2016’s Election Paradox

Think about the 2016 election for president for a minute and you come up with a startling fact. History doesn’t mean anything. Historically, this is a Republican romp. You look at the economy…you look at the state of mind of Americans…you look at the fact that the Democrats have been in power two terms, and you have to conclude that this is a Republican walk. Hell, even the GOP field is deeper and smarter, and better-liked, and younger. That all adds up to a GOP win!

But this is a weird year. A year when the first six months have been dominated by two parties’ leaders that shouldn’t even be there. Facing all the baggage yet to come with her email scandals, Hillary should have dropped out months ago. And Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina have as much chance of getting elected as Paul McCartney (actually, McCartney if he COULD run, which he can’t, would probably fare better!). No, it’s a weird year. And yet, there is another paradox in this election year that I hadn’t really thought of before.

On the Democrats’ side, you’ve basically got two people still in the race that are old. Bernie Sanders is well over 70, and Hillary is pushing 70. On the GOP side, of the people in the race that still really matter (so I’m leaving out the George Pataki’s and Rick Santorum’s and Lindsay Graham’s of the world), you’ve got a bunch of kids!  Rubio, and Cruz are 44. Paul is 52, Christie is 53, Huckabee is 60. Carly is 61. Bush is 62, and Kasich is 63. Ben Carson is 64, and Donald Trump is pushing the envelope at 69.

When was the last time the GOP field was fully younger than the Democrats? I can’t begin to remember. Here’s the paradox. Democrats tend to get younger voters, Republicans tend to get the older voters, right? So, you’re going to have young voters voting for two of the oldest candidates of the field, and you’re going to have a bunch of senior citizens voting for people who could be their kids. OK…except say Trump!

Want some more paradoxical facts? The GOP is known as the White Guy’s party, right? Always nominating a WASP to run. Well, this time around, you’ve got a Latino in Cruz, a Cuban-American in Rubio, a black candidate in Carson, a woman in Fiorina, and a Libertarian in Paul. Out of the ten viable candidates up there, only four fit the WASP mold. On the Democrats’ side, you’ve got a woman in Hillary (we still think), and an old White Guy in Sanders and O’Malley. Where is the “rainbow coalition” at these days?

Make no mistake about it, while I’m sure Hillary will get the nod on the left, I have no idea who is going to be the eventual candidate on the right. It seems Trump is waning and wearing thin. Carson is still strong, but nobody is giving him much credence to become the candidate. And while everyone is oohing and aahing over Carly, no one gives her a chance. No, right now everyone looks to Cruz and Rubio. Not that they’re the perfect candidates, but they’re the ones people are talking about six months into the race.

Weird year. And it will get weirder!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

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Priebus Does What He Should Have Done After CNN Debate

I’m not a fan of Reince Priebus…just so you know. I think he kowtows to the media too much and doesn’t do what’s necessarily good for the GOP. But I give credit where credit is due, and it’s due his way.

When Reince realized during the CNBC debate the other night that the moderators had an agenda much worse that looking good in front of an audience that had never heard of CNBC, much less knew their names, he decided enough was enough. And so, with the campaigns screaming at him to do something about such childish and unprofessional behavior as CNBC displayed, Priebus did what he had to do. He cancelled NBC’s Republican Primary debate. That’s it…done. At least he made Donald Trump happy.

Look, there’s no two ways about it, and regardless what individual reporters telling you that they’re only interested in the truth, they’re not. They are biased to beat the band. Remember back in the day with Walter Cronkite, Harry Reasoner, and Howard K. Smith? Sure, those guys had political leanings too, but they kept them to themselves. Today’s network anchors and bimbo reporters don’t. That’s because they’ve been taught in “J-School” that it’s ok to slant the news…that the American public is too stupid to know the difference. And it gets more and more blatant. So, in the midst of a presidential primary, it’s 100% ok for CNN to put on a Democrat Debate that looks like an episode of Jeopardy, complete with requisite softball questions, and then CNBC (and CNN two weeks before) to hammer the GOP and get them to snipe at each other. In their eyes, there is nothing wrong with that.

Well, there IS something wrong with that. There’s a LOT wrong with that. It’s a bias that frankly, the public doesn’t need to see. Look, I could care less who gets your vote. If you’re a journalist, you decide, just like I decide, who you’re going to donate to, who you’re going to support, and who you’re going to vote for. And as far as politics is concerned, that’s where you draw the line. You don’t bring politics into your work, even if politics IS your work. You keep your personal feelings out of it. Do you launch into a tirade about gun control every time there’s a shooting on the south side of Chicago? Then why in hell would you throw softball questions to Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton and then ask Donald Trump if he was a comic book villain or Jeb Bush why it is fantasy football shouldn’t be regulated as gambling?

The media in this country is out of control. Walter Cronkite, and I know…I’m going back to the stone age, but he used to be America’s grandfather. He told us the news every night, and we believed him. We didn’t question his motive. Today, congress has a higher approval rating than the media. The media today are more akin to used car salesmen than “true journalists”.

So, Reince Priebus was 100% correct in dumping NBC from the roster of Republican Debates. And he’d be wise to knock out CBS from that rank as well. Stick to Fox News and Fox Business News. Maybe put your radio feeds on I Heart Media (formerly Clear Channel) radio. That way, you’re reaching the public that’s going to be voting for these guys (and gal) in the first place. Let the Dems wallow in softball questions on NBC!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Bobo To Hillary: You’re On Your Own!

Barack Obama may SAY he supports Hillary Clinton in her defense of herself over Benghazi. He may SAY that there was no wrong-doing that he saw going on. He may SAY he was unaware of her using a private email server instead of the traditional, government issued server and government issued email address.

Of course, he also said if you liked your doctor…

In other words. He’s lying and Hillary Clinton will be left to twist in the wind in her email scandals.

On Friday, the State Department’s latest drip of Hillary emails revealed several emails that were written  between Hillary and Bobo Obama. Alas, don’t hold your breath in anticipation of reading such juicy fair. The White House is blocking the release of said emails, citing executive privilege, which, to be fair and honest, every single administration that has done wrong has done the same thing…so we may want to give Bobo a pass here.

But it does say some interesting things about the pair. First of all, it says that Bobo had lied when he said he didn’t know Hillary was using a private email address, unless he had no idea who HRC21@clintonemail.com was, and he’s in the habit of just reading all of his emails and responding to them! I mean, how many of us do that? I get literally a thousand or so emails every single day, and I don’t have time to read them all. I scan them by address and read the ones I deem important. I’m figuring POTUS does the same thing at the very least…and probably has at least one person screening his emails for him.

You know what else it says? It says that Barack Obama is not interested in helping Hillary Clinton out in this scandal…or at the very least that he might be implicated as a co-conspirator. And as we both know from watching the West Wing, that when you serve at the pleasure of the president, you throw yourself under the bus long before you toss him under it. Even if that means screwing up your career or your own presidential aspirations. That’s what Hillary was supposed to do. That’s not what she did, but what she was expected to do!

Where does this leave Hillary? Same place she’s been. She could care less what the American people think of her lying to us. She doesn’t really care what the Benghazi Select Committee thinks about her, because that’s part of the “right-wing conspiracy”. The only thing that concerns her right now is what the FBI thinks. Because if they happen to find something that would be indictable, and make that public, which they rarely do, and the justice department deems it fit to prosecute, which would be akin to the Detroit Lions winning the Super Bowl this year, THEN, she’s got problems. Not before. As much as we would like to see the witch twist in the wind, not before. That’s reality…those are the facts and at some point we’re going to have to deal with it.

So, even though Bobo is telling her he’s not going to get the White House involved in the scandal and that she’s on her own island in this mess, the crux is, nothing is going to happen. And with that….

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

While You Slept Last Night…

If you believe that John Boehner really had the best interest of the country at heart when he struck he deal with Bobo Obama, you probably are happy this morning. If you are like a lot of people and thought he was shoveling the shit out of the barn, just to get the barn cleaned so he could pack up his bag and head back to Cincinnati, then you probably wish you were still in bed.

As you slept last night, Mitch McConnell and the leadership in the Senate got everybody back together in the dead of night to pass the “deal” that Boehner, McConnell, Reid and Pelosi all hammered out with Bobo. The vote was 64-35. Oh, and Rand Paul and Ted Cruz’ filibuster? Yeah…they did it. It lasted all of 20 minutes. I guess they really wanted to go to bed after that debate and a red eye back to DC.

The good news is, you’re not going to have to deal with a government shutdown in the next 17 months. You’re not going to have to worry about the United States defaulting on its debt. Of course, your grandchildren may have to worry about their economy, as the liberals out there do what they do best…spend money. As the Washington Times reported, the 144 page bill spends about $558 million per page. Yeah…that’s a lot of dough.

Here’s my take on this: IF you’re going to tell me that the GOP is going to be able to hold the line on spending after the next 17 months, and IF they are going to finally get serious about the issues that effect Americans…about debt, about a runaway government, about immigration that is broken, about corruption in politics, about an economy that’s slower than an 80 year old running a marathon, about jobs and getting people back to work by giving the private sector the tools it needs without buying your way to a decent economy, about re-writing the tax code to something that doesn’t involve the IRS, about holding those responsible that have been involved in the myriad of scandals in DC…IF you are going to tell me that beginning in March, 2017, all of that is going to take place, and we just have to get from here to there…IF that’s what you’re telling me…OK. I’m on board.

IF you’re going to tell me that you just kicked the can down the road 17 months so you didn’t have to deal with those problems, and that someone else is going to have to worry about all of the domestic issues I just mentioned as well as fighting al Qaeda and ISIS and actually doing something to defeat them, rather than keep the military busy, get the hell out, because there is a bulldozer that’s on its way to DC to clean up the stench, and you’re part of it.

We don’t need middle-of-the-night deals. We had enough of that with Obamacare. How’d that work out? We don’t need crap. We need leaders and we need solutions. And if the politicians in Washington aren’t leaders, but just people looking to suck the teat of the American public, they need to realize we don’t need them, and we’re going to bulldoze them.

I think my blood pressure is nearing 200/100 and I need to call 911. In the meantime…

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Ryan Sworn In As Speaker…Will It Matter?

The one thing in Washington DC that is cheap is talk. It’s everywhere. Let’s face it, politicians love to blather. As the GEICO commercial says (which by the way stands for GOVERNMENT Employees Insurance Company), it’s what they do! Well, Paul Ryan did a nice job of it yesterday in accepting the role of Speaker of the House of Representatives, taking over from outgoing John Boehner.

Oh, Paul said all the right things. We’re going to fix what’s broken in Washington. We’re going to re-write the tax code so it’s more fair for everybody. We’re going to help students out with their student loans, we’re going to get the economy moving again, we’re going to fix the rotting healthcare system…it went on and on. And he’s going to do it with bi-partisan support, because after all, that’s what Republicans do. They reach across the aisle and seek some sort of compromise. It’s what they do.

Unfortunately, it all rang hollow in my eyes. It seemed more like a GEICO commercial than it did a political speech from a former vice presidential candidate, who finally got into the presidential succession line. Paul Ryan says the right things. Now the question is, will he actually DO the right things? I kind of doubt it.

Time and time again, we’ve seen this in politicians. They tell us they’re going to “repeal and replace Obamacare”. They tell us they’re going to hold Lois Lerner’s feet to the fire. They tell us that Hillary Clinton is going to pay for Benghazi. They tell us that they’re going to stare down Obama. They tell us a lot, and what have we learned through all of it? Talk is cheap. The real question is, what are WE going to do about it.

It’s not that I don’t doubt Paul Ryan’s sincerity. I’m sure he WANTS to do those things. But are you honestly going to tell me that Democrats in the House and Senate are going to work with anyone with an (R) next to their name? Not in this partisan atmosphere. I may have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night.

No, Paul Ryan, like most of the people in Washington, do say the right things. The problem is they never act on it. If Ryan really wants to be different…if Ryan really wants to be a Speaker that gets things done, and gets them done in a conservative way, and not just be another RINO, what we need is action. We need guts. And we need something Paul Ryan can’t provide. We need leaders across the Capitol in the Senate that have a pair of balls as well. Any 9th grader that got through Civics class can tell you that the House of Representatives can’t do squat on their own. They need the Senate to help them out to pass legislation. And they need a president who is a true leader, not some guy that likes to play golf and shoot baskets, and doesn’t care about working and playing nice with others. What we need is an overhaul that we didn’t get in 2010, and an overhaul that we didn’t get in 2012, and an overhaul that we didn’t get in 2014.

The good news is, we have a chance to finally get that overhaul in 2016…but only if 47% of Americans wake up and realize that they are being duped. Liberals fall into two categories. The first is the “save the whales” folks that want to sing Kumbayah and want to have everything all nicey-nice. And the second is the power players that want to control everything. It’s going to take the “nicey-nice” folks to wake up and get educated that there is no free lunch, there isn’t any save the whales campaign, and there isn’t “world peace”. Will they do it? I don’t think so. Because after all, when it comes to liberals… it’s what they do.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Was There A Winner Last Night?

I watched the Republican presidential debate last night and besides coming away realizing that CNBC has no business covering debates (or news for that matter), I realized that once you got through the veil of bias and “gotcha” questions from the moderators, there were some things that stood out.

First, was the question that was on everyone’s mind. Would Donald Trump be “nice Donald” or “mean Donald”. He was pretty “nice”. In fact, I thought he didn’t hurt himself. He wasn’t bombastic, but he was forceful. He wasn’t hateful, and didn’t attack the others on the stage.

Ben Carson, the new leader nationally, as well as in Iowa according to four polls, was presidential, quietly assured, and in control throughout, mentioning early on that he was going to follow Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of other Republicans”. He lived up to it, and did a nice job.

The other big question was Jeb Bush. He needed a really good performance. He didn’t get it. He had some good answers, but wasn’t what I’d call a “tall figure on the stage”. He melded into the background.

John Kasich needs to realize, that we understand what he’s done for Ohio. He needs to be broader than that. He wasn’t impressive…he was repetitive.

Carly Fiorina was bold and decisive…funny when she needed to be, but got her point across. I was very impressed with Chris Christie and Ted Cruz. Both hit home runs in my book, re-focusing the “gotcha questions” to attack Democrats.

One guy that also didn’t live up to his standing was, I thought, Marco Rubio. How many times do we have to hear about his bartender father? We get it Marco…you were poor. You dragged yourself up from your bootstraps and made it. Good for you.

Mike Huckabee was another candidate who was good, but who’s time has passed. He needs to gracefully bow out.

And Rand Paul, once again, was almost a non-entity. I had to often wonder if he’d stepped out to try some of the Colorado Canibus. He hadn’t…it just looked that way.

I know there were a lot of talking heads that said that the “outsiders” (Trump, Carson, and Fiorina) hurt themselves and weren’t as fresh. I think the newness is starting to wear off is all. Carson did better than the other two, with Fiorina second. But my most disappointing candidate last night was Jeb Bush. I don’t think he’s got the horses to be in this race much longer. He had a few good jabs, but he didn’t land any punches. He and Martin O’Malley could probably join forces and maybe run on the “Who Cares” ticket. He’s becoming that much of a non-factor.

Out of this race, we’ll probably see one, maybe two people drop out…my hunch is Rand Paul leaves quickly.

And I beg this question…was there even a second tier debate? Did I miss it entirely? Is Rick Santorum, Lindsay Graham, George Pataki, and gee…who’s that other guy? still in it?

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Well, There Was One Loser At Last Night’s Debate!

Quick hand check… how many of you watched the Republican debate last night on CNBC? How many of you knew how to FIND CNBC? Well, it probably went down as the most watched show on that tiny network’s history. But there was a loser last night. I wasn’t sure I saw any real winners….everybody did a fairly good job…but there was a standout loser.

The loser was  the moderators.

I have spent 35 years in broadcasting. I have interviewed tens of thousands of people. I have been friends with Senators, Governors, Representatives. I’ve met presidents and I can actually say that I am friends with one former Republican candidate for president (Mitt Romney), and one current Republican candidate (John Kasich). But never in my entire professional career, have I witnessed a more blatant, biased, immature, and childish performance than that of the CNBC crew that moderated that debate. It was downright pathetic.

Look, I understand, these were business types. They’re used to covering Wall Street. They understand stock markets, not politics, I get that. But to use “gotcha” questions throughout, even after they have been called on it by several candidates, been booed by the audience on several occasions, to continue like nothing happened, is beyond the pale. This was an amateur performance by people who call themselves professionals. And now, I can finally understand why CNBC has fewer people watching it than I had listening to my local morning radio show in the 103rd largest market in the country. Pitiful!

It started with the first question to Donald Trump, comparing him to a comic book character. And of course, Trump looked and said, “that was a really poor question!” It continued to each of the candidates (at least they didn’t play favorites). Even after Ted Cruz called them on the carpet for ridiculing each of the candidates and questioning their use of debate topics, comparing it to the love fest the Democrats had on CNN a couple of weeks ago. Cruz was dead-nuts on.

And when Chris Christie asked the moderator, who kept insisting on interrupting the New Jersey Governor’s answer, if he wanted to ask the question, and that even in New Jersey, his behavior would be considered “rude”, the crowd erupted in applause.

But I thought one of the best lines of the night in the entire debate was when Marco Rubio said that the Democrats already have the most powerful PAC in the world…the mainstream media. And the crowd went wild! CNBC’s moderators, by that time were slumping so far down in their chairs that you could only see the  top of Becky Quick’s head.

Speaking of which, you have to remember where this debate was being held. This was on the campus of the University of Colorado. In Boulder. This is not exactly Hillsdale College here. It is one of the more liberal bastions in the nation, and not a place I would have considered to be a place to draw as many people to the debate as they did. And the crowd even turned on the moderators…not once but several times. When it was obvious that they were trying to trap Donald Trump in a “gotcha” on Ben Carson’s religion, the crowd booed down the question. It was never answered (nor should it have been).

And I’ll say one other thing. The debate started off poorly. The moderators had no control, with candidates asking for more time to answer a question or to make a point. During the first commercial break, the producers must have come down hard on the candidates, because from that point on, the moderators seemed to have control….at least more of it than they started out with.

No, CNBC did one thing last night. They lived up to their billing as the worst news network in the country. I’m thinking even Al Jazeera could have done a better job moderating the debate. And Reince Priebus had better take that into account when he allows future debates to be scheduled. Reince, you need to go through the questions with the moderators! I’m just sayin’!!!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!