Monthly Archives: February 2015

NEWS TO MUSE: Safe for seven days, the policy of the pucker, the god Janus in DC, Putin channeling Stalin.

Its déjà vu all over again.

Seems like every day is Ground Hog Day.  Well, I guess that is the point.  I am thinking of the cliff hanger controversy over the funding of the Department of Home Security.  Not sure about you, but I was not worried.  All the media hype, all the speculation and all the concocted drama were for naught.  It was like looking at a predictable mystery movie over and over again.  Did anyone really doubt the outcome?  As with the previous shut down and debt ceiling debates, the outcome was 100 percent predictable.  Even from my vantage point deep in the grassroots, I have a perfect record of predicting the outcomes in these situations.  Republicans make an attempt to stop run-away spending.  Democrats resist and scare the Hell out of the public.  Republicans fold.  What I do not understand is why the GOP leaders keep using certain-to-lose strategies.  If they wanted to work this strategy with an eye to winning, they should have tied the immigration issue to the funding of the IRS, or the Department of Education.  The public would love to see the IRS shut down.  Shutting down the DOE would have Democrats squirming in attempts to show its importance.  In fact, shutting down the DOE for a while might help make the case for abolishing it permanently.

Boehner blowing kisses.

I just have to say it.  House Speaker John Boehner’s last press conference was an embarrassment.  His arrogant attitude was bad enough. His snide remarks were awful.  But, the air kiss to the press??  What was that all about?  Boehner has never been a good strategist.  He has never been an effective spokesman for the GOP.  Even his just-from-the-Bahamas look does not project the best image.   If the folly of another phony shut down debate and his sophomoric antics at the podium result in his being replaced, perhaps all the pretend drama was worth it.

The two faces of the Obama administration.

The Obama administration produces some of the craziest news days.  The latest is Secretary John Kerry announcing to America that we are safer today than any time in the past 150 years.  This despite the biggest attacks on American soil since the British invaded in 1812 – not to mention those deadly attacks on American people and property abroad.   The situation is so dangerous that we have public warning system to alert of potential terrorist attacks.  We have guards and metal detectors in government and high target public buildings.  Every now and then, we hear about some deadly “lone wolf” attack.  While Kerry paints the political narrative of “peace and prosperity,”  Obama’s head of National Intelligence, James Clapper, is telling Congress that 2014 was the most dangerous year ever, and 2015 is poised to exceed it.  The stark difference is easy to explain.  Kerry represents the political side of the administration, where false political narratives trump truth.  You see that in the rosy economic statements coming from the White House.  Clapper represents the professional side of government.  He is under oath to tell the truth to congressional committees.  So, who do you believe?

From Russia with love.

Russian President Putin’s most powerful critic, Boris Nemtsov, was shot dead on the street just outside the Kremlin.  Proving he is tough on crime, Putin announced that he was handling the investigation himself.  There are two things of which you can be sure.  Putin will most certainly find the killer, and any conspirators, and they will never be brought to justice.  There is a rumor that the person seen running from the scene was a rifle-toting, balding, bare-chested man around 60 years old, and who had a striking similarity to the “Oscar” statuette.  He was last seen ducking into the Kremlin.

NEWS TO MUSE: Upsetting Hizzoner, Olbermann Benched and the Pelosi Pitiful Ploy

Is Rahm Emanuel upset?

News flash from my old home town of Chicago!  Machine mayor and Obama confidant, Rahm Emanuel, has been forced into a run off by former State Senator Jesus “Chuy” Garcia – as have a number of Emanuel backed alderman.  Given a political personality akin to that of a Mafia hit man, I am assuming Hizzoner is breaking up the furniture in his office while spew a tourettes-style series of profanities at underlings.  The two man race is still a daunting challenge for Garcia, but doable.  The election of a Republican governor in the very blue land of Obama was the first indicator that the old Democrat Machine is beginning to sputter and backfire.  This also presents a big challenge to Obama.  Does he go to bat for his former chief-of-staff and offend the Hispanic community, turn is back on Emanuel for the Hispanic vote or stay away altogether?  Since he has no reason to personally give a damn about the Hispanic vote, I suspect he will do something to try to keep Chicago’s blacks from abandoning the Machine.  Stay tuned.

Keith Olbermann gets sophomoric with college kids.

I guess if you have too much angst for MSNBC, you really need to consider therapy.  Keith Olbermann, who was bounced from MSNBC for being to … shall we politely say … too outspoken, has just received a modest tap on his pinky from ESPN for getting into a low level Twitter peeing contest with Penn State students and alumni.  Olbermann employed his highest intellectual tactic – name calling.  “Pitiful” and “moron” were his words of choice in this encounter.  ESPN took him off the air, with pay, for a few days.   They called it a “suspension,” but I think it is more of a cooling off period.  Honestly, I am not sure if Keith should be presented the Alec Baldwin Anger Management Prize or Alec Baldwin should get the Keith Olbermann Childish Outbursts Award.   And the winner is …

Partisanship in the Eye of the Beholder

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu took a pass on attending a Democrats-only private meeting offered by Democrat Minority Leader (love that title for her) Nancy Pelosi and Senator Dick where-is-the-camera Durbin.  This was to balance out his public speech before the entire United States Congress.  As the Democrat spin goes, Bibi should meet privately with only Democrats because he is meeting with a Congress led by Republicans, albeit with lots of Democrats in membership – most of whom will be attending the speech.  Pelosi, Durbin et al contend that an appearance before both Republicans and Democrats in Congress is partisan, and that a meeting privately with Democrats only would solve that.  I am beginning to think that when partisan zealotry becomes too strong, logical thinking ceases.  It is what has become known as “liberal lunacy.”

NEWS TO MUSE: Plummeting Credibility, Glass Houses and a Civic Lesson for a President

The Media Spin Cycle

“Survey shows that US uninsured rate has plummeted.”  That was the headline in my morning Sun Sentinel newspaper.  The most “plummeting” came from states with the highest uninsured rates (well duh!) and that had set up state exchanges (another, well duh!).  But, that was NOT the story.  Let us recall that Obamacare was to provide coverage for between 35 and 40 million Americans – and a lot of young people.  Without that, Obamacare will either crash and burn, or will be propped up by ever increasing truck loads of taxpayer money until the entire American economy crashes and burns.  Once I read the story, I found it depends on what you mean by “plummeting.”  The news article was based on a Gallup survey.  “It found that nationwide the rate of uninsured adults declined from 17.3 percent in 2013 to 13.8 percent last year,” quoting the news report.  That’s a 3.5 percent improvement over two years.  This is not even the Obamacare impact because some percentage must be attributable to the lowering unemployment rate, with workers getting company sponsored insurance coverage.  I am sure this spin will cause President Obama to continue his daily exercise of running victory laps.  He habitually claims victories by continuing to lower the definition of success.  If you think that is an unfair assessment, you should recall when Obama said his stimulus package reduce unemployment to 6 percent in 6 month.  It took six years (and the successes of a lot of Republican governors) to reach that mark.  But still, the victory lap.  He is still taking victory laps over his Middle East anti-terrorist policy (ending a war in Iraq that is still raging with US boots on the ground), and you know how that is going.  He still speaks proudly of his international coalition, although their presence is nowhere to be seen.  The simple fact is that Obamacare enrollment is far below the target figure of even dubious sustainability, and the young folks are not signing up.  The only thing I see plummeting is the President’s credibility.

What’s Good for the Gander ain’t so Good for the Goose

Speaking of plummeting credibility, Hillary Clinton’s creds as a feminist maybe taking a dive.   One of the cable news stations (not sure which one since I channel surf) reported that Hillary’s recently announced campaign team does not have a single woman in leadership.  Another reported that while she was Secretary of State, the female staffers were paid less than the boys.  If you want to break through glass ceilings, it is better not to live in a glass house.  That’s a double “tks tsk” for Lady Clinton.  And by the way … she has recently become harder to find than Waldo.  Maybe that’s because her poll numbers are better when she is not talking.

This Kid Could not be Obama’s Son

Remember when President Obama said that Travon Martin could have been his son – although Obama doesn’t have a son.  I am sure Obama would not say that about 12-year-old C.J Pearson — maybe because the kid obviously loves America so much.  I think he has a better response to Rudy Giuliani’s calling out Obama than any of the GOP presidential candidates.  If you have not seen the video, check it out.

NEWS TO MUSE: Pressing Press Questions, More Liberal Lack of Logic and “The Winner is … “

Gottcha Scott Walker

Obviously, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker does not appreciate stupid press questions and he got two of them recently.  Does he believe in evolution and does he believe that President Obama is a Christian.  In both cases, the presidential hopeful refused to answer the questions.  His refusal is well grounded, but his reply was a bit maladroit.  In that regard, the School of Gottcha Journalism won another round as virtually every news and talk show spent an enormous amount of time debating whether the questions were appropriate or the product of a biased press — or whether Walkers answers were some sort of policy statements on God’s creation … oooops … God’s evolution and Obama’s relationship with God.  If he was not running for President of the United States, he could have just said: WTF?  An interesting footnote: Way back when, when Hillary Clinton was asked is Obama was a Muslim, she hedged her response, “I think he’s a Christian, AS FAR AS I KNOW.”  Geez! All this debate over Obama’s religions.  Personally, I don’t think he is all that religious no matter what he is, and there’s nothing wrong with that AS FAR AS I KNOW.

Bashing Bush Liberal Logic Style

Democrats and the press are most eager to hang everything they did not like about George W around the neck of Jeb Bush even though he was never part of either his father’s or his brother’s administrations.  I note this be cause a panel of libs on MSNBC made every argument they could to tie Jeb to what they believe are the sins of the father (and the brother).  However, when the conversation turned to Hillary Clinton, the same group opined that she would bear no burden for any unpopular policies of President Obama because they were his policies, and not hers.  In case you missed the liberal logical lapse, here it is.  If you are related to the President, but not part of the administration, you are tied to the policies (if you are a Republican, that is).  However, if you are the top Cabinet officer, an advisor to the President and faithfully caring out presidential policies (and you are a Democrat), you are absolved from all blame.  The mistake liberals make is assuming the public is stupid (a la Jonathon Gurber) or “low information voters” as liberals often call the unwashed masses.  Actually, the public has good common sense.  It is probably why FOX News gets the highest ratings.

Piling on Rudy

Rudy does not think Obama loves America.  His private opinion, along with Scott Walker’s lack of opinions, has dominated the news for two days already.  Maybe it was a poor choice of words, but I think a LOT of Americans wonder why this President always seems to be criticizing and apologizing for America.  He relegates American Exceptionalism to nothing more than common chest-pounding nationalism.  What struck me is the volume and nastiness of liberal animus.  White House spokesperson talked of Giuliani as if  he was getting senile, and pitied they hopeless damage to the former mayor’s lifetime reputation.  I found Earnest to be pitiful, but that is his job description under the Obama White House.  Another pundit on MSNBC said he found Giuliani’s comments “incoherent.”   When Joe Scarborough argued that as a private citizen, Giuliani is entitled to his opinion, co-host Mika Brzezinski insisted he is not a private citizen.  And they call the voters “low information.”  Of course, ever predictable Al Sharpton reached deep into his one-word vocabulary to call Giuliani a racist.

Hollywood’s High Holiday – Academy Awards Night

I have determined that the Academy Awards’ PR people have only one post awards press release with a number of blanks to fill in.  There is that political statement — this time women pay equality from a woman making a gazillion times more than most men.  Then there is the dress.  The new twist in the overexposed category was host, Neil Patrick Harris, appearing in his tidy whities.  J. K. Simmons elevated the “thanks ma moment” to a universal show of appreciation usually reserved for Mothers’ Day.  It was all so … so typical … so boring.

Post Script

Has the liberal press forgotten that ISIS is on a rampage, innocent people are being murdered every day, Russia continues to advance in the Ukraine, etc., etc., etc.  Well, I guess a press that can ask the Attorney General to quack like a duck or ask then President Clinton if he wears boxers or briefs cannot be expected to focus on serious issues.

NEWS TO MUSE: Obama channels Mayor Daley to Popes Make Me See Double … and a bit of sex to grab attention.

As I meander through the morning news, here are a few items I mused over.

Mayor Barack Obama

In a recent interview, President Obama said his job in handling terrorists is like a city mayor dealing with criminals.  Since he is a product of the Chicago Democrat Machine, arguably the most corrupt political institution in America, we have every reason to worry.  Denial is standard operating procedure.  Way back when, as mobsters and innocent victims were being gunned down in the Windy City, the first Mayor Daley was asked what he would do about the Mafia and organized crime.  His response?  “What organized crime?  We don’t have organized crime in Chicago.”  The operating premise is that if you don’t give it a name, it does not exist.  Sound familiar?  Obama has learned well.

Poor Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

It is reported that some prospective jurors feel a pity for the Boston Marathon’s Islamic terrorist bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  They think the poor boy suffered under the influence of his older brother.  I guess there is sympathy value in a cute boyish face.  This is the weakness of dealing with terrorists as normal criminals.  It is a problem because he is an American citizen, but outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder wants to bestow American citizenship rights on even foreign terrorists.  My proposal is that any American citizen terrorist who is determined in a court hearing to be acting on behalf or under the influence of an enemy foreign force would be stripped of their citizenship, declared an enemy combatant and put before a military tribunal.  This would apply to even those misnamed “lone wolves” who are inspired by enemy propaganda.

New Oregon Governor is more than bipartisan

Another sanctimonious liberal governor has bit the dirt in scandal.  John Kitzhaber has been forced to resign after his live-in lady friend was trading on “pillow talk” to rack in big bucks from lobbyists.  Of course, nothing new in the fall of yet another corrupt governor.  What is newsworthy is that the Secretary of State, Kate Brown, who succeeds to the governorship, is openly bisexual.  As more of a libertarian, her sexual adventures do not bother me. I do wonder, however, why it has to be such a big social issue.  I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as “normal sex.”  Those who place very strict moral limits on sexual activity think the more adventuresome folks are perverts.  Those “perverts,” who like to do a lot wild experimenting, think of the others as oppressed.  So, there you have it.  Society divides between perverts and the oppressed – no one is normal.  But, both Kitzhaber and Brown do tell us something about the new sexual norms in America.  Unmarried relationships and alternative life styles are much more acceptable these days.  I think nothing shows citizen approval more than who we elect to public office.  This is not the courts shoving it down our throats.  (Oooops.  Bad choice of words.)  Not too long ago, neither of these two would have been able to get elected to public office – much less such high offices.  You can tell the perverts from the oppressed if you ask them if this change is social progress or degradation.

Popes Blue Ribbon

Pope Francis has anointed a blue ribbon panel of new cardinals.  This is the theological version of the “spoils system.”  He invited his predecessor ex-Pope Benedict to join in the festivities.  This got me to wondering.  Has the stepping down of Pope  Benedict undermined the Church.  Having been raised Catholic (although “fallen away” would be a more apt adjectival phrase today), the optics of two popes has always bothered me.  The selection of a Pope is supposed to be God’s decision.  It is a lifetime commitment, as I was led to believe.  To me, this makes the Church look more corporate than spiritual.  Has Benedict lost the power to speak ex cathedra?  I suppose those closer to the altar would be better judges, but that’s my sense of it.

I suppose you can call it, one man’s rage.

I have always believed in civil discourse.  There is that old saying that we can disagree without being disagreeable.  Sometimes, however, I just get … well … pissed off.  In this case, it is not sudden.  It has be growing in my heart and mind for some months.

It has to do with the situation in the Middle East.  Yes, I am not happy with President Obama for sure, but that is already known to anyone who reads my stuff.

Let me get to the specific point.

What hit my hot button was the President of the United States making a stupid and degrading “selfie” commercial – and romping around like the village idiot on the very day he learned of the death of yet another American by the hand of ISIS.  This was a double down of his laughing his way around the golf course hours after another American citizen was beheaded.

To me, it reflects a heartlessness that has permeated his entire foreign policy.

Throughout the world today, we are witnessing the worst genocide, holocaust and savagery since the defeat of the Nazi regime.  And yet, we do nothing.

My frustration is not based on national interest, although that is an issue.  It is not based on geo-political issues.  It is not based on oil.  I cannot accept an America that has so abandoned its moral and humanitarian obligations.  These are not obligations given to us by treaty or political reality, but by, as Lincoln called it, “the angels of our better nature.”

How, as decent human beings, can we stand by as innocent people — men, women and children — are subjected to the most horrifying terror, unimaginable brutality and torturous deaths?  In “leading from behind” and engaging in “patient diplomacy,” the President of the United States is turning a blind eye on the suffering of millions of people around the globe.  He has squandered American leadership on the altar of his own political agenda, and in so doing damned millions to the bloody sword of Islamic terrorists.

The men, women and children being slaughtered with less dignity than farm animals, and those sold into slavery or pimped for sexual gratification, represent humanity.  Their ethnic background, their religion and their political viewpoints should be of no matter to us.

We are the most powerful nation on earth, and whether we like it or now, our conduct in world affairs is the most significant.  When America fails the lead, there are no nations to follow.  When America abandons our moral high ground, there is no one to take it up.

It literally brings tear to my eyes to see the faces and hear the voices of so many good people, young men and women, who are exposed to the human madness of ISIS and other terrorist groups – and we act as if it is just another policy issue to be debated between two legitimate viewpoints.

We know that evil spreads when good people do nothing.  Evil is spreading because we Americans are doing nothing.  We go through our daily lives inoculating our conscious with entertaining diversions rather than face the horror of our own indifference.  Even the wrenching images on television, sanitized as they are, do not motivate us to a demand for moral action.  We use the terribly flawed policies of a terribly flawed President to rationalize our lack of concern.

If the American feminist movement ever had any credibility, it has lost it by its silence, as women … no, young girls … in the Middle East and Central Africa are being kidnapped, enslaved, repeatedly raped and murdered.   I have seen one feminist leader after another, on various talk shows, complaining about equal pay, maternity leave and glass ceiling of one sort or another without one mention of the deadly abuse of women by Islamic terrorists.  How can they complain about prejudicial policies in the United States, or even in such nations as Saudi Arabia, and now hide behind the President’s policy of disregard for the most heinous assaults on womanhood in the world today?

I am disgusted with a Pope whose condemnation of terrorism is only tangential to his moral opinions about capitalism — and his failure to endorse action looks like a theological version of the Obama do nothing policy.  Pope Francis abandons his moral obligation to represent and defend Christianity, the followers of which are a primary target of Islamic terrorists.

I am equally disgusted with the United Nations.  They seem to have no policy to address world terrorism, and certainly no zeal to fight it.  Rather, it engages in diplomatic masturbation from its highly secured tower in New York City.

I am disgusted with a President who focuses more on Neville Chamberlain-style negotiations with the rogue state of Iran, as that very nation funds, trains and spreads Islamic terrorism throughout the globe – including direct assaults on Americans, our overseas facilities and on our very domestic soil.

If America is to be the exceptional nation it has historically been, we need to reclaim our soul.  We need to exert positive leadership in recruiting the civilized nations to take whatever action is necessary to defeat Islamic terrorism.  This means boots on the ground, including American boots.  We must stop assuring the enemies of humanity of what we will not do, and rather leave them in fear of what we might and will do.

Having lost a Marine grandson in Afghanistan, I do not say that lightly.  But, I cannot help but feel that he will have died in vain if America abandons so much of the world to egomaniacal blood-thirsty serial killers.  Our service men and women fight and die to defend the great humanitarian principles and freedoms of America.  We spent our human and financial treasure to defeat the pernicious virus of evil in World War II.  That challenge has been foisted upon us again.  If we fail to defend humanitarian principles and our personal freedoms, they cease to exist.

President Obama ran on a “can do” slogan, but governs as a “can’t do” president.  I am tired of pessimistic apologists who say that we must engage in decades of limited fighting, or that we must fight piecemeal, or that we cannot win a war against terrorist.  To them I say: “The Hell we can’t!”

Sitting around arguing who started the war, and for what reason, is dangerous political diversion.  The situation is what it is.  Our roll must be to resolve, not merely blame, as this President is so obsessed to do.  It is time for America to get to the front of the leadership line and to express diplomatic impatience with those nations who are part of the problem by virtue of not being part of the solution.

It is time to set aside the politics, and give the world the American moral leadership it needs and deserves.


Several stories in that past couple days clearly establish that liberals see lies as merely a matter of public policy.

David Axelrod’s new book reveals what many of us knew in the first place.  President Obama lied his way into office – and on the advice and counsel of Axelrod.  There are many examples, but the one making the news is his oft repeated campaign claim to being opposed to gay marriage.  When running for the State Senate, Obama filled out questionnaires in support of gay marriage.  When running for President, he repeatedly lied, saying he opposed gay marriage.  Once in office, he went back to supporting gay marriage.  He says he “evolved.”  No.  He lied.  What is amazing to me is the many liberals on MSNBC who defended the lie as a good thing – you know, the ends justify the means.  This is no different than the lies Jonathon Gruber exposed about the cost of Obamacare and keeping your doctor.  Or, Obama criticism of Bush using executive orders.  Or, promising to work with Congress.  Or, promising transparency. Or … wow … is there anything Obama says that is the truth?

Remember Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, who sexually molested a maid at a New York hotel, and is now charged with being a pimp and orgy host for the high and mighty?  Well, he now claims that it was for the greater good since it helped alleviate the tensions of dealing on the global stage.  I am not making this up.  Using this theory, we might put an end to ISIS by giving them 40 virgins now instead of a gift in the afterlife.

You can’t miss the story of NBC uber anchor Brian Williams, who believes in making up stories to convey the impression of news when the facts are not good enough.  A number of supporters are saying that it is okay to claim false experiences because it gives a better “sense of the event.”  On the other hand, if Williams was coving a raid on a house of ill-repute, would he have reported as being one of the “johns” in order to convey a better “sense of the event?”

Zombies are making a comeback in the world of entertainment.  Also in politics.

I noticed in my local newspaper, that Gloria Steinem has surfaced from obscurity to give a lecture at the University of Miami.  After reading some of her 1960’s retreaded comments, I better understood why the editors placed the news article on the obituary page.  Her’s is the only article on the page where the person is still alive.  Maybe politically dead, counts.

Not since slavery …

Former New York Mayor, and America’s billionaire liberal nanny, Michael Bloomberg has thrown political correctness aside in taking his anti-gun zealotry to a new level.  He suggests that young minority men be banned from gun ownership.  Again, I am not making this stuff up.  This has not been suggested since the Democrats were running things in the old days of southern slavery.  Would somebody get this guy a copy of the Constitution … and the Emancipation Proclamation?

And finally, under “there outta be a law …” or “what’s in a name.”

Recently, a 61-year-old man was arrested, but found not guilty, for taking phone photos up a young girl’s skirt in a Target store.  Though totally repulsive and offensive, the judge could not find a law that made it illegal.  The story was not what caught my eye.  But am I the only one who thought it was ironic that the incident occurred in Beaverton, Oregon?

Understanding President Obama.

I have lived under the Chicago Machine for most of my life.  I personally know many of the key players who brought Barack Obama out of obscurity to the presidency.  Perhaps this analysis should have been made several years ago.  But, better late than never.

I am way not the conspiratorial theorist type.  I never bought into the Obama birther theory.  I never thought of him as some sort of Manchurian candidate.  I do not believe Obama is member of the Muslim faith – not after attending a Christian church, such as it is, for 20 years.  Is it possible that the President is really a nice guy who believes he is doing good for the United States and the world?  I think it is possible.  BUT, just because he might believe that does not mean it is true.

There has to be some explanation for his six years of seemingly inexplicable presidential behavior – at least as measured against his 42 predecessors.  Why has Obama become arguably the least trusted President in American History?  Why has his patriotism been questioned by so many?  And, don’t give me the “because he’s black” excuse.  One of his greatest benefits in becoming President was his skin color.  God knows, it was not due to his record and experience.  Being black has insulated Obama from scrutiny and proper vetting – and given his sycophants and a fawning news corps a racist mantra to deflect justified criticism.

I have come to the conclusion that the problem with Obama is that he is the first un-American president.

By that, I mean he has a completely different core of knowledge and value structure than the vast majority of Americans. He was not raised in an American culture.  He never learned American history in depth.  He does not understand the American culture – and what he thinks he understands, he does not like.

As a child, he was raised in Muslim traditions by his father, then an uncle and a family mentor who, more importantly, all harbored negative viewpoints about America.  He attended a Muslim school in a nation highly critical of America. His mother, though not Muslim, was a lifelong critic of America, its culture, its politics and its economic system.   He attended American colleges where criticism of America reigns supreme among students and faculty.

He spent most of his life subjected and devoted to a politicized anti-American version of Christianity in the church of Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  As a community activist in Chicago’s University of Chicago neighborhood, he worked in a pseudo-intellectual cultural enclave that exaggerates American racism and demonizes free market capitalism.  It is a tightly knit community best personified by its local iconic leaders, such Bill Ayers, Louis Farrakhan and Reverend Wright.

His formative political experience comes from his association with the Chicago Democrat “Machine.”  It can explain his contempt for Republicans – and even contempt for any opposition and accommodation.  It may also explain his belief in authoritarian “boss” governance, where the executive is the primary source of public policy.  His Chicago experience would lead him to believe that role of a legislative body is to endorse — rubber stamp, if you will — but not to challenge.

In many ways, Obama is the product of his two closest advisors, David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett.  Axelrod represents the thuggish Chicago Machine’s strident partisanship, with its allegiance to an autocratic boss figure.  He personifies what could be called the Daley wing of the Democratic Party, operating more like a “banana republic” than what the Founders had in mind.

Jarrett represents the far left ideological wing of the Democratic Party – also autocratic.  Under the first Mayor Daley, these were warring factions.  Under the second Mayor Daley, the factions united in the person of Barack Obama.

Since both factions are autocratic, Obama represents the worst of them in terms of the American republic.  Both factions place government rule by an elite over the historic American concept of governance by the people.  With a belief in and tendency toward autocratic power, it is not unreasonable to suggest that the intoxicating power of the presidency has introduced a sense of megalomania.

Obama came to office believing America is an imperial power guilty of shameful acts.  That is why his first overseas junket as President was widely described as “an apology tour.”  That is why he is so quick to draw moral equivalencies between us and every other nation – and more recently, between the maniacal brutality of today’s Islamic extremists and the Christian Crusades of 1000 years ago.

That is why he relegated American Exceptionalism to nothing more than nationalistic pride. Obama sees America as no better than any other nation, and to think otherwise is arrogance.  He does not believe in the need or importance of America’s economic, military and moral leadership, so, at every turn, he withdraws us from it.  Since he cannot make other nations as strong as America, he seems determined to make America as weak as them.  He seems to think that world leadership, itself, is arrogance.

His disdain for the traditional American culture extends to allies who share that culture.  It is why his foreign policy realigns America away from historic allies in favor of relationships with even current enemies, such as Cuba and Iran.  His preference for third world countries is evident in his refusal to not only secure the American border, but to encourage illegal migration and acceptance on an every growing level.

He has created a deceptive language to explain his governing philosophy, with such oxymoron’s as “leading from behind” as an excuse for not leading, or “patient diplomacy,” as a euphemism for doing nothing.  As with all autocrats, he is capable of the most audacious lies.  He talks of our victory over al Qaeda and ISIS as relatively harmless “junior varsity.”  He takes pride in ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan even as they accelerate. He claims Gitmo promotes terrorism, but claims the release of terrorists is in our national interest.

He takes victory laps for ending our economic crisis even as millions of Americans continue to suffer from unemployment and under employment.  His infamous “you can keep your doctor” promise now rates with President George H. Bush’s “read my lips” as an iconic presidential betrayal.

The President is a left wing globalist, who not only surrenders American leadership, but American sovereignty.  He promotes agreements and treaties that give international bodies authority of our lands, our international policies, our guns and even our elections.

He has no frame of reference to understand the nature of the American republic, in which the people govern.  Rather, he subscribes to the authoritarian philosophy that a government run by self determined enlightened people must rule over the masses for their own good.  He sees the federal government as the necessary regulatory authority over every aspect of our personal lives.  He relegates America’s several states to mere Chinese-style provinces, and redistributes wealth according to his political agenda.

We have seen this in his preference for personal power over the shared power of three branches.  His go-it-alone policy is not born out of strong leadership, but is the result of an all too obvious contempt for the people’s Congress as an equal branch of government.

He came into office promising change.  His meaning was not the change Americans had every reason to assume.  It was to change the very nature of the American government from a republic based on the autonomy of the people to an authoritarian regime where dependency replaces opportunity as the dominant characteristic.  He would change our successful free enterprise system to a controlled central economy where the market forces are replaced by government manipulation, regulation and redistribution of wealth.

The Founders risked life and property “in order to form a more perfect union.”  It was ours to preserve through “eternal vigilance.”  In recent generations, we have failed in both regards, and may now be reaching a point of no return.

When you look at the critical education and emotional development of past presidents, Democrat and Republican, none has been so devoid of traditional American education and understanding.  Obama operates the way he does because he knows no other way.  He is not anti-American, but I think he is un-American in his intellectual foundation.  And that is the problem.

The General Election of 2016 may well determine whether our historic culture has truly changed as we the people decide either to continue down the path of subjugation to Washington, or will we rise up to re-establish the great American Dream based on American Exceptionalism that made this nation the most successful democracy in history?  We will determine whether to leave a nation and a world to our children that is greater and safer than we found it, or we will condemn them to lesser status with fewer opportunities under an oppressive regime in Washington.

Here is my handicapping on the 2016 candidates.

Since it seems every pundit in America is already handicapping the presidential race, I thought I would join in.

The Democrats only have two possible candidates, Hillary Clinton or anybody but Hillary Clinton.  I call that nomination a tossup.  Yep!  I am not convinced that Lady Hillary has a lock on the nomination.  She has more baggage than Samsonite.

Senator Bernie Sanders, the only avowed socialist in Congress, may run as an independent.  Since he caucuses with the Democrats (for obvious reasons), he would take votes from the donkey party nominee.  Like all third column candidates, he can only serve as a spoiler.  Same is true of any Green Party and Libertarian Party candidates. These folks only run to advance unpopular policies or out of sheer ego.

I think the GOP will have the presidency in 2016 UNLESS they totally screw it up.  However, looking back at 2008 and 2012, that possibility has to be considered.  Senator McCain was not right for the presidency and he ran a bad campaign.  Mitt Romney would have made a pretty good President, but ran one of the worst and most tone-deaf campaigns I can recall.  That is why he is out of contention.  Hopefully, the same Republican apparatchiks  that gave us Cain and Romney will not be coaching the game in 2016.

Right now there is a huge bench for the Republican Party – some count as many as 26.  Of course, most of those will not be in serious contention.  I tend to like them all, but that does not mean they all have a shot at the presidency.  Let’s be real.  Here they are in alphabetically order and my handicapping.  At this stage, the highest rating is 50/50.

Jeb Bush:  40/60.  I have to be careful here because I now live in Florida.  Good record.  Good campaigner.  He needs to more artfully express his conservative bona fides.  There may also be a three-Bush curse.  I think he can come out with a sound immigration proposal, but he needs to have an epiphany on Common Core. Money. Money.  Money.

Ben Carson: 0. Great spokesperson for Republican Party.  Can impact on minority voters.  Outside chance for a Veep pick.  It is rare that a person comes to the Oval Office without holding a prior elective office.

Chris Christie: 20/80. He keeps losing ground.  His once attractive bluntness is wearing thin and does not look presidential – unless you’re looking at Howard Taft. (Sorry for that, but it was too obvious to pass up.)  He seems to pick up more and more baggage as he travels along.

Ted Cruz: 10/90.  He has the right positions for a right of center nation tired of the hard left, but he cannot seem to perfect the sales pitch.  May help with Hispanic vote. He is informative, but not inspirational.  He has a great personal narrative, but unable to put it across.  Senators are at a disadvantage.  Actually, his father is better on the stump than he is.

Mike Huckabee; 30/70.  He polls well in the early primaries, which makes him a sprinter rather than a long distance runner.  His record as governor is a bit old.  Perhaps it is my bias, but I think religious right issues will be less important in 2016, even among the religious right.

Bobby Jindal: 30/70.  He could be the dark horse (no pun intended).  He has a great record as governor and is another candidate that can get both conservatives and establishmentarians on board.  He would need some stellar debate performances and an early primary upset. He needs to overcome a money problem.   Would be on any vice presidential list.

Peter King: 0.  Why bother.  Not a bad guy, but just not presidential timbre.  If the voters are looking away from senators, what is the chance of a House member?  If I recall, we only elected one directly from the House in all of American history.

Lindsey Graham: 0.  The deck is stacked against senators.  Makes good points, but lacks charisma.  Good with the GOP base, but not able to reach enough voters.

George Pataki: 10-90.  He suffers from too many better candidates.  Not even high on the veep list.

Rand Paul: 0. Yes, 0. He is another great spokesperson for the GOP.  Great at framing issues.  The media loves him, but too often because he says outrageous things (think vaccinations).  Too controversial and carries some of the gadfly sins of his father.  I love to have him on the scene, but not in the oval office.  Senators have a higher bar this time around.  Also, his foreign policy reputation is lethal.

Rick Perry: 30/70.  His 2012 debate gaff hangs over him like a political grim reaper.  He would make a great president, but has to do a lot of image changing for the public.  He gets in play because of four things; large state, good record, border state (think immigration); access to money.

Robert Portman: 0.  I think the people who make up these lists do not consider the fact that the guy has no reason to run.

Marco Rubio; 20/80.  Here goes my Florida problem again.  I like Rubio a lot.  I think he is among the best platform speakers in the GOP.  I just do not think this is his time.  He would have a problem consolidating his Florida base with Jeb in the game.  He is also a senator when the voters are leaning to governors.  He should be on any veep list, however.  If I were him, I would get in, develop a national image and get out early – maybe after one or two debates.

Paul Ryan; 0.  He is not running, so why do they keep putting him on the list?  No chance for veep, either.  The voters are not interested in a re-run of even half the 2012 team.

Rick Santorum: 0.  Too far into the religious right.  Comes across as too whiney.  The only benefit to his candidacy is to keep his speaker fees up. Senators are not popular this time, and especially former senators.

John Thune: 0. Would be a great president, but does not yet have the gravitas to pull it off.  Also, senators are at a disadvantage for 2016.

Donald Trump; 0.  I am among those who believe he is primarily a showman.  He is perfect in the role of spokesperson for issues and policies.  I like that a lot.  But, I think a presidential bid would be more as a means of promoting his issues, his many enterprises and his personal brand.  Would he give up his media empire for a candidacy not likely to succeed?  Trump is the one person who could honestly see the presidency as a step down in terms of his brand.

Scott Walker; 50/50.  The last shall be first.  I give him the best shot because he has proven to be a phenomenally effective campaigner.  He is right on all the key issues.  He bridges the Tea Party and establishmentarians.  Great speaker.  Great record as governor.  Comes from an important state.  Can raise sufficient money.  So, what’s not to like?  There is still simmering that Democrat’s and union’s efforts to muddy him up on ethical issues.  Union leaders will be pimping their mothers to get enough money to beat him. Watch out for the public  sector unions.  I am a bit concerned about him moving into a frontrunner status (according to some polls) too early.  Early frontrunners do not do well.

So, there tis.

Disclaimer:  The above handicapping is subject to change at any time.

Here is my take on CORPORATE TAXES as published in the Florida Sun Sentinel – February 5, 2015

Florida Sun Sentinel

Thursday, February 5, 2915

 Consumers really pay for corporate taxes

The Feb. 3 point/counterpoint on the question of raising corporate taxes actually misses the point. In fact, it perpetrates one of the greater public policy misconceptions.

There is no such thing as corporate taxes. No matter how many you   impose, corporations do not actually pay the tax. We do. The working American.

It is important to understand that the only thing is that is taxable is the productivity of a human being. Everything else — sales taxes, corporate taxes, fees, licenses — are a means of making it appear we are not paying a tax.

Corporate taxes are just another cost of business that is passed on to the final user — a wage-earning human being. When you buy gas or bread, you pay all the owner’s taxes. When you see an accountant, you pay his business taxes. When you rent an apartment, you pay the landlord’s real estate taxes.

In that context, taxing corporations is meaningless. Such taxes do not “stick it to the man,” as class-warfare liberal politicians like to contend, they stick it to the common man in the form of higher prices. Even worse, corporate taxes are a regressive tax because they increase prices, hitting the poorest shopper the hardest.

Larry Horist, Boca Raton