Top Of My Head

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Tag: conservative (page 1 of 4)

Justice Nominations and Senator Ron Johnson

United States Constitution Article II Section 2 Paragraph 2

He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died on February 13, 2016. Just over a month later, as is his right and duty granted by the United States Constitution, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland. And, our United State Senate voted on the nomination and confirmed Garland’s appointment to the Supreme Court. Oh, wait, the United States Senate has NOT confirmed Garland’s appointment to the Supreme Court. It is now the end of August and still, no vote.

Haven’t the American people waited long enough for a replacement for Justice Scalia?

We should be outraged that our duly elected officials are NOT doing their jobs. Unfortunately, our Founding Fathers didn’t anticipate this and put something in the Constitution to say what to do when the Senate refuses to do its job and vote on the President’s nominee. There is a clause about what happens if the Senate is in recess, the President can make the appointment.  But, not one word about the Senate not cooperating.  Not. One. Word.

“It’s just too highly politicized of an atmosphere. It’s not fair to the nominee, it’s not fair to the court. Don’t nominate anybody. That was our advice. President Obama didn’t follow it.” – Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI)

I’ll bet our Founding Fathers never thought, never even considered that we might have elected officials so obstinate that they wouldn’t vote on the President’s Supreme Court nominee.  I don’t have a problem with them not confirming – it happens.  I don’t have a problem with them holding hearings, we’ve been doing that my whole life and probably longer.  I do take serious issue with our Senate not doing their jobs.

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) says he approves of this.  He tells his constituents that we don’t nominate and appoint Supreme Court Justices in election years.  Johnson said “It’s just too highly politicized of an atmosphere. It’s not fair to the nominee, it’s not fair to the court. Don’t nominate anybody. That was our advice. President Obama didn’t follow it.”1  (I should mention that in 1992, Joe Biden had the same idea. It was wrong then and it’s wrong now.)

This isn’t Senator Johnson’s only refusal to nominate a judge to a Federal Court. The US 7th District Court is still down a couple of judges and we have Ron Johnson to thank for it. He blocked the nomination of Victoria Nourse, who was nominated in 2010, before Johnson was even Senator. He said it wasn’t fair because he hadn’t been consulted. HE. WASN’T. THE. SENATOR.

Ron Johnson is up for reelection. We cannot in good conscience send this man back to Washington for another six years. These are not the only reasons not to reelect Johnson, they’re just my reasons today. I’ll have more as the election draws near.

1.Wisconsin Watchdog article...2/6/2016

The Moron’s Case for Hillary Clinton by The Contrarian Blog

This is NOT mine and I highly recommend that you follow this blog. Do yourself a favor. This is well written and factual. It cuts the crap you see in most blogs.

This blog about why you should vote for Hillary and how Donald Trump isn’t even in her same class is amazing.  Well written, concise, and full of ammunition for your consideration when you have a chance to debate Trump supporters.

Here is just a sample…

An old colleague and I were having breakfast this morning when he looked up at the news (I can’t remember which network …MSNBC, I think) and noticed a split screen of Donald Trump and Hillary Clint…

Source: The Moron’s Case For Hillary Clinton…because some of you really are that stupid.

Thoughts On President Johnson…

I love history, but quite honestly, I don’t know a lot about President Lyndon Johnson’s Presidency.  I consider this slightly odd, since I was born during the last year of his Presidency.  I should know something.  Suffice it to say, that I know more about Nixon’s Presidency (plus, I can remember his Presidency) than Johnson’s.  What I do know about President Johnson, I learned from The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert Caro.

Anyway, I came across an article from 1973 in The Atlantic called “The Last Days of the President“.  It’s a fascinating look at a man.  I highly recommend it.

Here’s a part I found most fascinating.  Lyndon Johnson “never doubted that he could have won the 1968 election against Richard Nixon…”  In 1971, he told Leo Janos (the author of the article),  “My daddy was only sixty-two when he died, and I figured that with my history of heart trouble I’d never live through another four years. The American people had enough of Presidents dying in office.”

According to the article,  President Johnson had an actuarial study completed on his life, which predicted that he would die at age 64, which he did on January 22, 1973.  Making an assumption that he might have gone earlier, Hubert Humphrey would have been the next President.  It is, also, quite possible, that Humphrey would have beaten Nixon, if he ran again in 1972.  It is quite possible that Nixon would never have run again and there wouldn’t have been a Nixon Presidency.

Think about that – No Nixon Presidency means no Watergate, no open door to China, no Presidential visit to China, no resignation, and no Ford Presidency.  I wonder if that would have ushered in a Ronald Reagan Presidency before the 1980s?

I think the main thing would be no Watergate.  Watergate opened the flood gates of government distrust that has exploded into this massive hatred and distrust of our own leaders.  I wonder why it would be like to trust your government?  Would that mean we wouldn’t have Bundy in Oregon pointing rifles at Federal Agents?  Would there have been a Waco?  A 9/11?

What would have changed if President Johnson had decided to run again and won?

I don’t have the answer to that question, but it is fascinating to think about.

The next item on the list was how Johnson knew what was the score.  In the article, he is quoted as saying, “The first thing Democrats do when they take power is find where the control levers are. But the first thing Republicans do is investigate Democrats. I don’t know why they do it but you can count on it.”  It appears that some things haven’t changed at all.

It just goes to show how the past can be seen in the future and present.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Blessings…

Defending Hillary

I wasn’t sure how I felt about Hillary Clinton at the beginning of this election.  I was a Bernie supporter.  Hillary was too far to the right, too moderate for my liking.  Plus, she came with the baggage of more than twenty years in the spotlight.  I saw how the right wing and the press treated her when she was first lady.  They certainly weren’t much better when she was Secretary of State.  Thinking that this would improve when she became President is just foolish.

But, then, I started thinking about why Hillary Clinton was so detested.  She has been portrayed in the media as being scheming, conniving, too ambitious, out for herself, and, in extreme cases, evil.  Why has this woman who has worked in some form of public office most of her life been treated this way?

Because it sells papers.  Here is my Facebook response to someone who repeatedly writes on my posts how evil and abhorrent Hillary is:

Based on what? She’s never been arrested. She’s never been charged with a crime. She isn’t out killing kittens in the middle of the night. She has been branded as an evil woman by a media who wants to sell papers and make ratings since she was first lady. They did the same thing to Nancy Reagan. The difference is that Mrs. Reagan didn’t have any political ambitions beyond being Ronnie’s wife. Secretary Clinton has always had political ambitions and she pays the price for it with constant investigations into everything she does. Quite frankly, I’m tired of the biased and unfounded allegations against her. I agree with her politically 92% of the time. I am going to vote for her. I am not going to tell my grandsons that the country sucks because your Nana cast a vote that allowed in a spoiled, rich,racist,warmongering boy to ascend to the Presidency. I am not going to write in Bernie Sanders, because he has thrown himself behind Secretary Clinton for President. If she is really that evil that she has gotten away with horrible things all these years, frankly, that’s the President I want – someone who can get things done.

Obviously, this didn’t change this person’s mind. Sadly, the perception of Clinton is abhorrent.  In this day and age, you can’t change people’s minds.  Sometimes the opposite is true.  The more you insist that something isn’t true, the more the person making the statement will cling to their belief.

Is this a new phenomenon?  No, we have been making judgement calls on people throughout history.  Mary Todd Lincoln was despised for spending what Americans considered a wasteful amount on refurnishing the White House.  Jackie Kennedy was looked down upon for the same, until she charmed the public and the press.  There have been 9 different First Ladies in my lifetime.  All but Barbara Bush were trounced in the press.  Nancy Reagan was considered out of touch.  Pat Nixon was too quiet, etc.  The nation went nuts when Mrs. Obama put in a garden and bared her arms.  We are a nation of people who do not want our First Ladies to be strong women, which is interesting because the only way a woman could survive being the wife of a President is to be a strong willed woman.  Just like it isn’t easy for a man to walk a step behind his woman, the same can be said for the woman walking a step behind her man.

It’s time for us to come around and judge Hillary on her own basis.  She isn’t an ignorant woman.  She went to law school.  She grew up, as I did, in a Middle Class Household.  That doesn’t make her out of touch with the rest of us.  Are there things in pop culture she might not know?  Absolutely, it’s the same for me.  She was a successful Senator and, then, the Secretary of State.  If you want to agree with her politically, that’s one thing, but this perception that she’s somehow evil is ridiculous.  I wouldn’t even say that about Donald Trump.  Evil is Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, and their irk.

Judge her on the statements she actually makes and the actions she has or does take – don’t rely on an inaccurate media telling you how to feel.   As I mentioned yesterday, the media has it’s own bias.

Blessings

Media Bias…

I discovered this morning that someone signed me up for emails from RedState.com – the Conservative Blog founded in 2004. The way I discovered this is I found their Morning Briefing in my inbox. It happens. I am also on the mailing list for the GOP. I don’t know who the person is that keeps putting my name on Republican and right-wing mailing lists, but the joke’s on them, since I don’t care.

Anyway, in the email was the following header:

Feds Force Ex-Navy SEAL To Pay $6.6 Million Over Bin Laden Book

Below it, in smaller type was this:

The Justice Department isn’t disputing the story. They’re just punishing him for telling it.

This makes it sound like the Justice Department is doing something wrong, doesn’t it?
This headline intrigued me, so I clicked on the article. The very first paragraph states this:

A former Navy SEAL who was involved in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden is now being forced to pay the government $6.6 million for failing to get the book approved by the Department of Defense.

That paragraph is enough to piss anyone off, isn’t it? It makes it sound like the government is out to get Matt Bissonnette (the man behind the pseudonym of Mark Owen and the book “No Easy Day”).  I’m a little miffed at the thought of the government making a Navy Seal pay out his royalties for the book. Matt Bissonnette is, after all, a man who risks his life to ensure our freedom around the world and deserves our respect and thanks.  Why would the government do this?

A little further down comes the answer:

As a Navy SEAL, Bissonnette signed a non-disclosure agreement that would prohibit him from releasing sensitive information from his time in the military. His book, the Justice Department claimed, contained sensitive and classified material. Under the agreement made, Bissonnette will acknowledge his mistake of not submitting the book for review. Between that and the payments, the U.S. Government will not pursue more liability claims.

It turns out that Bissonnette not only released “sensitive and classified material”, but he had signed a non-disclosure agreement. Oh, so he broke the law and released classified information and, basically, this is what will keep him out of jail. I learned this last part when I did a search to see what was really happening here and found a Christian Scientist Monitor article released the same day. It’s first paragraph is as follows:

The former Navy SEAL who wrote a book about his role in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden will pay the government more than $6.6 million for violating non-disclosure agreements and publishing without getting the document cleared by the Defense Department, according to federal court documents.

See the difference? This one doesn’t play on your emotions. It merely states the facts of the case and let’s you know what’s up. Bissonnette violated the non-disclosure agreements and did not receive the proper clearance from the Defense Department. (Personally, I would think that his publisher would have looked into that before publishing, but that’s just me.) The article goes on to say that it is illegal for a violation of a non-disclosure agreement, it goes against the ethics of the Seals, based on this tenet: “I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions.”

My point in all of this is to watch what you read (and watch).  Don’t just rely on one source.  Maybe after reading the Christian Scientist Monitor article you’re still outraged, but at least you have all of the information, laid out for you.  In the Red State blog, you don’t.  I don’t even believe you should just read these two articles or even my blog.  You should try to read everything you get your hands on.

I should say that I’ve completed some research on Red State and I have to admire their tenacity in their refusal to back Donald Trump.  Based on that (and their defense of Megyn Kelly against Donald Trump), they appear to be leaning toward the Conservative of old: reasonable and fair.  I miss those guys.  On the other hand, their banning of Ron Paul supporters as bloggers leans a little bad, but since I’ve only read that in one source, I’m not going to make a judgement on it.

Blessings!

Donald Trump – Time for him to Go

I’ve been steaming about Donald Trump ever since he said that John McCain isn’t a war hero.  He claims that nobody was insulted, well, I was insulted.  I’ve always thought of Donald Trump as nothing but a blowhard with more money than sense and, with his campaign for President, he’s proving me correct.  With even non-Republican friends saying things like, “I admire his honesty”, I thought I should write this blog to add some facts into Trump’s veneer.

While John McCain was flying missions over Vietnam and a POW,  Donald Trump was using Daddy’s money and government deferments to attend Fordham University and, then the University of Pennsylvania.  Once Trump graduated, he had a job at his father’s real estate company waiting for him and $200,000 in his pocket, according to a Washington Post article.  Trump makes himself out to be a self-made man, but the truth is – he didn’t do this all on his own.

Hell, all of us could be rich if we started with family connections and $200,000 in our pocket.  He isn’t someone to be admired.  People who should be admired are the ones who started with nothing and rose to the top of the heap.  People like Kenny Troutt (the founder of Excel Communications), Ralph Lauren (founder of Polo), Larry Ellison (Oracle founder), Oprah (like I have to tell you), Ursula Burns (CEO of Xerox), and John Paul Dejoria (co-founder of John Paul Mitchell) are the people to be admired.  Each one of them started from the very bottom and they worked their way up into Billionaire status and (as far as I know), unlike Trump, not a bankruptcy among them.

It’s time to relegate Trump and the blowhards like him to the ignore zone.  We shouldn’t be putting boys like him on pedestals and walking around clamoring like he’s worth our time.  His comments regarding immigrants from Mexico pander to the lowest of Americans, whom we should really leave behind.  Racists have no place in American society and, if Donald Trump wants to be their leader, let him do it outside of the view of TV cameras.

 

Rich Men and Camels

I’ve been thinking about what Jesus said about it being easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into Heaven.  Why was Jesus harshing on rich guys so bad?  Is being rich inherently evil?

If you listen to these megachurch, superstar ministers; no – being rich isn’t evil and in fact, Jesus wants us all to be rich.  I don’t believe anyone who is preaching in a church the size of a stadium has a huge grasp on what Jesus wants.  However; I do believe that being rich doesn’t equate evil…

Unless…

If you have plenty and you don’t share – that’s evil.

If you pay your employees minimum wage — that’s evil.  The fact that we have to have a minimum wage is pretty evil.  Sure, there are some companies who pay fair wages, but there are a lot more companies who would pay less than livable wages if they could just get away with it.

If you don’t provide healthcare for your employees, evil.

We allow businesses – and, I’m talking about corporations, not the mom and pop small businessperson who is barely getting by – I mean the WalMarts, the WalGreens, the companies owned by the Koch brothers – anyway, we allow them to write a lot of expenses off their taxes.  I would like to suggest that we throw these complicated tax laws out.  We need to institute a new plan, so that corporations pay their fair share.  They benefit from our roads, bridges, military, police officers and fire fighters – schools train their next employees; but, when it comes to paying for all of this, well, they don’t want to.

They put out ads saying that it’s wealth distribution, but it’s not – it’s paying your fair share of what it costs, so you can run your business in the land of the free.

I say, we let them write off everything they pay their employees – no taxes on payroll, no taxes on healthcare costs — BUT, if that employee is outside the United States, we tax the hell out of whatever product they made when it gets shipped here.  (They would still have to pay their side of Social Security and Medicare.)

If we allowed companies to deduct the cost of employees, you can bet employees would go back to being well paid and important to companies – consider assets and not just cost centers.  Every tax break the upper 1% has received has not driven them to higher more employees – it’s just given them more to horde.

And, that’s why Jesus said, in a much more elegant way than I’m about to do so, that the rich ain’t getting into Heaven.  It’s all about how you treat others and the rich in this country, aren’t passing the camel test.

Rand Paul: Reasonable?

There’s nothing that I love more than watching the Republican Party slowly implode.  If it was still the Party of Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower and even Nixon; this would be sad.  But, the GOP is the party of Paul and Cheney – two men who are feuding about the very idea that we should go back to Iraq.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney believes that we need to go back.  Of course he does.  Haliburton, the company that rewarded him with $20 million when he left them to be Vice President, made a lot of money on the Iraq War.  If we go back, they’re sure to make billions more.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who is usually not someone to whom I were refer to as reasonable, is against this idea.  For once, he and I are in agreement.  I don’t know his views, but in my view we shouldn’t have gone there in the first place.  The very idea of spending American dollars and lives to go back seems like too high of a price.

The only hope I have for this show of reason is that before we go back (and, I’m hoping we don’t go back) that we have the type of debate in this nation we should’ve had back in 2003.

Affordable Care Act

I think President Obama was wrong to hold off enacting the Affordable Care Act for another year. I think the past three years have been long enough for people to wait for health insurance.

Last year was a great year for my employment, but a bad year for hospital bills. I was working for a contract company and my expensive health insurance didn’t cover an emergency room visit. According to them, I went over my coverage. Go figure – I was supposed to have $15,000 worth of coverage. Instead, I was socked with the full visit price and was handed a $4,000 bill.

But wait, there’s more.

When I switched from one contract position to another contract position, I changed insurance companies. On March 5, I fell and sliced my right knee from one side to the other. It turns out I didn’t have any insurance – due to no fault of mine – and there went another $2,000 bill.

I can’t imagine what would happen to someone who doesn’t have the earning potential that I have. I’ll be able to pay these two bills off in due time, but what about the family who can’t? Our health care costs are rising at an alarming rate and families end up losing their homes to medical bills.

When one family loses, we all lose. If a hospital doesn’t collect what it is due, then it doesn’t make any money – no money, no health care. It’s a sad fact of life.

Putting off the Affordable Care Act for another year isn’t going to help. The Republican Party wasting millions of our dollars to try to repeal more than 39 times is ridiculous. People need to be insured and this is a way to do it and we just might save some money in the long run.

Left, Wrong and the Internet: Early Morning Ramblings

I love the Internet.  I love technology.  That said, I think the Internet – for all the good – has a dark side.

We’re not anymore divided in this country than we were back when brother raised arms against brother, but thanks to the Internet; it sure feels that way.  To paraphrase Mark Twain, a lie can travel the email boxes of the world before the truth can boot the computer. (And, actually, to say that’s Mark Twain’s quote might not even be true – it might be Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon.)

And, speaking of lies, it is amazing to me how someone will believe the lie of an email rather than believe the actually fact.  And, it seems as if people want to believe the lie.  Further, at least in my life and my experience, these people are on the right.

For example, I don’t care who sent you the email, George Soros doesn’t own nor is he affiliated with Snopes.com.  But, since this information from about Snopes is from Snopes, I’m guessing those on the right won’t believe it.

Oh and another thing:  The media, with some exceptions, is a tool of the left.  Fox News and the right may want you to believe that, but it simply isn’t true.  The media, again with some exceptions, is a business.  Businesses like to make money and whatever ups the ratings or sells newspapers is what’s going to be printed.  Don’t believe me, check out the ads for your local news.  Go ahead – it’s all:  Water – is it going to kill you or The danger lurking in your kitchen.  It’s designed to get you to watch.  Sometimes, you might get the full story, but most of the time you don’t.  And, radio news is just as bad (if not worse) than TV news.  I happen to have a long commute and no matter which station I listen to in the morning, that station will have the news on 3 or 4 times.  And, it’s always the same stories.

And, who owns the media?

Well, The Disney Company owns ABC, so they might lean a little to the left. Comcast owns NBC. Clear Channel owns 850 radio stations.

Our media, which translates into our news and information, is slowly being owned by less and less companies. In other words, more stations are being owned by the same company.

And, don’t even get me started on the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was supposed to deregulate Cable and lower our rates (seen your rates drop? Anybody?) and it allowed companies to own more and more stations. There was a limit before.

Anyway, even for a rambling post, I’m getting off track.

I’d like to bring up Trayvon Martin – I know, I know, you’re all sick about the subject and your tired from all of the coverage, but I fought with my father about this yesterday and it’s on my mind.

  1. I’ve made this statement before and I’m making it again:  Once George Zimmerman left the safety of his vehicle (after being told by police not to do so), it wasn’t self-defense.  Once he approached Martin, he was taking the law into his own hands and whatever transpired after that made him a murderer.  And, that’s why stand your ground laws are dangerous, because the victim is no longer here.
  2. The picture of Trayvon Martin with tons of tattoos?  It’s not him.  And, the blatant lie of him flipping off the camera?  That’s a Trayvon Martin, but not THE Trayvon Martin.  Check out Snopes.
  3. I don’t care what Martin was doing that night.  I don’t care what he did in his young life before that night.  I don’t care if the kid was flunking out of high score and planning on scoring some drugs that night.  I don’t know if any of that is true and I don’t care.  He had a right to be on that sidewalk and he had the right to not have someone without any legal authority stop and question him.  It doesn’t matter that Zimmerman thought he had some right or was justified – he wasn’t.  Follow me in your vehicle at night and then approach me?  You might be the one down on the sidewalk looking up at the stars.  Pull a gun on me in some sort of “self-defense” and be prepared to die.
  4. Personally, I think Zimmerman deserves vigilante justice.  He stalked and hunted Trayvon Martin; he should only get the same.  And, it’s amazing how right wing people are offended by that.  They think that’s horrible.  How could I possibly feel that way? I feel that way because I believe in an eye for an eye.  Zimmerman totally disregarded Martin’s rights by approaching him.  Zimmerman knew he had a gun.  He knew the police were on their way.  He knew he was safe and then he got out of the car.  I think the real justice will be the fact that Zimmerman for the rest of his life will have to look over his shoulder to make sure he’s not being attacked.

As much as I would like to continue my ramblings (and, I never did reach my original point), I have to get going and head to work. I know, a liberal who works for a living! Imagine that! No government aid! It must be some leftist, Marxist, fascist, Communist conspiracy!

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