As our duly elected officials in Washington squabble over OUR money by who gets to pay less or more tax, there is one fact of which you can be sure. The liberal arm of the Democrat party will trot out someone to put a face in front of the camera, more than likely Chuck Schumer, to shriek that the wealthy will be the only people to get a tax cut. And there will be a segment of the population, regardless of fact, that will shake their fist and repeat this old, worn out erroneous mantra.
In fact, this year’s version of howling has been going on for a few months now, irrespective of the fact that the plan was just released the week of November 20th. That’s right, Schumer and his ilk have been complaining since before they knew what was in the plan. So, when the new tax plan came up for a vote, all but 13 RINO’s in the House voted to give you a tax cut and EVERY Democrat voted not to give you a tax cut. The wait for a version of tax reform from the Left promises to be a lengthy one.
Now, any self-respecting Congressman worth his salt will tell you that he is only looking out for the middle class and the poor, but those despicable Conservatives are only pandering to the rich. (If you believe that, explain the Clinton’s.) For that reason, the Democrats voted not to pass a tax cut bill. If you can make credible sense out of this logic, please email me.
Before you write me nasty letters, keep in mind, the mandate by President Trump to Congress was to cut and simplify our taxes. It was part of his platform when voted in as our president. You can bet there wasn’t a Congressman from either side of the aisle that really wanted to do this, but Trump considers himself to be a Conservative, so the Republican Congress felt obligated to bring it up. And they directed all their minions to come up with something, with the unspoken caveat to use lots of smoke and mirrors so as to keep it complicated and burdensome to us, and to arouse suspicion in just who gets a tax cut.
To date, that has worked well. A trip to the internet will give one a host of reasons for how the new tax plan is good for us, and an equal amount that will tell us how the middle-class is getting hosed by the wealthy…again. You can find plenty of equally opposing opinions on Face Book too.
The fact is, without the credentials CPA and/or CMA behind your name, it’s unlikely that a) you have read the plan; b) understand the plan fully, including the ramifications years from now and/or: c) know what the true intentions are from a collection of Congressman, most of which could care less about people like you and me. So why would we fight with each other over it?
After reading internet reports from the Congressional Budget Office, Pew Research, the IRS, Heritage Foundation, Americans for Tax Fairness, FactCheck.org, and a few bloggers, my eyes crisscrossed. I was reminded again why I am not an accountant or financial planner, and decided right then and there to keep my day job. (I came to that same career conclusion while on the golf course this past summer too.) Anyway, much like a carnival hawker, something about Chuck Schumer being for or against anything always sets off alarms in my noggin’ that pulls at me hard - in the other direction. Nothing the man has ever said has felt authentic to me, of which I wrote about in a blog back in January. The fact is, he’s in
Congress to be an obstructionist, lusting for power, and isn’t very credible.
Think about it - if there aren’t tax cuts in this bill, why would President Trump sign it? It would make him look incredibly foolish, and hurt an economy that has done nothing but improve under his tenure. Furthermore, Republicans running for re-election, priority number one for any politician, would be committing political suicide.
The government does not know how to spend your money any better than you do. If you don’t believe that, look at the tax situation in this state where they are driving people out in record numbers due to excessive taxation. A tax cut for anyone is better for this country.
My wife and I were sitting in a Five Guys beanery the other day enjoying a burger that I needed like a hole in the head. Across the room I spied a guy munching on a burger he didn’t need either. Our similarities seemed remarkably alike. The man appeared about my age, had my pleasingly plump build, the same pale features, and both of us sported white beards. Like me, he was wearing a bright red T-shirt too. Upon eyeing the T-shirt, it is then I realized how far apart we really were.
My T-shirt said “Indian Motorcycle.” His T-shirt blared “Impeach Trump” in large white block letters. Considering myself slightly to the right of Rush Limbaugh, you can imagine the myriad of thoughts that race through my head when I see such a proclamation. What would make a person so passionate in his thought process to publicly accuse a sitting president of the United States of impeachment ten months into a presidency? I wondered, does he really know what impeachment is?
Then, on November 15th, Rep. Steve Cohen of TN publicly announced his declaration of impeachment towards President Trump. Cohen is still upset that Trump did not say what Cohen and his ilk wanted him to say regarding the Charlottesville VA melee. In other words, “you didn’t say what I thought you should regarding a clash between two groups of idiots, therefore, you should be removed from office, regardless of the fact that 63 million people voted for you!” And this dude is the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee on the Constitution and civil justice?
Standing next to him was Rep. Louis “Earmuffs” Gutierrez, former Chicago alderman. This man is so far Left he makes Chuck Schumer look anti-elitist. One might reasonably believe Gutierrez, as well as fellow NY Rep. Adriano Espaillat, a Dominican-American, might have ulterior motives for wanting impeachment, such as their opposition of anyone cracking down on illegal immigration. Readers might recall that illegal immigration was a key reason the president was elected.
Then there is the Rep. Al Green of Texas in the bunch. Seems like just about every other day Green stands up on the House floor for five-minutes to repeat a mantra for the impeachment of Trump. I wonder if other House members use this time for bathroom breaks? His beef – besides believing Trump to be a xenophobe, racist, bigot, and sexist, is the misguided belief that Trump did not have the authority to fire James Comey. He also states that any one of the 63 million people that voted for Trump is a racist. If one is condemning that many people in a single brush stroke, you might wonder about his sanity and soundness for public office.
Rounding out the entire five representatives wasting our time on impeachment proceedings was Marcia Fudge of OH and John Yarmuth of Kentucky. Oddly, Rep. Maxine Waters was not mentioned in the group, indicating the group might have some standards. Research was unable to find much on why Fudge or Yarmuth would or would not back impeachment proceedings. In fact, historical research on the rather accomplished Yarmuth led me to be totally mystified why the Louisville Democrat might be associated with such a group of dingbats representing only one percent of the House in backing impeachment. Even Nancy Pelosi is not in step with this bunch.
Only two Presidents, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, have been impeached and none successfully. Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House in 1868 after he fired his Secretary of War, Edward Stanton. He was acquitted later that same year.
Bill Clinton was impeached by the House in 1998 for his affair and cover up of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Just three months later he too was acquitted.
As both presidents were cleared, it would appear that the process was nothing more than political theater. While I believe Clinton’s actions with Ms. Lewinsky to be reprehensible, and have written about it, I believe acts of political theater to be even more intolerable. It wastes time and taxpayer money.
According to Dictionary.com the definition of the word impeach means charge the holder of a public office with misconduct. Our Constitution further states the reasons for impeachment to be treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Now I ask, which one of those Constitutional edicts has Trump committed? This is not just a rhetorical question, folks, I’m really asking you. If there are any readers out there that have an opinion with some legitimate substantiation that our president has committed one of these acts, please email me.
I’m all ears.
Over the past few months, people are literally coming out of the woodwork to accuse others of various depraved crimes, some reaching back decades. Seems like there is a new one every day. This commentary is not meant to defend the reprobates and perverts of these crimes, as I in no way want to diminish the pain of the victims that have been abused in any way.
In some of these cases, the perpetrators are even admitting their culpability. Having said that, when it comes to the swamps that are Hollywood and Washington DC, I still view the entire situation with a degree of skepticism that borders on just plain suspicion. Call me a cynic, but to say I don’t trust the motives of nearly any adult involved in these two coastal circles might be considered an understatement.
Take Harvey Weinstein for example. Evidently, his exploitive nature was well known throughout Hollywood and law suits had been leveled, some even successfully settled. Yet, incredibly, young women kept flocking to him. Perhaps they were naïve to Hollywood. For them I feel great compassion. For the worldlier of them though, what did they think was going to happen? Seventy-nine women have come forward to accuse Mr. Weinstein of perverted and illicit acts of some sort. Most are justly looked upon as victims, but it can be said some others launched splendid careers. By all accounts, it would appear that Mr. Weinstein is a pig and more than likely belongs in prison…bunking with Bubba. Whether he’ll get there or not is another matter of skepticism, as there are already rumblings of his supposed rehabilitation by his ilk.
Speaking of Bubba, how are Mr. Weinstein’s actions any different from former president, Bill Clinton? Both of these men fondled and groped their way with any woman hapless enough to be trapped in their web, and both became powerful, wealthy men along the way.
With Weinstein’s casualties still etched in your mind, consider another unfortunate victim at the hands of Bill Clinton - Monica Lewinsky. Twenty-five years after the fact, it is she that is looked upon by the general populace as a buffoon, subject to jokes and innuendo. Given Clinton’s history, a case might be made that she too was a victim. This was no minor event, as a sitting president of the United States was impeached, disbarred and fined for the incident. Three other women have come forward to accuse Mr. Clinton of unwanted advances and/or rape, as well as however many were involved in “Troopergate” while Mr. Clinton was Governor of Arkansas. They have not come forward yet…more than likely afraid of Hillary’s wrath.
Bill Clinton, in my opinion, made a mockery of the sanctity of the Oval Office and a case might be made if the nation was ever quite the same after the Lewinsky incident. As I reflect back on the Clinton presidency now, it seems as perhaps the lid was kicked off of Pandora’s Box upon the Clinton arrival, unleashing the binds from the social and moral fabric of a nation that had finally healed after Richard Nixon’s removal from office. Consider the pious natures of Presidents Ford, Carter, Regan, and Bush compared to the Clinton presidency. What was considered proper and/or scrupulous seemed to have been replaced with a mentality of anything goes – life’s one big party…at taxpayer expense.
Recall other lurid claims leveled at Bill Clinton - the connection to the failed Whitewater Savings and Loan venture, when various partners, including friends Jim and Susan McDougal, received prison sentences; Travelgate, in which seven long-term employees were shown the door in favor of Clinton cronies; national nuclear secrets winding up in the hands of the Chinese; donations for pardons, including the disgraced Congressmen Dan Rostenkowski and Mel Reynolds, as well as tax cheat, Marc Rich; the repeated marketing of the Lincoln bedroom to people such as Steven Spielberg ($336,000) and Barbara Streisand ($60,000), raising them $5.2 million. Yet, nothing but a dalliance with an intern ever stuck, and all has been forgiven by the Left.
Perhaps a case be made that the mendacious Clinton White House attitude spawned the likes of people like Harvey Weinstein and Anthony Weiner, close friends and financial contributors to the Clinton’s, or any of the other actors or politicians that are guilty of the crimes of which they have been accused. In the end, we all lose when societal values degenerate. I guess it is what it is.
Or, maybe it just depends on what your definition of “is” is.
Monday the 13th is the 75th anniversary of a rather somber occurrence, seemingly forgotten by history. It also happened to be the anniversary of a series of unfortunate events. On that date in 1942 the USS Juneau was hit by a Japanese torpedo for the second time during the Battle of Guadalcanal. The ship had survived the first hit in the morning, but not the second that afternoon. It exploded and sunk to the bottom of the ocean. At the time, they were part of a small fleet of war-damaged ships heading for repair.
The senior officer of the damaged fleet, Capt. Gilbert Hoover of the USS Helena, surmised it doubtful anyone survived the explosion and subsequent sinking of the USS Juneau, elected to not send searching parties to look for survivors. Justifiably, he was also concerned that sending out a search crew might expose them to another attack from the Japanese, who were still lurking in the area. The fleet continued on towards their assignment for repair. Hoover did, however, contact a B-17 bomber on patrol to notify Allied Headquarters to send aircraft to search.
The B-17 bomber crew, under orders of strict radio silence, did not pass on the message for a search crew until it had landed several hours later. The report of the location of possible survivors accompanied other pending reports and, incredibly, sat on a desk for a couple days before being read.
Sadly, it is estimated about 100 crewmen had actually survived the explosion and were still floating around the Pacific waiting to be rescued. As soon as the report was finally discovered, a search party was dispatched. Eight days after being sunk, they found only ten remaining survivors…the others having died of hunger, thirst, and shark attacks.
Obviously, these kinds of stories are regretful, and all-too plentiful in the thousands of battles America has fought to defend herself. With apologies to the survivors and families of all those battles and wars in our history, you should understand that this particular event might have stood out some from all others.
You see, on board this particular ship were five brothers named Sullivan. They were the sons of Thomas and Alleta Sullivan of Waterloo Iowa. Killed in action were George (27), Frank (24), Joe (22), Matt (21), and Al (20). Earlier the same year, they had enlisted together with the stipulation that they would serve together, even though there was a “loose” policy prohibiting family members serving together. They had joined upon news of their sister’s boyfriend being killed at Pearl Harbor. Their sister, Genevieve, had also been a WAVE during the war.
To make this event even more poignant, if not convoluted, there was a policy at the time to not reveal the loss of battle ships so as not to provide information to the enemy. Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan began to become concerned when letters stopped arriving from their sons. Worried sick over the rumors flying, Mrs. Sullivan wrote to the Bureau of Naval Personnel in January 1943 to find out the whereabouts of her five boys.
Still waiting on a written response, which would eventually come from President Roosevelt himself, the anxious parents received a visit early on the morning of January 12, 1943 when three men in uniform appeared at their front door. Mr. Sullivan, getting ready to go to work, let the men into their home, as his wife joined him. The naval officer reported that he had regretful information for them about their boys. In a quavering voice, Mr. Sullivan asked “which one.”
"I'm sorry," the officer replied. "All five."
When I stumbled upon this story, having never heard about it before, I wondered how parents keep moving forward after losing five sons and perhaps a future son-in-law to the war? They certainly had more resolve in them than I could ever have mustered. Oh, the "Fighting Sullivan Brothers" became nationwide heroes…at the time. President Roosevelt sent a letter of condolence, Pope Pius XII sent a silver medal and rosary with his regrets. The Iowa Legislature approved a formal resolution of tribute to the brothers, and there were even two destroyers named after them.
But, even more incredible, despite their unbelievable sacrifice to protect our nation, Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan then began touring America, making speaking appearances and participating in war bond drives, so as to continue with the war effort.
Perhaps, the Sullivan's may be the poster couple for the Greatest Generation. Perhaps the Sullivan family gave too much.
Did you ever get the feeling that the “fix was in?” You know it, you feel it, you can’t prove it, but you just can’t shake the murky sense that you have been duped. No, I’m not talking about Donna Brazile’s recent announcement that Hillary Clinton stole the Democratic primary, as nothing surprises me about Crooked Hillary. (I am concerned about Ms. Brazile’s imminent suicide though.)
On Friday, 11-3, Army judge Col. Jeffery Nance ruled that admitted Army deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is to be sentenced to, get this…a dishonorable discharge, a fine of $10,000 to be paid at $1,000 per month, and a reduction in rank to private. Bergdahl had pleaded guilty by the way. If you are looking for the words “prison time” you won’t find it – there was none.
If you recall, Bergdahl was the delusional young man who deserted his post in 2009, wandered into enemy territory and spent the next five years in Taliban captivity. Then on May 31, of 2014, President Obama appeared in the Rose Garden, avariciously arm in arm with Jani Bergdahl, Bowe’s mother, with his father, Bob, in tow. It was there that Obama announced the trade of five major Taliban leaders who had been detained at Guantanamo for a soldier we never heard of before. If you are keeping score, that means the US got back one deserter for five enemies. At the time I wondered when the US changed a centuries-old policy of not negotiating with the enemy. Then I remembered that we were under our “Eight Year Socialist Experiment.” Just move along, nothing to see here.
Although the Pentagon denies it, soldiers in the same battalion as Bergdahl, who were involved in the search party, claim at least six soldiers were killed in combat while searching for Bergdahl. The Pentagon, as you know, is located in Washington DC while the soldiers actually doing the searching were located in Afghanistan. Who do you believe?
Then, on June 1, 2014 National Security Advisor, Susan Rice told ABC News that Bergdahl “served the United States with honor and distinction.” We would find out later that this was not the first time Ms. Rice would lie to us. Think about that – she had the title of National Security Adviser, which is charged with the security of the United States, protecting us, and she is a proven habitual liar to us.
Then, in March, 2015 State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki stated that the swap was “absolutely worth it.” She was evidently covering for her boss, Obama, after the House resoundingly passed a nonbinding resolution in September of 2014, condemning Obama for failing to give Congress the required thirty days’ notice before exchanging Bergdahl. (A non-binding resolution, by the way, is similar to the first time your mother bellows, “stop it,” knowing full well you will continue to do it until she threatens to tell your dad when he gets home.) Just move along folks, nothing to see here either.
So, here we are three years later and Army Judge Col. Jeffery Nance issues a slap on the wrist to now-Private Bergdahl. Something just doesn’t feel right about this. A search of the internet does not reveal how Col. Nance got his post as judge, nor any background information of his credentials to make such a decision. Was he appointed by a particular General or President? I know I didn’t vote for him.
What is learned though is that the court had reservations about remarks President Trump made before Trump was elected president, which may have denied Bergdahl due process. If you read the February 2017 article by Cory Dickstein in Stars & Stripes, you will learn that much of the court arguments centered around remarks that then-citizen Trump made between 2014 and 2016. Now, at the time sentence was handed down, nothing was explained about how Col. Nance arrived at his idea of a fair sentence so we have no clue what was going on in the colonel’s head. The military usually doesn’t explain itself to the citizenry.
What we do “feel” though is that once again, someone in the government is pulling strings against the wishes of the people by, perhaps, holding Trump liable as an excuse to release private Bergdahl. Was Col. Nance’s political views about President Trump a factor in the sentence he handed down?
If so, what about the due process of the parents, spouses, or children of one of the six who died looking for a deserter?