Red Light Rummies, Center Lane Simpletons, Nascar Ass Cars, and the Scooter Jerk

Is it just me or is bad driving an out-of-control epidemic?

I know people have complained about bad drivers since cars ran on kerosene.  But I swear, in the last year or so, I am seeing auto insanity at a level I never thought possible.

A couple of days ago I drove over the bridge to Charlotte and back.  20 miles each way, through suburban and city traffic.  The stuff I saw on just that one trip would have set my hair on fire, if I had any.

First there was the Scooter Jerk.  The heavy traffic on our four-lane expressway had slowed in one spot to maybe 15 mph, but the Jerk figured he shouldn’t have to wait in line like everybody else.  So he gunned his little machine to its pathetic full speed, squeezing his little scooter butt between the two lanes of commuters and truck drivers, down the dotted line to his important destination.  Drivers honked and beeped their displeasure to no avail.  But then the congestion cleared and the traffic resumed its normal 55 mph pace.  Except for everybody in the right lane.  We were all stacked up and cussing behind the Scooter Jerk, who was maxed out in the middle of our lane at 30 mph.

I finally got past the little Jerk and was cruising at posted speed, singing third harmony with Tom Petty.  Until I had to jam on the brakes to avoid hitting a Nascar Ass Car.  These guys are all over the place.  They can’t tolerate being behind anyone, so as soon as a car-length opening appears in the adjacent lane, they dive into it to gain a couple of feet advantage.  No turn signal, of course.  Hell, Kevin Harvick don’t need no stinkin’ turn signals!  The Ass Cars slalom down every road, weaving back and forth through the lanes, squeaking by bumpers and fenders.  After all the Nascar maneuvering, they might get to work 50 seconds earlier.

The light just ahead of me turned yellow, so I pulled my big red Ram to a stop.  But the Redlight Rummy behind me had other plans.  He ripped his steering wheel to the right, lurched around my truck and half off the street, and zoomed through the red light in front of me just in time to avoid getting clipped by the crossing traffic.  I really thought it was gonna be a T-Bone, and I don’t mean steak.

Running red lights is an art form around here.  Nearly every time I stop at a red light two or three brainiacs continue through the intersection in the other lanes.  The drivers behind me are ticked off at me.  “Doesn’t that bozo in the red truck know there’s a three-second safety buffer between the red light and the green going the other way?”  And remember the “right on red” rule?  Did you think you were supposed to stop first before you turn right?  Me, too.  Boy are we suckers.

Many of our streets have two lanes in each direction, and a center lane that can be used to turn either left or right in the middle of the block.  At least that’s the plan for most of us.  The privileged Center Lane Simpletons think it is their own private express lane, driving down the middle for blocks or even miles at high speed and giggling at how stupid the rest of us are for staying in our lanes and waiting our turn.

It’s anybody’s guess why bad driving has become so commonplace, so suddenly.  Maybe it is rebellion against Trump and any other authority.  It could be we have a new generation of drivers who grew up on participation awards and continuous self-esteem building who can’t be bothered with traffic laws that might interrupt their social media participation.  Our silly rules just don’t apply to them.

Maybe cops overlook traffic infractions because 1) they don’t want to risk offending anybody, 2) they don’t get paid enough to put up with crap from self-centered narcissists, 3) they don’t want to get shot, or 4) the last traffic citation issued in the U.S. was in 1986 and they have forgotten how to write a ticket.

My advice for a long and happy life:  when the light turns green, count to five, and then look both ways before you start.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light
Those days are over . . .
You don’t care if it’s wrong or if it’s right

Roxanne – the Police

 

 

Mulvaney Set to Drain the Swamp

mulvaney-alligatorFor a long time I have suspected that because liberals see everything through the prism of skin color, they assume conservatives do too, and are therefore racists.

Only recently have I realized that the same is true of political corruption.  Liberals think that conservatives who run for office or accept administrative posts must be doing it to enrich themselves unethically because that’s what they, the liberals, do – or would do, given the chance.

For instance, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) excoriated HHS nominee Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) during his hearing for a $300 profit he made on a stock purchase in a company that benefited from a ruling his committee made.  Her condescending rebuke was designed to paint Price as a monster who made shady self-serving deals using his government influence.  How rich.  Warren, a “one-percenter” with assets estimated at $10 million, falsely claimed Native American heritage to land a professorship, and received $350,000 for teaching one  college course.

Democrats point out, with faux concern and anger, that President-elect Trump’s cabinet picks are mostly wealthy individuals.  Like Trump himself, his nominees have accomplished a level of business (not government) success that not only builds wealth, it also indicates competence.

The Democrats can grandstand and delay, race-bait and class-envy ad nauseam, trying to hold up the confirmation process.  But it won’t work.  The swamp will be drained.

Only the shallowest of observers can’t see that these all-stars are not in it for personal profit.  Quite the contrary; they are sacrificing their earning power and precious time as an act of patriotism, service and charity.  And isn’t it just possible that the wealthy Democrats, most of whom have never earned a dollar in the private sector, are panicking at the prospect that their own gravy train may soon fall off the tracks?

The Trump team tapped budget hawk Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) to head up the Office of Management and Budget.  Mulvaney was a co-founder of the uber-conservative Freedom Caucus and has a stellar resume in budget, finance, and business – both inside and outside the Beltway.  Mulvaney isn’t rich – during legislative sessions he slept in the closet of his office.  But he is focused and determined.  And he is building his own all-star team, starting with Heritage Action brainiacs Russ Vought and Jessica Anderson.  The Beltway is abuzz today with talk of a plan to reduce the national debt by $10.5 trillion in ten years, based on the Heritage Foundation’s Blueprint for Reform published last year.

This is what common-sense Americans have been praying for since Rick Santelli’s rant on CNBC gave birth to the Tea Party in 2009 – a glimmer of hope that our children will not have to deal with the economic destruction caused by our monolithic $20 trillion federal debt.  In his rant, by the way, Santelli gave kudos to Wilbur Ross, another Trump appointee.

President-elect Trump calls it “draining the swamp”, which encompasses both rooting out corruption and slashing out-of-control spending.  It makes me picture OMB Chief Mulvaney in the role of Amos Moses, that badass Cajun in the Louisiana bayou, knockin’ alligators in the head with a stump!

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideNow Amos Moses was a Cajun
He lived by himself in the swamp
He hunted alligator for a living
He’d just knock them in the head with a stump!

Jerry Reed – Amos Moses

 

I love this 1982 video of Jerry Reed and Glen Campbell rockin’ it up with this funky, swampy, bluesy version of Reed’s “Amos Moses.”  You won’t find more guitar pickin’ power in one camera shot.  Reed is most widely known as Burt Reynold’s sidekick in the “Smokey and the Bandit” movies, but he was an outstanding musician and songwriter, and was revered by guitar players world-wide.  Among his innovations was the “claw” style of picking, which he allegedly taught to Chet Atkins.  Campbell had a stellar career until it was derailed by alcoholism and, later, Alzheimer’s disease.  He started as a studio guitarist, was an early member of the Beach Boys, and eventually had his own television show plus many gold records.

 

Lindsey Graham: Everybody F***ing Hates Me

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Poor Lindsey Graham.

He’s the senior senator from the great state of South Carolina; a Republican who has held his office since 2003.  And yet very few people in his own home state can stand the sight of him.

Democrats hate him because he is a Republican.  Republicans hate him because he is a Democrat with an R behind his name.  He votes against his fellow Republicans 69% of the time.

One might ask, “How the hell does somebody like Lindsey Graham get elected in South Carolina?”  Well, it’s complicated.

You see, the last primary election in South Carolina featured six contenders for his Senate seat who filed as Republicans.  Five of them actually were conservative Republicans.  The sixth was Lindsey Graham.  Now, the Democrats knew they had no chance of winning the Senate seat in a conservative stronghold like South Carolina.  Fortunately for them, South Carolina has “open primaries”, where anybody from any party can vote in whatever primary they wish.  And the Democrats wished to elect Graham, knowing he will vote their way in the Senate most of the time.  They got him through the primary, and the general election went predictably easy for the guy in the “R” column.

At a time when Americans are dancing in the streets over the Trump-induced death of the liberal left, Lindsey doesn’t even pretend to be conservative.  He’s for big bailouts.  He busts his butt to preserve the corrupt corporate-crony Import/Export Bank program.  He leads the fight for amnesty.  After President Obama encouraged illegal immigrants to get out and vote, Lindsey excoriated President-elect Trump for even suggesting that vote fraud is possible.

Graham routinely supported even the most liberal nominees.  He scoffed at the Tea Party.  To everyone’s astonishment, he ran for President, but never advanced from the kids’ table in the debates, dropping out before spending any of his campaign funds.

There was a time when the Senator had one thing in common with Republicans – his support for a strong military and a generally hawkish outlook on foreign affairs.  But even that is no longer completely in step with recent conservative sentiments.  Strong military, yes.  Protracted and expensive engagement in foreign entanglements without an end game or any obvious American interests served, not so much.

Washington, DC can be a lonely place sometimes.  And Lindsey Graham may be the most hated man in town.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

In a trap, trip I can’t grip
Never thought I’d be the one who’d slip
Then I started to realize
I was living one big lie,
She f***ing hates me

She Hates Me – Puddle of Mudd

The “Unsung Heroes” Help Poor and Minorities – Hillary Calls Them “Deplorables”

hvac%20contractorI was visiting with my young HVAC guy after he installed a new air conditioner in one of my rental houses.  Actually, it was more like negotiating than visiting.  He said he gave me a good deal, and I chuckled,  “I know you did, but I have to go through the routine.”  I was happy to write the check – he more than earned it.

Then he said something that gave me pause.  “I know you guys can afford to pay me, but you know a lot of the people I work for can’t.”

We live in South Carolina.  It’s hot.  Air conditioning is not a luxury, it is a necessity of life.  I know people lived in the South before air conditioning, but honest to God, I don’t know how.  We moved here from Montana where we built a new log home and didn’t even consider putting in air conditioning.  This is different.  In South Carolina I would put air conditioning right up there with food and shelter.

He told me about a service call he made last month to repair an air conditioner for an African American grandmother with five kids in her house that belong to her daughter, who is a heroin addict. “She told me about her utility bills, and other bills, and taking care of the kids, and doing it all on $500 a month from the county plus food stamps.  It was 96 degrees.  I knew she couldn’t afford to pay me, so I just ‘ate’ the bill. ”

I have not felt very good about my country lately.  There’s a lot of ugly stuff going on.  But this young man did a lot to restore my confidence in our future.

“I usually don’t charge somebody like that,” he said.   “I mean, you see what’s going on, and you just have to do what you can, you know?  I don’t mind giving up my labor, I can always just work harder.  But the cost of parts keeps going up and up.  I have hundreds of dollars in parts in these repair jobs.”

My HVAC guy is your average American small business owner.  He works long, hard hours.  He invests most of his profits in tools, a truck, paying his help, and keeping up his education and certification.  In the hot summer he works around the clock.  If somebody needs help at 9:00 pm, he answers the phone.   He didn’t go to college.  He goes to church every Sunday, but half the time he is on a service call that afternoon.  His kids don’t have fancy tennis shoes, and he can’t afford the time or cost of a Disney cruise.  Yet he is one of the “Deplorables” Hillary Clinton looks down on.  Even worse, he owns a business – which, to Democrats, makes him a greedy, selfish racist who got rich on the backs of the poor.  He’s the guy Obama sneered at:  “You didn’t build that business.”

The truth is, he DID build that business, and he cares a hell of a lot more for the poor, and minorities, than Hillary Clinton does, or Barack Obama, or anybody who votes for them and their Democrat friends.

And yes, he said, “I am going to vote for Donald Trump.”  He told me he had not voted for years, but this time he has to.  “The first thing I heard Trump say was, ‘I am paying for my own campaign, nobody bought me, and I can’t be bribed.’  That was all I needed to hear.”  And that certifies his status as one of Hillary’s “Deplorables”.

The sad thing is, the grandmother whose air conditioning repair bill he ‘ate’, and the addicted mother, and most of their friends and relatives, and all of the liberals who pretend to care about them but never do anything about it, are going to vote for Hillary and the Democrats.

The Deplorables out there doing real acts of charity and love every day, and not asking for anything in return – they are the unsung heroes.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

While others long to steal the spotlight
You work your magic quietly
‘Cause your not in it for the glory
The love you give comes naturally

Unsung Heroes – Terri Clark

Here’s one of my favorite country artists, Terri Clark from Medicine Hat, Albera.  Give a listen.

Career and Technology Education – An Alternative to College

The nexus between education and employment has never been more complex.

Some political leaders and candidates say a college education is so vital in today’s job market that taxpayers should provide it as a free entitlement.  Most high schools view anything short of college admission as a failure.  But many college graduates, despite racking up huge student loan debt, have such a hard time finding jobs that they end up tending bar or waiting tables.  Meanwhile employers contend that they can’t find employees with adequate skills for entry level or more advanced positions.  And foreign students dominate advanced-study courses at our universities, casting doubt on the rigor and subject matter of our traditional high school classes.

Clearly something is out of sync in the school-to-career formula.

School choice is widely embraced as the primary vehicle for improved educational outcomes.  There is no longer any question that schools who compete for students and have the freedom to try innovative methods deliver better results than traditional schools.  Still, many “choice” schools offer the same college-prep curriculum, but in a different building or perhaps using alternative methods.

Recognizing the disconnect between education and jobs, some states and school districts are now focusing more on Career and Technology Education (CTE).

While my home state of South Carolina does not specifically address school choice on a state-wide basis, the department of education’s Career and Technology Education division offers significant profile-of-the-south-carolina-graduatesupport to designated “choice” districts.  Many of these districts now offer alternative education options to their resident families, including CTE centers.  Greenville County Public Schools, for example, enrolls 15% of its students in non-traditional “choice” schools.

The South Carolina Dept. of Education provides standards-based curricular and instructor support for both traditional and specialized schools.  The department hosts training workshops and seminars, administers standards, and tracks performance through a highly organized program funded by a combination of federal grants and state education money.

Suggested and supported course offerings are organized into “career clusters”, and the list is impressive:

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture and Construction
  • Arts, AV Technology and Communications
  • Business Management and Administration
  • Education and Training Careers
  • Finance
  • Health Sciences
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Human Services
  • Information Technology
  • Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  • Transportation, Distribution and Logistics

The Floyd D. Johnson Technology Center in York, SC shares a campus with a traditional high school, and provides career and technology education for students in the county who apply and are accepted.  Ron Roveri, Director of Career and Technology Education for the state, headed the Tech Center for fourteen years prior to accepting the top state CTE post.

I asked Roveri if South Carolina held the same strong bias toward college prep that I find in other states and districts.  “Not at all,” he replied.  Our program is designed to work seamlessly for students who are preparing to enter college, the work force, or the military after high school.”

As college graduates find it increasingly difficult to land good jobs, and employers struggle to find good employees, the pressure is on our school systems to make students career-ready – even those who don’t attend or graduate from college.  Career and Technology Education choice schools are a solution whose time has come.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideEvery morning about this time
She get me out of my bed
A-crying get a job.
After breakfast, every day,
She throws the want ads right my way
And never fails to say,
Get a job!

Get A Job – the Silhouettes

 

Mixed Emotions When Mexican Driver Kills Mexican Child And Flees Back to Mexico

photo courtesy Charlotte Observer

I have been following a story in the Charlotte, NC news for several days now which still grips my attention for a variety of reasons.  I find myself wrestling with my reactions to each development, and trying to sort out the implications of the profound change Charlotte, and much of America, has gone through in recent years.

I write this post not to make any particular point, but rather to illustrate how our emotions are manipulated by the politically-correct news media.

The tragedy began when a mother was crossing a street in East Charlotte with her young son and daughter in hand.  The girl let go and darted across the street, and her six-year old brother followed.  He was hit by a beat-up white work van.  The driver, identified by witnesses as “a Hispanic man in his mid-thirties with curly black hair,” stopped briefly, saw the child lying gravely injured on the street, and then sped away.

Like any parent, my first reaction was horror at the sudden death of a child, and sympathy.  Immediately following that was my suspicion and anger that the driver is probably an illegal immigrant.

A year ago Charlotte’s political leaders chose to declare it a “sanctuary city”, one of hundreds  of cities across the country that refuses to turn illegal immigrants, including criminals, over to federal authorities for processing and deportation.  Since then Charlotte has attracted growing numbers of Hispanic illegals, and the crime statistics have tilted heavily in their direction.

In support of the sanctuary city stance, Charlotte news outlets do not identify illegal immigrant criminals as such.   A respected African-American business owner was recently murdered in my Charlotte suburb by a Honduran laborer, and the fact that the killer was here illegally was never reported by the Charlotte press. But since the murder occurred on the South Carolina side of the lake, the Rock Hill (SC) Herald reported that federal immigration and customs officials were involved.

Here’s where the bouncing emotions and questions come in.  My “I’ll bet the driver is an illegal” reaction to the hit-and-run incident probably matches the vast majority of my neighbors. If he is here illegally, the driver likely has no insurance, perhaps no driver’s license.  Even though it was clearly an accident, and the driver is doubtless torn with guilt, his entire life in the USA is clandestine, so he had to run.  I feel sorry for him.  Wait, no I don’t, he fled the scene of a fatal accident.  I noticed that the child’s family is also Hispanic, and I can’t help but wonder if they are also here illegally.  But so what?  The child’s death is no less tragic.  The boy’s family told reporters they want the driver found and prosecuted.  Would the Charlotte police have turned him over to ICE if they had caught him?

The driver has now been identified as Juan Antonio Quintanilla-Garza, and the press will only report that Charlotte police believe he is “out of state.”  The words “out of the country” would be too revealing.  Quintanilla-Garza probably left corrupt, backwards Mexico to try to help his own family.  He became a criminal in the process.

The accident was not caused by illegal immigration.  It could have happened to anyone, by anyone, anywhere.  But it became more than an accident when the driver took off.  And the flood of illegal immigrants to our country, plus the disproportionate incidence of crimes by illegals, plus the inexplicable “sanctuary city” policies that enable and protect illegal immigrant criminals all combine to scramble our emotions into an omelette of anger, fear and frustration.

It’s not about racism. It’s about borders, and security, and economics and enforcing the laws. And in the middle of it all is a dead kid.

What a mess.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

You’re not the only one
With mixed emotions
You’re not the only ship
Adrift on this ocean

Mixed Emotions – Rolling Stones

 

Trump’s Promise to Put “America First” – End of the World?

flag-fireworks1I watched Clarence Mason’s interview on Lou Dobbs tonight.  Mason’s enthusiastic support for preserving our traditional values and way of life was stimulating and inspirational.

Dobbs was reporting on Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech, in which Trump said his priority would be to put “America First” in any foreign policy decisions.  Dobbs asked Mason what he thought of Trump’s pro-America stance, and it was like lighting a fuse under a bank of July Fourth fireworks.

“Of course we should put America first!” Mason cheered, explaining that he is tired of everybody blaming America for every problem in the world.  He proclaimed his pride in the USA and his desire to rebuild our economy by taking a fresh look at foreign trade, mass immigration, and one-sided military agreements.  He clearly reveled in what he sees as Trump’s common-sense mix of protectionism and patriotism.

Trump’s proclamation drew immediate scathing rebuke from all directions.  “Trump’s ‘America First’ Has Ugly Echoes From U.S. History”, was the headline slam from CNNReuters piled on with “Trump’s ‘America First’ Speech Alarms U.S. Allies”.  Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of 15 wanna-be presidential candidates who took a butt-whoopin’ by Trump, tweeted “Trump’s speech is pathetic in terms of understanding the role America plays in the world, how to win the War on Terror, and the threats we face.”   (Full disclosure:  I voted for Cruz over Trump in the South Carolina primary, but an enemy of my senator Graham is absolutely a friend of mine!)

But back to Clarence Mason.

I have been listening to pundits from Glenn Beck to Meghan McCain to Steve Deace wailing that Donald Trump’s popularity and ascent to the top of the presidential ticket is the end of the world as we know it.  They insist that Trump will lose to Hillary Clinton because ALL women hate him and ALL Hispanics hate him and ALL blacks hate him.

Here’s a news flash.  Clarence Mason – black guy.  And there are many, many more like him attending Trump rallies and talking politics after church and on coffee break.  Women too.  And Hispanics.  People of every race, gender, and income bracket.  They are tired of the big-promises-no-results Republicans.  They have learned the truth about the we’re-from-the-big-government-and-we’re-here-to-help-you Democrats.  Just like the angry white males that the media claims are Trump’s only supporters, they are not going to get fooled again.

The pundits and the insiders are apoplectic.  They can’t understand how, and they won’t admit, that Donald Trump is very likely to be our next president.  But it’s really so simple.  After years of being told that we are the scum of the Earth, we Americans – white, black, Hispanic, male and female – want a president who puts America first for a change.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it,
And I feel fine!

It’s The End of the World As We Know It – R.E.M.

 

 

 

Just Sayin’ . . .


Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton, after winning the SC Democrat primary proclaimed: “Despite what you hear, we don’t need to make America great again. America has never stopped being great. But we do need to make America whole again. Instead of building walls, we need to be tearing down barriers.”

If Hillary thinks we need to make America whole again, why does she continue to divide Americans into “victim groups” by skin color, by achievement and income level, by religion, and by sex or sexual orientation and pitting us against each other?  Hillary promises to continue Obama’s direction when she is president.  Are people going to grow more divided and suspicious of each other every year during her presidency, too?  Just sayin’ . . .


al-sharptonThe Reverend Al Sharpton (along with Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O’Donnell) has announced that if Donald Trump is elected president, he will leave the country.

Um, can we make sure the good Reverend has paid his $4.5 million in back taxes before we let him out?  And by the way, would somebody please find out what church the Rev is preaching at every Sunday?  Just sayin’ . . .


juleanna gloverWashington insider and GOP consultant Juleanna Glover said, “If Cruz doesn’t beat Trump in Texas, there’s going to be full-scale panic.”

Seems to me if the Washington insiders are scared to death of Trump moving into their neighborhood, that might be exactly why people are voting for him.  Just sayin’ . . .


Leonardo_DiCaprio_2010Environmental activist / actor Leonardo DiCaprio told Vanity Fair he was terrified when global warming caused the weather in Calgary to rapidly change on his recent visit.  “There would be eight feet of snow and then all of a sudden a warm gust of wind would come,” DeCaprio cried.

Anybody who has spent a winter on the east slopes of the Rockies will tell you it happens all the time, Leo.  It’s called Chinook winds, and it’s been going on since long before those evil white men first set foot in Montana or Alberta.  Just sayin’ . . .


chriswallaceOn Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace badgered Ted Cruz, repeating the juvenile and baseless insults thrown at him by his opponents in the recent presidential debate.  When an exasperated Cruz charged that Wallace was using Trump’s opposition bullet points, Wallace flew into a rage.  Wallace did not ask Cruz a single policy-related question during the interview.

Isn’t this the same Chris Wallace whose eyes well with tears each week as he lists the political figures who won’t answer his requests for an interview?  Just sayin’ . . .


berniesandersBernie Sanders says a college education should be provided to all students free of charge.

You get what you pay for, Bernie.  You get what you pay for.  Just sayin’ . . .


 

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideTell me what I say,
Tell me what I say right now
Tell me what I say
Tell me what I say!

What I Say – Ray Charles

 

 

Wanted: Tough Guys in Congress

mick-mulvaney 2My congressman, Mick Mulvaney, keeps in regular contact with his South Carolina constituents, mostly via social media.  He is accessible, articulate, and sharp – a conservative / libertarian / pragmatist who seems to really enjoy doing the people’s work.

As a by-product of his accessibility, Mulvaney wears his heart on his sleeve, and doesn’t do a good job of hiding his frustration with the “system”.  That frustration was one of the reasons he was a founding member of the rebel Freedom Caucus.

Because we have such remarkable access to him, we pepper him with our own frustrations, hoping that since he actually hears our concerns, usually agrees with us, and seems to give a damn, he might actually be able to do something.

Today Mulvaney spent an hour or so on Facebook in an open question-and-answer session, something he does frequently.  Frustrated questions, frustrated answers:


Bob: “Can someone please tell me how we are going to survive, as a nation, with a $19 trillion federal deficit? It seems no one is concerned. We have entrusted our country to Congress and NO Congressperson is taking a stand against spending.”

Mulvaney: “The House Freedom Caucus is pushing exactly that. But as the debt isn’t a sexy issue right now, we get almost no media coverage.”


Micheal: “The Pentagon has been required by law to be audited since the 90’s but has failed to do so. How can we give them more money when we have no idea how they are already spending the money they’ve received?”

Mulvaney: “I’ve been fighting against the OCO [Overseas Contingency Operations] slush fund since I got to Congress. I just wish more people cared about how badly we waste money in the Pentagon.”


Me: “Mick, have you followed the land grabs out west? I’m originally from Montana you know, and my friends back there are pretty worried. Between the EPA, the BLM, and taking land for “national monuments” it seems like the federal government is hell bent on owning or micromanaging every acre west of Nebraska. What’s going on?”

Mulvaney: “We push reforms every year, but they don’t rise to the level of getting much media attention.”


$19 trillion is not “sexy enough”?  Nobody cares about wasted taxpayer funds?  Not enough media attention to stop the federal government from acquiring 80% of the land west of Colorado, and torturing (or murdering) the few citizens who own the other 20%?

What happened to the idea that the people set the objectives for their representives?  When did we start relying on the media to decide which issues are “sexy enough” to get attention?  If Congress is waiting for the media to set their work priorities and schedules, we have a big problem.

Congressman Mulvaney and the Freedom Caucus are the ‘good guys’.   We don’t need them to be ‘nice guys.’  What we need are some ‘tough guys’ who will take charge and get the important work of the people done.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

For you baby I would, swim the sea
Nothin’ I’d do for you that’s too tough for me
I’d put out a burnin’ building with a shovel and dirt
And not even worry about getting hurt
Ain’t that tough enough?

Republican Voters Would Crawl Over Broken Glass to Defeat Hillary

trump1Here we are at the end of 2015, and it’s still all Trump, all the time.

Trump’s juggernaut campaign remains a total mystery to the Washington Insiders, especially the Republicans. Michael Medved, one of many pretend conservatives on talk radio, pees his pants every time he hears Trump’s name. Wonder where Trump’s campaign funds come from? He takes Medved’s lunch money every day –  and Bill Bennett’s, and George Will’s, and Karl Rove’s and a whole bunch of other wimps.

Here’s the latest CNN national poll results and my unfiltered opinion of each.

Pataki (withdrew)- 0%:  Ptooey.

Santorum – 0%:  Nice guy, desperately means well, but Rick, it ain’t ever gonna happen.

Graham (withdrew) – 1%:  His (my) own conservative state can’t stand him – it took Democrat votes via our open primary system to keep him in DC. He wants strong military and open borders. Huh?

Huckabee – 2%:  Bright. Maybe devious. For some reason I wouldn’t want to buy a used car from this guy.

Kasich – 2%:  Why can’t we all just be friends and play nice together?

Fiorina – 2%:  She is so smart and so strong-willed. Oh wait, that scares the hell out of most people.

Paul – 4%:  He really understands the Constitution. Sadly, nobody cares.

Bush – 3%:  Sigh.

Christie – 5%:  He says his greatest attribute is his desire to make deals with the liberals. Next.

Carson – 10%:  Brilliant, and conservative. But people who visited his house said every square inch of wall space is covered with pictures of Ben and awards presented to Ben. He may have a bigger ego than Obama.

Rubio – 10%:  Gang of Eight. Next.

Cruz – 18%:  If I am ever caught in a dark alley with a menacing gang of debaters from Harvard, I want Ted on my side. He will shred any opponent, including Hillary. He’s smart, tenacious, ambitious, conservative. A few weeks ago he chaired a Senate committee meeting, and not a single Republican senator attended, leaving Cruz to face a roomful of Democrats alone. His fellow Senators absolutely HATE him. That’s good enough for me.

Trump – 39%:  At first I was really put off by his personal insecurity (“I’m really smart!  Really I am!) And I was convinced he had no depth of thought on any issue. I still sometimes think he might be a few fries short of a happy meal. But I’m starting to get it.

I listened to a complete hour-long Trump speech tonight, for the first time. And I found that he actually does address important issues, albeit in his own odd way. He talks off the cuff, and his stories wobble and wander all over the place. His over-use of adjectives and hyperbole is almost criminal. He spends too much time talking about himself and his lead in the polls, which he defends, saying, “But I am leading the polls!  Jeb Bush sure doesn’t want to talk about the polls.” I guess maybe saying “we’re number one” is not a bad marketing pitch.

If you get down to the nitty-gritty, you find that his message is usually right, and sometimes even illuminating. Tonight Trump talked about a friend who had always bought Caterpillar tractors but just bought a new Komatsu instead.  “It’s the devaluation of their currency, Caterpillar can’t compete, ” Trump explained.  That led to talk about international trade, and the exodus of American manufacturing companies overseas, and the billions of dollars of offshore profits held by American companies due to our outdated and unfair corporate tax structure. “It’s called ‘corporate inversion'”, Trump said.  “I doubt the other candidates have heard that term.”

I have mixed feelings about his admission to “paying off politicians” for business favors.  I don’t get the feeling he could be bought, though.  And I know damn well the vast majority of our elected officials are, shall we say, influenced by big contributors.

Most of his positions and proclamations are just populist common sense, but they shine brightly in a world that has gone PC.  I think his strong stand against unfettered immigration and refugees is the biggest bullet in his pro-second amendment clip.

“He can’t beat Hillary,” they whimper.  It seems to me he is probably the only Republican candidate who will smack Hillary between the eyes with her blatant lies, her stinks-to-high-heaven “charitable” foundation, and her coverups for her violently lecherous husband.  Yep, he can beat Hillary.  And the recent revelations that he has strong followings among minority groups doesn’t hurt.

Am I in the Trump camp?  Not yet.  But I’m like the caller on Little Mikey Medved’s show the other day.  Medved challenged him, “If it came down to Trump or Hillary, would you vote for Trump?”  The caller responded, “No question.  I’d crawl over broken glass to beat Hillary.”

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

So take me from the wreckage
Save me from the blast
Lift me up and take me back
Don’t let me keep on walking…
Walking on broken glass

Walking On Broken Glass – Annie Lennox

 

One of the all-time greats, Annie Lennox has got it going on!