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The way the media swarms around the Iowa Caucuses, you would think it will determine who wins the nomination for their party.  New Hampshire can just close down their primary next week.  The winners have been announced, so don’t waste any money on a primary that doesn’t mean anything.

I don’t actually try to predict results, but on the Republican side I was not surprised to see Cruz win in Iowa.  Nor, was I all that shocked that Rubio came in third, even closely behind Trump.

Iowa after all is an evangelical state and they don’t really care about your politics, they care about your religion.  Remember, Rick Santorum won in Iowa just four short years ago.  He didn’t fare well after that.  Or, remember Michelle Bachmann won the “straw poll” just four years ago.  Those two facts should stifle any Cruz winning the nomination assertions going around.

It is on the Democratic side that I see the most drama.  Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are in a virtual tie.  It appears that Clinton may edge out Sanders in Iowa but Sanders leads Clinton big in New Hampshire.  That is real cause for concern for Clinton.

There is the fact that Obama beat Clinton in Iowa in 2008, a surprise win for the President.  Another loss in Iowa could spell doom for Clinton in he quest to be the nominee.

I am frankly still torn between the two.  Sanders talks a very good game, but he isn’t too keen on real specifics for many of his plans.  He says, for example, that he will ensure veterans will receive the help they need and deserve.  But, I haven’t heard just how that will happen.

On the other hand, Clinton still has a lot of baggage following her around.  I don’t think she did anything illegal while Secretary of State using her private email accounts, but that is still to be determined fully.

So, I will wait and see if I can get more details about the two before I endorse either of them.  There are still too many questions for me to make up my mind.

The one thing I noticed on the Republican side is that a full 75% of Republicans caucused for liars.  I know that is a harsh criticism, but it is true.  None of the top three delegate getters are known to tell the truth.

It is also very interesting that a person who now claims to be a “Christian” but was divorced three times came in second in a very religious state.  To me, that is something that is being missed by the so-called pundits about Iowa.  I was not surprised that Trump came in second, but I must admit I was somewhat surprised that he came as close as he did.

It is true that Rubio will be glowing after last night.  He will claim that he “won” even though he came in third.  His placement wasn’t that much of a surprise, but the numbers he garnered were.  Yet, he was the one “establishment” Republican that the party seems to be willing to back.

As a result, he got a big boost from the establishment wing leading up to the caucus.  It will be interesting just how much that wing of the party will be willing to go to stop both Cruz and Trump by throwing their unconditional support behind Rubio.

To me, the polices that are coming out from the three top runners on the Republican side are the most dangerous in my lifetime.  And that includes Richard Nixon.  I dread to believe that they are the “best” the party has to offer.

In any case, the nomination process has officially opened.  Iowa was no surprise to me, except maybe on the Democratic side.  New Hampshire may be interesting on the Republican side, but I believe Sanders will win on the Democratic side.  But, you never know.

It would be nice, as we proceed down the road, if the media would actually put the candidates feet to the fire and ask some meaningful questions.  Like what are your specific plans and policies if you should win the election.  The problem is that the media has lost focus on what their job is.  They lost focus that their primary duty is to “inform” the population.  They are more interested in “dirt” and “scandals” than the actual news.

There is going to be a lot of talk about winners and losers last night.  But, it is Iowa.  A state with a very small niche population.  All last night has shown me is that the Republicans will nominate some kind of wacko to be their standard-bearer.

The Democrats seem to have a real race on their hands.  Something they had not expected when this all started.  From what I have seen so far, their two choices are far better for America than the whole field of Republicans put together.  At least they have illustrated a capacity to think.

There are a lot of issues that still need to be talked about.  Climate Change is real.  Public Education is in trouble.  Hate is running rampant in too many areas of the country.  The Affordable Care Act is constantly under attack.  Energy needs to be addressed.  We need to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels for a cleaner environment and a better, less expensive energy source for our businesses to compete globally.

These are all things that the top three Republicans want to avoid talking about.  They seem to believe that it is not our responsibility to address them or even try to fix them.

They don’t care if you have lead in your drinking water.  They don’t care if you care about the environment.  They want to protect their biggest investors, fossil fuel companies, and shut down clean energy projects.  They don’t care if you have health insurance or if your children can read and write.  They are perfectly fine with your hating people, but only if they are Muslim, minority, women, or gay.

That is what I took from the Republican side last night.  These are the very things that 75% of Iowa voters voted for!

The determining factor in this whole process, including the general election, will be if Americans actually participate.  If they do, the people may actually be the winners.  If not, we will all lose.  It is up to you, so please vote!

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I didn’t think it could get any worse than it already has been.  But, last night’s debate was arguably the most nauseating exposition I have witnessed since my last Natural Disaster relief work.  It was like watching seven zombies talking like their brains had already been killed off.

As with he other debates, we learned that Republicans really hate Hillary Clinton.  There for a time, I thought that was who they were debating instead of each other.

Here is what we know these Republican Candidates really believe:

  • Americans are being killed by ISIS terrorists every day in numbers unbelievable.
  • America’s military in incapable of waging wars anywhere in the world, there is no morale in the military except bad morale, and that it is equivalent to a third world country.
  • All Muslims are terrorists and should be barred from coming into the country.  Even if they aren’t all terrorists, they harbor terrorists just the same.
  • The southern border is so porous we can expect the Mexican Army at any time in an effort to take back Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
  • Even allowing undocumented aliens to gain “legal status” instead of citizenship is the same as “amnesty”.  Which means Cruz is against it, even though he is in favor of it.
  • They all hate the Affordable Care Act, but don’t have any plans for a replacement, except what we had before the Act was put into place.  As a matter of fact, they claim that more people “lost” their insurance than gained insurance.
  • The economy is so terrible that we must have a 25% unemployment rate rather than the 5% rate the Department of Labor says we have.
  • The rich aren’t getting enough money, so we must cut their taxes while we raise everyone else’s taxes.
  • They all want our laws to be based on “Christian” laws, even though they say that is what ISIS wants, all laws based on “Muslim” laws.
  • They all hate the idea of same-sex marriage.
  • They all hate President Obama.  This one is hard for me.  I couldn’t tell if they hate the President more than Hillary Clinton, or the other way around.
  • They love war!  Especially if that war is against a Muslim country like Iran.

There are other things that they talked about, but that is the gist of the debate.  Even when shown video clips proving their “flip-flops” the candidates tried to explain that the clips were wrong.

Of course, all of the pundits want to say someone won and someone lost.  If anything, Ted Cruz came out on the losing end.  He tried the “anger” meme so often he appeared to almost foam at the mouth.  He never answered a single question.  I still say if you put green makeup on his face, he is the spitting image of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  Marco Rubio, who many pundits said did well, appeared to be reading from talking points everytime he tried to answer a question.

Ben Carson was totally incoherent.  I sat with my mouth open during his responses wondering just what the hell he was talking about.  Jeb Bush seemed more comfortable without Trump, but his rhetoric of his “proven track record” got old real quick.  Kasich tried to appear confident and happy.  His answers were a little more direct, but not enough to actually say anything about what he would actually do.

Chris Christie had a one track mind.  Hillary Clinton.  Every answer somehow came back to Hillary Clinton, like she was the devil incarnate and he was the second coming sent to stop her.  Rand Paul seemed the most coherent on stage.  He never raised his voice, but he never said anything either.  It was almost like he was just happy to be at the “grown up table” again.

Of course the elephant in the room was Trump.  He was out doing what he called raising money for veterans.  Yet, no one knows which veterans groups are actually going to get any of the reportedly $6 million raised for veterans.  All of the money is going to “trumpforvets.org”.  Which didn’t even exist until yesterday morning.

Since Trump wasn’t there, ratings for Fox News was down for the debate.  Yes, it was still large, but one of the least watched debate so far.  The question is were the ratings down because Trump wasn’t there, or were the ratings down because Americans are getting tired of the same fear mongering and hate mongering every time these candidates open their mouths?

I am sorry, but the RNC should really consider cancelling the rest of their debates.  I feel like I am being forced to watch a very bad movie over and over again because there is only one TV channel and it only has that one bad movie.

If I were a religious person, I would take Ted Cruz’s advice at the end of the debate.  I would pray.  Only I would pray that these morons somehow disappear and leave the rest of us to live our lives in peace and harmony.  Two words none of these candidates can spell, much less define!

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Unfortunately, for Republicans, the Flint Water Crisis just won’t go away.  The real problem is that the Flint Water Crisis is only a symptom of just how much damage Republican policies can be for everyone.

As you know, the Republican party says everything with the environment is just fine.  We don’t have huge air pollution problems, we don’t need to protect our drinking water, we don’t suffer from climate change.  Everything is just fine.

In contrast, without even noticing the hyprocisy in their story, Fox News trotted out their on-air doctor the other day to tell people not to eat the snow.  That is right, according to their own doctor, you should not eat snow, even white snow.

Here is the irony and an argument against the Republican argument that everything is okay with our environment.  You shouldn’t eat snow, according to the good doctor, because it contains benzene from car exhaust!

WOW!  I guess everything isn’t okay with the environment after all.  If it was, you would be able to eat the snow because it would not contain benzene.  You wouldn’t be poisoning yourself.

Of course, that didn’t stop Fox News from basically saying this was similar to the Flint Water Crisis.  Nor did it stop it from getting Governor Snyder from blaming others for the problem, even though he supposedly apologized to the people of Flint for his lack of action.

The Governor’s office is quick to point out that in 2013 the city’s elected officials voted 7-1 to switch the water from Detroit to Flint.  The Flint River has served as a backup for years.  But, it was never used for more than a few days.

Nor does his office say that the switch was supposed to take place in 2016 or 2017 after proper facilities and treatment were in place.  That part never seems to hit the governor’s agenda of speaking points.

On top of that, it has been reported that even the Governor’s appointed dictator, the Emergency Manager, was against the switch.  But, the Governor overruled that decision and forced the switch.

Why was a switch even necessary?  It was necessary because one of the Governor’s other appointed dictators raised the cost of drinking water from Detroit to Flint.  The move would save Flint about 1 to 2 million dollars per year.

Almost immediately, the citizens of Flint complained about the drinking water being orange, brown, yellow, and smelling foul.  Even a GM plant switched to another water source because the Flint water was causing problems at their plant.

Still, the Governor did nothing.  The Michigan government did nothing because they were going to show how Republican Business Models translated into smaller government and less taxes for corporations.

This is the type of things that happen when a government is run like a business.  Safety of the people, workers, or whatever you want to call them are all secondary to the bottom line.

Our history is full of comparisons of tragic accidents because corporations failed to take the safety of their workers into consideration instead of the bottom line.  And that lack of concern isn’t just in our past, it is still happening today.

The other problem is that an outbreak of Legionnaires Disease has sickened 87 people and killed 10 citizens of Flint because of the bad water.  Governor Snyder in his state of the state address said he would “fix” the problem.  How do you “fix” dead people?

Of course, none of this had to happen in the first place.  It happened because Governor Snyder got a huge tax cut for corporations.  He also raised taxes on pensioners and poor people.  An analysis by the Detroit Free Press in 2014 showed individuals were forking over a total of $900 million more a year. By contrast, businesses paid $1.7 billion less annually after Snyder cut their tax bills.

If the corporations had not received their huge tax breaks, which by the way has not increased employment in the state, Michigan would have an additional $8.5 billion to help struggling cities like Flint afford clean water.

In October, the Governor approved 12 million dollars to switch Flint Water back to the Detroit water.  Why couldn’t he approve that money before the crisis?  Because that would mean he would have to acknowledge that “people” counted more than money.

To show exactly why this is more than just about Michigan, you need to look at how Jeb Bush applauded the governor for his “handling” of the crisis.  He thinks it is wonderful that the Governor apologized for the problem.

Of course, he never said the problem should never have happened in the first place.  He never put any blame on the Governor for the problem either.  See in the Republican “business model” if people get sick or die because of your actions, all you have to do is apologize and everything is forgiven.

Something else that is being lost in the rhetoric is the fact that Snyder, that small government politician who hates the Federal government, wants that very same Federal Government to bail him out.

He asked the President to declare a “State of Emergency” and give him $96 million to fix the problem.  The President said that federal law limits what he can do because this is a “manmade” problem, not a natural disaster.  He did award $5 million to the state to help.

Naturally, Snyder is appealing the President’s decision.  The tragedy in Flint was a choice. This was a values decision about what was important. Giving a break to big business was the top priority for venture capitalist Snyder. Operating a shoddy government, over-taxing pensioners and poisoning Flint’s children was the result.

But, just like Wall Street “robber barons” Snyder is demanding $96 million from the Federal Government to bail out his poor decisions.  That is what faces the country if Republicans take the White House later this year.

Couple that with the Republicans trying to pass legislation that would severely limit the ability to file a “class action” law suit, it leaves you with no where to turn for help.  Which is exactly what Republicans want.  You don’t count.  Only corporations and money count.

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If you want to find out just where the “loyalty” of Republican candidates sit, just watch their actions.  An ultra-conservative governor poisoned a whole city with lead drinking water, and not one Republican candidate has even mentioned it.

The National Review published articles from 22 conservatives denouncing Trump.  The RNC in favor of “freedom of the press” disinvited the magazine from hosting its debate in Houston next month.

There are armed terrorists holding a wildlife preserve hostage in Oregon, and the most we have heard from the candidates is “well, they really shouldn’t do that”.  No condemnation and no call for them to be removed and prosecuted for their crimes.

One of the most glaring “loyalty” tests come from New Jersey.  And the likelihood is you haven’t heard about it very much.  It has to do with a law in New Jersey that would have kept carjackers or anyone convicted of gang activity or terroristic threats from owning or purchasing a firearm in New Jersey.

However, in New Jersey, the law say if the governor doesn’t sign the bill in a certain period of time, the bill is considered vetoed.  The Governor, Chris Christie didn’t sign the bill, and thus it was vetoed.

There are so many loopholes in who can buy a gun it is impossible to count them all.  Including the gun show loophole.  Yet, this governor decided that keeping guns from carjackers, gang activity and terrorist threats isn’t the right thing to do.

During Christie’s first four years in office, he did nothing to loosen the tight gun laws in New Jersey.  As a matter of fact, spokesman, Michael Drewniak, told reporters in January 2014 that Christie “supports New Jersey’s already tough gun laws.”

Then he won his second term and began tacking right on gun ownership.  He even told people at a town hall in New Jersey, “If you really want to change those laws in New Jersey, send me a Republican legislature and with a Republican legislature you’ll have a governor who will respect appropriately the rights of law-abiding citizens to be able to protect themselves.”

Still, the New Jersey legislature passed this piece of legislation to define additional criminals who should not be allowed to own guns.  The Assembly passed the bill in June with 68 lawmakers in favor and none voting “no.” Four lawmakers didn’t vote and eight abstained. In the state Senate, it passed 37-0 with three senators not voting.

That sounds like a real bipartisan vote to me.  But, apparently Christie doesn’t agree with that definition of bipartisanship.   One of the bills sponsors had this to say about the veto.

“The purpose of the bill was to make New Jersey safer. We were elected to take care of the people of New Jersey,” said state Assemblyman Timothy Eustace (D-Bergen). “The governor is running for president and doesn’t care about the people of New Jersey any more.”

He went on to say “he signed reasonable legislation before he was running for president. Now that he’s running for president he doesn’t.”

By his actions, I would suggest that Governor Chris Christie believes that carjackers, those convicted of gang activity or terroristic threats are “law-abiding citizens” with a right to protect themselves.

We already know from polling that 80 – 90 percent of Americans favor universal background checks when purchasing a gun.  We know that the Republican Party keeps saying they are only doing “what the American People want”.

Yet they are up in arms about universal background checks included in the Presidents actions on gun safety recently.  And, one of their “favorite” governors just vetoed a bill that had zero “no” votes against it.

These are all little snippets that show just where the Republican Party’s loyalties rest.  It is obvious to me that they do not rest with the American People.  If they did, Congress would have passed the gun legislation that came before them after Sandy Hook and Christie would have signed this bill.

It must be very comforting to the people of New Jersey that their Governor believes that carjackers, and people convicted of gang activities or terroristic threats are really “law-abiding citizens” who should be allowed to purchase guns.

And the “shirts” keep marching along!

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I have written about the problems veterans face in returning from combat and other duties many times.  One of the major problems we face is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Most people really don’t understand this problem.  A lot of people I know will say we just need to “pull ourselves up from our bootstraps”.

Which, as you can imagine is part of the problem.  PTSD is not some fictional thing.  It is real.  It affects millions of our veterans.  The problem is that you don’t have had to serve in a combat area to suffer from this problem.

Anyone who has worked in combat areas, disaster areas, or other traumatic situations can suffer from PTSD including “first responders” in our medical fields.  It affects people in different ways.  It can be triggered by what others consider mundane every day things.

You can be sitting around home when suddenly an image, a sound, or a smell triggers your memory of things you have witnessed.  And, unfortunately, you never know when it will happen.

It is real.  It affects your mood.  It affects your personality.  One minute you could be laughing with family and friends, and the next you are somewhere else that is less happy even tragic.  You can go from laughing to crying or screaming or even acting more violently.

This disease is nothing really new.  Veterans have suffered from it for hundreds of years.  You don’t witness or do the type of things veterans do without suffering any consequences.

It can happen suddenly without warning.  It is our families that also suffer with us.  They have to try to put the pieces back together.  They have to show patience and understanding of what we are going through.

There are basically three things that really need to be avoided by people with PTSD.  The first is alcohol.  The second is drugs.  The third is weapons.  People who suffer from this mental problem may turn to drugs or alcohol in order to “dull” the pain.  All they really do is intensify the problem.

Weapons should be avoided because when a veteran with PTSD has “had enough of the pain” they use a weapon to end it.  Way too many veterans commit suicide every single day.

The one thing that veterans really need is help.  They need the VA, which is by no means perfect, more than ever before.  In 2009 President Obama signed a bill to provide $4.9 Billion for “mental health care to treat the psychological wounds of returning combat veterans, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”  Additionally, his 2016 budget includes another $4 million for Veterans Mental Health First Aid.

This was the first time in my memory that much money was designated for the treatment of veteran’s mental health care.  The problem is that way too many veterans have difficulty in gaining access to treatment.  There simply are not enough VA clinics or hospitals.  Many veterans live hundreds of miles away from the nearest VA clinic.

The problem is that Congress won’t address the problem.  They won’t give the VA enough money to open new clinics.  Hell, they won’t give the VA enough money to fill the vacancies of nurses and doctors at the clinics already operating.

No, conservatives in Congress want to “privatize” the VA.  They want to shut down the VA and give us a voucher for our treatment. A voucher system that will require out-of-pocket expenses to be paid by us.

I am only bringing this up now, because that astute academia Sarah Palin is now blaming President Obama because her son was arrested on domestic violence charges and weapons charges.

Look, I am not going to get into the details of what happened at Palin’s own home because I really don’t know.  But, to blame the President is shifting blame, again by the very person who has no understanding of responsibility.

If Track Palin suffers from PTSD, then the abundance of alcohol and weapons at the Palin residence is more of a factor than the President.  There are millions of veterans who suffer from this tragic problem.  There is plenty of blame to go around in both political parties.

The unfortunate reality is that the American people deserve some of the blame as well.  These problems do not affect them.  They don’t have anyone in their family suffering from it.  They just don’t understand what we go through.

Today is no different than it was immediately after the Revolutionary War.  People just don’t think about the plight of veterans.  They will be happy to “thank us” for our service.  They just don’t want to be bothered by our problems.

No, Sarah, the President is not to blame for your son’s arrest.  The real blame for veterans problems goes to everyone, including yourself, who “thank us” but ignore our problems.  Veterans have always been used up and tossed on the trash heap.

That is what is to blame for our continuing problems.  Everyone needs to accept their fair share of blame for rejecting our veterans.  Sarah Palin included.  Maybe then politics won’t get in the way of providing us the services we really need.

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The Democrats held their fourth debate last night.  I know I haven’t had a lot to say about the Democratic debates.  The main reason is that I haven’t really made up my mind as to whom to support.

From what I have seen in the debates, Clinton seems to be holding her own, even last night when the other two attacked her.  I don’t believe there are a whole lot of differences between the Democratic candidates.  That is one of the things that is making it hard for me to choose one just yet.

They did talk about terrorism last night.  But, just like the Republicans no one mentioned the terrorists holding a wildlife refuge in Oregon hostage.

There was something last night that came up for the first time.  It wasn’t brought up by the moderators, but by the candidates themselves.  The poisoning of the citizens of Flint, MI in order to save money.

As you remember, Flint Michigan was forced to switch its drinking water from Detroit’s supply to the Flint River.  A contaminated river with large amounts of lead in it.  As a result, the Governor and his cronies basically put the health of the citizens of Flint in danger all in the name of “saving money”.

Last week, the Governor, Snyder, asked the Federal Government, mostly President Obama to declare an emergency in Flint to get federal help in the matter.  This after about a year of insisting there was nothing wrong with the Flint River water.

Bernie Sanders has called on Snyder to resign his office.  He says, and frankly quite so, that no one can hold a position like Governor after recklessly poisoning the population of a city.

Clinton also had some choice words for Snyder as well.  She brought up the issue last night by saying:

I spent a lot of time last week being outraged by what’s happening in Flint, Michigan, and I think every single American should be outraged. We’ve had a city in the United States of America where the population — which is poor in many ways, and majority African-American, has been drinking and bathing in lead-contaminated water. And the governor of that state acted as though he didn’t really care. He had requests for help that he basically stonewalled. I’ll tell you what, if the kids in a rich suburb of Detroit had been drinking contaminated water and being bathed in it, there would have been action. So I sent my top campaign aide down there to talk to the mayor of Flint, to see what I could do to help, and I issued a statement about what we needed to do, and then I went on a TV show, and I said it was outrageous that the governor hadn’t acted. I want to be a president that takes care of the big problems and the problems that are affecting the people of our country every day.

The real insult to the citizen’s of Flint is that no one in the major media has brought up this issue during any debates since December 15 when it all hit the headlines.  The Republicans have not said a single word about the problem.

I understand why the Republican Debates stay away from things like voting rights and climate change.  But, poisoning an entire city just to save a few bucks is criminal.  Why has there not been any discussion on this matter?

Probably because Clinton is correct.  Flint is mostly poor people, and predominantly minority.  So, why would you expect any Republican Candidate to worry about such people?  It isn’t like they expect to get many votes from Flint.

The one thing that becomes very obvious while watching the two party’s debates is who they are looking to support.  The Republicans seem very interested in getting votes from the very rich and racists.  That may sound extreme, but unfortunately that is the reality.

The Democrats seem to be wanting to get votes from the middle-class, working poor, and the poor of America.  They also seem to want the votes of “thinking” Americans.

The very fact that it was the candidates on the stage last night that brought up the Flint water poisoning is a simple truth that the Democrats are the one party that “cares” about the American people.

You can argue about how best to help the people.  You can argue about health care.  You can argue about taxes.  But, you cannot argue the simple fact that so far, the Republicans have shown no real empathy or understanding for the American People.

All you hear is how “authority” is under attack.  About how we should be totally scared shitless about ISIS coming to kill us all before November.  How we should abandon our civil rights in the name of “security”.  How we should have a war over anything to which they take offense.

They won’t talk about climate change, even though our own military says it is a severe threat to our national security.  They won’t talk about voting rights because they know their laws are voting restriction laws.  They won’t talk about gun safety because they know 80 percent of the American people want universal background checks.

Finally, they won’t talk about a Republican governor poisoning the citizens of a city in his state because he wants to save money.  They won’t talk about how that governor created the emergency and now wants the federal government to bail him out.  The same federal government most Republicans want to dismantle.

Which once again proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the Republicans are the biggest “takers” in the country.   What’s more, they have proven they don’t care about you!  They don’t care about your families.  They are only interested in money and power.

They will use any means necessary to gain your vote.  Then, when they have your vote, they will cast you aside like garbage from the basement.  That is your choice this election year.  Do you consider yourself as having value, or are you garbage?   The Republicans hope you consider yourself as garbage.

That is why no one on the Republican side has called for Snyder’s head.  He is the embodiment of their “social” values!

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The Fox Business News channel showed last night just how to NOT moderate a Presidential Debate.  That was the most ridiculous thing to date.  The moderators, Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo were absolutely lousy at their jobs.

While watching the debate I remember thinking I haven’t seen that many softballs in the air since my last slow-pitch softball tournament.  These two have no idea what a “tough” question is.  They asked leading questions and never once followed with a pointed question to a response.

Of course there are debates about who “won or lost” the debate.  So far, Trump Cruz and Rubio seem to be leading the “who won” category.  I am not so sure.  I don’t like Kasich, but he was the only one on the stage that seemed to understand you don’t build consensus with war bluster.

On a brief side note.  Is it just me, or with a little green makeup, wouldn’t you say that Ted Cruz looks exactly like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas?  His policies fit in nicely with that look.

I did learn one thing, if we had a President Cruz today, we would be at war with Iran right now.  His disdain for that country showed very brightly last night.  His mention of the 10 sailors who were briefly held by Iran for infringing into their territorial waters was completely unhinged.

I know I haven’t said anything about the event to date, so let’s examine what happened.  Two “boats” not “ships” strayed into Iranian waters because of a navigation system breakdown.  The Iranian Coast Guard seized the two boats and took the 10 sailors on them as prisoners.

The next morning all ten sailors and their two boats were released into International Waters, just as Iran had promised the night before.  None of the sailors were mistreated.  Even DOD admitted that it was a navigation error.

But, according to Cruz, that was an act of war on the part of Iran.  He seems to think that even though we went into their waters, the Iranians don’t have the right to act to protect “their” interests.

The other thing that is quite apparent about these “candidates” is that they love the idea of going to war.  They talked about how the military is being “dismantled” by this President.  They always forget to say the reason the DOD is forced to cut manpower is because of the sequester cuts forced upon it.

The same sequester that Republicans “wanted” to take place to reduce the budget.  They also proved, once again, that they do not know how to add, subtract, multiply, or divide.  They keep talking about spending much more on the defense budget, but still want to cut taxes.

If the budget deficit is too damn high now, how can you spend more money on defense with less revenue coming into the federal coffers?  You can’t, unless you explode the deficit even more.

Not once did the moderators ask any of the war mongering candidates how they would pay for this expansion of defense spending.  I guess you could say that the deficit isn’t such a big deal to them after all.

There was some talk about how the middle-class has lost ground in wages.  But, they never mentioned it was the banks, financial markets, mortgage companies, with help from their party by “deregulation” that crashed our economy.  They didn’t mention that their party is the one holding up infrastructure bills that would jump-start the economy by creating millions of good paying jobs.

They refused to mention that it is companies like Wal-Mart who bilk the U.S. Treasury of over a billion dollars every year in subsidies like food stamps because they won’t pay their workers a livable wage in the name of greater profits for themselves.  They refuse to raise the minimum wage to help the “working poor”.

They refuse to admit that once the recovery started, and continuing today, people are being rehired at lower wages with fewer benefits in the name of higher profits for the companies.

They claim that our Corporate Tax Rate is the highest in the world.  Yet forget to mention that about half of the Fortune 500 companies do not pay a single dime in taxes, every year due to loopholes and “imaginative” accounting practices.

To me, the only “interesting” part of the debate was the back-and-forth between Trump and Cruz about Cruz’s citizenship.  Trump claims it is a “hammer” hanging over Cruz’s head.   Cruz claims it was only brought up because Trump is afraid of the Cruz surge.

The thing is, the term in the Constitution that says you must be a “natural-born citizen” has never been defined by the courts.  One Democratic Congressman in Florida says if Cruz does win the nomination, he would sue to have him declared ineligible due to his Canadian birth.

Cruz argued that John McCain was born outside the U.S.  That is untrue.  The U.S. consists of the states and all territories.  John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone which was a U.S. territory at the time.  While in the Coast Guard, I was stationed on Guam.  Guam is a U.S. territory and all of its citizens are U.S. citizens at birth.

Cruz, on the other hand was born in Canada which is not a U.S. territory.  His father was not a U.S. citizen.  There are some “constitutional” lawyers who don’t think that makes him a “natural-born” citizen.

Of course, in the mind of Ted Cruz, the only reason they think that is because they are “left leaning liberals” trying to destroy him.  One of his law professors said last night that Ted Cruz is not a Constitutional Purest as he claims, but rather a Constitutional Opportunist.

I don’t know if Cruz is eligible based on his birth or not.  That is really a matter for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide.  The irony in that is I can envision that the four “liberal” members would rule in his favor.  Yet, the five “conservative” members might just disagree with Cruz on this.

I do have a question for Cruz.  Where in our Constitution does it say that people of the same sex cannot be legally married?  It isn’t in there.  So, if you are a “Constitutional Purest” how can you be against same-sex marriage?

The same Constitution declares there is to be a separation of church and state.  So, if you are a “Constitutional Purest” how can you assert that “religious doctrine” should be the law of the land?  Isn’t it really “religious doctrine” that says marriage is to be between one man and one woman and not our civil laws laid out in the Constitution?

Once again, this debate gave no substantive plans on how to grow the country except for the usual “trickle-down economic” policies that have wrecked our economy and failed us miserably.  Nothing was discussed that would “make us safe” from terrorism, except that we should give up our privacy to the NSA for the sake of security.

Nothing was mentioned about climate change which even our Department of Defense says is one of the biggest security threats we face as a nation.  Nothing was said about the armed domestic terrorists holding a wildlife refuge hostage.

If terrorism is so important to us as a nation, why aren’t they calling for the army to be called in to remove these terrorists from that wildlife refuge?  Why won’t Ted Cruz call them “Radical Domestic Terrorists”?  Is it because they are white and “Christian”?

Last night was just another example of a Fox News station holding a feeble attempt at a Presidential Debate.  We deserve better.  And, quite frankly, the candidates deserve better.  But, that is what happens when your loudest cheerleaders are the ones holding the “debate”.

The only thing very apparent to me is that when these conservatives get together on a stage and “debate” the only losers are the American People.   If one of these “gentleman” actually become President, I foresee a country constantly at war.  I foresee the comeback of “company stores” and slave wages.  I foresee the end of our democracy.

When it comes to the Republican Party, the inmates are running the asylum.  We cannot let them run our country.

 

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