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.

 

Draining the Swamp Is Easier Than Fixing the Schools

President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

President-elect Donald Trump and his choice for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Everyone knows that we must “drain the swamp” to get our nation back on track.  Corrupt and self-serving Washington, DC insiders have colluded with big business, big media, and big education to lock themselves to the trough at the expense of working Americans.

The incoming administration is already setting up its swamp-draining apparatus, and there is optimism in the air.  Trump has shown that he will take his case straight to the American people, bypassing the corrupt news organizations.  And he is bringing outsiders to the Beltway who have little patience for the Machiavellian status quo.

I’m confident that reforms can be made, and quickly, in our federal government.  But that only solves part of the problem.

Our American education system, from kindergarten through college, has been churning out brainwashed dumb-bots for decades, and our collective IQ is dropping like Wile E. Coyote from an Arizona cliff.

Now, if that statement made you spit coffee on your lap, good.  We need to wake up.

You may be thinking that there are some schools with problems, but your local school is just fine.  “Our teachers are nice and the kids are polite.  The football team wins most of their games and 95% of our graduates go to college.”

Here’s an exercise for you – you can do this intellectually if not physically.  Grab an average high-school sophomore from your local school district.  Can he find Egypt on a globe?  Can she make change?  Can he calculate percentage in his head?  Can she name the first three American presidents?  Could he change a tire?  Could she bake a cake?  Do they know who fought in World War II and why?

I’ll bet you could do or answer all, or most, of the above when you were 15.  Your parents could.  So could your grandparents.  Trust me, your grandfather could calculate gas mileage in his head.  Your son probably doesn’t know what gas mileage is.  If your sophomore can pass the above test, he or she is part of a very tiny minority in this country.

You might say, “Yes, but my sophomore can operate a smart phone.  And she is very socially aware.”  Okay.  Try using her anti-bullying training to jump-start her car when the battery is dead.  See if his gender-identity sensitivity classes can help him prepare a simple tax return.

Today’s students spend as much time, or more, being “educated” as you did.  But the quality and quantity of knowledge they obtain is not even close.  There are only so many hours in a day, and in a childhood.  I call the waste of our students’ precious time “educational rape.”

When faced with the question “How can we improve education?” the knee-jerk answer is “School Choice!”  Unfortunately, if the choices are all designed and staffed by the same people who screwed up the traditional schools, the results might be even worse.  I have to tell you, I have visited many ballyhooed “choice” schools that were more politically-correct indoctrination centers than the schools they replaced.  And I didn’t find even their “star” students to be very well-prepared for success in the real world, be that college or career.

So how do we drain the school sewers?  Honestly, it can’t be done from Washington, DC.  Schools must be designed, organized, and operated by states and local districts, because presidents and congressmen and bureaucrats in Washington, DC can’t see what is happening on the ground in Billings or Topeka or Charlotte.  Our new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, should agree that most functions of the federal Dept. of Education should be eliminated.  We still need to ensure fair treatment of special needs and at-risk students. This is a case where federal mandates are in order, and they must be aligned with federal funds.  But most curricular and methods decisions should be made locally, with local funding.

Competition from school choice is great.  Participation by private employers – awesome.  Private and religious schools?  Home schooling?  Excellent.  Vouchers?  Yes.  Still, until and unless we parents get involved in our local schools, driving the educational process as active patrons and school board trustees, it will be more of the same.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideSomebody once told me the world is gonna roll me
I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed
She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb
In the shape of an “L” on her forehead

All-Star – Smashmouth