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Monday, July 25, 2016

Aside from the hyperbole, let's review the policy differences between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

*Disclaimer: during today's blog post, I will attempt to compare some of the political views of candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  If, from your perspective, I incorrectly identify a policy position of either nominee, feel free to send me a note, yell at me, or wish me ill-fortune.  Any and all errors are undoubtedly not mine, but the fault of the two candidates.

If the American voter makes the effort to examine the issues and the opinions of the two nominees, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, then we should have a good idea just how conservative/liberal the United States has become.  The reason the political landscape should become crystal clear is because we have two candidates who couldn't be further apart on the issues.  Donald Trump openly espouses conservative beliefs and intentions, while Hillary is sounding more liberal than ever before.  Interestingly enough, both candidates have a prior history of being somewhat moderate, but 2016 finds the American populace deeply divided, and both candidates have left moderation behind.  The Obama Administration in itself was a tremendous mobilizer for the right.  Conservatives have been waiting for the opportunity to voice their disapproval to everything from Obamacare to Gay Marriage.  Donald Trump embraced the primary season with an agenda that included insulting every person who had the temerity to disagree (with Mr. Trump).  Many unhappy Americans chose to live vicariously through Trump, especially when he addressed either Obama or Clinton directly (through Twitter).  To the average conservative, Republicans in Congress appeared unwilling to stand up to the Democrats in any fashion.  Sure, Congress convened one investigation after another, but all that was achieved was to aggravate an already open wound.  During the primaries, Trump was successful uniting conservative voters at the ballot box, while Hillary had all sorts of trouble shaking her only real opponent, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.  The self-identified Democrat-Socialist gave Clinton headaches, and his ability to appeal to young voters made it clear to the Clinton Camp that the S.S. Hillary needed to take a sharp turn to the left.  Trump knows his only hope of winning is to ratchet up the same game plan that has worked so well.  He must remain confrontational, introducing a different Clinton scandal day after day; Hillary needs to remind voters of Trump's bruises as well.  When all is said and done, this election may go down as the most negative in history.

From the beginning, it was assumed that Hillary Clinton would appear more able to handle foreign policy issues that Donald Trump.  Not only was Hillary Clinton First Lady for eight years, but she was also a one-term Senator from New York and Barack Obama's Secretary of State during Obama's first term. Clinton has been all over the world and met with hundreds of foreign leaders and dignitaries.  Oddly enough, in all that time, Hillary never thought it prudent to learn a foreign language.  Regardless, Hillary is recognized as being deeply involved in the negotiations that resulted in 2010's New Start Missile Reduction Treaty with Russia.  Don't expect to hear Hillary bring up this Treaty very often in the campaign.  Basically, it calls for the United States to voluntarily eliminate our remaining ballistic missile deterrent vis-√†-vis Russia.  Now that Vladimir Putin is recognized for the snake that he is, and Russia's signature isn't worth a bucket of shit, you can expect Hillary to avoid the subject altogether.  Unfortunately, Hillary was also strongly supportive of Barack Obama's legacy Nuclear Treaty with Iran, which has proven over and over again to be completely untrustworthy.  Also, Hillary must explain to the voter how it was that we were caught so unaware during the Arab Spring.  Why was the Clinton State Department always so reactive, as opposed to proactive?  Trump, on the other hand, must rely on his skills of persuasion and the popularity of his policies to convince voters that his foreign policy ideas are more in-line with the average American.

Trump has made the issue of immigration one of the cornerstones of his campaign.  In the beginning, many political pundits considered this decision to be a mistake, but the anticipated backlash has yet to materialize.  The truth is, once you dig a little deeper, you discover that most Americans are very concerned about immigration and support increasing security and enforcement on the border.  This very well could be the issue which sinks one of these candidates.  Our immigration system is broken, and regardless of what you hear from the Obama Administration, deportations have ground to a halt in this country, including deportations of felons. After hearing about another murder committed by a foreign national felon, aren't you getting tired of asking the same question, "why wasn't this guy deported before he committed another crime?"  Many Americans are offended to the core to see school children waving and showing reverence to the Mexican flag, while stepping on Old Glory, and we saw it time and time again last summer.  Regardless of the cause, this type of imagery, which is repeated ad nauseam during any event related to immigration, is a boon for Mr. Trump.  In order to placate Sanders and his crowd of unwashed twenty-first century hippies, Hillary will have to support the most liberal immigration platform that was ever crafted at a Party Convention.  No doubt it will include support for the Obama Administration's Amnesty.  Support for this policy will make it difficult for Hillary to ever fully step out of Obama's shadow, at least during the election.

Trump and Clinton may actually agree on some foreign trade issues.  Both candidates have expressed support for the American laborer, as existing trade agreements with Europe, Asia and North America always seem to be more concerned with the foreign worker.  In reality, neither candidate has yet to put forth a detailed plan regarding the restructuring of America's trade agreements. There can be no doubt that the playing field is uneven, with countries like China able to protect their workers and product through trade agreement and tariffs, while the United States appears to always be the one sacrificing.  I look forward to the day when we no longer have to hear some loud-mouth politician lecturing about China's economy being so huge that we must ignore human rights violations, aggressive, dangerous espionage, especially in our universities, theft of department of defense property, and daily, deliberate hacking that is costing the United States billions of dollars.  I'm a bit worried about Hillary Clinton and the Chinese, only because they always seem to be involved in her political campaigns (google "Hillary Clinton" and "Chinese Campaign Contributions").

Today we have taken a look at a few of the issues that the two candidates will be debating during the next two months.  Later this week, we will examine a few additional policy differences.  Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both have a lot to say regarding Taxes, and who should pay what.  At least they agree on the need for a more simple tax form.  We look forward to seeing you hear throughout the tumultuous next ten weeks.      

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What conclusions to draw regarding the recent events in Turkey, and how those events impact U.S. policy in the region.

Link: Attempted Coup In Turkey- NY Times

When I first saw the televised announcements last weekend regarding what appeared to be a coup attempt in Turkey, it didn't take long for me to realize that whoever was attempting to take control of the government in Turkey had absolutely no idea what they were doing.  There is good reason for my surprise; coups are not uncommon in recent world history, with Turkey having already experienced a few in the last half-century.  As I tried to make sense from what little information was available, I kept expecting to hear that the government had been taking into custody, the airport secured, and heavy armor rumbling down every major thoroughfare.  The plotters were able to gain control of the radio for a limited time, during which they announced that the coup was necessary to protect against further erosion of civil liberties.  The plotters announced a governing council and promised to adhere to all existing treaties.  This message should have continued playing, or at least a blackout should have gone in affect.  Instead, almost immediately after the attempted coup was announced in the western press, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was on FaceTime and Skype, instructing the people to stand up to the coup by occupying the town squares and taking to the city streets, which they did, en force.  Within an hour or two, Erdogan was holding a press conference at Ataturk International Airport (I'm still not sure why he was on a plane to begin with), announcing that the coup had failed, and that the plotters would be treated harshly.

In order to understand what occurred in Turkey, a bit of background information is necessary.  For centuries, Turkey existed as the Ottoman Empire.  In the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, the Ottoman Empire was an international superpower, at times occupying European territory up to the gates of Vienna.  The Empire was ruled by a Sultan, who was also recognized as Caliph, the religious leader of Muslims.  As history demonstrates time and time again, all Empires seem to have an expiration date.  The Ottomans, in an attempt to rejuvenate a crippled economy and recapture international respect, made the mistake of joining the losing side in World War One (Austria-Hungary and Germany).  For most folks, the war ended in 1918, but Turkey suffered through both a civil war and a war of independence simultaneously.  A leader emerged from the struggle who was destined to transform Turkey.  Kemal Ataturk was a former highly-decorated Ottoman Army Officer, and he ushered in what we know today as modern Turkey.  Ataturk was determined to create a secular Turkey.  He abolished the Sultanate and the Caliphate, and required that Turkish be taught in public schools.  Women were encouraged to abandon the headscarf and men stopped wearing the fez.  During the Second World War, Turkey remained neutral until the very end, with Ataturk in firm control of the government.  When Ataturk finally died, he left behind a democracy backed by a very strong military.  Over the years, when the military has grown concerned about corruption, or the rise in religious extremism, or what it perceived as a threat to secular Turkey, it has called out the troops and tanks and removed certain governments.  At times, the military has kept control of the government much longer than anticipated, but democratic elections would eventually take place.  Turkey has had a thriving democracy in part because of the military's willingness to protect its secular traditions. 

In the last five years, Erdogan has moved Turkey further and further away from this tradition.  Most recently, he has boldly moved against the media, not hesitating to arrest any journalist who speaks against his Administration.  Erdogan has always governed in coalition with Islamist parties, and has already taken steps to remove military officers who might oppose his future intentions.  The idea that the Turkish military would attempt a coup was not a surprise.  The surprise was that this coup never had a chance of succeeding.  Erdogan blames the coup on disgruntled military officers and Turks in exile who he considers enemies.  But nothing he says makes any sense, and I'm not alone in my suspicion.  I believe that Erdogan either planned or encouraged the coup himself.  The plotters never took the necessary actions to give their efforts any hope of success.  Where was the Air Force, the military branch which has been traditionally the most hostile to Erdogan?  Why wasn't the airport occupied and Erdogan's plane shot down when it approached for landing?  Why wasn't the government arrested or at least detained?

Regardless of who was behind the coup attempt, the result is particularly frightening.  Erdogan is purging everything short of elementary schools.  Anyone who had ever acknowledged any type of opposition to Erdogan has been arrested or fired.  The Turks who came out into the streets, shouting their support for Erdogan and waving Turkish flags, now have the dictator they deserve.  The first to suffer will be the Academic community, then the economy will grind to a halt.  Erdogan will blame the West, in particular the United States.  As far as I'm concerned, removing our military presence from Turkey is overdue.  I'm fed up hearing stories of our servicemen and their families being harassed by Erdogan's nationalist thugs.  If the Turks don't want us in Turkey, then we should leave.  Let Erdogan negotiate his way out of NATO.  He's already guaranteed that Turkey will never be a member of the European Union.  I think Erdogan has visions of resurrecting the Ottoman Empire, but those days of grandeur are long gone.  Turkey does not have the economy or the infrastructure to be a superpower.  Don't be surprised, though, if Ankara starts to resemble Caracas.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Why does the government continue to harass cigarette smokers, as the drive to legalize marijuana meets with no federal opposition?

Everyday it seems to me that the world becomes a bit more bizarre.  When I was a child, I could not imagine that cigarette smoking would ever be frowned upon.  Cut to 2016, where movements are underfoot in a number of states to criminalize cigarette smoking inside one's own home.  When the medical profession became more vocal about the dangers of breathing nicotine into the lungs, I was thrilled.  I was just out of college, and I had been thinking about trying to discourage cigarette smoking in my own family.  I remember when the federal government decided to make cigarette smoking more expensive.  Then came the isolation and borderline harassment.  I have never smoked, but I saw the evolution of the anti-smoking movement because I come from a family that smokes.  By the time anti-smoking groups were allowed to disseminate questionable studies involving second-hand smoke, I began to have concerns about the amount of authority the anti-smoking groups had been delegated.  At the back of my mind, though, I realized that if everyone were to quit smoking, our society would be changed for the better.....or at least we would be healthier.  It was then that I became more aware of another smoking movement, and this one was all about lighting up!

I'm not positive, but I believe that the first state to legalize medicinal marijuana was California, which came as no surprise to most Americans.  California has earned the reputation for being ahead of the curve when it comes to liberal legislation.  Since California set the precedent, a slew of "legalize marijuana" groups took the hint and changed their argument to "legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes".  Don't let the semantics fool you.  Marijuana doesn't cure anything.  Somewhere along the line, someone decided that smoking marijuana made it easier to deal with chronic pain.  Before you could say, "Cheech and Chong", half the potheads in America were discovering that they a medical history of terrible chronic pain that could only be ameliorated by smoking or ingesting marijuana.  Interestingly enough, Big Tobacco got the word as well.  Instead of worrying about diminishing profits, Carolina tobacco growers saw a way out; why not put all the lobbying money behind medicinal marijuana?  The plan was simple: once the nation became more comfortable with medicinal marijuana, put the lobbyists to work fighting for legalized, non-medicinal marijuana.  The plan has been working like a charm.  Soon, more states will be legalizing marijuana use.  The arguments of the day being that since people are going to smoke pot anyway, why not make some money taxing it?  The same argument has been put forth by Libertarians for years regarding hard narcotics.  Are you ready to see Heroin and OxyContin for sale at the local H.E.B. or Giant or Food Lion?  Why not? Drug addicts are going to buy the drugs illegally anyway; why not make some money for the state through tax revenue?

So the great people of the United States have decided that cigarette smoking is just short of sucker- punching a nun when it comes to heinous behavior, but smoking pot should be legal, because, well, its not as dangerous as alcohol, and the kids are going to smoke it anyways.  The anti-smoking effort and the pro-marijuana movement are like two ships that passed in the night, moving in opposite directions.  Don't be a bit surprised if you discover in a few years that legal large-scale marijuana production isn't taking place in Colombia, but in Winston-Salem and Greensborough, North Carolina.  Everything seems to be in place for smoking pot to replace tobacco use as the favorite pastime of  young Americans, except for one potential problem which might just cause people to think twice before lighting up their next joint.

For decades, research facilities in Australia and Europe have identified a disturbing link between psychosis and marijuana use.  I don't pretend to be a scientist, and even though I think I understand the basic argument, I must ask you to google "marijuana" and "schizophrenia", and examine the research for yourself.  It is apparent to me that some persons who are born with a potential chemical imbalance or "issue", can trigger psychosis just by smoking pot.  You will also find a few articles debunking the research I mention, but always take the time to discover who is paying for what.  The lobbyists and attorneys for Big Tobacco (we must come up with a new name!) have been busy, blocking all efforts to introduce serious, accredited research into the debate surrounding legal marijuana use.  This issue is very important to me because someone I was very close to, someone who would smoke one joint before bedtime, evolved from a brilliant, funny, healthy person into a paranoid schizophrenic in the span of one evening.  The psychotherapist that was hired was blunt with me regarding the problem; for some people, marijuana use is a ticket to psychosis.  Research has yet to determine percentages, and I'm unaware of any method to determine who would be at a higher risk.  But from my perspective, why take the chance?  We haven't even touched on the common criticism of marijuana that it robs a person's ambition.  I remember discussing the issue with a pot-smoking friend of mine, who had been incredibly successful in his field since leaving college.  "I've never stopped smoking pot, and look at me", he offered.  Sure, he's doing great, but what about percentages this time around?  I can't even count the number of people I have met in my life who are absolute permanent pothead couch potatoes who only care about video games and weed.  We all know that a link exists somewhere, but does it matter?  Not to the progressive issue of de jour.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Regardless of how much the left in the United States despises organized religion, the Founding Fathers were Christian and their faith was the bedrock upon which this nation has flourished.

Everywhere I look in America today, I see Christians circling the wagons, hiding out of plain sight as much as possible.  The principle of "Separation of Church and State", as sound and important as it is, has been used as the ultimate twenty-first century boogeyman, with Christian folks everywhere walking on pins and needles in the fear that they be accused of bigotry.  Let's face it, Christians are an easy target.  When I was a child in the 1970s and 1980s, the liberal academic pressure groups initially forced their brand of Sex Education into our public school system and then picked up the "Separation of Church and State" banner, not bothering to determine first if everyone agreed with their interpretation of that sensitive phrase.  In the beginning, even the Christian groups avoided getting overly involved.  The basic idea of Separation of Church and State is very American, and makes sense to people.  The United States has been seeded with people who left their home countries to escape all sorts of tyranny, including religious oppression.  Its about having the freedom to worship as you choose, and not having to worry about any government introducing a "state religion".  For centuries, most of Europe was Roman Catholic because the ruling monarchies were loyal to the Pope.  More recently, Atheism has been encouraged by some Socialist governments, especially in Africa and Eastern Europe.  Before the end of the Cold War and the fall of oppressive governments in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia and the Baltic States, Socialist and Communist governments openly harassed Christians.  Atheism was the state religion in Albania for many years, as it is today in Communist China.

Excuse the little side trip down memory lane, but a bit of history will help us to understand the balance we try to strike in the United States. The right not to worship is just as important as the right to worship as we choose.  Once the effort to remove some of the more obvious examples of religion within public schools was successful, the left put things into high-gear.  Remember as a child, participating in a Christmas Play that included the Christ child and a manger scene?  What about the plaque emblazoned with the Ten Commandments that was donated by the local chapter of the VFW, and the continued use of the term Christmas, as included in Christmas vacation, Christmas tree, Christmas present, etc.?  If it has anything to do with public school, it has to go.  Most people weren't very happy with the removal of the word Christmas, while others could not see the harm in displaying the Ten Commandments (sometimes you have to remind folks that other religions aside from Christianity are present in our communities).  I believe that the left has done a very convincing job justifying its efforts to remove religion from public schools, and they did so by repeating ad nauseam the Constitutional obligation to make it so.  Have you read the First Amendment to the Constitution lately?  Why not stop reading right here, google and read it, then come on back.

Nowhere in the Constitution will you find the phrase, "Separation of Church and State".  What the  First Amendment does say is that the government shall make no law "respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".  The more I re-examine the Constitution and the separate writings of our founding fathers, the more apparent it is to me that they had no intention of removing religion from the fabric of our nation.  They were, with very few exceptions, practicing Christians, who took advantage of every opportunity to credit God for the success in establishing a free and bountiful nation.  As for the message that was left for us, it seems to me that the Founding Fathers mentioned God in just about everything that was intended to last.  Aside from the documents establishing our political experiment, take a look at your coins and currency; God always seems to make an appearance.  In our Justice system, what book is used to guarantee that the speaker intends to be fully truthful, and what book is used to swear in Presidents every four years?  Of course, its the Bible.  We can surmise the intent of the Founding Fathers, but can we explain why young people today mock and make jokes about people who attend church?  Why has Hollywood and the Entertainment Industry declared war on religion?  You will hear the superstars giving credit to God in their speeches, but how often, outside of the gospel industry, do you hear someone singing about their faith?

Religion has become the enemy because it comes with rules, and the left doesn't believe in rules.  More accurately, the left doesn't believe in responsibility.  We have been through eight years of a Democratic Administration, and it appears likely we will suffer through an additional eight.  One of the most successful campaign tools for the left has been the "you are owed" message.  It goes hand-in-hand with the "it's someone else's fault" mantra.  During the Obama Administration, the National Debt has more than doubled, to nearly twenty-trillion dollars.  Conservatives like to quickly point at the "entitlements" boogeyman, but our debt is an unending stream of giveaways that goes way beyond entitlements.  Social Security has been empty for years, at least as it was originally designed.  Persons collecting Social Security today are borrowing it from someone way into the future.  Add all sorts of welfare, including unemployment, corporate welfare, and the almost criminal never-ending welfare packages paid to farmers (farmers in the United States just can't fail, the government will see to it).  The most recent surge in government dependency has been the increase in persons on disability.  I can't blame the Democrats for all of the giveaway, but I'm happy to dump most of the blame at their feet.  We have raised one, possibly two generations who have no idea how to take responsibility for anything, let alone their own lives.  At the end of the day, this works well for the Democrats, who believe that government must exist, if not control, every aspect of our lives.

I didn't write this commentary in defense of the tele-evangelists  and the Westboro Baptist Church. Hate is hate and its ugly and evil, no matter the source.  I try to keep things simple in my life, and when I noticed so many empty churches, and organizations having no problem misrepresenting the intentions of our Founding Fathers, I went in search of the simple explanation; it wasn't hard to find.  Many young people live their lives with abandon.  To them, life is one short crazy ride that ends with death, so why not experience everything?  Suicide seems to be a pastime for the younger generations, and drug use impacts children more so now then ever.  Its true that young people today seem more politically active than in recent time, but have you listened to what they support?  Free school, free books, free travel for education, everything is free.  The lessons of the recent past, of September 11, 2001, of the Cold War, seem irrelevant.  They have been mislead into thinking that money grows on trees, mostly in Bernie Sander's backyard.  The message of my youth, of family, faith, responsibility, patriotism and kindness, are hard to find.  We are so fortunate to live in a country that does not enforce a national religion, but I am convinced that the left-wing war on organized faith in our nation has been at cross-purposes with many parents.  In most instances (not all), being raised in a Christian household creates responsible, hard-working adults, who would prefer to work than to receive lodging, food and clothing for free.  Sadly, I believe that the numbers are turning in the wrong direction, as the last two Presidential elections have demonstrated.  Donald Trump says he can make America great again.  Although I never realized it previously, Trump claims to be a Christian conservative.  That's great, but we don't necessarily need someone claiming to be a Christian conservative.  We need someone who can set the right example, so that young people will be interested in how they can help build a strong country, with opportunity for anyone willing to sacrifice, instead of preferring to wait for a free ride.  Today, the only time you will hear Barack Obama mention religion, is when he is obliged to repeat the tired clich√©, "our hearts and prayers........".  I hope President Trump won't shy away from talking about faith, and won't avoid saying "Islamic Extremist" when the term applies.  God Bless America.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hillary Clinton avoids accountability for violating State Department security policy; where do we go from here?

For some time I have been dreading the obligation to address what should be the final chapter in Hillary Clinton's State Department email server/security violations.  For weeks I have been writing about the unlikelihood of an indictment; yesterday's announcement by FBI Director James Comey was expected.  What was unexpected was my personal, emotional reaction.  I feel more sad and disenchanted than angry.  If Comey had simply made the announcement, I probably would have put together an angry, three paragraph blog post, reviewing  for the umpteenth time Hillary Clinton's ability to escape any and all retribution.  Instead, before announcing that no charges were to be brought against HRC, Comey carefully and patiently detailed the reasons why Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted.  As if this weren't painful enough, Comey ended his comments by warning anyone who might be tempted to repeat Clinton's security violations, that the Justice Department would pursue criminal charges.  For the level-headed people that I know who watched the announcement, these few sentences in Comey's presentation were the most bizarre.  How can the Director of the FBI publicly announce that Clinton "had no criminal intent" and that "no prosecutor would take on this case", then clearly threaten anyone who takes the same actions with criminal prosecution?

No doubt I'm not the only United States citizen who feels as if with this ruling, Hillary Clinton has demonstrated to the cashier at a donut shop in Fresno, and to the Jiffy Lube grease monkey in St. Paul, Minnesota, that she lives under a different set of rules than ninety-nine percent of us.  To the teacher in Harlan, Kentucky, and the Police Officer in Miami, its time to accept the reality that Bill and Hillary Clinton are members of some very special, elite group of Americans who understand the importance of laws only as they apply to others.  This morning, while channel-surfing the various left-wing talk shows on my satellite radio, The Clinton talking points were clearer than ever.  The goal is to play up Comey's comment that Clinton had no criminal intent when instructing her staff to install a separate, personal email server.  I heard it this morning ad-nauseam.  Sandra Bernhard (yes, she lives) went so far as to describe Hillary's e-mails, the emails the FBI has been collecting, as being innocuous communications about the color of dresses.  Talking points or no, lets make this absolutely clear: Hillary Clinton transmitted classified emails on an uncleared, private server, not just six or seven times, but repeatedly.  She was warned on at least two occasions that her email server was operating in violation of State Department security protocols.  The real victims in this mess are the soldiers, airmen and sailors who were found guilty of very similar (or less-egregious) security violations and were kicked out of the military and in some cases, given a jail sentence.  In fact, Fox News has been repeating a story involving a young serviceman who obviously didn't intend to commit a security violation, who is currently being prosecuted by the Justice Department.  I will be watching Fox News Thursday morning to see just how serious the GOP Congress is on this issue when they interview FBI Director Comey.

For those in the Clinton Camp, getting past this headache without charges being levelled, was the last of the major obstacles Clinton had to overcome.  Today, President Obama put down his Golf Clubs long enough to attend a Clinton Rally.  The Clinton crowd was worked up into quite a frenzy, as they must also believe that any and all trap-doors have been removed from Clinton's path to the Presidency.  What do you think?  Interestingly enough, a handful of independent voters I know who were bound-and-determined to not vote for Donald Trump, have apparently changed their minds.  They realize that this election is more about getting this nation back on the right track than it is trying to decide which candidate is the lesser "evil".  Each and every voter should take a fair, serious look at the state of the nation; are we on the right track internationally?  Are we doing what is necessary to keep our families safe from terrorism?  Which candidate is more likely to increase the twenty-trillion dollar national debt?  I've answered these questions to my satisfaction; have you?

Monday, July 4, 2016

Democrats on Sunday talk shows all seem to be aware of the Justice Dept. decision regarding Hillary Clinton's email server.

This morning watched as one Democrat after another, from California Representative Xavier Becerra to New Jersey Senator Corey Booker, took their turns on the various Sunday talk shows.  Just about every member of Hillary Clinton's Vice Presidential short list was doing their duty, spouting-off Democratic talking points (the only VP candidate missing was Elizabeth Warren) on NBC's "Meet the Press", CNN's "State of the Union", and ABC 's "This Week".  At the top of the list of Talking Points was an announcement that Hillary Clinton would not be censured in any way for the personal email server that she used during her time as the Obama Administration's Secretary of State.  Don't misunderstand; Booker and Becerra did not provide any substantiating evidence to their declarations, but both made it apparent that the Justice Department "review" was coming to a close very soon (this week?) and every reasonable person "knew" that Clinton would not face any punishment for what was obviously just another example of dirty politics on behalf of the GOP.

I don't know how many of you were able to see the parade of Democratic political hacks this morning, but I can assure you, each one of those men had been informed beforehand that candidate Clinton was in the clear.  This explains the ease in which they announced that for all "reasonable persons" (quotations mine), there was no question that Clinton would avoid accountability once again.  As I commented in yesterday's blog post, the issue of an actual indictment was decided long ago, probably in November 2008, when Obama was elected to his first term in office.  Obama and his team arrived in DC with a plan to politicize the federal government in a way that would guarantee his Administration would never have to face accountability.  Let's face it; Bill Clinton, who is beginning to resemble a rodeo clown, needn't have bothered Attorney General Lynch last week.  Lynch's Justice Department never gave serious consideration to indicting Hillary Clinton.  For anyone interested, make no mistake.  Prior to this corrupt Administration, any government employee who flaunted computer security protocol in this manner would have been terminated and possibly prosecuted, depending on the existence of evidence proving that actions taken resulted in a foreign power to hack into a government server.

I'd resigned myself to the fact that Hillary will once again not be held accountable for her actions some time ago.  What caused so much aggravation Sunday morning was the smug, elitist manner in which the Democrat talking-heads referred to the apparent unlikelihood of an indictment.  This Administration has become so drunk on its own image, that it doesn't feel the need for discretion.  The chutzpah of any average citizens out there to think that Hillary Clinton was judged by the same rules that govern our lives!

I saw something on television today; a replay of the outstanding and heartbreaking Fox News special on the 2012 Benghazi tragedy.  This program reminded me of the many young men and women who serve our nation in the Armed Forces, putting their lives in jeopardy every day.  I often think about the four men that died that night, about their families, and what amazing young men they were.  Then I find myself thinking about Hillary Clinton.  This woman has been running for President since the year 2000, when her husband reluctantly surrendered the Oval Office to President-Elect Bush.  I think about the one characteristic that makes Hillary so disagreeable to me.  She is convinced that the United States can't succeed without her in the White House.  The fact that her ego has no limits allows her to justify so much bullshit with a straight face, because she believes her own spin. If Hillary Clinton had defeated Barrack Obama in 2008 and gone on to beat Senator John McCain, she would have made a better President than Obama.  I don't believe that Hillary, with her background in law and experience with the Nixon impeachment, would have been so quick to abuse Executive Action, and I also believe she would have made an effort to reign in the national debt.  But make no mistake, Hillary intend on being President in 2016, and 2008 no longer registers.  Hillary recognizes the changes that Obama has delivered, and as a Democrat, she will toss out her natural inclination to be a moderate and embrace every entitlement program she can find.  I see the polls, and I hear CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NPR, and CNBC bashing Donald Trump from morning until night.  I realize that Trump is the candidate that they wanted, and that everything is proceeding according to their plan.  But I will continue to support Donald Trump, and I encourage every Patriot to wipe the slate clean with Donald, and give him another shot.  The thought of President Hillary Clinton in my lifetime, four years after the ultimate sacrifice made by the four heroes of Benghazi, brings tears to my eyes.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

There is absolutely no chance that the Obama Justice Department will indict Hillary Clinton.

For the past few days, ever since Hillary Clinton spoke with FBI investigators, I've observed one political analyst after another discuss the implications of Clinton being indicted.  For the entirity of the 2016 presidential primary season, the controversy regarding Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server has never been far from the headlines.  There can be no doubt that Clinton violated Department of State security policy, but some politicians always seem to swim in a different pond than the rest of us.  I have no hesitation in identifying both Bill and Hillary Clinton as two exceptional "fish", who in forty plus years of political service have yet to be held accountable for any mess that they have caused or law that they have broken.  As for the analysts who keep reminding us ad nauseam that Barack Obama is the most popular president since George Washington, I do understand the obligation to at least "pretend" that the email server investigative process is not a complete waste of time.  As Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton sets their sights on separate conventions, the drama and suspense created by the possibility of a major presidential candidate facing an indictment will only increase viewer interest in the 2016 election.  In all seriousness, though, I'm compelled to ask a rhetorical question: does anyone in the United States with the ability to reason at least as well as a housefly, actually believe that the Obama Justice Department will indict Hillary Clinton?

Since Bill Clinton burst onto the scene as Governor of Arkansas in 1978, he and his wife have had their share of controversies.  When she was an attorney at the Little Rock Rose Law Firm, Hillary attracted attention with her involvement in the Whitewater real estate deal, and her behind-the-scenes maneuvering to get the White House travel office fired and replaced with personal friends just after Clinton took office in 1992 caused a bit of a stir.  As for Bill, we all remember the Lewinsky affair, but what about Paula Jones?  Kathleen Willey?  Does Juanita Broaddrick ring a bell?  During Bill Clinton's second term, his association with known money launderers for the Chinese Red Army caused a few raised eyebrows.  Over the years, both Bill and Hillary have associated with campaign donors who end up either in jail or deported.  Forgive me for not getting into the trenches of more recent controversies, including concerns over the Clinton Foundation, Hillary's vote in support of the Iraq War, and the apparently never-ending issues regarding campaign donations, but I have faith that most of these events will already be familiar.

I have listed but a handful of issues that come to mind.  No doubt the list could be expanded with little effort, but I think I have included a sufficient number of incidents to make my point.  At no time have the Clintons ever been held to account.  Hillary Clinton seriously damaged the lives and reputations of the White House travel office employees in 1993.....no accountability.  She claimed that as Secretary of State, she accepted responsibility for the Benghazi tragedy.  Really?  How?  Bill and Hillary's involvement with persons who are known to be donors who purchase influence for the Chinese Red Army.......no accountability.  Bill Clinton maneuvers himself into a meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, when the Attorney General at that time happens to be in charge of investigations not only into Hillary's personal server and email, but also Bill and Hillary's "Clinton Foundation".  We have yet to discover if Bill's decision to "hop on over" to the AG's plane will have any lasting negative ramifications, but I doubt it.

At the end of the day, this is a reality we must accept.  Bill and Hillary Clinton live by a different set of rules.  If you have some faith left in our system, that Hillary Clinton will be held responsible for KNOWINGLY violating State Department security protocols, please think again.  Remember who sits in the White House, and just how accountable his Administration has been since 2008.  He will not allow Hillary Clinton to be indicted, regardless of the opinions of the lawyers and experts, and there can be no doubt that Lynch will ensure compliance from the Justice Department.  There is hope, though, that enough people will be enraged to keep the Clintons from another eight-year romp in the White House.  So you don't like Trump?  Take a good, long look at the alternative.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Bill Clinton coincidentally "bumps into" Attorney General Lynch.

My intention today was to continue my series on Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State for the Obama Administration, but candidate Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, has caused an interruption in my carefully planned schedule.  If the news hasn't reached your neck of the woods just yet, Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch had an impromptu meeting aboard Lynch's plane at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.  It's apparent that AG Lynch was not expecting the meeting, but you'll have to excuse me if I'm not so quick to believe that Bill Clinton's appearance was "impromptu".  For whatever reason, Clinton intended the meeting to be under the radar, and the few journalists who were in the vicinity were ordered  not to take any photographs.  Bill Clinton is a former President, and Loretta Lynch is the current Attorney General; why would a discreet, unscheduled meeting between the two raise any eyebrows?

Here are the reasons why this meeting should never have taken place.  Hillary Clinton, Bill's wife and the Democratic nominee for President in 2016 (in all probability), is being investigated by Lynch's Department of Justice and the FBI.  when Hillary was Secretary of State for the Obama Administration back in 2010, she ordered that a separate email server should be located in her home, so that she could ensure better control over personal conversations and information.  Unfortunately, this server was not limited to transmitting personal information about the color of underwear the Secretary wanted to wear on any given day.  A review of the thousands of emails that were sent on this server include classified information.  Simply put, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton purposely mishandled sensitive information.  The docking of her server to the State Department system also opened up Foggy Bottom to hacking.  Once this story began to develop, Congress smelled a political opportunity, so at least two investigations were scheduled.  The investigations have resulted in a few cases of "pleading the fifth" and what would appear to be serious obfuscation.  I can't remember the last time that a Congressional Investigation achieved anything more than putting most of the eastern seaboard to sleep; but the politicians muddle through, and after wiping away all the political distractions, it does appear as if Hillary Clinton purposely attempted to subvert State Department security procedures.  If the FBI recommends that Hillary Clinton be indicted, Loretta Lynch will make the final decision.  When questioned, both Clinton and Lynch claim that their conversation was strictly related to personal matters.  At this point, I'm not prepared to call anyone a liar, but I don't think it really makes a difference.  Regardless of the topic of conversation, the meeting was inappropriate in the extreme, and not just because of the ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton's personal server.

In fact, from my optic, the server is actually a small fry compared to the other issue being "examined".  The huge, influential international beast we all know as "The Clinton Foundation" has also drawn the attention of federal investigators.  Do you recall roughly ten years ago when Hillary Clinton claimed poverty on behalf of her family?  If my memory serves me correctly, the Clintons had no money because they had to pay legal fees for countless politically motivated court cases and also put Chelsea through college.  A quick glance at the bottom line tells me that Bill and Hillary no longer have any financial concerns.  Hillary can get as much as $225,000 per speech, and no doubt Bill gets more.  The Clinton Foundation really has no connection to the Clinton bank account, at least none that we can find.  As self-defined, the Foundation simply assists in connecting donors to appropriate charity and aid programs.  Who decides how the money is spent?  Is there a black list of governments and persons who are not allowed to donate to the Foundation?  One of the reasons that the Foundation has started to draw so much attention seems to be its willingness to take money from questionable donors.  Just about every Arab sheikdom has donated money to the Foundation, and why not?  Bill Clinton continues to cultivate contacts he made as President, especially in China and the Persian Gulf.  The problem is, the Clintons are strong supporters of the LGBT community.  The above-mentioned nations are not.  In fact, in most of the Gulf States, homosexuality carries the death penalty.  Similar discrepancies, along with a number of questionable tax issues, have put the spotlight on the Foundation.  In fact, the Justice Department has been looking into some of these concerns. And here comes friendly ol' Bill Clinton knockin' on your door.

With both the Clinton Foundation and his wife under the scrutiny of the Justice Department, Bill Clinton should have stayed as far away as possible from the Attorney General.  In fact, he did just the opposite.  Was Bill Clinton hoping to have a chummy little chat with a fellow Democrat that would help calm any fears in the Clinton for President camp regarding the possibility of an indictment?  This was a terrible mistake by Bill Clinton, even though Attorney General Lynch has publicly announced that she will accept whatever recommendation is made regarding Hillary Clinton and her server.  If the FBI does not recommend an indictment, conservatives across the board will point to the Phoenix meeting, arguing reasonably that just because Lynch doesn't overly make the decision herself, it would have been simple for her to reach out to her "team" at the FBI and influence its decision.  Let's face it, when has a Democrat ever said no to Bill Clinton?  As for the Foundation, everything about this entity bothers me, so I need to do a bit of homework before I comment further.