Presidential Candidates 2016

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The best way to find out the truth is to settle for nothing less.

Here are seven of the presidential candidates who, in my assessment, are significant in terms of the impact that they could have on the election of 2016.  The names have been arranged alphabetically, no hierarchy intended.

Click on the names to connect directly to the campaign websites for each individual.  You can find info, statements on particular issues, and all the political propaganda you can handle!

Take the time to learn more about these people, regardless of their party affiliation.  For better or worse, these men and women represent the chosen few, some of whom will lead us into the next phase of U.S. history.

Ben Carson – Renowned neurosurgeon, non-politician and, relevantly, African-American.

Bernie Sanders – Senator from the state of Vermont, self-declared socialist

Carly Fiorina – Businesswoman, CEO and also non-politician

Donald Trump – Need I say more?  Probably… sure to follow.

Hillary Clinton – Ditto Trump

Jeb Bush – Former Governor of the state of Florida, brother and son of former presidents

Marco Rubio – Young Cuban senator from the state of Florida.

Rand Paul – Libertarian senator from Kentucky, son of previous presidential contender Ron Paul

Ted Cruz – Conservative to the hilt, the first Hispanic American to serve as a U.S. senator representing Texas.

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Straight Outta GQ

ben-carson-donkey-hotey11-450x321Two sides are engaged in a fierce ideological struggle to win over the hearts and minds of the citizens of the United States in order that the principles composing those ideologies might be put into effective action by a legitimate governing body.

How can this task be accomplished?  How to persuade, compel or simply overpower the opposition in order to win elected office and govern accordingly?

Here are two recent examples highlighting the opposing perspectives and differing approaches between the so called left and right on just one particular issue.  These are the modern methods of these two sides:

Ben Carson speaking publicly on responding to a mass shooter:  “Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say, ‘Hey, guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.’

The article: Fuck Ben Carson

And his response: We should pray for them.

If I am being honest, I have made extensive use of the ‘F’ word on many an occasion and do not shirk from its usage as a variable part of speech.  However, call me old fashioned, but I still value honor between professional opponents, at least as it extends to the public realm.  Look no further to find evidence of the deterioration of not only the integrity of the media as a societal institution, but the complacency of detractors to look no further for the truth.  For if GQ says it, it must be true.

The article went on to sing further the praises of the Republican contender, “You know, the only thing more alarming than Donald Trump leading the Republican presidential field is the fact that Ben Carson is the guy right behind him. While establishment puds like Jeb! Bush and Marco Rubio can’t decide if they want to beat Trump or emulate him, the Good Doctor made it clear this week that he is not only willing to replicate Trump’s signature brand of hot-garbage-spewing, but he’ll say even DUMBER shit.”

This tripe bears witness to the incessant acrimony that plagues the leftist, progressive mentality. It never finds alleviation, and no peace of mind can assuage the perpetual hatred that these folks possess in their hearts.  There is no wise commentary, no enlightening aphorism meant to elevate the conversation and actually make progress.  There is simply name-calling, ad hominem attacks and an entirely dismissive attitude of a legitimate point-of-view.

Furthermore, the tendency of the lefty mentality is to impose this disposition onto society-at-large, seeking to further restrict onto those who agree with Dr. Carson.  Despite the attempts that have been imposed however, in the form of outright gun bans in urban areas and the adoption of gun-free zones, gun violence still mysteriously occurs where gun violence is not allowed.

Some folks don’t like guns, don’t want guns and would rather die before picking up a gun to hurt another living thing, even in self defense.  That is a perfectly acceptable position and I can support such conscientious objectors.  However, just as they have a right not to fight back, to peaceably submit in a movie theater or college classroom, the rest of us have a right not to be made dead by a tragic, sickened individual.

This really is the primal, prehistoric, primitive defense mechanism that living beings have always possessed as a means of survival:

1. Recognize threat

2. Respond to threat using fight or flight

3. If selecting flight, stretch legs

4. If selecting fight, get weapon

5. Use legs or weapon depending on previous decision, see step 2 – fight or flight

As humanity has progressed, the weaponry has progressed too.  Instead of clubs and board-with-nail, we have Sig Sauer and Glock to protect and defend. (not to mention entertain future fossil hunters)  Admittedly, there is a case to be made against personalized nuclear devices and a reasonable debate can be had as to where that line is but the current 12 v. 17 mag capacity BS is missing the shark because, once again, for the cheap seats, criminals do not obey the law.

I have my personal grudges with the positions taken on some issues by Ben Carson but on this one we agree.  And when the opposition has resorted to vulgarity and playground strategery, I think that’s game.

Mic drop.

Boom!

A Republic for Republicans

2-8-13-republican-elephantAt the close of the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787, as Benjamin Franklin left the hall in Philadelphia, he was asked, “What kind of government have you given us, Dr. Franklin?” He replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.”  As Republicans come to Washington after winning in this landslide election, they will ask the American people “What have you given us?”  A republic, if you can keep it… Republicans!

Majorities rule in this two-party system of ours.  The Democrats, led by the president, had their time to impose the agenda of ever more expansive government.  Now, the political pendulum has once again swung the other way.  Congressional Republicans have an opportunity to lead us off of the statist path to Bankruptcyville and walk the road less traveled of constitutionally limited government.

But where to begin?

Politicians have this annoying habit of overreacting to any event and attempting to assuage any fears by banally claiming “We must do something!”  While specific, focused action is needed, more and more interference via arbitrary legislation is not an effective means to govern, and be perceived to govern, effectively.  Never forget, the next election is less than two years away and many more people will pay attention to that one.  Perception is reality.  The Republican party must act in such a way that conveys courage, stability and control.

People of all political persuasions respond to honest conviction.  This is what made Barack Obama so appealing to so many voters.  He was passionate about his beliefs and fought against all odds to achieve his goals.  Or at least that was the perception.  Republicans are in a prime position to harness charisma, take advantage of the zeitgeist and use popular support to direct the nation.  Better yet, they have a blueprint for successful governance.  Unlike progressive policies that promise much but deliver misery, conservative principles have their foundation in respect for individual rights, the basis of the idea that is the United States.  The Constitution, while a bit dusty from lack of use, is the go-to guide for how to deal with the issues of the present day.

My Two Cents:

In many cases my ideology goes further than these recommendations.  However, politicians must deal within the confines of political reality.  Ideology is about ideas, politics is about winning elections.  You cannot govern if you don’t win.

– Allow the continuation of the Keystone XL Pipeline…finally.  It has been studied, and studied…and studied.  We all hate oil spills.  We all love oil (if only through the de facto behavior of driving our cars and using anything made of plastic).  Until “clean energy” sources can pay their own way, we need oil.  This pipeline is simply an example of a societally approved trade-off between risk and reward in the modern world of industry.

– Immigration reform must occur once existing law has been enforced.  Close the border.  Not so we stop people once they get into Texas but make it so no one can enter Texas without proper documentation.  Deport anyone stopped for breaking the law and found to be in the USA illegally.  Next, law-biding immigrants, here to work, albeit illegally, must be identified and put on a pathway to apply for citizenship.  Basically, enforce current immigration laws while dealing with the people who have come in while we were not enforcing such laws.

– Communicate sound economic principles about the national fiscal situation.  Social security, Medicare, Medicaid, all entitlements are simply borrowing against the future.  Fiscal solvency is a fantasy as long as progressive policies promise to give and give in the name of altruistic compassion.  The money is not in the vault.  There are only IOUs that will soon come due.

– Value the rights of the states and leave social issue oriented legislation to them.  I.E. legal pot, abortion laws, same-sex marriage, etc. should be determined on a state-by-state basis.

– The minimum wage is an artificial tool, earned by 2-3% of the workforce, that generates much sympathy.  However, this present day government wage and price control is here for awhile.  Raising the minimum wage will make Republicans a more populist party which in turn can siphon votes from their progressive counterparts.  This could be done under the umbrella of a complete economic overhaul.  Such a plan could reduce corporate taxes to stimulate business growth (corporations don’t really pay taxes by the way, you do), lift all sorts of business restricting conditions from the EPA, OSHA, IRS et al., and then look to phase out all wage and price controls like the minimum wage.  Again, deal with political reality while transforming our country for the future.  Communicate the benefits of supply side economics while defending free market capitalism against the fallacious arguments of those like Hillary Clinton who seek to prey on the rampant economic illiteracy of the electorate.  Educate voters, and potential voters, of all economic levels, as to the benefits of free markets.  Make it personal.  Demonstrate that no matter how much progressives promise, they cannot deliver on those promises.  (See the economic data regarding the war on poverty)

– Defend against unfounded attacks on conservatism, free markets, capitalism and the personalities of those pursuing such ends.  Racism, sexism, trickle-down economics, tax breaks for the rich, millionaires and billionaires, blah blah blah…  The DNC and Democratic candidates have tried it and this time they lost.  Stand up to claims of racism or sexism with facts, not further acrimony.  Court those voters who truly do not know what Republicans can offer because they have always been told about the evil GOP.  Dismiss the epithets against free markets.  The USA is the most prosperous, benevolent nation the world has ever known.  We have a mixed economy, based in free market capitalism.  That’s the evidence.

The reality (ergo, the perception) seems to be that as much as Hillary is the chosen one, she is not a great candidate.  Let her make her “businesses do not create jobs remarks and she will sink herself yet again.  2016 will be another pinnacle election year, a battle in the war of ideas where voters will once again choose in which direction this country should go.  Over the, (less than) next two years Republicans can show us all that there is another way.  A constitutional way.  They can demonstrate why we should vote for the party of Lincoln and Reagan; They can show us the greatness this country can do so that the darkness before the dawn that has been the last 6 years can give way to morning in America once again.

A Guide to the Ballot of 2014

i-voted-stickerThe time has come to cast the ballot, to take part in the democratic process and let your voice be heard.  Interestingly, the “undecideds” generally wait the longest to cast ballots, I suppose that’s why they’re called Undecideds.  The ideological political junkies are not to be swayed by the last minute attack ads and tend to vote early.

Here is my assessment and recommendations for the statewide races and propositions/amendments in both California and Colorado, where the majority of my readership will cast ballots.  There are also local issues in each electorate.  Read those thoroughly and make informed decisions.  Remember that party trumps person, particularly in legislative races and reflect on the proper role of government when voting on the propositions/amendments.

State names link to Ballotopedia for more election info

CALIFORNIA

Governor- Neel Kashkari

NO on Proposition 1– $7.12 billion bond for California’s water system

– Expands the debt of California, encouraging the further fiscal profligacy of elected officials.  The proverbial “we must do something” action of politicians

YES on Proposition 2– Increase amount of potential savings in the state ‘rainy day’ fund from 5% to 10% of the General Fund

– Encourages fiscal responsibility and accountability.  Supported by both Reps and Dems of California.

NO on Proposition 45– Public notice required for insurance company rates initiative

– Leads us further down the road to a single-payer, government run health care system.  This places a further burden of health care changes and costs onto insurance companies and consumers

NO on Proposition 46– Increase the cap on damages that can be assessed in medical negligence lawsuits to over $1 million

– Will increase health care costs while encouraging even more frivolous lawsuits.  Parts of this prop could work well but taken as a whole it is no good

NO on Proposition 47-Reduces the classification of most nonviolent crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor

– Basically, reducing the penalty for any crime is not going to deter anyone from committing criminal acts.  This is not the solution to the burden of incarceration

NO on Proposition 48-Ratification of gaming compacts with the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and the Wiyot Tribe

– Personally I do not cherish the idea of more casinos, I don’t frequent them.  However, this ‘NO’ vote is a vote against the continued partnership between business and government that has become a virulent relationship, detrimental to a vibrant economy.  Admittedly, this is more symbolic than anything else.

COLORADO

Governor- Bob Beauprez

U.S. Senate -Cory Gardner

NO on Amendment 67-Recognizes unborn children as persons in the Colorado Criminal Code and Colorado Wrongful Death Act

While I do believe in certain limitations to a woman’s “right to choose”, this amendment, which has seen it’s place on the ballot before, attempts too much

NO on Amendment 68-Establishes a K-12 education fund to be funded by expanded limited gaming at horse racetracks

– Everyone wants to help the kids.  However, any funds set aside for education primarily go to fund personnel costs which in turn help the teachers union.  Until that monopoly in public schools is abolished, this would simply be throwing good money after bad

YES on Proposition 104-Requires open school board meetings for collective bargaining negotiations

– This option will aid the public to limit the power of the teachers union.

NO on Proposition 105-Mandates labeling of certain foodstuffs that contain genetically modified organisms

– The price of food will needlessly increase.  GMOs are the modern day DDT.  Safe for consumption.

Go Vote!

The Campaign Trail

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Less than two weeks out, the political atmosphere is as squalid as the back room of a strip joint in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve.  The tension is palpable with both major parties attempting to grasp the reins and steer the country during the last years of the degenerating Obama administration.  Spokes-persons for each party have made competing, unequivocal claims and when the cloud of murk subsides, the elusive governing power will rest in the hands one or the other.

“I think it is far more likely than not that we will retake the Senate,”- Sen. Ted Cruz

“We are going to hold the Senate,” – Debbie Wassermann Schultz, leader of the Democratic National Party.

The forecasting falsities of Miss Cleo hold not a torch to the false bravado of political prophesiers like Miss Wassermann Schultz.  Mr. Cruz, while speaking to probability not certainty,  is certainly boosting the hopes of his republican base.  But boastful claims are not the extent of the malignity of this political atmosphere.  The depths of that swamp could swallow the Titanic with a chaser of Lusitania.

Here are my favorite claims that have arisen during the past few weeks (all headings link to stories):

Republicans For Ebola

“Never let a serious crisis go to waste,” – ex-chief-of-staff Rahm Emmanuel

Nothing says campaign season like the condemnation of one’s opponent for the spread of a deadly virus.  Democratic strategists decided to blame Republicans for a lack of funding at the CDC.  This claim has been utterly dismantled by the Washington Post fact checkers and rated 4 Pinocchios, ranking the Dems with the lyingest liars to ever lie.

Republicans on the other hand have made repeated attempts to connect the disease to the poor governance of the Obama administration.  While you cannot blame Obama for Ebola, there is still much to criticize regarding the response: travel bans, or lack thereof, and an Ebola czar who is a political spinmeister.

The Conscienceless Handicapped

Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis went after her opponent Greg Abbott for his lack of sympathy for others who share his condition.  He received money from a settlement after he was injured and now requires a wheelchair.  Supposedly he has worked to limit the amount people may receive from similar settlements while the Attorney General of Texas.  Seems to me that the wheelchair criticism should be no man’s land.  However, in her defense, she has stuck to her critical ads and there is some merit to the criticism of hypocrisy, if it is indeed a valid criticism.

NAACP 

Judicial Watch, a right-of-center political watchdog group has found that:

“According to a letter from a lawyer for the State of North Carolina to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a speaker at a recent NAACP conference in North Carolina urged audience members to mislead the NAACP’s own members into believing they do not need to register to vote in advance, or that they do not need to vote at their assigned polling place. Why?  The letter alleges: To create confusion and animosity during the upcoming mid-term elections in North Carolina, and to use the evidence of that confusion in the ongoing litigation between Eric Holder’s Justice Department and North Carolina and to show that North Carolina’s election integrity laws are discriminatory.”

This is right in line with Rule 138 of the canon of modern progressive politics:

If discrimination, prejudice and racism do not, in fact, exist… Make it up

Impeachment and/or Lynching (Pictured at top)

In North Carolina, a flyer forecasting the loss of Democratic candidate Kay Hagan went on to predict the impeachment of President Obama.  Oh, and in the background the flyer used a dated, blurry picture of a mob lynching a black man.  Nice.

Cook-ing Up Some Voter Fraud

Right off the bat, state-of-the-art electronic voting machines in Cook County were already demonstrating their liberal bias.  Votes cast for Republicans were being automatically changed to votes for Democrats.  My favorite anecdote of this situation is when state representative Jim Moynihan tried to vote for himself and found he had cast a vote for his opponent.

While these evil shenanigans may be business as usual in Chicago, in Colorado voter fraud is still a fledgling enterprise.  In CO, where mail-in ballots are the standard, Democratic supporters are advocating for the improper and illegal use of unused ballots:

…and Obama Can’t Shut Up

In the midst of the heated rhetoric, the commander-in-chief, with all his supposed political savvy, just could not leave well enough alone.

(on Democrats who DO NOT want to be connected to Obama)- “The bottom line is, though, these are are all folks who vote with me; they have supported my agenda in Congress.”

Even if this is true, why say it and risk the political backlash when your approval numbers rival those of W (not in a good way)??

I agree with the assessment of Charles Krauthammer.  Barack Obama cannot believe that he is being cast aside.  Outside of Gwyneth Paltrow’s home, he is no longer the rockstar deity, No-Drama-Obama, who exerts cool and provokes helpless fawning by the masses while compelling the oceans to recede.  He is a wavering president, racked by his own inaction, whose gravitas no longer causes Americans to gravitate to his presence.  This man, who has been worshipped by sycophants and praised by mentors, is being left home on a Friday night and his ego just can’t take it.

Almost there.  In a couple weeks, no more ads.  As a side note: one of the nice things about living in occupied LA county is that the progressive forces are so dominant that no ad money is spent here.  Gotta find the silver lining.  It is also very easy to become cynical towards the process, disenchanted with our country and lose all hope for the future.

I provide these examples both to inform as well as counter such a bleak outlook by offering some semblance of a brighter tomorrow.  At this point, these actions taken by progressives demonstrate a certain level of desperation.  Progressivism cannot win on its own merits as it fails time and again. (See: war on poverty, Obamacare rollout)  Sometimes the zeitgeist favors a voter-swing to the left and not much else is needed to win other than, “We’re not George W. Bush!”  However, six years later, that dog just don’t hunt.  These stories display the progressive candidates and their supportive groups in their true colors.  Voters can see that truth and will answer with their ballots.

Vote!

As it is easy to criticize, not easy to live, I will put myself into the arena  and make some predictions about the races of this election cycle:

– Republicans keep control of the House

– Jerry Brown, aka Governor Moonbeam, remains at the helm of the executive in California, Andrew Cuomo in New York

– Bob Beauprez will defeat incumbent John Hickenlooper to become governor of Colorado

– Senator Mark Udall will lose his seat to Cory Gardner

– Republicans will win enough senate seats to gain a majority, not enough to make it filibuster-proof