Friday, September 25, 2015

Truth Moves Slower Than A Lie

Truth moves slower than a lie.  Case in point is the big lie to the American people told by Republican Presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina.  She stood on the debate stage at the Reagan Library before 20 million Americans and painted a gruesome picture of a fetus in a Planned Parenthood video.  Her performance was passionate and convincing.  However, she wasn’t aiming to win an Oscar.  She was trying to win our vote for President of our country.

Chances are you heard the big lie, but the truth hasn’t reached you yet.  The video does NOT exist.  Yes, there is a highly edited stock video produced by the anti-abortion folk but Planned Parenthood had nothing to do with it.  It has been exposed as a fabricated LIE!  The fallout from this lie is immense. 

The Republican legislators of the extreme rightwing have used this lie to promote de-funding Planned Parenthood.  These 40 Tea Party legislators, led by Republican Presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, have vowed to shut down our government if they don’t get their way.  We need to call it what it is: a threat to over-throw the government.  We do not know the amount of damage that may be caused by a shutdown of our government.  I don’t want to find out.

The first obvious victim of Fiorina’s big lie is Speaker of the House, John Boehner.  He announced that he was done!  Reading the tea leaves for the next couple of months, Boehner knew it would be war with those 40 Tea Party legislators over Planned Parenthood funding.  He is tired of fighting.   I’ve made no secret that Boehner is not one of my favorite people, but I knew in my heart that Boehner loved this country and would not let the Tea Party extremists do harm.  This news was very unsettling and I am fearful for our country.

Carly Fiorina is a disgrace to our electoral process and to woman-hood.  Her lie dealt a big blow to an institution that has been nearly a hundred years in the making.  Planned Parenthood has probably done more for women than any other organization. Her lie perpetuates the belief that Planned Parenthood is only about abortion. 

The truth is, only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s budget is allocated for abortion services and NO federal funds are used.  That’s the law.   The main services provided by Planned Parenthood include birth control, pap smears, cancer screening to include mammograms, and many more female health services. 

This is war against women and it is shameful that one woman, Fiorina, is willing to throw the health of so many women under the bus for her own political gain.  Don’t let the lie stand.  Spread the truth!

I had a wonderful time visiting with the Pope.  I have never witnessed anything like it in my lifetime.  Pope Francis is an inspirational moral leader and he brought a message of love and peace to our country that has been missing for some time.  The faces of each one in the massive crowds showed pure joy.  It was a week of positive vibes instead of the negative attitude ever present in our country.  I hope that feeling will stay and not leave with the Pope.

I said in my column last week that, “surely Trump won’t try to upstage the Pope!”  Well, he tried.  And failed.  After the Pope’s address to the joint session of Congress, Trump said the Pope was wrong about climate change.  That punch didn’t land.  Then he picked a couple of fights with female reporters.  Normally this would be the lead story, but not this time. 

The message the Pope delivered was in direct contrast to Trump’s constant diatribes.  The Pope spoke of our country as a land of immigrants and reminded us of the Golden Rule.  The Pope talked about seeking too much riches and greed.  On the heels of Trump condoning hate speech against the entire Muslim religion, the Pope spoke of religious tolerance.  In your face, Donald Trump!!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Republican's Revoltin' Development

“What a revoltin’ development this is!”  That 1950’s catch phrase from the television show, The Life of Riley, appropriately sums up this Republican presidential primary race.  I came to that conclusion Wednesday after witnessing 16 candidates present a pathetic future for our government.  Even though there are an unprecedented 16 candidates to choose from, the reality is the Republicans have slim pickin’s for a nominee. 

I spent four hours of my life watching this show with bated breath to hear specific plans and policies for our country.  Instead, I got a double dose of doom and gloom and heard every way imaginable to work the name Hillary Clinton into a sentence. 

The minimum qualification for President should be that he/she is a statesman.  A statesman is defined by having skill and vision in managing public affairs.  You know a statesman when you see one.  Folks, I didn’t see nary a statesman on that stage that night.  It’s a sad commentary on where we are in this country and where we are going. 

Donald Trump is currently the number one choice for President by Republicans.  Evangelicals represent the base of the Republican Party.  Sixty-six percent of Trump supporters believe that President Obama, an avowed Christian, is a Muslim.  In my book, that means that most of Trump’s supporters are bigots or racists…take your pick.  Trump is a danger to our country and he is not a statesman!

The number two choice of Republicans to be leader of the free world now is Dr. Ben Carson.  People say they like him because he’s soft-spoken.  Soft-spoken!  That man will put you to sleep.  I watched in amazement as the supposedly great pediatric neurosurgeon first stated correctly that there was no science data to prove that vaccine causes autism in children.  When asked by the moderator if he would tell Donald Trump he was wrong in saying autism was caused by vaccine, he totally fell apart and agreed with Trump’s recently modified position on vaccinations.   Obviously, Carson is so fearful of the bully Trump, he totally turned into a complete wuss, denied science, and caused millions to think there is something sinister about vaccinations.  Ben Carson is not Presidential material and he’s not a statesman.

Number three is Jeb.  He’s the big Bush.  Jeb is the closest thing to a statesman that the Republicans have.  However, he has bigger problems with his credibility.  Here is a man that is married to a Mexican immigrant.  His children are half Mexican.  They obviously speak the Spanish language in their home.  Yet, he doesn’t call Trump out on his inhumane immigration policy for fear he will alienate the anti-Mexican base of the Republican Party.  This reticence by Jeb is disrespectful to his family and to the American people.  That is not an act of a statesman!

Your guess is as good as mine as to who will emerge as the eventual Republican nominee.  It’s sad and shocking that it will come down to the lesser of evils, rather than the best of the best.

I’m here to assure you good Republicans not to despair over this revolting development in your party.  Both major candidates on the Democratic side of the ticket are sane, sensible, and statesman-like.  Except for one, and she is “stateswoman-like.”

Speaking of Hillary, you may have missed the official announcement by the Department of Justice that Hillary violated no laws or policies by conducting her communications via personal email while serving as Secretary of State.  I guess they didn’t have time to mention that in the three-hour debate marathon.

It’s going to be exciting this week with the Pope visiting Washington.  I am looking forward to being on “Pope Watch” and I can’t wait to see if the Pope’s reception when he addresses the joint session of Congress equals that of Netanyahu’s earlier this year. The timing of the Pope’s visit is an answered prayer for Trump.  After the whooping he took last week, he needs the time out of the limelight to recoup.  Surely he won’t try to upstage the Pope.  Surely!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Trump's Goon, Nathan's Latest Deal, and Cat Burglar vs. Coyote

The Trump phenomenon continues.  As he rises in the polls, I become more and more incredulous.   I don’t understand how so many people would admit to even a faceless pollster that they would vote for Trump.  He has said things that would be the certain political death of any of the other candidates, but his poll numbers only go up. 

I don’t see any scenario where he will simply quit.  He’s got all the money in the world, now he wants all the power.  I don’t know what more he can say, or whom else he can offend that would cause him to plummet in the polls.  As you may have noticed by now, I have an active imagination and I’ve been trying to conjure up what will cause the end of Trump’s run for President.  I finally figured it out!  One of Trump’s goons is going to get over-zealous, drunk on the power, and do bodily harm to an innocent by-stander or protester.  Then the good people of this country will realize they don’t want a bully for President after all.

You may say that I’m crazy to even imagine such a thing.  But think about it.  You’ve actually seen one of his goons in action.  The tall, 50ish, shades wearing, white man with a buzz cut, that is always at Trump’s side.  He’s the one that hauled Jorge Ramos, the respected Latino news anchor on Univision, away at a press conference when he attempted to ask a question. That’s when he caught my eye and I started watching him.  This week, a Mexican immigrant was protesting in front of Trump Towers and this same goon ripped the sign out of the immigrant’s hands and decked him with his fist on the side of his head.  That looked like assault to me but I don’t suppose a Mexican immigrant is in a position to complain.   

Many people probably assume Trump’s shadow is a secret service agent because he’s got a pin on his lapel and squiggly wire hanging from his ear.  No, he’s not!  He’s a private security bodyguard and has no arrest powers.  He’s a loose cannon and it’s just a matter of time before he hurts someone.  Keep an eye on him!  And before you accuse me, I’m not talking about his “looks.”  I’m talking about his “persona.” 

When you are a Governor who has successfully bamboozled citizens repeatedly and now you are safely entrenched in your last term, you can get by with most anything.  I ran across a story on Fox 5 Atlanta last week about WE, the taxpayers of Georgia, paying for the paving of a half-mile road to Governor Deal’s private home in Habersham County in North Georgia.  Fox 5’s investigation revealed that the Georgia State Department of Transportation paid Habersham County $92,544 to pave Governor Deal’s road.  The reason they gave was brilliant. 

Governor Deal’s crony, Commissioner Mark McDonough, head of the Georgia Department of Safety, said he made the request for the paving of the road.  He said it was part of inclement weather preparedness for the Governor’s “equipment.”  Huh?  Fox 5 interviewed neighbors and they all said there was nothing wrong with the existing road to the Governor’s property.  I don’t suppose Governor Deal ever thought about telling Colonel McDonough that it wouldn’t be right for taxpayers to pay for his road to be paved to the tune of nearly $93,000.  Just curious, I checked the tax record for this property in Habersham County.  Records showed two lots, totaling nearly 35 acres with a market value of $856,000.  I wonder how much this paved road will increase his property taxes next year?  And, lest you say I’ve never said anything good about Fox News, they are the only news agency to find this revelation newsworthy.

I was aghast to read in last week’s Reporter that High Falls has a “cat burglar” operating in the area.  A woman who resides on Weldon Road reported to police that she had over 100 cats stolen from her property over-night, leaving her with only 40 cats now.  I have to admit that I have spent an inordinate amount of time visualizing robbers dressed in black masks tiptoeing around herding up over 100 feral cats.  How would you do that?  It’s more likely they were eaten by a pack of coyotes that are becoming prevalent and a growing nuisance in this area.  I’d rather confront a cat burglar than a coyote any time.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Kentucky Clerk Is in Contempt

If there’s one good thing about Hillary Clinton’s email controversy, it’s that we aren’t constantly hearing “Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi.”  This email issue is not going to go away and Hillary should save her breath.  I watched the entire interview with Hillary by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.  Hillary did an excellent job of taking a complicated process and breaking it down to a level even an uninformed FOX News viewer could understand.  It doesn’t matter if she did not commit a sin of commission or omission by having an email server in her home.  All that matters is there may be some incident, some word, some phrase, that may be twisted, turned, and interpreted into something sinister.  Be prepared to hear about Hillary’s emails ad nauseam.

Last week was unusual for President Obama.  He had a good week!  He made an historic trip to Alaska, among other reasons, to show the effects of climate change.  Before leaving, he addressed the criticism of environmentalists for his agreement to allow Shell Oil to drill oil in the Arctic.  Did you hear all the accolades Obama received from oil companies and proponents of pipelines?  No?  Me, either.

He was the first American President to cross the Arctic Circle.  He showed the shrinking glaciers up close and warned of the dire consequences if we do not take immediate action to stop carbon emissions.  We were shown remote villages slowly sinking into the sea.  The people of these villages depend on sustenance hunting and fishing.  Hunting season is getting much shorter and more dangerous due to melting ice.  The ice habitat for seals is disappearing. 

Personally, many times when someone would mention climate change, my eyes would glaze over.  I knew it was happening but I didn’t see it as an eminent threat and did not grasp the seriousness of the problem.  This trip by President Obama got my attention.  Global warming is real and if a candidate for President says otherwise, or they say they do not believe in the science, that candidate should be crossed off your list.  We can no longer afford to dilly-dally on creating renewable energy.

One thing for sure, it wasn’t a partisan visit.  He arrived with a gift for the people of Alaska by changing the name of Mt. McKinley back to its original name, Mt. Denali.  Nice, but Alaska has a mere three (3) electoral votes.  Ohio, the home of President McKinley for whom the mountain was named, has a whopping 18 electoral votes. When we voted for “change” we didn’t mean the name of a mountain. “What were you thinking, Barack?” 

I’m sure the best thing about the Alaskan trip for the President is the “fish tale” he brought home.  A salmon spawned on his shoe.  The President quipped, “He was happy to see me!”

To cap off his successful week, the President returned home to an apparent Iran deal victory.  He has enough votes to sustain a veto of disapproval by the Senate on the Iran Deal. 

So I cannot be accused of never calling out a Democrat for wrongdoing, I am compelled to talk about the County Clerk in Rowan County, KY, Kim Davis. Clerk Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. Her mother was the Clerk for over thirty years as a Democrat.   Then her daughter, Kim, inherited the position, ran, and was elected as a Democrat.  She is giving Democrats a bad reputation.  Someone needs to explain to this woman that she is a government employee serving all the people in her County.  If her religious convictions stand in the way of doing her job, she needs to quit. I will point out that Kim Davis has been married four times.  She became pregnant with twins by her third husband, while she was still married to her first husband.  I’m not sure how the second husband fits in, other than he adopted the twins.  She is quite a “rounder” by anyone’s standards, but a moral arbiter, she is not!

A federal judge put Kim Davis in jail for contempt.  There’s no word on how long she will be there but I’m sure it’s ample time to sign exclusive interview and book deals.