Knowing When It’s Time To Go

I don’t care if you are going to a dinner party, a rager, a bar-b-que, working at a job, or serving in the Congress of the United States. There is something that every person needs to know, regardless of what it is they are attending. You need to be aware of when it’s time to leave and do so on your own accord.

I have to give a little history to my thought process here. I was working in radio sales back in 1996 when Bill Clinton signed into law the Communications Act of 1996. Up until that point, you could only own seven AM radio stations, seven FM radio stations, and seven television stations. After that point, it was Katy bar the door! And that began a massive buying spree from corporate America. Before that, broadcast media just wasn’t big enough for most of the corporations out there to own.

So, it was a Tuesday morning, and I had gotten to work early because I had to do a remote broadcast from an optician’s business. The sales person was always there in case the talent needed anything or there were any problems. I got a phone call that said, “Get back to the station immediately!”, so I left.

When I arrived, I walked into our sales department, and the sales secretary was in tears. “Oh, you don’t believe what’s been happening! We’ve been taken over by another station’s owner and they are firing the sales staff. So far out of ten sales people, only one has made it. We don’t know about you…you’re supposed to go in and meet with the GM right now.

I walked in and learned I still had a job. The body bags continued to pile up that day. 34 people in all, lost their jobs in the consolidation. And I vowed as I watched my colleagues clean out their desks, that I would never fall prey to leaving that way. I would walk out on my own terms.

When I finally retired in 2011, they threw a luncheon for me (I really didn’t want anything special done). I stood up and addressed everyone and said, “I have had the honor of working with some of the greatest names in radio. I have watched as people have come and gone over the past 29 years. And today, I’m leaving because I decide to leave. Not one of you will stay here forever. My advice to you is simple. Know when the time is right for you to leave, and walk out on your own. Never be shown the door. You’ll feel much better for it.”

And so it is in the United States Senate. Diane Feinstein is 89 years old, has served 30 years in the US Senate. She has gotten to the point where her memory is shot. She can’t remember what she is voting on, where she is, where she needs to be, and her staff has to orchestrate her entire day, and keep reminding her what it is she is supposed to do. Without her staff to support her, Feinstein would sit in her wheelchair unable to do anything. Her time to leave has come and gone. She’s now at the point where everyone is calling on her to resign. That’s not a good thing. And it’s the only thing she’ll be remembered for in the long run.

The lesson to learn from Feinstein is, don’t overstay your welcome anywhere. When the time is right to leave, then gracefully bow out. You’ll be happier up the road. With Feinstein though, she probably would never remember that she left. And that’s just sad.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Debt Ceiling Comopromise?

Apparently, there has been a deal struck between Joe Biden and House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy on the debt ceiling. And as I’ve said many times, it is something neither side is going to like, but knows they must accept to avoid the US defaulting on it’s debt on June 5th (the new date Janet Yellin said was the drop dead date).

Now the question becomes, will there be enough votes to get the bill through Congress? It contains a Biden demand that the debt ceiling last for two years, not less than one that the House bill Republicans passed. It does not set a specific spending limit to the debt ceiling, more of a timeline. It freezes, or has small cuts in spending for 2024’s budget that starts October 1st, rolling back to the 2022 budget and will only increase by 1% for the following six years according to a one-page GOP memo.

For the GOP, they got a couple of things they wanted too that Democrats will hate. The agreement increases the age in which food stamp recipients must work. Currently you must seek employment if you’re on SNAP and 49 years of age or under. That has been increased to 54 years of age. However, homeless and Veterans are exempt from the age increase. The deal does not effect spending on Medicaid, which the White House said the “MAGA Republicans” wanted to do away with (not true). And it keeps in place Biden’s student loan program (for now…until the Supreme Court releases it’s decision on the matter next month).

In the long run, is the bill good for the country? I’m wondering. I know we don’t want to default on the debt, that would be a huge catastrophe. But it seemed to me like the GOP gave much more than it got in these negotiations. Initially, the spending cuts were to total three times the amount of the debt ceiling increase. That will stay in place with little reduction next year, and will limit increases in the budget to 1% a year for a total of six years. However, according to someone that has seen the actual proposed bill, there are no “non-enforceable appropriations targets” after 2025, so even though they say the 1% increases are going to last six years, that doesn’t mean it’s written in stone.

One thing that the GOP wanted and got was a cutting of the full $80 billion in IRS additional spending over 10 years. That means that the IRS probably won’t be hiring those 57,000 additional agents to come and audit you. And the White House caved on a major energy permitting reform, making it easier for oil companies to drill for oil in this country.

McCarthy said last night that there were no new government programs added to this bill, and there were no new taxes included in it either, both of which should make the GOP folks rather happy.

Now the question becomes, will this pass muster in the House and Senate? It most assuredly will have to be a bi-partisan piece of legislation because the Freedom Caucus is already saying that it’s dead on arrival. Democrats aren’t at all happy with the fact that the spending is frozen at current levels with a slight reduction in certain non-defense programs next year, and they only get a 1% increase in 2025 (inflation will be more than that!).

I think passing the Senate will be a lot easier than passing the House, but I’m sure there will be enough Democrats that will join the non-Freedom Caucus folks and vote for it. There will be some Democrat dissention. I can imagine the Whack Job group that AOC heads up is going to most likely vote no on the deal. But this should pass the House as well, with some lubricant to various lawmakers.

McCarthy will post this today so that the members can take a look at it, and a vote will be scheduled for Wednesday. Once again, the government runs right up to the last possible moment before making something happen. I’m just surprised they didn’t kick the can down the road again…of course, you can say that they did when you look at what each side got. Spending won’t decrease, and the debt ceiling did increase.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

T-Minus 10 And Counting…And Who Is To Blame?

If you’re watching anything to do with the debt ceiling debate, you know as well as I do that the negotiations aren’t going very well. Of course, that depends on who you are listening to. But in case you’ve been busy getting ready for Memorial Day weekend coming up, there are 10 days left before the debt ceiling issue causes a default of the government.

And who is to blame?

Well, again, that is going to depend on where you get your information. The White House is still blaming the House Republicans for passing a debt ceiling increase that included going back to the 2022 budget, and cutting $4.5 trillion dollars from the overall spending over the next 10 years. It would raise the debt ceiling $1.5 trillion or until March 31, 2023, whichever comes first. Democrats have poo-pooed that and said they want a “clean debt ceiling bill”, without any negotiations on cutting spending. That’s what Democrats do, after all.

So, as I sit here and look at this and figure out who’s to blame for this mess, there are three places to put the blame.

The first is squarely on Joe Biden. For a guy that said initially that he wouldn’t negotiate with Kevin McCarthy on anything that included a reduction in spending to go along with the debt ceiling increase, he once again, apparently has lied. Or changed his mind…or read the polls that said it would be his fault if we defaulted on the debt. Biden hasn’t come out publicly and said that he has negotiated anything, and neither necessarily has his team that’s meeting with the Republicans. We haven’t heard of him budging from his “clean bill” status. McCarthy has moved the needle some, saying that the GOP has come off of the 2022 budget and have increased spending somewhat more than that. He hasn’t said how much.

Most Americans blame the Democrats at this point because they don’t believe that Biden is negotiating in good faith. Usually, negotiations are a give and take. You aren’t going to get everything you want and neither is the other guy. And if Biden is sticking to his guns that there won’t be any spending reductions, he is at fault and there is no question there.

McCarthy is right that he isn’t going to be able to pass a clean bill through the House. And while most Americans will blame the Democrats on this one (until the media slams the GOP), you have to understand that the Republicans are also at fault here.

Yes, the debt ceiling and over-spending is traditionally a Democrat caused problem. After all, it was the Democrats that have increased the spending on the federal budget by 30% just through three programs, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. That said, it was their programs that have put us in the position where all three of those programs are going to have to face draconian cuts up the road. But the Republicans have gone along with it. And if you look at who has raised the debt ceiling the most, it’s been the Republicans. Donald Trump raised it twice. George HW Bush raised it four times, George W. Bush raised it seven times for a total of 13 times. Bobo Obama raised it seven times, and Bill Clinton four for a total of 11 times.

The problem here isn’t which party raises it the most, or who wants the “clean bill” passed. It’s that neither party wants to do anything substantive about it. What they need to do is pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution that would not allow Congress to spend a nickel more than they have taken in from taxes and fees. As it stands now, the American people don’t have a clue how much Congress is really spending. If they saw it in the form of tax increases every time Congress spent more than they took in (kind of like an assessment given to members of clubs at the end of the year), there would be all sorts of hell to pay. A balanced budget amendment is the only way to go. States must balance their budgets. So must cities and municipalities. Why can’t the federal government do the same thing?

And it’s both parties that have balked at this. Neither has issued a strong effort to pass a balanced budget, even though they controlled both Houses of Congress. It needs to be done, and the sooner the better!

T-Minus 10 and counting…

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Would Biden’s Social Security Fix Work?

And before I answer that question, just let me say, this is probably the first time since Joe Biden took office that he’s given out a solution to what our country is facing that I could actually live with. Not that it would ever come to fruition. Not that it’s actually feasible. But Biden has a four-point plan to fix Social Security. And truthfully, except for the fact that it doesn’t “fix” Social Security, it’s not all that bad.

Let’s examine it, shall we?

The first thing Biden wants to do is to increase taxes (NO! REALLY???) on people making $400,000 or more (and actually, it’s COUPLES making $400,000 or more). That much is necessary because Social Security is dying. As to WHY it’s dying, there are really only two reasons. First is the people that are getting Social Security have been expanded to more than just retirees. Second, the federal government has been raiding the Social Security accounts ever since the money started flowing into them. Why? Because they could…and because the account was just one big slush fund of money. Had individual accounts been used where YOUR money was in YOUR account, they never would have touched it. But Biden is right that somebody needs to increase the financial contribution into the Social Security account.

Second thing Biden wants to do is change the cost of living index that’s used. Currently, the government uses a thing called a CPI-W, which is the index for urban workers and clerical workers. There is nothing necessarily either urban or clerical about the retirees. What Biden wants to do (and should have done back in 1975 when they made the change to CPI-W) is change it to CPI-E for elderly cost of living. Those in retirement have a much different cost basis in their lives than someone working. Healthcare costs are usually the number one expense, but that’s not reflected in the current CPI-W model. So, when healthcare costs go up 35%, and inflation overall is 4%, retirees get a 4% raise and see a 35% increase in the amount taken out of the Social Security checks to pay for Medicare. This move would fix that. It would also increase the cost of the Social Security program.

Third thing Biden wants to do is increase the “Primary Insurance Amount” based on age. Starting at age 78 and going to 82, the PIA amount would increase by 1% a year over the five years. Since 80% of the amount you spend on healthcare occurs in the last 20% of your life, it becomes the biggest struggle for retirees. Again, this increases the cost of the Social Security program, and doesn’t necessarily keep it running longer.

And finally, Biden wants to boost the special minimum benefit. If you were a lower paid worker, and never made much for the 30 years or more that you were on the job, you can never make more than $1,033.50 a month (plus cost of living increases). Biden wants to up that because that’s only a little more than $12,000 a year, and the poverty level is $14,580 for a single person. So, he wants to increase the minimum amount you can make through Social Security to 125% of the poverty level. Again, this helps seniors, but doesn’t do a damn thing in keep Social Security solvent.

In fact, the Urban Institute, a Washington-based think tank has said that Biden’s plan would only extend the life of Social Security an additional five years. Then it’s broke. So it’s not a real solution. There needs to be some other things added to his four-point plan.

First of all, Social Security should be a needs-based program. If you’re net worth is say $1,500,000 or more, you shouldn’t be getting a check for Social Security. You have enough to live on. Yes, you paid into it, but should you really take from someone that needs it and doesn’t have other money? That was after all, the original intent of Social Security. It was to make sure that the widows of those men that were working would be taken care of after the men died off.

Second, it needs to go back to what it was originally intended to be. We need to stop all of the disability payments, and the payments to the kids who’s parent passed away while they were still a minor. While that money is great for the kid, it shortens the life of the program immeasurably.

And, Congress needs to come clean. Democrats have argued for years that they don’t want to see Social Security “privatized”, meaning they don’t want to see it invested in the stock markets. Why? You’ve heard all of the noise about people like Nancy Pelosi making millions in the stock market, right? Why would you deny seniors that ability? And what’s really stupid in that line of thinking is that everyone in the workplace that currently has a 401k is already IN the stock market. That’s where the money, or most of it, is invested. To not allow that to happen is ridiculous!

While I’m on Congress’ case, they need to set up individual accounts for people that are just getting into Social Security. That way, the money will be there for them. And a law needs to be passed that Congress can’t touch that money for any reason, ever! That money belongs to the eventual retiree. If they were to pass away before reaching retirement age, the money is added to their beneficiary’s account. It’s not there for Congress to raid. That has to stop now.

And, there has to be a plan for Congress to pay back the money they’ve stolen from the retirees. I’m sure it’s in the trillions of dollars by now, but it’s something they need to do. They cry about how America pays it’s debts, but yet, they don’t have a problem stealing from the most vulnerable people in their own country. How shameful! Those people should be locked away!

Social Security was a Democrat idea back in the 1940’s (thanks, FDR!), and as such, it has ballooned, like every single Democrat program into a unwieldy monster that has a life of it’s own and still grows each and every day. Fixing it? There is no way to really fix it that is going to cost less than $22 trillion in a lot of estimates. And we have Democrats to thank for that.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Is It Possible For The GOP To Take Back The Senate?

In short, the answer becomes rather cloudy. Polls at this point in time are scarce because we’re still a solid year and a half away from the election. Add to that the fact that a lot of the folks that will be running haven’t even announced yet, and you’re going to begin to see exactly how tough it is.

While the GOP is going to have the edge in the field with 23 Democrat seats (and independent seats up that caucus with the Democrats), the GOP only has to defend 10 of those seats. And while we’ve discussed those folks in the Democrat party that are the most vulnerable in prior blogs, even though there is a decent chance the GOP can pick up a couple of seats, it’s still a longshot.

The Senate typically returns about 88% of it’s incumbents to office. In 2020, they returned 100% of the party’s seats. So, it’s a tough putt to replace a sitting Senator that is running for reelection. But in 2024, there are several seats that will be open due to retirement. Michgian’s Debbie Stabenow, Maryland’s Ben Cardin, and California’s Diane Feinstein have already announced their retirement plans. Add to that Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, who has changed parties and is running as an independent and you have some interesting races to watch. Now, I don’t want anyone to believe that California or even Maryland is going to flip to the GOP. The likelihood of that happening is way out there.

But there have been a couple of polls recently that show some interesting things. In Pennsylvania, if Bob Casey decides to run again, he is at this point slated to win reelection by 7 points or so over Dave McCormick. But it balloons to a 16 point win over former Gubernatorial candidate, Doug Mastriano. It looks like Casey has a safe seat at this point.

Arizona is going to be an interesting race. Kyrsten Sinema hasn’t entered the race yet, but has said goodbye to the Democrats. Representative Ruben Gallego, who’s actually more liberal than the current Senator, Mark Kelly, has thrown his hat in the ring to move up to the upper chamber. No other Dem has decided to run yet. However on the GOP side, there is speculation that Kari Lake may enter the race, as would Karen Taylor Robson, former Governor, Doug Ducey, and even eventual loser to Mark Kelly, Blake Masters. Though with Masters’ boss, Peter Thiel saying he’s done donating money to political campaigns, Masters doesn’t have nearly the oomph he had in 2022. Currently, regardless who you put up from the GOP, Gallego wins the race. The GOP finishes second, but Ducey does the best job, losing by only 5 points. Taylor Robson loses by 7, Lake loses by 8, and Masters loses by 9. Sinema doesn’t even figure into the race.

Those are the only two states that have had polls at this point. But to win, the GOP needs to win some tough races. They need to flip Ohio, where Sherrod Brown is not a very popular candidate; they need to beat Jon Testor in Montana, which has proven tough to do in the past, and they need to beat Joe Manchin in West Virginia should he decide not to retire. And then there’s Jacky Rosen in Nevada, who isn’t nearly as popular as Catherine Masto Cortez is. And Masto Cortez won by a tenth of a hair over Adam Laxalt. If the GOP can’t win those seats, they simply don’t deserve to take over the Senate.

And IF they should take over the Senate, and Joe Biden wins reelection (I’m assuming the GOP holds the House), it brings to a close all of Biden’s hopes and dreams to transform America into some eco-green-new-deal-socialist wonderland. There won’t be much he can do about it at that point.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

The McCarthy/Biden Meeting

Later today, long after I wrote this blog, Joe Biden will meet with “The Big Four”, the top members of Congress in each party. Hakeem Jeffries will be there. Mitch McConnell and Chuckles Schumer will be there, and yes, Kevin McCarthy will be there. They will meet in the Oval Office at 4pm. As I write this, the meeting hasn’t taken place. But I’m going to tell you what happened.

No, I don’t have a crystal ball. I have some common sense.

The meeting started out cordial as coffee was served to all of the participants. Then Biden explained his position that the United States has never defaulted on debt, and we can’t afford to do so now. Everyone in the room agreed with that statement. But Biden continued to say that he would be happy to have discussion about the spending limits that are currently in place, but now isn’t the time to do so. We need to act fast (before June 1st) and raise the debt ceiling or better yet, get rid of it altogether, so we never have that problem again.

Kevin McCarthy answers that he believes that the reason we’re in this mess in the first place is because of the over-spending. Both from the COVID pandemic, which cost the country trillions, and years of lost opportunities, and the many bills that the president has put forth that have spent roughly $4 trillion. Add to that the fact that the president has proposed a spending bill for the next fiscal year totaling over $6 trillion and we can easily see that the two are forever intermingled. We can’t separate them, because without one, you don’t have the other. When you have one, you have both.

And that’s the way the meeting went. McConnell tries to play conciliatory and tries to find common ground, but in the ends concedes that most of the Republicans in the Senate aren’t in favor of separating the two and it’s going to become very tenuous if a vote is taken on a “clean” debt ceiling bill. McCarthy chimes in that he can’t get a clean bill passed through the House. He just doesn’t have the votes to do it, and the fact that his bill did indeed pass the House was proof of that.

And Hakeem Jeffries calls the whole thing a white supremacy attempt to take over the world and keep the black man down. He calls for reparations to be included in the debt ceiling bill, and that all of the prisons in America be open, and people of color be released. He praises Alvin Bragg for turning his back on crimes committed by people of color while focusing on Donald Trump’s paying off some porn star to keep their affair secret.

And that’s the way it goes.

Well, in the grand scheme of things, this is the next “big thing” that Congress has to deal with. And as we’ve all learned over the past decade, Congress only acts when their backs are up against a wall some place. And I’m not talking about a border wall here. So, Congress will debate and cajole. They will argue and fight. And in the end, there is going to have to be compromise between the two sides. It has to happen that way.

It’s just a matter of who blinks first.

I don’t think that will be McCarthy. I think the GOP is actually right on this one, CBS did a poll recently that showed that 70% of Americans want the debt ceiling to be raised. However, they don’t necessarily want to see any spending cuts taken in the areas of Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. They want things cut in other areas. And in the end, there will be somewhat of a compromise similar to the one that Joe Biden himself negotiated back in the Obama regime. That brought us the reconciliation bill that no one liked. If they couldn’t agree on spending cuts, Congress would have automatic cuts across the board, with the military and social programs axed. While I’m a proponent of spending more on the military, especially in light of China and Russia’s aggression, there are a lot of programs that need to be cut. There are agencies we currently have that really could be dismantled and done away with (like Education, which is usually handled at the local level anyway).

I think Biden is going to have to eat some crow on this one at some point. He originally said he wouldn’t negotiate with McCarthy, yet here he is…negotiating with McCarthy! He’ll eventually come back to the table with a proposal that cuts spending somewhat. Not much, and certainly not the three times that the debt ceiling is raised. But it’ll have to be substantial if Biden wants to get it through Congress. I don’t think blaming the GOP for a default of debt payments is going to work this time. The GOP has already passed a solution. It’s the Democrats that are stalling on getting it passed.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

McCarthy’s Next Battle

I think Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy has already taken a step to winning his next big battle, after passing the Republican side of the debt limit argument. He has now got Joe Biden to back off of the “I’ll never negotiate on anything but a clean debt limit increase bill”, to the point where now he almost HAS to sit down with the GOP. And it’s slated for the next week or so.

Biden can thank Janet Yellen for that.

Yellen announced to Congress this past week that yes, we will indeed need to increase the debt ceiling by June 1st, or we are possibly going to have to shut down the government, run out of money, and default on our loans (which no one wants to do). That has forced Biden’s hand to say he’ll sit down with the top four leaders in Congress (Mitch McConnell and Chuckles Schumer from the Senate, and McCarthy and Hakeem Jefferies from the House) and talk to them. Ah, but Biden is still demanding (at least for now) that the spending cuts be separate from a debt ceiling increase.

So, the next battle that Kevin McCarthy is going to have to wage is to convince Biden, Schumer, and Jefferies that if you don’t have spending cuts of some kind in the bill to increase the debt ceiling, it won’t pass the House, and it will cause a default. Just for the record, the United States has never defaulted on it’s debt payments…at least yet.

The question at this point is, will McCarthy be the one to cave, or will Biden? My initial feel is that it will be Biden. I will say this. While a lot of people thought it demonstrated weakness that McCarthy needed fifteen votes in the House to actually become Speaker, I take it as a badge of courage of sorts. If McCarthy were at all weak, he could very easily have backed down and let someone else take the job. He didn’t care how long it took, he stood his ground. When it was obvious that in order for the GOP to put it’s mouth where the money was in passing their own debt ceiling bill, McCarthy stood firm, and negotiated a deal that allowed a majority in the House to get on board. Even though that bill will never see the light of day in the Senate, and Biden will be long dead and buried before it gets signed, it shows the American people that McCarthy could indeed be the man for the job.

Now the next test is how well he stands up to Biden with these negotiations. We are all aware that Congress can’t pass gas without a deadline. They have to scream at each other and finger point until the last possible minute before they teeter on the brink of disaster before passing something controversial. That’s why we don’t have anything passed about immigration reform. There is no deadline. And McCarthy has to stand firm. It’s actually very easy to do.

All McCarthy has to do is tell the Dems that there is no way that a clean debt ceiling increase bill is going to pass the House. And if they want to default on the debt, they are headed in the right direction by not negotiating in good faith. Any deal must include at least a three times increase in the debt ceiling in spending reduction. Without that, there is no further discussion needed, and it will be sung from the highest rooftops that it was the Democrats who decided to balk at this. It has nothing to do with reduction in social spending. It has to do with the fact that we just plain can’t keep spending money this way.

Remember back in the Obama Administration, it was Biden that went up to Capitol Hill and negotiated a bill that neither side liked, but both sides accepted. And if Biden could negotiate that back in 2011, he can certainly do it again. McCarthy and McConnell just have to be very firm. After all, nothing passes either chamber of Congress without the Republicans on this issue.

If McCarthy holds fast, and I really pray he does, he can change the course of Biden’s drunken spending spree. It’s something the country needs. We can’t afford another two years like the last two years!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Can The GOP Take The Senate?

There is an incredible amount of talk on who is going to win the White House next year, but not much is being said about who is going to control Congress. The GOP currently is in charge of the House, and would love nothing better than to control the Senate as well. Kevin McCarthy has shown, at least this time, that he can indeed herd cats when it comes to votes. The question is, can the Republicans retire Chuckles Schumer as the Senate Majority Leader?

The answer lies in the people up for reelection.

In 2022, the Republicans had more seats up for reelection than the Democrats. That is usually a good sign since 98% of incumbents in Congress end up winning reelection. That’s HUGE! But the GOP ran several weak candidates, people with no political experience. They were outspent in the five key battleground states (Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida), but managed to win only one of those states.

So, in 2024, there are 33 seats up for grabs in the Senate. 10 are held by Republicans, 20 are held by Democrats and three are independents, who caucus with the Democrats. If the GOP can flip 2 of the 23 seats, they will take control of the Senate…and it may be easier than you think.

Here are some of the seats that are vulnerable:

  1. Joe Manchin, West Virginia. Manchin hasn’t announced whether or not he’s going to run again. He’s the only Democrat state-wide to win an office forever. And the GOP has targeted him and will spend big bucks. Personally, it probably would have been cheaper just to get him to switch parties.
  2. Jon Tester, Montana. Tester does a wonderful job winning in a red state. He is Montana bred and raised and he knows it better than most anyone he’s gone up against. He will be tough to beat, but it’s certainly possible.
  3. Sherrod Brown, Ohio. I can’t for the life of me figure out how this guy keeps his seat. He’s a terrible Senator, and yet the people of Ohio keep reelecting him. He’s the only Democrat to win state-wide, non-judicial seats over the past decade. But Ohio is turning a deeper red than I ever remember it being. He’s in trouble if they get a decent candidate to run against him.
  4. Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona. Sinema changed to Independent this past year, saying the Democrat party is no longer about what she believes. She and Manchin have been tight in their voting together over the past two years. And if the GOP targets her and actually runs decent candidates, she could be in trouble. Representative Ruben Gallego, a very liberal House member has already announced running on the Democrat side. Republicans are looking at a primary field that will look at 2022’s governor’s race as Kari Lake and Karen Taylor Robson are both considering a run for the seat.
  5. Jacky Rosen, Nevada. Whoever thought Nevada would end up being a battleground state? Yet Catherine Cortez Masto beat Adam Laxalt by less than a point last year. Jacky Rosen is a lot more middle of the road than Cortez Masto. Laxalt may try for this seat, and could very well pull it off against Rosen, who’s nowhere near as well known as Cortez Masto.
  6. Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin. Baldwin is hoping that the recent liberal win in the Supreme Court of Wisconsin signals that she could be OK for a reelection victory. However, the conservatives in the state are lining up to take a swipe at her. Expect it to go down to the wire.
  7. Debbie Stabenow, Michigan. Stabenow is retiring. Representative Elise Slotkin has already announced she wants the seat, and has basically cleared out the Democrat field. Republicans have several possibles. Nikki Snyder, a member of the State Board of Education is in, but in having trouble raising cash. Former Representative, Peter Meijer is considering a run, but he was one of the GOP guys that voted for Trump’s impeachment. That will come back to bite him. Businessman Kevin Rinke is also considering a run.
  8. Bob Casey, Pennsylvania. Casey has been popular in the Keystone State, and will be hard to beat. But hedge fund manager, Dave McCormick has eyes on the seat and is raking in tons of cash. He’s hired a staff, but hasn’t announced yet.

There are two Republicans that could be in danger. In Texas, Ted Cruz emerged a victor over Beto O’Rourke but not by much. And in Florida, former Governor, Rick Scott is up for his first reelection after narrowly winning the seat by less than a point.

Anyway you look at it, the GOP is poised to win the Senate back…IF they don’t screw it up and run weak candidates!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Giving McCarthy Some Credit!

Kevin McCarthy’s job is something I certainly wouldn’t envy. The guy has to heard a bunch of whining, screaming cats every single day he shows up at work. He has to get cohesiveness out of Jello, and make it look like caviar. And he actually did it with what has to be his biggest coup of his short career as Speaker of the Houe or Representatives.

He passed a bill showing the Democrats what the Republicans actually want in order to raise the debt ceiling.

I have to give the California Republican (yes, Virginia, there ARE some Republicans in Cali!) credit. Not only did he craft a bill that got all but four Republicans on his side, but he did so and stayed true to his prinicples. Yes, he raised the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion or until March 31st of next year, whichever comes first. But in return, he got cuts to the eight billion new IRS agents, slashed Green New Deal spending in the infrastructure bill, and basically lowered the federal debt by some $4.5 trillion over the next decade. That’s not a bad start.

Now, you and I both know that McCarthy’s work is lost. It won’t go anywhere. It’s dead on arrival in the US Senate, and Chuckles Schumer probably won’t even entertain it, much less get people to vote for it. And even if he did, and if miracles happened and it passed, Joe Biden would pull out the veto pen faster than he trips going up the steps to Air Force One.

So, we can begin by saying the bill isn’t going anywhere. It was never meant to become law or to get Democrats on board. Biden had basically said, “Show us your bill if you don’t like mine!” And he did just that. So he took Biden’s shot, and slammed back across the net. Now it’s the president’s turn to do something with it. We saw what Biden wanted. We see what McCarthy wants, and let’s see if Biden is man enough to actually do what he said he was going to do all along…work across the aisle to get things done. My guess is he’s not going to.

Traditionally, Republicans are the ones that always seem to get the heat when it comes to shutting down the government, or threatening to not increase the debt ceiling. Democrats don’t seem to mind however large the debt ceiling is. They just want to keep spending. Because that’s what liberals do. They spend until they run out of other people’s money. Then they blame the Republicans (in this case) for not getting them more money. But in this case, McCarthy has made the case that Democrats need to come to the table and at the very least talk about getting a debt ceiling increase. It’s not going to happen automatically. And that’s what should happen.

Biden is going to have to back down from his wish for a clean debt ceiling bill. And McCarthy is going to have to back down from erasing the eight billion IRS agents, and cutting all of Biden’s cherished Green New Deal money that he hid in his inflation relief bill, and his infrastructure bill. Neither will get what they want. That’s called politics.

So, where does it go from here? Well, it is going to be a long hot, humid summer in Washington. And we’re going to see exactly what Kevin McCarthy is made of. Is he going to do what the Republicans typically do and cave on everything in his bill? Or his he going to stand firm, even at the thought of the US defaulting on it’s debt? It’s probably going to be one way or another. And IF he decides to back down, what does that say for his credibility? He will basically lose everything he has built up to this point.

McCarthy is in a very tough spot if you think about it. And I think he has only one play. Get as much of his bill through, but he has to get something additional besides a “clean debt ceiling bill”. If he doesn’t do that, he may as well resign as Speaker now, and save the country the trouble of watching him twist in the wind for the next year and a half or so.

I will give Nancy Pelosi this…she was very tough when it came to getting her people in line, and holding that line against whatever the opposition had to say. I’m just wondering if McCarthy was cut from the same cloth, or if that’s just a San Francisco thing?

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Is Biden To Blame For Border Crisis?

I have railed for years against Joe Biden and his administration. I’ve said numerous times that Alejandro Mayorkas, the Homeland Security Secretary was incompetent at his job and should either be fired or quit before the border situation gets worse. I’ve continually screamed about people like Katie Hobbs, who’s not the Governor of Arizona, and Mark Kelly, the junior Senator from AZ for their faux border policies. But are they the ones that are really to blame?

No. They are not.

Yes, I can complain about the Biden administration’s decisions to allow millions of illegal aliens into our country by basically throwing the door wide open. As for the feeling that once allowed into the country, most of these illegals fade into the fabric of the country and are never heard from again until they commit some horrible crime? Well, I’ve read on a couple of different sources that’s just not true. Somewhere between 83 and 88% of illegals actually MAKE their court appearances. 96% of those that have not been detained for various reasons (criminal record, terrorist watch list, etc) make ALL of their hearings.

OK, so who is to blame for the crisis at the border? And yes, it IS a crisis!

I blame Congress. Congress could have done something about this eons ago. But, as it typically the case, this group of folks tends not to do anything unless and until they are forced to, and it’s usually because they are up against deadlines. Congress loves to kick the can down the road.

If Democrats want an easier path for anyone to get into this country, they could have done so. They have had several opportunities in the past fifteeen years while they held both the House and the Senate. And they had a friendly president in the White House, be it with Joe Biden, or Bobo Obama. If the Republicans had wanted to tighten control over who gets in, they had their chance only twice, but they’ve had it (when they controlled both the Senate and the House). The Democrats controlled both sides of congress twice with friendly presidents. The GOP, once.

The facts here are clear. Unless and until there is something out there that makes Congress either come together and negotiate a bill that updates and fixes the immigration policy of this country, it will never get done. And unless there is a president that is willing to negotiate on this issue, it’s going to have to be a one-party bill. If we wait until one party holds both the House, and has 60 seats in the Senate to cut off cloture, AND they have a friendly president in the White House that would sign such a bill, I think we’re going to see Jesus return before that happens.

Simply put, it’s time for Congress to stop kicking the can down the road. It’s time they tackle the problems that are facing America and do so in a bi-partisan way. That means that the Democrats are going to have to come off their high horse that they are going to eliminate Republicans so they can rule 100% of the government, 100% of the time. And it means that the GOP is going to have to compromise on their shutting down the border to all illegals, unless and until they go through immigration the “right way”. Right now, there is no right way. And, the GOP probably going to have to realize, as they did back in Ronald Reagan’s day, that the illegals that are in this country now, are going to have to at some point be allowed to stay. To round up eleven million people and shuttle them back where they came probably isn’t going to happen.

So, yes, I’m always upset at Biden and Mayorkas for them doing absolutely nothing when it comes to border security. And their treatment of the Border Patrol officers who risk their lives is cruel and unusual punishment. I don’t know why anyone in their right mind would want to go into that line of work. But thank God that they do. But the real criminals in all of this mess, are the 535 people that are sitting in that big white building at the end of the Mall with the big dome on top. They once again, need to stop the petty investigations, and get back to work solving America’s many and serious problems!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!