Harsh Reality

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Economic Implosion In Slow Motion

If I linked to every financial and economic article that talked about some aspect of the economy and how it's collapsing, I wouldn't have time or room for any other topics on this blog. Suffice it to say that every indicator at every nook and cranny of the economy, financial sector, foreign & domestic markets...everything is pointing the same way: Collapse.

But, instead of standing around and watching it topple over like a bunch of guys watching a tree crash to the ground, everyone has pitched in to pull hard on ropes in the opposite direction this tree is falling while assuring us that the tree is not, in fact, falling over. All the effort has slowed how fast it's falling down, but it's still falling. And, as it picks up steam, there's no more ropes to throw around it and pull on.

The AP had this story today:

The Associated Press writers use a different metaphor, but they tell the same story that you can read every single day in all different sources. There really is no good news.

The only ones who are claiming that things are fine are liberals in the U.S. and Western Europe. Because they really want them to be. Barack Obama has spent nearly eight years promising that the economy was going to take off any minute now or that it already had taken off and Americans were just too stupid to realize it. Or that Republicans and the media were just picking on him, not giving him any credit and not telling everyone how great everything is.

The two pillars of his economic promises turned out to be nothing and worse than nothing. First was the two "stimulus" bills he signed early in his first term added up to about $2 Trillion dollars. Roughly the same cost as the 8-year long Iraq War. While Obama and Democrats preened that all this money was going to pump massive doses of cash into Americans' pockets and spur spending, all that was really in the legislation was payoffs to unions and other Democrat donors for getting him elected. Both "stimulus" bills had no effect whatsoever on the economy and increased the national debt (+/- $9 Trillion at that time) by another $2 Trillion. The second pillar of his economic plan was Obamacare. If you recall, socializing American medicine was going to be a magical pill that would create millions of new jobs and dramatically cut everyone's healthcare costs. Remember how the average family was supposed to see their health insurance costs go down by $2,500 a year? Here's that promise, in case you forgot:

A friend of mine recently did a poll for a college class he's taking where he used social media to survey people's healthcare costs since the Affordable Care Act went into effect. Only two die-hard Democrats claimed that their healthcare costs went down. But they spent more time angrily defending the President and blaming "fat cat insurance companies" and "insurance company 1%er CEOs" for ruining Obama's perfect plan. (Sidenote: Have you noticed how liberals are stuck in the strange position lately of claiming that everything is great [because Obama has fixed everything], while at the same time blaming Republicans, "the rich", Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan or anyone else they can think of for why everything Obama has done has failed and America still sucks? It's a mental disconnect that is quite remarkable.) Except for these two, everyone else's responses were pretty much the same. Their premiums have increased dramatically, their deductible has skyrocketed to the point that their insurance is unusable now and the number and quality of services has been drastically cut from what was covered before. Basically, everything that was predicted by anyone who knows how to do math. For all the talking and promising he did before Obamacare was shoved down America's collective throat, he and his people never explained how they were going to add the world's largest government program run by the worlds single-largest government bureaucracy between patients and their healthcare providers and possibly have prices do anything other than explode the way they have. The world's largest government bureaucracy is unionized, doesn't come cheap and has to be paid for somehow. Now we know.

Stimulus and Obamacare - far from fixing the economy - only served to throw gasoline on the fire.

And we've all seen how the jobs numbers are finagled. The federal government has rigged the numbers to claim record low unemployment, while at the same time reporting that a record low number of Americans are working. 

Now this story from the AP is just the latest to say that central banks around the world have run out of tricks to keep the economy from collapsing.

There is no back-up plan from here. The central banks have papered over as much as they can by furiously printing money out of thin air and pouring it into markets to hide the inflation. We're now in NEGATIVE interest rate territory. That means they're paying people to borrow money to keep the economy staggering along. But that also means that YOU have to pay the banks to keep your money for you. People on fixed incomes are the first ones over the waterfall. I hope everyone can swim.

Monday, February 15, 2016

R.I.P. Justice Scalia

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. He was an intellectual lion on the Supreme Court of the United States and secured his place in history with his wit and defense of the Constitution.

I can't do his work justice (no pun intended) with words. But I will take this opportunity to point out some legal facts that I seem to be the only one pointing out. Facts that are the basis of the swirling chaos in which we find our nation and culture. Justice Scalia spent his career on the Supreme Court fighting against that chaos using the order provided by the actual written words of our Constitution. Shocking, eh? The idea that the document says what it says.

Scalia was the most vilified member of the Court, but only by those who, like spoiled children told they couldn't have a toy and threw a tantrum and claimed they hated their parents, are angry with American culture and the Constitution. Scalia merely read the actual document. And that's the rub that got him so hated. Every special interest in the world has lately come screaming to the doors of America's federal courts. Insisting that whatever they want is actually a "Right". I blame the American educational system for this failure to understand what a Constitutional Right actually is. In America today, basically anything that anyone really, really wants is now generically referred-to as a "Right". And our elected officials aren't helping in this matter, with Barack Obama & Bernie Sanders running around telling everyone that healthcare is a right. That is a false statement. It's legally and Constitutionally false. But that's another column.

Scalia was like the dad who understood what money was in the bank account and whether the family could afford that new toy that junior was demanding. No matter how much the kid really, really wanted that toy, or how much of a tantrum he threw, Scalia actually read the Constitution and refused to agree that something was written there that actually wasn't there.

Right to abortion? Where is that in the Constitution? It comes out of the Right to Privacy? Where is that in the Constitution? You want a right to gay marriage? On what conceivable basis does the Constitution grant that right that never existed before? "Well...because we really, really WANT it to be in there!!!"

This is why we have the chaos in America that we have. Because the foundation of our nation has been turned completely upside down. And, even that is just being made up as we go along. Like playing a game where the rules are constantly being changed, made up, teams are being added or taken away and the score is just whatever some officials say it is at any given moment and who are changed out every now and then for officials who say the score is something completely different. Chaos. Scalia and my legal colleagues like Scalia know that there needs to be a rulebook. And, if someone wants to change a rule, then there is a process for doing so. Officials (judges) should just point out violations of the rules, not make them up or decide what they should be as screaming protesters demand special rules be enforced about which nobody had ever known nor had a chance to be heard.

But the way American jurisprudence is now is not the way it was designed. There have been two shifts of tectonic magnitude in American law. The Constitution no longer actually means anything. And the shift away from the view of the Constitution as controlling over the government's relationship to citizens and toward the view of the Constitution as controlling citizens' relationships to one another.

The Constitution is the agreement. The rule book. The Bill of Rights and the Amendments were to be locked-in and unassailable to all citizens. Protections that individuals had against government intrusion. The Supreme Court's role was basically to slap down attempts by the government to violate those boundaries that were specifically enumerated. Our government - especially the Supreme Court - has completely reversed the rules. Now, the Court simply makes up new rules as they are demanded by the loudest group protesting outside. Nothing needs to be written down or interpreted, because the Court can simply make it up. Has anyone noticed that nobody's even tried to amend the Constitution since the big push for the ERA back in the mid-70s? (Yes, there was an Amendment in the early '90s that finally made it in after over 200 years sitting on someone's desk. I got that. But a 200 year old Amendment that someone just noticed isn't what I'm talking about.) Because nobody HAS to amend the Constitution anymore. The document doesn't matter. The actual words that are written in that document don't matter. Because the "Constitution" is just anything anyone can get 5 Justices to agree SHOULD be in there.

The second dangerous reversal is instead of the Constitution defining limits on how the government treats the people, it's morphed into a document about how people are supposed to treat other people. And people have "rights" against other people. We have societal and cultural chaos because the law has been turned upside down and is being made up as we go along.

Antonin Scalia was a firewall against this flipping of the foundation of our nation. One who preserved order, even when it was unpopular. He cannot be replaced. But he will be missed.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Americans Forget The Humiliation That Comes With Having A Weak President

This morning I saw that Iranian news agencies are disseminating on social media photos of a U.S. Navy sailor (or sailors) crying while they were being held captive by elements of the Iranian military last month. I'm not going to publish the photos here because I don't want to help their cause in humiliating the American military or any of its fighting men. But I will link to an American news report on the matter in the photo below.

You may recall that when the American vessels and their crew were captured the official story was that they had drifted off course. Then the story changed to they had engine trouble and their radios broke down so they couldn't call for help. Then the story changed to the sailors intentionally maneuvering their boats into Iranian territorial waters, but only because they were mistaken about where they were. Driver error.

The world was treated to the photo above, and others like it, with Americans on their knees at gunpoint submitting to the mighty men of Iran. The Iranian government and military used these Americans for every ounce of propaganda value they could extract. Iran used social media, photos and video to humiliate, demean, shame & embarrass the United States. A nation which - according to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry - is now our friend and ally. Notably, Iran themselves still maintain that they are an enemy of the great satan United States.

The episode ended with President Obama and John Kerry actually thanking Iran for taking the American sailors captive and promising that it would never happen again. Oh, and giving Iran billions of dollars as proof that we were thankful.

This all reminds me of the late 1970s when Jimmy Carter was presiding over one crisis after another and being humiliated around the world. I was in junior high school at that time. I remember teachers and adults bemoaning that it seemed as if the wheels had come off the United States and nobody respected us anymore. Carter tried to reassure Americans that the lousy economy was the new normal. That shortages were the new normal. That the days of American greatness around the world were over. That we were just going to have to learn to deal with all this aggressive behavior because that's just the way the world was now. It was a way of saying "It's not my fault. There's nothing anybody can do about it."

During the amazing rebound in the 1980s and early '90s and America's total and complete victory in the Cold War, most people remembered how rotten life was under a weak, ineffective leader. And nobody wanted to return to that. Bush was moderately squishy and Ross Perot's entry into the 1992 presidential race split the GOP vote and handed the Presidency to Bill Clinton who only managed 43% of the vote. A blowout loss in a normal year. And even though Clinton's term in office has been described by one insider as "an eight year party", the GOP Congress worked well with him to keep a decent economy and the Carter days of apathy got farther back in people's memories. Then after eight years of George W. Bush and accusations that he was too proactive at projecting U.S. force around the world, in 2008 it had been 28 years since Jimmy Carter's worldwide display of weakness. A lot of people who remembered the Carter years had passed away or were very old. Replaced by a lot of younger people who were too young, or not even born, during the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-80.

There was only a dim national memory of what life in the world is like for America with a weak Commander in Chief. There seemed to be a presumption that anyone could do it. And Obama and his followers passed him off as a genius. An intellectual giant following behind the ignoramus they claimed President Bush to be. If the previous President could use U.S. military might around the world, how hard could it possibly be for someone like Mr. Obama? As it's turned out, Barack Obama is not the genius he was portrayed to be. And commanding respect around the world is much more difficult than he and his followers thought.

And so here we are again. With a weak President who simultaneously blames others for all his problems while denying that the problems exist at all. Americans are beheaded on YouTube videos, The USA is mocked around the world and Iran is publicly humiliating the U.S. military as a demonstration of their supposed superiority. All while the President tells us that Iran is our friend, actually thanks them for their treatment of our servicemen and gives them billion of dollars.

For those of you not old enough to remember the 1970s, THIS is what life was like under Jimmy Carter. Only it's worse now. It doesn't have to be this way. I hope the lesson of life with a squishy, weak President doesn't fade from the national memory again during my lifetime.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Trump Exposed A Raw Nerve For All Other Candidates Tonight

Tonight was the New Hampshire GOP debate. By this time, I feel like all the candidates have pretty much said everything they have to say and all that can really happen is someone might end up having "Rick Perry moment" that torpedoes his candidacy. With so many on the GOP side, that wouldn't be hard to do. But there was a nugget of gold that I found interesting. As Trump and Jeb were having a testy exchange as Jeb was harassing Trump about some real estate deal, Trump's response was loudly and vigorously booed by the audience. That hasn't happened yet. And I couldn't understand why Trump's innocuous response was getting such a visceral reaction from the audience. It was almost like they were just waiting for an opportunity to boo him. And then Trump responded with two perfectly-placed bombs.

1. These are donors booing. They're Jeb's donors. They're trying to support their guy.

2. They don't like me because I can't be bought. I'm the only candidate who can say that.

I've been accused of promoting Donald Trump despite my denials. I admit I find him fascinating, mostly because he's unlike anything seen on the national stage of American politics in a long time. Maybe ever. And I haven't publicly shared who I think is the best choice to be the next President.

I can tell you that I'm not in Trump's camp. But I gotta admit I love his fire. And I know he's sincere because this campaign is costing him a fortune. Not just the campaign, but his business interests have been boycotted and the rest of his life he'll have the social justice warrior mental midgets following him around protesting. There's another candidate I like better, but Trump is a ball-buster. And I think he has some qualities that every other candidate could use. Unfortunately, Trump is probably right that other candidates' hands are tied in being able to speak freely and call a spade a spade because they have to rely on donors. Who, in turn, donate based on the political winds that shift from day to day. Trump is the only candidate of either party who can speak freely 24/7 without having to worry about it's effect on the cash rolling in to keep the campaign rolling.

So that brings us to the other email / private message / personal question I'm getting a lot of (by the way, if you'd like to send me a private message you can follow me on Facebook here, or follow me on Twitter (@SeanHarshey) or on Soundcloud here. I enjoy hearing from listeners):

"So, if you find Trump so interesting and think he's sincere, why aren't you supporting him?"

Fair question. And I have my reasons. Depending on how it all shakes out, I might end up backing him.

At the end of the day, though, I think America is long past the point of saving. There's an economic collapse coming that is the biggest in human history. The debt levels are unsolvable. Not just nationally, but every city of any size in the U.S. is drowning in debt. And several large states and at least one U.S. territory are bankrupt or close to it. And all this is to say nothing of business and personal debt or the debt of foreign nations and their subdivisions. On top of all this there's a cultural divide in America that is irreconcilable. The basic split is between those who just want to be left alone and those who want to plunder those who want to be left alone and force them to live the fantasy of a collectivist utopia. There was nibbling all around the edges of that for most of the last century, but obamacare pushed that over the edge in requiring every American to purchase an expensive product whether they wanted it,  or needed it or not. This campaign should've taken place in 1988. But the establishment foisted George Bush on America and disguised him as a conservative. Until he assumed office and promptly did exactly what the liberal GOP establishment is allowing the Democrats to do on Capitol Hill right now. Getting kicked around by the other side who has no real power except to use the media to bully. And just like Paul Ryan & Mitch McConnell, Bush got bullied into doing the bidding of his political opponents in an attempt to get along with them. I think America is un-savable. But the campaign is fun to watch.

As Islamic Terrorists Leave A Trail Of Corpses, Feds Want Tougher Laws Against Americans Who Disagree With Government

I saw this Reuters story and had to do a double take. The premise is that Americans who disagree with the government are getting out of hand and federal prosecutors need more and tougher laws to put these domestic terrorists away. Here's the story:

For my younger followers, you may not know what that photo at the top of the story is. I'll fill you in. It's the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It had a large hole blown in the side of it in April 1995 by a young man who committed this crime as payback for the federal government's killing of civilians at Ruby Ridge and Waco, Texas in the previous few years. 168 people lost their lives in that explosion. Maybe he had some other secret motivation. I don't know. All I know is the reason he said he did it. But two things stand out about this photo and its use to justify tougher laws to hunt down and jail Americans.

First, this happened almost 21 YEARS ago. Over two decades have passed since this explosion. Why now does the Murrah Building attack suddenly demand drastic new powers for federal law enforcement?

Second, Timothy McVeigh and his collaborators were apprehended, prosecuted and convicted. McVeigh was sentenced to death and executed by lethal injection nearly 15 years ago in federal prison.

McVeigh and his co-conspirators were fully prosecuted, convicted and he was executed under existing law from the mid-1990s. What more laws do they need? The reason the Oklahoma City bombing is being dusted off and shoved front-and-center is because they need a villain. An emergency. A really bad situation to justify more draconian laws to tighten the screws on Americans who disagree with the government. And there hasn't been anything to justify any such thing. I would argue that the Oklahoma City bombing doesn't justify it either, but it's the best they've got. Basically, "Everybody panic! Crazies are attacking the federal government and we're powerless to stop them! Give us new powers to spy on you and prosecute you!" Or some such nonsense. If someone has an alternate idea as to the point of the story and photo, please feel free to pass it along.

But even more dishonest and disturbing is the typical liberal jump to comparing results as proof of a problem with the system.

The Oregon protesters didn't blow anything up, didn't
hurt anyone and never fired a shot.
In this case, the writer bemoans that domestic "extremists" don't have as many cases or the charges don't seem to be as severe as foreign terrorists charges. This is exactly the same absurdity as when they say there are more black people in prison than white people to prove that the justice system is racist. Or that blacks don't do as well on tests as proof that schools are racist. Or that women as an entire gender make less than men as an entire gender as proof that the American economic system is one big sexist meanie. At no point do they ever give any specific examples of a woman who is making less money than a man for the same work (because that would be illegal in several ways and would be prosecuted).

I call this "statistical victims". This is when liberals want to wail and moan about some injustice that they perceive, but there are no specific victims they can point to. If there were, then those situations could be addressed and corrected. But they want for there to be an injustice, so they use generic statistics as their proof of the institutional racism, sexism, bigotry or whatever.

The presumption is that everything and everyone is completely equal and everyone behaves equally and that every group of people they can identify will always perform exactly equally to every other group unless there's some sinister force acting to discriminate against them.

In this case, there's the built-in bias that ISIS, al-queda and American "extremists" are equally bad and are out to commit terrorism, but the bigoted American justice system has the hands of federal law enforcement tied and forces them to unfairly discriminate against foreign terrorists and lets American "terrorists" off the hook. It never once enters the equation that more Muslim terrorists are trying to blow things up in America than Americans. And the only example at all to support the media and the Obama administration's position is the Oklahoma City bombing from over 20 years ago.

How many Muslim terror attacks on Americans have there been since that happened? To the Obama administration and their liberal friends in the media, something that happened once 20-some years ago is a huge problem, but ISIS attacks that claim the lives of Americans right now, nearly every week, both in the U.S. and overseas, and and which are graphically displayed and bragged about on YouTube is not really a problem worthy of a story. It's those damn "domestic extremists" who keep blowing up federal buildings a couple decades ago. Damn them! Getting away with all this stuff back in the 1990s.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Iowa Postmortem. As The Circus Moves On To New Hampshire.

This is a transcript of the Harsh Reality podcast posted on February 3rd, 2016. You can find it here.

Well, hello again everyone and welcome to another addition of the Harsh Reality! I'm Sean Harshey. Your host for the insanity. Ready to roll?

I've been overwhelmed with email messages and private messages on social media about my thoughts on the Iowa caucus results and what what it all means going forward.

First, my congratulations to Ted Cruz. He's conducted his campaign the right way. He's stayed almost entirely positive, and saving his negative comments for Hillary & Obama. He's also done a good job of keeping touch with his base and expanding his base into some unexpected areas. He had an unexpected challenge on his right from Trump, but it hasn't seemed to do any lasting damage yet. Cruz has built a formidable machine and I'll go over my predictions here in just a minute regarding where I think this thing goes next. I'll also talk about Hillary's "win" (I'm making quotation marks with my fingers here) in Iowa and where I think her campaign is headed.

I already touched on Cruz. And I think this is a good time to point out that all this talk of him cheating by Trump and Carson doesn't reflect well on them. Iowa is over, it wasn't really close. If anyone cheated, it was Hillary. But nobody wants to hear bitching about something that's over. New Hampshire is up next and it's time to move on.

In case you didn't know the whole rundown here it is:

1. Cruz with 51,000+;
2. Trump not a distant 2nd, but far enough back at 45,000+;
3. Rubio with a solid 3rd place finish about 2,500 or so behind Trump;
4. Carson with a surprisingly strong 17,000+ votes. I think he did really well speaking at the caucuses;
5. Rand Paul also showing stronger in the actual voting than he has been in the polls with about 8,500 votes;
6. Jeb Bush was the last one to claim a delegate with a pathetic 5,200-some votes. Which, by the way, Jeb and his establishment buds spent a fortune on Iowa and I saw a story that did the math and it was something like $2,500 PER VOTE that he spent. I'll try to find the link and have that posted over at the blog when this goes live with the transcript there. Again, you can find that at SeanHarshey.blogspot.com.

The rest of the candidates didn't get any delegates and really are just taking up space at this point. As of right now, Rand Paul just announced about an hour or so ago that he's dropping out of the race and going to focus his attention on his Senate campaign. As I've pointed out before, I love that he, Rubio & Cruz are all first-term Senators and that Trump, Carson & Fiorina have never held political office before. I think it's a fantastic contrast that 6 - SIX - of the top Republicans have very little political experience among them as opposed to the two angry, bitter old white people who've been wrecking the economy and destroying America for the past QUARTER CENTURY in Washington, D.C. that the Democrats are trying to shove up America's collective asses as the solution to all the problems that they themselves have been creating in Washington for longer than the lifetime of a lot of voters. But that's a discussion for another podcast and I'm not the only one who's pointing this out. I just think I do it really well. Ha!
I got a message on social media, which, if you'd like to follow me or shoot me a message, you can do that on Facebook. It's just 'Sean Harshey' as my news personality page. I'm also on Twitter @SeanHarshey or you can follow me on SoundCloud, where again it's just 'Sean Harshey'. Or my blog is at SeanHarshey.blogspot.com as I mentioned. You can private message me on any of these platforms and I'd love to have you in the audience. But a guy messaged me and said "Trump is done. After this, the air is gone from his campaign and he gets out." I got this message about several candidates, by the way. But here's what I said to him:

It's a possibility that Trump lost some of his mystique here. But I think Trump is more tenacious than the average guy, though. So far, he's shown that he won't back down from anything or anyone. I've been surprised and fascinated by him since he announced. We'll see how he handles coming in 2nd and if he can get a bounce out of winning New Hampshire, which he should, and headed into Super Tuesday. New Hampshire is Trump land, but Super Tuesday should belong to Ted Cruz. He's strong across the South and we'll see if Trump can keep it close down there. Rubio's the wild card in all this. He can win Florida, but something's going to have to happen in the big picture for him to overtake Trump & Cruz for the nomination. Either way, Rubio's on the ticket. As the nominee or the VP. I think that's the only lock on the GOP side.

I didn't like the way Trump seems to have been kinda pouty about his second place showing. I honestly think that was not a bad result, considering he's raising no money whatsoever and had no organization in the state. And I think he's not doing himself a favor by getting into the blame game about Ted Cruz being a cheater. That's nonsense and I think beneath him. That's the sort or bullshit the Democrats constantly pull when they lose. Remember 1980? I had to listen to liberal idiots all through college tell me that Reagan only beat Jimmy Carter (demolishing him in 49 states, by the way) because of the October Surprise. The big conspiracy theory that turned out to be just as big a made-up story as it sounded. It couldn't possibly be that Carter was a shitty president and people didn't want any more of his so-called leadership. Carter ought to send a "thank You card to Barack Obama every day for ensuring that Jimmy's no longer considered the worst President in American history. But I digress. So Reagan supposedly only won because he cheated. Then in 1988 Bush only won because he was a cheating racist who ran a racist Willy Horton TV ad. That only told the truth about Mike Dukakis. But that doesn't matter. It was cheating! And Dukakis would've won if it wasn't for that racist chanting! (They say.) And does anyone remember 2000? The meme is still pushed that George Bush only won Florida and thus the Presidency because the Supreme Court let him cheat and didn't count everyone's votes for Al Gore. Which is, in fact, false. Every single one of the media's counts in the years after that election all showed Bush winning Florida no matter how many ways the votes were counted. Fact. And then in 2004 Bush supposedly only won because of some Swift Boat cheating scandal. It's just sad. And Trump shouldn't join in the stupidity of claiming Republican winners cheated. 

There actually is a story that I think is kind of a missed story in all this. Trump finished a solid 2nd in a big primary with no fundraising. It's remarkable, actually. And he's a solid front-runner for the GOP nomination on a self-funded campaign. I respect that. He's the only guy in either party without his hand out to donors and he's not going to owe any lobbyists anything. I wish more people would pay that fact the respect it's due. Trump had a good performance in Iowa despite all these self-imposed handicaps and I think he's going to do well going forward. But there have already been several crazy twists and turns in this election cycle, so we'll see.

Turning to the geriatric section of the candidate aisle we had the Democrats in a barn burner in Iowa. Bernie Sanders, the 74 year old Bolshevik who's been parked on Capitol Hill for 26 years and an elected politician for 35 or 40 years versus Hillary Clinton who looks like she's 90 and has been in Washington, D.C. in one political capacity or another for about the past quarter century. And they both are insisting that they are the one that voters should send to Washington to, uh...clean up the mess that they had no hand in creating while they've been in control of things since 1990 or so. So, which is it, Bernie & Hillary supporters? Is your candidate responsible for the condition that America is in right now? Or is your candidate so shockingly ineffective at governing that they had nothing to do with the disaster that's happened on their watch? Which is it? And exactly who in their right mind would send anyone back to do even more of the damage we have now. Just funnin'. But seriously.

I thought it was hilarious that Bernie Sanders and his Marxist followers got the full-on Clinton-Obama election treatment. In case you hadn't heard, Bernie got cheated out of the Iowa caucus win on 6 magical coin tosses last night that all went for Hillary. The Clinton/obama election machine is a mean one. I wonder, though, if that sort of obvious cheating - I mean, seriously! Sanders won the caucuses on the tallied votes, but 6 caucuses needed to flip a coin to determine the winner. And Hillary won all six coin tosses?!? What the hell? Anyway, I wonder if that may energize Sanders supporters and disgust some of the Hillary voters in other states. Of course, if Hillary voters aren't already disgusted, it's hard to see how this would make any difference. But I still think it's funny that Sanders' voters got a front-row view of her highness shoving one up their asses.

That's all I've got time for. I appreciate your listening. If you'd like to check out a transcript of this podcast, you can find it over at the Harsh Reality blog, which is at SeanHarshey.blogspot.com. Or you can follow me on Facebook at 'Sean Harshey' or on Twitter @SeanHarshey. Have a great day, everyone! I'm Sean Harshey and this is the Harsh Reality.

Rand Paul Ends Presidential Bid. A Campaign That Never Fulfilled Its Potential.

I'm really sorry that things didn't work out for Sen. Paul. He occupied a unique position among all candidates of both parties and would've made a terrific President and helped return America to its Constitutional roots. But I'm truly perplexed by his pivot to complaining and bitching about other candidates and his supporters' 24/7 insulting of other voters and other candidates and accusing everyone who's not on the Rand bandwagon of being stupid. He seemed incredibly bitter, angry and spiteful. And he and his supporters degenerated into sounding exactly like Hillary, Bernie and the DNC in bashing the GOP field. I thought he had the inside track at the beginning and could never understand how he and his faithful supporters couldn't see that the more he bashed his fellow republicans the lower he sank in the polls. It was the most obvious thing in the world to me and I never understood why he or his handlers didn't see that obvious cause-and-effect. I would like to see Rand take over as Senate Majority Leader.