Thundering Herd

May 23rd, 2015

 

I feel sorry for my Iowa relatives. Every four years they are subject to a barrage of political ads and dozens of phone calls in the months prior to the Iowa caucus. With a thundering herd of Republicans running for president, it will be even worse this time around.

 

With so many in the field, it is vital that each candidate find a way to stand out and show why they should be president. So far only two have distinguished themselves from the pack. Jeb Bush has a famous surname which is a two-edged sword. Rand Paul pushes isolationism, which is out of step with the times.

 

I know it is early but no candidate has shown why they, and they alone, should succeed Barack Obama. Many spend their time bashing Obama and Hillary Clinton. They may get some laughs or applause but that really doesn’t show why THEY should be in the oval office.

 

Too many Republicans have spent the last six years talking about what they are against. If they want to assume power, it’s about time to show what they are FOR.

 

Bum Rap

May 18th, 2015

 

I’ve used that title before. This time I believe it’s George Stephanopoulos that is getting a bum rap. He is under fire for giving $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation and not reporting it to his management or the viewing public.

 

In the first place the foundation purported to be a charitable institution not a political one. The years he made contributions (2012-14) Hillary Clinton was not running for president. There is no reason he should have to tell anyone. In addition, everyone knows that in the past he worked for the Clinton campaign and served in the administration. In my opinion, he did an admirable job of being even-handed. I much prefer him to other reporters who view their primary job as being a PR flack for the Obama administration.

 

I doubt he will be able to ride out the storm. Once there is blood in the water, a feeding frenzy usually follows. It’s too bad.

 

Obama and Success

May 16th, 2015

 

President Obama seems to believe that success is strictly a matter of luck and that hard work, talent and imagination play no role at all. Several years ago he stated that business owners didn’t build their businesses. Now he describes the wealthy as “society’s lottery winners”.

 

Certainly luck can play a role in success. Sometimes a person is in the right place at the right time or is a member of what Warren Buffett calls “The Lucky Sperm Club”. But suggesting that luck is the ONLY factor is irresponsible. In effect, he is telling young people that dropping out of school and not doing anything productive are acceptable lifestyle choices.

 

His own story shows that his statement makes no sense. He never knew his father and his mother was away during parts of his childhood. He was able to get into an exclusive private school. His record allowed him to graduate from Columbia and Harvard Law School (he was the president of the Law Review and graduated magna cum laude). Obviously he had to work his butt off to accomplish what he has. I’m sure that he would be upset if anyone suggested his achievements were a matter of luck.

 

He may not actually believe what he is saying. He has such a pathological hatred of business and the wealthy that it may cloud his thinking. Whatever the case, it is an incredibly thoughtless thing to say.

 

No Smoking Gun But...

May 13th, 2015

 

It seems like new allegations regarding the Clinton Foundation come out every day. The latest disclosure is a $900,000 donation from Boeing following efforts by then Secretary of State Clinton to assist the company. As Clinton defenders point out, there is no “smoking gun” directly pointing to a contribution as quid pro quo to an action she took while in office.

 

However, time and time again we see money coming to the foundation that seems to be tied to her actions, or a business deal a family member was involved in. Foreign governments donated millions including Qatar, a supporter of ISIS.

 

The foundation consistently claimed 88% of the contributions went to their projects. It turns out that the figure was closer to 10%. The rest went to administrative expenses and travel, some of it benefitting the Clinton family.

 

While all this was going on, the Clintons were travelling the world earning hundreds of thousands a pop for giving speeches. She talked about them being “dead broke” while he talked about needing to pay the bills. They did more than scrape by, earning nine figures along the way.

 

What is clear is that they turned being the ex-First Couple into a giant money machine. This is a story that will not go away.

 

Diversity of Opinion

May 8th, 2015

 

Colleges give a high priority toward diversity. They are extremely sensitive to issues of gender, race and sexual orientation. The only diversity they oppose is diversity of opinion.

 

A recent study showed that 96% of Harvard faculty political donations over the last three years went to Democrats. In the 2012 election the figure was over 90% for every Ivy League school.

 

The political makeup of the faculty wouldn’t matter if free and open discussion was encouraged. This is one segment of society where all ideas, even those many consider extreme, should be fully aired. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. We regularly hear stories of students and even professors who are in trouble solely because of their views. Protests ensue if a conservative speaker is invited to campus.

 

Our colleges are the envy of the world. They cannot maintain that high standard if indoctrination is given priority over education.