Saturday, November 12, 2016

Predictions on President-elect Trump (Video)

Okay, this isn't a Trump versus Hillary issue, nor is it meant to bash anyone for their point of view. This is simply a prediction. It's written to be funny, a bit, particularly if it comes true.

A federal judge has ruled that Trump University will be heard on charges of fraud. At that point a Democrat will push for impeachment, and a Republican will request a closed door session.

The Republicans, who like being in charge, but don't like Trump will be able to impeach without voting publicly. One will seal the record citing "national security" issues. They will make a deal with the Democrats, let the inauguration go forward, and we will kick him to the curb. They will appease the Democrats who could sue for a special election if it happened prior to inauguration.

Trump will resign citing a witchhunt, elevating Mike Pence to POTUS, and he will quickly appoint Paul Ryan to VP. Trump will go quietly, and in exchange Pence will pardon him for crimes he "may or may not have committed", effectively nullifying the upcoming fraud trial which will certainly have had several postponements.

Trump will be our President, for at least a weekend. The GOP will try to get its act together. They will try to put together and lock down a ticket for 2020.

The Dems, on the other hand, won't make a stink because a Republican will offer a variation that keeps Obamacare alive, although certainly it will be known by another name, and be touted as a bipartisan solution.

Sen. Ted Cruz will whine about how he should have become VP because he had the most Republican delegates after Trump, and he is the "People's choice". All of Washington will collectively roll their eyes and ignore him, once again.

Meanwhile, a mysterious accident causes the simultaneous death of the former FBI Director and the Guy who wrote "Clinton Cash". The New York Times and Washington Post will both put the story on page 3 of the local section.

Rush Limbaugh will die of a heart attack and his body won't be discovered for 72 hours, minimum.

Meanwhile Kanye West will say something stupid and Meghan Markle will be snapped by paparazzi with a blurry nipple exposed. Both will become Internet memes, restoring Facebook to its glory days.

Let's see how many I get right.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Tom Marino, Pennsylvania 10th District Incumbent

The 10th District Congressman Tom Marino received $524,205 in PAC money this election cycle, but less than 12% of that was from Pennsylvania organizations. Does this mean he's 12% loyal to Pennsylvanians?

In case you're wondering, neither of his challengers accepted any money from PACs. (Democrat Mike Molesevich and Independent Jerry Kairnes)

He tried to eliminate net neutrality. He tried to eliminate the clean water act and the Delaware watershed protection. He lobbied against healthcare reform. More than 75% of his PAC money came from energy companies, media conglomerates, health insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

Of his Pennsylvania money, only $5000 (0.9%) came from Pennsylvania PACs outside those four industries.

He took $4000 from Scalise for Congress; Steve Scalise that was outed for fundraising at a white supremacy hate group. (Which may explain Marino's early affinity for Trump.)

Frankly, the GOP doesn't even support Marino financially. His own party only contributed $250.

Thank goodness he's been promising us jobs in the energy sector. (Are these coming soon? Because Scranton-Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport are #2 and #3 for the highest unemployment in the state, 2% above the national average. Mining and logging have declined 24% in the past 12 months.)

Lastly, on his three big issues, he's accomplished exactly zero. Net neutrality is stronger than ever. The Susquehanna River is one of the most endangered, yet energy jobs are down. Healthcare and pharmaceutical costs have skyrocketed, pushing health insurance up 25% in spite of the ACA.

Congressman Marino would be considered a sellout, but frankly he hasn't sold anything other than empty promises and bad ideas.

He is a likable man, and many of his constituents will tell you that the people in his office are very friendly and helpful. But that's their job.

Congressman Marino is an elected leader. His job is to solve problems at the national level while representing the interest of people in the 10th District of Pennsylvania. His job is to create solutions, but on three separate occasions, he was on the wrong side. He has become the mouthpiece for lobbyists, not an advocate on behalf of the small businesses and hard-working families he is supposed to represent.

I don't know Mike Molesevich very well. He came onto the ballot late, and was outspent by Marino by nearly 20 to 1. He has a great reputation as a business leader and community member in Lewisburg Pennsylvania, but few outside know much about him.

I consider Jerry Kairnes a friend, and he is thoughtful and intelligent. He is no longer campaigning, so I'm following his lead in supporting Mike Molesevich.

Please remember, Pennsylvanians, there are many more elections than the presidency. The men and women who represent us in Congress, the Senate, and in the Pennsylvania legislature have far more influence on our daily life and our personal economies. Educate yourself about those that claim they represent you.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Where have the Republicans Gone?

"I cannot emphasize enough how deeply
I disagree with Mr. Trump's statement,"
John McCain said regarding attacks on Khzir 

"I cannot emphasize enough how deeply I disagree with Mr. Trump's statement," John McCain said in a statement regarding the Trump Campaign attacks on Khzir Khan, the father of a decorated Muslim American soldier killed in action in the Middle East. Trump and spokespeople implied the father was a propagandist with ties to the Islamic State. Mr. Khan had addressed the DNC national convention on the previous day.

The last Republican I voted for was John McCain. He was a bit of a maverick to some party loyalists because he spoke his mind when he disagreed with the party line. McCain, Arlen Specter, and Bernie Sanders had a bad habit of speaking the truth when it was contrary to their own party's talking points.

Free thinkers in politics are becoming an endangered species. 

Notice I said "free thinkers" not "free talkers", of which we have an abundance.

I voted for McCain in the primary. When Sarah Palin was nominated for vice president I realized that McCain had bowed to the pressure of party politics. Obama and Biden complemented each other and earned my vote.

Had McCain chosen Mitt Romney, a sound business mind that balanced McCain's understanding of foreign affairs and defense policy, he would have gotten my vote for President. This was the first time I felt failed by the Republicans.

Four years later, Mitt Romney fell into the same trap. Mitt, a great economic mind, chose Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan was the tea party darling who put up laughable alternatives to the Obama budget and Obamacare. They Ryan budget was repeatedly debunked by economists, including Reagan's advisor who crafted the original trickle down economics. I'm certain Romney could see through this GOP prop.

The Republicans failed again. I would've thought by now they realized that Americans want substance.

The day Texas Senator Ted Cruz announced his candidacy I refiled as an independent. The party had left me completely. Not only had the GOP failed to come up with substance, they had become obstructionists and were catering to conspiracy theories. Clearly, Ted Cruz cared more about getting elected than serving the people. He attempted to discredit his own scientists, turned against net neutrality, denied climate change and perpetuated fear.

Cruz's popularity created a flood of Republicans ignoring truth and their obligations as civil servants in favor of easy to digest sound bites.
  • Rick Scott removed the term "climate change" from all official documents despite the fact that Florida will be among the first affected. 
  • Scott Walker took union busting to the extreme, crippling his state in the process. 
  • Republicans railed on net neutrality, calling it an internet tax, when it actually encourages capitalism and free enterprise, two republican ideals. 
  • Dozens tried to prevent gay marriage, only to be invalidated by the Supreme Court. 
  • Dozens tried to retract 40-year old rulings on abortion rights. 
  • They defended the confederate flag; a symbol of racism, separatism, and treason. 
  • They glossed over an important argument on state's rights by turning it into a discussion about transgender people in the restroom, destroying a legitimate law on self-determination and creating hate in the process. 
  • Drug tests for welfare recipients failed to yield results, and cost more money testing than it saved. In the process further alienating minorities and the poor. 
  • Obstructing Obamacare and ignoring Medicaid expansion, two things they passed two years earlier penalizing the poor and uninsured in their states, only to adopt them later when the benefits of Medicaid expansion became clear.
  • And the pride and joy, a Ted Cruz filibuster that nearly caused the US to default on debt payments, which would've cost Americans billions primarily from private retirement accounts. Not ironically, the same private retirement accounts the GOP pushed forth after depleting Social Security under President Bush.
Of course, there is the traditional lobbying. Once corporate America saw how comfortable the Republicans were lying to their people, they filled the coffers and asked them to tell us how clean coal is and how safety depends on people buying more guns, ignoring that previous efforts in pollution control and crime prevention have virtually eliminated these problems from our pasts.

Then came "he who shall not be named" who put the final nail in the GOP coffin for thousands of us. In its stead, he replaced fiscal conservatives with the dregs of humanity. He catered to racists, religious zealots, xenophobes, and the conspiracy theorists, and the GOP let it happen.

As an independent, I wanted to support integrity and quality, regardless of party affiliation. Then I learned about Bernie Sanders, who had dedicated 30 years to constituencies through extremely consistent but unpopular views. The world came to Bernie. America evolved to be more like this old man. Socially we were catching up to Bernie's perception of American greatness.

While I personally found Sanders' democratic socialist objectives to be lofty, his vision and long-term commitment were clear. It became apparent that Pennsylvania's late primary could be influential for the first time in many years, so I reregistered as a Democrat. Bernie didn't win, but his valiant attempt will certainly resonate in the party going forward.

The history of the GOP was one of integrity, intellectualism, fairness, freedom and empowerment.

The Party of Lincoln and of Judeo-Christian values in only eight years had platforms and practices that would have left Abe and Jesus whimpering in a padded room.

How far we have strayed. Some Republicans say I abandoned them, but I didn't. Republicans abandoned us, the entirety of the American people.

The voice of the stupid and bigoted has been heard. But had it been squelched? In the past Democrats and Republicans compromised to create a better America for all people, including the under educated and socially backward. Between the 1860s and 1990s our two-party system created the balance of freedom, social justice, industrial ingenuity, societal wealth and opportunity for all people to pursue happiness. The American Dream certainly wasn't a guarantee, but absolutely was available to us all.

The 2016 GOP isn't making America great again… It's always been great. It is great because people can disagree, dissenting opinions make for a democracy that is both Republican and Democrat, fair and balanced for all. Our greatness wasn't created by one side or the other winning, it was created by putting the best minds with differing opinions together and choosing solutions for our Republic.

This process of polarization will ultimately pass power to Democrats, who will have unbridled control to enact the most liberal of social and economic policies. The greatest fear of conservatives will likely become the norm because conservatives allowed their party to be hijacked. As a conservative I'm not supportive of all the decisions President Obama has made nor do I support all of the ideas of Hillary Clinton's platform, but I'm saddened because the GOP has refused to provide an intelligent conservative motivated by the best interest of the people within the context of the Constitution.

Instead, they've given us a clown car of social backwardness, complete idiocy, and egocentric narcissism.

Again, I did not leave the Republican Party. The Republican Party left us.