Are We Conservatives “Uneducated Boobs”?

Last week I attended the Heritage Action for America regional Sentinel Summit, an annual gathering of top conservative activists, in Atlanta.

Heritage Action for America (HAFA) is the action arm of the Heritage Foundation, the preeminent right-wing think tank in the USA, and it engages almost 20,000 grassroots activists like me. We are charged with staying at the leading edge of conservative policy and holding our members of Congress accountable.

At the conference, HAFA president Tim Chapman and senior advisor for political affairs Nate Rogers presented the organization’s “2020 Polling Project” to the gathered Sentinels. They explained how HAFA will use the data they accumulated in 2019 to align voters with popular conservative values. For example, polling shows that American voters are strongly in favor of protecting unborn children, yet the Democrat House under Nancy Pelosi will not even bring a bill to the floor which would require doctors to save babies who survive abortion attempts. This issue, and many like it, can be used to convince habitual Democrat voters, and swing voters, that they should be looking at the conservative alternative.

At the end of Tim and Nate’s presentation, I asked Nate this data-related question. “We conservatives have been characterized in the media and by the Democrats as ‘uneducated boobs’. Meanwhile the Dems claim to own the poor, the immigrants, the oppressed minorities. Which is it? Who is better educated, them or us?”

I’m tired of being painted as a hillbilly, “clinging to my guns and religion”, as characterized by President Obama . But Nate’s answer hit me like a brick. “They are, pretty much,” he said. “The core Democrats are typically college-educated coastal elites; Republicans have won the working middle-class.”

Not the answer I was expecting, or wanted to hear. And I have been stinging ever since.

But on reflection, I am pleased to be part of the “uneducated” group of conservative Americans. Given the socialist dumpster fire that higher education has become, and the abject failure of colleges to provide real employment and life skills despite crushing student debt, it’s no wonder we follow President Trump and common-sense conservative policies. We reject the clueless history- and science-denial and self-serving political ideology of the Democrat leaders.

So yes, the other side has more college degrees than we do. But they can’t change a flat tire, or balance a checkbook, or hear an opposing opinion without hiding under their beds. They can’t intellectualize that killing unborn (and just-born) babies is murder, they would allow the entire third world to walk through our borders expecting us to feed them, they think throwing the F-bomb around and sexualizing everything makes them “cool kids.”

They are ready to throw away our world-envied health care system, our precious freedom of speech, and our proven-effective free market economic system, in exchange for the promise of “free stuff.”

We may be uneducated, but they are the “boobs.”

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

What drives you on
Can drive you mad
A million lies to sell yourself
Is all you ever had

Stupid Girl – Garbage

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.

 

Time For A Change – Make Govt. Employees Accountable

Government-Employee

photo courtesy WesternJournalism.com

If you got caught spending most of your time at work watching porn on your computer, do you think you might get fired?  If you owed money to your employer and refused to pay it, would you expect to keep your job?

If you are a federal employee, no worries.  Less than one-half of one percent get fired.  Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) said, “It’s so laborious for managers to address poor performers that sometimes it’s easier for them to ignore the bad employee or give suspension with pay and hope that it corrects itself.”

With the average annual pay for federal jobs approaching $100k, plus fat benefits packages and generous time off, taxpayers should expect top-notch performance.  But we all know that, for the most part, federal departments and agencies are the gold standard for ineptitude and inefficiency.  Because government employee unions bubble-wrap their members, our government must hire several people for every job that would require only a single worker in the real world.

Unlike jobs in the private sector, where every employee must contribute to profit or hit the highway, nobody other than Congressman Meadows seems to care about the buildings full of bodies accomplishing little or nothing.  The agency and department heads are not concerned; it’s not their money!  Plus, the measure of success and power in government is not what you accomplish, or how much money you save the taxpayers – it’s how many employees you accumulate.

And the head bureaucrats are as unaccountable as the line employees.  When called to task by congressional oversight committees for poor performance, or even illegal acts, they no longer feel compelled to even answer questions.  They know that their bread is buttered by the administration, not Congress.  Who is in charge?  Nobody.  The buck stops nowhere.

At a time when our economy can no longer drag the dead weight of bloated government behind it, and our $20 trillion debt keeps rocketing, and there really is serious work that our employees should be doing, can’t somebody – maybe a presidential candidate for instance – at least mention government accountability?

The Heritage Foundation has studied the issue and made recommendations as part of its “Blueprint for Reform – A Comprehensive Policy Agenda for a New Administration in 2017“.  Among many important reform policies, this ambitious project addresses the pay and benefits gaps between federal and private sector employees, and suggests some ways to make firing bad employees at least thinkable, if still not easy (see pages 99 – 102).

I’d like to see employee unions either shut down or severely restricted.  The federal government is a monopoly, where the elected can spend taxpayer money to get themselves re-elected.  Government employees should at least be hired at-will, just as they are in the private sector, so managers can hire, discipline, and fire without facing union intervention or a morass of federal regulations.   And department officials must be made accountable to Congress too, or the notion of congressional “oversight” is no more than a shallow joke.

Like any rehab program, the first thing we have to do is admit that we have a problem.  Then we have to work on some serious change in accountability.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

A change . . .
Would do you good.
I said a change . . .
Would do you good!

A Change Would Do You Good – Sheryl Crow