Monday, September 21, 2015


On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, John Heilemann of Bloomberg Politics and New York magazine confirmed that Hillary Clinton was the one who first voiced concern that Obama was Muslim.

It was 2008 and it was an interview with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton on "60 Minutes".

Last week, she was among the first to jump on Trump about his supposed obligation to argue with a questioner in a town meeting in New Hampshire about that subject. Trump didn't really comment, just moved on.

Well, Hillary, you were the first. Did you think people would not remember?

Heilemann has covered politics at a high level for 25 years and is an author and expert on presidential campaigns.

On another topic, Ben Carson--how can an individual who believes that Sharia law should replace any other law (like the Constitution) be elected and confirmed to a office whose sworn duty is to uphold the Constitution?

Sunday, September 20, 2015


In the vernacular of Poker, a "bad beat" is when you have a good hand, say a pair of 8's and the board (we are talking Texas Hold 'Em here) has five cards, a Jack, a five, an 8 and a pair of fours. You, then have a Full House, "8's full of fours." You bet confidently, another player evidently has a good hand, maybe holding a 6 and 7 to fill a straight, and matches you at every turn. When all is "called," you lay down your full house, only to find that the other player has a pair of Jacks in his hand.

That's a "bad beat."

Nebraska had the "game won" with seconds to go. The opponent was down to the last play over 40 yards from the end zone. The "Hail Mary" (or "Hail Joseph" since they were BYU?) was successful and Nebraska lost. That NEVER WORKS!! That is a bad beat. There is another story here that daughter-in-law Amy pointed out--the replacement quarterback for BYU, Tyler Mangum, had been on Mission for his church and hadn't either really worked out or been involved in football for two years until he returned home in June. Before he entered college, he competed with Jameis Winston at a football camp, was co-MVP, and Winston went on to be the Heisman winner and first draft pick.

Then, and this is amazing, he completed another Hail Mary the next week against Boise State. That just doesn't happen.

The Chiefs had the ball, 20 yard line, score tied after the Broncos came back. Seconds left. Everybody in the stands thought "overtime," and that would have been just one kneel-down. Instead, hand off to Charles, fumble, picked up by Denver and the guy runs it in for the score and the win. BAD BEAT.

When it happens to teams I am rooting for, the Huskers and the Chiefs, it is amazing, out of the ordinary, unbelievable, etc. But this happens all the time...although not, perhaps, in quite so dramatic a fashion.

As you all know, I have a particular fascination with baseball, and its lessons about life in general include bad beats, getting what you deserve, etc. When you have lived as long as I have, you begin to accept the old adage about life not being fair, some people are just no good and that there are going to be Bad Beats. Recovering from those is always the real test.

Hang in there, all of you.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


I have resisted just about long enough. Time to fire off another volley in the Carly saga.

The common opinion is that she won both debates, the "B" team debate earlier and this latest show. I guess we can call them "debates," but they are mostly TV theater. Not exactly the Lincoln/Douglas style or substance.

I have watched on YouTube some of her interviews and believe they demonstrate a high level of preparation and intelligence. She is way above the level of the "political class" she often references.

Take for instance the baiting by the likes of George Stephanopoulos (you would think he could at least get a last name that was easier to spell and quit posing as anything other than a trained monkey for the Democrats) and Katie Couric. They come off looking and sounding like lightweights.

There are two interviews that I would highly recommend for anyone wanting to learn more about candidate Carly Fiorina, both with a "friendly" interviewer, Hugh Hewitt. First, hear her talk about foreign policy in contrast to the same interviewer asking similar questions of Trump:

Then an interview with the same guy a month ago, 20 minutes long, but worth it:

Little things to know and tell--her father was a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and she praises her father, a former law professor and conservative jurist, for his courage in resisting the tendency of the Ninth Circuit to "make law" rather than interpret what the law actually is. That seems to be the fundamental difference between conservative and liberal when considering the courts, and in the last few years, the Supremes have drifted far afield.

She aspired as a young person to be a concert pianist. She worked as a Kelly Girl temp. She is a cancer survivor and her step-daughter died early due to drugs. She has made mistakes, but then most everyone who has actually led a life of accomplishment has made mistakes.

One of her likely opponents, Joe Biden, is no match. The book by former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates is respectful and gracious to both his presidential bosses, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. But his only comment on Biden is that he was "consistently wrong on every major foreign policy matter for 20 years." Biden was singled out for his lack of ability in a book that delicately avoided gossip and criticism typically used to sell books.

I have wondered if she can win. Don't know the answer to that one. But she would make a good President, a terrific leader. Kinda reminds you of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


I remember watching both nominating conventions on black and white TV in 1956 (I had just turned 11 years old and it is a testament, perhaps, to the paucity of good TV back then). I thought it was fascinating, and we didn't even get to see the "smoke-filled rooms." Noisy, raucous, confusing and in the end, from the Cow Palace in San Francisco, Eisenhower/Nixon for the Republicans, and from Chicago, Stevenson/Kefauver for the Democrats.

Both of the outcomes were pretty predictable. Back then, the Democrats were intent on putting forward their champion who embodied principles held dear by the Party, regardless of his appeal to the electorate. Wow, they have surely gotten over that!! The Republicans would have had to display the kind of death wish we saw with the McCain/Palin ticket. But they rode a strong horse and didn't get off. "I Like Ike."

Here's the kicker--those conventions were the beginning and end of the presidential nomination cycle and they were held in August of 1956, about 75 days before the election. We are now being pounded over the head with politics and have been a year and one-half before the election. At this point, we still have over 14 months to go. Getting kinda long.

Last debate: Jeb Bush just doesn't have it. He is dull and not made for TV. Trump is made for TV, but empty of anything substantive. One would hope that Carly would coach whoever gets the nomination on how to handle the media, but in my mind, the potential nominee (with both Washington and gubernatorial experience) is Kasich. The ticket will be, my prediction, Kasich/Rubio.

Now, on the Democratic side. The public seems pretty unlikely to hire a continuance of the Obama days. Clinton's stock has plummeted, not helped by her admission that she has "thought about" putting Bill on the ticket with her. Ah, yes. Bernie Sanders. Going to turn the US into a socialist state, like Sweden or something. The good folks of North Dakota tried that in the first half of the twentieth century, and despite their homogeneous demographic makeup, their Scandinavian heritage, they just couldn't make the socialist/communist deal work. Not in America.

The Dems need to get busy with a real candidate, and soon.

Meanwhile, President Obama has cautioned the candidates that bad-mouthing the United States (like he did in both elections) is not a good thing to do. Gee, it got him elected...twice.

Meanwhile, the business of governance takes a back seat to this interminable made-for-TV reality show.