Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Republican Primary Debates

Thoughts on the Infamous ‘Debates’ held by Biased Networks and Biased Journalists

The media hostile to certain candidates is soooo disappointed at their lack of control over our electoral process, even to the point of featuring a RNC past chair talking about dislodging candidates from front runner positions as if that were the way to win a national election.   Maybe that’s why we lost.  The idea of the RNC is to back the candidates the people want, not the candidates they want the people to want.  I’m tired of RNC chairs, pundits and PACs choosing our candidates for us.  Could it be that the media wants Republicans to choose weak candidates so the Democrats can retain power? 

The Internet Age has brought unprecedented literacy to the populace in the form of cell phones with full internet capability.  The media is still operating like the Dark Ages when the church controlled all the information.  The media does not control the information anymore, except for the stories they choose to highlight or manufacture and they are apparently unaware that the population does not believe everything they say.   This educated populace now has the whole internet to learn from.  And people use this capability every day, using Facebook and other systems that disseminate information.  We are no longer dependent on what the media chooses to serve us!  And we know when they are lying, spinning, slanting and otherwise jacking with news stories BECAUSE WE ARE EDUCATED. 

How about the non-story of Vice President Biden running for president?  This drug on for months as the media blasted this man with their opinions and even bringing his family into it.  This ‘story’ emphasis was hurtful at worst and a time waster at best.  The media even kept Vice President Biden in the polls when he was not running.  Why did they do that?  To siphon off support for Bernie Sanders?  To make Hillary look good?

When John Boehner announced his resignation, the liberal media went crayzy with rabid speculation about the demise of the Republican Party, the need to bring in an outsider to restore order among the Republicans, and in general criticized the whole party and predicted ongoing chaos.  The draft Paul Ryan movement immediately caused a media circus and I don’t know how Speaker Ryan or others shut them up about their endless negative speculation.   The media bashed John Boehner, bashed the process of choosing a new speaker, and bashed everybody who expressed an interest in the position.  The process to choose a new speaker was actually quite orderly and fair, despite the media prediction of fatal Republican disharmony.   Some of the media even found negativity in Speaker Ryan’s insistence on spending time with his family, which reflects true Republican family values. 

As for the MSNBC debate debacle, the media really showed their rears.  That business station blew it by allowing John Harwood to ask unvetted questions since he obviously was there to push a negative agenda towards Republicans.  Why did they trust that man?  It was a set up but hopefully Harwood has trashed his own ‘career’ by abusing his position as a journalist.  Did the Democrats pay Harwood for his hostility?  Since Harwood damaged himself by asking vicious ‘social’ type questions and lying on the air, what did he actually get out of his miserable performance???   

I avidly watched this flawed debate, hoping that CNBC would ask good business and economic questions that would show the knowledge of the candidates.  Donald Trump did shine when talking about the economy, which may have been the reason so few of those types of questions were asked.   Why was the focus on personal questions rather than political, military and economic issues?  Becky Quick and Carlos Quintanilla are experts in economics, so why did they focus on areas out of their expertise?  Why didn’t they ask questions about interest rates, the Federal Reserve and foreign trade?  What a missed opportunity!  Were they given questions or did they make them up?

How about a Democrat and a Republican debate moderated by Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Hugh Hewitt?  The Democrats would never agree to that, claiming bias in advance.  Maybe somebody could ask if Hillary rode in on her husband’s coattails?  Or about Monica?   Those questions would be considered rude but it is open season on Republicans flying away from the podium?  Harwood is evidently academically deficient in that he phrases questions in emotional terms, rather than using a systematic approach using facts to frame the question.  The emotional attack questions are easy to dream up and require no research or learning.

I like the idea that the candidates are taking over the debate terms and conditions.  As Donald Trump pointed out, the networks are making money on the debates.  The networks then want to dictate all concerning the debates, leaving the candidates at their mercy to answer every stupid question asked, while the networks rake in the money. 

How about a debate focused on issues instead of personalities, histories, criticisms, infighting and personal agendas?  And why can’t the candidates sit down at desks while debating?  All this standing looks too much like a cop show criminal lineup.    

Possible debate topics

  • Discuss the Middle East. 
  • How do you view cooperation with the Russians in the Middle East?
  • Please briefly explain your tax policy. 
  • Explain job creation and maintenance.
  • Explain economic sustainability.
  • What would you do about the problems in the Veterans healthcare?
  • What about organized labor?
  • What about Common Core?
  • What about climate change?
  • What about the infrastructure?
  • What about the Bill of Rights?
  • And many more but how many could be discussed by all who volunteer in a two hour span?

Or let candidates choose one of those topics to expound on and others to common upon.  The isolated question debate structure where they all get different questions is not a debate.  A true debate has to have interchange among the candidates on the same topic.   Divide and conquer.  Let’s all get together and actually talk about the issues and compare ideas.  And then the viewers can see for themselves all the ideas.  I would even give the candidates the topics in advance.  A debate is when you come prepared to discuss and defend your positions on the issues. 

Let’s have a real debate! 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Hillary Clinton and Sidney Blumenthal: The Corruption Connection

At home with a bad cold while missing a fun meeting, I watched the Bengazi Hearings chaired very competently by Rep. Trey Gowdy.  After Rep. Gowdy’s thought provoking opening statement, I was prepared to listen and learn from the well prepared questions formed by the committee members. 

As I listened, several things became clear.  Most of the Democrats were ill prepared and obviously had not done what the committee was charged to do because they ‘believed’ poor little Hillary was being victimized because she dared to run for president.  I don’t care what their ‘beliefs’ were, they should have formulated questions that brought out the truth.  I applaud Rep. Duckworth on her devotion to duty and of her carefully prepared questions concerning security and backup.  She did not waste her time on emotional and belligerent displays against the charge of the committee, as did others.  A clear dereliction of duty was obvious among Democrat committee members who were ill prepared with questions and choose to pontificate instead.  I hope they are voted out in the next election they face.    

The interest in Sidney Blumenthal was phenomenal, but was unfortunately divided along partisan lines, with the Democrats asking no questions about Sidney Blumenthal.  Why not?

Who is Sidney Blumenthal?  Described as a well-paid sycophant and author, he has written books with titles like:  The Strange Death of Republican America: Chronicles of a Collapsing Party, and The Clinton Wars, among others.  He protected the Clintons from the Lewinski scandal and has been a close friend for years.  Mr. Blumenthal is a vicious partisan with a history of conspiracy theories who apparently had Mrs. Clinton’s ear, particularly about Libya. 

It has been suggested that the overthrow of Kaddafi was orchestrated by the UN and the Clinton State Department in order to accommodate business interests in Libya.  I hope such a cynical conclusion is not proven.   Sidney Blumenthal was forwarding the business interests of contractors interested in Libya who possibly hired Mr. Blumenthal to represent them because he had access to Mrs. Clinton.  Did money change hands over this?  Was Mr. Blumenthal selling access?

Mr. Blumenthal received $10,000 a month from the Clinton Foundation, where his duties were problematical, which was also during the time of the Bengazi tragedy and during his tenure working for the supporters of the Hillary campaign for president.  How much income did all this work generate?  Was he working for the contractors hoping for projects in Libya or was he just doing that for free?  This guy looks like he was being paid for three jobs at once. 

 Apparently at least some of the e mails sent to Mrs. Clinton by Mr. Blumenthal made their way to Ambassador Stevens.  Did Ambassador Stevens receive fallacious information?  Did he believe this information? 

It’s nice to know what kind of people are hired by the Clinton Foundation at the behest of Bill Clinton.  I hope all the donors take note.  Sidney Blumenthal’s son, Max Blumenthal has expressed many biased opinions concerning the Middle East, including opinions that possibly generate income for the Clinton Foundation from wealthy families hostile to Israel.  Of course, Sidney Blumenthal is promoting his son’s career. 

This Sidney Blumenthal was too radical for the Obama Administration, who rejected him as an employee.  Yet Mrs. Clinton gave him access anyway to an inner circle of influence that never should have existed.  The official channels of the White House, Military and others should have taken precedence over any non-vetted person.  Mr. Blumenthal had been vetted and rejected as an employee, yet Mrs. Clinton continued his influence, even to the point of redacting his name from e mails he sent her and forwarding them to the state department and possibly Ambassador Stevens. 

I saw a clip on Fox News this morning that described a meeting held three weeks before Ambassador Steven’s death.  The conclusions of this security and operations meeting were that the Ambassador’s outpost should be consolidated with the CIA headquarters for security reasons and that the situation was untenable as it was. 

Mrs. Clinton sat there and said that nobody called for any changes at the Bengazi facility so things continued.  Did she read the memo or even attend the meeting or receive a report from somebody at the meeting?  Did she know about this consolidation request?  Where was her leadership?  Why didn’t she make the move to close it down, instead of waiting for ‘underlings’ to suggest it?  IT WAS HER DUTY TO KNOW ABOUT ALL OF THE EMBASSIES WITH SECURITY RISKS AND IT WAS HER DUTY TO CLOSE IT DOWN OR REINFORCE SECURITY IN THE FACE OF ESCALATING THREATS. 

The hearing was definitely illuminating, just not in the way some had envisioned.  I do resent the spurious attitude on the part of the intensely partisan Democrats who tried to sabotage the hearing with critical comments about other members of the committee or about partisan politics in general.  The lack of professionalism on the part of the Democrats with the exception of Rep. Duckworth, was an indicator of what is wrong in Washington these days. 

The fiercely partisan politics of Sidney Blumenthal and the Clintons has damaged the climate in Washington to the point that the naysayers and the dividers are controlling and nothing gets done.  Votes are held in secret and their top presidential candidate Hillary Clinton declares that Republicans are enemies, something even Vice President Biden disavows.   The country cannot afford any more influence from the likes of Sidney Blumenthal, Bill and Hillary Clinton and the corruption and divisiveness they represent.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tucson City Council Debate and Vote No on Pima Bonds!

Tucson City Council Candidate Debate

I attended the Tucson City Council Debate hosted by the League of Women Voters on October 14, 2015.  All the candidates were finally in attendance, as the Democrat council members stood up the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Debate and I was wondering if they would stand up the League of Women Voters too, but all the Democrats did show up last night so the show went on!

It was obvious from the outset that the Democrats were committed to more and more subsidies and more and more borrowing and spending for short term goals.  None of them had a grasp of the gravity of the city’s financial situation, which resembles Detroit.  They were all proud of their accomplishments and want to continue the program.  Their emphasis on constant growth is naïve.   They are like a kid with her first job looking at Corvettes in the showroom, willing to commit to 27 years of heavy debt to just get her hands on the car. 

They are willing to mortgage the future and spend the money now.

We live in a constrained environment.  Water resources are getting scarce.  If drought conditions are declared on the Colorado, we could be impacted right here in Tucson.  Yet the city council is for more annexation and more growth, instead of making an attempt to recognize environmental constraints on dreams of grandeur.   They need to do the job.  The job is to do what the charter says.  Instead we get red light cameras and Parkwise, neither of which raise money for the general fund.  If there were no Parkwise, people could park mostly free and the city would not have to subsidize Parkwise and money would be saved.  Since the city gets negligible income from the red light cameras, the money is being sucked out of the city.  These city council members support these boondoggles and they are not doing their jobs, as per the city charter.   Look at the streets!

The Republican Candidates offered a refreshing view of what could be different in Tucson.  They actually talked about paying down the debt instead of adding to it and they even talked about not raising taxes and the benefits of lower taxes to the local economy.  Kelly Lawton wistfully remembers the Tucson of yesterday, when the streets were good and the economy was healthy and small businesses were king.  I remember those days too and I believe that the era of big government in Tucson is literally bankrupt.  The government should not be a prime source of jobs for the community.  The private sector, the university and the base should be the sources, not bond projects.   

Vote Bill Hunt, Kelly Lawton and Margaret Burkholder for Tucson City Council!

Shirley Scott was so jubilant over the spending in her ‘district’ that was paid for at taxpayer expense, which probably benefitted her supporters’ financial interests!  Of course Ms. Scott is for more borrowing and more money sent out of state, just like other government officials who want nothing more than to get their hands on all that money right now and spend it while it takes decades to pay back.  Ms. Scott is proud of all that development and wants all annexation possible and no doubt is promoting more and more water hookups while the water table and the Colorado River drops.  Archaic attitudes like Ms. Scott appears to hold should be voted out of office.  Ms. Scott wants a $1.2 billion debt added to the $1.4 billion debt the county already has.  It should be in Ripley’s Believe it or Not!

This bond thing is a fight over money and who controls it.  The vested interests want to reap the luxury living gained through taxpayer investment, which they do not call profit but it is a handsome living for the few.  They just set up deals, without financial risk to themselves, which true private enterprise cannot do. 

Mr. Hecker was really interested in Rio Nuevo and now he takes a titanic interest in these bond proposals.  I am uncomfortable with those same old names popping up as the prospect of a new free trough opening up again, just like Rio Nuevo.

The problem with Mr. Hecker’s premise that such a small amount per year increase in taxes benefits everyone through these bond projects that he and his friends control.  They are attempting to use the force of taxes to amass money quickly through borrowing to pay for projects they control and have chosen to put on the ballot.  It’s so easy for them to get something on the ballot.  And it is so difficult to fight their choice of projects and contractors. 

They want $780,000,000, which creates a debt of about $1.2 billion because of the enormous amount of interest paid for the privilege of allowing this group of people to amass and spend this huge sum.  Do you want these people to control this much money, leaving a debt for the children to pay?  Shall the sins of the Fathers be visited upon the children?  In this case, YES, the debt is said to extend 27 years into the future……

I don’t want these people to amass and spend the surplus for the next 27 years.  That is too much money for too long and it is too expensive.  I think the money should remain in the hands of the people to spend as they see fit.  I think the county should take available revenue, pay down the huge debt without rollovers, maintain what the law requires and stop raising property taxes.  Rents go up, payments go up, apartment owners and cooperatives are hit with higher taxes, and everybody pays more to maintain the control and collection of huge money from the little people who might rather use that money every year to buy gifts for grandchildren, rather than to pay for parks and amenities for developers far from the old neighborhoods of the south side. 

The county is trying to get more money for roads when they already have authorization for millions in road bonds.  Why?  They are like the four year old who heaps his plate and reaches for more. 

Mr. Hecker said that private enterprise doesn’t build libraries and museums.   Apparently in Mr. Hecker’s world, government is the end all be all and private enterprise is negligible unless it’s a favored contractor.  Remember the Carnegie Library chain throughout the United States?  Andrew Carnegie financed these through money obtained through private enterprise!  Has Mr. Hecker ever visited a private museum?  Like the Daughters of the American Revolution museum in Washington DC?  Wow!  There are even private enterprise transportation systems!  Look at Uber!  Call your local taxi!   Maybe people would rather spend their money on Uber rather than subsidizing the union controlled bus system milking the taxpayers.  Mr. Hecker is trying to justify the increase in the debt load by defining the meaning of government to include exclusive rights over the building and control of cultural activities and transportation systems.  He is wrong. 

Suppose that $1.2 Billion remains in the Tucson economy the next 27 years instead of going out on these chosen projects?  What could happen if the county were to pay down the debt, which IS the highest in Arizona?

  • Taxes might stabilize, which is good for predicting a business model.
  • Rents might stabilize. 
  • Taxes could even go down, as the public debt is paid off. 
  • More ready cash would be in the coffers at the county due to debt paydown.
  • Road maintenance, transportation, parks and other services could be paid for with the cash instead of more borrowing and rollovers.
  • The debt on the HURF fund would be paid off, freeing up cash to be used in road maintenance.
  • Infrastructure conditions could be improved without further debt.

About the Pima bond proposal:  Say everybody has at least $50 a year to spend instead of paying the $50 a year for 27 years or even saving the money and they would have $13,500 plus interest in their personal accounts.  If you own more expensive properties, the amount is even greater.   If people spent some of the money eating out, local restaurants would benefit financially.  If the money were spent on goods and services locally, this money would circulate through the economy many times throughout the years, bringing prosperity by circulating the money locally.  Local businesses would benefit by the money in the economy and from tax relief.

If the bond proposals are passed, this money will be concentrated in the hands of a few contractors and their workers right now for them to spend.  Huge sums of the money will go out of state to pay interest on the debt, which will be of no local benefit.  Contractors using temps from outside Pima County are often hired, which takes money out of the county.  Sure, we get these proposed structures and improvements but so much more could be had if the debt were paid down instead of increasing.  The problem of maintenance of existing facilities has not been met by Pima County and has not been addressed in the budget, yet they want to go into debt to build more facilities to neglect.  Part of their job is to have an ongoing maintenance program that is successful using the amount of funding available.  That is the job and they are not doing it and I don’t think they should have more power to borrow more money. 


Friday, September 18, 2015

Media Jackals and the need for Populism

Media Jackals and the need for Populism

The Drama plays out as the Media struggles to control the GOP Presidential Primary.  All they wanted was a clash of the dynasties that are beholden to the same financial interests that brought us the Crash, Derivatives, Too Big to Fail and all the other bailouts that ushered in stagnant incomes for the middle class, high levels of poverty and the rich got richer and very little of it trickled down.  The Media is now part of the establishment, much like the state owned Media in other countries.  Their involvement in Media manipulation is reprehensible and does not serve the people as in freedom of the press.   

The Democrat Presidential Primary was said to be all in Bill and Hillary’s control group until Sen. Bernie Sanders dared challenge the Democrat establishment.  Where is the data about the sizes of the crowds Bill and Hillary attract?  I am tired of being ‘directed’ by the Media instead of the Media reporting what is going on.  Of course the Media reserves the right to tell you which ‘fact’ they prefer, like the annoying practice of cutting off a live speech in favor of an interpretation of the speech made by a talking head.  Are they assuming people are stupid and need their assistance in interpreting?  The USA population is extremely literate and I do believe they can decide for themselves what some candidate is really saying.

The CNN people are gleefully reporting that Mr. Trump was hiding after the ‘controversy’ he stirred up by not ‘correcting’ a member of the audience.  Freedom of speech apparently needs defense against these members of the Media.   The only ‘controversy’ about the ‘incident’ was stirred up by members of the Media and now they actually expect viewers to take them seriously as they vilify Mr. Trump for not doing what they thought he should.   I really don’t care what members of the Media believe about the candidates.  I don’t even want to know what they think.  The way they are going about ‘reporting’ is interspersing their opinions into the ‘news’ instead of having an official time for commentary that is clearly defined as an editorial.  They blur the line between fact and opinion and fiction. 

An e message going around shows that the Democrat Machine has placed friends, beneficiaries and relatives in key media positions.  Instead of appealing directly to the people, they chose to go behind the scenes to restrict and slant the ‘news’ they feed to a gullible public.  It’s despicable and is an insult to the intelligence of the American people. 

In just a few minutes, I heard at least six negative references to the GOP frontrunner made by the ‘journalists’ at CNN.  I am not so foolish as to fall for this kind of mental manipulation.  Why should a candidate correct a questioner?  Who decided that?  Bash ‘em!  Set the candidates on each other and report a biased result?  Give us all a break!   And this morning CNN is touting candidates response to Trump’s Obama comment, which was actually made by a member of the audience.  It was too much for Rick Santorum, who put down the Media for even dealing with the fake ‘issue’.  So I see some members of the Media as wildly prejudicial and totally unfair to Mr. Trump.  The Jackals of the Media attack at will and if there is no reason to attack, they make one up. 

Is the fight breaking down as a struggle between the Populists and Wall Street?  It seems that the candidates on both sides are lining up for this epic event and the Media is on the side of Wall Street instead of reporting the news from a balanced perspective.  I detest the idea of the Media choosing presidential candidates.  It’s not their job.    

So why would a struggle between Wall Street and the Populists occur?  A recent opinion on Reuter’s recalled the ‘financialization’ of the nation and the concentration of money in the hands of the few as a result of financial manipulation, rather than in investing in a business and making money on the free market by providing jobs, services and goods.  I always envisioned this as basketballs of money being thrown back and forth above our heads, like lottery balls that never hit your number. 

This financialization has cost jobs and huge sums sit in offshore accounts and I guess there is no more moral imperative to invest in the good old USA.  So where is the reporting on this important topic?  It’s obvious that Mr. Trump is correct when he says some of the financial people need less preferential treatment than they are now getting from the tax code.  Dirty fighting is nothing new from Wall Streeters or politicians but the freedom of the Media should be sacrosanct against dirty influence.   

Rumor has it that Wall Street backed both sides in the Presidential Elections and so won the election, kind of like China allegedly buying ISIS oil and funding it by selling goods to the USA markets?  The emergence of a populist candidate is astonishing in the face of all this certainty that the most well funded candidates will compete and one of them will continue the status quo in favor of continuing the financialization trend. 

Mr. Trump is a populist who made good and learned along the way and I believe he truly wants to do right by the people of this nation.  Investing in the nation and in job creation and grand projects and small businesses and a flowing of money back in the hands of the people with creative employment, services and innovation needs to happen now. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Responsibilities of the Press

The press has succeeded in turning the next presidential campaign into the social event of the season, complete with raw personal criticism and a neglect of the true issues of the campaign.  The press has a lack of respect for the electoral process, given their willingness to exploit anything that leaves them in control of the discussion. 

Why is there so little on the issues and so much on the personalities?  Let’s talk about the issues instead.

Possible Issues?  How about:

  • Defense capabilities and condition of the military and veterans and bases
  • The economy and joblessness and interest rates and taxes
  • National Infrastructures  
  • Forced unionization
  • The European Union
  • The Middle East
  • The Orient
  • Latin America

I know there are more issues, many more………

I’m tired of seeing the talking press heads insisting that this presidential campaign be held in the arena of the trivial instead of the land of real issues.  The press is covering the sideshow instead of the main act, which leads viewers to believe the sideshow is the main act.  These candidates need to give detailed analyses of issues so the voters can make intelligent choices and the job of the press is to report on the stands of the candidates on various issues that are of importance to our nation. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Media and Self Regulation

To the Media

To the Media and Self-Regulation


I just heard on the news that the feds had requested the press stop showing stale footage of the Middle East while discussing new news about it.  I know it is inappropriate for anyone to tell the press what to cover……

However, the stale footage issue is important.  I suggest that the press self-regulate and do this:

If you are showing footage more than x days old, either label it as such or announce it as such.  It is misleading to show old footage while you are discussing what is happening now.  Match the visuals with the actual new news.

Keep track of how many times you show a segment.  Pete and Repeat loses news hounds and if it goes on for days and days like on CNN, it loses the casual viewers also as they see there is no new news and not everybody wants to see the same thing from yet another slant. 

At least program a large, important prime time world news segment that is inviolate and dependable for the viewers.  Viewers are being kept in the dark, like mushrooms, when there’s a whole world out there.    I think part of your duties as Press is to inform and thus educate the public.   

‘Breaking News’ should be reserved for x number presentations as such before it is relegated to normal news.  And ‘breaking news’ is not really just another ‘expert’ opinion.  Avoid trivialization and only use ‘breaking news’ for the most important NEW stories. 

Seek footage that matches the news you are talking about.  If Ferguson is discussed, show the streets as they are now and if you show riots, put the date and time on the segments during the whole segment run.  Matching the view with the words is part of honesty. 

Show respect for the stories you are covering by leaving out the drum beat in the background during news summaries.


I love all you reporters who risk their lives to give us the worldwide information our citizens need and crave.  My appreciation goes out to all of you and the people who prepare and present the news in the media, the technicians who bring it to us and everybody else who shares in the process.