Who Is Tough Enough to Clean Up DOJ? Ted Cruz

ted-cruz1-800x430When Donald Trump picked Jeff Sessions as his Attorney General, I had my doubts.

The Department of Justice has been a hot mess for a long time.  Janet Reno had only been AG for a few weeks before she torched a religious compound full of women and children, killing 76.  She steadfastly defended her boss, President Bill Clinton, refusing to turn over documents to Congress during impeachment proceedings.  Eric Holder will forever be tarred with the disastrous “Fast and Furious” scheme by which he gave 2,000 weapons to Mexican drug cartels and then covered up the failed sting operation.  Holder led President Obama’s effort to incite racial disharmony by refusing to prosecute Black Panthers who blocked whites from voting precincts, and siding with supporters of African-American criminals who attacked police officers.  And Loretta Lynch may prove to have been the ballsy-est AG of all time when she actually had a private meeting with Bill Clinton while his wife and presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, was under investigation.  Lynch refused to recuse herself even though she was clearly compromised, and even this week called for “more marching, blood, and death on the streets.”

One thing is clear – being tapped as the president’s top cop is no cakewalk.  You had better be tough.  Sessions isn’t.

At the very first (and very predictable) sign of trouble, Sessions bailed out on his boss.  The Democrats and the press (sorry, that’s redundant) had been cooking up a scheme to smear President Trump with a fantasy scandal about collusion with the evil Russians for nearly a year.  Without evidence of any crime or even questionable conduct by any Trump official, they started throwing spitballs to see who would duck.  Trump’s national security advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, was the first to fall on his sword, assuming that would save his boss some grief.  Trump’s firing of Flynn had the opposite effect.

Then Attorney General Sessions recused himself from any involvement in the Great Russian Witch Hunt, again assuming that he was doing Trump a favor.

These guys don’t get it.  You don’t throw a shark a bloody hamburger, hoping that his hunger will be satisfied and he will leave you alone.  Sharks never stop eating.

By recusing himself, Sessions not only threw the bloody hamburger, he left his boss flailing alone in the water, outside the shark cage.  In Sessions’ absence, and without an assistant AG on board, the Justice Department’s participation in the Witch Hunt will now be managed by an Obama appointee, Dana Boente.   Gee, thanks, Jeff.

Trump has reportedly had a conniption fit over the inept handling of this manufactured crisis.  Even though his staff insists to the giddy liberal press that there is “no ‘there’ there,” the departure of two cabinet officials certainly is blood in the shark-infested water.

In his defense, Trump is new at the political game.  He should be putting people in these critical positions who are more than just loyal – they must be tough.

If President Trump really wants to drain the swamp, he needs somebody running the Department of Justice who is badder than the alligators.  It’s time to set aside differences.  There’s only one guy tough enough for this job, and that’s Ted Cruz.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

For you baby I would swim the sea
Nothing I’d do for you that’s too tuff for me
I’d put out a burning building with a shovel and dirt
And not even worry about getting hurt
Ain’t that tuff enuff?

Tuff Enuff – The Fabulous Thunderbirds

 

HOFS (Hair On Fire Syndrome) Epidemic Rages Across America

photo courtesy Malia Litman

photo courtesy Malia Litman

An epidemic is sweeping our nation.  Hair On Fire Syndrome (HOFS) was first widely diagnosed among members of the Democrat community and has recently begun to infect other defenseless groups of Americans.

The Democrats suffered a series of immuno-deficiencies in recent years.  Their policies have been an abysmal failure, they have no constructive plans, and they have no potential leaders with any credibility, likability, or electability.  Since 2008 the Democrats have lost 69 House seats, 13 Senate seats, and the US presidency.  Democrat governors are outnumbered 2 to 1, and only 12 states have Democrat control of their legislatures.  This caused concern among Democrats, but because until recently Americans had Obama in their hair, the disease couldn’t advance to the point of ignition.

Most experts agree that the genesis of the HOFS epidemic was the election of President Trump.  With their Obama gone, some leftist heads exploded, but most just spontaneously ignited.   Democrats with advanced HOFS began marching down city streets with their kids (who are supposed to be in school) screaming “Raaaacist!  Everybody is RAAAACIST!”  There were reports of clusters of HOFS-stricken Democrats jumping up and down in their union T-shirts (they are supposed to be at work) insisting that the most existentially important issue to every American is where transgendered people pee.  And the Democrats’ hatred for our new president is so overpowering that every time a new tweet is issued, thousands of new HOFS cases are reported.

Hair On Fire Syndrome is contagious.  Fake news networks have reported a severe outbreak of HOFS among their reporters.  Republican congressmen cancelled town hall meetings on their recent recess, fearing exposure to the disease.  But the insidious affliction appears to be getting a foothold on Capitol Hill, as many congressmen have steadily weakened on their promises to repeal ObamaCare, reform the tax codes, and drain the swamp.  Under pressure from HOFS-averse Republican moderates, and reacting to media reports of extreme HOFS symptoms among Democrats across the nation, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has failed to present Trump the same repeal bill he gave Obama in 2015.  This has caused some HOFS-like symptoms to appear among conservative activists.

Fortunately, our president seems to be immune from HOFS, taking firm but measured steps forward, and calmly repeating that he will follow through on all of his campaign promises.  His appointed cabinet and agency heads reflect the president’s steady trajectory.

Despite the Hair On Fire Syndrome epidemic that has swept the nation, it appears that cooler heads will prevail.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideYou’ve fought hard and you saved and earned,
But all of it’s going to burn.
And your mind, your tiny mind,
You know you’ve really been so blind.
Now’s your time, burn your mind,
You’re falling far too far behind.
Oh no, oh no, oh no, you’re gonna burn!

Fire! – the Crazy World of Arthur Brown

 

Baby, The Rain Must Fall, The Wind Must Blow. And Congress Must Spend.

A conservative friend posted a clever and shrewd tweet today.  Democrats (and some Republicans) on the Senate Finance Committee are holding up confirmation of US trade representative Robert Lighthizer, demanding a bailout of union miners’ pension funds in exchange for their votes.  What’s new?  This kind of arm-twisting politics is standard operating procedure in Congress.  But my friend’s exasperated reaction to the benevolent-sounding Miners Protection Act points out a fact that never seems to occur to anybody inside the Beltway:  “Taxpayers are not ATMs!  It’s not your money to give away!”

taxpayers-not-atmsI realized a while back that most legislators (and presidents for that matter) don’t worry about taxpayer disapproval when they pass a spending bill.  Here’s why:

  • Most voters don’t pay federal income tax, or pay very little.  They don’t feel personally impacted by government spending, because they think the money is extracted from somebody else – the “rich guys”.  Members of Congress (especially Democrats who rely on low-income or no-income voters to keep them in office) are heroes to their constituents when they spend more money.  In fact, incumbent legislators are almost always re-elected because they can brag about “bringing home the bacon” to their home districts.
  • Americans don’t worry about spending more money because there doesn’t seem to be any down-side.  Unlike families or businesses, the government never runs out of money, regardless of tax revenue or spending levels.  Our leaders have learned that they can print and/or borrow money without limit, because nobody has the courage to shut down the government and send employees home.  Yes, we have a $20 trillion debt.  Yes, interest on savings has been non-existent for many years.  Yes, wages have been stagnant for decades as the government crowds out private enterprise, gobbling an ever-growing bite of the GDP pie.  Yes, if continued it will all come crumbling down on the heads of our children and grandchildren. But the average Joe still doesn’t relate government spending to his own financial well-being.  In fact, most people think more government spending helps them.
  • And when you get right down to it, our congressmen are only doing what they were born to do.  The job description of a legislator can be boiled down to four words.  What do you do for a living?  Spend other people’s money.  The rain falls.  The wind blows.  Congressmen spend.  It is existential.  In the eyes of a government official, the solution to every problem is to spend more money.  If he isn’t spending money, he is a “do nothing” congressman.

Fortunately, the election showed that there are still (barely) enough Americans with a grasp on reality to step on the brakes before our nation careens off the financial cliff, taking the civilized world along for the plunge.  Our voices were finally heard.  But the narrow victory last November was just the beginning.  Too many of our leaders either still don’t get it, or will soon forget that they got it.  We may have stopped at the edge of the cliff.  But the cliff is still there.

We can’t eliminate all government spending, and in some strategic areas we will have to invest more than we have in recent years.  But it’s childish and dangerous to think that all of our current expenditures are still necessary and untouchable, and our only option is to spend more.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Some men climb a mountain,
Some men swim the sea,
Some men fly above the sky:
They are what they must be.
But, baby the rain must fall,
Baby, the wind must blow,
Wherever my heart leads me
Baby, I must go. Baby I must go.

Glenn Yarbrough – Baby The Rain Must Fall

The music scene in the early 60s went through a sometimes awkward transition from “folk” music to “rock”.  The Band was Bob Dylan’s backup group when he first put down his acoustic guitar and went electric.  After getting booed off the stage every night for weeks, Robbie Robertson, Levi Helm and the rest of The Band quit and went their own way, but Dylan soldiered on, clearly ahead of his time.  Here’s another example of the folk/rock insurgency: check out the blonde dancer bravely bouncing through folkster Glenn Yarbrough’s smoothie!

 

 

We Can Rebuild the Military AND the Budget

carrier-landing

President Trump’s campaign promise to “Make America Great Again” included his plan to restore our military preparedness to at least pre-Obama levels.  His message resonated with voters, and still meets little resistance from political leaders or from citizens.

Most Americans sense that our armed forces are no longer up to the task of defending our homeland while dealing with international conflicts, and this week’s briefings to Congress by our top military brass didn’t leave us feeling any less hinky.

General Daniel Allen reported that only three of the Army’s fifty combat brigade teams could deploy if needed.  Admiral William Moran said less than half of the Navy’s fighters are in service and our fleet is the smallest it has been in 100 years.  Our Air Force planes average 27 years in age, well past their life expectancy, and we are short 750 pilots and over 1600 maintenance technicians.

Of course every government program wants more money, more money, more money.  Always.  But it appears the military has been cut to the bone, and our leaders made it clear to President Trump that they need funds, now – if we want to continue to have any foreign policy leverage.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is pushing for a huge military budget increase, but he may have to fight that through a conservative Congress and a tough new OMB director, Mick Mulvaney.  Mulvaney agrees with President Trump that national defense is our highest priority.  But he is also a budget hawk, tasked with keeping Congress’ promise to the voters to stop the insanity of our $20 trillion debt.

McCain attacked Mulvaney over his alleged “failure to support the military” by blindly supporting every request for “more money” as a congressman, but Mulvaney’s counterpunch embarrassed the crusty McCain, who could not differentiate between the “top line military budget” and the “overseas contingency operation”, a much-abused and unaccountable military slush fund.

McCain wants $100 billion.  The generals are asking for a $40 billion increase.  Trump is thinking more like $30 billion – with the requirement that it not be wasted.

Is President Trump right about the need to refresh our military?  Yes.

Is it time to send John McCain to the glue factory?  Yes.  Thanks for your service, John.  Have fun at Sun City.

Am I glad to have a tight-fisted skinflint like Mulvaney at OMB keeping an eye on our money?  Hell yeah!

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideHell yeah!
Turn it up!
Right on!
Hell yeah!

Hell Yeah! – Montgomery Gentry

 

 

Think Our News Media is Bad? You Should See the UK!

sky-news-trumpI just spent a week in the UK and was anxious to observe the political mood of the Brits.  I expected their focus to be on Brexit, their new prime minister Theresa May, the impact of immigration in the UK, the pound vs. the euro – you know, British stuff.

After a long red-eye flight, and suffering a butt-dragging case of jet lag that first evening, my son and I had an early dinner and retired to our hotel room.  We soon learned that British television is abysmal – mostly old American reruns and effete comedy that’s just not funny.  But that’s okay, we are both news junkies, so I switched to BBC News.

To my surprise, every minute of programming on the Beeb was a non-stop assault on Donald Trump.  There was no balance, no “other side”, no pretense of fairness or even any attempt at honesty.  And no non-Trump news at all.

So I switched to the other news network, SkyNews.  It was worse!  Nothing but unbridled, hair-on-fire, heads-exploding, cobra venom spit in the eyes of Donald Trump and all the Americans who chose him to be their president.  MSNBC is Mister Rogers compared to British television news. And nothing changed for the entire week of our visit.  Both networks ran anti-Trump propaganda full-time, 24/7.   Only passing mention was given to the fact that Parliament was engaged in a pretty significant discussion about whether they would honor the people’s vote for Brexit.  The newspapers (which are free and stacked up on street corners every evening) were also fixated on all things American, with only a smattering of local news.

We were given a warm welcome in the pubs and at the football (soccer) games.  Like us, British guys love beer, football, and politics and are ready to discuss all of the above, especially with a couple of Yanks.  They were very curious about the Trump phenomenon, and were surprisingly up-to-speed on American politics.  But then, why wouldn’t they be?  That’s all they get on their news networks.

I was surprised to find that most of the Brits we met were on the conservative side, despite their hard-left news media.  They understand our “drain the swamp” revolution and see parallels with their own Brexit experience.  But some can’t get past our new president’s persona.

“I agree with everything that Trump is doing,” said one new friend over a couple of pints.  “But I can’t support him because he hates women.”  When I pressed him about what that meant, he said he just can’t tolerate a president who goes around grabbing women by the pussy.   Groan.

Another conservative limey said he agrees with American conservatives right down the line, with one big exception.  “Why do you all think you need guns?  Your crime rate is terrible.”  I had to explain that’s why we need guns.

Like American lefties, British liberals love to protest.  They even feel compelled to protest about an election that took place 3,500 miles across the pond.  There are subtle differences, though.  Left-wing British protesters don’t break windows and start fires, and left-wing American protesters don’t give a rat’s patootie about who is elected on the other side of the planet.

I left my British friends with this advice:  don’t believe what you see and hear on the television!  I guess the same advice would serve us Americans well, too.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

We don’t believe what’s on TV
Because it’s what we want to see
And what we want we know we can’t believe
We have all learned to kill our dreams

We Don’t Believe What’s On TV – Twenty One Pilots

 

This fun young duo is filling venues all over on their US tour and were nominated for three Grammy awards.  Check ’em out!

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.

 

Liberals Must Hate Children

referee-clipart-as0968Here we go again.  Another example of how liberals hurt our kids.

My daughter and I have played, coached and officiated sports for many years.  We love working with kids and we see the positive effects of organized sports on their growth and development. Coaching is fun and rewarding.  But it’s not easy these days.

A while back I wrote about coaching my grandson’s first baseball season.  Here’s a recap:  First inning of the first game of the season.   The batter hits a ground ball to our pitcher, who makes the catch and easily throws him out at first.  Instead of returning the batter to the dugout, the coach holds him on first base.  “Hey!” several people yelled. “That batter was out!”  But the coach kept him on first base, saying, “We don’t put kids out in this league.  Everybody gets to run the bases.”  There are no umpires for the 5 -year old beginners league, so the coaches are in charge.

None of our coaches saw anything like that in the rules we had received before the season, but being new to the league, and not wanting to make a scene in front of the kids, we didn’t put up a fight.  Over the rest of the game, only one of our players actually got put out, and we returned him to the bench, but the nine batters our team put out still ran the bases.  No score was kept.  The game was weird, and our players, who were being taught to play by the rules and are naturally competitive, were confused and upset.  Why are we trying to put players out when they still get to run and score?

We called the league manager to express our concern about trying to teach baseball with no rules.  His reply was, “We just want the kids to feel successful and have fun.  Besides, five-year olds never put anybody out anyway,” which sent my daughter/coach into orbit!  So we had all the parents call the league manager, and they let him know what they thought of his “no winners and losers” version of baseball.  He relented, and for the rest of the season an out was an out, the kids learned how to play by the rules, and everybody had fun.

Fast forward to my grandson’s first basketball game, almost two years later.

Again, our players had been taught the rules and were expected to abide by them.  First game of the season, our team gets the ball, dribbles to their basket, and my boy made the first basket of the season.  Yay!  The other team throws the ball in, and their guard dribbles and stops.  Dribbles and stops.  Again. And again. And again.  After 13 double-dribbles he tucked the ball like a running back, ran all the way across the court, and took his shot.

Our coaches asked the referee why he didn’t call double-dribble or travelling.  “Oh, we don’t have any infractions in this league.  We just want them to have fun.”

Attempts by the coaches to get rules enforced in that game, and the next, were unsuccessful.  It wasn’t long before the players who had been taught how to play by the rules abandoned them.  I was appalled when I saw my grandson start double-dribbling and travelling like the other kids.  Why should he play by the rules when nobody else has to?  He’s not dumb! To make matters worse, it wasn’t long before the kids figured out that fouls weren’t called, and the game became a bloody free-for-all.  My kid has a beauty of a shiner.

liberal   (lib • er • al)

ADJECTIVE

  1. open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values
  2. (especially of an interpretation of a law) broadly construed or understood; not strictly literal or exact

NOUN

  1. a person of liberal views.

I know they mean well, but liberals should be kept away from impressionable children.  Kids need structure.  They want to know the rules.  They grow by experiencing the rewards of hard work, the thrill of fair competition, and the joy of winning.  Building character includes losing with dignity, and learning from one’s mistakes.

One thing I know about children:  nothing hurts them more than being treated unfairly.  And nothing is more unfair than letting some kids break the rules while others abide by them.  The same holds true for adults, but it’s larger than life for children.  What happens if you give one sibling candy, but not the other?

This is not just about sports and kids.  It’s about life, and it’s about the moral decay we see all around us.   Some are expected to work while others don’t.  Some follow the laws while others flaunt them – or political leaders decide to not enforce them.  Some put their shopping carts in the rack at Costco.  Others just leave them in the parking lot, for somebody else to take care of.

And it seems like the people who complain loudest about being treated unfairly are the ones who don’t respect the rules.  The liberals.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ on the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

When I fight authority, authority always wins
When I fight authority, authority always wins!
I been doing it, since I was a young kid and
I’ve come out grinnin’.
I fight authority, authority always wins!

John Cougar Mellencamp – the Authority Song

Take a minute to enjoy a young John Cougar Mellencamp – kid had some moves!