The Takeaway from the 2018 Mid-Terms

It’s a little early for an in-depth analysis of the 2018 mid-terms.  However, there are a few take-aways that are hard to miss.  President Trump is a net-gain for Republicans and a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

Traditionally, the party with an incumbent president tends to lose 30 seats in the House and an average of four seats in the Senate.  Although results are still trickling in, the Democrats’ gain in the House likely will be about average.   Meanwhile, Republicans in the Senate beat the odds and will score an impressive pick-up courtesy of Mr. Trump.

While Democrats managed to retake the House of Representatives, their net-gain was far less than Republicans achieved in 2010 during Obama’s first mid-term.  His party lost 63 House seats with voters angry over the passage of Obamacare.

Voters have short memories.  Continue reading “The Takeaway from the 2018 Mid-Terms”

Federal Workers vs Private Sector (Taxpayers Get the Shaft)

In my “Crazytown” column, I celebrated Trump’s most recent accomplishments.  These are things other presidents should have done, but most didn’t.  They just kept making the same old mistakes, hoping for different results.

One of the president’s recent moves was to cancel the scheduled pay raise for federal civilian employees.  When I pointed out that recent studies have shown that federal workers, on average, are paid 80 percent more that their counterparts in the private sector, some took exception.

President Obama also recognized this disparity and instituted a partial federal wage freeze between 2011 – 2013.

It has been said there are three kinds of lies:  lies, damn lies and statistics.   Continue reading “Federal Workers vs Private Sector (Taxpayers Get the Shaft)”

Blame the ACLU

President Trump has argued, correctly, that Nikolas Cruz should have been reported and that this information should have prevented him from buying a gun as expressed in this tweet.

“So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again.

Trump’s critics rightfully point out that he signed a law that repealed an Obama regulation that would have added an additional 75,000 people who suffer from mental illness to the national background data check.  No doubt Trump would like to take that back.

The rule that was repealed specifically required that the Social Security Administration add people who have been deemed incapable of managing their financial affairs to that list.  That would include many who receive disability payments due to mental illness.   This would not have prevented Nikolas Cruz from obtaining all his guns, but it would have been a small step in the right direction.

The measure was part of a larger group of Obama rules that were reasonably repealed by Congress shortly after Trump took office.  Yes, the repeal of the gun measure was supported by the NRA but another organization that has been largely left out of this discussion, the ACLU, was also to blame.

In a letter to Congress, the ACLU wrote:  “We oppose this rule because it advances and reinforces the harmful stereotype that people with mental disabilities, a vast and diverse group of citizens, are violent,” the letter says. “There is no data to support a connection between the need for a representative payee to manage one’s Social Security disability benefits and a propensity toward gun violence.”

Obviously, if you can’t manage your money you shouldn’t be expected to manage a gun.  Please!  More obvious is the fact that someone who is getting SSI disability payments due to a mental illness should not have access to guns.

Let us not forget that in the 70s and 80s the ACLU was at the forefront of patient’s rights legislation and court cases that emptied our mental institutions.  These cases raised the bar significantly for anyone to be committed.   The courts ultimately ruled that a finding of mental illness alone was not enough to justify a state’s locking a person up against his will and keeping him indefinitely in simple custodial confinement if such persons are dangerous to no one and can live safely in freedom.

What does living safely in freedom mean?  Today, for the most part, that means living on the streets.  Why?  Because most of the mentally ill don’t think they are mentally ill.   Once out they refuse their meds and don’t go for treatment.  When that happens many do become dangerous and their heartbroken families are simply afraid to keep them or take them in.  Research suggests that individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are responsible for approximately 10 percent of all homicides in the United States.  For mass killings, the percentage is approximately 33 percent. http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/evidence-and-research/learn-more-about/3627

Too often families are counseled to avoid having a child classified as mentally ill and schools try to keep these children in their system.  Then, once that child becomes an adult, the school and the family lose control unless the now mentally ill adult voluntarily gives a parent or another adult the responsibility for his or her custody.  We now know that Nikolas Cruz refused to let the school district continue providing him with the mental health services he had been receiving after he turned 18.  These cases go unreported.

It’s an urban legend that we have insane people living on the streets because Ronald Reagan closed the mental hospitals.  Most mental hospitals were closed simply because they no longer had any patients.  Sadly, liberal organizations like the ACLU that worked to get all these mental patients released, largely abandoned society’s most vulnerable.

Many of the mental health workers who worked toward this end have admitted their mistake.  Many also have admitted their over reliance on drugs.  Now these drugs are part of the larger problem of those who shoot up schools or a workplace.

If you are on psychotropic drugs you cannot join the military, pilot a plane and — in some cases — even drive a car.  It makes sense that people on these drugs should be ineligible to buy guns unless re-evaluated.

Politicians, the NRA and the ACLU need to accept this.   My guess is the first two will come around.  The ACLU is perhaps the bigger culprit and, so far, has escaped the consternation of the general public.

No Thank You Obama

So now we know why Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer  looked as if they were sucking on lemons during President Trump’s State of the Union address.  They wanted him to thank Obama for all the good economic news he was touting.

That’s why members of the Congressional (Democrat) Black Caucus could not bring themselves to cheer when Trump announced that the black unemployment rate was now the lowest in the history of our nation.

Most forget that the financial crisis that occurred from the housing bubble in 2008 was ended before Obama took office.  The recession that followed was made worse by his pathetic attempt to micromanage the economy.  This led to the nation’s weakest economic recovery in modern history.   And let us not forget the $800 billion dollars Obama fleeced out of we the taxpayers for those shovel-ready jobs.   I think it is safe to say that if that $800 billion had been spend as advertised, we would not have an infrastructure problem now.  In fact, many of our roads and bridges would be paved with gold.   Continue reading “No Thank You Obama”

Ronald Reagan’s Revenge (Can We shoot down North Korean Missiles?)

The Memorial Day weekend was marred by the news that North Korea fired off another missile and it had landed within a few meters of its intended target,  This was followed by more threats directed at the United States from its deranged dictator Kim Jong Un.

This followed two successful tests of medium to long-range missiles by the rogue state in as many weeks and a simultaneous launch of four missiles on March 6, three of which fell close to Japan, a nation we are bound to protect.

Such launches, and two nuclear tests since January 2016, have been conducted in defiance of U.S. pressure, U.N. resolutions and the threat of more sanctions, which amounted to little more than sending the rebellious, bellicose young leader to bed without dessert. Continue reading “Ronald Reagan’s Revenge (Can We shoot down North Korean Missiles?)”

Flynn’s Dismissal Highlights the Difference Between Obama and Trump

Donald Trump lost a valuable member of his team when Michael Flynn was forced to fall on his sword and resign as his national security advisor.  Flynn’s crime had nothing to do with the Russians, but his failure to tell the truth about his December conversation with Sergey Kislyak.

One can appreciate Flynn’s hesitancy to tell (then) Vice-president Elect Mike Pence that he had discussed the sanctions Obama had recently imposed on Russia with the Kremlin Ambassador.  It wasn’t illegal.  In fact, it was to be expected that Flynn would be laying the groundwork for what lies ahead.   However, in light of all the accusations about Russia’s attempt to skew our election in favor of Trump, Flynn probably wanted to avoid throwing unnecessary fuel on that media-fanned fire.

Does anyone remember that cosy little conversation Barack Obama had in March of 2012 with outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the global nuclear security summit in Seoul, South Korea?  Obama was caught on tape asking Medvedev to ask his successor, Vladimir Putin, to give hims “space” until after the November election when he would have more flexibility to deal with thorny issues like missile defense.   Continue reading “Flynn’s Dismissal Highlights the Difference Between Obama and Trump”

Why Obamacare must Go

The first order of business for the new Congress is the repeal of Obamacare.  The American people demand it.  The only people who seem to be happy with Obama’s signature achievement are those who are rich or getting it for free, or nearly free.

Dig a little deeper you will find that the bleeding-heart liberal rich with their on-call concierge physicians or so-called Cadillac plans are the only ones truly happy because they are unaffected.  Those who get Obamacare free through the expansion of Medicaid, or nearly free, have found it is a trap because fewer and fewer doctors are willing to take these patients.  The doctors who do require long waits.  It’s call rationing which is a hallmark of socialized medicine or Obamacare-Lite, as the case may be.

For the average guy or gal, Obamacare has been a disaster.  My cousin Lori is a case in point.  As an adjunct college professor she was informed that she would no longer be eligible for company health benefits for 2017.  The college then offered her the ability to self-pay through Obamacare. Continue reading “Why Obamacare must Go”