Presidential Horse Race - Not Going Far

July 26th, 2015

 

The next bunch of GOP presidential candidates are those that I expect to make it through the initial primaries/caucuses but will go no further. Those with money or a hardcore constituency may stay in the race but will be out of the running.

 

Ben Carson – He has a compelling personal story and is a good speaker but someone with no political experience won’t get very far.

 

Lindsey Graham – Perhaps I should have put him in the first category but having an early primary in his home state might keep him around for awhile.

 

Rand Paul – He wanted to move beyond his father’s base but that isn’t happening.

 

Rick Perry – He is doing better than in 2012 but the field is too crowded for him to make any headway.

 

Donald Trump – He made a big splash for a couple of weeks but the party is over.

 

If my predictions come true, the field will be whittled down to six candidates by early March.

 

Criminal Justice or Political Prosecution?

July 25th, 2015

 

I will get back to looking at the presidential race but right now have something else on my mind.

 

Eric Holder was the most partisan Attorney General since the Nixon Administration. Even he didn’t try to jail his political opponents. Unfortunately, some prosecutors are attempting to do exactly that.

 

The biggest offender is the Travis County, Texas district attorney’s office. They unsuccessfully tried to prosecute Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Tom DeLay. Now they are after Rick Perry. Many people of both parties have denounced the indictment of Perry.

 

Following Scott Walker’s unsuccessful recall, the Milwaukee County District Attorney began a two year witch hunt. Eventually a court shut it down.

 

One of the hot items in the news was been the videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal body parts. Yesterday California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced she was going after the groups that shot the video. Normally a prosecutor has suspicion of a crime then prosecutes. Instead, she has found a political opponent and is searching the statues trying to find a reason to prosecute. Harris has announced her intention to run for the US Senate in 2016. Undoubtedly more conservatives will end up in her crosshairs.

 

Our Constitution and Bill of Rights give us a legal system designed to protect the innocent. We are greatly disserved by rogue prosecutors perverting it to get political retribution. All Americans, regardless of political persuasion, should denounce these disgusting tactics.

 

Presidential Horse Race - Stuck at the Gate

July 23rd, 2015

 

The media cover the campaign like a horse race. Many of the issues are given short shrift because they aren’t entertaining enough. So I thought I would analyze the campaign with a horse race analogy. All I need is two words to examine the Democratic campaign. Hillary Clinton. Obviously the Republican race is more complicated. Today I will look at those that are stuck at the gate.

 

Carly Fiorina – After failing in the business world, she has turned to politics. Although she is effective at skewering Hillary Clinton, it takes a lot more to keep her from being an also-ran.

 

Mike Huckabee – He should have kept his job with Fox News. Other, better funded candidates are just as appealing to his core constituency.

 

Bobby Jindal – He was riding high a few years ago but problems in Louisiana have hurt him. There are just too many governors in the race.

 

George Pataki – The GOP select someone from New York. You’ve got to be kidding.

 

Rick Santorum – Again? He needs to get another gig.

 

So there you have it. Next time I will look at those who should fade quickly.

 

An Obnoxious, Egomaniacal Clown

July 22nd, 2015

 

I try to attack ideas and actions, not people. Today is an exception. My target, Donald Trump, is an obnoxious, egomaniacal clown. He is willing to say anything he wants no matter who is hurt. A lot of what he claims to be true is patently false. His towering ego almost makes Barack Obama seem humble.

 

He flirted with the presidency last time (I think it was to promote a TV show). His big issue was the claim that Obama was born in Africa. Of course a total lack of proof didn’t stop him.

 

This time around his big issue is fomenting hatred against Mexican illegal immigrants. He accused the Mexican government of shipping undesirables to the US. He said illegals were criminals rapists and drug dealers. He weakly added “and some, I assume, are good people.” He keeps making outrageous statements despite the firestorm of criticism. He has talked of them bringing disease and taking our jobs. He wants to build a wall along the border and make Mexico pay for it. He blamed the Mexican government when Univision decided not to show his beauty pageant. Since it is impossible to tell an illegal Hispanic from a legal one, it is really an attack on an ethnic group. He is trying to create hatred like a segregationist politician of a past era.

 

Now he is at it again. This time the target is John McCain. Trump was angry when McCain called his supporters “crazies”. He said of McCain being shot down spending six years as a POW “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured? I like people who weren’t captured.” Someone who didn’t endure the torture McCain received has no right to criticize his war record.

 

There is an old saying that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Trump is learning differently. Soon the show will be over.

 

A Horrible Deal

July 15th, 2015

 

Today President Obama hailed the nuclear deal with Iran. I believe the results will be catastrophic.

 

Time and time again we caved into their demands. Originally we were going to stop their nuclear program. That was quickly forgotten. We demanded that they shut down a powerful reactor. It will keep going with some restrictions. The preliminary agreement prevented Iran from developing advanced centrifuges. Now they can go ahead. We were going to require anywhere, anytime inspections. Now only selected sites can be inspected and Iran gets up to 24 days advance notice.

 

Iran gets some restrictions in their nuclear program which they can work around because of the severe limits on inspections. They will soon be free of sanctions. With the additional resources they can further fund terrorists and destabilize the region. In a few years the embargo on weapons and ballistic missiles will be lifted. Then they can do some real damage.

 

This is a tremendous blow for our standing in the world. We have cozied up to a radical Islamist state that sponsors terrorism and invades other countries. We have turned our back on longtime allies in the region. In football terms, we are a 300 pound linebacker but act like a geeky equipment manager. Our adversaries no longer fear us and our allies no longer trust us. Since they can’t rely on us, they will turn to Russia and China.

 

Worst of all is the impact on the Middle East. This treaty will mark the start of a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region of the world. We have gone 70 years without a nuclear weapon being used. I highly doubt we will go another 70 years.

 

A person might wonder why we agreed to such an imperfect treaty. To understand Obama, I think it is useful to look at Lyndon Johnson. Obviously the two men are very different in personality and style but both have enormous egos. Much of impetus behind the Great Society was so Johnson would be loved. One of the primary reasons for the Vietnam escalation was so he wouldn’t be the first president to lose a war. I believe Obama sees everything in terms of how it affects him. When a possible Supreme Court decision threatened the health care subsidies of millions, he said it would be up to Congress and the states to fix it. All he cared about was scoring political points. So it seems logical that this is a play for the history books. I suspect he will be remembered in a far different way than he desires.

 

We are a nation that won two world wars and a cold war. Now we bow down to country like Iran. Maybe our best days are behind us.