Independent Counsel? Where’s the Crime?

There are growing calls for an independent counsel or prosecutor to investigate the Trump-Russia connection in the 2016 presidential election.  Everyone, it seems, has in interest in one.

For the media it is more fuel to feed the 24-hour news cycle.

For Democrats, it keeps the idea alive that something beyond their control caused their candidate to lose.  It couldn’t be because Hillary Clinton was deeply flawed, universally disliked, and couldn’t be trusted.  It couldn’t be that their message of higher taxes, bigger government and gender-neutral restrooms just fell flat.  It had to be something more sinister.

And for Republicans, it’s the need to simply move on.  Continue reading “Independent Counsel? Where’s the Crime?”

Cleaning out the Rats in Government

This week my husband smelled a foul odor in the area around his vintage sports car which he keeps under raps in our garage.  He removed the cover and lifted the hood to discover a big fat rat with a nest full of babies.  There is no telling how much damage could have been done if he had not made that discovery and quickly dealt with the problem.

However, this was nothing like the rat we discovered in the California state legislature when it was revealed that Republican Sen. Anthony Cannella of Ceres provided the margin of victory needed by Democrats to pass a $5.2 billion dollar tax increase, ostensibly to repair the states road and bridges.  This included a gasoline tax hike of 12 cents a gallon which hurts poor and middle class working commuters.   It will give California the 2nd highest gas tax in the nation and likely the highest price at the pump due to California’s distance from the major refineries and a requirement by state air regulators that further increases the cost of gasoline for our state.

For his vote, Cannella, the rat, received a half billion payoff for projects in his district that have nothing to do with fixing potholes.  They were designed to give him something to crow about to voters when he seeks higher office in a state heavily dominated by Democrats. Continue reading “Cleaning out the Rats in Government”

Nuclear Option? Call It Constitutional Option

“Elections have consequences.”  (Barack Obama, 2009)

Indeed they do and the most important factor to consider in electing a president of the United States is what kind of justices will he or she appoint to the Supreme Court?  While a president can serve for a mere eight years, a Supreme Court justice holds that job for life (or as long as he or she can sit on the bench without nodding off).

Will the high court consist of justices who will faithfully decide cases based on the Constitution alone (preferred by conservative Republicans) or should the high court be made up of justices who see the Constitution as a “living instrument” that can be changed on a whim (preferred by liberal Democrats)? Continue reading “Nuclear Option? Call It Constitutional Option”

Big Bird: You’re Fired!

On Monday, Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at cutting out waste in the federal government.  The ink wasn’t dry when the Washington Post trotted out Big Bird, the affable “Sesame Street” figure who has been used to blunt past efforts to cut unnecessary government programs.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-end-of-big-bird-hes-survived-the-budget-ax-many-times-before/2017/03/13/f5c1c94a-082a-11e7-93dc-00f9bdd74ed1_story.html?utm_term=.c6a28dc55b29

“Sesame Street” has millions of fans and I am one of them, but this bird is a fat cat!  It’s time we recognize that his life and our lives will not change if we cut the funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, NPR and all the rest. Continue reading “Big Bird: You’re Fired!”

Obamacare Replacement: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

After seven years of promising to repeal and replace Obamacare, Republicans finally have a plan.  If only we had held our breaths during all that time, they could have skipped it.  We’d all be dead.

Will it lower individual cost and provide better coverage?  Hopefully.  However, it falls well short of providing free-market coverage.  The only way to do that is to repeal Obamacare and get out of the way.  Something that Democrats are adamantly against and timid Republicans are reluctant to do.

Americans are generous people and would never abandon the poor to charity or, horrors, leave that responsibility to their families.  In our “me-first” society, it’s just too much to expect people to take care of their own.  Nevertheless, what we desperately need is a two-tier system:  One for the poor where there are special government-run, low cost, bare-bones centers that provide basic emergency care, and one for all the rest who must pay their own way.

Yes, health care cost something.  If our government would simply take care of those who truly cannot take care of themselves and get out of the way, we would have a free-market that would offer more choices than we could imagine and all levels of coverage.  The average person could easily find one that fits his or her need and pocketbook.   Continue reading “Obamacare Replacement: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

Election Crossroads: Socialism or Capitalism?

Our country is at a crossroads.  Never before have we faced such an obvious fork in the road.  One road, the one favored by politician Hillary Clinton and her Democratic colleagues, promises to lead us to a socialist utopia.  The other, favored by businessman Donald Trump and some of his Republican colleagues, promises to get us back on the road toward free-market capitalism.

It is no secret that most career politicians lean toward a socialist system.  In this system they control the lion’s share of our money and, in turn, hand out favors.  In this system, they make the major decisions that affect our lives.  As the government accumulates more and more power, we invariably end up with less.  Statistics show that the longer a politician stays in power, the more of our hard-earned money he or she spends.  Yet we keep electing the same people over and over and over again, expecting a different result.   Continue reading “Election Crossroads: Socialism or Capitalism?”

Abolish the Department of Education (No Excuse for Allowing the DOEd to Continue)

Oh, how I long for someone with the wisdom and clarity of Ronald Reagan.   One of his campaign promises was to abolish the federal Department of Education.  He failed, but not for lack of trying.  The Department of Education survived only because Democrats had a lock on the House of Representatives.

Nevertheless, Reagan cut the budget significantly and scaled back its functions.  On one trip to the DOEd during the Reagan years, I asked an employee about her job.  She said, matter-of-factly, “I am going through every regulation issued by the Department and cutting out anything that is not ‘family friendly.’”  Needless to say, it was a full-time endeavor.

If “The Gipper” were alive today one can only imagine the reaction he would have to the DOEd’s letter issued to schools last month telling them that federal law requires them to allow students to use restrooms and locker rooms “consistent with their gender identity.”  The letter, issued in the form of a guideline, does not carry the force of law, but it carries this implied threat:  Do this or risk losing federal funds.

Isn’t it past time we freed public schools and colleges from the tyranny of the federal government?  Why send a dollar to Washington and have it funneled through several layers of this behemoth bureaucracy, only to get back a few cents, along with a boatload of regulations? Continue reading “Abolish the Department of Education (No Excuse for Allowing the DOEd to Continue)”

McConnell’s Groundhog Day

On Saturday, just after the nation learned that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had died, Senator Mitch McConnell opened his mouth and created a vacuum.

In the days that followed, volumes of words have been spoken and written about the majority leader’s short statement regarding the appropriate time to choose an individual to fill Scalia’s seat on the high court.   Some praised his resolve.  Others denounced him for trying to control the process set forth in the Constitution.

It has been a big waste of airtime and newsprint.  In short, the majority leader said nothing of substance.  He is full of so much hot air, we could package him and replace the National Helium Reserve.  Then he might serve a useful purpose. Continue reading “McConnell’s Groundhog Day”

Free Your Congressman from House Monarchy

Our republic dodged a bullet last week when, at the 11th hour, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced that he was removing himself from consideration for Speaker of the House.  His surprise announcement came after John Boehner had assembled all GOP House members to elect his replacement.

Speaker Boehner, who is supposed to retire at the end of the month, had rushed this election to ensure that McCarthy, his chief lieutenant, would succeed him.  However, when McCarthy bailed, Boehner asked for unanimous consent to postpone the vote.  Before anyone could object, he dismissed the caucus, leaving the two remaining candidates in the race, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Daniel Webster of FL, twisting in the wind. Continue reading “Free Your Congressman from House Monarchy”

We Don’t Need a Boehner Clone

There’s an old saying that should be heeded by members of the House of Representatives:  “Things that are urgent are rarely important and things that are important are rarely urgent.”  So, when it comes to electing the next Speaker of the House — the  office 2nd in line to the presidency —  what’s the rush?

It’s a scheme to pave the way for John Boehner’s hand-picked successor, Kevin McCarthy, to take over the reins.

Clearly, the voters know that the problems we have in this country will never be solved by entrenched politicians.  That is why outsiders are leading the race for the GOP presidential nomination.  That is why House Majority Leader Eric Canter was dumped by the voters in his district in the last election.  That is why Boehner was forced to announce that he will resign at the end of the month.

Unfortunately, unless reason prevails and a major revolt occurs, the Republicans in the House will meet to select their nominee for Boehner’s replacement on Thursday in the Republican caucus.   The vote may already have occurred by the time you read this. Continue reading “We Don’t Need a Boehner Clone”