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

 

RedState Gathering – Nothing Resolved, We All Just Disagree

redstate2016
I attended the RedState Gathering in Denver this weekend, not knowing what to expect, and even prepared for a brawl.  I joked with friends that if I saw talk radio flame-thrower Steve Deace walking by, I would trip him.

The RedState Gathering is an annual political event hosted by RedState, the right-wing media group led in recent years by Erick Erickson.  I have followed Erickson for years and held him in high esteem as a deep thinker and a solid defender of conservative values – small government, free markets, and personal responsibility.  But then Trump happened, and Erickson and I parted ways.

Somehow, out of 17 GOP candidates for president, Trump won.  My first favorite, Carly Fiorina, held on as long as she could, but was never really a contender.  My second favorite, Ted Cruz, put up a good fight that got ugly at the end.  Trump emerged, without the support of the majority of voters, as the only alternative to Hillary.

The right side of the electorate immediately fractured into four groups, deftly described by Guy Benson in the final panel discussion at the Gathering, and only slightly modified below by me.

  1. There are those who were on the Trump train from the start, and will gleefully vote for him in the general election.  They are furious that no one in government has listened to them for a long time, and they want to blow up the Washington DC cartel and start over.  They have no reservations about Trump’s character or ability.
  2. Then there is the group that is not crazy about Trump, but see the election as binary, and are terrified of the inevitable and irreversible harm a Hillary presidency will bring: activist courts shredding the Constitution for decades to come, accelerated immigration that will guarantee liberal domination into perpetuity, unstoppable growth and overreach of government, ridiculous imposition of political correctness, destruction of jobs and the economy, loss of national security, racial and gender disharmony, and Clinton Corruption in every corner.  This group feels compelled to vote for Trump.   I am in this camp, as are most conservative media pundits:  Limbaugh, Ingraham, Hannity, Hewitt, Gallagher, and others.  Hugh Hewitt defended our case admirably to the Gathering.
  3. The third group which includes Erickson and RedState are so disturbed by Trump’s personality, and the perception that he is not a pure conservative, that they are actively campaigning against him. They refuse to vote for or support Trump on principle; they just can’t live with a president who is persistently politically incorrect.  They suspect his motives, even though he has never been in government and has no policy record.  They don’t like Hillary either, but are willing to let her slip into the Oval Office in the hopes that they will be able to re-group and pick up the pieces in four years.Iowa radio talk show host Steve Deace is the most vitriolic Trump critic – you can imagine the blood spurting from his eyes as he rails against Trump on the radio every day.  Other less strident members of this group are radio host Michael Medved and Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard.  Katie Pavlich, TV spokeswoman for Townhall.com, rationalized her opposition to Trump to the Gathering this morning, saying Trump will not beat Hillary anyway, so she is doing no harm.  Erickson, a newly ordained preacher, views the election in biblical terms.  He said, “The weather after November is going to be really bad.  Expect to see houses falling from the sky.”  But Erickson and his followers won’t vote for Trump, or stop criticizing him, under any circumstances. Glenn Beck passionately pleaded with the audience to not vote for Trump, promising an apocalypse if he is elected.  He made the obligatory criticisms of Hillary, but he wasn’t specific about what actions Trump might take that will cause the mountains to crumble and the stars to fall from the sky.
  4. The fourth group is made up of people who claim to be conservatives and have decided they will vote for Hillary.  I agree with Erickson’s observation that these people are mentally ill.

As I said, I didn’t know what to expect, but I still brought home some surprises from the Gathering.  I thought the attendees would be predominantly anti-Trump; they weren’t – most people there will be voting for Trump.  I thought the stridently “NeverTrump” organizers would be unwilling to accept or listen to opposing views; they weren’t – they were patient and understanding of those whose views don’t line up with their own.  And I thought Senator Ben Sasse, who Kristol and Erickson floated as a third-party opponent to Trump, might be a self-serving demagogue; he certainly isn’t.  In fact, his homespun Nebraska common sense, along with his extraordinary speaking skill, makes him a serious contender for leader of the conservative renaissance, if the “right side” survives.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side
So let’s leave it alone ’cause we can’t see eye to eye
There ain’t no good guy, there ain’t no bad guy
There’s only you and me and we just disagree

We Just Disagree – Dave Mason

 

Will “Lucy” McConnell Pull The Football Away Again, Charlie Brown?

charlie brown footballFor the first time in a long while, Republican senators are actually sticking to the conservative game plan, holding the line on confirmation hearings for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, until after the election.

This week two Republican senators, Susan Collins (R-ME) and John Boozman (R-AR) attended what the White House called “courtesy visits” with Judge Garland.  Four more are pending.  But Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell insists that his players will not jump offside this time.

Despite White House cries of foul play, the freeze-out of the president’s nominee doesn’t seem to be gaining any yardage with the press or the public, providing a jolt of testosterone for McConnell’s usually-timid team.

Republican legislators have repeatedly folded to their outnumbered Democrat opponents on popular conservative issues like budget restraint, defunding Planned Parenthood, and stopping Iran’s nuke program.   Even a chip shot like dropping the corrupt and obsolete Import-Export Bank was out of their reach.  Conservative voters have had enough, and the ascent of outsiders Ted Cruz and Donald Trump to the top of the GOP presidential roster drives that message home to McConnell and friends.

Still, it’s hard to not feel a little bit like Charlie Brown running up to kick the football.  Will “Lucy” McConnell pull it away at the last second like she always has before?

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideTake a minute to enjoy one
of my all-time favorite pieces
of music from the Charlie Brown
TV shows by jazz giant
Vince Guaraldi

Linus and Lucy – Vince Guaraldi

 

The Insider GOP CrapBurgers Have Finally Hit the Fan

wake-up-alarm-clockHow long have we been trying to wake up the Republican party?  Even before emergence of the Tea Party, the mainstream “real” Americans who go to work, pay their taxes, mow their own lawns and worry about their kids’ futures were trying to express that we are fed up with the political correctness, the deceit, the secularization, the corruption, and the failed domestic and foreign policies of our government officials.  We’re sick of not being heard.  We’re tired of being lied to.  We’re sick and tired of the condescension.

Year after year we worked for candidates, contributed to campaigns and causes, studied and wrote and taught conservative principles.  It only got worse.  “They just don’t get it,” we complained to each other.  We sent officials to Washington who we thought were conservatives, only to see them melt into the cushy lap of the DC Cartel, rendered incapable of standing up to the leftist leadership, who ran roughshod over our values and our wallets.

They offered us loser McCain.  They put up loser Romney.  They gave us Speaker Boehner, and Justice Roberts and Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan.  They refused to stop funding for Planned Parenthood and to keep nukes away from Iran.  They funded opposition to conservative candidates. They stood by and silently watched the president abandon our allies, and condoned his military “shrinkage”. They would not defend our constitution or our borders. They signed off on one porky CrapBurger budget after another, ballooning our debt.

Now, finally, the CrapBurgers have hit the fan.  We actually have two presidential candidates, Cruz and Trump, who are not in the pockets of the Cartel.  And the Insider Republicans are FREAKING OUT.

It’s a  pathetic sight.  Today the Insider Republicans trotted out Romney, the guy who couldn’t even match up against the worst president in our nation’s history, to try to bully the outsider candidates who now threaten their DC cocktail party invitations.

Listen to Romney and the Insider Republicans bashing the challengers:  “You’re a RAAAACIST!  You’re a nasty rich guy taking advantage of little old ladies!  You hate women and the handicapped!  You are an intolerant Christian!  You hate the poor and the immigrants!  You hate gay people!  Racist! Racist! Racist!”

Sound familiar?

When Hillary Clinton was asked,  “What is the difference between a socialist and a Democrat?” she had no answer.  I’d like to ask the Insider Republicans, “What is the difference between you and the Democrats?.”wimpy.-King-Features1

They still don’t get it.  They know their very existence is threatened, but they don’t know why, and it looks like they are incapable of understanding or change.

It’s time to start over.  And it’s way past time for the Insider Republicans to stop asking me for money every five minutes.  I will NOT pay you Tuesday for another CrapBurger today!

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideCrapBurgers and Sleazy Lies
You fooled us once and you fooled us twice
The Inside Republicans have met their demise
No more CrapBurgers and Sleazy Lies!

to the tune of CheeseBurger in Paradise
(apologies to Jimmy Buffet)

 

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

 

 

Senate GOP – Don’t Give Up Like You Always Do!

scaliaHere we go again.

Now we have lost Supreme Court Justice Scalia, the last and best guardian of the Constitution.  And you know — you just know — that the weak-kneed, self-serving GOP establishment Washington, DC cartel is going to cave in and give President Obama his replacement.

Afraid of appearing to be “mean”, lest the people who don’t vote for them anyway will dislike them even more, these DC weenies are still in the lineup despite batting .000 in the National Negotiation League.

I am one of the small handful of people who still listens to Michael Medved’s radio show; there are few choices in the wee hours of the morning.  Medved is the designated talk radio spokesman for the squishy Republicans.  His assignment is to defend and make excuses for the GOP liars in Congress who promised they would stand up to the Obama regime at election time, and now refuse to do so at every opportunity.

Today he opens his show with the topic, “Is Compromise A Dirty Word?”  He regularly excoriates conservative listeners who call his show to support Donald Trump’s hard-line populist positions against out-of-control immigration, bad trade deals, and the Obama/Kerry nuclear giveaway to Iran.

Medved is even more hysterical about Ted Cruz, insisting that Cruz has “no chance of being elected” because he refuses to be bullied into submission by the intractable left and their assault on virtually all of our traditional American values.

He even goes after Dr. Ben Carson, the quiet but tough-as-nails conservative who brought down the house at an event I attended last week at Winthrop University.  A coed asked him if he was concerned about the environment.  “Of course I am,” Carson responded with his usual warm, slow smile.  “I wouldn’t allow a company to dump chemicals in a river and harm everybody downstream.  But the stuff you have been fed about “climate change” — what a bunch of CRAP!”

An exasperated caller to Medved’s show was about at the end of his rope when the establishment apologist insisted that the Republican party is dead because they refuse to compromise with the Democrats to provide more freebies to the victim groups who are lining up behind Bernie Sanders-Claus.   “Why are we the only ones who have to ‘compromise’?” the caller complained.  “The Democrats never compromise.  They hold their ground or they advance.”

Medved’s answer was stunning.  “That’s not true!  Obama wanted to raise all taxes, and end Bush’s tax cuts.  But a few of Bush’s tax cuts were left in place!”   Right, Michael.  The Democrats didn’t get everything they wanted, just most of it – and to you and your DC Republican friends, that is a compromise on their part.

They still don’t get it.  I don’t know why, but it appears that they will never get it.   Churchill, in the darkest days of World War II, rallied his weary countrymen to victory with the famous words: “Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.”

What will it take to convince our “always give in” Republican officials that this time it’s important?  Obama’s Supreme Court appointee will doubtless be the exact opposite of Justice Scalia, bringing irreparable harm to the country for decades to come.

You know that liberals will howl “unfair!” if the Senate doesn’t confirm Obama’s first pick.  If the shoe were on the other foot, do you think the Democrats would give the Republicans a free pass? Frankly, I will be surprised if Obama doesn’t make a recess appointment while the Senate is out of town.

Let’s just hope that maybe, for once, our Republican senators will grow a pair and hold the line until after the election.  And let’s vow to primary out any defectors this time.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideDon’t give up
’cause you have friends
Don’t give up
You’re not beaten yet
Don’t give up
I know you can make it good

Don’t Give Up – Peter Gabriel

 

 

Cruz Plays Hardball on National Security

Ted CruzOur invitation to the Ted Cruz National Security Forum directed us to the “Morningstar Fellowship Church” in Fort Mill, SC.

Last week we attended Donald Trump’s blowout show (it was a show, not a forum) at the Winthrop University Coliseum, a 6,000-seat basketball arena.  We arrived two hours early and found Rock Hill gridlocked for miles around.  Probably as many people were turned away as were admitted – it was overbooked bedlam.  The Trump show was entertaining as hell, if somewhat light on policy details.  The highlight was the removal of a planted Hezbollah/CAIR supporter who played the part of racism victim on CNN that evening.

So today’s Ted Cruz event is at a church?  We went early just in case, but assumed it was, well you know . . .  a church, for a few hundred people.

We found ourselves standing in line outside a huge brick building, in a complex of huge brick buildings, and next to that was a REALLY huge brick building – like a 25-story tall hotel!  Only it had bricks falling off of it and it was obviously not occupied.  I asked the lady behind us about the big empty building.  She said, “Well, it’s a long story.  It was started back in the 80’s, but it never got completed.”  Then she mumbled something about PTL.

tammy faye.jpegPTL!  I had completely forgotten about the Praise the Lord Network.  Last time I saw that name it was in my mother-in-law’s check register when she was sending weekly $100 checks to Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker from her kids’ trust fund.  Apparently she was not the only one.   This morning, when I heard mention of PTL, it evoked the image of Tammy Faye blubbering to a camera, mascara flooding down her face.  Allegations of rape and financial shenanigans brought the Bakkers’ multi-million dollar mega-church tumbling down in the late 1980s, and Jim did hard time in the Big House.

Anyway, MorningStar is not just a church.  It is a very large and busy evangelical organization that also takes an aggressive political stance.  MorningStar is headquartered in the resurrected remains of the Jim and Tammy Faye Empire, replete with a world-class facility for TV church services, a Las Vegas style “Main Street” of indoor shops, and an array of chic apartments and retirement homes.  The venue, featuring a large stage with impressive sound and lighting, easily handled the Cruz gathering of 2,000.  Unlike the Trump event, where Secret Service agents severely scrutinized attendees and took three hours to admit the crowd, the Cruz event had no security whatsoever.

My fascination with the MorningStar complex was almost a distraction from the task at hand: Ted Cruz’s “debate” with former CNN and ABC News commentator Jeanne Meserve, who played the part of liberal media egghead, teeing up softballs for Cruz to hit over the fence.

And he hit ’em like Babe Ruth.

Bang! “You want to know the stakes of the 2016 election?  If Hillary is elected, Iran WILL have nukes.  If I am elected, the Ayatollah will never have nuclear weapons.”

Pow! “Under this president, the golf courses of America have never been safer.”

Boom! “I will put a wall on the southern border.  And I’ve got someone in mind to build it!”

Smash! “Out of 7 billion people on Planet Earth, Obama chose the only one (Wendy Sherman) who had already failed at nuclear negotiations (with North Korea) to make a nuclear deal with Iran.”

Ka-boom! “On day one I will rip the Iran nuclear agreement to shreds, and restart sanctions.  I will tell Iran ‘shut down your nuclear program now, or we will shut it down for you.'”

Cruz blasted Obama and Clinton for operating in a “state of denial”, unwilling to even name the enemy.  Ms. Meserve, bravely playing devil’s advocate, challenged Cruz about his plan to deal with “disparate, small pockets of violence, such as what happened in San Bernardino, Paris, and Burkina Faso, where at least 28 victims died at the hands of al Qaeda fighters yesterday.”

“What is that?  What were those acts?” Cruz demanded.  “Terrorism,” Meserve replied.  “What kind of terror?”  No answer.  “Terror by whom?”  Still no answer.  Like the president, the former mainstream news reporter could not, would not say the words “radical Islamic terrorism.”  Whether that was in the script or not, it was sure effective, as Cruz pounded home his contention that a government that can not name its enemy surely can’t defeat it.

Cruz was relaxed, confident, and (dare I say it) presidential.  He left no doubt that, from the conservative viewpoint at least, he is well-versed in the details of our national security challenges, and is earnest about addressing them.  Mrs. Clinton should have grave concerns about facing either Trump or Cruz in front of the American voters.  Trump would gleefully reveal her status as a world-class-liar, and Cruz would expose her utter failure in international affairs, especially our national security.

The event was sponsored by Americans for Peace, Prosperity, and Security (APPS), headed by Congressman Mike Rogers.

Rockin' On the Right SideI want security, yeah
Without it I had a great loss, oh now
Security, yeah
And I want it at any cost, oh now

Security – Otis Redding

 

Another stellar song by the late, great Otis Redding.  He just wants what we all want.  Security!

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!

Prediction: Trump’s Vanity Will Wear Thin

Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore_2

photo by Gage Skidmore

Trump, Trump, Trump!

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump continues to dominate the news, leaving other candidates scratching their heads and scrambling for scraps of airtime.

Several of the early favorites in the GOP primary race are barely hanging on as their funds dry up, their ratings continue to sink, and the only question reporters ask them is, “How about that Trump?”  Many observers thought the flop-haired tycoon would be kicked to the curb when his lack of depth on issues was revealed, but his campaign continues to gather steam.

While pundits no longer deny that his candidacy is for real, they still don’t understand how he has won the hearts of so many voters.  Insider elites call Trump’s followers at best “angry”, and at worst “stupid.”   They are still waiting for him to self-destruct.

One thing is certain: he is not winning support because of his conservative positions on the issues, which have been anything but consistent.  He was for abortion before he was against it.  He is against ObamaCare, but for single-payer health care.  Trump was for amnesty, then against it, then for it again, kinda.   He has been a consistent supporter of Hillary Clinton over the years – unthinkable and indefensible to right-wingers.

Other Republican candidates have held back their frustration with his scattershot positions and also with the apparent lack of discernment on the part of the voters.  Their patience is wearing thin.  Moderate-leaning Jeb Bush, who wanted to run a “happy” campaign, has begun to take retaliatory shots at ‘the Donald’.  Solid conservative Carly Fiorina is the latest to take on Trump, saying, “I think it’s very difficult to lead if you don’t have the requisite knowledge.”

Some speculated that Trump won early support because he was the most “masculine” of the candidates, causing opponents Cruz and Walker to visibly “cowboy up” their presentation styles.  Trump’s aggressive style is masculine, for sure, but also gratingly self-aggrandizing.

Trump certainly gets approval from disaffected conservative voters who have had a gut full of politicians whose actions don’t resemble their campaign promises – with Speaker John Boehner and Leader Mitch McConnell at the top of the list.  But Trump is joined in the race by fellow “outsiders” Carly Fiorina and Dr. Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz has shown a willingness to stand up to the DC insiders as well.

It’s early, but not too early for my prediction:  primary voters will tire of Trump’s vain rhetoric and failure to do his homework on the issues. But one of the other outsiders will triumph, and the Republican nominee will have Boehner and McConnell to thank for her success.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideYou’re so vain,
You probably think this song is about you.
You’re so vain!
I’ll bet you think this song is about you!
Don’t you?  Don’t you?

You’re So Vain – Carly Simon

 

Here’s another of my favorite Carly’s!

The Guy Who Works At the Dump is Angry

boehner-and-mcconnell-3I haul my own garbage to the dump.  Call me old fashioned.  Or cheap. Or both.

Here in South Carolina we have “waste collection and recycling” centers conveniently located around the county. Instead of sending out an army of men and trucks to pick up trash door-to-door once a week, whether we need it or not, our county lets us take our trash to them.  No charge (other than the small cost of operation added to our property taxes). No wasted miles, no noisy diesel trucks fouling the air, no bloated union driver pensions.  It’s one more example of how refreshingly common-sensible I find our state and local government to be – unlike our federal government.

Yesterday my truck’s radio was tuned in to my favorite political talk show, and as I jumped out at one of the huge trash collection bins, I couldn’t help but notice the caretaker’s radio was on the same station.  “You have a great job,” I kidded him.  “You get to just sit around and listen to Rush all day!”

That started our discussion about the current state of political affairs and, of course, the presidential campaign.  And it reminded me how ignorant the mainstream media and the political elites of both parties are about the voters’ state of mind this time around.  It is unfathomable to me that they still underestimate or totally dismiss the level of discontent out here on the street.

The man at the dump is backing Donald Trump all the way, and he defends his position vigorously with facts and figures about the damage illegal immigration is doing to our country.  He is furious with the corrupt Republican house and senate leaders and the sheepish representatives who abandoned their conservative promises for fear of retribution.  He is pro-life, pro-second amendment, anti-ObamaCare and anti-Iran-agreement.

Just like virtually everybody I meet.

My next-door neighbor is educated, wealthy, and black.  He is raising his three beautiful girls with traditional conservative American values: work hard, have respect, be responsible, and don’t expect to receive anything you don’t earn.  He hasn’t picked a presidential candidate yet, but is watching the race closely and says he will vote for the most conservative one.

The guy that set up my pool table puts in sixty hour weeks, and he loves it.  He enjoys the competition, the financial rewards, and the independence of owning his small business.  He just bought a bigger building and will be hiring more people, but government intrusion makes running his business difficult, and the anti-America agenda of the left just makes him mad.   “I can’t understand these liberals.  They waste so much time and money on things that really aren’t important, and won’t deal with the things that are.”

This week I attended Congressman Jeff Duncan’s “Faith and Freedom” barbecue event.   In addition to some fine barbecued pork, we also got a heaping portion of red meat politics from presidential contenders Governor Scott Walker, Dr. Ben Carson, and Senator Ted Cruz.  These guys know what is on the minds of the common folks, 2000 strong, who sang the national anthem with inspiration and harmony.  The candidates hit every hot button: Planned Parenthood, ISIS, tax reform, energy independence, ObamaCare, Iran, national debt, corporate cronyism, honesty and values.  They know the man and woman on the street are angry at the Republicans they elected and who refuse to represent them.

“If you elect me,” Ted Cruz bellowed, “I will always tell the truth, and I will do what I said I would do!”

Trump’s supporters unanimously appreciate the way he “tells it like it is.”  After initially dismissing Trump as a serious candidate, pollster Frank Luntz finally admitted, “Trump is punishment to a Republican elite that wasn’t listening to their grassroots.”  Charles Krauthammer insisted in a recent editorial that Trump’s nomination would guarantee Hillary Clinton a victory.  Then he added, “Yes, I understand. The anger, the frustration, etc., etc., that Trump is channeling. But how are these alleviated by yelling “I’m mad as hell?”

The guy at the dump is mad as hell, and he doesn’t know what else to do.  Like the rest of us, he studied the issues and voted for people who promised they would be conservatives when they got to Washington.  We thought we elected conservative majorities in both houses, but things keep getting worse.

The DC elites need to put down their martini glasses, cut their Martha’s Vineyard vacations short, and take a good hard look at the guy on the street.  He’s angry, and they had better not ignore him any longer.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

There’s a place in the world for the angry young man
With his working class ties and his radical plans
He refuses to bend, he refuses to crawl
And he’s always at home with his back to the wall.

Angry Young Man – Billy Joel