land there again. They reopened.

After putting together a temporary air control system using a combination of the controllers who remained on the job, the FAA and the Defense department, Reagan stood his ground. After 48 hours, over 11,000 air traffic controllers lost their jobs. President Reagan was heartbroken over the effect it would have on the families, but he knew that no American president could tolerate an illegal strike. The world found out that Reagan’s toughness was not just empty rhetoric.

When Mu’ammar Qadhafi masterminded a 1986 bombing in Berlin, which resulted in the death of an American service member, and the injury of 63 others, Reagan ordered air strikes on key Libyan targets. He later addressed the nation, saying, “When our citizens are abused or attacked anywhere in this world… we will respond so long as I’m in this Oval Office,” and to terrorist leaders around the world he said, “He [Qadhafi] counted on America to be passive.  He counted wrong” (Reagan, “Speaking” 288).  With that speech, Reagan imposed his views upon the world and he let the country know that he would not succumb to any foreign national threat.

Fast forward to 2012, when President Obama said this about the use of chemical weapons by Syria, “We have communicated in no uncertain terms with every player in the region that that’s a red line for us and that there would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front or the use of chemical weapons. That would change my calculations significantly.” Guess what? Bashar al-Assad has brazenly challenged President Obama’s red line with repeated attacks over the last few years, all without any action by the United States. Of course, Obama has backtracked on his “red-line” comment, saying it was not “his” red line, but the “world’s” red line.

A year and a half ago, Obama referred to ISIS as the “jayvee” team. At a time when they were more contained, and easier to eliminate, Obama downplayed them as a real threat. We all know how that has worked out, with ISIS controlling huge swaths of Syria and Iraq, and committing mass executions of Christians, or anyone else who does not support Islam. Of course, President Obama later claimed that he was not referring specifically to ISIS, but to random terrorist sects in the area, despite the fact that he was responding to a question about a terrorist group that had just taken over Fallujah, which was in fact ISIS.

After ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris this last Friday, France began air strikes in retaliation against them; at least France is taking a stand against evil. Our president cannot even utter the words “radical Islam”, or “Muslim terrorists”. The day before the attacks in Paris, Obama said in an interview with George Stephanopolous, that ISIS is not gaining strength, that we have “contained them”. I do not believe the citizens of France would agree with him.

Fox Business GOP Debate Recap

RubioRubio Continues to Impress!

Last night, we saw the candidates in their fourth GOP debate of the 2016 election cycle. Sponsored by Fox Business and moderated by Neil Cavuto, Gerard Baker and Maria Bartiroma, the debate focused on the economy, and was more substantive than any of the previous debates. The candidates fielded questions on job creation, tax plans, immigration, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and a fair amount of foreign policy. This was the best debate so far, and the moderators asked excellent questions, but they definitely need to come up with a better way of monitoring the time situation…their bell just wasn’t getting the job done.

Going into the debate, the frontrunners were Donald Trump and Ben Carson, followed by Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush. Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul, John Kasich all continue to hover around 2 percent in the polls. Overall, the climate was civil, with a little back and forth between Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, and Donald Trump and John Kasich. Donald Trump only threw one real insult, which he directed at his favorite target, Carly Fiorina. He complained to the moderators that she kept interrupting, although in reality, John Kasich was the real culprit there.

So, now to the important stuff…how did they perform? Here are my thoughts:

Trump was just mediocre. He did not have as much opportunity to speak as he normally does, and his lack of knowledge on foreign policy was painfully obvious. This is not surprising, and as the debates become more substantive, his weaknesses will become more noticeable. As a candidate, he lacks depth, so when the discussions become more complex, he tends to quiet down and hang back. His comfort zone is business, and he did make some good points, but I think he is naïve on immigration. I am very much in favor of securing the border, but the idea that we can just automatically deport 11 million people is unrealistic. I do think he has been good for the GOP, because he does shake things up and he is not afraid to go on the attack. I don’t think he hurt his numbers tonight, and his faithful followers will probably stay with him, but I don’t expect that this debate will give him a bump in his poll numbers.

Dr. Ben Carson, like Trump, was just okay. His most effective moment was when he deflected the criticism from the mainstream media over his West Point “scholarship”. He compared his vetting process, and the hard line taken against him, with the fact that Hillary Clinton gets a pass for lying about the events in Benghazi. That brought his best applause of the night, and he made a good point. For the most part, he seemed somewhat disconnected, and his response on the banking situation and on the Special Forces in Syria, didn’t make a lot of sense. As with Trump, I don’t think he hurt himself last night, but I don’t think he had a particularly strong showing.

John Kasich was just painful to watch! He was obnoxious with his constant interruptions, and his long-winded monologues. For a while, it seemed like the Kasich/Cruz hour, as they both dominated much of the latter part of the debate. When Kasich defended the idea of a banking bailout, he got boos from the audience, and according to Frank Luntz of Fox News, he received the lowest score ever recorded with Luntz’s focus group. He was too aggressive and argumentative, and I think his poll numbers will pay the price. I will be shocked if he isn’t relegated to the kiddie table in the next debate.

I’m sorry, I am sure he’s a very nice man, but Ted Cruz just really irritates me. His answers are endless; the man just loves to talk. Most of the pundits are saying he had a great night, and he definitely had more than his share of airtime. He has an extensive background in debate, so it’s not unusual for him to perform well. He had a few good applause lines, but he also had a Rick Perry moment when he was enumerating the five federal agencies he wants to eliminate in conjunction with his tax plan, and he could only name four of them. I think he probably won over some voters last night, and he will probably see a slight bump in his poll numbers, but I still don’t think he’ll overtake Rubio.

Carly Fiorina had a good night. She was more involved in the discussion than Trump or Carson, and she definitely knows her facts. She is extremely well spoken and knowledgeable, and she is comfortable debating both economics and foreign policy, which is especially impressive since she is an “outsider”. I don’t think her poll numbers will change a lot, and I don’t think she has enough personal appeal to win the nomination. She’s almost robotic, and like Cruz and Kasich, she is too long-winded. I do, however, think she would make a good vice-president.

Rand Paul just needs to throw in the towel. I still don’t see how he managed to be on the big stage last night, when Christie was demoted to the bottom tier. He went after Marco Rubio, who is his main competition right now, but I think it backfired on him. He likes to throw barbs at the other candidates, and I think it just makes him look petty. His poll numbers aren’t going to improve, so he’s on borrowed time.

Jeb Bush needed to have a great night, but he didn’t manage to pull it off. He was better than he was in the last debate, which really isn’t saying a whole lot. I just don’t think he’s comfortable in a debate setting. He seems to come across better in interviews or on the campaign trail. Debate performance really shouldn’t be the deciding factor when selecting a President; after all, Obama debated well, and you know the rest of that story. However, Jeb just seems to get a little confused at times, and he just looks awkward. I don’t think he helped himself last night, so his numbers will probably stay about the same.

Last, but certainly not least, Marco Rubio. In my humble opinion, he was the winner last night! He wasn’t quite as good as he was in the last debate, but I still think he came across very well. His answers are concise, and he has a way of discussing complex issues in a way that most anyone can understand. He made some great points about the importance of the family, and about education, and I thought he was particularly strong on foreign policy. He knows that we have to have a strong military, and he made Rand Paul look foolish for attacking him over military expenditures. I kept waiting for Marco to invoke President Reagan, because Reagan was both conservative and pro-defense spending, and that would have really shut Rand Paul down. I noticed on Twitter last night that as the debate was ending, one of the top political backers in the country tweeted to Rubio’s campaign, “I’m in”. I think we can expect to see Rubio move ahead in the polls. Go Marco!!

Election 2016: A Mandate on Morality


I am predicting that we as a nation are going to see some great things in the 2016 Presidential election. Namely, a reversal in the decadent trend this One Nation under God, has been following since the election of Barack Obama in 2008.

The good news started this past Tuesday, when the Election Day map showed most of the United States a very patriotic shade of red. With the state of Kentucky electing a Republican Governor for the first time in more than forty years, the GOP now holds 32 out of 50 governorships. Democrats failed to take over the senate in the state of Virginia, which means that Republicans continue to have control of 30 of the 50 state legislatures. These gains are historic. We have a trifecta in 24 states, where Republicans control the house, the senate, and the governorship. What this means in real terms is that the GOP is alive and well, and at the state and local level, much stronger than its Democratic counterpart.

Over the long haul, these advances will prove as valuable to the Republican Party as having a majority in the U. S. House and Senate. In the political arena, the grassroots level is where it’s at. Most federal policy originates within the individual states; they are the laboratories where the political parties experiment with potential legislation. With the Republicans in the majority, they will be very influential in creating future federal policy that will move us back in the right direction.

In addition, most of the politicians we see on the national stage made their debut at the state level. With more Republicans serving in these positions, the GOP will have an abundance of political talent to draw from in future elections. We can already see this in action in the current presidential race. After the last few election cycles, the Democratic Party has little depth when it comes to potential candidates for the top job. You know they are scraping the bottom of the barrel when the best they have to offer is either a confirmed socialist, or a proven liar currently under FBI investigation. They just have no talent on the bench.

President Obama has been a lousy commander-in-chief, but he has proven to be an outstanding campaigner, at least for the Republican Party, which has made great gains under his administration. A tweet by Republican operative, Rory Cooper said it succinctly, “Under President Obama, Democrats have lost 900+ state legislature seats, 12 governors, 69 House seats, 13 Senate seats. That’s some legacy.”

There is a message here; Americans are not happy with the powers that be, and they are not happy with the trajectory of the country. Oh, we still have the kooks and the degenerates among us, who are comfortable with immorality and perversion, and who are more interested in a free ride than a free country. However, the “silent majority” that President Nixon spoke to in 1969 are now expressing themselves at the polls, which is the most efficient way to voice their opinion in a just and democratic society.

Jeb is Getting Desperate

Jeb Bush

I think Jeb Bush is probably a very good man, he’s just not a very good presidential candidate. His campaign is absolutely floundering, and it will take more than his new slogan, “Jeb can fix it”, to fix it.

I’m really kind of surprised that he has not performed better in the 2016 race. Although I didn’t know a lot about him prior to his candidacy, and I was “iffy” as to whether his last name would prove a blessing or a curse, I still thought that with his background, he would prove to be a formidable candidate. He has not.

He just doesn’t have it. He lacks confidence, he lacks conviction, and I don’t think he has a strong enough message to make a case for why he’s our best chance to win in 2016. He seems uncomfortable and ill at ease during the debates, so Hillary would wipe the floor with him.

I believe that most Americans respect and admire the Bush family, but I think that two Bush presidency’s is enough for most. Jeb is fighting the ghost of his brother’s eight years in office, and while I don’t think it’s fair to judge him based on his brother’s policies, that’s just the nature of the beast.

I personally like George W. Bush, and I think he was a good president. He had a tremendous amount to deal with during his two terms, more than most other presidents, and I think he genuinely tried to do his best for the country. I know I felt much safer when he was in office. He was sincere and authentic, and he inspired my confidence. Jeb does not.

His dismal performance at last week’s debate, and his desperate attempt to undermine Marco Rubio was another nail in the coffin of his bid for the White House. I don’t think the Bush family will be setting any records for the most family members to serve as POTUS, and I really think that at this point, Jeb is just wasting his time and other people’s money.

I don’t think he’ll give up easily though; he doesn’t want to give Donald Trump the satisfaction of forcing him out. He’ll stay in until someone he esteems convinces him to stop the bleeding, or until his supporters tighten their purse strings. Sorry Jeb….it’s just not happening for ya!