Five Questions Trump Must Answer

The Hill has come out with an interesting article written by Niall Stanage about the upcoming presidential campaign. Basically it says there are five questions that must be answered before Donald Trump gets the GOP nod to be it’s presidential candidate again. And they are questions that every American, Republican or not, should be asking.

First off, what is the affect of an indictment on Donald Trump? Manhattan’s District Attorney is readying charges that Trump paid off porn star, Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign. The big questions I have regarding this are, did Trump pay off Daniels? Is it actually illegal to pay “hush money”, and hasn’t this thing hit the statute of limitations already? It’s been seven years! Of course, what the affect is on Trump’s campaign if he is indeed indicted is something that’s already being hotly debated, and we’ve discussed it here earlier. I think it will have some impact, but the true Trump supporters are going to hang with him. They’ll see it as he paints the picture…it’s another witch hunt.

Second question that would need to be answered is just how solid is Trump’s support? He didn’t fare very well in the November elections as far as his endorsed candidates are concerned. Oh, the majority of the won, but the candidates in the swing states didn’t do all that well. Herschel Walker lost in Georgia, Kari Lake lost in Arizona. Blake Masters also lost in Arizona, Adam Laxalt lost a close race in Nevada. Mehmet Oz got beat by John Fetterman in Pennsylvania, and Doug Mastriano got swamped in the Governor’s race there. That’s six very key races that Trump lost…in states that he lost to Joe Biden in. He obviously hasn’t been able to turn the corner in those states just yet.

Of course, a lot can be made out of this past election cycle. If you look at the candidates that I listed above, really only Adam Laxalt was a quality candidate. Maybe you can throw Mastriano into the mix, but even he was a little squirrely in his campaign. Walker, Lake, Masters, and Oz, were all just terribly weak.

The third question that needs to be answered is the question of age. You know it’s going to be a factor for Joe Biden. Hell, he’s even said it would be a factor moving forward. But Donald Trump has been able to skate on that question so far, for pretty much one simple reason. He is in his mid 70’s right now, and would be 82 if he wins and serves a full second term. But he doesn’t look like he’s in his mid 70’s. And he’s got a lot more spring in his step than Biden does. He also doesn’t make as many mental errors. So, yes…while a lot of the country is saying its time for us to find younger, more in touch leaders, and let the old guard retire to their pastures, you have the top two contenders for their party’s nomination in Trump and Biden, well past retirement age in any other industry. That is going to be a question going forward.

The fourth question is very simply, is Trump still electable? The last thing any Republican, or conservative wants to do is waste yet another election cycle on a candidate that doesn’t have a chance in hell of getting elected. We’ve seen the GOP do that time and time again, just because “it’s someone’s turn”. Look at Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney, all losers and very weak candidates. But all ran and never had a ghost of a chance of winning. My question for Trump isn’t his policies, I’ve been in favor of most of them during his first term. My big question is, can Trump do something to reverse the hatred toward him. Currently, his approval rating is just 34%. And Joe Biden isn’t faring much better at 38%. That tells me there is an “Anybody but 2020 candidates” mentality going on out there. This is probably going to be the toughest question for Trump to answer.

Finally, the question looms about Ron DeSantis. He’s as conservative as Trump, if not more-so. He’s a LOT younger at only 44 years old, so he is able to get around the age question, and would make Joe Biden look like a walking zombie. If DeSantis gets into the race after the Florida legislative session later on this spring or early summer, he is going to be probably the only candidate for the GOP nod that Trump really has to worry about. If he is as big of a rock star in political circles as it looked last November, he is going to rival Ronald Reagan’s appeal. He says all the right things, and as long as there aren’t too many skeletons in his closet (something Trump has always had to worry about), he should give Trump a run for his money next year at this time.

There you have it. Five questions that Donald Trump needs to answer to the American people before we decide on whether or not he’s worthy of getting another shot at the Oval Office. And to be honest, I’m not all that certain that he’s going to be able to do it!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Sorry…It’s NOT Racist!

I totally missed this during the Super Bowl this past Sunday. I’m not sure if you heard about it or not, but I knew when I saw the picture of former Arizona Gubernatorial candidate, Kari Lake sitting during the song “Lift Every Voice And Sing”, sometimes referred to as “The Black National Anthem”, I had to comment on it. And no…I’m not racist. I’m an American. There is a difference.

Kari Lake chose to stay seated during the inclusion of the song which came before America The Beautiful, and one of the neatest renditions of THE National Anthem, I’ve ever heard from country music star, Chris Stapleton. I will say that I held my nose in November when I voted for Lake for Governor over eventual winner, Katie Hobbs. Like the guy that endorsed her, I appreciated her stances on a lot of the issues. What I didn’t like was the lack of experience, lack of knowledge of how the political game works, and the lack of what I would call “character”. Sorry, but you don’t fight the outcome saying, “Those bastards are evil and this bitch is going to fight them”.

But I will commend Lake for this reason. At this point in our country’s history, we are ONE national under God. Not two. We have ONE National Anthem, not two. I get it that blacks may feel they are owed something, and that life is unfair because 160 years ago some of their forefathers were slaves. That was terrible and wrong. No person ever has the right to “own” another person. But that has nothing to do with whites and blacks today. Personally, I feel what happened back then was reprehensible. But it had nothing to do with me. In fact, as some folks in my family have done my family tree going back quite a ways, we weren’t even here in the 1860’s. So, sorry, not guilty on this one, and don’t try to make me feel bad for it.

I was never in favor of Colin Kaepernick’s stunt when he decided to protest the way blacks were being treated by kneeling during the National Anthem. I’m not in favor of two National Anthems, and I wouldn’t have stood for this one either. If the NFL wants to do a song prior to the National Anthem and have someone sing this, I don’t have a problem with that, but certainly don’t introduce it as a “Black National Anthem” (they didn’t), and don’t ask people to stand. I’m not going to stand for it anymore than I’m going to kneel for the real National Anthem. And if you believe that makes me a racist, I’d basically be fine with that. You choose what you need to do in life, as long as you’re not breaking the law, and I’ll choose what I need to do. I never once gave you permission to put a label on me, just as I’ve never put a label on you.

This country is divided in so many ways right now that for one group to try and divide us even further is dead wrong. It flies against everything our Founding Fathers fought for. And yes, they were white men. I don’t apologize for that one either because if they hadn’t done what they did back in the 1770’s, you wouldn’t be able to call people racist, or think you’ve written a second National Anthem. Those “white supremacists” did a pretty damn good job of putting a country together, and frankly, I think it’s racist to call them anything but American heroes.

I usually don’t get involved in race here for one very simple reason. It doesn’t matter. I don’t care where you come from, so long as you got here legally, I don’t care what color your skin is, I don’t care if you’re male or female (and those are the only two genders…sorry Millenniums!), I don’t care if you’re rich or poor, and I don’t care if you’re smart or dumb. It doesn’t matter to me. And frankly, I don’t think it should matter to you what I am. We both are, and that’s enough. Learn to live with it and deal with it. I’m not going to sit here and tell you, “Oh, but I’ve got black friends”, and that makes what I’m saying right. No, what makes what I’m saying right is the fact that we are PEOPLE. And as long as I give the proper respect to you initially, and let you earn the respect I give you from that point on, it should be fine.

By the way…it’s not “racist” when three black police officers beat up a black man. It can’t be racist if they are all of the same race. How about three black police officers doing their job and going too far against someone that was resisting arrest? I’m not saying the three shouldn’t be charged in the guy’s death. I’m saying don’t call everything that happens in this life racist, just because you don’t agree with it. It’s not.

And it’s not racist for Kari Lake to choose not to stand to a song that a group of people hold dear. I think it’s fine if blacks hold that song as special. There’s nothing wrong with that. But don’t expect the entire country to rise and give it the credence we give The Star Spangled Banner, just because you feel put upon. Life doesn’t work that way, and the sooner you learn it, the better off we all will be.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Does Trump Step In MORE Problems???

In 2016, when Donald Trump came down the escalator at Trump Tower in New York City to announce his candidacy for president, I was like a lot of you. I was amused. I didn’t think he was going to be any more than one of those celebrities that decides that they need something better to do with their life, and so they run for office. The country is full of them. Think about it. You’ve got people like Ronald Reagan (not a great example, he turned out pretty well), Sonny Bono, Fred Grandy, Jesse Ventura, Clint Eastwood, and Matthew McConaughey. I at first, put Trump in the same boat. He turned out to be a pretty decent president from a policy standpoint. From a political standpoint, he was a trainwreck.

And now he’s back…sort of.

The left obviously doesn’t want anything to do with Trump after his one term in office. Oh, they laughed at first, thinking he was just like all of the other celebs that think too highly of themselves. But they stopped laughing when he beat Hillary. Now, he’s decided that he’s going to run for a second term. And of course, the Dems couldn’t have rushed any faster to have the January 6th committee in the House finish up their investigation into his involvement in the Capitol riots of 2021 and get their report out there before losing control of Congress.

Personally, I don’t think the Democrats needed to worry. Trump is doing more damage to himself than they could ever do to him. His latest problem is he’s starting to jump on the evangelical leaders that were so enamored with him back in 2016 and 2020. Last week, Trump said that these leaders were showing “signs of disloyalty” toward him because they haven’t endorsed his third presidential run yet.

But influential evangelical pastor, Robert Jeffress said at a recent conference that he didn’t see the need to endorse a candidate two years out. He’s exactly right. First of all, you have no idea who in the world is running on either side of the coin. Second, even if Trump was your guy, you wait until the players are in before you start dishing out endorsements. I don’t really know anyone other than Kari Lake that has endorsed Trump yet. And she doesn’t carry a lot of weight in my book.

The problem with Trump right now is that he is a guy from the past. Biden is a guy from the past. Clinton is a guy from the past. These folks aren’t the future. You may have heard Nikki Haley say recently that it’s time for America to look to new and younger leadership. Trump and Biden are both going to be in the 80’s during the term of 2025 to January 2029. That’s not something a lot of people are clamoring about. You also have a lot of folks like me. They loved Trump’s policies, they hated his mannerisms. You don’t necessarily want a president that’s going to rely on name-calling, and bashing their opponents. You see with Biden, every time he pulls that stunt and starts talking trash about the Republicans, his poll numbers drop. It’s just easier to bash than to come up with creative ideas on solving the country’s problems.

So, I don’t think Donald Trump was in line at all with his comments. It’s not Trump’s place to scream at people that are “disloyal” to him. It’s more his place to EARN their loyalty once again. There will be a whole new field of candidates a year from today. Trump is once again going to have to show the world why he is the best candidate for the job from those that have chosen to run. The rest is all conversation. And you don’t assume (except maybe in your own mind) that America is going to run to your side this time, just because they did so eight years ago. That was a lifetime ago in politics. And Donald Trump’s chances for getting them back appear to be fading.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Andy Biggs: Just Another Arizona Politician

I had to learn a whole new way of political thinking when my wife and I moved out here to the desert. I’m used to Ohio politics…which was hard fought (except where we lived), and flip-flopped between Republican and Democrat. Here in Arizona, while both parties have had their chances to run the Governor’s mansion, it’s far different. And in light of the whole Speakership debacle that Republicans went through, one of the leaders against Kevin McCarthy, Andy Biggs is right there at the top of the food chain. He is an Arizonan through and through.

I’ve had a run in personally with Biggs. It was back in 2012 that I was part of the Convention of States movement. It was a rather conservative attempt to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, impose fiscal restraints, and impose term limits on Congress. I worked with the Republican whip in the State House to get it through. Even though he was against it, he and I were on the phone together throughout the vote. It passed the House, but Biggs (who was president of the Senate at the time) refused to allow it to see the light of day in the Senate.

So, it’s no surprise that a hot-head like Andy Biggs would be involved in something like we’ve seen over the past several days in Washington. And, it falls in line with a host of politicians from the Grand Canyon State that have led less than stellar terms in office. Here are just a few…

You’ve got Kari Lake, and I’m sure by now, we’re all familiar with her work. You also have several that have stung the populace, and the Republican party throughout time. John McCain, while stilled hailed as a hero out here, ruined the chances to overturn Obamacare. Remember him coming back to the Senate after treatment for cancer, and voting, then turning a big thumbs down to the camera?

Let’s go back a little further. You’ve got J. Fife Symington III, another Republican from Arizona. He was a Governor of AZ, who was convicted of bank fraud and making false financial statements. He was sentenced to prison in 1997, but it was over-turned in 2001, and Bill Clinton pardoned him.

Then you’ve got Evan Mecham. This Republican Governor was known as the “Harold Stassen of the west” because of his inability to win elections. Mecham served one term in the State Senate, and then decided to run for other offices, always losing. But he was elected Governor in 1986 and served a whopping 16 months in office before being impeached. If you think back to when the Super Bowl was pulled from Arizona back in the 1980’s because of Martin Luther King Day losing it’s status as a holiday in the state, it was Mecham’s doing. He also was tabbed for cronyism in putting people with no experience into various state-wide positions. Mecham was the only politician in the state’s history to be impeached, face recall, and be indicted criminally all at the same time.

And it wasn’t all Republicans. Democrat Cici Velasquez was indicted on charges of defrauding the federal government on more than $1,700 in food stamps back in 2016. She was elected to the State House in 2014.

Rick Renzi, Congressman from Arizona’s 1st Congressional District was sentenced to prison in 2013 on 35 charges of racketeering and extortion. He served three years in jail after being convicted on 17 of the 35 charges.

Who can forget one of the most embarrassing displays of a politician running for office when local hero Barry Goldwater (who Terminal 4 at Sky Harbor Airport is named after), ran for president against Lyndon Johnson back in 1964. Remember the phrase “All The Way With LBJ”? It wasn’t the whitewash that Minnesotan, Walter Mondale faced when he lost to Ronald Reagan in 1984 by winning only his home state. But still, Goldwater only managed 52 Electoral College votes, winning only six states, all in the deep south.

So, for Andy Biggs to be at the center of controversy is nothing new. It’s par for the course. Welcome to politics in the AZ!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Lake Loses Bid, Vows Appeal

Before we get going with today’s blog, as you can see with the HUGE banner above, you can now LISTEN to The Lone Cactus as a podcast on Amazon Music. Just go to, and search for The Lone Cactus Podcast. You’ll see all of my blogs as podcasts if that’s how you choose to enjoy! OK, commercial is over!

I’m not sure if you’ve been following Kari Lake’s saga in her bid to become Governor of the state of Arizona. But if you haven’t, let me enlighten you. Kari Lake was a former newscaster for over 25 years on the Fox affiliate (channel 10) here in the Phoenix area. Now, being on Phoenix TV means you basically reach all of Arizona. There are only three cities of any size in this state. There is Phoenix, where about 60% of the population resides in Maricopa County, then you’ve got Tuscon to the south, and Flagstaff to the north. Tuscon has about a half million people. Flagstaff has 76,000. The drop-off after those two is severe.

Lake mentioned during her actual campaign that if she lost it would be due to ballot fraud. She wasn’t going to accept losing at any cost, regardless of how one-sided it was. It turned out, it wasn’t one-sided. She lost by a very close margin after all of the polls had her leading by three or four points, but usually within the margin of error. She immediately cried “FOUL”, saying that in Maricopa County, there were printer problems with the ballots and that a large number of the ballots weren’t counted as they should have been because someone messed with the printer settings. That meant that the scanner that actually tabulated the ballots couldn’t read the ballots and they were kicked out.

So, after losing to Katie Hobbs, who by the way, was the Secretary of State, and in charge of the election, Lake had several Republicans not certify the election. It wasn’t until a court ordered the election certified that it was done. At that point, Lake filed a lawsuit claiming ballot fraud.

She lost that lawsuit this past Saturday, when Maricopa County Superior Court Judge, Peter Thompson, a Jan Brewer appointee (former Republican Governor), ruled in favor of Hobbs, stating that Lake’s attorneys had failed to offer any legitimate proof that the ballots were tampered with in any way. Lake tweeted out Saturday morning after the ruling, “My Election Case provided the world with evidence that proves our elections are run outside of the law. This Judge did not rule in our favor. However, for the sake of restoring faith and honesty in our elections, I will appeal his ruling.”

Now, Lake has vowed to take it all the way to the United States Supreme Court. But she’d better hurry. Hobbs gets sworn in as Governor on January 2nd. I doubt the Supreme Court is going to hear anything between now and then. In fact, I think it’s a very long shot that they hear anything period. My guess is, they are going to reject the hearing altogether.

OK, that’s the backstory. Kari Lake has pulled a page right out of Donald Trump’s playbook. She let it be known very early on that she wasn’t going to accept defeat in the election, regardless. And she hasn’t. I think all of this positioning has actually done to her what it’s done to Trump, which is, it hurt her moving forward. It’s one thing if you lose a close election, and want to file a lawsuit to make sure it was legit. I get that. And she had some reason to believe that there was some shenanigans going on, especially with her opponent being the Secretary of State that basically ran the elections. But when you start off during the campaign saying it’s fraud if you lose, that doesn’t bode well. And when you refuse to accept defeat, even after the lawsuit, proclaimed dead by a judge from your own party, because your attorneys didn’t show any proof? Well, that hurts you in the long run. You become a sore loser.

Let’s look at the growing list of sore losers that refused to accept defeat. Go back to 2000. I know Al Gore eventually conceded the presidential election to George W. Bush, but he wasn’t gracious about it. And he hasn’t been elected to anything since (not that he’s tried!). Look at Georgia gubernatorial candidate, Stacey Abrams. She refused to accept the 2016 election results in that race. Then she race again in 2020, and lost by an even larger margin. Donald Trump continues to this day to deny he lost the election in 2020 to Joe Biden and has stated more than once that he should be installed as president, or at the very least there should be a “do-over” election. Now, he’s declared for the 2024 presidential race, and there are more people that are backing Ron DeSantis for the nomination than Trump. Kari Lake is going to face the exact same results.

She has been mentioned as someone that would take on either Kyrsten Sinema in 2024, or Mark Kelly in 2026 for their US Senate seat. I can’t see her winning the nomination, much less the general election. She needs to take Newsmax up on their job offer, and quietly slink off to Boca Raton, Florida and become an anchor there. It’s the best thing for her, and it’s the best thing for Arizona.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Is Kari Lake OK?

I supported Kari Lake in her run for Arizona Governor. Not because Donald Trump endorsed her. That had nothing to do with it. And not because I thought she was the better qualified candidate for the job. She wasn’t. Katie Hobbs, who so far, has won the race and will take over the seat on Sunday, January 2nd, was much more qualified. She was after all, the Secretary of State. Now, I’m not saying she was great in that job, or that she’ll be a good Governor. Only time will tell. But on the surface, she has more political experience than Lake, who was a newscaster for the Fox affiliate out here for like 25 years.

But I’m beginning to wonder if Kari Lake is OK.

Lake was speaking at Mar-a-Lago last Thursday night at a Trump function. Here’s what she had to say: “To watch these evil bastards…to watch them steal this in broad daylight, and if they think they are going to get away with it, they messed with the wrong bitch.”


I mean, I get it that she’s upset that she was leading in the polls right up to election day. It was within the margin of error on most polls, but she was indeed leading. And since the election, she has come out and said numerous times that the election was stolen from her. She recently got a limited win, when a judge said that her team could look at 50 ballots that she said spoiled and not counted. They’ll get a look at a random 50 ballots, and have a chance to see another 50 ballots from six separate Maricopa County polling places.

Lake has maintained from the get-go that there were printer and tabulation issues in 70 of the county’s 223 polling places. She claimed that there were tabulator breakdowns at 59% of the voting places on election day. And that when all is said and done, she is the rightful Governor of the State of Arizona.

The election, however has been court ordered to be verified, and it was. Governor Doug Ducey, and Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs (yes, the same person that’s going to be sworn in as the new Governor) both certified the results as a result of that court order.

Now, that’s the backstory. I understand that when you’re in a close election, and you lose, you have a tendency to want to believe the election was stolen from you. And I’m not saying it wasn’t. I’m saying you have to let this stuff play out. And it is playing out, but Arizona isn’t Florida. It’s more like California in that it takes forever around here to get election results tabulated. Don’t forget, they just finished the Maricopa Country recount of thousands of ballots this year from the 2020 presidential race. Donald Trump had claimed that Maricopa County had problems and that HIS race was stolen from him. Well, the Republican officials that performed the audit at the State Fairgrounds (taking over the arena where they hold the concerts), showed that Joe Biden did indeed beat Trump, and actually beat him by a wider margin than originally thought.

I am interested to see how this plays out. Democrats did exceptionally well in most of the down-ballot races here in November. They took most of the state-wide offices, leaving I think Kimberly Yee who won reelection, was the only state office holder to win from the Republican side. Maybe they also got the Superintendent of Schools, I’m not quite sure I remember that one!

But it’s troubling to hear Kari Lake talk like that. I know she’s upset…but that’s not the type of person I want to run our state. I think she would be tougher on the border issue than Hobbs, and I think she probably would have problems working across the aisle with the Dems in the State House. But I’m really perplexed that she’d take the rather radical stance that she’s taking. Now, I may very well get proven wrong. If those ballots show irregularities, hey, I’m all for an all-out recount looking for hanging chads and the like (we don’t do that here…we fill in boxes with Sharpies). But it seemed to me Lake was very early to call this a fraudulent election. She did it during the campaign. It was almost like she knew if she lost she was going to cry foul. In elections, you have winners and you have losers. And in a lot of cases, especially in purple states like AZ, they are close. At some point, you have to pull up the big-boy pants and admit defeat.

I’ll wait for the results of these ballot checks…but I hope Lake does it with class, not like Trump did. We don’t need another Donald Trump (one is too many at times!)

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Is It Them Or Us?

Watching some “analysis” of the midterm elections over the past couple of weeks got me to thinking. I was of the frame of mind that this midterm election was exceptionally clear. Yes, it was a referendum on Joe Biden. What else could it be? And yes, it was a referendum on how Congress has done over the past two years. Again, what else is there? We’ve seen Congress take no action what-so-ever on little things like crime, border security, immigration reform, tax relief (except for college students, but that had nothing to do with Congress!), high inflation, and an economy that has slowed to almost zero growth for the year. What we got was hearings on January 6th that basically proved nothing. A bill that did help the chip industry out, which was necessary and nice. We got the Inflation Reduction Act, which did nothing to reduce inflation, and we got an infrastructure bill in which most of the money went to Green New Deal programs.

So, am I to blame for thinking that this election cycle was going to be a slam dunk? What the hell happened?

Somebody screwed up in production, and it’s time to ask the question, was it the Republicans who felt that just by saying a red wave was going to sweep over Washington, it was going to happen? Or was it the unwashed poor, huddled masses out there in America, who vote like it was a student council election in middle school? Did people pull the lever just because there was an (R) or a (D) after someone’s name? Or did they think that they voted for the best candidate, and in the very over-exposed elections in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada, the best candidate did happen to be a Democrat?

It’s time to put the blame somewhere, and frankly, I’m torn. Yes, I think the GOP overplayed their hand quite a bit. Yes, I think that Donald Trump went out and endorsed people that agreed with him that his 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, regardless what their credentials were like. I mean, you can’t tell me that people like Mehmet Oz, Herschel Walker, and Kari Lake were qualified to be in executive leadership positions. Sorry, being an athlete or a TV star of sorts doesn’t qualify you to be a Governor or a Senator. Notice I left Adam Laxalt and Blake Masters off that list because they probably were the only qualified two of the five.

Or, do we focus the blame on those out there scattered across America that aren’t that smart, don’t care about the issues, only care about what the government can do for them, and the rest of the country be damned. I’m looking square in the faces of the Gen X’ers and the Millennials who seem to want to get to socialism faster than a speeding bullet. Are these folks smart enough to differentiate between the two candidates, or are they just looking for the best deal? This isn’t like buying a car you know. It’s about running a country. And I really don’t think that the majority of the youth in this country today cares about the rest of the world. They care about themselves. And what happens when they get lied to? They shrug their shoulders and go back to their X-Box.

I actually think there was a combination of the two examples that caused the election to be not so much more than a pinkish ripple. And the GOP had better wake up and look at what’s going on before 2024 shows up. If they don’t we’re going to be two more years down the road and I’m going to be saying the same things then that I’m saying today. I don’t think the GOP as a party takes elections as seriously as the Democrats. I don’t think they ever have. And the only reason they sometimes take power in DC is because the country gets tired of the Democrats. They realize that they aren’t going to get all of the bling the Dems promised them. They realize that they’ve been taken advantage of as a lot of the minority groups are just starting to wake up to. And they realize that there might be a better way.

The sad news is, I don’t know if the Republicans are actually the answer. There may be a third party of sorts out there, or a fourth or fifth. Are we becoming more like Europe, where one party isn’t going to be the majority party any longer, but the leaders in the various parties are going to have to coddle together enough of a majority to lead? If you look at the Republicans and the split between Trump and the rest of the party, and the Democrats and the split between the socialists and the more moderate progressives, that seems to be the case. We’ve already got four distinct parties, just under two tents. So, what happens to cause the split and when is that going to happen?

Just questions I’m thinking about today. As always, your comments are welcome!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Trump’s Mistake?

Well, I don’t care what party or political belief structure you own up to, you didn’t get much of a break. We just learned that the GOP will indeed take over the House of Representatives next year, BUT FIRST… had to endure Donald Trump announcing that he’s going to be running for president again in 2024. So, we haven’t even finished the midterm cycle, and we’ve begun with the presidential cycle.

And it was a big mistake.

Now, it will be interesting to see what happens somewhere in the summer of 2024, but Rasmussen has just come out with a poll stating that a whopping 60% of American voters have said they don’t want Donald Trump to run. 32% thought it was a good idea.

Most of the respondents to the poll said they would opt for Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis over Trump if it came to that. I would tend to agree and have said so here. I think that in Trump’s running for the nomination speech we are looking at the same thing as we did in 2016 with Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush trying for the nomination. People were tired of Bushes and Clintons in the Oval Office. After all, those two families held sway in this country for a total of 20 years! And if look at the present situation, you’ve had eight years of Bobo, four years of The Donald, and four more years of Bobo’s VP. That’s 16 years with two different administrations. America isn’t ready for another four of that!

I think there are several clues that point to this being a huge mistake. The most telling comes from Trump’s own daughter, Ivanka, who is going to sit this one out. The second was the fact that in the tight “need to win Senate races” of Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, Trump’s endorsed candidates lost all four. And he lost several key Governor’s races including Pennsylvania and Arizona.

Donald Trump gave us a booming economy when he ran things. I certainly don’t have a problem with that. He made history both in a good way, and in a bad way. He had the lowest minority unemployment rate in history. He had a huge financial win-fall for people of all colors in wage growth, all while keeping inflation at an average of 1.5%. And he managed to lower taxes for most people through 2026! You couldn’t ask for more economically than what he gave us.

Unfortunately, there was a bad side to Trump. The incessant tweets in the middle of the night, the name-calling of people he didn’t agree with for some of the lamest reasons out there. If you weren’t on board with him on every issue, you were against him. That may be one way to run a real estate empire, but it’s not a way to govern the best country in the world.

What I find interesting is the fact that the people that were closest to him during his time in the White House, people like his Vice President, people like his Secretary of State, people like two of his Chief of Staffs, all have come out and said, “We can probably do better than Donald Trump in 2024”. These people were the closest to him, and they aren’t backing him. Who is? Kari Lake. The loser in the Arizona Governor’s race to Katie Hobbs was the first to endorse his candidacy. Now think about that for a minute. Someone that lost their race for Governor, and is no more than an ordinary citizen, was the first to endorse Trump? That’s like saying I’m endorsing Ron DeSantis, or Barry Flippits (whoever that is). It doesn’t matter. Lake’s endorsement means nothing. It means one vote. Period.

So, Trump has decided to run again. Now, the best thing that can happen once the Georgia runoff gets sorted out, and all of the remaining House races are decided, is that the cable news networks, the broadcast networks, the talk radio stations, all ignore the fact Trump has declared a whopping two years before the election, and move on to the other things that America cares about.

Yes, if it were Trump v. Biden round two, I’d hold my nose. I don’t give up my right to vote for anybody. I would (and have) voted for the lesser of two evils. I just hope it doesn’t come to that! America is better than that!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Did Trump’s Endorsement Help?

That’s going to depend on who you ask. But when I look at the numbers I’d have to say it helped a little bit… but not a whole lot.

Donald Trump endorsed 495 candidates for the midterm elections. 241 of those were primary endorsements. Of the 241 candidates that he endorsed, 219 actually won for a success rate of 91%. That’s pretty good in pretty much anybody’s book. He went on and endorsed 254 candidates for the general election. Of that, 178 won (or are winning). That would be basically a 70% success rate.

But looking at the US Senate races, which were really what I would call the cherry on top of the sundae, he fared slightly better. Trump hit on 18 of 25 Senate races that he endorsed. He lost 4, and as I write this, there were three that were still being counted (though in those three, Herschel Walker is heading for a run off next month, Adam Laxalt is leading Catherine Cortez Masto by a couple points and should win, and Blake Masters looks to be losing Arizona pretty badly. The four that he lost? He had Gerald Malloy winning his seat in Vermont, Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, Don Bolduc in New Hampshire, and Leora Levy in Connecticutt. Now, really, only Oz had a shot at winning in PA, and that was a rather long shot considering he was down double digits back in August.

So, the question remains, did a Trump endorsement help? I think he helped in some of the closer races. Now, Trump will say his endorsement was the sole reason these people won, which I don’t believe for a minute. A lot of the people he backed were incumbents. And incumbents, when you get to the level of the House or Senate, are tough to beat, so it’s rather a safe bet. But there were a few places where people taking part in exit-poling said that a Trump endorsement caused them to vote against the candidate. Whether or not it was enough to cause them to lose, who knows?

There is a question going forward that we will just have to wait to find out. Trump is due to announce his candidacy for president on the 15th (next Tuesday). But after Ron DeSantis’ incredible landslide reelection in Florida, including Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach County, I can’t be the least bit surprised if DeSantis decides he can indeed take on Trump and beat him. If he were to do that, and win, there isn’t a Democrat alive that can beat DeSantis in the general election in 2024. And don’t forget, Trump could be facing indictments up the road. That will indeed tarnish his luster.

I can tell you that Blake Masters probably doesn’t believe that Donald Trump’s endorsement did that much for him. He probably would have loved to have had some of that Trump money so he could have run a few more ads in the state. As it was, he was outspent big time by Mark Kelly and his PAC’s. The smear campaign on Masters was incredible! And the fact that Peter Thiel’s money helped him get across the primary finish line, but was noticeably absent in the general election also played a big part.

And I guess you could say Kari Lake didn’t really think that Trump’s endorsement helped her a lot. She was leading in the polls by a fairly good margin, but didn’t finish strong and had a few Democrat PAC’s putting up some negative ads on her, Secretary of State candidate, Mark Finchem, and Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh. Lake was being viewed as a potential Vice Presidential candidate in 2024 had she won.

Is Trump all he thinks of himself to be? No. That part is obvious. He wasn’t able to pull Oz or Masters across the line, and either would have pretty much given the GOP the Senate. We’re still waiting, and the path is still there (at least as I write this) for Laxalt, Johnson, and Walker to give the GOP the upper chamber…but once again, we’re going to have to wait for a Georgia run-off for that to happen!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Can We Do Something About Misleading Campaign Ads?

They are all over the place. If you happen to live in a state where you don’t have a Senate candidate running for reelection, get down on your knees and thank God Almighty that you are spared the nonsense that some of us have to go through. And the problem is, at the present time, there is nothing we can do about it.

I’m talking about the lies and distortion of political advertising.

I’ll give you several examples about what I see here in the desert where we have a close race between incumbent Mark Kelly (D), and newcomer Blake Masters (R).

Kelly has come out and said that Masters wants to do away with Social Security and Medicare. That’s not true at all. What Masters has said is that it may be time to actually privatize Social Security. And he’s right. The left is making this sound like it’s some big deal, when every person working today (unless you’re extremely lucky to still be getting a pension when you retire) is invested privately in the stock market through your 401k. And the GOP wishes to privatize Social Security doesn’t have a thing to do with anyone currently on it. It’s a lie that Kelly loves to tell.

You’re hearing a ton of ads (mostly through PAC’s) that Republicans want to ban all abortions. That’s nowhere near the truth. Republicans have offered a few alternatives to a complete ban, such as Mitch McConnell’s 15 week limit for abortions, but it’s a states’ rights issue, not the federal government. I know it pisses off the left to hear that each state has the right to decide the future for themselves, but that’s the Constitution. The Supreme Court ruled correctly on this one.

And we get the over-blown resume-padding from incumbents that say they’ve done much more than they’ve actually done. Kelly has ads saying that “He passed a bill to improve Arizona’s infrastructure.” No…HE didn’t pass it. His party passed it. It’s not like he was sitting in the Oval Office, pen in hand ready to sign the bill when it arrived. He was told by Chuckles Schumer to vote yea on it, and he did. That’s not him “passing” anything. And he’s said this on a lot of different accounts.

Then there is the name calling. Here in Arizona, we’re in the midst of not only a Senate race, but also for the Governor’s mansion. Kari Lake (R), a former newscaster for 27 years is running against Katie Hobbs (D) the current Secretary of State. Lake has been leading by 3 points for quite some time now. It hasn’t changed. But leave it to the PAC’s to call her names like “Kari Fake” and say that she’s doing all sorts of nasty stuff. We really don’t hear much about this on the other side, though it does exist.

I’m just getting sick and tired of the lies and half-truths that are being told in political advertising. The sad thing is there isn’t anything you can do. Radio and TV stations are obliged to run the commercials they are given, regardless if they are true or not. And they can’t edit or change them in any way. When I was working in Ohio back in 1984, there was a guy running for President in the Ohio primaries that used the word “BS” (but said the actual word) in his campaign commercials. We couldn’t do a damn thing! We had to air it as we got it. So, if these politicians want to lie or twist the truth or mislabel something, they can do it without fear of retribution.

That needs to change. It would be nice to get back to the point where these ads actually told me WHY I should vote for a candidate, not how the other person should be in prison!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!