"They hate us, 'cause they ain't us".
Nothing better describes the vitriol heaped upon the New England Patriots by fans and owners of 31 other NFL teams. Why? Because despite all attempts to create "parity" in the NFL, the Patriots just keep winning. Worse teams get earlier draft picks to bolster their lineups, better teams head down the list to reduce their chances of getting higher-caliber players. The earliest draft pick the Patriots have had without trading up since 2001?
Usually in the upper 20's to low 30's and even then they sometimes trade them away for higher second round position to get better value. Only once have they picked in the Top 10 since 2001, and that required a trade to make that happen. Attempts to enforce "parity" in the NFL by penalizing success has had little to do with the New England Patriots since Bill Belichick and Tom Brady hooked up partway through the 2001 season due to an injury to then-starting QB Drew Bledsoe.
Change rules on where a team can film the opposition? No worries. Call their transgression "Spygate" and claim the Patriots are "cheaters". An interesting read on that subject can be found right here. The Patriots use it as a weapon to go undefeated for 18 games and come within a miracle helmet catch of being the first team to go 19-0.
Use legal formations to confuse the Baltimore Ravens' vaunted head coach John Harbaugh? Run another legal trick play to have the wide receiver / former QB throw a touchdown pass to erase a second 14 point deficit, ultimately winning the game. Then watch the NFL change the rules during the offseason so that the refs and opposing coaches can't be confused anymore.
Bludgeon the Indianapolis Colts a second time in one season for the AFC Championship? Use a local Indy writer to start a rumor about the Patriots using deflated footballs to gain a competitive advantage. Enlist the services of former New York Jets personnel (always ones to hold grudges) in the NFL offices to create a sting operation that the NFL insisted wasn't a sting operation, and leak false information to media dolts like Chris Mortensen to portray the Patriots as cheaters, then implicate arguably the best ever QB in football history as the mastermind of a plan to gain a competitive advantage not only in that one game, but for years previously - without any evidence whatsoever. See: 4th grade science known as the Ideal Gas Law.
And the Patriots, with the media spotlight shining head on for the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, engineer two fourth quarter drives with Tom Brady only missing one pass in 14 attempts against the best defense in the NFL to come from behind and win their 4th Lombardi Trophy in six tries since 2001. Nine trips to the AFC Championship game in the last 14 years.
The New England Patriots laugh at parity. They thumb their noses at it. They flip it a collective bird.
If there is any justice in this world, the Federal judge in this sorry "Deflate-gate" mess will throw out the NFL's unprecedented punishment of a player for what is in the NFL's own rulebook as a team infraction. On an infraction they have yet to prove. If the NFL is smart, they'll take their lumps and drop this whole mess when that happens, but the NFL (as mentioned above) is led by, and populated with, former New York Jets players and officials; people who don't know the meaning of winning since 1968 (and aren't terribly bright as well), and much of their sorry history comes at the hands of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in the past 14 years. So I don't expect they will let a loss for them slide.
Any independent arbiter of this unholy mess would exonerate Tom Brady and the Patriots before week's end.
But I predict the Patriots will keep on winning, because they don't give a damn about what the NFL or 31 other teams think about them. And they've got the rings to prove it.
And it's mostly of their own making.
Sure, the liberal-biased media is responsible for creating much of the negative narrative surrounding the GOP by their usual broad-brush tactics, claiming that every Republican candidate who doesn't immediately and specifically address some off-the-wall comment from another GOP candidate (no matter how local or obscure that candidate may be) must obviously agree with the off-the-wall statement. As if every candidate has the time to read, let alone internalize these statements in a broader context. Nevertheless, even though the same standard isn't expected of Democrat politicians, if national GOP Candidate A doesn't denounce local Candidate B's Neanderthal-like comment, Candidate A must also be a Neanderthal.
And far too many candidates just spout some lame, pablum-like comment about he or she disagrees with the tone, etc., etc., etc., when they should be taking one of the truly worthwhile pages from the Donald J. Trump School of Media Handling, and say this:
"Look, (Insert first name of reporter), do want to be a serious journalist someday, because I don't have the time or the inclination to read each and every comment some local yokel in East Nowhere has made, nor do I care what they say. In fact, I don't even care what my fellow national candidates say, unless it's about me. This is MY campaign, and I'll address MY message where, when and HOW I want to, and if I'm not clear enough about MY views, feel free to ask me some clarifying questions about what I say, but don't bother me with what someone else says. I have enough problems getting my own message past your bias filters as it is, OK?"
And then move on. But this only addresses the GOP's media problem, not their own self-inflicted problems.
First, they have a sorry record of accomplishment when it comes to doing what they say they're going to do at the national level. The last time the GOP was in power with a President, House and Senate, they spent like drunken sailors (and cut taxes, which sounds good unless you DON'T cut spending as well), started a war that was completely unjustified, didn't address the regulation nightmare they claimed was a problem, didn't address the tax code they claimed was a problem, and did what they always seem to do - focus on social issues.
Hint: About 70% of your base, which equates to about 30% of the country, even cares about social issues.
On abortion, you love to point to polls which show that a majority of Americans personally would not have an abortion (See, Americans are against abortion!), IGNORING the secondary polling question which shows that a majority also thinks that other people should be able to have that choice as an option. Then you waste weeks or months on legislation trying to chip away at Roe v. Wade by narrowing definitions and qualifications for medical offices and personnel.
On gay marriage, state after state keeps approving the right for gays to marry, and even when the Supreme Court rules in favor of it, you STILL rail against it, even bringing up nonsensical arguments about people marrying animals, kids or inanimate objects like their cell phones and tablets.
And the worst thing is, you still campaign on being the party of smaller, less-intrusive government, when you're nothing of the kind. Unless the less-intrusive part is on your terms.
So GOP candidates, stop telling us you believe in the Constitution when you don't believe it's mandates for equal protection and equal rights for all. Stop denying that a right to privacy exists when the Supreme Court says it does. The people of America mainly care about jobs, wages, and their personal safety, and frankly don't give a damn about the personal decisions of other people. This has been shown in poll after poll after poll in every election going back decades, and if you want to get elected NATIONALLY, you'd better start addressing those needs and begin forgetting about a base that is destroying you as a national party.
Hillary Clinton is the most talked about woman on the planet, so what more can be said about her? Let's find out, shall we?
A recent poll asked people what were the first words that came to mind when they thought of Hillary Clinton. The top three words were “Liar” “Dishonest” and “Untrustworthy”.
And this is supposed to be a news flash? Thank you, Captain Obvious!
And yet these same polls show her not only as the front runner for her party's nomination, she's ahead of pretty much every Republican challenger as well! Of course, when your GOP front runner has words like “Arrogant” “Blowhard” and “Idiot” associated with HIS name, you can see why The Donald isn't getting much traction nationwide with voters.
But I digress. Let's get back to Hillary. It isn't all smooth sailing for the world's most accomplished woman about whom no one can name an actual accomplishment. Senator Bernie Sanders is leading her in early polls in New Hampshire right now. Bernie likes to call himself a “Democratic Socialist”.
Isn't that a redundant term?
And even Crazy Uncle Joe Biden is apparently being courted by some high level Democrats who feel that Hillary's campaign is reverting to the same successful levels that garnered her the Democrat party's presidential nomination in 2008 . . . oh, wait . . . .
But Hillary, not one to take things lying down (that's Bill's job, after all) is making sure that Biden considers everything before jumping into the race with her. When asked recently about a possible Biden run in 2016, Hillary had this to say:
"I think he has to make what is a very difficult decision for himself and his family.”
Which in Hillary-speak means: “Remember Vince Foster, Bubba”.
Look, guns are a tool. Just like knives, tire irons, baseball bats and bathtubs. Guns are very effective and deadly tools to be sure, but are tools nevertheless. People who wish to harm others (or themselves) are going to find the tools needed to get the job done if they are Hell-bent on getting the job done, so it's simplistic and sophomoric to keep blaming the tool for the actions of those who wish to hurt others.
Let's start focusing on the real problem here; the failure of government to adequately address mental health issues in this country.
Anyone who knows me knows I'm a small government kind of guy. Think Libertarian without the open drug policy many from that party love to espouse. But if government is going to insist on getting into the middle of every health issue to the point of mandating coverage or fining you if you don't obtain any (and let's face facts - Obamacare is never going to go away), then the least it can do is to take on the problem of tackling mental health issues. We spend millions on failed ventures like Solyndra, over a trillion on foreign adventures like invading Iraq, and hundreds of millions more on ineffective stimuli packages in vain attempts to prop up a sagging economy, but can't seem to find enough money to make mental health resources available to those who need them
And don't get me started on how badly our VA mishandles mental health issues for our returning military.
Surely we can take some of those millions of dollars we waste on things we shouldn't be doing, and redirect them towards something that will actually reduce the senseless killing that seems to grab the headlines all too often these days.
You can't begin to legally restrict the ability to obtain the tool unless you first fix the problem of identifying those who might not be the best people to have the tool in their hands in the first place. Ask Chicago how having some of the most restrictive laws against gun possession is working on their murder rate.
Focus on the problem, but your problem isn't the tool.
What other way to describe the surge in popularity of one Donald J. Trump?
Look, I'm as frustrated over the uselessness of elected politicians as anyone (after all, I used to be one), but for every person who Trump excites, he alienates one or more, and THAT doesn't get you elected nationwide. Sure, he'll pick up votes and delegates in the GOP primaries, but at some point, the fervor over The Donald's bold and brash talk has to translate into votes from the less-than-hard-core. You can call them moderates, you can call them the "squishy middle", you can call them anything but late for supper, but THOSE are the thinking voters. The reactionary on BOTH sides are going to vote for their party's nominee no matter who is picked, so you'd better find someone who can excite both the base AND the middle, and that is hard to do.
Obama had it. Sure, he was (and remains) completely unqualified for the job, but he was bright, shiny, new and could get a crowd to believe his shtick. Mitt Romney was infinitely more qualified, but couldn't excite either the base or the middle. And the problem is that the GOP has slightly less base than Democrats do right now, so exciting just their base is an exercise in electoral futility.
And while Donald Trump aspires to become the Chief Executive of the United States of America, that role comes with shackles that aren't present in Trump's corporate world, especially given that his Board of Directors is salted with family and friends. He's got to prove that all that bluster can be implemented within the Constitutional limits of the President's power, and that he can play well with others to get things done when it can't. He hasn't shown the first sign of having that ability.
What do you think?
Hi! I'm Dave Richard, your host. I hope you enjoy your visit. We'll be talking about current events, politics, the occasional sports (I'm a HUGE New England Patriots fan, so get over it), and some "Get off my lawn!" issues.