For my final post of 2017, here are my wishes for myself, my family, my friends and my country.
For me, a winning lottery ticket worth at least $250,000 after taxes, so that I can retire even earlier to my RV lifestyle. (Let's get the most important one out of the way, right?)
For my friends and family - a year of health. No colds, flu, or serious illnesses. May all your doctor visits be for annual checkups, and may those checkups bring nothing but good news to you.
I wish to be an empty-nester for more than 3 weeks in 2018.
I wish for limited drama, both generated and received for all my friends and family. Wishing for no drama is clearly impossible, but if it can be limited in some way, I'll consider it a win.
For the country, I wish for less extremism and more cooperation. The world is not black and white; there are subtle hues of gray all around us, and if this country is to survive, we need people in general (and our elected officials specifically) to work towards those common ground issues on which we can all agree.
I wish for a news media that just tells us the news straight up. I do not care about their opinions.
I wish for a balance between respect for people's differences, and less sensitivity when people realize they aren't the center of the universe because of those differences.
I wish for a 2018 where people think before they react, and doubt what others tell them until they research whether what they've been told is actually true.
I wish for eternal silence from the Clinton camp,
I wish for prosperity at the end of a hard year's work. There is nothing so frustrating as treading water after breaking your back working.
It is my wish that Twitter would be hacked in 2018, and shut down for good because they refuse to pay the ransom. Nothing is killing civilization more than Twitter. It is a singular affront to intellectual discussion, thoughtfulness and civil discourse.
I wish for one more Super Bowl win for Tom Brady and my New England Patriots. Because he's the GOAT and a second set of three-in-four-years would just be super cool.
I wish for my daughters a new sense of independence, knowing that as of this day, in one year, eight months and three days they will have to work very hard to find us.
Finally, I wish that everyone would take the time to slow down and enjoy their lives, their co-workers and their family. Life is too precious and too fleeting to run from appointment to appointment, to game after recital, to meeting after meeting, and not enjoy our surroundings, our communities and our loved ones. We still live in the greatest country this world has ever known, and we need to change the way we measure the time we spend in it; not in quantity, but in the quality of that time we spend.
Make 2018 a GOOD year! Happy New Year!
My God but have liberals have become unglued this past year!
Look, 2017 hasn't exactly been the year we'd all like it to be, but if you ask your basic liberal how things are going, you'd likely expect them to be leaving the U.S. for any country but ours.
Not that liberals ever follow through on their proclamations to leave if (fill in the blank) is elected anyway.
But you know, from an American perspective, 2017 wasn't too bad.
There are lots of things that play into economics, but one of the most important ones is consumer confidence. If people think things are going to get better, people start buying more stuff. Based on early numbers just released, this holiday season was a big winner for the retail and online shopper. Sales are up, because people's economic outlook is on the rise. Personality-wise, President Trump is pretty much a loud mouthed jerk, but you can't deny he is all into making people think things are great again. Let's give credit where credit is due - Trump is boosting the economy with policies and attitude.
Tax reform is in the bag. While many (myself included) would have preferred something with even less deductions and tax breaks for an even simpler tax code, when leftist news organizations like CNN start admitting that the recent changes passed help just about everybody, you know it was a pretty good bill. If the Senate wasn't so hidebound in it's rules and processes, this could have been even better. But beginning in 2019, those tax returns are going to look pretty nice to many Americans.
ISIS has been thoroughly marginalized and almost wiped out completely largely due to a Trump-inspired offensive partnership between America and Iraq. Anything that can contribute to the destruction of a 12th century-thinking organization in the 21st century is a very, very good thing.
I'm constantly amazed at the level of Jewish support for the Democrat party, given that there are really very few friends of Israel in elected office. That being said, there is apparently no better friend of Israel than Donald Trump, whose recent decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has liberals in general, and the world specifically spinning their heads. Even after a moronic non-binding vote in the U.N condemning the move, where ally after ally abandoned the U.S. for purely propaganda points, the administration took the once-unthought of move to PUBLICLY threaten those countries with cuts or downright elimination of U.S. foreign aid. And they they cut a quarter billion U.S. dollars out of our payments to the U.N. The U.N. has never been a friend to the U.S, and anything that weakens that organization and it's effect on the world is a good thing.
The "science" of man-made global warming continues to crumble, as the correlation between solar output (which was highest during warmer years) and temperature increases slowing to a virtual standstill are becoming more apparent. This will never stop government-funded "scientists" (usually people who can't make it as TV weather-people, let alone hold gainful employment outside of grant-filled academia) from crying about "the warmest year on record", even as temperature levels continue to be lower than their dire predictions of just a few years ago.
The last vestiges of Obamacare had a stake thrust through it's heart as the individual mandate was killed when tax reform passed. Now, if the Congress can just put through a bill which keeps the two really good things in Obamacare intact (no limits on coverage and no denial for pre-existing conditions) combined with individual choice, access across state lines and tort reform, coupled with free-market principles, we'd have us a pretty good health care opportunity in the U.S.
Yes, 2017 could have been worse. Let's hope we see an even better 2018.
As the days of 2017 dwindle down to a precious few, it's appropriate to reflect on the year in review, both from a personal and worldwide perspective.
And what a year it was.
Donald Trump took office after one of the most intense and nasty elections in recent memory, and the liberal left's collective heads immediately exploded. Fake news became the new norm for much of the already biased media, and most reporters dropped all pretense of any objectivity. Trump Derangement Syndrome is running rampant in Hollywood, where most any actor or actress finds something vapid, silly and downright ignorant to say about him. Rosie O'Donnell even went to far as to commit a felony on Twitter by bribing two sitting U.S. Senators to not vote for tax reform. She should be prosecuted and jailed to send a message.
North Korea is apparently working to mate biological weapons to ICBMs to use against us here in America. It's time to take that fat little runt out for good.
Congress, as usual, found more ways to waste time and money instead of doing the People's Business, with just about ZERO legislative successes until tax reform this past week. Republicans continue to prove that they are more concerned with social issues they cannot control than fiscal issues they can, and Democrats continue to refuse to engage in any serious conversations that don't concern increasing government control over the individual.
The entertainment and political worlds found a way to have a shared coming out party; not over the gay issue, but on sexual harassment. Seems they are equally adept at harassing women (or the occasional man) and finding ways to pay them off for their silence when necessary. Too bad when the politicos use our tax dollars to pay of their accusers, though. Oh, and a note to Meryl Streep and Hillary Clinton: stop lying about not knowing about that pig Harvey Weinstein. You knew. Everybody knew. Worst kept secret in the entertainment industry.
On the personal side of things, the best way to describe 2017 is a roller coaster.
The year started off great with my New England Patriots making the greatest comeback in the history of sports; being down 28-3 in the middle of the 3rd quarter in the Super Bowl, scoring three touchdowns and three two-point conversions to tie the game as time ran out, then winning the coin toss and marching downfield for the winning touchdown in overtime. Tom Brady gets his record 5th Super Bowl ring and is certified as the GOAT.
Then, two days later, my father-in-law passes away. Barbara no longer has any living parents.
Spring rolls around and Barbara and I sell our house in advance of retiring in two years to full-time RV living. We're excited to begin life as empty-nesters and to cut back on bills.
Then our daughter's rental house isn't ready on time. Our empty nester life is put on hold for 5 weeks as she takes up residence in our family room.
I get to drive a tank and crush a car! And our daughter moves out! Life is getting better . . .
Three weeks later, my other daughter, son-in-law and one year-old grandson have their rental house sold out from under them. Now we have 5 people in a two bedroom apartment (and they're still here!) Empty nesting still seems like a foreign concept to us.
Barbara and I buy a new MINI Cooper convertible as our future tow car, and rediscover just how much fun driving can be, especially with the top down.
In August, I suddenly lose all strength in my arms and legs and topple over like a tree (and yes, I did make a sound because Barbara was on the other side of the bed and heard me). I'm carried down the stairs to my apartment by the fine paramedics of Dawson County and rushed to the hospital. Five days and $141,000 later, I'm released from Northeast Georgia Medical Center following a battery of tests and a cardiac ablasion procedure to fix an errant wire in my already weirdly wired and plumbed heart. That one-in-ten-million thing is beginning to get old. The follow-up visit to the cardiologist shows complete recovery and no need to ever see him again for this issue - fixed for good!
Headed up to Massachusetts to visit my Dad and friends, stopping off at the Hershey RV show on the way. Sat in the exact model of our future land yacht for almost two hours talking with other prospective buyers and came to the realization that this could really be a home for us beginning in September of 2019.
Headed home to find out that the company I work for has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization and will be closing 1/3rd of all it's stores. Fortunately, mine isn't one of them.
Barbara's cataracts finally reached the stage where she needed to have them removed (after all, I can't have a navigator on the road who cannot read street and highway signs, can I?). The good news is we can afford to get implantable lenses to give her 20/20 vision for the first time in - forever. And she doesn't have to wear her wraparound senior citizen sunglasses anymore.
Ended up incurring over $170,000 in medical, dental and vision bills in 2017 before insurance kicked in. Wow!
But my company should be out of Chapter 11 by the first of the new year.
I'm too old for this crap . . .
Here's wishing you and yours (and me) a year of no drama and smooth sailing in 2018!
Once again grasping defeat from the jaws of victory, southern Republicans lost a rock-solid Red State Senate seat in Alabama last night, putting their already precarious majority in jeopardy, and further reducing their chances of any legislative wins regarding President Trump's agenda.
In a state that Trump carried by over 20 points just one year ago, a Democrat was elected to the U.S. Senate. Oy!
Plenty of blame to go around on this one. Let's start with President Trump and his "drain the swamp", don't accept anyone who doesn't agree with the President minions who decided that a sitting GOP Senator appointed to fill in the term of now AG Jeff Sessions wasn't sufficiently "Trump" enough for Trump. Now to be fair, just about any normal GOP candidate would have cruised to a victory against any Democrat in Alabama, so why not make sure that the GOP candidate in question would be as Trumpish as possible, right?
Enter attention-whore and Christian conservative whack job, Judge Roy Moore; a man whose ability to believe that it's all about him is only exceeded by Donald Trump's.
Now, I've never been a fan of Roy Moore. He's kinda creepy and his views on religion in government exceed the freedom of religion clause in the Constitution as far as I am concerned, but in Alabama, he'd be a pretty sure bet to get elected to the U,S, Senate in just about any year. Except this one. I am on record as having serious doubts about the veracity of the sexual harassment claims of his accusers, given that he has run for state-wide office four previous times and not a peep was heard from these women in the past. But given the current environment of personal destruction politics and the emergence of the "Me too" movement, Roy Moore seemed the perfect target for a liberal media focused on derailing any momentum of the Trump agenda.
And for the record, when I was just 18, I was sexually molested by my boss (an older man). I dealt with it at the time, moved on, and didn't let it derail the Dave train of life. But I digress.
So we have the "only Trumpers" and the Christian conservatives partly at fault for this electoral debacle, but let's add in a third element to this: the media. There is no longer any distinction between reporting the news, and giving an opinion. People who used to be reporters and who used to at least hide their liberal bias are no longer hiding it, and claiming freedom of the press to justify their opinionated reporting. If you want to be a reporter, you have to play it straight. That is what gets you freedom of the press. Roy Moore was convicted in the court of public opinion because he was convicted by the court of journalistic opinion. Only Roy Moore and his accusers know the truth, but you wouldn't know that by reading "news" articles on the subject.
But way to go Alabama! You've shown just how dysfunctional the GOP is right now. President "Art of the Deal" needs to remember that half a loaf is better than no loaf at all, and the media has just been emboldened to continue their irresponsible attacks on conservatives.
All-in-all, a very bad night for the GOP and our country.
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.