Next hurdle: New Hampshire and the FBI

If you’re thinking of vacationing in Iowa, this week might be a good time to go. The state will be practically empty. All the Presidential candidates, their volunteers, pollsters and news hounds will abandon Iowa and invade New Hampshire. Farmers who have stayed around to vote in a caucus will sell enough corn to go to California for a week or two.

You may not read this until after Iowa votes, so I’m not going out on a limb with wild predictions. Trump, Cruz and Rubio seem to be a lock to make it to the next round. A couple of governors, Christy and Kasich, have taken up residence in New Hampshire and will welcome their fellow Republican survivors.

Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton will continue their tight race in New Hampshire. I will go out on a limb concerning Clinton. Her future depends on the vote of one person, and only one: the FBI Director. She still says the thousand emails from her server that were determined to be classified top secret were not marked top secret. This includes the 22 that were “over-the-top secret.” She was Secretary of State but had no clue the information might create risks to national security if Russia or China or Iran read them.

A former Attorney General of the United States was asked for his assessment of someone who could not tell the difference between routine emails and ones like the 22 that demand ultimate secrecy. He said, “Only a low grade moron would not know the difference.”

If the FBI knocks Hillary Clinton out of the race, don’t bet on Senator Sanders getting the nomination. The Democrats will open the door to other candidates including Vice-President Joe Biden, Gov. Jerry Brown of California, and maybe even Mrs. Obama.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

          “I guess the truth can hurt you worse in an election than about anything that could happen to you.” WA #470, Dec. 27, 1931

A true test for candidates

This campaign for President is giving us quite an education. Not about the candidates, but rather the inner workings of government and politics. For example, if you’re born in another country to American parents you might not be allowed to run for President. And a surprising number of Democrats don’t know the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist.

The biggest surprise is that “Top Secret” is not really the top secret; there’s another whole level above “Top,” and it’s called Special Access Program (SAP).  These SAP messages are so secret that you pretty much have to be the President or Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State to ever lay eyes on one of ‘em.

But that changed in 2009 when Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State. For the next four years those SAP and (previously) Top Secret classified messages were available to hackers in Russia, China, and probably a few Junior High computer whiz students.

Of course, Secretary Clinton says none of her emails were marked as classified or top secret or SAP. I believe her. And that makes the problem even worse for her and the country.

So here’s one more thing we’ve learned during this campaign: there ought to be a standard test for candidates for President, or Cabinet positions. Ask ‘em 100 questions to see how much they know about economics, foreign policy, energy, food production, and most important, top secret classified information. Here are 3 suggested questions:

1. If you as President wanted to discuss a report by a named CIA agent in the Middle East with the Sec of State, would you suggest: a. face to face meeting; b. secure telephone call; c. email message on gmail; or d. posting on Facebook?

2. As President, how would you communicate with the Defense Secretary on including Saudi Arabia leaders in a plan to attack ISIS: (same four choices)?

3.  Someone gives a kitten to you at the White House, how would you ask for suggested names for the new White House cat: (same choices)?

Ok, other than that third question any answer other than a or b is disqualifying. Adios. Goodbye.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

          “The more people study about you, nowadays, the less they think of you.” WA #25, June 3, 1923

“There is two places where what a person says should not be held against ‘em in a court of law. One is at a dinner, and the other is on the witness stand of a Washington investigation.” DT #2405 April 18, 1934

Obama speaks, candidates debate and Iran deals

In the last week, we heard President Obama give his State of the Union speech, followed by both parties holding presidential debates.

The State of the Union speech was less a state of the union as it is today, and more of what Obama would like it to be in 20 or 30 years.

The 10 Republicans in their debates (yes, there are still TEN candidates) talked about what they would do to change the state of the union without waiting 20 years. Defeating radical Islamic terrorists, including ISIS and al-Qaida, canceling Obama’s “non-constitutional” Executive actions, and “putting America back to work” seemed to be important to all of them. There were minor scuffles between Trump, Cruz, and Rubio, with a few jabs thrown by Christy. But they all agreed that any of the ten would be better than any Democrat.

Three Democrats debated, although Gov. O’Malley seldom got a word in edgewise. Senator Sanders wants universal health care, free college tuition, and higher wages. At the same time he wants to break up anything that is big and/or rich, especially banks, Wall Street firms, drug companies, oil companies, and gun manufacturers. Ironically the individuals and companies he expects to pay for all the free stuff are mainly the same ones he wants to break up. Secretary Clinton made it clear she is running as a continuation of the Obama administration, and therefore all the Democrats that voted for him should now vote for her.

Iran jumped into the news. They televised the capture of 10 U.S. Navy sailors and the apology of the boat captain. After 13 hours Iran released them. Next they released 5 hostages they had imprisoned for several years. You might wonder, what did Iran get in return? Well, we released 7 convicted Iranian terrorists, and then let Iran have $150 Billion that was being held to keep them from developing a nuclear bomb. We may have even given them an extra half a billion for each of the 5 Americans released. It’s great to have them home, but the price is pretty steep.

The National Football League playoff is down to 4 teams, Denver vs. New England and Arizona vs. Carolina. These are the 4 best teams in the NFL which means that the winner of Super Bowl 50 can truly claim to be the best NFL team.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“There is one thing you can bet on this year. No voter is going to do anything that a politician thinks he will do. The way most people feel, they would like to vote against all of ‘em, if it was possible.”  DT #1797, Apr.27, 1932

“Politics is the best show in America. I love animals, and I love politicians, and I like to watch both of ‘em at play, either back in their native state, or after they’ve been captured and sent to a zoo, or to Washington.” Notes (undated)

President Obama tackles biggest issue

President Obama is back in the White House from two weeks in his home state of Hawaii. While there he had time to ponder the most important issues facing the country in his last year as president: stagnant wages, stagnant stock market, high unemployment rate for minorities, higher costs of health care, soaring national debt, Islamic terrorism in America, Russian aggression, Chinese cyber-attacks, Islamic terrorism in the Middle East, and the sad state of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Well, after all that pondering he announced that the biggest issue is… gun control. Yes, gun control. He is meeting with his Attorney General immediately to figure out how to reduce the number of guns owned by law abiding citizens. He won’t present it that way, but criminals and terrorists pay no more attention to laws than bootleggers did during Prohibition.

Meanwhile, the economy appears headed for another lackadaisical year. Unemployment is down to five percent (that’s great), but we have more people working part time and more people not working at all than ever (that’s not great). Since the ones working in the private sector have to support everybody else that’s a heavy burden.

The higher costs for Obamacare are crimping plans for business expansion. The lower prices for crude oil and natural gas are a huge benefit, unless you’re in the oil and gas business. Food prices are stable but income for the farmer is way down. The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates, but the interest old folks earn on savings accounts is unchanged. The EPA continues to expand control over farmland despite opposition in Congress.

In the 2016 Presidential race the Republicans still have about a dozen candidates and the Democrats have three. As expected Hillary Clinton is leading the Democrat race while most “experts” are shocked that Donald Trump is leading the Republican race. Both races could change in the next couple of months depending on early primary and caucus results for the Republicans and on possible FBI indictments for the Democrats. Even the current conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia could play a role.

It promises to be an exciting year in politics even if it’s a dreadful year for the Lakers.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Well, New Year is here… I bet there is not a single person that knows any more about what (this year) has in store for us than a billy goat. Ten million people have gone without work for three years just listening to ‘big men’ solve their problems.” DT #2000, Jan. 1, 1933

        “We’ll show the world we are prosperous if we have to go broke to do it.” DT #413, Nov. 18, 1927