With Congress out of session I am playing more golf and writing less. This issue of my blog is a potpourri of thoughts.
President Donald Trump
Trump continues to baffle me with his actions and comments. He put his foot in his mouth on the Charlottesville issue, partially extracted it, and then shoved it fully back in on day later. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) made the comment that he is not sure that Donald Trump has the temperament to be the President of the United States. His exact words were “The President has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful,” He did follow that up by stating that we need him to be successful whether you are a Republican or Democrat.
His rally in Phoenix this week was a rambling statement that once again went on the attack against the media and some fellow Republicans. This has become self-defeating in the long run. First, he will need these Republicans to pass any of his agenda. Going after them politically will solve nothing in the long term and eventually help the Democrats defeat initiatives proposed by the President. Second, this continual drumbeat of attacks on the media is now beginning to fall on deaf ears. I get it that he thinks the major media outlets in this country are against him. He is correct. But that will not change. They covered him extensively during the campaign because he was news that got readers and ratings. They never thought he would win and when he shocked the world by defeating Hillary Clinton they were aghast and many thought they might have actually helped him win. So they began a comprehensive plan to attack everything he proposed and he feeds into that by responding to their attacks. In the end he will lose that battle.
President Trump continues to call for Republicans to eliminate the filibuster in the Senate. Wiser heads have ignored this call. I understand why he would suggest this because the Democrats in the Senate are not interested in passing anything. They are in full obstructionist mode. But those like Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have wisely remembered when this rule has helped them when they were in the minority. I have repeatedly said that Harry Reid made a major mistake in changing the rule on judges up for nomination. That opened the door for McConnell to change it on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch. Had Schumer not caved in to the far left of his party and refused to filibuster Gorsuch he would have had the high ground on the next nomination and McConnell would have had a difficult time changing the rule then. When you look at Justices on the Court right now you see the possibility of another nomination in the next two years as being very probably. Justice Anthony Kennedy has openly speculated about retiring and it is no secret that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has major health issues. Justice Stephen Breyer is not spring chicken either.
Speaking of Hillary Clinton it has become apparent that she cannot just go quietly into the night. Most Democrats wish she would fade away like most losing candidates but that is not the Clinton style. When Bill Clinton lost his first reelection for Governor in Arkansas he spent the next four years touring the state asking people what they wanted him to be as the Governor. It worked for him and he won the Governorship back. Hillary Clinton lost to Obama, joined his Cabinet as the Secretary of State and then began her own campaign for the Presidency. Her likability numbers were abysmally low and she had negatives well below 50%. The fact that a candidate like Donald Trump could defeat her should be a clear signal that the American public will not give her enough electoral votes to ascend to the Presidency. But that will not deter either the Clintons nor their multitude of admirers. Since they were able to raise an obscene amount of money for their campaign they have millions in reserve. The Clinton campaign arm, Hillary for America, has paid several key staffers significant amounts since the campaign ended last November. Huma Abedin has received $65K from the campaign and Nick Merrill, the press secretary and Robert Russo, director of correspondence, are still on the payroll. There are a number of lesser staff members being paid. The question is why? Is she planning on another race for the Presidency?
Hillary Clinton is out with a new book this week entitled “What Happened”. If she does not know what happened by now she has had her head in the sand. Other Democrats are shaking their heads and worrying that this will once again relive all the mistakes that were made in the 2016 campaign and more importantly, keep other candidates from moving to the head of the Democrat field for 2020. Personally I think she believes she can run again and is unwilling to step aside. In her book she says that she felt Donald Trump was creepy and he made her skin crawl during the debates when he neared her. Lets be honest, there are a lot of other women that felt the same way about her husband, a noted philanderer. I guess she missed the irony of that statement.
A friend of mine sent me the following little analogy about the Affordable Care Act (ACA – ObamaCare). I think it is pretty much on point.
Affordable Plumber Act
Too bad this wasn’t explained this way to Congress when they voted on it!
Weeks after leaving office on January 20, 2017, former President Barack Obama discovered a leak under his sink, so he called Joe the Plumber to come out and fix it.. Joe drove to President Obama’s new house, which is located in a very exclusive, gated community near Washington DC, where all the residents have a net income of way more than $250,000 per year.
Joe arrived and took his tools into the house. He was led to the guest bathroom that contained the leaky pipe under the sink. Joe assessed the problem and told Obama that it was an easy repair & that will take less than10 minutes. Obama asked Joe how much it will cost. Joe checked his rate chart and said, “$9,500.”
“What?! $9,500?!” Obama asked, stunned, “But you said it’s an easy repair.”
Joe said, “Yes, but what I do is charge those who make more than $250,000 per year a much higher amount so I can fix the plumbing of poorer people for free. This has always been my philosophy. As a matter of fact, I lobbied the Democrat Congress, who passed this philosophy into law. Now all plumbers must do business this way. It’s known as the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act of 2014’. I’m surprised you haven’t heard of it.”
In spite of that, Obama told Joe there’s no way he’s paying that much for a small plumbing repair, so Joe left. Obama spent the next hour flipping through the phone book calling for another plumber, but he found that all other plumbing businesses in the area have gone out of business.
Not wanting to pay Joe’s price, Obama does nothing and the leak goes
un-repaired for several more days. A week later the leak is so bad President Obama has had to put a bucket under the sink.
Michelle is not happy as she had Oprah and guests arriving the next morning.
The bucket filled up quickly and had to be emptied every hour, and there was a risk the room will flood, so Obama called Joe and pleaded with him to return.
Joe went back to Obama’s house, looked at the leaky pipe, checked his new rate chart and said, “Let’s see, this will now cost you $21,000.”
Obama quickly fired back, “What? A few days ago you told me it would cost $9,500!”
Joe explained, “Well, because of the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act,’ a lot of wealthier people are learning how to maintain and take care of their own plumbing, so there are fewer payers in the plumbing exchanges. As a result, the price I have to charge wealthy people like you keeps rising.
Not only that, but for some reason the demand for plumbing work by those who
get it for free has skyrocketed! There’s a long waiting list of those who need repairs, but the amount we get doesn’t cover our costs, especially paperwork and record-keeping. This unfortunately has put a lot of my fellow plumbers out of business, they’re not being replaced, and nobody is going into the plumbing business because they know they can’t make any money at it. I’m hurting too, all thanks to greedy rich people like you who won’t
pay their ‘fair share,’ On the other hand, why didn’t you buy plumbing
insurance last December? If you had bought plumbing insurance available
under the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act,’ all this would have been covered by
“You mean I wouldn’t have to pay anything to have you fix my plumbing problem?” asks Obama.
“Well, not exactly,” replied Joe. “You would have had to buy the insurance before the deadline, which has passed now. And, because you’re rich, you would have had to pay $34,000 in premiums, which would have given you a ‘silver’ plan, and then, since this would have been your first repair, you would have to pay up to the $21,000 deductible, and anything over that would have a $7,500 co-pay, and then there’s the mandatory maintenance program, which is covered up to 17.5%, so there are some costs involved.
Nothing is for free.”
“WHAT?!” exclaimed Obama. “Why so much for a puny sink leak?!”
With a bland look, Joe replied, “Well, paperwork, mostly, like I said. And the internal cost of the program itself. You don’t think a program of this complexity and scope can run itself, do you? Besides, there are millions of folks with lower incomes than you, even many in the ‘middle class’, who qualify for subsidies that people like you must support. That’s why they call it the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act’! Only people who don’t make much money can afford it. If you want affordable plumbing, you’ll have to give away most of what you have accumulated and cut your and Michelle’s income by about 90%. Then you can qualify to GET your ‘Fair Share’ instead of GIVING it.”
“But who would pass a crazy act like the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act’?!” exclaimed the exasperated Obama.
After a sigh, Joe replied, “Congress … because they didn’t read it.”
This will help you understand ObamaCare. And here you have it, the
‘Affordable Plumbing Act of 2017’.
I would be remiss if I did not comment on what is going on in the nation in the aftermath of Charlottesville. It seems that many on the left would love to erase and rewrite history. We have some dark moments in our history. For almost a century we allowed slavery to be practiced in this nation. Removing statues and any reference to anyone from the Confederacy will not change that fact. In some ways, it reminds us that we must never go backwards on this issue again. What this has done is create a major rift in this country with people taking sides rather that coming together. Monuments that are torn down today in a political zeal will only set the stage for another round of sanitization in future generations.
Make no mistake, there is no place in our society for Neo Nazis or any group that thinks one race is superior to another. We should all be considered equal and no one should be given any special treatment or preference. But this move to sanitize our history has only given these miscreants something to rally around. Better to let them quietly fade away than give them the attention they crave.
Once again, I would encourage any readers of this blog who have comments to leave them in the comments section. I always like to hear other opinions and to foster civil discussion.