Thursday, September 17, 2015

CNN: Debate or bashfest

How many times have you heard someone say, “I went to the fights last night and a hockey game broke out.” Or at a football game where the officials are the story and the players aren’t really allowed to play.

After the first debate, I said that I thought that Fox News put on a professional debate and they were the clear winner. Last nights debate was an embarrassment for CNN. You’d be hard pressed to find a sound byte of one of the candidates where you don’t hear Jake Tapper saying “Thank you Governor”, or “Thank you Senator” to stop; them from talking. Where were Dana Bash and Hugh Hewitt?

With eleven candidates on stage and only three hours for the debate for those eleven, it’s understandable that their time would have to be limited on each question, but some sort of a warning that they were going over would be appropriate. Talking over them and the last sentence or two that they are trying to say is annoying at best. Using a light as a warning their time was running out would have been good. A short bell when their time expired would be good, but to interrupt them where you couldn’t understand what was being said was not very professional.

CNN created their own problems with this debate. First, the qualifications for the candidates to earn their spot on the stage was flawed. Originally, CNN said they would use the average of the polls dating back to July. This meant that a candidate from the bottom performers would have a harder time moving up and it appeared it would work out unfairly for Carly Fiorina. She clearly impressed everyone in the early Fox debate which was sometimes called the kids table. Her numbers were moving up, but what was dragging her down were the polls prior to the debate.

CNN went politically correct after the criticism started coming up. They were leaving out a woman because her early polls when she wasn’t very well known were holding her back. So CNN knuckled under and created a change in the rules so that she could qualify. But they apparently thought they would be unfair if they had to remove someone else with this new “special exemption” for Fiorina. So they added her rather than eliminating the lowest candidate with their new criteria.

Had they left it alone, Fiorina actually did qualify even under their first set of guidelines. Had they left it alone, Fiorina would have bumped out either Chris Christie or Rand Paul. But by creating the exemption, worried about the feelings of whoever would be knocked off the big stage. So either Rand Paul or Chris Christie were onstage when they shouldn’t have. CNN’s political correctness helped a white man. That’s not likely ever their intention.

CNN created another problem. Their stated intention was to get the candidates to do battle against each other. They wanted the knock down drag out fight between the candidates. Perhaps they thought it would help the Democrats, or help their ratings, or create news for their Sunday program and all of their political programs leading up to Sundays talk show. However, with all of that time spent trying to get the candidates into a fistfight on stage, we didn’t hear about the economy, the $18 trillion debt, social security failing, and veterans dying while waiting for the doctors to see them.  Compare this to how Fox handled  their questions.

During the Fox debate, the moderators asked questions of the candidates about their own words that they seem to have changed over time. For instance, someone was asked about their abortion views and how they are different from what they used to be. However, CNN decided they were going to ask a candidate about what another candidate said about them and then said “how do you want to respond to them about what they said”. CNN was trying to create news rather than reporting news that came from the debate without prodding.

To the candidates credit, for the most part, they didn’t take the bait. The perfect example was Carly Fiorina. She was asked about Donald Trumps comment about her face and being President. She made the comment that Trump had heard Jeb Bush on another topic, and that the women of this country had heard what Trump said. She didn’t talk about his hair, or his lack of humility.

On the other hand, right out of the gate, Rand Paul and Donald Trump had a brief face spitting contest. Later in the debate, the candidates began to get a little testy, especially Chris Christie with his comments about how the people don’t care about Trumps and Fiorina’s careers, while talking about his past as a U.S. Attorney.

The candidates for the most part were the class act on CNN. CNN’s structure of the debate was flawed and embarrassing.

Last night, people tuned in to see a fight and a debate broke out. However, even for this political junkie, a three hour debate is too long.

Two cuts from the debate that impressed me.

You’re welcome to comment.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Republic vs. democracy

Too many times politicians will go on talk shows or at press conferences talking about their particular topic and they will usually say at some point, “this is a democracy” or “the last time I looked we live in a democratic society” or even, “this is no way to run a democracy”.

So what is the difference between a democracy and a republic? It’s really a very simple definition. A democracy is direct government ruled by the majority. A republic is a representative government ruled by a Constitution, or laws.

In both forms, the people elect their representatives. In both forms, the one that gets the most votes wins the seat. It’s what happens after that election that shows which is which.

In the republican form of government, the Constitution limits the powers of the government to protect the people. Basically, that means that the power is in the hands of the people, or the citizenry, and that power is lent to the government.

In the democratic form of government, they only need to change the hearts and minds of the voters to make changes to the law or to create laws and the Constitution is not necessarily considered.

Try to imagine something if you can. Suppose the government didn’t have the money to give to people that didn’t have a job or were disabled. How would those people eat? Get shelter for themselves? Survive  the winters without heat? There’s really only three ways for them to achieve this that is legal. First, find a job. Second, charity, third, turn to a life of crime.

A life of crime is simple. They’ll eventually get caught and be put in jail. Food and shelter are then provided. Charity would depend on the hearts of those giving that cared enough for their fellow man. Charitable giving always goes up when taxes are lower and the economy is flourishing. But when taxes go up, charitable giving comes down. When the economy is bad, as it tends to get when taxes are increased, charitable giving goes down.

In the 1960’s, President Johnson called for a war on poverty and began the dependent society. However, the highest tax rate was 70% and they still didn’t have enough money to give to the poor and we’ve never eradicated poverty. President Reagan reduced the highest tax rate from 70% to 28% and more people went to work, but the welfare never stopped.

Now we are $18 Trillion in debt. The majority voted themselves money and continue to do so, but those in poverty are still in poverty. Those dependent on government for their existence are still dependant on government. We will reach a point, in a few short years where we will not be able to give money to the poor that don’t work but could. The government is likely to increase taxes at that point, which will drive the poverty rate higher causing the government to need more money, which means more debt until we’ve lost not only the poor, but the middle class as well. All because the majority voted for money for themselves without regard for their own responsibilities.

Another way is for the government to create a climate in this country where work is rewarded. Where earning money is not punishable. People will have more money, and not because they voted themselves more money but instead because they went out and earned more money. The economy would improve because people have more money to save and spend which creates more goods sold, taxes generated, and better and improving lifestyle for all.

We then have charities returning to help out the disabled. To either find them a way to create their own business that can fit their disability, or help them if they just aren’t able to work.

In a republic, our elected officials are required to give an oath to the Constitution. The Constitution is our rule of law. When our elected representative ignores laws he or she doesn’t like, they are not honoring their oath. They should be impeached and then removed from office and replaced with someone that will honor their oath. Their word.

Yes, a republic can be a bit tougher than a democracy. A republic isn’t for voting money for certain groups. It’s in place for all of the people equally. So when you pay your tax dollars, it’s going for the protection of our shores and running our limited government. When it’s given away to those that refuse to work, your money is paying for someone not to work. Or if the government is funding some institution that you don’t believe in, your money is being confiscated for a use that may go against your beliefs be they beliefs of conscious or even religion.

A republic vs. a democracy. It would be a good idea for all to know the difference and its application before they go into the voting booth and choose which person they want to put in the position of making the decisions of what to do with the hard earned money you pay in taxes.

You’re welcome to comment.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Outsider vs. Establishment

For years, the Democrats have been playing on people’s feelings while Republicans were talking about the actual outcomes of different policies that have been put out there and the Republicans were not fighting back against the Democrats rhetoric.

A very good example is government spending. During the 90’s the Democrats talked about how they were lowering spending when in fact, they weren’t cutting spending, they were only cutting the size of the increase in spending. If the government had paid 4% more last year than they did the previous year, and this year they were going only increasing spending by 3%, they would call that a reduction in spending. However, when the Republicans reduced the increase in spending from 4% to 3% the following year, the Democrats would call it a “cut” and then claim that Republicans hated children or the elderly or the homeless or whatever particular area was being cut.

Another example may be about to play out again soon. Recently, there have been videos come out that showed Planned Parenthood is selling body parts from aborted babies, for a profit, which is illegal. With the coming debt ceiling limit being reached, Republicans are saying they will cut funding for Planned Parenthood. President Obama says that if Planned Parenthood’s funds are cut, he’ll veto it. This standoff could lead to another government shutdown.

This is already being portrayed as the Republicans shutting down the government and not Obama. So what’s the message? It’s okay for the Republicans to cave in and fund Planned Parenthood to avoid shutting down the government. If they don’t, the Democrats will portray them as being women haters and not caring about the health of women, regardless of the law. So the Republicans are likely to back down, especially with the likes of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner running the two houses of Congress. They are the establishment. They don’t fight back, they capitulate to protect their image.

In 2013, Senator Ted Cruz was blamed by Democrats and the media for the government shutdown. What’s disturbing is that some in the Republican party also blamed Cruz for the shutdown. But, what were the results? The Republicans had massive gains in the election of 2014. They increased their lead in the House and they took over the majority in the Senate. Yet, the Republicans are still afraid of government shutdown talk and still back away.

The Republicans promised to defund Obamacare and to eliminate Obama’s executive order regarding illegal immigration. But, once elected, they backed down. It seems that the “establishment” Republicans feel that they saved themselves with the promise of defunding, from the shut down of 2013. Their re-election is more important than their words and their promises which is why they were elected and given a large majority in the House and the majority in the Senate.

The founding fathers didn’t want a monarchy. They wanted a citizen government and set it up that way. The people choose their representatives in government. The requirements were that you be natural born, at least had 14 years of residence in the U. S., and be over 35 years of age. Not born of a political family, or have a certain amount of schooling in Political Science, or any other criteria. A citizen government. Having professional politicians is what’s given us corruption, and an $18 Trillion debt that’s still growing .

Enter Donald Trump! Illegal immigration was dying. He revived it in his first speech saying Mexico wasn’t sending their best citizens, they were sending their worst. Murderers, rapists, etc. He also said that some were good, “I assume” but a good portion were not good citizens.

Because of Donald Trump, it was noticed nationwide when Kate Steinle was murdered by an illegal alien who had been deported 5 times and still came back. Because of Donald Trump we now know that 70% of illegal aliens are collecting welfare. They come here and we feed, clothe and house them and they get free health care. Well, free for them. The rest of us pay for them.

Trump has also given political correctness a huge smack down. What else do you call it when people come here illegally, have a baby and then stay because the baby is an American citizen? Anchor baby is the term. It’s not derogatory unless you consider using children to break the law and get away with it, derogatory.

Have you heard of McConnell or Boehner talking about Anchor babies? It’s too touchy for them. They don’t want to touch that. It’s too toxic for them because they may come out on the wrong end and cost them their precious leadership positions.

Donald Trump is an outsider. He’s not part of the establishment. Because he’s not part of the establishment, politicians have attacked. Senator Rand Paul attacked. He’s fallen way back and is not a factor lately. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry attacked and he fell in the polls so far that he’s now decided to drop out of the race. Now Governor Bobby Jindahl of Louisiana is on the attack. He’s already down in the polls and has been since he got in. Apparently, he’s trying to remind people he’s still out there.

Trump has made two mistakes, and yes, I realize it’s not a good idea to say he makes mistakes because everytime he says something that everyone thinks is outrageous, his numbers get better. However, he has made two mistakes. His attack on Megyn Kelly, saying “she’s bleeding out of her eyes and wherever”. He may not have meant anything regarding menstrual cycles, but it came across that way and it was an unwarranted attack on a female. Now in the past few days, it’s come out that he said to Rolling Stone about Carly Fiorna, who would elect that face.

Personal attacks on appearance or bodily functions are cheap shots. He’s not as rich as he claims when he says those things, and I’m not talking about financial wealth.

Dr. Ben Carson is another outsider. Soft spoken, deliberate, almost boring. Except in his words. He’s obviously been very thoughtful in what he believes and how he presents himself. He may be the only one that can get the GOP back into contention with people that are black and guide everyone to see each other as Americans and not as one color or the other who just happen to be Americans. Americans first, race second or ideally no race distinction at all.

Carly Fiorina is another outsider. She is also deliberate, although she speaks faster than Carson. However, that’s not hard to do. Fiorina came out and immediately went after Hillary saying Hillary has lied about Benghazi, lied about E-mail and lied about her server. When she’s asked a question it’s like she has a file cabinet in her head and she pulls out the file on that topic and gives her answer. She has a message, states it and never seems to lose her cool. Even after Trumps attack on her looks, her answer was to say “I am proud of every year and every wrinkle.”

The ones that are most likely not to accept the mainstream media, and the Democrat Party from labeling the Republicans as not caring about the children, women or immigrants are Trump, Carson.

Ideally, we’ll get Trumps enthusiasm, with Fiorina’s sharpness and knowledge  and Carsons demeanor. These three seem to be what the American people prefer.

Over the next year it will be interesting to see if we’re still talking about Outsider vs. Establishment when it comes down to Republican vs. Democrat.

If a prediction is required about the debate this week, the prediction would be that Carson and Fiorina would have the best debate results.

Which is the preference for the nominee of the Republican party? For my own part, I haven’t decided yet. As for my current preference, I’m not going to tell you who “she” is just yet. What’s a little writing without a bit of fun?

You’re welcome to comment.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Clerk Stands up for a Principle

A line in the sand has been drawn in Moorhead Kentucky. The recent Supreme Court ruling regarding same sex marriage has not only touched American business, but has now touched American Government!

Kim Davis is the clerk in Moorhead Kentucky. Her mother was the clerk before her for 42 years and Mrs. Davis was elected last November to replace her retiring mother. Among the duties of the clerk is to issue marriage licenses.

Davis is now refusing to issue any marriage licenses. She’s not issuing them to gays and she’s not issuing them to straight people wanting to get married. Her reasoning is based on her religious faith. She sees it as a choice between the Supreme Court of the United States and God. In her case, God wins!

Davis was ordered by a federal court to issue the licenses. She still refused. The Supreme Court refused to hear her appeal, so the last order was to stand, which meant that she was to issue marriage licenses. She continues to refuse. Finally!! Someone in this country that stands up for a principle and for God!

She faces up to a year in prison for refusing to follow a court order. The only way she can lose her job is to be impeached by the State Legislature. Are the courts really going to send an American citizen to jail for following her religious beliefs? Possibly. Will the legislature really impeach her?

Imagine if she’s sent to prison. She will be sent there in violation of her religious freedom. She could also remain clerk while in prison. She could order her employees to continue to refuse to issue marriage licenses. What happens then? Do they start imprisoning all of the employees or just add on to Davis’ sentence?

Or another scenario. If she’s sent to prison, will the legislature then impeach her and remove her from office? If so, will the people of Moorhead stand up and re-elect her to the clerk’s position despite her being in prison?

The Supreme Court has created a very serious problem for themselves as well as the American people. At some point this topic could go back before the Supreme Court. Our Constitution says that Congress shall make no law respecting religion. But it doesn’t say anything about the Supreme Court making a law regarding religion which is what they have in effect done.

Kim Davis could actually be the catalyst to get this topic before the Supreme Court again and hopefully overturn themselves.

Kim Davis ought to be applauded for standing up for her principle and standing up for God! The amazing thing is that Kim Davis is a Democrat! Maybe there is still hope for this Country!

You’re welcome to comment.