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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Liars and Politicians

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 19, 2017

Politicians are generally a slippery bunch. While initially they may enter the field to improve cities, states or the federal government, they are often corrupted by the lure of reelection and the power and money that flow from it.

Prior to modern digital media, changing and ridiculous politicians’ statements were often lost in time. Now, with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., a politician’s statements are memorialized forever. This brings about a daily litany of political doubletalk, lies and/or stupid statements in clear view.

This week we can thank Congresswoman Maxine Waters for the entertainment within a two minute interview on MSNBC, as included in the video below. First, Waters confirms that she called for impeachment of President Trump. Then, almost immediately said: “I have not called for impeachment.” Ms. Waters’ flip-flop would be comical if one could forget that she is involved in writing the Country’s laws.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Congresswoman Waters Believes Russia’s Invaded North Korea

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 8, 2017

Politicians have been known throughout to often make dumb statements. While our current president Donald Trump plays the role of the anti-politician, he too has come up with some doozies during the past year.

Not to be outdone, two of our esteemed congresswomen, Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters, both of California, came up with a couple recently that could put them on top for year. It seems Ms. Pelosi still thinks Bush is president. As for Ms. Waters, she seems to believe that Russia invaded North Korea. This video below might humorous if these folks weren’t charged with enacting legislation for the Country.

While the mainstream media was all too happy to take on Sarah Palin for claiming she could see Russia from her property, don’t expect coverage on the mistakes made by Leftist politicians.

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The Trump Transition

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 22, 2016

We will shortly have a new president, one from a different political party. This Blog wishes the new president success in addressing the issues the Country faces. This hopefully is the desire of all Americans, irrespective of political leanings.

Given it has been eight years since we have prepared for a new president, it is an appropriate time to reflect on changes that have occurred during this period. Blog reader Jim Mahoney shares his reflections in the post below “A Tale of Two Transitions”. As Jim concludes: “They [the media and the Left] have painted a caricature of Donald Trump as being so buffoonish and inept, that he will hit a home run if he comes into office acting even halfway presidential.” This Blog will hold Donald Trump to a much higher standard.

A Tale of Two Transitions, By Jim Mahoney

Remember back in November 2008? Barack Obama had just won the election and expectations for his presidency were running white hot for no apparent reason. Throughout the campaign liberals, the media and the Obama campaign constantly reminded us about his high level of intelligence and capability and the official narrative was that he would easily be able to solve all of the country’s problems. This led some of us at the time to question exactly what in his background made him so qualified. For those who may not remember, here is a rundown of Barack Obama’s resume.

By his own admission, Obama had a lackluster high school academic career in which he spent most of his time smoking pot with his friends in the Choom Gang. That didn’t prevent him from being accepted to Occidental College and later transferring to Columbia University in his junior year. After graduating in 1983 he had brief stints as a research associate at a New York Public Interest Research Group and as the Director of the Developing Communities Project on Chicago’s South Side.

Obama entered Harvard Law School in the fall of 1988, where he was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year, president of the journal in his second year, and two years as a research assistant to the constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe. After graduation, he was an associate with Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a 13-attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development. He also taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School as a Senior Lecturer until 2004.

Obama was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996, where he developed a habit of voting “Present” to avoid taking a stand on any tough issues that might give him a legislative paper trail.   Sensing an opportunity to run for the United States Senate, Obama became an early opponent of the George W. Bush administration’s 2003 invasion of Iraq. The Illinois U.S. Senate seat was open in 2004, giving Obama the opportunity to win a landslide victory in the March Democrat primary. The primary victory made him an overnight rising star in the Democrat Party and led to him being selected to deliver the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Obama’s expected opponent in the general election, Republican primary winner Jack Ryan, was forced to withdraw from the race in June 2004 after sealed court records from his divorce proceedings were made public. With no viable opponent, Obama won the November 2004 general election with 70% of the vote. After serving 144 days in the United State Senate, Obama was suddenly on the fast track to the Presidential nomination and ultimate victory.

Bear in mind that this biographic information came from the left-leaning Wikipedia website, which presumably would give the most glowing accounting of Obama’s accomplishments. Even if we accept Obama’s resume as fact, (and we have no choice since none of his school transcripts have ever been made public), there is nothing in his official background to suggest he had any executive experience or that he was even remotely capable of addressing the complex level of economic and structural problems facing the country at that time. Of course, in what rapidly became standard operating procedure for the Obama administration, anyone who dared to question the party line on any aspect of Obama’s intelligence, experience or intentions, even based on legitimate policy differences, was preemptively labeled a racist. What is now abundantly clear in hindsight is that with his wafer-thin resume, Obama was probably the emptiest suit to ever occupy the Oval Office.

obama-pres-electThe media were deeply invested in the charade, and they dutifully played along by immediately shifting all attention away from George W. Bush, other than to continually highlight his falling poll numbers, and turned the spotlight almost exclusively on Barack Obama. During the transition period, we received daily briefings and pronouncements from Obama. He even created something called the “Office of the President Elect”, complete with a sign for his podium. There is no provision in the Constitution for such an office, which should have been our first indication of how Obama planned to govern for the next eight years. Of course, the press covered all things Obama with all of the seriousness of a presidential press conference. They breathlessly reported each day’s pronouncement and the brilliance of each of Obama’s cabinet announcements. Concurrently, the media initiated the narrative that since there were so many problems created by the Bush administration that needed to be addressed, “some people” thought it was a shame that Obama had to wait until January 20th to take office. They longingly wished the Constitution could be changed so he could take office immediately and get right to work curing all of the nation’s ills.

Contrast the coronation atmosphere created for Obama with the hostile reception being given to the incoming Trump administration. The media’s emphasis is still squarely on Obama as they cover his world tour “explaining” Donald Trump to world leaders and they cheer his last minute flurry of unconstitutional executive orders in an attempt to institutionalize his policies into the future. Any coverage of Trump consists of highlighting the controversies of the ongoing protests against his election, the attempted liberal hijacking of the Electoral College, hit pieces on his Cabinet choices and comparisons to Hitler. They are performing a full court press to cast him as an illegitimate president before he even takes office.

If you look at Donald Trump’s Wikipedia page to get an indication of his background and experience you will have to wade through paragraph after paragraph detailing active and pending litigation against him, unsubstantiated sexual misconduct allegations, his bankruptcies and aspersions on his legitimate use of the Federal Tax Code. However, if you do a little digging, you will find that Trump graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968 and followed his father into a career in real estate development. He was made head of the company in 1971, and expanded it beyond real estate development into the successful, multinational organization it is today. Based on his 45 years of experience running large companies, managing complex projects and recruiting and evaluating talent, it certainly appears that Donald Trump is far more qualified than Barack Obama to tackle the problems of a bloated, out of control federal government bureaucracy. After all, the federal government is the nation’s largest creditor, debtor, lender, employer, consumer, contractor, grantor, property owner, tenant, insurer, health-care provider, and pension guarantor. In many respects it is similar to a large company in need of effective management, which is right in Donald Trump’s wheelhouse.

Despite the manufactured feel-good stories coming out of the Obama administration, this country faces problems today that are even more ominous than they were in 2008. Consider the following troubling statistics:

  • There are currently 96 million Americans out of work, over twice as many as when Obama took office;
  • The US debt stands at 19.8 trillion; after Obama added more to the national debt than all of his predecessors combined;
  • One in six households currently has no adult in the workforce;
  • Our total debt now stands at 106% of GDP;
  • 45 million Americans are living in poverty and receiving food stamps, up from 32 million when Obama took office; and,
  • Obama is the only president who never achieved a 3% growth in the economy in any year of his presidency.

This country is on its back, and when you add in the problems of a federal government unmoored from the Constitution, unchecked illegal immigration, unvetted Islamic refugees and worldwide tensions we need some help fast. Could you imagine the reaction of liberals and the media if we were to suggest that with all of these major problems facing the country it would make sense for Donald Trump to be able to take office right now to start fixing things rather than waiting until January 20th? The same mainstream media that protected Obama and amplified his meager accomplishments are already in full attack mode against Donald Trump and anyone who dares to support him. The mask has finally come off the media in this election cycle. We used to think they were cheering liberal candidates from the stands, now we know they are really sitting on the bench. However, Trump understands something that made Ronald Reagan so effective; the value of bypassing the media filter and delivering his message directly to the American people – and public seems to be responding positively. The stock market is hitting new highs and a recent poll showed that 70% of Americans surveyed are feeling optimistic, the highest level since 2004.

In many respects, Donald Trump was created by the media. They built him up during the primaries, believing he would be the weakest candidate to face Hillary Clinton, secure in the belief they could tear him down at the right time during the general election. His tendencies to say what’s on his mind and shoot from the hip were also great for their ratings. What the media failed to consider was that his message was resonating with a sizeable portion of the American people who felt the country is on the wrong track. They are tired of the lackluster economy of the past eight years, they are tired of massive government intrusion into every aspect of their lives and they are tired of having their traditions and beliefs ridiculed by elitists.

So buckle up everyone, because the over-the-top behavior we’re currently seeing from liberals and the media will only harden and intensify over the next 8 years. At the same time, liberals have really overplayed their hand. They have painted a caricature of Donald Trump as being so buffoonish and inept, that he will hit a home run if he comes into office acting even halfway presidential. There will be no honeymoon period with the press for the incoming administration, but positive results Trump achieves will speak the loudest.

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Making Sense of the Trump Election

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 20, 2016

With the presidential election behind us, pundits attempt to analyze and explain the results.  Some on the Right interpret the Trump victory as a conservative mandate.  Others on the Left blame Hillary Clinton’s poor campaigning skills or the low intelligence of voters for the loss.  Such conclusions from both sides miss the greater meaning of the election, which is a continuation of the political paradigm shift worldwide.

In the United States the shift began with the Tea Party after Obama’s first election.  It continued with Democrats losing power in both subsequent mid-term elections.

trumpThe United Kingdom voted for Brexit, to disconnect themselves from the European Union.  Similar to the US presidential election, expert pollsters indicated Brexit would not occur.  Just like in the United States the People proved the experts out of touch.

The paradigm shift is the result of the failure of Progressive governments to meet the needs of the People.  While governments bailed out banks in 2009 to the benefit of the wealthy, and continually come up with social programs for the less fortunate, they have ignored the needs of the middle class whose financial well-being has been eroded.

The forces that led to Brexit and the election of Donald Trump will continue to pick up momentum.  As governments continue with the same failed policies, they will lose legitimacy and be voted out.  These forces will likely lead to the breakup of the European Union, as well as increased European nationalism.

John Mauldin recently published an article titled This Could Be Our 1989” that helps explain the eroding authority of Progressive governments.  He begins by quoting Jeffrey Tucker of the Foundation for Economic Education who correctly said:

“All these details of the Trump platform are still important, but strike me as less relevant to what we can expect going forward.  The more I look at it, the less it seems to me that the election results are less about what Trump believes and more about what he represents: a fundamental shattering of an old paradigm.  And I’m finding the widespread commentary that this represents some kind of triumph of racism, misogyny, etc. etc., to be superficial and even preposterous.  And you know this if you visit with any regular voter.

What lies in ruins here is not common decency and morality – much less the character of a whole people and nation – but rather an anachronistic, arrogant, entitled, smug, conceited ruling elite and ruling paradigm.  You can see this in the clues that show that the vote was not so much for a particular vision of one man, but against a prevailing model of managing the world.” [Emphasis added.]

Mauldin then goes on to offer some logical conclusions relating to not only the Trump election, but also the paradigm shift in political power unfolding before us.  This includes:

  • When I read (somewhat bemusedly) that the halls of power in Europe are in an uproar over our election, I think that they should be. Not because Trump is now president but because elites everywhere – the people who “know” how the world should be run and expect the “little people” to stay in line – are an endangered species”.  Yes, these elites have much to fear as they watch their base of power disintegrate.
  • “It is up to the leadership of countries and communities to make sure that everyone is protected – equally – and to do so without burdening future generations with the task of paying for the solutions they come up with.” For decades governments worldwide have ignored the plight of the middle class who are now revolting at the ballot box.
  • The old institutions are not up to the task of managing a world awash in massive and ever faster technological and social changes that are not leaving us enough time to adjust. We went from a world where 50% of us worked on family farms to where less than 2% do today, but that took 8-10 generations.”  Many of the institutions that Mauldin is referring to were created shortly after World War II.  It is not surprising that they are not working in this rapidly changing world.  Expecting the ruling political class to implement change that while necessary, would diminish their power, is illogical.  It is also not surprising that the old guard claims that incoming change endangers society.

Mauldin concludes that those shaking at the idea of a Trump presidency should “get a grip”, reminding us that the power of US presidents are quite limited by the Constitution.  While Progressives, including the current president, have suggested that the Constitution should be a living document that can be morphed to their political agenda, many in this country, including real conservatives, conclude otherwise.  Strict interpretation of the Constitution and the powers it gives the office of the presidency inhibits any president, including Trump, from significant overreach.

The American People have spoken.  They are demanding change and have elected Donald Trump to carry out that mandate.  Time will tell if he is up to the task.  Should he not, he will be voted out by the same group that have given him the office he will shortly command.

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Democrat Party’s Self-Inflicted Wounds

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 1, 2016

It has been a few wild days in the race for the White House.  On Friday, FBI Director James Comey announced that the Bureau is reopening its criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and potential mishandling of classified documents.  If found guilty of a felony Clinton would be subject to potential jail time.  Quite a shadow hanging over a potential president-elect!

It is remarkable that James Comey, who just a week ago was considered a hero and patriot by the Left after recommending against Clinton’s prosecution in July, is now demonized by these same people.  Either they were wrong about Comey in July or they are wrong now.  In fact the issue is not Comey’s credibility or patriotism, but his findings that go against the political leanings of the Left.  This is incredulous for a group that often claims the need for bipartisanship, blaming Republicans for the polarization in Washington.  How quickly the worm has turned.

Some on the Left are beginning to take their compatriots and Clinton to task for the email mess, Hillary’s own creation.  Earlier this week Doug Schoen, long-time supporter of the Clintons, pulled his support for Hillary due to concern for a Constitutional crisis that would likely occur should she be elected president.  Just as amazing, MSNBC’s liberal cohost, Mika Brzezinski, took off after Hillary Clinton and those on the Left that have attacked James Comey, as shared in the video below.

Both political parties are to blame for the state of American national political mess.  Republicans rejected their Party’s conventional wisdom and nominated Donald Trump merely because he was an outsider and irrespective of qualifications or policies.  Taking a different route, the Democrat establishment chose to coronate Hillary Clinton even though she was deemed dishonest by many and under FBI investigation for potential criminal acts.  Those who cry foul on both sides of the aisle need to take a long look in the mirror to locate the source of the Country’s problem.

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Sen. Warren Accuses Wells Fargo Chief of “Gutless Leadership”

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 22, 2016

Earlier this month Wells Fargo admitted that its employees created thousands of bogus credit card accounts to meet sales goals.  This led to bonuses for many employees including high level ones.  Wells Fargo fired over 5,000 employees for their involvement in the scandal.

The Wells Fargo scandal is inexcusable and heads should roll at the bank’s highest levels.  At the same time it is amusing to read Elizabeth Warren’s scolding of Wells Fargo’s CEO John Stumpf’s “gutless leadership” for his pushing responsibility for the scandal onto lower-level employees.  As an associate said of Warren’s double standard:

“I’m not defending this guy by any means, but I wonder if Elizabeth Warren told Hillary she is a gutless leader when she blamed her email issues and subsequent attempts at cover-up on her low-level employees.  Something tells me I already know the answer…. “

Wells Fargo Chief Accused of ‘Gutless Leadership’
The chief of Wells Fargo, John G. Stumpf, appeared before the Senate Banking Committee. He apologized. He expressed regret. He vowed to make amends.
But the senators were not having any of it. And the more he tried to explain, the more skeptical they became.
Senator Elizabeth Warren even suggested he resign, saying that his pushing responsibility onto low-level employees showed a “gutless leadership.” On the issue of clawing back pay, Mr. Stumpf said it was a process that he could not get involved in.
And this is not the end of it — Wells Fargo is under fire from multiple directions:
• Mr. Stumpf has been invited to testify before the House Financial Services Committee, which is also investigating Wells Fargo.
• Prosecutors are examining the scandal.
• The Securities and Exchange Commission has been invited to join the fray by Senator Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon.

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Audience Laughs When Congressman Charlie Crist Calls Hillary Honest

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 21, 2016

Earlier this week Florida held a debate between current Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist and Republican challenger David Jolly.  When asked about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Chris responded:

“I am proud of Hillary Clinton.  I think she’s been a very good secretary of state, a very good senator from the state of New York.  The thing I like most about her is I believe she is steady.  I believe that she is strong.  I believe that she is honest.  And I look forward to voting for her.”

Hillary Clinton may be may be connected to many adjectives.  However, calling her “honest” is just plain ludicrous.  As indicated in the video below, Crist’s comment drew laughter from the audience.  It is statements such as this one made by Crist that has turned so many Americans against the political elites.  It is a major reason why Donald Trump with all of his weaknesses has a reasonable chance of becoming America’s next president.  Should he be elected, the political elites and those that back them need look in a mirror to see Trump’s greatest asset.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Politicians Enriched by the System

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 2, 2016

Partisans on both sides of the aisle spout talking-points that are the mainstays of their party’s platform.  For Democrats, this includes social justice and wealth distribution.  Republicans promote the benefits of capitalism and strong national defense.  History indicates disconnect between these propositions and reality.

Democratic policies have not led to social gains by many within their party, nor to “fair” wealth distribution.  The ongoing unrest in many American cities indicates the high-level of discontent.  The fact that during the past five decades most of these cities have been run by Democrats is telling.  As for wealth distribution, during the Obama administration this has significantly skewed towards wealthy Americans.  For example, a University of California, Berkeley study found that 95% of the income gains from 2009 to 2012 went to the top 1% earners in the United States.  Whether this result is from bad policies or bad intent is irrelevant to those impacted by the disparity.

Republicans preach the benefits of capitalism and a strong national defense.  However, Republican politicians often support crony-capitalism to the benefit of large corporations.  In the early 1960s President Dwight Eisenhower warned of the dangers presented by the “military industrial complex”, however, this warning was ignored.  Also, American interventions in the name of freedom have not fared well with no better example than Bush’s invasion of Iraq.  The consequences of the interventions have not made America safer.

There is often a blurring of what the parties preach and their actions.  For example, Democrat President Lyndon Johnson took America into the Vietnam cauldron.  Barack Obama intervened in Libya.  Crony-capitalism has morphed from the military industry to the green energy, social services, and education industries.  The corrupting results are the same whether policies are promoted Harry Trumanby Republicans or Democrats.

Harry Truman once said: “You can’t get rich in politics and less you’re a crook.”  History has proven that the blunt-speaking Truman has often been correct.  It brings into question the wealth made by the Clinton’s since leaving the White House.  It also questions why Congressmen and Congresswoman have fared so much better than the American people in the past decade.

Frustration with political elites by the American people is growing.  This has been manifested by the popularity of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.  It is being duplicated worldwide with examples including England’s vote to leave the EU and the recent impeachment in Brazil of its president.  Similar discontent by the people has been the historical norm.  Politicians, whether democratically elected or not, typically enter politics with good intent.  The power of the office then corrupts and personal gain becomes a primary goal.

The indications are that people worldwide have had enough, once again.  Historically this has led to radical change in political structures and significant change to the ruling class.  They are always “interesting” periods of time.

Hillary-Clinton-net-worth-over-timeCongress Net Worth

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Obama’s View of Hillary in 2008 Versus 2016

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 15, 2016

Barack Obama once said words matter.  His words, however, don’t seem to matter all that much.  Below is a rather hilarious video put together showing Obama’s view of Hillary when she was an opponent in 2008, versus today when she is the candidate for the presidency for his party.  If words truly matter, either Obama was disingenuous in 2008 or he is being disingenuous in today.

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Democratic Congresswoman has Problem with Hillary Clinton’s Trustworthiness

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 7, 2016

During the past 25 years no family has dominated American politics more than the Clintons.  Bill was the most important political figure during the 1990s, serving as president for two terms.  Hillary Clinton was a powerhouse in her own right, most notably as an activist first lady.  During the next two decades she served as a United States Senator from New York, was a serious contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, and also served as Secretary of State during the Obama Administration.

The accomplishments of the Clintons have been accompanied by scandals.  Bill and Hillary have become infamous for lies with Bill being disbarred for it during the Lewinsky scandal.  Hillary’s lies have been so pervasive that the late New York Times writer William Safire called her “a congenital liar”.  That was 20 years before FBI director James Comey confirmed she lied on matters relating to the email scandal.

During a substantial portion of the past 25 years the Clintons successfully blamed a right-wing conspiracy for attacking their credibility.  That dog no longer hunts.

Polls indicate the majority of Americans find Hillary less than trustworthy.  Just a significant, politicians who support Hillary have difficulty with her trust factor.  CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin in the video below asked Democratic Congresswoman from Arizona, Ann Kirkpatrick her thoughts on Hillary’s trustworthiness.  She did not answer the question, but instead said “she is the most qualified to lead this country”.

American politics are in a sad state.  Republicans nominated Donald Trump, who not only has problems with temperament, but shares few philosophical views in common with traditional conservative politics.  The best Hillary supporters can say is that she is more qualified than Trump.

Both the Republican and Democratic parties have failed the people.  This reality demands radical intervention.  Third parties are a reasonable alternative.

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