“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!

What GOP Needs To Do This Year

The Republicans need to shape up…at least the ones in congress. They avoided a huge Democrat takeover in the November election, staving off advances in the Senate and the House, but in order to maintain their lead in both houses, they need to make sure that they do some things to get them through 2020. It’s not going to be easy for them.

1. Come together as a party. This is the toughest thing for the GOP. You’ve got several conservative factions of varying degrees all wondering about how they are going to answer to voters back home. They didn’t want to back the Ryan Plan for healthcare because it wasn’t a true “repeal” of Obamacare. Paul Ryan needs to understand that moving forward. The party needs to understand that unless they can show the American people that they can effectively govern, then the old adage of the out of power party in the legislative branch will probably retake at least the House of Representatives next year. It’s America’s weird way of making its own checks and balances. If you have Democrat in the White House, have a Republican Congress (or at least one of the houses), or vice versa.

2. Repeal Obamacare. Notice I didn’t say “replace”. That is a key for many on the right. Obamacare was this monstrous bill that was just too invasive in Americans’ lives, and too costly. It would have been much cheaper to go out and buy a Cadillac plan for every uninsured poor person in America for the rest of their lives than waste the money we’ve thrown down that rat-hole. The GOP needs to finally stand up, while they’ve got majorities in both houses of congress and someone in the White House that will back them, and get rid of this piece of crap plan. Don’t replace it, repeal it.

3. Tax Reform. Time is running out for the GOP to do anything on tax reform this year. It’s a mammoth job in any year. It doesn’t matter what you cut, you are going to gore somebody’s ox. You have to decide that you’re going to probably piss off the wealthy at some point and take away some of their loopholes, you’re going to piss off special interest groups, like the real estate industry, and take away the mortgage interest deduction, and you’re going to piss off the healthcare insurance guys and the doctors and hospitals when you say you can’t deduct medical expenses any longer. But in reality, you have to get as close to a flat tax as you can. 15% is 15% regardless how much you make.

4. Immigration. There is no way in hell this is going to happen. Oh, I know…Trump says it is…but a wall on the southern border is going to cost hundreds of billions to do it right…and you’re NOT getting Mexico to pay for it. You’re going to add excise taxes on goods coming FROM Mexico, which basically means Americans that buy Mexican products are going to pay not just for that avocado, but also the wall. And fixing the immigration problem is going to be another mountain to climb. I will say that reports I’ve seen from the southern border say that illegal entry is already down some 75% since Trump took office. Just the threat of arrest has been enough to deter a lot of folks from coming into the country illegally.

If the GOP hangs tough and gets those four things done this year (because nothing ever gets done during an election year), they have a shot of hanging on to both houses of congress for another two years. I doubt the Dems have the oomph to take the Senate…and that’s why they’re eyeing the House.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Majority Says Trump Hasn’t Kept Promises

Donald Trump made a LOT of promises out on the campaign trail. I can’t begin to even think of naming them all, but I can tell you that a majority of Americans have said that after his first 100 days in office, that they don’t believe he’s kept them.

 

If you go back when Gallup asked this question in February, 62% said he was keeping his promises. Ah, but the honeymoon has worn off. I personally think it has to do with Trump’s inability to repeal Obamacare right off the bat. That 62% number (which was higher than his vote percentage in November), has dropped to 47%. That’s not a terrible number, but it IS a 15% drop in just two months, and if you look at it, there are really only three things that Trump has promised he would “get right on” in the first year: Obamacare; Tax reform; and “The Wall”.

 

Well, Obamacare isn’t apparently dead yet. The GOP in Congress are still wrangling over how that thing is supposed to look with the Freedom Caucus wanting to gut the whole thing and start over. The more mainstream Republicans like Paul Ryan want to see the thing tweaked, and replaced, but not necessarily repealed. Oh, they’ll have to defund most of it, because they don’t have the votes in the Senate to just repeal the whole thing (unless they wait until next year and sweep out about 13 or so Dems from office, which I’m hearing could happen). But that seems to be what America is angry about. And they should be.

 

If I’ve learned one thing in life it’s that you under-promise, and over-perform. When you do that, you get all sorts of praise and kudo’s. When you over-promise and under-perform, it doesn’t matter what the reason, you’re a liar and a cheat. And let’s face it…Trump over-promised, and so far, he’s under-performed on Obamacare. That’s not to say that he hasn’t done a good job staffing his cabinet, and making appointments. That’s not to say he’s restored some of the luster to America’s image overseas after Bobo the Clown totally trashed foreign policy without a whit of a thought. But it IS to say that when you campaign heavily that you’re going to demolish Obamacare, and 75% of the country WANTS you to destroy Obamacare, and you don’t do it? Well, that leads to 47% thinking you’ve kept your promises.

 

Overall, after the first 90 days or so, I’d give Donald Trump a C. He’s performed well at times, but he’s stumbled. It’s a tough job. I can’t recall anyone, not even the most seasoned politician who doesn’t stumble somewhere along the way early on. I know Trump’s predecessor did. Hell, he had like 18 different scandals in the first three years. The worst Trump has had so far is his Secret Service detail for Melania in New York, his trips to Florida, and the infighting between Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner. That’s peanuts comparatively speaking!

 

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

At Least She Got That Part Right!

I’ve never been a Hillary Clinton fan. My vote this past November was as much a vote against her as it was a vote for Donald Trump. She’s been a loser from the word go. If she hadn’t married Bill out of college, she never would have amounted to anything. That is a fact. Yes, she worked hard “for the children”, and I say, “Big deal”. So did I. So have millions of people out there. That doesn’t make you fit to be the president or even a friggin’ senator. Had she not been First Lady, she never would have been Secretary of State, and four people that died in Benghazi, Libya would still be alive. But after saying all of that, as slimy as she is as a person, Hillary Clinton got one thing right.

 

She’s through with politics.

 

Oh, I know…you’ve seen her give speeches (probably for hundreds of thousands of dollars), and she’s bashed Trump just like she was running for office again. But she said in a book just released called, “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign”, that when she lost on election night, she said she was done. She wouldn’t run for any office again. It was somebody else’s turn to take over. Her job was done, and she lost. All are apt words.

 

Now, let’s be clear about one thing. I don’t begrudge Hillary and Bill a bit for making millions making speeches. I don’t begrudge anybody making any amount of money. My feeling is if there is someone in this world that is willing to pay you a price for whatever service or job you perform, than go for it. That is part of the American Dream. And the same thing holds true for them. The fact that their foundation is a shambles and isn’t generating the millions it once was, doesn’t mean they don’t need an income. I’m sure no one in America can live comfortably on hundreds of millions of dollars. If people are stupid enough to pay her for her words, then by God, she’s the idiot if she doesn’t take advantage of it!

 

But in the meantime, the greater point here is celebratory in nature. Hillary Clinton is toast. We no longer have to deal with her, at least in a political sense. Oh, she may show up somewhere and tell people not to give up, but that’s rather hypocritical, isn’t it? After all, she has given up. But when you lose the highest office in the land, an office you’ve dreamed to hold since you were a little girl, and you lose it not once, but twice, you probably are right to set your sights a little lower. You probably need to realize that you’re not the superstar you really thought you were. You’re probably in the same boat as Al Gore, and John Kerry, and Bob Dole, and John McCain. And that’s ok. To quote that great Ted Knight line from Caddyshack, “The world needs ditch diggers too!”

 

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Dems 0 For 2 In Post Trump Elections

I know that it’s only two elections, and I know that they’re in pretty red districts to begin with. What I find interesting in the two post-Donald Trump special elections to replace house members that took administration jobs is that the Democrats in both cases were bragging that they were ready to take back the house in 2018, and these two elections were going to make it their “red line in the sand”. It turned out that the “red line in the sand” played as well with the Democrats as it did with Barack  Obama.

 

Last week, you’ll remember, Kansas State Treasurer, Ron Estes beat Democrat James Thompson for Mike Pompeo’s former seat in the House of Representatives. It was fairly close seeing how it was a very red district, but the Democrats were hoping to flip this seat, and failed. They failed again this week in Georgia, Jon Ossoff failed to get the necessary 50% of the vote in the primary, forcing a runoff for the seat vacated by Tom Price. Democrats had thrown literally tons of money at this race, with their goal to get Ossoff over the 50% mark so he could win the seat outright. In Georgia, they have open primaries, with the top two going to a run-off election if no candidate gets 50% or more of the vote. Ossoff had an incredible backing from Hollywood, who shoveled millions of dollars into the district. Ossoff will face Karen Handel, a Republican, on June 20th’s special election.  In this one, the seat hasn’t been blue since the Carter administration era, and no seat has flipped in their primary system (meaning the off-party wins the primary outright) since 1872. For the Dems to think he was going to get over 50% was foolhardy. He did very well, beating 11 Republicans who split the vote, and came in with 48.1%. But the chances of him beating Handel in June are slim.

 

Now, if you listen to Democrats, they are saying what you’d expect them to say. The Trump steamroller in November was because they had a very weak candidate (they did), and because no one went out to vote (which was true as well). But the fallacy in their argument is that come next year, they are going to be able to pick up 25 seats in the House, simply because it’s an off-year election (and that usually picks up seats for the party out of power…though not always!).

 

You have to take both of these special elections for what they are…Democrat losses. There’s another one coming up that will most likely bear the same results. The interesting thing is, this week’s primary in Georgia hit at the same time Trump’s approval numbers crossed the 50% barrier, and over 72% of the people polled said they approve of his foreign policy moves (thank you, North Korea!).

 

In all likelihood, there will be a lot of movement between now and next year. Whether or not the Dems are able to snatch 25 seats remains to be seen. If they aren’t able to, it’s going to be a LONG four years for them, and you’re going to hear them screaming for Bernie Sanders to run again in 2020!

 

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

If It’s So Good…

To listen to Nancy Pelosi tell it, she basically created the world in six days when she and Harry Reid passed Obamacare and foisted it on a nation ready to lynch her for it. She is always railing about how it is such a mistake to repeal the debt-laden, over-blown, piece of crap bill that most of America has never caught on to. She says she’s ready to work with Republicans to “fix it” anytime, anywhere. What that means is, she’s ready to try and save as much of it as she possibly can. And there are a couple of good parts to Obamacare. But just a couple of good parts. 99.9% of it is garbage that needs to be trashed.

 

And apparently, I’m not the only one that feels that way.

 

About 90% of Republicans and 80% of independents think that Obamacare should be repealed (NOT repealed and replaced). What is surprising is that a new poll by Gallup (not your typical conservative pollster…these guys are as liberal as they come!), shows that 57% of Democrats also feel that Obamacare should be repealed. So some six years after the country was sold a bill of goods on this idiocy, somewhere in the neighborhood of 75% of us don’t think it’s worth the cost, and should scrap it.

 

Geesh, and I was losing faith in America! About the only part that should be kept is doing away with the “pre-existing conditions” clause that was such a bane to a lot of people. The rest of it isn’t worth the paper it’s written on (or the millions of trees it killed to write it!).

 

Now, the GOP says they have almost got the Conservative Freedom Caucus or whatever they are calling themselves this week on board with a new plan. The reason these guys didn’t vote for it the first time around was because it didn’t really “repeal” Obamacare…it tweaked it. And what the Freedom Caucus guys and ladies wanted was to do away with it. They didn’t buy Paul Ryan’s, “We gotta do this in three stages”. Neither did I. You need to dump it.

 

Now, on the other side of the fence will be the people that scream, “But I’m going to be paying too much if you repeal it!”, and they may be right. But the one thing I’ve learned in my current position is that when you make a law or a rule, you don’t do it for an individual…you do it for the good of the entirety. Yes, it will be unfair for some. That’s just the way it is. You are always going to be unfair to some people when you pass a law, and I deal with just that situation every single day. But it’s what’s good for the whole that matters, and in this case, the whole…including Democrats…want this thing repealed. The sooner the better. Blowing it up and going back to the way we were is MUCH better than what we’ve got. Will some people lose insurance? Yup. Will some people pay more than they do under Obamacare? Yup. But will the MAJORITY be better off? Will the COUNTRY be better off? Of course, because the country cannot afford this monstrosity. It’s a white elephant that needs to be taken out back and put out of its misery. And the GOP needs to be the ones to do it. Let’s just hope they don’t use a cap pistol to do the job!

 

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!