Paying Off Women You’ve Had Sex With…

It’s kind of a sleezy subject, but this isn’t the first time it’s reared it’s ugly head in terms of politics. In case you haven’t heard, the Department of Justice is now investigating President Donald Trump for paying off women with money, and they are debating whether or not that is something that violates campaign finance laws. OK, while I’m not a lawyer, and never played one on TV, let’s get into the weeds on this one, shall we?

When a person runs for office, especially federal office, there are a bunch of new rules and regulations and laws they must follow. For instance, you can’t pay for your kids’ babysitter with campaign money sent in by donors. You can’t payoff your deadbeat brother in law’s mortgage with money sent in by donors. You can’t buy yourself a new mansion in Beverly Hills, and buy that new Bentley you’ve had your eye on. Those have nothing to do with the campaign, and could land you in hot water.

So, what about paying off women you’ve screwed around with just to make sure they don’t open their mouths and blab to the world that you had an affair? 

I don’t think there’s anyone out there, certainly not the Lone Cactus, that would doubt for a minute Donald Trump had screwed around on past, and maybe even present wives. That’s like saying Bill Clinton never cheated on Hillary. And, I wouldn’t doubt for a minute that Donald Trump paid some, or even all of those women off so they wouldn’t talk about the dalliance. I be most Americans would agree with me on that one as well. That isn’t the question here. The question is, is it a violation of campaign finance laws?

Well, to answer that question, from a legal perspective, we only have to go back in presidential politics to the point of one John Edwards running for the office from the Democrats’ side of things. During the primary, it came out that he had an affair with a campaign worker named Reille Hunter. This was back in 2007. Yes, historians, that was the campaign between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Edwards was to finish third in that one, with only about a million votes nationally. However, he was indicted on paying off Reille something along the lines of $1 million to hide their affair (his wife, Elizabeth was dying of cancer at the time). 

The DOJ hit him with with six felony charges, including four dealing with campaign finance law. He was found innocent on one of the charges dealing with campaign finance…and precedence was set that no…you can’t be found guilty of a violation of campaign finance laws if you pay off someone for sex. The other five charges were declared a mistrial and DOJ announced they were dropping the case.

So, the legal precedence is, even IF Donald Trump were to have paid off someone for his sexual affairs, it isn’t a violation of campaign finance laws. You’d think the DOJ would have done more homework than me on this one. Go figure!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Advertisements

How The Media Is Manipulating Trump’s Popularity

It’s hard to believe, but Donald Trump has been in office almost two full years. And what is equally hard to see is that the mainstream media is trying very hard to insure that he doesn’t get a second term. How, you ask? By providing you with 92% negative coverage on the Trump administration. Yup…over 92% of all stories in all media regarding either Donald Trump or his administration is negative!

That tells me one of two things…

Either Donald Trump is a total screw up, and I really don’t believe that anybody is a total screw up, or the media is biased against him. We’ve seen several instances of what were credible and respected media going out of their way to either distort the news on Trump, or in the case of MSNBC, CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, actually making up stories that had no basis in fact what-so-ever.

You want to know the dirty little secret?

Donald Trump, at this point in his presidency is actually more popular than Bobo Obama was at this point his his presidency! Trump’s latest approval rating is 46%, while Obama’s in December of his second year was 45%. And while Trump gets much better grades on handling the economy, and his programs overall that what Obama got, Obama was much more personable and likable.  That is the big difference. Well, that and the fact the Obama administration through December of their second year received a whopping 22% negative news coverage from all media (instead of 92%).

What does this tell me? Simple. IF (and it’s a huge IF!) Trump received the same type of coverage that Obama got during the first two years of his presidency, he’d probably be on par to be one of the best-loved presidents in the last 100 years! Media does have a way to sway people. I doubt whether they can totally change the public’s perception, but they can sway it a few points. And in a close election, that can mean a difference. It also tells me that with the media in bed for Hillary Clinton as much as they were, Trump’s true approval rating and win should have been a lot higher than it really was. Maybe only a couple of points higher, but certainly it could have been better.

For Trump to have the same approval rating as Obama at this point tells me that Americans, while not enamored with the man, are enamored with the policies. And, for the most part think Trump is doing a good job with them. There are two areas where he’s underwater, and I don’t see him able to get to the surface anytime soon. Those two areas are immigration reform and healthcare reform. That would require a majority in both houses of Congress, and that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

End analysis…stop the incessant tweets, start being a likable guy, and maybe you can push through more of your agenda!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Is Trump The Grinch Who’ll Steal Christmas?

If you listen to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi yesterday after their on-camera blow up with President Donald Trump, you’d be alarmed and amazed that Trump isn’t green with a weird head and a tail, straight out of Dr. Seuss. Schumer and Pelosi both slammed Trump afterwards in front of the press on his insistence to “build the wall” in order to pass a budget for next year.

Well, he does have a good point. And he does have both houses of Congress until January. And he does know that it’s a long-shot bet that he’s going to be blamed for a government shutdown should it come to that. What’s that? You thought it was going to be called the “Trump Shutdown”? 

Read on.

I know Pelosi and Schumer want to come up with the optics that IF the border wall not getting funded is the cause of the shutdown it should be blamed on Trump, but the Republicans already are in lock-step with the President on this one. It’s very unlikely that he will be blamed for it. Here’s how.

Let’s say the Republicans in the House go ahead and pass a budget bill on their own, without Democrat help, and it includes the $5 billion Trump is requesting for the border wall. It moves to the Senate. Well, it’s going to need 60 votes there to get passed. The GOP only has 51, meaning 9 Democrats are going to have to cross-over and vote against Schumer. That’s not likely to happen, so the bill dies. Why did the bill die? Because the Democrats wouldn’t support the bill. It wasn’t because of Trump’s insistence that it include money for a wall (which most Americans agree should happen). It was because Democrats voted against it in the Senate. Actually, if truth be told, it will be another Schumer Shutdown (which has a much better sound to it with the alliteration). 

Now, liberal friends are going to be quick to pounce that the Dems’ have offered not one but two separate proposals to keep the government open. Neither of them includes money for a new border wall…and as we have seen in the past month or so…a border wall is certainly necessary on the southern border. What would have happened if 10,000 people would have tried to get across the border illegally with that caravan? It would have been nasty, and bloody, and there would have been deaths. You can’t fight illegal immigration with a smile and a “Howdy Doo!”. It just doesn’t work. If they are coming in illegally through the south, you have to beef up your border on the south. A third grader could understand that. So why doesn’t Schumer and Pelosi? 

They are looking at votes. Period. They could care less about the people themselves as long as every couple of years, they pull the right levers, or fill in the right arrows, or make sure not to leave any hanging chads, they’re good with that. It’s just like they treat the Hispanics and the African Americans. One day, those groups will wake up and realized they are being used. Hopefully then, they decide to leave that party on the left and form their own, or join the GOP. Either way, the Dem’s will end up being blamed on this one, just like the last one. You can’t out-Trump, Trump!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Migration Nation?

It seems that with the “caravan” starting to break up in Mexico, as the realization hits those folks that if they aren’t able to get into the United States illegally, they probably are going to be living in filth and vermin infested conditions for months on end with no guarantee of ever getting refugee status in the States. Even so, a recent study by Gallup shows that there are several countries that people would LOVE to migrate to. How many people? 

Well, the latest estimates have the world’s population at 7.46 Billion people. And according to the Gallup study, there are 745 Million people that want to migrate to another place in the world. That’s almost exactly 10% of the world’s population unhappy with where they are enough to pick up and move to another country!

And just where are those countries? At the top of the heap is Switzerland. Australia is second and the US third. In fact, the only other two countries that actually are more desirable to move to than from are Austria and Israel. Everybody else has more people wanting to leave than wanting to move there.

And now, we can begin to see the reason why we have a mass of people at our border yearning to be free. Part of the problem is that they come from crappy countries like Guatemala, or Venezuela, or some other place that you’d probably never even want to visit, much less move to. Part of the problem (for us, anyway) is that we have an immigration system that is broken. It does a poor job of vetting the people that want in, and we don’t know what to do with the people that come here without standing in line. That needs to be solved, and only Congress can do that. That also means it’s not going to get fixed. If I’ve learned one thing over the past decade it’s that Congress is great at punting the ball down the field, but not very adept at actually scoring. 

The solution to this problem isn’t an easy one. Every country in the world has the right to determine who gets into their country and who doesn’t. And while we loved having the “huddled masses” at our border back in the 1800’s when we needed manual labor, today, we need people that know math and science, and computers and technology. And yes, we have a right to say “no” to people that want to live here, but we don’t need them. It’s a two-way street, as much as Nancy Pelosi thinks immoral to deny admission. I don’t see her clamoring to have any of those folks live in HER neighborhood.

Until Congress gets it’s act together, which doesn’t appear likely anytime soon, we are going to see this mass migration to a border only to be turned away, each year. The flow of illegals to our country won’t stop just because we say no. They don’t understand that, and frankly I don’t blame the people, I blame their government, and OUR government. Nobody wants to fix what is broken. Instead, we want to investigate “crimes” that were never committed, because one side lost and election. And yes, I’m looking at you, Adam Schiff! How sad!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

How Did Cali Turn So “Blue”?

In case you missed it, California basically turned even more into a Democrat state than they had been. Prior to this year, Cali had always been liberal, but this year, even people in Orange County…typically a very conservative area, went with liberals, and in some cases socialists as their representatives in DC. How did that happen?

Well, part of it can be blamed on the “Trump effect”. Part of it can be blamed on the Democrats’ great ground game that they have (and they do have an impressive one!). And part of it can be blamed on “ballot harvesting”. What’s that?

In simple terms, ballot harvesting is where a third party, not affiliated with the election offices, will collect absentee ballots and then take them to the election officials. I know here in Arizona, we don’t allow it. It’s much too easy to get away with voter fraud. In California, however, it’s become almost as popular as the NFL. And once again, the Dems’ are ahead of the game when it comes to collecting these ballots.

Now, a lot of these ballots that are collected are indeed legit. I’m not crying that they are all illegal…but there seems to be an awful lot of ballots that come in well after the polls close and are counted and wow…the eventual winner isn’t the real winner! It’s the absentee ballots that are being found in closets, or suitcases, or in the trunk of some schlubs’ car that change the election entirely.

Look, in a perfect world, we’d all vote on the same day and vote at the same time. We’d all get online and do it, where we could make sure there isn’t any voter fraud, where there isn’t any “disenfranchised” voter, where you could be anywhere in the world, and as long as you were registered for that particular election, you could vote. And the votes would be automatically counted, and released to the public as soon as the polls close.

Ballot harvesting may not be illegal in California though as far as I can tell, it’s pretty much illegal everywhere else. Even if it were legal everywhere, giving non-election officials access to ballots at any point in the process taints the whole process and it’s just plain wrong. But our friends on the left coast, don’t see it that way. They think it’s ok. Of course they do…they’ve just tipped that balance of power in the House of Representatives because of it.

And the problem with it in California is the same problem that Harry Reid caused in the US Senate a while back when he changed the “super majority” of 60 votes to a normal majority of 51 so that Barack Obama could pack federal courts. It eventually bites you in the tush because you will eventually lose control of the Senate (or the House in this case), and the other side will be able to do exactly the same thing. Take New York, New Jersey, Illinois, California, and Hawaii out of the mix, who are going to vote Democrat anyway regardless who’s running, and you could have Republicans win in every other state just by copying what California is doing. Oh, but there would be screams then, wouldn’t there?

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

And Now For Something Completely Different…

Yeah, I know. I stole the title from Monty Python. But it works in this case, so I hope you can forgive me. And this one is going to be a little bit different. I don’t usually rag about companies. I don’t do it for a very good reason. I don’t endorse companies I like, so I feel it’s only fair that I don’t lambaste the ones that aren’t doing a good job.

Until now.

For those of you who get this blog on Facebook, you probably noticed I didn’t do any posting for the past week. I said it was because of “an upgrade”. Well, actually, I took my wife on a cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary (see the blog from last Monday). It was a short little cheap cruise from LA to Catalina Island to Ensenada, Mexico and back. We’ve done it before…sort of as a getaway weekend. It’s cheap (usually about $150 plus port charges), and it’s pretty easy to get to Long Beach from here.

Well, this time, I have to let you know, I was totally disappointed. The folks at Carnival Cruise Lines blew it big time. First of all, I’ve cruised probably two dozen times. I used to sell cruises on the side back in the day, so I’m well aware I’m not looking at SilverSea or Seaborn when I talk about Carnival (even though Carnival bought Seaborn). 

We received an upgrade, which was nice, but when we got on the ship it all started to unravel. The food was mediocre at best, and bad most of the time. The crowning dish for me was veal parmigiana. For my wife, it was a chicken chow mein. That ought to tell you the type of “diner food” we were getting. No lobster, no steak, just pretty bad food.

The cabin was so cold when we got on board that my wife asked the cabin steward where the thermostat was. There wasn’t one. Instead, he turned the fan (blowing 50 degree air into the cabin) down as low as it would go. Two days later, she got up in the middle of the night and stepped smack day into a puddle of “condensation” on the floor. When she went to guest services to ask what could be done…they put one of those industrial fans in the room…at 200 decibels. We obviously couldn’t stay in there while it was “drying”. 

Our room steward on the second day, didn’t show up to make up the room until well into the afternoon (and we had left the cabin most of the morning just so he could do that). He also was AWOL on the last day…a day at sea. The room wasn’t made up until 7pm that day.

I really don’t like to complain about the way they lay out the “on board programs”, but they really screwed the pooch on that one. Instead of scheduling a lot of evening and late night shows before a sea day (when you could sleep in), they had nothing big going on. And of course, the day that you had to be up and out of the cabin no later than 7am, they scheduled shows running until midnight. And on a “sea day” when all you have to do is enjoy the ship, there was very little to do at all unless you wanted to either shop or play in the casino. Neither were strong suits for us.

It was probably the second to the worst cruise we ever took. And when I called Carnival on Saturday morning when we got back to the desert to let them know how disappointed I was, did I get any love coming back? Nope. All I got was, “Well, I’ll write down everything and make sure management knows about it. You won’t get a call back or anything, but we’ll certainly look into it.” No promise of even fixing anything. 

I know that you shouldn’t expect top level service from a cruise company like Carnival… they serve the masses. And I know that on a four-day cruise, you’re not going to get the top of the line staff that you’d get on longer cruises. But for cryin’ out loud! Give me SOME service!! Please show me a chef that can do better than fry a hamburger! And yes, Virginia, Eggs Benedict is supposed to have Hollandaise sauce on it. You don’t serve it “dry”. And no…you really need to inform the diner if you run out of sauerkraut  before you hand them the Reuben sandwich they ordered. Otherwise, it’s called a corned beef sandwich on rye.

So, if any of you cruisers are thinking of going on a shorter cruise, please do yourself a favor…try Holland America (do they even DO 3 and 4 day cruises?), or Royal Caribbean. Let the folks at Carnival stew on an empty ship for a while. It’s the simple axiom, you get what you pay for!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Healthcare Yes! Gov’t? No!

There is a striking contrast out there about Obamacare. The step toward socialized medicine has never really caught on. Oh, it’s crept above 50% once or twice, but not by much, and currently those that approve of it sit at about 17%. That is the number of people that accept it and like it as it stands. Most either want it drastically changed, or want it booted altogether.

But here’s the interesting thing. Gallup (the same people that did the poll about the approval of Obamacare), asked a follow up question…should government ensure healthcare or provide healthcare. And while a majority of folks (57%) say that the government should ensure that all Americans get healthcare, only 40% say that the government should actually provide that healthcare themselves. They obviously have seen what the government does with our veterans!

And this gets to the point that needs to be stressed. There is a good point in Obamacare. Let me repeat that, because I’ve railed against it so often for the last five or so years that it may have gone over the heads of some of you. There actually is a good point in Obamacare. It’s the removal of the “pre-existing condition” clause that most insurance companies still throw in if you’re buying individual healthcare that’s not in the Obamacare exchange. 25% of Americans have a “pre-existing condition”, which could be anything from high cholesterol to diabetes, to high blood pressure, anything that insurance companies could balk at as far as insuring you. 

I think that’s why most Americans think the way they do. They think it’s pretty neat to do away with the pre-existing condition clause, and a lower amount think the 26 year old kid living in the basement should also be allowed to be on your healthcare insurance plan. Other than that, most people don’t believe the government should stick their nose into your healthcare.

That’s a stark contrast to the way Obamacare was set up. It was set up to actually control your healthcare. It was set up to give Grandma “a pill” to ease the pain rather than the expensive heart surgery that could help her live another year or two. That was how it was originally intended to control costs. Remember the “death panels”? They were the ones that would set the rules for when a patient had basically outlived their usefulness and should be given medication rather than expensive surgery. But they were actually a panel…though they have since disbanded.

No, Obamacare overall was a monstrously bad idea. The mere fact that any government should control how you deal with your health is wrong. They did have a couple of points that made sense, and that was it. But it doesn’t take 2,000 pages of law to do away with pre-existing conditions, and deadbeat kids who live in your basement. You can do that with one page, and a boot.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!