Harsh Reality

Friday, March 25, 2016

Links to stories I'll be talking about on 93WIBC tonight!

Here are links to the topics I'll be talking about tonight on 93WIBC. 93.1FM in Indianapolis, 93WIBC.com or on your favorite streaming radio app. Join us!

Pope washes the feet of muslims, tells them "We are brothers".
Lady fakes being an attorney for a decade
One of the bars of soap with a bite taken out of it
Hand out free soap to marathon runners? Bad idea.

Kids spend more time indoors than prisoners.

Strangely impressive parking job.
Man 'found with crack cocaine hidden under genitals tells police it isn't his'
Man found with cocaine under his genitals has no idea how it got there.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Cruz Pulls It Back From The Edge

I've made no secret about the fact that I've liked Ted Cruz since he first crashed the national political scene with a Tea Party victory in his Texas U.S. Senate race. And I liked how he showed enormous cajones in standing up to the establishment on Capitol Hill during his time there.

And it seemed obvious to me that, in the beginning of this presidential campaign, he was the beneficiary of other GOP candidates' attacks on Donald Trump. If you recall, Cruz kept his focus, stayed out of that fight and let the other candidates destroy their candidacies by trying to take out The Donald.

Cruz got some nice perks for that course of action:
1. He got to appear Presidential and above the fray;
2. He got to do what he does best, which is articulate his positions;
3. He steadily climbed in polling, going from long-shot to the #2 heading into Iowa;
4. He picked up supporters whose candidates had flamed out trying to be the one to "take down Donald Trump", and;
5. He won a decisive victory in the Iowa caucuses.
Not too shabby.

So I was surprised and disappointed to see him decide to try to do the same, exact thing that all the wash-out candidates did: Turn his attention to attacking Donald Trump. Instead of giving voters a reason to vote for him, for some reason Cruz decided to spend his valuable time and resources telling voters why they should not vote for the other guy.

This strategy worked out exactly the way it did for Rand Paul, Jeb Bush & Marco Rubio. But instead of going all-in to the point of quitting the campaign, I was excited to see that Cruz seems to have realized his mistake and turned this thing around when I saw these tweets:

I responded with this Tweet:

Cruz seems to have pulled it back from the edge. It's late in the game now, but he's still in the race. Bottom line: Cruz has GOT to stop attacking Trump. And calling Trump's voters stupid was a horrible miscalculation. But this isn't just about winning an election now. Cruz needs to recognize that he and Trump have the vast majority of Republican voters behind them. For the same reason. And they are both hated by the GOP establishment. For the same reason.

Right now, Donald Trump is the focus of a full-scale rebellion of conservative voters. And, by "conservative", I mean many who are disaffected or left out by the cultural and economic lurch to the left in Washington. Including traditional democrat voters like union rank-and-file and others that one doesn't usually count in the "conservative" column.

Ted Cruz has basically all of the rebellion voters that aren't in Trump's camp. This is just my unofficial guesstimate, but I believe 90%+ of Trump's voters would vote for Cruz if it comes down to that. Probably 50-60% of Cruz's voters would vote for Trump if he's the guy. Whomever won't support the other guy won't vote at all or vote 3rd party. But Trump is clearly in the driver's seat at this point.

Trump & Cruz need to understand what they're up against. Not necessarily work together, but they need to jockey for wins while realizing that the establishment hates them both and will do ANYTHING to take them both out. I don't have an answer, but I believe Cruz has seen that he needs to stop attacking Trump. That didn't work for Rand Paul, it didn't work for Jeb Bush and it didn't work for Marco Rubio.

So far, Cruz is the only one to walk to that edge and pull it back without going all-in Trump-hating. He's GOT to get to what got him his wins in Iowa & Texas. When Cruz is positive and articulates what he'll do to beat Hillary and increase freedom, he's saying what people who are part of the rebellion want to hear. It's probably too late in the process for him to be able to win the nomination, but he & Trump need to get their heads together to make sure they don't wreck this thing for all of their voters.

The sides HAVE to realize what the stakes are at the convention. Cruz's pivot back to embracing the outsider role - such as going after common core and other Washington nonsense - is what made Ted Cruz a front-runner and what voters want to hear.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

One More Time: It's Not About Trump

I've been overwhelmed by comments, both on social media and in person by people who: 1.) Accuse me of being a Trump supporter, and; 2.) Still have no concept of what the Donald Trump political phenomenon is even about.

I want to share a couple of reasons that Trump is getting the votes he's getting. One is a brilliant list of reasons that explain what I've been saying about Trump supporters. The second is the opening shots by Trump at Hillary Clinton. But first, I wanted to spend a moment talking about my friends who are all aflutter about The Donald.

They wring their hands and they post memes and rants about how Donald Trump is Hitler or Donald Trump is going to trash the Constitution, etc. Predictably, when I ask people what, specifically, he has said that he plans to do that they think is unconstitutional they usually have no response. 

Occasionally, someone will bring up his promise to build a wall at the Mexican border. There's nothing unconstitutional about building a wall. In fact, it was supposed to happen in the mid-1980s as part of the deal Reagan signed that gave amnesty to the illegals who were here at that time. That was supposed to be the end of the illegal immigrant matter once and for all, if you remember. As always, the Democrats got their end of the deal immediately and reneged on their commitment.

The only other thing people bring up is the "religious test" for asylum seekers swarming into the U.S. from Muslim countries. If you recall, Mr. Trump says we need to halt Muslim immigration until we can figure out what's going on with the constant jihadist attacks both in the United States and Western Europe. Australia's also got their hands full with Muslim terror attacks. But that's not unconstitutional, either. In fact, it's mandatory federal law to take the person's religion into account as a factor in determining if they should be allowed into our country.

Don't believe me? Here's a link to the U.S. Government Publishing Office text of federal law on the matter.

I'll boil down the pertinent parts for you, though.

Under the provision governing asylum (section 1158 of Title 8, U.S. Code), a foreigner applying for admission:
must establish that … religion [among other things] … was or will be at least one central reason for persecuting the applicant.
And not just anyone qualifies for asylum in the United States. The applicant must be a “refugee” as defined by federal law. That definition (set forth in Section 1101(a)(42)(A) of Title , U.S. Code) requires the executive branch to take account of the alien’s religion:
The term “refugee” means (A) any person who is outside any country of such person’s nationality … and who is unable or unwilling to return to … that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of … religion [among other things] …[.]
So, there's that.

If you have a particular Donald Trump proposal that you think is unconstitutional, please reply or send me a private message on Facebook, Twitter or Soundcloud. I'd like to hear it. I'm an attorney who's spent over two decades litigating Constitutional matters in court. I'm also fiercely non-partisan and don't have a dog in any election. I don't make political donations and I'm not a member of any political party. I'm just an observer and commentator. I'm also a fierce defender of the Constitution. And I've not heard Mr. Trump propose any action that I believe would be unconstitutional. But i keep hearing general complaining from the peanut gallery about how he'll destroy the Constitution. But nobody will be specific.

Now that we have that out of the way, I want to turn to a couple of things that I've come across in the past day or so that demonstrates exactly what I've been saying about the Trump phenomenon.

First, a commenter on a story about a Republican party leader saying that the voters have no real say in who the nominee will be - the GOP elites get to decide that - got right to the heart of what I believe is the single biggest driver of the Trump phenomenon. That all of the people who've been dumping on America and destroying its culture and economy since 1988 hate him and demand that the people not vote for him. It's that simple. Here's what the commenter wrote:
Let's check out The Trumpster's presidential qualifications...
  • Barack Obama is against Trump... Check
  • The Media is against Trump... Check
  • Establishment Republicans are against Trump... Check
  • Establishment Democrats are against Trump... Check
  • The Pope is against Trump... Check 
  • The UN is against Trump... Check
  • The EU is against Trump... Check
  • China is against Trump... Check
  • Mexico is against Trump... Check
  • George Soros is against Trump... Check
  • BlackLivesMatter is against Trump... Check
  • MoveOn.Org is against Trump... Check
  • The Koch Brothers are against Trump... Check
  • Hateful, racist, violent Liberals are against Trump... Check
Best qualifications ever!!
Bonus points!!!
  • Miley Cyrus says she will leave the country...
  • Cher says she will leave the country...
  • Whoopi Goldberg says she will leave the country...
  • Rosie O'Donnell says she will leave the country...
  • Al Sharpton says he will leave the country...
My vote for Trump... Check.
I've said since early in the campaign that support for Trump's campaign is not about Donald Trump at all. His campaign just happens to be the focal point of people's disgust with the Republican establishment and business-as-usual in Washington, D.C. All of the people screaming that the sky is falling are the same people who've driven this great nation to the brink of bankruptcy and a culture that many no longer recognize. They've lied to get elected and then told those who elected them to "shut up!" and that we didn't understand how things are done in Washington. These same people laughed and promised that Trump would leave the campaign in disgrace by the end of summer 2015 as Americans realized that GOP elites and Jeb Bush knew what's best for us all. Every single thing they all tell us is a lie or proven wrong. Fewer and fewer people are listening to them anymore. And the ones who are still listening are not enough to make a difference in the Trump tidal wave. Donald Trump is a giant middle finger in the face of the GOP establishment. In November, he will be America's giant middle finger at the Clintons and Obama's Democrat party.

I've also said that the single worst thing Donald Trump could do is to mistake his support as love for him, personally. It's not about Trump. His is merely the focal point. The harder the GOP establishment attacks him, the more he wins. The more millions George Soros and the Koch Brothers spend on negative ads bashing Trump, the more he wins. The more Black Lives Matter and other protesters shut down rallies and accuse his supporters of being racists or whatever, the more Trump wins.

The second thing I wanted to share is another example of why Trump's polling numbers and electoral victories defy all of the professional political talking heads. Trump hits hard. He's not overly sensitive the way the Republican establishment is. Here is Donald Trump's first shot at Hillary Clinton:

Can you imagine John McCain, Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush going after Clinton like this? Never. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and their minions and other liberal politicians say and do anything they want with ZERO push-back from the Republican establishment. The standard response is "we can't make the independents angry!" People are sick of being a liberal punching bag and having to stand behind a wussy candidate who's more concerned with his place in the inside-the-beltway crowd than he is of actually winning an election. People are sick of the GOP being a bunch of snobby pansies who won't even stick up for themselves, much less the people who vote for them.

One last time. It's not about Trump. The Trump phenomenon is nothing short of a full-scale rebellion of voters. It is a rejection of the Washington establishment. It's not a coincidence that the two strongest outsiders in this entire campaign are leading the GOP delegate count. Trump, Cruz...whoever has the best chance of shaking up Washington will be the nominee. Right now, Trump is that man.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Selfishness, Thy Name Is Bernie.

This is a transcript of the Harsh Reality podcast "Selfishness, Thy Name Is Bernie". You can find it on iTunes, or listen free here.

I've not written or talked too much about Bernie Sanders because I've never believed there was any way he was going to win the Democrat nomination. Hillary has been setting the table in the apparatus of the Democrat nominating process since 2008 when she expected to easily slide into the presidency and Barack Obama surprised her with a good primary run. She will not let that happen again. Not only have she and her supporters packed the Democrat National Committee with her cronies who've made certain to rig every rule and important event in the primary to fall her way, but they've also cemented their "super delegate" scheme as a firewall where they can just have their own loyal delegates effectively cancel out the primary results by piling on to Hillary's column in case someone might beat her in regular delegates as chosen by the voters. So Democrat voters, in reality, have no choice in who their nominee will be. Hillary has rigged that game.

But her problem was how to give Democrat voters the feeling that they have a say about what candidate will represent them while simultaneously keeping them from having any actual effect on her nomination. The crazy-haired old guy from an electorally insignificant state who's not even a member of the Democrat party seemed a perfect answer. Independent Bernie Sanders was supposed to be the Washington Generals to Hillary's Harlem Globetrotters. She'd go through the motions and he'd be on the ballot, but there was no chance he could ever beat her. She'd look like a savvy pro to his bumbling idiocy. She'd crush him at the polls, do a victory lap and contrast herself as a moderate by comparison to Bernie's naked socialism and maybe even grab some of the more liberal Republican voters.

It's not quite worked out that way. One possible reason is that Bernie is an amazing politician with an amazing message of socialism that people love to hear. Otherwise, how did he come from nowhere to beat Hillary in actual voting contests? Could he be winning for the same reason that Barack Obama came out of nowhere in 2008 to beat Hillary? She's not well liked. People don't trust her. She's not a good candidate. Where there's an option, people will take that other option rather than vote for her for President. So, either she's the unluckiest presidential candidate of this century or Democrat voters aren't real wild about her.

At first, I speculated that Bernie Sanders was in on her schtick. At the first Democrat debate when he railed against people bothering Hillary about her email scandal I asked in this very blog if Bernie wasn't a willing patsy helping Hillary give the appearance of winning an election? Bernie can read the same articles I can read and knows that the deck is hopelessly stacked against him. But, at this point, he's spent tens of millions of (other people's) dollars on his campaign. He's won several states now, including Michigan.

Even if Bernie were to overcome Hillary's rigged Democrat nominating process, I don't believe enough Americans are on board with his message of "free" everything for everyone for him to win the Presidency. So, I haven't talked about him much. But I've been thinking about the people who are Bernie Sanders fans and the kind of people that get excited about the things he says. They like the promise of free stuff. What we all know to be collectivism. A utopian idea where everyone has everything they want or need and it's all paid for by taking money from everyone else.

As I've had the chance to discuss Bernie's proposals with his supporters, I've found that they all fit neatly into one of only two camps. The first group of Bernie supporters are people who just hate America. They think it's unfair, it's racist, it needs to be taken down a notch and we need to pay our penance to its victims and the rest of the world who we've stolen all the wealth and greatness from. These people tend to be older. Hippies from the '60s are the prototype for this group They'd all be voting for the always-in-a-rage Elizabeth Warren, if she were running.

The second group is the largest. These are the supporters who are broke young people working on degrees in philosophy and gender studies who think all the stuff they want is too expensive. They are utopians who try to explain how they can get all the stuff they want for free if only the people who don't need that stuff are forced to pay for it. In exchange, they promise to pay for other people's wants and needs once they are in a position to do so. These are the people who constantly bring up one of the Scandinavian countries or Germany as an example of how socialism is working great, so we should do it in America, too. They never want to talk about Venezuela or any other Marxist hellhole. Nor do they want to compare apples to apples on Scandinavian countries versus the United States. Because it's a fantasy. It's their utopian dream. It's a dream that - in the words of World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov - "is best left in discussions on Facebook and not practiced in reality". Because, in real life, "it crushes economies and the human spirit."

Although they wrap themselves in self-congratulatory accolades of how generous and how collectivist they all are, in reality they are the most selfish segment of any readily identifiable voting segment in this election. They are also the most dishonest.

They eagerly jump into a discussion about how the things they want are expensive because "the rich" charge whatever they want and the Bernie supporters have to pay it. No amount of discussion can get them to even consider that things cost what they do for a reason that doesn't include the mysterious "rich" just being greedy. And their assignment of greedy intentions only applies to selective things. For instance, college costs have skyrocketed over the past several decades far beyond any rational relationship to actual cost of delivery. But it never seems to cross the minds of Bernie supporters to ask why college is so expensive and what might be done to lower the cost. Many of them are in college. It's their safe space. They can't, and won't. ask the leaders of their institutions where all the money is going as tuition explodes, students incur ever more ridiculous debt and teaching assistants still pretty much make what they were paid 10-15-20 years ago when college costs were a fraction of the current price. So, "where's all that money going?" They won't ask. Because that's their world. And accountability isn't their strong suit. So their solution isn't to look at university presidents and administrators and the labyrinth of bureaucracy enforcing compliance with myriad regulations and the fact that an open checkbook by the government for student loans has driven up the price. Their solution is to go all-in and have the government forcibly take money from other people to pay for college to be free for them.

They refuse to even consider that when the cost of something is disconnected from consumer, then the price skyrockets. Ah, ha! But that's where utopia comes in. You see, they don't care how much will cost then, because the government will be paying for it. Not them. "Someone else". Nevermind the fact that we have actual results in front of us in this very discussion that as the government has made student loans easier to get and given a blank check to schools that the prices have gone nuclear. Their answer is to double down.

And there are other protected industries that they simply refuse to consider greedy. The fact that Planned Parenthood gets $900 million dollars a year in government funding despite the fact that all women's health services are supposed to be taken care of in Obamacare doesn't matter. They don't care because they like Planned Parenthood. The fact that Planned Parenthood, in spite of its non-profit status and its massive government funding still charges women $250-$1,000 to kill their babies for them is of no consequence. Planned Parenthood can't be "greedy" in the minds of these Bernie supporters because they like abortion as a political issue. So the rules don't apply.

The same with Apple. No matter what Apple changes for their latest tech gadget, Bernie supporters will never be found calling Apple a greedy company, boycotting their products or demanding they be taken over by the government. Intellectual dishonesty. Picking and choosing based on the emotion they feel about a given thing.

But, most of all, these Bernie supporters are the most dishonest of all because of something I mentioned earlier. The basis of their utopia is a promise that we all know they will not keep. Specifically, "Give me free education and all the stuff I want now while I'm young and broke, in exchange for my promise to pay for the next generation's education, housing, medical, clothing, etc. once I'm established and have the ability to pay for them." How many reading this believe that will happen? This already may be the whiniest generation in American history. They already claim to be victims of everything and everyone, even though they're the most protected and sheltered generation ever. Even assuming they value the freebies they're demanding and use those resources wisely to succeed and thrive, what makes anyone think they'll be willing to fork over the fruits of their success with younger generations once it's their turn to pay up? They already cry about being cheated just for being expected to pay their own way. Can you imagine the rage from these spoiled brats when they're expected to give away something they worked for?

And that's precisely where every experiment in collectivism fails.

Everyone is excited about what they will receive in the deal, with no consideration that someone has to give up something they've worked for.

Bernie Sanders' youthful utopians want us to believe that if we pay for everything for them, then they'll pay for everything for the next generation. Sort of a reverse Social Security scheme. That one didn't work out, either. Neither will this one. The fact that Bernie's utopians refuse to even acknowledge common sense or the hundreds of historical examples of the failure their ideas have been means this is a dangerous group for the future. Either too unintelligent to be trusted or too dishonest.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Links for the Podcast: Rubio Flames Out, Dems Rig Their Primaries & Obama Wants to Prosecutes Deniers

Here are the links for the stories we talked about in the Harsh Reality podcast "Rubio Flames Out, Dems Rig Their Primaries & Obama Wants to Prosecutes Deniers".

Marco Rubio Flames Out After Going All-In Attacking Trump For The Establishment
Cruz Decides To Attack Both Trump AND His Voters Since
Attacking Trump Has Worked So Well For Rand Paul, Jeb, Rubio & Mitt Romney
Hillary Doesn't Have A Care In The World Since The Democrat Primary Is Rigged With Her Super Delegates. When She Wins A State, She Wins. When She Loses A State To Bernie, She Still Wins More Delegates.
Obama's Attorney General, Who's Already Said She Wants To Prosecute People Who Hurt Muslims' Feelings, Now In Discussions To Prosecute People Who Refuse To Believe In Global Warming And The Need For Socialism.
I look forward to your joining us on the Harsh Reality podcast!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Advice To My Daughter About Going Through The Carwash Of A Presidential Campaign.

I'm blessed to have five great kids. Four of those are currently in college, all at large state universities. One of my daughters, whom I lovingly refer to in shorthand as "Kid #4" is currently a freshman at a Big 10 school. Before attending college she never showed much interest in current events or politics. She's active in pro-life efforts but, outside that, was never interested in public policy concerns or discussions about domestic or foreign policy matters.

All that has changed this semester, though, as she's on a college campus during an election year and the passion of college students intersects with the deafening volume of liberalism.

Our kids attended Catholic schools from kindergarten through high school graduation. So, they were educated in a rigorous academic environment that stressed discipline, academic freedom, intellectual honesty and respect for the opinions of others. So their freshman year dunking into the world of public universities' political correctness, speech codes, "free speech areas" and angry, un-civil discourse has been a culture shock to each of them to one degree or another.

We all know that liberals' default setting is to wrap themselves in a blanket of moral superiority and insult the intelligence, intentions and character of anyone with a different opinion. This is to avoid any rational discussion by simply screaming that to disagree with them is racist or sexist or homophobic or whatever. It changes the subject and puts the other person on the defensive about something completely unrelated to the matter being discussed. To wit, that the person is not a racist or a bigot or whatever. This pattern always holds true because their positions are invariably emotion-based and they don't do very well in a rational analysis. (I've made conservatives furious by pointing out their lapsing into this kind of nonsense in regard to the Iraq War and the Patriot Act. Angrily accusing people of being in favor of terrorists or not a "patriot" didn't make either of those disasters any more rational. But, I digress.) But young people don't have the exposure to liberals and the ugliness of the American political process that those of us with a few elections under our belts and a few political discussions with friends and opponents alike have. And it can be scary and bewildering.

Yesterday I received a message from Kid #4 about heated political discussions on campus and a video that a professor made them watch about how Donald Trump is really a fraud. Kid #4 was confused because the nastiness and mocking made it seem obvious to her that anyone who supported this particular candidate was an evil person. She was terrified that there were all these evil voters in America who were scheming to put this evil man into office who was going to do evil things to us all. She seemed to be taking the political huffing and puffing more seriously than her older siblings, so I spent some time reassuring her. With her permission, I'm sharing my advice to her. I'm redacting her comments a little bit for personal reasons, but I think these are good points for any young person to keep in mind as they feel the full force of the American campus bluster that comes with a presidential election. And she couldn't put her finger on why she wasn't convinced, but she was confused because of the loudness of their mocking and how self-confident they seem. And she reached out to her dad.

Hey dad.
 Hey sweetie!
Got a minute?
Sure, what's up? 
I'm really scared about this presidential race, dad. Donald Trump isn't seeming like a good choice anymore for Republicans and I don't know that Democrat policies are any good for the country. And, I'm wondering if Trump and Sanders are the candidates, I just want to run away.
Okay. So, what specifically is scaring you about Donald Trump? 
Watched a video in class talking about how Donald Trump is a fraud and how his claims and what his supporters say is not true. How all he does is say things bluntly but is a liar and changes his mind a lot. Also that he isn't really "self funded" because he gets some donations. And all these other things. Bringing up how a lot of his success wasn't really success at all, it was just him putting his name on things and promoting himself and being rich enough to make mistakes.

Okay. Too easy. I got this.
For starters, sweetie, there's nothing specific in anything you just wrote. Just generic political attacks. I support Cruz, but let me tell you this: Every single thing they're saying about Trump is going to be as bad or worse if/when Cruz gets the nomination. Mark my words. Don't doubt me. I've watched this whole scenario play out since 1980. Without fail. Zero exceptions. You are being suckered by liberal propaganda. It's an attack machine that is sicced on ANYONE who opposes a liberal democrat. 99% of the time the criticism doesn't even make any sense, Always make people be specific. I just asked you - not for a general, kinda-sorta-maybe-could be true thing about his past or anything else. I asked you, specifically, "what has Donald Trump said he will do that scares you or you disagree with?" You responded with the same jumbled non-answer that liberals scream about everyone. It's not real, honey. Their outrage isn't real. The fact that they're  completely unspecific proves it. And you'll see that the volume and anger and snakiness from them is going to get worse. WAY worse. The people who hate him, hate him because THEY have been in power for a long time. Both Democrats & Republicans. And the same goes for Ted Cruz. They are threatening the power. And the establishment is completely freaking out. Democrats, Republican establishment (liberal republicans) and the Washington media. They have done everything they are capable of doing to wreck his candidacy since he shot to the top of the polls. They can't stand it. DO NOT BE SUCKED IN BY THEIR FAKE OUTRAGE. THIS IS WHAT THEY DO. I promise you. They will scream, pout, mock Trump supporters, heap sarcasm, heap insults, call names and make all manner of absurd accusations. DO NOT fall for it. If Ted Cruz is the nominee it will even worse than this because we'll be in the general election where he's directly opposing liberal Democrats. Trust your dad, sweetie. I've seen this over and over and over. The only difference here is that the Republican establishment is joining in the screaming, name-calling, mocking, etc. And that's only because Trump & Cruz are insurgent candidates within the party. That is, they are going against the republican establishment. The last time this happened was 1976 & 1980. Reagan mounted a run against these exact, same establishment. They said the most horrible things you can imagine about him. But the people ignored the party elites, the media and the democrats and elected him to huge landslide victories. Just because people seem REALLY outraged, doesn't mean that outrage is genuine or they are correct. It's how the left works. The left in the GOP and the entire Democrat party. Outrage, name-calling, general mocking and insults. It's what they do.
Well, they are really angry, but their criticism does seem just generic name-calling.
Here's a helpful list of things to remember:
#1: Don't lose any sleep over any of this.
#2: You focus on who YOU are going to vote for. Under no circumstances is anyone else's vote your business. YOU make up YOUR mind about who YOU think is the best candidate to vote for. And be forceful about telling these screaming idiots that your vote is YOUR vote and you don't need them to convince you to cast YOUR vote the way they demand. It's none of their business. That's why it's a secret ballot. That's why there are curtains on the voting booth.
#3: If talking about it with people who are insulting is unavoidable, make them be specific. "What does [candidate x] propose to do as President that you disagree with?" But always remember, and be bold in reminding them, that your vote is not their property, that you won't try to get THEM to vote how YOU want, and you'd appreciate the same courtesy, and that - if they want to talk to you about it - they should share specifically what they disagree with.
There you go.
 Okay. That makes me feel better, dad. thank you!
I've just never seen anything like this. I'll have to trust you that this is just how people act. 
Please don't be insulted when I say this, but it's like being in the car with a little kid when they go through the carwash for the first time. They're terrified. They see all these unfamiliar, violent things all around them and it's noisy and it gets dark. And you tell them that it's going to be okay. That it always does this. And that it's not what why think it is. That you'll come out the other end and everything will be okay. I've been through the carwash of a presidential election year 12 times before. This is my 13th time going through and I've been paying close attention since 1980 (my 4th time through the carwash). All the anger, rage, name-calling and attacks that you're seeing amount to nothing. It happens every time. From the exact, same people. Hateful, nasty people. Who will insist that anyone who disagrees with them is stupid. And even though a little kid might be terrified that those machines are going to crush him or that the family will drown, it never does. No water comes inside. Please relax. And follow those 3 rules I laid out for you.
I love you.
I love you too , dad. Thank you!
Feel free to use or modify  any of this advice or words of wisdom for the young people in your life who may be letting national politics and the doom and gloom of the left ruin their day.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bernie Backers See Nothing Wrong With Confiscatory Taxes

On social media today a friend shared this meme from Facebook:

The text read, in part:

"No, Bernie is NOT going to take all your money. (Not sure where people are getting this 90% tax increase from) It's highly inaccurate, and you may want to take a look at the diagram below so you can be accurate next time you claim you listen to his policies. No, he is NOT a communist. No, he's NOT a bum. No, he doesn't want to see you lose everything so someone lazier than you can have it."

The supporter who posted this does a pretty good job parsing words. He claims Bernie "is NOT a communist". [emphasis his] Well, he doesn't claim openly to be a full-blown communist, but he does claim to be the Marxist cousin of communism as a socialist. And he's spent his adult life supporting and personally visiting communist regimes around the world against the United States (Nicaragua, the Soviet Union & El Salvador).

The supporter also says "he's NOT a bum." [emphasis his] But it's agreed that he never had a regular job until his first politician job when he was 40 YEARS OLD. And he's never gotten a paycheck that didn't come from the government. He's spent 36 years as a politician getting paid by taxpayers. The term "bum" is one that's subjective, for sure. But it's pretty safe to say that anyone who gets to be in their mid-70s without ever holding a real job or doing anything productive in their life fits most Americans' definition of "a bum"

Finally, the Bernie supporter says "he doesn't want to see you lose everything". But, again, he's parsing words. The assumption that other people are entitled to someone's personal earnings means that (in his mind) as long as they don't take everything, then you have nothing to worry about. Another supporter elsewhere in the comments said that as long as you still have enough money left over - after Bernie and his non-communist supporters help themselves to your wealth - to have a nice house and take your family out to dinner, then it's really none of your business how much they take from you or what they do with it. Because you obviously have too much, in their opinion.

I'd like to point out for the record that the tax brackets listed on Bernie's meme here aren't even correct. A few commenters also pointed out that these are factual, legal numbers that can be looked up by anyone...and these are simply wrong. Bernie supporters were having none of it, though. The most common response is that the numbers are close enough and it doesn't really matter. They just want your money. The details are immaterial.

My friend who posted this to my wall pointed out how scary this is. Here's how I responded:
"And this is just for starters. 100 years ago when the Constitution was amended to allow for an income tax there was a proposal to include a limitation of 10%. That suggestion was shouted down because it was considered unthinkable that anyone would even consider it possible that the government would take 10% of any American's income. It was decided that to include such a provision would signal for future generations that 10% would be permissible under any circumstances. Remember when non-smoking areas were first being set up just in very limited places? Non-smoking SECTIONS on short airline flights and a couple of tables in some restaurants would be non-smoking tables. Look where we are now. Look at Social Security. Look at obamaphones. A simple program to bring landline telephone service to the poorest rural areas. Tiny program that largely went away as landlines started dying out. This is just the opening offer. A starting point. Obamacare? "No! Of course we're not trying to nationalize healthcare! You're just being paranoid! Crazy loser, making up crazy stories about what this is about!" Now Bernie and Hillary and their supporters agree we need "single-payer" healthcare. It's called incrementalism. Bernie just needs his foot in the door that these rates are okay. It skyrockets from there. 
"The world's burning. Baby boomers have had a total hammerlock on every institution in America now. It's been creeping for over 40 years. They dominate education from K through college, they own the government at every level, they occupy all the decision.making spots in business, they're the leaders in the military, finance and banking, big media, etc. And they are, on balance, an America-hating and Marxist generation.
"Their closely held beliefs are being enforced as almost divine authority. Collectivism and the destruction of American culture is their religion. They never stop. They can't stop. They wrap everything they do in moral imperative. Which necessarily makes anyone with a different opinion evil. See how that works? When you proclaim a political position as holy or moral, then those who disagree must be the opposite. Or evil and immoral. Sound familiar?"
Peace, dude. The people we got high with in the commune back in '69 run every
foundational establishment in America now. Right on, man! Groovy!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Why The GOP Establishment Is Now Forced To Support Ted Cruz.

So, here we are in Bizarro World. The fictional alternative reality introduced by DC Comics where everything is the opposite of what we know in the "real" world. (Here's a link to the Wikipedia page explaining Bizarro World, if you're still not following.) What do I mean? The political race for the 2016 Presidential election has had one "impossible" turn of events after another. And it's resulted in the Republican establishment (increasingly referred-to lately as "GOPe" in online discussions) being forced into the position of having to hope, pray and work for insurgent candidate Ted Cruz.

Allow me to explain. The Republican establishment has spent the past 28 years giving the middle finger to the base of their own party. The conservatives who gave Ronald Reagan back-to-back landslide victories and a coalition of working class, traditionally Democrat voters were kicked to the curb in 1988 so that the Rockefeller wing of the party - sophisticated, Ivy League, "moderate" (liberal) blue bloods - could show the backward hillbillies of the base how the party should be run. Essentially, they hijacked the Reagan Revolution and substituted their own brand of squishy, wimpy message. Remember George H.W. Bush and his fellow moderates' "Kinder, Gentler Conservatism"? It was their response to the liberal drumbeat that Reagan was a big meanie. That Reagan didn't care about this special interest group or that social justice cause. Never mind the fact that Reagan was popular, had broad appeal across a variety of voting blocs, had singlehandedly swung the U.S. economy around from the depths of a horrible recession back to a global powerhouse, rebuilt the American military devastated by Carter budget cuts, etc. How effectively those goals were reached is a fun debate topic over beers with friends. But they were shared goals upon which most Americans agreed. Reagan's 49 state landslide victory punctuated and demonstrated the effectiveness of these shared goals. But in the country club set all of these Reagan supporters were sneered at as pro-life, blue collar commoners who liked their guns too much and were overly concerned with their own family and their own personal affairs. They could use some government oversight from their intellectual superiors. And the "Reagan Democrats" were no better. Small government, social stability and the shared goals of freedom, a strong economy and a strong military were quaint ideas of the unwashed masses who obviously couldn't understand the big world in Washington and the deals that had to be made with liberal Democrats.

The Republican establishment's position was always to accept the criticism and faux outrage of liberals and try to compromise to make them happy. For some reason, they never notice that their "compromise" always involves a GOP surrender and that their tormenters are never satisfied. And there has never been an example in my lifetime where liberals got a Republican establishment surrender and then embraced them as brothers. Because it's not about whatever they claim the issue to be. Never. It can be something about which they just make up on the spot and start making demands. It can be about gays. It can be about blacks. It can be about income inequality. It can be about anything. Like a child who demands money from his parents, knowing that mom will always split the difference and give half of what the kid is demanding as a "compromise". There's never a stand taken that no money is owed to the little brat at all. Or the propriety of the constant demands for more money. That's mean, you see, to be inflexible and unwilling to compromise. So the compromise devolves into a never-ending series of surrenders that adds up to an enormous amount over time. It's a blank check. And the Republican establishment's response is always to compromise. Which, over time, has pushed American culture to a place which most of us no longer even recognize as the nation we knew.

And all of this has been done over the strenuous objections of the base of the party. The core voters. The Reagan Democrats long ago disbanded as the GOP took on the role of the sniveling, weak country club set who change their position depending on the latest poll, what they think their donors want this week and routinely abandon whatever principles they have in the name of "compromise". Which, again, is just surrender to the latest liberal demand. They refuse to take a stand on anything except defeating any threat to their death grip on power within the party.

Which brings us back to the Bizarro World where they are forced to support the insurgent campaign of one of the most vilified men in the entire party. Ted Cruz has defied the Republican establishment from his first day in Washington. He's stood on his principles and been the focus of vicious hate within his own party as someone who doesn't understand the way things are done in Washington and the kind of compromise that's necessary with liberal Democrats in the eternal quest to get them and the media to like Republicans. So, how did this happen? How is it that the establishment is now  forced to actively work for Ted Cruz?

Because the Republican establishment has given the middle finger to their own voters enough times that the base has decided they are no longer going to take orders from the establishment elites. America is giving a collective middle finger right back at the establishment and the Washington media. How are they doing this? By refusing to be swayed by the faux outrage over Donald Trump's supposed gaffes. When the media proclaims Trump's candidacy over, the base ignores them and his poll numbers rise. Trump has made some mistakes, for sure. Usually suffering a dip in the polls when he attacks other Republican candidates, but nothing that's been a stopper for most of his supporters. But the media and the Republican establishment no longer have the ability to pontificate about who gets to be in the club and usher out the riffraff  by blustering their disapproval and pronouncing them to be finished. Republican voters seem dedicated to the prospect of doing the exact opposite of what the political elite tell them they must do. And every establishment candidate who's carried the banner for the elites has been soundly rejected by voters, no matter how much money the establishment pours into the elections. It's turned every political rule on its head. And now the campaign has been winnowed down to only two Republicans with any chance of winning the 1,237 delegates necessary to secure the party's nomination. The two insurgent candidacies of Ted Cruz & Donald Trump. The last two candidates anyone in the GOP establishment, the donor class or the Washington media wanted to emerge from the crowd of 18 candidates that began this process.

Donald Trump appeared to be on his way to the nomination before Cruz's solid showing on Super Tuesday and again on March 5th, winning Kansas & Maine.  A few weeks ago, after Jeb Bush and Chris Christie pulled the plug on their campaigns and the establishment realized that John Kasich wasn't going to be able to bring them their prize, they cozied up to Marco Rubio. Rubio embraced the love of the establishment and took on the role of "The Man Who Must Beat Trump". He was quickly crushed at the polls and, just like that, his candidacy is now all but over. He's only been able to win the most liberal state (Minnesota) and the delegates from Puerto Rico (whose voters don't get to vote in the Presidential election). As poorly as Rubio was running, it became the kiss of death for him to be the establishment choice.

The Republican establishment is now left with only two options. The first option is they can accept their profound rejection by their own party's voters and try to make the best of it. But that would require honesty and admitting that they've been governing against the will of their own voters and have brought this on themselves. We know that honesty won't figure into any of their plans. So their only remaining option is to proclaim their voters to be too stupid to know what's good for them and figure out a way to deny Trump the 1,237 delegates he needs to secure the nomination. With the race being down to Cruz and Trump for all intents and purposes, the only way forward for the establishment is to work to get votes for Cruz for the sole purpose of denying Trump the necessary delegates. When no candidate has the required number, it becomes a free-for-all and the establishment seems to believe that they might be able to cobble together enough delegates to give Mitt Romney the nomination. Romney, for his part, has basically said that he would accept a nomination stolen from primary voters.

From a purely mathematical and rational standpoint, if Romney is the nominee, there is no possible way that the Republican party can win the general election. If Mitt Romney accepts the nomination from a party in which not a single primary voter has cast a ballot for him, he will not win the Presidency.

The tightrope that the GOP establishment is walking is this: They need to support and promote Ted Cruz for the sole purpose of denying those delegates to Donald Trump. But they can't over-do it and accidentally give Cruz enough delegates to get the nomination. And then, they face the prospect of trying to figure out a way to weasel their own selection into the party's nomination when 80% or more of the party voters have emphatically rejected all of their selections.

It needs to be clearly stated and understood what is happening here. The GOP establishment is attempting to override Republican primary voters. Just as they pretend to be conservatives at election time and then break every promise immediately upon being elected and lecture the voters that "Washington is about compromise and cutting deals!"  Republican elites are seeking to erase the voters' choice and substitute their own candidate. But they can do math, just like we can. They know they cannot win the Presidency with a candidate that their voters don't want. But they are willing to lose the general election rather than allow the lowly voters to actually have a say in who the nominee will be. The problem is, at this point, the voters believe their votes and their opinion matters. Welcome to Bizarro World.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Links, Excerpts from Podcast "So, Who Does Sean Harshey Support?"

Here are some excerpts of the transcript from the Harsh Reality podcast "So, Who Does Sean Harshey Support?" It can be found here or on iTunes.

I've had a lot of people ask me about which candidate I like during this election season and I don't usually want to talk in those terms. It's not a horserace to me or a sporting event. I don't have a "team" that I'm rooting for. But I've had several listeners lately tell me that I'm an obvious Donald Trump fan. I don't deny that my social media is heavy toward Trump stories, but that has more to do with the fact that Donald Trump is the only thing that anyone is talking about. The media, the establishment, the other candidates.

A great Harsh Reality podcast tonight. Below are links to some of the things I talked about and here are a few excerpts of the program:
"I like Ted Cruz, but he pissed me off yesterday on Sean Hannity's radio show by talking non-stop about Donald Trump. Cruz is slipping into the same insanity that Rand Paul and his supporters succumbed to. The complete and total inability to talk about what HE is going to do, how HE will reverse the cultural and political rot that both parties have inflicted on Washington, how HE is going to beat Hillary...ANYTHING other than Donald-flipping-Trump. Seriously! Cruz didn't say a single word about any reason that anyone should vote for him. He's my candidate. I WANT to hear ANYTHING positive from him. ANY reason to vote for him. But he sounded like Rand Paul and all of his whiny ass supporters who eat, sleep, work, shower and shit Donald Trump every minute of every day. I HATE it that Rand Paul & Ted Cruz sound EXACTLY like the GOP establishment, the democrats and the Washington media. I hate everything the establishment stands for. I hate everything the inside-the-beltway media stands for and has done to my country. And if Ted Cruz spends one more minute joining all them in condemning Donald Trump then I'm going to have to assume he's on the same side as them. At which point I'll have nobody left to vote for except Trump. I've never seen anything like the unhinged, incoherent obsession with anther human being like the political establishment with Donald Trump. If Cruz wants to get on that bandwagon then he can forget about my support. Just like I was disappointed to see Rand Paul blow up his own candidacy by going all-Trump-all-the-time. He didn't deserve to be President if he can't say why anyone should vote for him. Same goes for Cruz."
 "When Cruz was on Hannity's radio show he spent the entire 16 minutes or so bashing Trump. I waited the entire interview for him to say one single word about why anyone should vote for him (Cruz) except that "Im the only one who can defeat Donald Trump". W-T-ACTUAL-F, Ted?!?!? I get that he was trying to stem off voters from Bush or wherever who might be jumping over to Rubio. But he sounded like Rand Paul with his obsession with Trump and how he's not a conservative and blah-blah-blah. I got to where I was going and sat in my car in the parking lot to finish the interview, waiting to hear him say anything about why anyone should vote for him. I'm so disappointed with Cruz and Paul. They've both lost their minds and don't seem to be able to see that nobody wants to hear them bash a guy that has never held political office in his life and has had exactly ZERO to do with the current dumpster fire that America has become. Trump hasn't held office, made policy, spent tax dollars, voted for a bill, nothing. HILLARY HAS! Bernie has! Obama has! Talk about THEM. Trump is OPPOSING them. And they're throwing shit all over Trump. Again...WTF?!?!?! Every time one of these idiots opens their cake hole and starts yammering on about Donald Trump they are convincing more and more people that they are no different than the GOP establishment, the democrat party and the Washington media. Because they sounds EXACTLY like them. It breaks my heart to see such gifted people make such an ignorant mistake over and over again and simply refuse to see the obvious, quantifiable cause and effect. With Paul and his supporters it was on the level of mental illness. Every day that Paul spent bashing Trump saw his poll numbers drop. Every. Single. Time. And he simply would not stop. Like liberal socialists who will not admit that their actions are destroying cities, economies, families...Paul was incapable of admitting that what he and his supporters were doing was killing his candidacy. And now Cruz is trying the same thing. If he continues down this road, he does not deserve to be President. Just like Rand Paul obviously doesn't have the intellectual honesty to be President if he's incapable of seeing what he did to himself."
 "They attack Trump non-stop, but TRUMP ISN'T RUNNING WASHINGTON. HILLARY, BERNIE & OBAMA ARE. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and their supporters are responsible for Trump being where he is. Because they are all spending10 times the energy, resources and space bitching about Donald Trump instead of saying what Paul was going to do. This is like the Libertarians I met when I ran for AG and they didn't give a shit about actually winning an election. They just wanted to smoke pot in the park. That's it. Everything in their world was smoking pot in the park. That was their platform. That was all they cared about. That was all they talked about. And if anyone suggested anyone do anything to actually get someone elected, if the first, last and only words out of their mouth wasn't "Help me get elected so that you can smoke pot in the park!" they weren't going to lift a finger. It was the most self-defeating thing I had ever experienced until now. They could talk all day about liberties and rights and freedom and had all kinds of great ideas that were intellectually stimulating and truthful and purely American. But everything came down to smoking pot in the park and everything else was a non-starter. It was everywhere. Not everyone in the party. But certainly the base at the county meetings. And I never could find a way to convince them that they might be able to achieve their goals in the long term if they'd apply their passion to actually getting someone elected. They didn't care. They'd rather lose and spend all day talking about smoking pot in the park than actually tell anyone about the foundational reasons for what they wanted. It was self-inflicted, self-righteous never-ending losing. Somehow this is even worse."
"I honestly don't care so much about Trump. What I hate is seeing outstanding GOP candidates that I respect engage in a course of action that is so unbelievably stupid and has actual near-real-time negative effects that are numerically articulated and we can all look at and read. I don't know if it's ego or intellectual vacancy or some other mental affliction that I don't know about, but it's like someone cutting themselves and crying out in pain. And the blood drips down and they cut themselves again. And you say to them "why are you doing this? Stop!" And they cut themselves again. And they bleed more. And they start to feel lightheaded and they are in obvious pain and they cut themselves again. And it keeps going until they're dead. I like to think that I don't follow idiots. I like to think that people like Paul & Cruz and my friends are rational human beings. I like to think that they have the ability to look at their situation and the direct results of their actions and see that it's achieving the OPPOSITE result from what they say they want. Maybe I'm too rational. That's why I'm not a member of any party. I don't and won't cheerlead for any party or candidate. It's a purely rational transaction for me. No emotion, as best I can help. You'll notice that none of what I've said here even mentions Trump? It's like saying to your friend who's trying to stop you from cutting yourself "You really have a thing against razor blades, don't you?" NO! It's not about the razor blade. It's about your irrational course of conduct. And then when it's over, you're already setting up your justification for why it's not your own fault with "the voters are stupid". Yeah. It's the blood's fault for running out of your open wounds. I'm disappointed in the willful refusal of people I respect to see an obvious cause and effect that is right in front of their eyes. It's a collective, political insanity that I can only analogize to liberal single-mindedness and refusal to accept any responsibility for their own actions."

Check out the complete podcast. It's a good one. Here are the links to the stories I talk about:

Here's a story about  Secret Service Agent doing what they do when a photographer refuses to comply with directions. The media's spin? Donald Trump had his goons violate the 1st Amendment.

Here's World Chess Champion and former Soviet citizen Garry Kasparov's take on Bernie Sanders' supporters love affair with Marxism and their explaining to him all the wonderful ways it will make the world fair:

Marco Rubio, who spent last week insulting Donald Trump's appearance, wasn't joking so much after taking a beating at the polls on Super Tuesday. But, in the New York Times, all he could talk about was Trump, Trump, Trump. Read it for yourself:

The big (made up) story of the week has been that "David Duke and the KKK" endorsed Donald Trump. As it turns out, the story is completely false. But that didn't stop the Washington establishment media attack dogs from demanding repeated denunciations by Trump and claiming that he is actually a KKK supporter. Senator Ben Sasse went so far as to brand Trump and his voters the "Trump-David Duke wing of the Republican Party" Here's the story that blows up the whole Duke endorses Trump fallacy:

The Establishment Is Desperate.

Strangely enough, there  IS a candidate in this presidential race with close personal ties to members and leaders of the KKK. Who could that be? It's Bill & Hillary Clinton! Here's Hillary hugging and kissing her "close, personal friend" Sen. Robert Byrd, former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Not only did Hillary love him, but Bill actually gave his eulogy at his funeral and Hillary did an official U.S. State Department video for him. The video is below. I wonder why the media isn't clamoring all over Hillary demanding she denounce Robert Byrd and the KKK? They're demanding that from Trump and he's never had any connection or personal friendships with any of those people. I wonder why the double standard? Oh, yeah. Because they don't really care. It's just a smear campaign.

Hillary Clinton with "close, personal friend" Robert Byrd, former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

Here's Hillary saying what a wonderful man and good friend this KKK leader was to her: