<![CDATA[Carol's Piece of Mind - The Texas Rattler]]>Wed, 22 Nov 2017 01:36:57 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[GUMMING UP TAX REFORM]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 02:43:50 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/the-texas-rattler/gumming-up-tax-reformPicture(Image Source: atr.org)
As tax reform takes center stage in the federal legislative process, we see a storm on the horizon coming right out of the U.S. Senate. This is basically the same outcome we saw with the attempt to repeal and/or replace Obamacare. The Senate Republicans, under the leadership of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, managed to gum up the works to the point that nothing was achieved. Well, here we go again.

In the House’s recently released proposal to reform the tax code, tax brackets would be cut down from seven down to three with downward tax rate adjustments in all but the top tax brackets. In this case, the vast majority of workers throughout the USA would have benefited with a reduction in annual income taxes and a more simplified approach to the filing of those taxes. Also included in the proposal was a reduction of the corporate tax rate to one more globally competitive for U.S. companies. This move was seen by many as a job creator as well as an incentive to bring back off-shore money.

As soon as the House’s tax proposal was unveiled, the Left began with their usual chant that the plan did nothing more than benefit the rich. Of course, the Left never wants to offer any “tax relief” to the American people because then they wouldn’t be able to tax and spend and tax and spend. Giving tax relief to the masses would not benefit the liberal spending agenda that is aimed at one thing—buying votes. So, we have reached the usual impasse with the Left, who act as though giving the American people any tax relief can only be done at their discretion.

Now the Senate RINOs have offered up their version of tax reform, with the obvious goal of undermining the House version. In the Senate version, all seven tax brackets remain intact with only some rate variations within each level. According to some sources, this plan will hit up to 25 percent of the households with an income range between two and five hundred thousand dollars with higher annual taxes. The Senate proposal also calls for delaying any consideration of corporate tax relief until 2019—an obvious ploy to delay possible fallout before the 2018 midterms. Once again, their lack of political courage is stunning. If one truly believes that reducing the corporate tax rate would improve job creation, increase wages, and bring more money back into the USA, wouldn’t it be the right thing to do and to do immediately? But political expediency dictates their strategy, not the will of the people.

The liberal media is already referring to the Senate proposal as the “Trump tax plan,” which is a total misrepresentation since it was created by the Senate and does not align with Trump’s initial proposal. Negative aspects of the Senate plan have been highlighted, with the media digging up taxpayers who will be paying more. What a shame they did not expend the same energy on identifying those thousands of individuals who would lose their health coverage or see their premiums skyrocket under Obamacare rather than promote it as a new miracle healthcare plan for everyone.

If there is any credible effort on McConnell’s part to actually get a tax reform package on the president’s desk, there is no evidence of it yet. The alternative reform proposal offered up by the Senate certainly makes it appear that an effort is being made but that is the point. It is all smoke and mirrors, just as it has been on other issues addressed since President Trump came to office. McConnell and his band of phony Republicans caved on every front to Obama and his administration, and now they are dragging their feet on any reform getting passed by the Trump Administration. No doubt he will claim that the Senate tax plan was based on gaining bipartisan support in order to ensure the necessary votes for passage.

President Trump has stated many times over that the swamp in Washington D.C. needs to be drained. The performance of Senate RINOs over the issues of healthcare and tax reform definitely proves that there are many seats that need to be filled by conservative shoes. The presiding members ignore our outrage at their political lack of will and spineless inaction at their peril.


©Copyright WBrown2017. All Rights Reserved.

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<![CDATA[THE LIBERAL GUN-GRAB]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 00:25:26 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/the-texas-rattler/the-liberal-gun-grabPicture(Image Source: conservativereview.com)
As anyone could predict, the recent shooting at Sutherland Springs Baptist Church near San Antonio, Texas has fired up the engines of the Left, who are once again calling for more gun control. The shooting spree carried out by 26 year-old Devin Kelley resulted in the death of 26 individuals and the wounding of 15 to 20 more who were attending the Sunday morning church service. Apparently, Kelley had obtained his firearm through legal channels, which in hindsight appears to have been a horrific mistake.

Devin Kelley had a history of domestic violence. The most recent occurred in 2012, while Kelley was serving in the U.S. Air Force. At that time, he physically attacked his ex-wife and hit his young son so hard that his skull was fractured. As a result of that incident, Kelley was placed in a mental health facility in New Mexico from which he soon escaped and was recaptured by local law enforcement. Kelley was then court-martialed and given a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force. Unfortunately, the Air Force failed to follow legal protocol and notify civilian authorities of Kelley’s violent behavior. Had all this information been properly documented, it is highly probable that Devin Kelley would not have been able to legally secure a firearm. Of course, he could have always pursued alternate means and illegally secured one to carry out his action.

During his tenure in the Air Force, Kelley apparently had difficulty with his behavior and got crossways with his commanding officer. He ended up making death threats against the officer and was eventually caught attempting to smuggle a firearm onto the base. Had his efforts not been exposed, he obviously intended to make good on his threat. After returning to civilian life, he continued getting into trouble with the law, being charged with rape and for sending threatening text messages to his former mother-in-law. Authorities are still searching for the reason why he opened fire on the church-goers, but for now it appears that he was bent on killing his ex mother-in-law who attended the church.

I detail Mr. Kelley’s history to assert that such shootings will not be prevented with the implementation of stricter gun control laws. One only needs to look at Chicago to see that such laws have failed to stem either the violence or the killing in that city. As the old saying goes, “If you collect all the guns, only the criminals will have guns.” The Left is always focused on the gun and not the individual in possession of it—a true error in judgment on their part. Of course they prize “symbolism over substance” and, as usual, political chaos ensues. Think about the foolishness of No Gun Zones, where the shooter reads the sign as Easy Prey.

Now, if we attempted to institute a process whereby individuals who are identified as mentally unstable are denied access to firearms, the Left would likely scream “No, you cannot label someone as mentally unstable! They are differently abled!  After the Texas church shooting, Senator Elizabeth Warren commented that, “God is not going to fix this,” and went on to ask, “How long will the Republicans wait to do something?” Alas, Senator Warren, your party was in charge of both the House and Senate for the first two years of the Obama presidency and you did nothing about it. What a hypocrite! Of course, the purpose of her statement was to lay the blame for the killings at the feet of the Republicans.

The truth of the matter is that in this situation, the military services and law enforcement groups should have properly documented Mr. Kelley’s violent and mentally unstable behavior. When he tried to purchase a firearm, his actions would have been on the record and he would have been turned down. But that is too easy an answer for the Left and it does not serve their purpose of making progress on dismantling the 2nd Amendment. When citizens begin offering to give up their rights in order to control the actions of others, we will know that the Progressives are moving forward on their agenda.

In the Utopian state envisioned by the Left, anything they say can be done can be done. Of course, that is not true but it sure sounds good on the first pass. Controlling particular guns will not eliminate mass shootings. That is simply a pipedream created wholly by the Left in their never-ending agenda to take guns out of the hands of American citizens. Much in the same fashion that mental illness plays into the discussion of homelessness, it also plays into gun violence. As long as we are willing to ignore the issue of mental instability, we will have someone who has the potential to be a mass murderer. We can never place false and misleading labels on our problems and expect to achieve viable and effective solutions. If we act on the demands of the Left in this regard, the only outcome will be law-abiding citizens losing their rights one by one.
 
©Copyright WBrown2017. All Rights Reserved.

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<![CDATA[AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL WITCH HUNT]]>Tue, 07 Nov 2017 13:37:42 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/the-texas-rattler/an-unconstitutional-witch-huntPicture(Image source: truthfeednews.com)
Last week Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller issued multiple indictments on Paul Manafort, turning the legal screws with the hope that Manafort will spill his guts over alleged Russian collusion by the Trump campaign. Manafort was Mr. Trump’s campaign manager from April to August in 2016. A business associate of Manafort’s, Rick Gates, was also charged on three counts of money laundering.

The indictments handed down have nothing to do with the Trump campaign or activities associated with it, but cover actions which go back to 2006—elevens ago. Robert Mueller was FBI Director during that time and should have been aware of Manafort’s dealings with the Russians, but he did not see fit to pursue those connections until now because this is his best chance to leverage any information Manafort may possess concerning Trump and Russia. If Manafort cooperates, Mueller will let him down easy and essentially ignore any crimes he may have committed. This is the dirty side of prosecution.

Paul Manafort has known that he was in trouble since the FBI made a sunrise raid on his home several months back. If indeed he knew anything of value, he would have likely served it up to the Special Prosecutor already in the hope that he would be spared any further hassling. It is apparent Manafort had ties with the Ukraine acting as a non-registered agent of that government, but that does not have anything to do with Mr. Trump or his presidential campaign. The question is, will Manafort perjure himself to save his neck?

As this circus continues to get the daily attention of an obviously biased media, other criminals continue to walk the street. Where is Attorney General Jeff Sessions when it comes down to getting to the bottom of the Uranium One deal struck by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama—a deal that handed over 20% of U.S. uranium resources to the Russian government. Why isn’t he investigating the $145 million donated to the Clinton Foundation from those associated with the Russian deal shortly after the deal was struck or the $500,000 speaking fee Bill Clinton received from a Russian bank about the same time? Then, of course, there is the question concerning what Barack Obama might have gotten out of the deal.
 
About all AG Sessions has accomplished to date is the removal of the non-disclosure agreement which will allow a businessman to reveal what he knows about Hillary Clinton and the DNC hiring Fusion GPS to create the fake dossier on Trump. Even though the way has been cleared for the man to testify, both Republican and Democrat members of Congress are demanding that it be conducted behind closed doors, citing the sensitivity of the information as it pertains to national security. In truth, they are worried that their own names might just turn up. Nevertheless, the American people have a right know as much as this man can disclose and as soon as possible. Even so, one has to wonder if anything will come of it. We have seen all kinds of scandals paraded before those committees in recent years and it becomes nothing more than a staged drama for the cameras—there is absolutely no accountability.  

I am sure that Robert Mueller will be regularly reminding Paul Manafort and Rick Gates that they need to talk if they have any hope of avoiding prosecution. But Mueller may have a problem himself. At least one law scholar is suggesting that Mueller’s entire investigation is unconstitutional in several ways. Pepperdine University law professor Douglas W. Kmiec recently penned an article in the Los Angeles Times pointing out that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russian probe and stated that Mr. Mueller does not report to him. Accordingly, Kmiec contends that Mueller has no government supervisor.  Kmiec  also points out that Mr. Sessions did not conduct a specific initial probe into Russian collusion allegations and thus there was no basis for the appointment of a special counsel, i.e., Mueller. Mueller would have to have been appointed by Congress—which did not happen. Therefore, Kmiec concludes that any indictment issued by Mueller’s team would be unconstitutional. If this is indeed the case, then why aren’t conservatives calling a halt to the witch hunt? Why is Sessions staying silent?

©Copyright WBrown2017. All Rights Reserved.

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<![CDATA[BOGGING DOWN ON TAX REFORM]]>Mon, 30 Oct 2017 23:13:59 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/the-texas-rattler/bogging-down-on-tax-reformPicture(Image source: MyGovtCosts.org)
Republican unity on tax reform does not appear to be on much more solid ground than the failed effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, and the cause of that lack of unity is the same: The RINO establishment has no intention of supporting President Trump’s efforts on any particular issue unless it benefits their agenda. This attitude is most evident in Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, and Arizona Senator John McCain. Not one of them wants to do anything other than pay lip service to the need for reform on any particular issue and then go in the opposite direction.

Recently on a Sunday morning program, Mitch McConnell took a swipe at his own Republican party members by referring to them as these people. He was referring to the real conservatives in the party who are either running or have been elected and are sticking by their conservative principles. McConnell referred to them as if they were outsiders misaligned to the party and its agenda when in truth they are attempting to carry out the will of the people—something McConnell, Corker, and McCain are not interested in doing.

Senator McConnell went on to point out that these people are not “electable” and should not be allowed to run for office. His point was clear—they need to reflect my attitudes and positions. Mr. McConnell then pointed out that the Republicans have enjoyed two straight Congressional terms in the majority. Obviously, one might be tempted to ask the senior senator, “And what have you accomplished during that time?” The answer is clear—little of note. Instead, this bunch sat on their hands and trembled in fear that if they did anything of substance, they would own it politically and none of them had the guts to go there. This is exactly the reason why so many Republican voters are outraged; their elected officials lack the courage to use the power they were given!

Senator Corker made his rounds of the network morning coffee klatches last week, chiding President Trump for attempting to guide the tax reform process. His advice to Trump seemed to be, Why don’t you step aside and leave this to the professionals. Come on, really? The so-called “professionals” are the ones who have bestowed upon this nation the current ridiculous tax structure. They can also take credit for the over $20 trillion in national debt and a military that has been gutted by the Obama Administration. This is why President Trump is eager to guide this process very closely. When Bob Corker reaches multi-billionaire status, then we might listen to his perspective on how to collect and spend money. President Trump has seen the tax code from both sides of the desk and he knows very clearly the impact it's had on the American people and small businesses throughout this country. That is the reason he is so involved and passionate.

Senator Corker has announced that he will not seek re-election next year. Of course, he is claiming that he told his constituency that he would only pursue a two-term limit. The truth of the matter is he is so far out of sync with his constituents that he cannot get elected even to dog catcher on the Republican ticket. Consequently, he dare not embarrass himself with a memorable defeat by seeking another term in the Senate. But don’t be too sorry for him: He will simply head back to the farm and wait for his federal retirement check in the mail—a fat-cat on a full government pension.

Meanwhile, Senator John McCain once again tossed his conservative credentials aside during the recent attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare. McCain cast the deciding vote that resulted in the failure of the Republican effort to obtain the necessary fifty votes to pass. Now, on tax reform, McCain is calling for a bipartisan approach. Given the fact that the Democrats are presently operating as one in total “obstructionist” mode, anything resembling a bipartisan compromise is not likely to happen. McCain has to know that. What he is really doing is embracing the status quo on taxes, and, typical of him, playing the conservative while acting the liberal he always has been. This is likely McCain’s last term in the Senate. It is unfortunate that he will no doubt be remembered as one of the most ineffective, do- nothing RINO’s who occupied the people’s seat in the Senate. Sadly, that image will far overshadow his military service and time spent as a heroic prisoner-of-war in North Vietnam.

Ultimately, we the people have only one voice in Washington—that of President Donald Trump. The majority of those who populate seats on both sides of the aisle in Congress conveniently either do not remember or do not care who they work for. They also fail to understand why Donald Trump is in the Oval Office, even though it is quite clear to us. Let us hope President Trump gets tax reform done and that it does not face the same fate as the effort to undo Obamacare. Congress increasingly exhibits that it likes its old quid pro quo ways and that it does not have the interest of the people in mind. Keep that in mind when you enter the polling booth in 2018.


©Copyright WBrown2017. All Rights Reserved.

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<![CDATA[AMID CONFUSION AND CHAOS]]>Mon, 09 Oct 2017 23:46:24 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/the-texas-rattler/amid-confusion-and-chaosPicture(Image source: nydaily.com)
Last week, the tragic massacre of 59 people and the wounding of over 500 others who were attending an outdoor concert venue adjacent to the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas became the focus of the national news media. While the nation still mourns this tragic act and wonders what prompted it, the answers do not seem to be clearly before us. We look in vain for the logic in an illogical act—the proverbial needle in a haystack, so to speak.

What officials believe today is that the violence perpetrated upon these innocent, unaware concert-goers was carried out by a single shooter who had strategically placed himself in an interior corner, two-room suite on the 32nd floor, giving him the ability to shoot upon the crowd from two different angles. Looking at the position of the room and the distance between the two windows, one realizes that if indeed he acted alone, he must have rationalized that he could either be more effective shooting from two different angles or that his position would be more difficult to discern by the police.

Early on, theories on the shooter’s motive ranged from mental derangement to having become recently “radicalized.” It was readily apparent, too, that this was not an act that was carried out on the spur of the moment. It was immediately obvious that months had gone into its planning in order to effect mass carnage with a large cache of weapons and ammunition. In addition, based on the extremely rapid shots heard by concert-goers, it was readily apparent that some type of automatic weaponry was used.

Many, including myself, have long considered Las Vegas an ideal spot for possible terrorist activity because of the density of tourists who, diestracted by the glitz and glitter, are unaware of what is going on around them, as well as the nature of the venue itself—it’s too massive and inconvenient to secure in any meaningful way. Las Vegas was ripe for an act of terrorism and likely will remain so in the future. No doubt, many who frequent that town will think twice before planning any trips.

At this point, there is not enough information to determine much of anything concrete. I am troubled by the fact that there is no indication that the perpetrator, 64 year-old Stephen Craig Paddock, did not leave a note of any kind to explain himself. Certainly, something that was planned this long and devastated so many lives deserved explication. It just does not add up at this point—unless not leaving a note was meant to further wound friends and families by failing to give the victims’ deaths any meaning whatsoever, even if it was simply a matter of pure evil. But sometimes little things slip through the cracks in cases like these. As you may recall, Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, failed to repair the taillight on his getaway car or equip it with a license plate—an act of stupidity in light of all the planning he did. Such might be the case here, but it doesn’t seem likely.

One thing is certain in terms of carrying out any malevolent act and getting away with it successfully: One must create confusion and mass chaos. That certainly was the case with the Las Vegas tragedy and it leaves me—and possibly others—wondering who might have easily walked away amid the pandemonium with blood on their hands. Paddock may have been a participant, willing or not. One thing is for sure—if he was not the only participant, he was the one who was the patsy and purposely left behind, likely already dead.

This tragic act will no doubt take on a life of its own over time, and speculation as to how and why will never end. In that sense, I see it very much in the same light as President Kennedy’s 1963 assassination. Both created chaos and confusion. Both were seemingly committed by a lone shooter who was never able to convey his reasons to those anxiously listening for the answer. If indeed the Kennedy assassination was the act of more than one person, it certainly could have provided the blueprint for what happened in Las Vegas. But I doubt we will ever know.

 
©Copyright WBrown2017. All Rights Reserved.

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<![CDATA[WHEN SOLIDARITY OFFENDS]]>Mon, 02 Oct 2017 22:08:08 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/the-texas-rattler/when-solidarity-offendsPicture(Image Source: startelegram.com)
That smoke you see on the horizon is coming from the fan fallout with the most recent actions of the National Football League. That’s right—it is the NFL that has a huge problem. Yes, the players are creating it but the NFL is siding with them, thus the NFL and the team-owners will pay the highest price financially and in other ways down the road.

Actions have consequences and I truly believe that many of these NFL players are not smart enough realize it. Yes, many of them supposedly have a college degree, but do not let that piece of paper fool you as to how they got it. Football has picked up the tab for them since high school, offering them a free education, meaningless degree, and plenty of spending money along with a multitude of under-the-table rewards. Most of them consider football and the NFL in debt to them for their “service” to the game—they believe the game belongs to them and thus they will do with it what they want and you will just have to like it.

Oh, I beg to differ and so do the vast majority of the fans. We are not stupid and yes, we do like and respect our flag and our country. That is the reason that we play the National Anthem at sports events—to demonstrate that fact and show respect for those who have put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms. Unfortunately, that hard-won freedom includes the ill-advised actions of NFL players taking a knee and other disrespectful actions during the playing of the anthem.

As might be expected, after disrespecting the flag and the anthem, black players have now begun exhibiting the Black Power gesture after each tackle of an opposing white player or after making a strong play. New York Giants player Odell Beckham got down on his knees in the end zone and acted as if he were a dog peeing on the field. They call their actions showing solidarity, although solidarity with whom might be the question. It is certainly not the fans of NFL football who find these actions offensive to the point of turning their back on the sport.

The Dallas Cowboys took a knee as a team and locked arms with owner Jerry Jones in what they referred to as a moment of prayer. Most fans would not have a problem with that action except that it took place when they should have been standing with a hand over their hearts showing respect to our flag, our nation, and those who gave their blood and life for it. In reality,black players want to show that they are solidly behind the black population that they feel is being strong-armed by the police. They feel they are being strong-armed themselves when the police arrest their favorite drug-dealer or pick up one of their hanger-ons for some illegal action while out in public. The message they are sending is Hey, we play football and make a lot of money, you can’t treat us like regular people—we won’t be strong-armed! What a twisted mindset.

Now, black players in the NFL are demanding that the NFL recognize November as a month of protest against the actions of law enforcement—yet another slap in the face that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is considering for approval. Any team owner with even a small brain should know that such actions will be financial suicide for the NFL and the game. The fan base is already shrinking by double digits and that number will likely worsen if this trend continues over the course of the season. Fans of the game are there for the game and the excitement thereof, they are assuredly not interested in the politics and attitudes of the NFL players. Someone needs to convey that message and it looks like the fans are going to have to do it themselves.

At some point on this current path, the NFL and team-owners are going to realize what they have allowed to happen to their precious golden goose. At that point, when numbers on all sides are in decline, it will be too late to reach out and get the fan back. For without the fan, the game is nothing but a meathead freak show that might as well offer free admission to anyone who might show up. The fans ultimately shell out the billions of dollars supporting the game and its advertisers. The current actions of players are offending fans by the millions and ultimately turning them away from the sport. The golden goose is already drinking the poison and it can’t continue much longer without succumbing.

 
©Copyright WBrown2017. All Rights Reserved

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<![CDATA[OBAMACARE: IT’S NOW OR NEVER]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 12:10:37 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/the-texas-rattler/obamacare-its-now-or-neverPicture(Image source: legalinsurrection.com)
Congress is back from its fall break, with renewed interest in repealing Obamacare aflame among Republican Senators. It seems the visits back to their home districts got them a harsher feedback than they might have expected in some cases. Now there seems to be a bit of urgency as the September 30 deadline for congressional repeal looms large. This renewed activity leads one to question, “What planet have you been on up to now?”

In previous attempts, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could not muster the necessary Republican votes to successfully pass the repeal. It seems too many senators were wrapped around the axle in terms of criticizing any proposed replacement for Obamacare and thus unwilling to give their vote to the repeal. This time around, although some of those same feelings exist among a handful of senators,  they are feeling pressure from their constituents and staring at the September deadline when the current status will be set in concrete—we will have to live with this disaster called Obamacare if nothing is done.

The truth of the matter is this: Obamacare will implode by design and then Congress will have to face up to the fact that something must be done even if it means tossing more money into the bottomless pit that the Democrats and Barack Obama threw the American people in. Over time, that dark hole is going to become increasingly expensive and economically oppressive to a broad cross-section of Americans. The senator or senators who have not thought that through should give time to reflect on it and consider some level of compromise to filling the hole in permanently.

Ultimately, the American people would like to see the government move out of healthcare. If we remain mired in Obamacare, then there will be only one alternative down the road. Yes, I am speaking of that innocently labeled concept called “single-payer,” which is code for “government-run medical insurance.” All one has to do is look at the VA to realize that the federal government has no place running healthcare. Government involvement will gum up the works and things that were expensive will become even more expensive over time. Ultimately, the taxpayer gets the bill.

The current alternative to Obamacare would send the administration of healthcare back to each state along with federal block money to help support it. Is this a great idea? Not really, because government will still be overly involved in healthcare—just at the state level. The upside of this option is that states should operate within a “balanced budget" as opposed to a federal government, which has been running for years via continuing resolution—the ultimate open checkbook into the taxpayers pocket. At least by going this route, we are moving away from “nationalized medicine” and, at the same time, heading off a program that down the road will only continue to expand the size of the federal government.

But do not kid yourself. This is not just a simple matter of a few senators sitting down at the table and making a compromise. The ugly truth about things inside the Beltway is that most of it is “for sale,” including political influence. There are those who prefer to see us locked into Obamacare so they can watch it explode in the face of America—a huge economic blow to the middle income earner in this country and to the poor as well. Down the road, Obamacare can lead to only one outcome—the “haves” and the “have nots,” and the “haves” will be small in number. There is no greater challenge to be faced by middle-income America than Obamacare’s future but that reality is lost on those who are driven by power and greed. For those who want to see the USA living under a socialist flag, Obamacare is their ticket.

So as this take it or leave it deadline approaches, keep your eyes on Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, and John McCain to see if they are up to their usual back-stabbing ways designed to feather their own nests and lick the boots of those who bought them with dollars to their campaign war chests. Leadership is a skill and today very little of it exists among these men. On the other hand, they have mastered the art of whining and making empty promises which the bulk of the American people will not forget when they enter the voting booths next time. You can count on that.


©Copyright WBrown2017. All Rights Reserved.
 

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<![CDATA[WHAT HAPPENED?]]>Mon, 18 Sep 2017 22:38:05 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/the-texas-rattler/what-happenedPicture(Image source: nbcnews.com)
Hillary Rodham Clinton is launching yet another book in order to bleed more money out of the pockets of gullible Americans willing to buy it. One would think that a book by a washed-up political hack like Mrs. Clinton would not be seen as having a market, but Simon & Schuster spent an undisclosed amount (reportedly several million) for the privilege of placing her book in public hands. But maybe this is just another instance of pay-for-play for Mrs. Clinton.

What Happened is Mrs. Clinton’s perspective on the events that led to her political defeat at the hands of Donald Trump. From my point of view, the title would be far more accurate if it were What Happened? The question mark would at least let you know up front the truth of the matter—she still has no clue what happened but she is going to shovel a lot of blame around while assigning herself just a little bit for good measure.

The New York Post recounts what it was like for Hillary fans to wait outside bookseller Barnes & Noble for hours to see their heroine. They were handed instructions that indicated to gain entry they must wear wristbands and purchase What Happened for her to sign. No other memorabilia would be signed, nor would photographs or selfies with Mrs. Clinton be permitted. Exhibiting her usual arrogance, she sailed in an hour late and launched into signing her memoir without so much as an apology to the faithful. Seems to me, she’s not so good at apologizing. The book, slated to retail at $30.00, has already been slashed to $17.99, no doubt to boost sales.

Of course, it is more than likely that Ms. Clinton used a ghostwriter as she did with It Takes a Village and Hard Choices. This is the case with most books “authored” by celebrity and politicians—they do not have the talent required to write a book worth reading. Certainly Ms. Clinton provided input and direction, but claiming sole authorship is a stretch. Besides, what a slap in the face to those who do have the ability to keep the reader engaged with dynamic prose. Come to think of it, most of the reviews do not say her memoir is well-written; rather they talk about what the book is: a salve for herself and for those who voted for her. And finger pointing. Some folks just cannot get the message when it is sent loud and clear in the polling booth. No doubt by writing this book, Mrs. Clinton is trying to keep herself relevant, injecting herself into the news, and assessing if she should run again despite claiming that she is finished with political life.

I would not read the book even if I received a free, autographed copy in the mail. Why? Well, in the first place, the only book I would read regarding HRC would be the one about her prosecution, conviction, and the resultant long jail term she so richly deserves for all of her transgressions. (I like to refer to her as an “Undocumented Criminal” who has been at the center of far too many scandals and illegal, if not treasonous, escapades while masquerading as a representative of the U.S. Government.) Second, why would I read a book that paints a picture of a person surrounded by incompetence and ignorance who, in all her innocence, is out there fighting for truth, justice, and the American way? Yes, she admits she made mistakes, but they were “dumb” and the ensuing investigation (according to her) was “dumber.” Please—I cannot stomach any more of her lies and manipulations.

I won’t be the person to change the way people feel about Ms. Clinton. However, I do believe that far more Americans are onto the Clintons than clearly Mrs. Clinton or the MSM believes. But you must understand that from the very early days of Bill Clinton’s political career, there has been one governing philosophy for the Clintons: deny, deny, deny. No matter how guilty they are or how much the know about something, they always deny the accusations with either a wink (“Yup, I’m a bad ole boy!”) or angry counter-accusations about vast right-wing conspiracies or, worse yet, Hillary pulling the victim card (“Sexism and misogyny played a role in the 2016 presidential election”). These are old lines used by the same actors time and again—actors who cannot get enough of the limelight.

If money was all the Clintons were about, they made plenty on book deals and speaking engagements, following Bill Clinton’s term as President and Hillary’s stint as Secretary of State. But money is only an enabler of sorts for the Clintons. In the end, what they also so richly desire is power. Some folks have a drug habit; the Clintons are addicted to power and celebrity and will do whatever is necessary to keep themselves in the forefront. In fact, Mrs. Clinton has a few more books to pen under her agreement with Simon and Schuster.

Mrs. Clinton’s memoir will not be the last book in her miserable list of literary failures—the liberal publishers will see to that. There is only one vaccine that will stop Hillary Clinton and that is the American people. If enough of us do not purchase her litany of excuses entitled, What Happened—and why would we since we know what happened, perhaps S&S will pull the plug on her future writing career. On the other hand, I would suggest that it would be far more profitable for both Mrs. Clinton and Simon & Shuster if she stuck to something she knows well—true crime stories.

 
©Copyright WBrown2017. All Rights Reserved.

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<![CDATA[CONFRONTING DACA]]>Mon, 11 Sep 2017 22:29:40 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/the-texas-rattler/confronting-dacaPicture(Image source: midtesol.org)
The latest fodder for Trump-bashing is his decision to end the Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program instituted by Barack Obama in 2012. This is like a gift from the gods for those on the Left who look under every rock for a reason to oppose this president, despite their inability to defend any of their positions. Some believe President Trump has the power to sustain this program, but that is not true.

On Tuesday, September 5th, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on behalf of the Justice Department and the Trump Administration that DACA would be “rescinded” as an executive action of the Executive Branch. He noted, “To have a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest, we cannot admit everyone who would like to come here. It's just that simple. That would be an open-border policy and the American people have rightly rejected that.” He went on to explain that the president would allow Congress time to change existing immigration law if it so chooses, not act in a unilateral fashion as Mr. Obama did by “ordering this blanket exception” through executive fiat.

In response to the announcement by Mr. Sessions, Barack Obama said, “Let's be clear: the action taken today isn't required legally; it’s a political decision, and a moral question.” Well, he should know since he conveniently introduced DACA during an election year. Even The New York Times noted, “In many ways, the president’s move was a clear play for a crucial voting bloc in states that will decide whether he gets another term. . . Many of the students live in states that could be pivotal for Mr. Obama’s re-election prospects, including Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico.”

As one might expect, California Representative Nancy Pelosi joined the fray by stating, “President Trump's decision to end DACA is a deeply shameful act of political cowardice and a despicable assault on innocent young people in communities across America.” Political cowardice? Since when is following the Rule of Law looked upon as political cowardice? In truth, if you want to speak of political cowardice, Ms. Pelosi, I suggest you look in the mirror. Who failed to call Barack Obama to task for overstepping his executive powers? You did. Ms. Pelosi seems to love the word cowardice. You may remember back in May, she said that Texas’ new sanctuary city laws were also an “act of cowardice,” and wondered what the Texas legislature feared by enacting the legislation.

DACA specifically created legal protection for approximately 800,000 young adults who were brought to this country illegally by their parents. The point of then-President Obama’s executive action was to free them from the fear of being deported and offer them work permits and eligibility for certain benefits. As many of these youth came as children, America is the only home they know. They are, in effect, victims of a choice made by their parents, and therefore, the majority of Americans believe prosecuting them would be unjust and inhumane. In response to this quandary, President Trump has rightly determined that the Legislative Branch needs to fix this mess once and for all through legal means.

The American people also are concerned about who foots the bill for illegal aliens. The Supreme Court has ruled that the American taxpayers bear the burden for any illegal aliens who come here. The logic goes something like this: Since the American people elect representatives to create and enforce our laws, if those elected officials choose to ignore the law, they have made a choice on behalf of the American taxpayer! Therfore, the American taxpayer then takes it on the chin and ends up paying for the illegal aliens’ welfare benefits, education, medical expenses, etc. In effect, thanks to this ruling, they become de facto citizens without following the citizenship process.

President Trump’s position on the DACA matter was stated very clearly: I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws. Our elected leaders must first and foremost respect, defend, and uphold the Constitution. President Trump takes that commitment seriously and is demonstrating his respect for the law with his decision on DACA. He deserves our support. In the words of Mr. Obama, Let us be clear on this issue: The individuals protected under this façade of relief from law are technically criminals under our existing laws. They are not dreamers—Obama’s attempt to mask their illegal status using such a term is manipulation at its finest.


©Copyright WBrown2017. All Rights Reserved.

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<![CDATA[SHERIFF JOE AND THE RUSSIANS]]>Tue, 05 Sep 2017 23:27:41 GMThttp://carolspieceofmind.com/the-texas-rattler/sheriff-joe-and-the-russians
Social media has proven itself useful in the spread of “fake news” in the USA and throughout the world for that matter. Sensationalized headlines lead you to believe that there is some meaningful content, but once you open the story, it soon becomes apparent nothing could be further from the truth. Just this past week, I saw an example of this very thing.

Recently, President Trump announced that he was pardoning Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio who, this past July, was found guilty of contempt of court for defying a 2011 court order to cease and desist picking up people he presumed were illegal immigrants and turning them over to Border Patrol for possible deportation. According to the trial, Sheriff Joe ordered his deputies to continue to function in the same manner as they had prior to the court ruling and he remained defiant about his tough stance on the policing of illegal immigrants.

The ruling as to whether or not Sheriff Apraio could detain illegals pivoted on the concept of racial profiling. According to various news sources, those usually picked up were “Latino drivers,” but this is laughable because the vast majority of “illegals” in the area of southern Arizona would be Latino—oops, the “Catch 22” of liberal logic. But, from the perspective of the Obama Administration and those who promote illegal immigration, this was a very convenient way to go after Arpaio, a man who had held the position of sheriff in his county for 24 years.

The Obama Administration made it quite clear that it was turning a blind eye to illegals crossing our southern border and no doubt warned area law enforcement to do the same since immigration is a “federal matter.” Sheriff Arpaio was said to have continued to violate the 4th Amendment rights of illegals by detaining them until they could be turned over to federal authorities for deportation. But I ask you: Since when, is an “illegal immigrant” entitled to 4th Amendment rights protection under our Constitution since they are not citizens? Border Patrol asks all people departing the border area a simple question: Are you a U.S. citizen? Has the Border Patrol violated the illegals rights too?
 
So, now we have a change of administration in Washington. Obama is out; Trump is in. The attitude toward illegal immigration has now shifted back to something more in line with our existing laws. Sheriff Arpaio was an ardent and vocal supporter of Trump early on in the campaign process. President Trump apparently did not agree that the sheriff should be prosecuted or punished for his efforts to reduce illegal immigration and there is no indication that the Border Patrol ever instructed the sheriff to cease his efforts. Trump inquired of Attorney General Jeff Sessions if it was possible to end the proceedings before Mr. Arpaio was sentenced, but in the end he concluded that a pardon was the best approach. On August 25th, the Mr. Trump issued that pardon.

Predictably, the liberals and the media fell out in convulsions and fits of rage over the pardon. It was fine for Barack Obama to pardon anyone he wanted (Chelsea Manning) and the same was true for Bill Clinton, who turned loose his share of scumbags (Marc Rich) during the final days of his presidency. But, we cannot have such behavior exhibited by President Trump especially when it concerns such a mean man like Joe Arpaio.

In the past few days, I saw a news headline on the Internet indicating that President Trump’s pardon of the Sheriff Arpaio is directly tied to the investigation of his supposed collusion with the Russians. I had to read the story because I could not imagine what the connection might be. As it turns out, this “news” was conjured up on the basis of James Comey’s statement that he felt that President Trump had “ordered” him to stop investigating Michael Flynn. When Comey did not, Trump fired him. So, since President Trump had a discussion with AG Sessions about ending the prosecution of Sheriff Arpaio, Trump must have also been “ordering” such action on the part of Sessions. Thus, the two activities are linked merely by Trump’s supposed propensity for making people think he is “ordering” them to do things, but beyond that, there isn’t any connection whatsoever.

Every way we turn in this nation today, we have either a bunch of crying liberals who want to come up with some new law to keep our existing laws from functioning, or we have some group that has dedicated itself to totally neutering our system of laws or applying them unequally. If you do not understand that statement, let me put it another way: If you are a conservative, there will never exist a situation in which you could ever be discriminated against, racially profiled, falsely prosecuted, or generally bullied because you are on the wrong side of the political spectrum. That is exactly where Sheriff Arpaio found himself, but he stood on principle, believing that laws were on the books and those laws would be prosecuted aggressively as long as he wore the badge. For that belief, he could have spent the rest of his days behind bars while illegals roamed our streets. President Trump put an end to that charade, and I am quite sure it had nothing to do with the Russians.
 
©Copyright WBrown2017. All Rights Reserved.
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