Monday, October 31, 2016

That darn 12th Amendment!

"We could see the birth pangs of these other factions rising this year during the Democrat and Republican primaries. 'Coalesce' has turned into bifurcate, trifurcate or something beyond."

Someone this weekend had referred to the election as the "plug your nose" election. For many people on the left side of the street, they are not thrilled with their candidate. And the same is true for the right side of the street with their candidate. I will say it. We have two deeply, deeply flawed candidates running for the office of President. If either one wins, there is a chance of an unmitigated disaster. Or, if Donald Trump wins, there is also a chance he could be good to very good. But that is a long shot. With Hillary Clinton, it is a "no shot at all".

Some have already heard this mentioned. It would be a seldom used remedy, which is clearly spelled out in our Constitution. It is another way to pick our next President. It has already been used in 1825 (yes, that long ago). It is a fail safe provision which was stuck into Article 12 of the Constitution. It was meant to keep the nation from calling a "tie" in any Presidential election.

When I say "tie", I mean where no candidate receives the necessary 270 electoral votes. Should that happen like it did in 1825, the House of Representatives would pick the next President. If that should happen, and because we have so many low to no information voters these days, the cry of "Foul!" will rise from the huddled masses faster than smoke from burning leaves. 

Is this just a long shot scenario, or could it really happen today? My response - not just today, but more and more likely in the near future. For example, this morning the ABC tracking pole, which just a week ago gave a double digit lead to Clinton, has the race within one point. That is dead even, since the margin of error is 3%.

Picture this for a minute. The race remains razor thin up to election day. The votes are taken, and the popular vote is as tight as the 2000 election was. The electoral votes are counted and the results are as follows: Clinton 268, Trump 264, and McMullin 6 (he wins Utah). Since Evan McMullin has a real possibility to win Utah, this scenario is indeed realistic.

But forget this year for just a minute, and look towards the future. I have heard many pundits mention this from both sides of the aisle. Our two party system might be going the way of the Dodo Bird. In other words, we might be morphing into a multi-party system. Liberal Democrats, Progressives, Socialists, Conservative Republicans, Consitutionalists, and Moderates. We could see the birth pangs of these other factions rising this year during the Democrat and Republican primaries. "Coalesce" has turned into bifurcate, trifurcate or something beyond.

Buckle up folks. And keep your eyes on the news this week. This week could tell the tale of the tape. We could be on the precipice of something scary and/or historic. I believe our county will land safely once this election is over, but it could be a bumpy landing indeed.    

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A harbinger of troubled times ahead...

"The timing could not have been worse for the Clinton team. What do I think? Karma at work, in its finest form." 

Question - who has the most unappealing job in America right now? If you guessed the Director of the FBI, you might be right. Before last week, he was the scourge of the Republicans for dropping the ball on the Clinton investigation. Now that he has re-opened the Clinton email inquiry, he has gone from goat to hero (with the Right). However, he is a marked man by the Clinton team and the Loony Left.

There have already been "leaks" as to what is on Wiener's laptop. True, these "leaks" are not substantiated. But the rumors are flying that maybe 10,000 or so email of Huma's are on this laptop. Wait a minute! Why in the world would Huma's emails be on the laptop Wiener was using for sexting? That is one of the questions which might have peaked Director Comey's interest. In any event, intermixed with pics of Wiener's wiener, might be some secret code word emails that belong to the State Department.

The timing could not have been worse for the Clinton team. What do I think? This is karma at work, in its finest form. Why so? Guess who officiated at the wedding between Huma Aberdin and Anthony Wiener? Bill (Devil with the blue dress on) Clinton! Seriously! Then for some reason unknown at this time, "Carlos Danger" (that be Wiener) and his new wife shared a laptop. And "Carlos" used this joint laptop to send some naughty pics of himself to a young lady. And that is all it took to bring in the FBI, once again.

So the Clintons and the Wieners were joined at the hip for a long time. Then Huma had enough with "Danger's" second time getting caught doing some sexting. She threw him out of the house - but the damage was already done. Big time. And because the FBI was brought in just a few days before the election, the damage to the Clinton campaign is also already done.

Now to the core of this article. This is a mess of historic proportions. No matter who wins the election, the other side is going to feel jobbed and robbed. As messy as things were going to be in this country once the election is over, they just got a whole lot messier. History is now being written on a daily basis, as this is very uncharted territory for modern day America.

Here is my two cents worth. The Clintons are trouble. Always have been, always will be. They are opportunists. They are untrustworthy. If Hillary somehow survives this storm (and she might, as many who vote Democratic, vote like robots), her Administration will make the Watergate gang look like rank armatures.

Speaking of Watergate, that brings up our friend karma once again. Hillary, who got booted off the Watergate inquiry team, is now being inquired by others. And more and more people are equating this Clinton scandal to one of Watergate proportions. As that old saying goes Mrs. Clinton, "Ain't karma a b**ch!"    

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Adam Duininck for Governor!

"In fact, if we could get him to be our next Governor, we could dispense with the Minnesota House and Senate. Who needs them anyhow?"

I think I have found our new Governor! Let's face it - Dayton is done! He had a raft of problems anyhow. And Tina? Come on folks - you know she could be a lightweight against anyone the Republicans will throw up against her! No, our new Governor is here - right under our noses. It is Adam Duininck, the Chairman of the all impotent Metropolitan Council.

One thing I learned when I worked in contract law was there are two kinds of authority - expressed and implied. Mr. Duininck has zero expressed authority, as he is just a tool for the current Governor. But boy, oh boy - talk about implied authority! He can do just about anything - and all without answering to anybody at all! In fact, if we could get him to be our next Governor, we could dispense with the Minnesota House and the Minnesota Senate. Who needs them anyhow? Adam and his 16 minions could rule the state like a monarchy.

The latest example of how Adam could rule this state came this past week. The SWLRT, which a majority of people in the metro will never ride nor do they want, just made a BIG purchase! Never mind this thing still has lawsuits which could kill it and the funding for it is "iffy" as best. Nope - full steam ahead! Adam authorized the purchase of choo-choo cars to ride on this route which is still a figment of some euphorian's imagination.

So, in the middle of the most important national election we have had in the past 500 years (relax - that is an Obama math joke), Adam placed an order with Siemens (Hey! What ever happened to "Buy American?") to build 27 LRT cars. That is so cool! And the money to pay for them? Either we will soak the locals in the seven county area (again), or tap into some of that "free" money from the Fed. 

All right - enough! Get the hint? The Met Council, who has zero authority from the taxpayers, is running amok. Donald Trump is right on one thing for sure - our government is out of control. Rigged if you may. What the Met Council is doing is nothing more than Third World crap. It is done in countries where there is no democracy. Where there are no republics. No liberty. 

A good friend of mine ran for Governor two years ago. He had the Met Council pegged down to a tee. He knew what the fix was. Upon election, his vision was to replace them (which is within the Governor's purview) with people who would do "nothing". It would in fact, make eunuchs out of this unelected board. They would have zero authority, expressed or implied. Then once the Republicans gained enough seats in the Minnesota Senate to make it veto proof, they would kill the Met Council, for once and for good.

Adam Duininck for Governor? Not hardly. No Adam, enjoy your time while working our version of "Fantasy Island". Once this gig is over, Adam - you might have to work in the real world where authority is always expressed and earned. Oh yes, most places you might work also use a P+L statement. Reality does suck sometimes - right Adam?   


Abortion, once again...

"I have said this before many times. One of the greatest evil visited upon our land was the Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade. It opened the flood gates for the Margaret Sanger dream of eugenics."

Sorry - is this topic too sensitive to bring up on a Saturday morning? Good. It should be. In fact, it should brought up every day of the week. Before I start out in earnest however, I would like to do something I have not done for a while. And that is give a huge, very loud, shout out to the Catholic Church. While other denominations have been all wrapped around the PC axle speaking PC mumbo jumbo on this barbarous procedure, the Catholic Church has been as clear as a bell in calling abortion out for what it is.

Last night, my wife and I had the honor to be invited for the second year in a row to attend a New Life Family Services banquet. For those who have never heard about New Life, they are the "ying" to the "yang" of Planned Parenthood. In other words, they are concerned about life. Abundant life. Not only with the lives of the unborn, but also the lives of the mothers. They believe that all life is sacred - and is a gift from God. They also believe if a woman has had an abortion, that women needs to be loved and cared for. Often times what follows an abortion are dark days for the woman who has had the procedure. New Life cares for them also.

I have said this many times before. One of the greatest evils which has been visited upon our land was the Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade. It opened the flood gates Margaret Sanger's dream of eugenics. It has allowed Planned Parenthood to run wild and misrepresent their true purpose. How much so? Since Roe v. Wade, we have allowed almost 60,000,000 innocent unborn babies to die. That is almost double the population of California.

Two thoughts about abortion. First, from a faith based perspective - do you think that God smiles or weeps every time an unborn is killed? That is a tough question I heard years ago. It is one I think about often when some on the Left refer to the killing of innocent unborn life as a "health care issue". 

Next from a secular perspective - how many of those 60,000,000 Americans could have gone on to do great things for our society? Scientists, doctors, builders, humanitarians, whatever - now we will never know.

It has been said by theologians that the greatest evil the Enemy has done to mankind is convince so many he does not exist. I think the greatest evil Planned Parenthood has done to this country, is to convince so many that abortion is only a woman's health issue. It is not. 

I apologize I had to bring up such a divisive topic this morning. But it needs to be addressed. Yes, I believe it to be that important. Once again, a thank you to my Catholic friends for showing such leadership on this most critical issue. I only can hope and pray that the rest of us will soon follow your lead.  

Friday, October 28, 2016


"All of a sudden, we have this law which really is not Constitutional, being imposed on all the states. Our once fine healthcare system is out the window - replaced by the high cost, low service ObamaCare mandate." 

Nullification = "State nullification is the idea that states can and must refuse to enforce federal unconstitutional laws". How is that for a barn burner. It has never been tried in our history. Maybe it is time to do so. Jefferson came up with this idea. Way back then, his mind reached far forward. He could foresee a time such as this. It was the check valve, the safety feature, to keep an overreaching federal government from imposing such an overreach.

Today, we are seeing a perfect example of when that card should be played. In Minnesota, in particular. We had a pretty good health care system (thank you), until someone decided to throw a monkey wrench in the gear box. And that wrench was called ObamaCare. All of a sudden, we have this law which really is not Constitutional, being imposed on the states. Our once fine healthcare system is out the window - replaced by the high cost, low service ObamaCare mandate. 

Our weak kneed, semi-coherent Governor, rather than calling the federal government on this ruse, wants the fine taxpayers of Minnesota to cough up about a third of a billion dollars for a band aid fix. Everyone knows what is wrong with ObamaCare - and it cannot be fixed. That is, unless there is major surgery. And major surgery will be like cosmetic surgery, as the Affordable Health Care Bill which comes out of surgery will look and act NOTHING like the one Obama and Pelosi put together.

My good friend Jack Rogers called a local radio station yesterday and mentioned nullification. Jack wants the Speaker of the House to push nullification on the Governor. We don't want an expensive fix like the Governor wants. That fix in the long run will fix nothing. Yet, we don't want the good people of Minnesota to suffer under this "cluster" of a program. What should we do? ObamaCare and MNSure in Minnesota should be killed immediately and our old system reinstated. Period.

Is there a fly in the ointment? You bet there is. We have a wussy for a Governor. He is a boot licker for the President. He would NEVER stand up to Obama on items such as ObamaCare or abortion. Dayton thinks nullification is a four letter word. Well it is not Governor. Most of us liberty lovers believe that nullification is a seven letter word. Words like LIBERTY or FREEDOM. Get the picture? The rest of us out here sure do. 

Scaring the crap out of people!

"None of them are in the position to stop Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump could have been. That is, if millions of Republicans had not decided to sit this one out."

Boo! It is me, the Very Angry Bird! And I scare the crap out of people! Really? No, not really. However, I was told that yesterday. Specifically, I was told by a social media friend that "people like me, scare the crap out of her." And she is not the only one. I have been having a running feud with another social media friend on the same issue. Which issue is that? Why, voting for Donald Trump, of course.

Let me replay the bidding just for a minute how I got to this place. When the list of candidates on the Republican side was long and "distinguished", I had made my choice very early in the process. It was for Ted Cruz. If I had to totem pole rank my choices when the field had 15 or so, Donald Trump would not have been in the top five. As we all know, as the field slowly whittled down, it was Donald Trump who was the last person standing. He would have to be the one to go up against Hillary Clinton.

Now, do I still wish it was were Ted Cruz instead of Donald Trump? Absolutely. Trump had some things I liked about him, but there were too many warts and bruises to put him in my top five. However, that was then and this is now. And now the choice is binary. You can forget Gary Johnson, Jill Stein or Evan McMullin. None of them are in the position to stop Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump could be. That is, if millions of Republicans don't decide to sit this one out.

Truthfully, I am sick to death of this "principled" argument for not voting for Trump. I am a pragmatist. I know that a vote (or non-vote) for ANYONE else than Trump is one more for Hillary. She could ride into Washington after winning in a landslide with the mistaken illusion she won a mandated election. But there will be no mandate. 

And now I will tell what really and truly scares the crap out of me. I wrote about this yesterday. Baring a miracle of almost biblical proportions, we are going to have Queen Hillary for the next four years. And it is going to be hell. There will be civil unrest. Unending hearings on the Hill. More revelations of wrong doing while at State. More young women sullied in the East Wing of the White House by Slick Willie. Bottom line - it will make the eight years of Obama look like Nirvana. 

I will ask this one more time of the "Never Trump" crowd. If this election involves plugging your nose at the ballot box, please consider doing it. Trump may be a good President, possibly a great one, or he could stink to high heaven. We simply don't know. We do however, know all about Queen Hillary. Think about that. Time is very short.  

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A table left unset...

"What have we done for the next two, three or more generations? Not much." 

Earlier this week, I glanced at an editorial which I was going to bookmark and keep. I didn't, and now I am kicking myself. I don't even remember what the name of it was. I do however, remember what the subject was. And it is something I have been preaching for years. In fact, I often bring this topic up when talking to young folks from the Gen-X or Millennium generation. The article had to to with Baby Boomers. And how we have totally hosed this country up.

Yes, as part of the Baby Boom generation, I have apologized many times to those younger than I. What we did was not fair. Why? Because the Greatest Generation, the World War II generation, our parents, left us a well set table. And what are we leaving for the Gen-X crowd and the Millennials? A messy table, left unset.

Keeping with the table analogy, we not only neglected to set a fine table for the next generation in the same manner our parents did for us, we also left all our dirty dishes on the table for the next generation to clean up! Seriously!

Many of the parents of Baby Boomers lived through or right after the Great Depression, fought a great war for the survival of humanity, then came home and built the greatest economy the world has ever seen. What did they leave for us on the table they set? A future.

What have we done for the next two, three or more generations? Not much. First off, we invented entitlement programs which are now bankrupting the nation. In fact, Social Security Disability is set to run out of funding before the end of the year. Knowing these entitlement programs are not sustainable, what does my generation do? Elect Barack Obama twice! Then he adds yet another unsustainable entitlement program called ObamaCare. The wheels are coming off ObamaCare as we speak.

Right now, going into this election, the country seems on the verge of some kind of civil war. We have somehow gone from respectful disagreements, to passionate dislike, to visceral hatred of the other side. We are divided in many more ways than we were ever united. Our money is gone, we are $20T in debt, our military is vastly in need of upgrading, our infrastructure is crumbling, and many of our good paying jobs have been exported overseas. We wonder why so many young people today are tuning out and living withing the confines of their phones or tablets.

I feel bad, real bad about the way things are right now. It is not right. It is not fair. I wish I could change it, but I can't. I think of the lyrics to a song sung by Joan Baez, who unfortunately is also one of us Baby Boomers. The song is called The Salt of the Earth, and part of it goes as follows:
Raise your glass to the hard working people,
Let's drink to the uncounted head...
Let's think of the wavering millions
Who want leaders but get gamblers instead

Amen Joan Baez, amen. A week from Tuesday, this country is poised to elect yet another gambler, and put this country on a trajectory which includes more debt, higher taxes and fewer jobs. It is a dirty, messy table we are leaving for our kids and grand kids.

To keep saying we are sorry is not nearly good enough. Some how, some way, we need to fix this on election day. We need to stop voting for gamblers like we did the past two elections. We need to vote for a real leader this time. Time has all but run out.

The day after...

"I have been thinking about the day after election. In all likelihood, it will the day this country elects a bonafide crook. Our first woman President who is not fit to be a dogcatcher."

In 1983 there was a very disturbing movie made for TV called The Day After. It was especially poignant as it was made in the middle of the Cold War. It was about a lead up in hostilities between the Soviet Union and NATO, culminating with a nuclear exchange. But the thrust of the movie was what life would be like in America once that one day nuclear war was over. It was horrible.

Why do I bring this up? Simple - I have been thinking about the day after election. In all likelihood, election day will the day this country elects a bonafide crook. Our first woman President who is not fit to be dogcatcher. The rhetoric is already heating up. It was reported in one article that many Trump backers are promising revolution if Clinton wins. Senator Cruz has joined John McCain is saying Senate Republicans will use every trick or method possible to block Clinton SCOTUS nominees. Rumor also has it that Donald Trump is lawyered up, ready to protest any, no matter how minute, irregularities in the voting process. 

After 9/11, Glenn Beck started a group called the 9/12 Project. Beck thought how our country reacted to the attack the day after was just as important as the attack itself. For a few fleeting days, this country was one. Democrat or Republican, black or white, rural or urban, Christian or Jew - it simply did not matter. We were all Americans. However, that did not last long at all. The fractures in our melting pot grew deeper and deeper. Then, after eight years of Obama, this country appears to be on the brink of some kind of a civil war.

My feeling is this. Just as this entire election process has been ugly and mostly forgettable, the day (or days) following this election could be worse. Both Clinton and Trump are beyond unpopular with the other side - they are hated with a passion. There will be no coming together. This country is polarized to its very roots.

Under Clinton, our government will continue to grow and become more intrusive. It will continue to morph into what our Founders warned us about. The pet will have become the master, and we will all end up on the wrong end of the leash. But many Clinton supporters do not see it that way. The "coddle me from birth to death" crowd love more government. If it takes their liberty away, who cares? The important thing is they chant and believe that "taking is better than making". If reminds me of the crowds chanting "ending is better than mending" from Brave New World. In that book, the government also controlled the people.

Are you ready for the results the day after? I am not. I don't know how I ever could be. I grieve for this country for what it has become, and will become on November 9th. Will there be something like a 9/12 Project which could rescue us? I really doubt it.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The 12 point mystery

"Hillary's plan? Nada. More of the same. As someone has referred to her, the 'Secretary of Status Quo'."

Here we are. Less than two weeks before the election, and according to an ABC snap poll, Hillary Clinton is ahead of Donald Trump by 12 points. True, other polls have the race much closer - tightening in some cases. But let us for a minute assume the 12 points is accurate. Let that sink in for just a minute. This woman, with more baggage than an airliner, who should be indicted right now for her performance as Secretary of State, who allowed four innocent Americans to die alone in the desert city of Benghazi, could win our next Presidential election by a landslide.

Am I shocked that she is even in the race? Not really. Both the Republicans and Democrats have put up lemons before. However, this year has been extraordinary. What is shocking is simply this - how in the world could so many Americans think this very flawed women could make a good President? What does that say about our electorate? What does that say about our vision as a country? 

True, many people think that Donald Trump is equally as unqualified. And he might be. However, at least Trump has come out with a plan for his first 100 days. Some fairly significant objectives. Things which could be very good for America if he could get them approved by the House and Senate. Hillary's plan? Nada. More of the same. As someone has referred to her, the "Secretary of Status Quo".

I don't know about anyone else, but I have had it with Barack Obama. I don't want a third term of him. And that is exactly what we will get with Hillary Clinton - or worse. Her solution on the economy is almost laughable. Rather than lowering our tax rates to lure investors back to the US, she wants to raise them. In fact, she has proposed so many new taxes, her plan is called the "trillion dollar tax hike". Because so many Democrats have never worked in the private sector, this basic fact of life escapes them. People, and companies, don't have to stay here. They will take their money and leave.

Back to the multitudes who are going to vote for Hillary. These poll numbers show just how much our country has changed. How the "takers" have greatly surpassed the "makers". Our once hard working country has become the "entitlement society". How the huddled masses can be intoxicated by talk such as "free college for all", "livable wages for all", followed up by sunshine and butterflies. Her followers hear that mumbo jumbo and they walk around looking like the cast from The Living Dead

No, I grieve for our country. We fell for a charlatan in 2008 and then again in 2012. In 2016, we are going to fall for a village idiot. As her infamous book was titled, It takes a village. It sure does. It takes a village to vote for this idiot. And it seems as if that is exactly what the village called America is poised to do.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How broken is it?

"The Democrats have taken apart a very complex watch, lost a few pieces, and now that the watch is not working, they are asking the Republicans to help fix it." 

Yesterday, when my wife and I were on the way to pick up our grandson, I told her what I thought was happening right now with ObamaCare in Minnesota. I told her the Democrats are in a full out panic, trying very hard to put together a special session which would ameliorate the financial suffering from ObamaCare rate increases. Oh yes - the Governor and the Senate Leader (both cheerleaders for ObamaCare and MNSure) would also need the Speaker of the House to sign off on what a special session would do. 

I was in a meeting with the Speaker earlier this month. Although he does not want to see the good citizens of Minnesota suffer under this broken ObamaCare system, there is a delicious irony to what is happening. The Democrats have taken apart a very complex watch, lost a few pieces, and now are asking the Republicans to help fix it. The biggest question however, is this watch (ObamaCare) fixable?

The only solution I have heard so far was from the House Minority Leader. His idea? Find a "pot of money" and give people rebates who are paying over 10% of their income to these out of control rate hikes. Huh? First problem - there is no "pot of money". Second problem - until ObamaCare is fixed or killed, the cost problems will keep on happening on a yearly basis. Why? ObamaCare was NEVER intended to control health care costs in the first place.

On the national news this morning, it was reported that the average increase for many plans were going up 25% next year. And that is a whopper! However, in a few select states, the increases will be higher than 25%. Minnesota is one of those states. Ouch! And that is why our Governor and the state wide Democrats are in a full tilt panic. All the Governor could say when asked about these increases was "The Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable". Thank you Captain Obvious!

By the way, for those who are licking their chops expecting a pivot into a single payer system, I have two letters for you to ponder - VA. Yes, we have seen how the VA operates as a single payer system. Not well, not well at all. And when we throw the entire country on this system, we will find out what real wait times and rationing are all about. We will then have actualized Obama's and Clinton's dream - Euro healthcare for the United States. 

The question remains, how broken is ObamaCare right now? And is it too broken to fix? I am certainly not a health care expert, but I have listened to people who are. For those in the know, what is happening today has been a slow motion train wreck taking place over the past few years. They have seen the hand writing on the wall and tried to warn us over and over and over again.

Our last chance to kill ObamaCare was the 2012 election. Many decided to stay home rather than vote for Mitt Romney. Ergo, we ended up with four more years of Obama and the final nail in the coffin for any chance of killing ObamaCare. We are now headed for single payer. 

One final thing to ponder over the next two weeks. Elections have consequences. The consequences we are now facing from the 2008 and 2012 debacles are huge - devastating to our healthcare.

If we let Hillary in the White House, we will have a similar buyer's remorse in a few years when her socialist Supreme Court changes the fabric of our Republic.   

Our town...

"This year a good friend of mine is running to hold the job. I call him a futurist. He calls himself a visionary. I think we are both right."

Sorry. This is not about Grover's Corner in New Hampshire. Nor is it a fictional novel penned by a world class playwright such as Thornton Wilder. It is about a small but growing town on the northwestern outskirts of the Twin Cities. And this tale is not set in the early 1900's. It is based on the early 2000's. It is the town of Andover MN.

Bit of disclosure. This is my town also. I have lived here, out in the woods, for over 30 years. I have watched this town grow up around me. So what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Simple. I love this town. And as it grows into a much bigger "bedroom community" of 40,000, I want to see that development happen with mission and purpose.

Every two years, Andover elects a new Mayor. This year a good friend of mine is running to hold the job. I call him a futurist. He calls himself a visionary. I think we are both right. Ben Riechers is a man for all seasons when it comes to leading Andover to the next level. I have known Ben for quite a while and I understand where Ben wants to take this town. I know how he wants to use his many years of corporate experience to help to mold the future of Andover.

The current Mayor of Andover is a non-practicing lawyer. Never worked. No corporate experience. And it shows how she works with the staff and council in plotting the direction of the city. Ben on the other hand, has always been "in the thick of things" in the corporate world. He understands collaborative thinking. He understands how teams works. Yet, he also understands leadership. Ben knows how to lead, when leadership is necessary. 

For the past weeks, Ben has been out door knocking, meeting the citizens, introducing himself, and listening to concerns. Did I just say listening? Yes I did. Of all Ben's core strengths, I think his ability to listen is one of his best. Ben epitomizes that old axiom which Will Rogers taught us. We have two ears and one mouth - we should use them in that order. 

That is a lesson our Mayor's position has been missing for the past couple of years. If you live in Andover, please vote for Ben. If you do not and know of someone who does, please encourage them to vote for Ben. I know I will be. 


Monday, October 24, 2016

Our coming crash

"What happens when the first of these two giant funds run out of money? According to the 'trustees', there will be a cut in benefits to the reciprocates."

Let's pretend for a minute that you are 60 years old (some reading this really are). You are working at some company, trying to hold on by your fingernails. Even though wage discrimination is suppose to be illegal, you have seen many "grey hairs" walked out the door. If you can just make it to 65, you will be somewhat safe, as you can collect Social Security and Medicare. So you think.

Social Security and Medicare are the twin 600 gorillas in the corner of the room that neither candidate will talk about. Why? The solutions needed to fix these two behemoths are a buzz kill for voters. The hay day for both of these funds rests firmly in the rear view mirror. They are now living on borrowed time. Translation - the "trust funds" are going broke. Not just in decades down the road, but in just a few years. 

What happens when the first of these two giant funds run out of money? According to the "trustees", there will be a cut in benefits to the reciprocates. The current projection for the fund to run out of money keeps getting closer all the time. Just seems like yesterday when the projection was 2026. Now it is 2024. That is a scant 7 years away. And if that projection holds fast, and nothing is done to fix the fund, every person collecting Medicare will receive 13% fewer benefits after 2024. 

Social Security is slightly better. The fund is still expected to last until 2033 (that be 16 or 17 years from now). If the fund goes unfixed, those collecting Social Security will only get 75% of what had been promised to them. Let that sink in for just a minute. You are a senior, depending on Social Security. Your 401 k took a huge hit from the market collapse of 2018. You get sick with a disabling disease. Your hospital bills are eating you up, as Medicare does not cover the entire cost - nor will your Part "B". And you have very few dollars to use to pay for your medical bills as your Social Security has been cut by a fourth.

One would think that with 10,000 baby boomers going on Social Security or Medicare each and every day, this discussion would have been important during the debates. It was not. Again it is so icky, to hear about the gloom and doom in the near future is a buzz kill for voters. So what is the solution?

Social Security needs to be phased out. Period. It is a Ponzi Scheme only mean to work if the number of workers contributing to the fund far out numbered the folks receiving benefits. To put it simply, it always has been a math thing. These days, the math is not working out. Has not been for years. And the government will NOT TELL THE PEOPLE THE TRUTH concerning these two funds.

By the way, the part of Medicare which takes care of people on disability has already reached the red zone. Out of money. And we are not hearing a peep about that in the press. Each day that passes, all the funds grow weaker.

Yet, nothing is discussed. It will not be discussed until we are all heading over the cliff together. Hello, Thelma and Louise...

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Careful what you wish for....

"She is a phony and a pretender to the throne. And as Rush has said many times, if she was not married to Bill, nobody would know who in the heck she is." 

One of my FB friends, who is a very smart guy, nailed it on the head. It is something I have been hinting around at for some time now. This country is so divided, so hateful, that whomever wins the election is going to have his or her hands full with the leftovers from Obama's mess. However (and this is a big one), Hillary will have more than a mess. There are so many unanswered questions and hanging participles, she will be dogged by inquiry for her entire first (and probably only) term.

If Hillary gets in, the honeymoon will not only be short, it might not be there at all. She has screwed part of her own party (hello Bernie supporters), and has played fast and loose with the truth with the rest of us. No, Hillary is a piece of work. More and more folks are getting to know the real Hillary through the magic of Wikileaks. She is a phony, and a pretender to the throne. And as Rush has said many times, if she was not married to Bill, nobody would know who in the heck she is.

Going back to my FB friend, he pointed out the similarities to the Nixon Watergate issue. The Watergate infraction itself happened before the election. Even though it became known before the votes were counted, Nixon still won re-election by a hefty margin. However, when the drip, drip, drip of the investigation by the Congressional committee happened during the second term, it eclipsed anything else of merit which happened during his Presidency. In short, it truncated Nixon's Presidency, and he resigned in disgrace. The same should happen to Hillary.

If the truth be known, the entire issue of Benghazi alone has not been fully addressed. Way, way too many unanswered questions. There has been a foul stench in the air since the entire Libyan experience came was known - up to and including Benghazi. I watched the hearings. I heard the answers to tough questions. To me, it was only the beginning. We need the truth, and many of us already suspect what the real truth is. 

Is there hard evidence on what really happened in Benghazi? You bet - it is contained in those tens of thousands of emails which were zip cleaned by bleach bit. Here is the bottom line: To cover up Watergate, there were rank amateurs trying to hide the bodies. That  was quickly exposed. For this scandal, the cover-up was quite sophisticated. But not sophisticated enough.

Do you want the big prize Hillary? Go ahead. Just know this - the "Grinch" will soon replace you as you do the perp walk. And the perp walk might happen soon after inauguration. By the way - the "Grinch" is no prize either. He has some holes in his socks. 

Our only hope next month is a Donald Trump win. Warts and all, we need Donald Trump. And we need to hope and pray he is at least half the man he promised us he would be.

Why? If Hillary wins, we will get Nixon on steroids. If Trump wins, we will get (your guess as good as mine)...    

The odd confluence

"The Goofy Governor said with only two years left on his term, he really needs to have a DFL cabal in St. Paul so they can once again go hog wild."

Sorry. Did not mean to use the term "odd" when talking about our Governor. As we know, he certainly is not an oddity! (HA!) So why in the world would I be wanting to discuss the Governor this morning as he is not up for re-election? Because he is front and center of one of the biggest snafus in the history of our country.

Sometimes I wonder if Red Star is aware of the irony they often put in the paper. Today for example, was a very interesting article about some poor family who recently found out next year they are going to have to pay $33,000 for health care! And that is they are lucky. If they wait too long to sign up, they might get thrown into another exchange and have to pay more! As we all know, this is ObamaCare imploding right in front of our eyes. And MNSure is firmly attached to ObamaCare at the hip.

Also in the paper this morning was a story about our Goofy Governor traveling the state, telling the huddled masses they need to throw those Republican bums out of office. That the DFL not only needs to retain the Senate, but also retake the House. The Goofy Governor said with only two years left on his term, he really needs to have a DFL cabal in St. Paul so they can once again go hog wild.

Yes, if they could just get rid of that darn old Kurt Daudt and replace him with Paul Thissen, their world would be be complete. They could fix ObamaCare and the very expensive MNSure. The best way to do it? Raise the top rate for state income tax to 15% or so. As we know, the rich need to pay their fair share!

Sarcasm is now over. The bottom line is this - Dayton was one of the biggest cheerleaders for ObamaCare when it was being hatched. He was a driver behind the failed MNSure. His fingerprints are all over this mess we know call heath care. And now he wants to screw with it again. And the last time he raised the top income tax rate to almost 10%, it set off a stampede of folks out of the state.

If the Republicans are smart, they will keep this albatross called ObamaCare, the love child of the Democrats. The DFL has NOBODY to blame but themselves but themselves for this mess. My opinion? This issue alone should hand the Presidency to Trump, the Minnesota Senate to the Republicans, and in two years, also the Governor.    

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Voter Fraud

"It is the phenom that the Democrats say does not exist. It is also the phenom which was created by the (gasp!) Democrats."

Win, lose or draw, we owe a debt of gratitude to Donald J. Trump. He is the only candidate who has had the cojones to bring up the topic of (gasp!) voter fraud in America. You all know what I am talking about. It is the phenom that the Democrats say does not exist. It is also the phenom which was created by the (gasp!) Democrats.

The thing which is almost funny (as well as sad) about the Democrats is they often accuse the Republicans of "voter suppression" just because they are in favor of voter ID. Remember Voter ID? That horrible and unfair practice of having someone show a photo ID when they go to vote. Kind of like showing a photo ID when you get on a plane. Or go to the back. Or use a credit card in some locations.

Back to the fraud issue. We have exposed it in Minnesota (thanks in large measure to Dan McGrath). It has been exposed on a national level by John Fund (from the WSJ). Then on a business show I was watching this morning, a stunning statistic was shared. A recent audit has shown that one out of eight voter registrations demonstrate irregularities. Now that does not mean that one out of eight had voter fraud - it does mean however, that one out of eight would be easy to commit voter fraud in. That is over 20 million voters.

In addition, it was disclosed that Greg Abbot, the Governor of Texas was hot on the trail of massive voter fraud in his state. It was also reported that many of the illegal immigrants have found their way onto voter roles. Heck, Moonbeam in California wants all illegals to be able to vote! 

Here is the bottom line. As many of the jaws which dropped when Trump said he might not accept the results of the election should he lose (mine was one of them), in retrospect he might have a point. Why in the world would ANY of us, Republican, honest Democrat or Independent, accept the results from a fraudulent election. Remember, it was Minnesota voter fraud which gave us Al Franken and Governor Dayton.

Me? I am sick and tired of having our elections stolen from the honest voters. If you are a Democrat and reading this, you must take a long look in the mirror. What your party has done to our voting system has been nothing but criminal. ALL AMERICANS should be in favor of legit elections. ALL AMERICANS should be in favor of Voter ID. 

So thank you Mr. Trump. This is an issue which is long overdue to see the light of day. Long overdue. And Mr. McGrath and Mr. Fund - thank you for being a trail blazzers in this most important issue. 


Friday, October 21, 2016

The security clearance issue

"Why am I bringing all this up? You guessed it - Hillary Clinton. In all my days of being cleared, and even after those days were over, I have never, ever, ever seen ANYONE act so caviler with classified material."

Back in the day when I was a young lad of 19, I was being considered to be awarded a very high level security clearance in the Navy. As most of us know at age 19, we have trouble understanding quite a bit about life, much less being responsible for keeping some of our nation's highest secrets. The vetting process to get my initial clearance was long and tedious, but just before my 20th birthday, I was awarded my security clearance.

I knew from the get-go that having this clearance was an honor and a privilege. And holding this clearance was not for everyone. Even though the process of getting a clearance took a lot of time and cost a whole of a lot of money, some who were awarded a clearance did not keep it for long. Why? Loose lips for one thing. Not showing the right discretion in personal decisions for another.

Those who have had held a clearance know what I am talking about. We had a clearance for one reason only - we served at the pleasure of the United States Government. At any time, for any reason, that clearance could vanish.

Why am I bringing all this up? You guessed it - Hillary Clinton. In all my days of being cleared, and even after those days were over, I have never, ever, ever seen ANYONE act so caviler with classified material. I have seen people lose a clearance for just a minute, just a fraction of what Hillary has done. She just does not seem to get it - the responsibility of having a high level clearance. And by the way, she also seems to think that rules for clearances are only for the "little people".

What was the punishment received by Ms. Clinton for putting tens of thousands of emails at risk of compromise? Nada. Zip. What would have been her punishment if she were one of the "little people"? In the kindest, most lenient of circumstances, she would have lost her clearance, never to be returned. Did Ms. Clinton keep her clearance? Yep. Did she learn her lesson about being more diligent with classified material? Nope. How do I know? The boner she pulled in the last debate. 

Disclosing on national TV our launch time for nuclear missiles was the biggest compromise by a government official I have seen since I first received by clearance.  Way back during the Nixon Administration, somebody came out of the White House holding a secret code word document. A huge no-no. His picture was taken by a magazine photographer, and the document soon appeared in the magazine. To say the least, "the ship hit the sand". All code words had to be changed. Big, big problem.

Again, if I had disclosed what any code word back then, I would still be breaking rocks in Leavenworth. We need to demand better out of our elected officials. They need to play by the same rules we do. Could Donald Trump do any better than Hillary Clinton? That is an unknown, as I don't think Trump has ever held a clearance. We do however, know how Hillary would act. We have recent history on her. And if I were in charge, her clearance would have been pulled yesterday. 

Get ready folks. The person who is the most irresponsible in the free world is about to win the Presidency. I shudder to think the kind of compromises we will see then. Putin should love her instead of detest her. He will be able to get all kinds of information once she is sworn in.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Russia Card

"Trump understands something that most professional negotiators understand - the deal. He would also understand how to offer the 'Mario Puzo' deal to Putin - that would be the deal Putin can't refuse."

There are times I wish I were President and could deal with Vladimir Putin. I have thought for the longest time the biggest problem we have with the Russians is how to deal with Putin. George Bush (43), said he looked into Putin's eyes and saw his soul. Maybe he did, or maybe that was just wishful thinking. I do know this however - not Bush, certainly not Obama, and not absolutely not Hillary Clinton know how to deal with Putin. But Donald Trump might.

Trump understands something that most professional negotiators do understand - the deal. He would also understand how to offer the "Mario Puzo" deal to Putin - that would be the deal Putin can't refuse. Why? Because the bottom line is this. Even though Russia has healed quite a bit economically since the debacle of the Soviet Union, they still need us much more than we need them.

Putin can't stand Hillary. He knows she is nothing but Obama with a skirt on. She will lecture Putin. Tell him what he can or should not do. All that does is enrage Putin. It allows him to advance in more adventures like Crimea. And when he feels lectured by a contemporary (that be us), poked in the eye (so to speak), he just wants to poke back.

It all goes back to 2011. Putin was running for re-election. There became some unexpected street protesters against Putin. It looked like the country was turning against him.  Then Putin, the former KGB agent, did some digging. He ascertained it was United States behind all this nonsense. In particular, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Putin still won, but did not forget the issue. He has had a burr under his saddle ever since, and that burr will not go away should Hillary get the big job. The thought of Putin hacking the DNC to get even is totally with the realm of reality.

Trump on the other hand, has no such history with Putin. They have traded some compliments, but that is as far as it goes. Trump knows he can work with Putin and I believe that Putin knows he can work with Trump. Putin does not have a "trust issue" like he has with Clinton right now.

Is Putin trying to pay Clinton back for 2011? Probably. Is Trump involved? Probably not. Will our relations with Russia suck if Hillary becomes President? Absolutely. Could those lousy relations lead to a war with Russia? I really, really hope not. Elections have consequences, and if we get Clinton, he might have a huge one. 


The hardest punch

"I don't know which bothered me the most. The stupid chipmunk smile that Hillary had been coached to paste on her face, or the constant look on Donald's face like he had just sucked on a lemon."

"Oh dear God, please make it stop!" I could almost hear that cry going up from the huddled masses last night. Yes, I forced myself to watch the entire thing. Did not shut it off once. More surprising was my wife - she also forced herself to watch the entire thing with me. And like with the first two, I felt the need to take a shower, a bath, a something once it was over.

I don't know which bothered me the most. The stupid chipmunk smile that Hillary had been coached to paste on her face, or the constant look on Donald's face like he had just sucked on a lemon. I kept thinking about if either one was meeting with a world leader and a disagreement broke out. Is either one of those faces the face of America? "Oh dear God, please make it stop!"

I was a wee bit disappointed with Chris Wallace last night. This was the debate that many were hoping for the candidates telling what they were for, and not how effed up the other one is. Fell way short in my book. Also, Hillary told the biggest whopper of the campaign season and Wallace let it slide. When she said (and she has said this before) that her "plan" will give free college, more Social Security benefits, more this and more that and - (drum roll please), not add one penny to the debt, I almost threw up in my mouth.

In every debate, the wonks and the pundits are always waiting to see who can have that one line, that one punch that really lands hard. The one where significant damage is done. Well last night we had such a punch. It was a hit to the gut, the uppercut to the jaw. Who landed it? Donald Trump did. Who did he hit with it? Himself.

When Donald Trump said he did not know if he would honor the election, it was a total show stopper. As my son-in-law would say from time to time when he would hear something flabbergasting - "I have no response to that". I think that is what Chris Wallace really wanted to say once Donald muttered those now famous words. Me? I heard something quite different once those words were out in the open.

I could hear the door slamming shut. I could hear the election being handed with a bow on it to the most crooked person ever to run for this high office. I could hear the Supreme Court being remade in the image of Hillary, chipmunk smile and all. I could hear the United States Senate being let by Chuckle Schumer for the next umpteen years.

But the thing I heard the loudest, was that one tortured cry, coming from every nook and cranny from this great country. "Oh dear God, please make it stop!" Amen to that prayer, amen indeed.   

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Social Security, uno mas...

"Fact of life. Pensions from companies have become either parsimonious or non-existent. Love it or hate it, most of us have been sucked into the vortex of Social Security in our working years."

Fair warning before I start this. Once it is completed, I plan to send it to every representative or senator I know who is running for re-election (and even some who are not up for re-election). And I am talking about Minnesota representatives and senators. Why would I do it? It is simply that important. THIS is a winning issue for us this year. It will be a winning issue next year also. It is one where too many of the "low information" voters are not yet up to speed. Once they are, they will not longer be "low information".

First off - who does this article pertain to? Anyone on Social Security. Anyone getting close to drawing Social Security. Anyone with parents on Social Security. Anyone with friends or loved ones on Social Security. If you don't fall into any of those categories, feel free to turn the page. 

Fact of life. Pensions from companies have become either parsimonious or non-existent. Love it or hate it, most of us have been sucked into the vortex of Social Security in our working years. And if you worked a fair amount of years, the monthly checks you receive when retired are just okay - not good, not bad - just okay. However, they are certainly not enough to pursue the dreams one had while working. But it is what it is.

In Minnesota it is particularly bad. Minnesota is one of seven states who fully tax seniors on their seniors on Social Security checks. Seven states. To make matters worse, since 2008, COLA for Social Security has been little to none. It has been zero for three of those years (including last year). In 2017, there will be raise. It will be 1/3 of one percent - about $3/month. By the way, that raise will be wiped out by the rise in the extra money taken out of Social Security checks for a Medicare increase. 

Like I say, we can't fix Social Security. It is what it is. In Minnesota, we can however fix the taxation of it. By the way, the first three months of our state's fiscal year saw our projected revenue drop by almost $100M. Why? Some of that might be due to seniors being driven out of this state by the unfair taxation of Social Security. A move across the border to Wisconsin or South Dakota can save seniors thousands of dollars a year.

Here comes the punch line. THIS SHOULD NOT BE A PARTISAN ISSUE!!! SOCIAL SECURITY TAXATION AFFECTS REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS AND INDEPENDENTS ALIKE! We can fix this, and we can do it now. Republicans need to take the lead on this and keeping pressing until it is done. No more excuses from the Governor or the other side of the aisle. No hearing "the state can't afford it". It must be fixed now!