White House Correspondents’ Dinner: No Fake News Here!

In a really over-blown, over-the-top effort to prove to the world they are legitimate, and quite possibly to themselves, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was held last night in Washington…without the President in attendance. He was busy. He was at a First 100 Days Rally in Pennsylvania…the state that gave him the White House last November.

And in a move to show that they were indeed still alive, still kicking, and still mattered, the White House Correspondents decided to throw the dinner anyway, and blast the Trump administration throughout. One of their major themes was, “We are NOT fake news”. Now, the whole “fake news” thing has been overblown by The Donald. I’m not saying the news is fake because I really don’t think it is. I’m saying that the title of “fake news” has been given to the media because of their bias, both right and left.

Media USED to report on situations. That was their job. Billy crashed his bike into Suzy’s house. That is an unbiased, fact base report. Billy crashed his bike into Suzy’s house because he didn’t like the fact that Suzy got a raise and now makes exactly what Billy makes. That’s what would classify as fake news because the reporter doesn’t know for a fact that is why Billy crashed his bike into Suzy’s house. Maybe he’s a bad bike rider. Maybe he’s drunk. Maybe he thinks Suzy is a bitch. Anything is possible. And in this past year’s campaign, we saw a lot of “fake news” that wasn’t false, but was twisted. It was reported as fact, but in actuality, there was more spin and opinion involved than there was fact. THAT is what Donald Trump has been talking about…and yes…the media IS guilty of that.

Anytime the media publicly favors one candidate over another (and it happens both ways here…it’s just this time they favored the Democrat), I would say you are in major danger of committing “fake news”. That is exactly what happened, and it happened because some of the one-time-most-prestigious news organizations in this country allowed one candidate to have editorial consent over the content in their publication. That’s just wrong. The media needs to be vigilant that they are unbiased when it comes to reporting the news. Currently, as last night’s WHCD clearly showed, they are incapable of doing that job, and they actually proved Donald Trump’s point. They are so mired into the “fake news” phenomena right now that America has lost faith in them.

I blame the people running the media, but I also blame the Journalism Schools around the country for teaching that it’s ok to show your bias. University of Missouri, Syracuse University, Northwestern University are probably the three largest and best known J-Schools in the country. They all do it. And it needs to stop if the media want to be given any credibility in the future. But based on what I saw from last night’s dinner, I think we are going to have to find another source for “Real News”. These guys are mired in the fake brand for a good long while.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

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Trump’s First 100 Days: Winner or Loser?

Yeah, I know…everyone else is jumping on the “First 100 Days” bandwagon, so what the hell. I thought I’d do the same thing…I mean, after all, you can only do it once, right? After today, it’s pretty much dead meat (and usually I’m late on these things anyway). So with that in mind, let’s take a look at what Trump has and hasn’t done in his first 100 days in office.

The economy is soaring. We haven’t seen this type of growth since Reagan took over for Carter. Oh, I know, Bill Clinton CLAIMS he had bigger growth, but most of that was the dot com stuff, and we remember when that bubble burst, don’t we? Trump’s economy is up $2 Trillion since he was elected. In his first 100 days, he has decreased the federal debt $100 Billion (vs. the $560 Billion Obama GREW the federal debt in his first 100 days).

Illegal immigration (without a wall) is down 67%. It’s rather amazing what you can do to actually stem the tide of illegals coming across the border simply by saying, “We are going to arrest you, and we are going to send you back.” Maybe we don’t need a wall after all!

NATO has decided to increase their spending. Remember in the campaign, Trump said that NATO needed to step up and that the US wasn’t going to fund the alliance like it had. They kicked in an additional $10 Billion.

Neil Gorsuch was confirmed for the Supreme Court. Well, it was something Obama couldn’t get done. And yes, it took a nuclear option, which will most certainly come back and bite the GOP in the ass somewhere up the road, but for now (and when Anthony Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg leave), it’ll set the court on the more conservative bent for the next 30 years anyway.

Trump has dismantled Obama’s climate warming global change scam. Funny thing…I was just reading how high temperatures, low temperatures, flooding, tornadoes, and hurricanes have all dropped in intensity and in frequency over the past three years. Funny that we did that WITHOUT enacting laws telling Mother Nature to do that, isn’t it?

Eliminate two regulations for every new regulation. I sure wish Bobo had done this. Life would be so much better today. Ah, but he’s a has-been and a failure.

Hiring freeze on federal employees. Want to shrink the size of government? Easy, just don’t hire people. As others retire, the government size shrinks.

Two new pipelines approved. About time…we’ve only been waiting eight years for Keystone XL!

Cutting funding to “sanctuary cities”. When are these idiot liberals going to learn that when the federal government makes a law it takes precedence over your silly ordinances?

North Korea. Yeah, it’s a work in progress, but at least we are acknowledging that we have a problem there. That’s 100 times better than what Obama did. Same with Syria, same with China, same with Russia, now let’s see what happens with Iran!

There were some fails as well…
Obamacare repeal failed (or is failing while I write this). They cancelled a Friday vote on it because they haven’t been able to get the moderates back on board once they appeased the conservatives. Look, just dump the damn thing. I count this more as a congressional fail than a Trump fail.

I would have to put Michael Flynn in this category. He was a major embarrassment to the Trump administration, and whomever vetted him for his post did a really crappy job. The guy should be in jail, not in government.

Overall, with that record, you’d probably have to give Trump high marks. I say it’s more like a C+. Based on what he SAID he’d do in the first 100 days and what he actually did, he didn’t build a wall…he didn’t rip up the Iran deal, he didn’t get us out of NAFTA, but waffled on it. He didn’t get Obamacare repealed. And he hasn’t begun to re-write the tax code and make it more fair (which is defined as less redistribution of wealth).

You got your work cut out for you, Donald. Thank God you’ve got another 1,360 days to go before your term is up! Get to work!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

You Can’t Ask What???

Several states and even some cities are coming out with one of the most asinine laws I’ve ever heard about. Let’s say you’re going to a job interview. And for grins and giggles, let’s say that you have made it through the first couple of rounds and now you’re going to be zeroing on talking money. In a lot of states, and a few cities, they are thinking of passing a law that makes it illegal for a prospective employer from asking you, “How much money do you make”? No more salary history.

That’s like going into a car dealership and not being able to ask the dealer how much is that snazzy red convertible on the showroom floor…just pay the man when you leave. What a crock!

Well, it’s all being done in the fairness of “pay equity”. How that works to insure that men and women get paid the same thing, I’ll never know, but apparently that’s the whole deal. The argument is that if a prospective employer asks you for a salary history, and let’s say the job you are applying for should pay between $80,000 and $100,000 depending on experience, and you’ve made $60,000, you could be under-selling yourself. If you made $150,000 you’re too expensive. But don’t you think that is between you and the employer? Am I mistaken, or do you have a gun to your head to accept that job (if offered)?

This is one of the most ludicrous bills I’ve ever heard of. Part of a job interview is salary negotiations. Obviously, the employer is trying to pay as little as they can in order to get you to come to work for them, and obviously, you are trying to get the most money you can. There is nothing in the world that forces you to take that job if you don’t like the money being offered. You can always refuse the offer and take your talents elsewhere. And it does nothing to stop pay inequality.

If I’m an employer and some man walks in, and again, the job pays between $80,000 and $100,000 depending on experience, what stops me from offering the guy $95,000? If a woman walks in, what stops me from offering $80,000? And that’s just the money side of it. What if I gave the guy four weeks of vacation and a company car with a $2,000 a month expense account, and I gave the woman two weeks of vacation, no company car, and a $1,000 a month expense account? That’s still pay inequality, and it still isn’t equal. This law does absolutely nothing to combat that.

Here we have another stupid example of liberals trying to legislate morality. You can’t do it. You can try but it’ll never end up happening. Paying women and men the same for the same job should be a no brainer…but if the woman is going to be asking for time off when the kids are sick, or when she gets pregnant, or decides she wants the job and is a worse negotiator than the guy who holds out for more bucks, is that the fault of the woman or the employer? Yeah…I thought so.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Perez Not Making Many Friends Early On

Make no mistake, Tom Perez is out to make a difference in his party. The new head of the Democrats in America is reading the tea leaves, and sees that in order to make a difference, he needs to take the Dems hard left…following the likes of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. And he doesn’t care if those more moderate folks in his party make the trip or not.

Perez has been on some sort of speaking tour marathon for the past couple of weeks. His crowds aren’t all that impressive, and his message has taken a vast left wing turn, which will play well with the Bernie Sanders’ folks. But he is going to alienate a lot of people in the more moderate side of the party, which apparently isn’t what he’s concerned about.

Case in point. Perez wants to have a litmus test on abortion. Yup, you read it right. If you are a Democrat, but you believe in pro-life, you have no place at his table. You won’t get the support of the Democrats, at least at the national level. Now, let’s just take a look at this point and see where he’s going.

More and more Millennials have been raised with only abortion rights in this country. And more and more see it as a viable way to live. So, Perez is making a play for the younger folks in his crowd. The older folks, the ones that may be more moderate on this issue, or even more pro-life, are the ones that currently vote. But Perez is banking on the fact that if Bernie Sanders had won the primary instead of Hillary, he would be in the White House right about now. He may be right, but there are an awful lot of folks who DID back Hillary that would have skipped the Sanders revolution. It’s the same problem the Republicans had with the Tea Party movement. You get people farther to the right, but you alienate those in the center or to the left of the party, and they don’t want to get involved.

Think back how the GOP screwed over their own by “primarying” Republicans that the Tea Party didn’t feel were conservative enough, only to oust someone from their party that had been in Congress for a good long while, and ended up losing the seat to a more moderate Democrat in the fall election. Time and time again it happened. And it’s going to happen the same with the Dems. They are going to be running uber-leftist candidates against those that have more moderate positions, and they are going to find while they may excite the “new base” a little bit, they aren’t going to be able to attract a large enough crowd come general election time to get the win.

And that is the pile of dog crap that Tom Perez is stepping in…day after day…week after week…speech after speech. It didn’t work with the GOP, and it’s not going to work with the Democrats. Somehow, I feel we have two parties that are heading for some big black hole and there is a race to see who can get devoured first!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Is This An End Of An Era?

This whole blog started as a way for some guy with some spare time on his hands in the middle of a vast desert to tell the world (if anyone cared) what he thought…basically about politics. But seeing how I spent my adult life in media, it also creeps in every once in a while. Today is that exception.

I used to work for the largest media company in the United States. Thanks to the Telecommunications Bill of 1996 that was signed into law by Bill Clinton, the station(s) I worked for went from being locally owned and operated, to owned by a company from San Diego, to being bought out by a company from Cincinnati, to then being sold to a company called Clear Channel (as did a LOT of radio stations back then!). In 2008, the top dogs of Clear Channel, the Mays family, decided to sell out to a couple of venture capitalist firms, Bain Capital (Mitt Romney’s old company), and Thomas H. Lee Partners. That’s when things went sour.

Bain and Lee didn’t have a clue about radio (and still don’t). They overpaid for the company at a time when radio was in decline, and the country heading into recession. But they signed the agreement and had to fork over the money. I was happy since I was a stockholder in Clear Channel and got a rather inflated amount for my shares. But oh, the price I paid!

They say you should never get involved in buying a business you don’t know anything about, and neither of these companies knew squat about radio. It showed. The decisions they made were first grade mistakes and the company never really took off like it had under the Mays family’s control (who were REAL radio people). Now, IHeartMedia may be heading for its final straw. Bain and Thomas H. Lee Partners have a $350 million debt payment to make this year and don’t have the money to do it. What did they do the last time they had such a payment? They fired half of their sales staff (I wasn’t one of them). They also have gotten rid of legends in various local markets because they wanted to unload some hefty salaries. And now, they find themselves still bleeding cash. Not because the local stations aren’t running themselves right. It’s because top management doesn’t have a clue what they are doing. They never have.

So if you have an IHeartMedia station in your town, look for some belt tightening to happen sometime this summer. More will be coming in 2019 if they make it through this year. That’s when IHeartMedia will have to kick in another $8.3BILLION! If they are having trouble scraping up $350 million, what chances do you think they have of making a payment 23 times larger? Answer: None.

Short answer: It’s the end of the “mega giant radio station ownership” age. That will leave Cumulus radio…which at one time was based in my hometown of Toledo as the largest radio owner in the country. My how the great have fallen! My how I’m glad I’ve retired!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

“March For Science” Is Really Neither

I’m a child of the 60’s, but somehow, growing up in small-town Michigan, I missed a lot of the excitement. I remember seeing the news reports of the protest marches, the love-in’s, the stuff surrounding Woodstock, etc. But to be honest, I wasn’t even a teenager until late in the decade, and I missed the whole meaning of it. Now, about 50 years later, you can see that generation doesn’t want to give up the past. And it’s sad really.

This past weekend, there was this, “March For Science” in DC. According to their website, there were over 600 other satellite marches around the country for those that were interested enough to give up a Saturday, but not interested enough to get to Washington. That by the way, for you statistic freaks is 1.7% of the towns in the US…and nowhere did anybody actually count the number of people that actually marched.

My point is, what do these marches accomplish except to get a bunch of people riled up, spend money on hotels and food and gas to get to a certain march location, and then leave? I have never understood what the end result is. What gets accomplished in the long run? Why are we doing it? Is it to feel good for a few hours or a few days? Is it to meet like-minded people? Or is it just a throwback to a time long past and some people don’t want to give it up?

Frankly the “March For Science” was neither. There really wasn’t a march per se. It was more of a get together to espouse their love of science and the fact that a more conservative government isn’t going throw the billions of dollars the last one did on climate change research. So, all of these “scientists” wanted to protest that. Actually, about a third of all “science” that has been studied in the past 10 years hasn’t been actual science as defined in the checklist at http://www.guideforscience.com. That means that one out of every three dollars we’ve been spending on this “research” is bunk. This has included most (but not all) of the climate change crap because most of it doesn’t follow the checklist. There are a lot of other examples out there of science that is performed not for the good of humanity, or even curiosity, but for grant money.

That was my point way back when. Governments decided that they would only fund left-leaning “scientific” experiments and studies, especially those that proved that global warming was real. In essence it was found that numbers were fudged in order to achieve the desired results. That’s not science. That’s politics. And why the government, any government should be funding a political theatrical discussion is beyond me. Let the people have the discussion. Let the leaders decide, but don’t you dare call it science. It’s political theater, pure and simple.

So, nothing was accomplished on this “March For Science” this past weekend. Nothing will come of it. Nothing ever has, and I doubt nothing ever will…though my crystal ball has never worked right. But let’s all do ourselves a favor…the next time you see on your favorite news channel the anchor covering some march…and I don’t care which side of the aisle it’s on…pull the channel. Go somewhere else. These things are useless and a waste of time. They are nothing more than a “feel good” strategy that accomplishes nothing!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

See Ya, O’ Reilly!

To be honest, and this may come as a shock, I never really liked Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, and so his departure had me shrugging my shoulders. I’m more interested in the overall message that it’s sending. As far as Bill O’Reilly is concerned, it’s not that big of a deal to me. He’ll land on his feet somewhere because he gets ratings, and in the TV game, that’s what it’s all about!

Look, I don’t care if you’re conservative or liberal, you CAN have a decent TV show. The problem with O’Reilly’s show was two-fold. First of all, there was WAY too much screaming and talking over each other on the show, and I just hate that. Being a professional broadcaster for 35 years, that was one big giant no-no. You don’t talk over others. And O’Reilly didn’t care about breaking that rule. The second thing, and this is more on a personal level, you can’t be right all the time. Nobody is unless your initials are J.C. Bill O’Reilly thought he was right all of the time. Even if that’s an act (and most of the time that stuff is), you start believing it when you start getting fan mail. And then it becomes an ego trip and that’s where the real danger starts. I bet that’s where the sexual harassment started as well…not saying I know that for a fact, just sayin’.

Apparently, O’Reilly over the years has had to pay out over $10 million to settle sexual harassment claims, and Fox News has had to fork over another $3 million because of him. That’s a LOT of misbehaving. And quite frankly, if that was true, you have to wonder why O’Reilly wasn’t fired years ago. I don’t care if you have the number one cable show in America or not, there are ways to behave, and ways not to behave, and frankly, you just don’t treat people like that.

Add to that the overall impression I had about O’Reilly that he was a big blowhard and a massive egotist, and I can see that he’d be pulling shenanigans like that, and treating people with less respect and dignity than they deserve. Look, Bill O’Reilly, if this stuff is true, deserves to get canned; deserves to never have a show on any network ever again; and deserves to never sell another book or do another speaking engagement. He’s like Hillary Clinton on that accord. You don’t reward bad behavior unless you want to get bad behavior. That’s exactly what Fox News has done all these years, and finally they got smart and pulled the plug. Good for them!

As for the lineup changes that I’ve seen, we’ll have to wait and see. I’m sure there are many talented people out there that can move in to whatever slots are open. Tucker Carlson has proven himself to be one of those talents. I hear Eric Bolling is going to get the 7pm slot (eastern time) that Tucker is vacating, and that should be interesting. I’ve liked Eric, but he’s not a superstar…yet. I hear The Five is moving to prime time and that Martha McCallum is going to take the 5pm slot (she’s been doing The First 100 Days following Special Report). She’s done an ok job, though I’m not a huge fan of the show. She’ll do fine.

Look, Fox News will survive, and probably be stronger with O’Reilly leaving. Hell, if I were them, I’d consider getting Dennis Miller back on the air on a regular basis…if he wants a daily show. That guy has always been funny!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!