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Articles by Donald E. L. Johnson

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Today is Thursday, July 30, 2015


Washington Post: Jeb Bush used Dad, Brother connections to open doors, make millions; like Clintons?

The Washington Post today published a long, in depth review of Jeb Bush's record of doing deals with guys who turned out to be con artists and crooks. He also has a long record of, like Bill Clinton, using his connections to powerful people, his father and brother, to open doors to lucrative contracts for his associates and partners at home and abroad.

Will Republicans who seem to value integrity in presidential candidates wink at Jeb's record while bashing the Scandal Queen, Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clintons?

LINK:

Jeb Bush dogged by decades of questions about business deals, by Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Tom Hamburger

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 06/29/15 at 10:44 AM
'16 PresidentEthicsTrust • (0) CommentsPermalink

Carly Fiorina for vice president

Radio show host Hugh Hewlitt, who did a splendid job as a speaker and moderator at the Western Conservative Summit over the weekend, writes that he found a consensus among those who attended the event that the Supreme Court's pro Obamacare and same sex decisions last week were an act of "judicial" imperialism. He thinks Carly Fiorina and Scott Walker were the event's winners with the crowd. I agree on Fiorina, not Walker (see below).

I too covered the Western Conservative Summit, tweeted #WCS15 during and after the event and am blogging on it.

For me, an opponent of Obamacare and a supporter of gay marriage, the big untold story of the event is the GOP presidential candidates' continued lack of seriousness about either issue.

On Obamacare, they really don't care. It's just an applause line: "Repeal Obamacare." If they understand health insurance markets and health care policy making, they sure hide it very well.

Gay marriage is a hugely emotional, not an intellectual nor a Constitutional issue for the very religious people who attended and spoke at the event. And it's big issue for Colorado, a caucus state, where real Republicans are effectively denied a say in nominating the party's candidates. So the presidential candidates pandered as best they could.

In short, in Denver, conservatives showed they are willing to elect Clinton and give her the power to name four new members of the Supreme Court. They want their candidates to "run on principles", not win.

Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul won in Denver because they weren't here.

That allowed Jeb, Marco and Rand to not be caught up in the emotions of the weekend. Ted and Bobby Jindal's comments on the same sex marriage decision were over the top and, for me, disqualifying.

Ted won some points because his father, Rafael wowed the crowd with a great sales pitch for his son. But his son's comments about the court not only were crazy, they "Qualyed" him for the general election. I'm assuming readers have heard and seen what these guys said over the weekend. Jindal said the court should be defunded. Cruz called for retention elections for the justices instead of life terms. That would make them into politicians. Idiocy.

The biggest winner of the conference was Carly Florina. She came across as smart, honest, competent and experienced as well as clever enough to go with the religious flow without being drowned in the flood of attacks on the court's extremism on Obamacare and same sex marriage.

Carly's problem is that she's never won an election or held elective office. I think she's running for vice president and that she has a good chance of being picked to run for that office. If she gets eight years as VP, she's a strong candidate for president.

I went to the conference biased against Scott Walker. I just don't think he's ready for the big time. His performance late Saturday night didn't change my mind. Walker has experience as a governor and in fights with unions and the left. He's won some tough battles.  But he's programmed, dull and not very inspiring. I think he would be a divisive president. We've had enough of that.

LINKs:

Cruz blast 'elites' on Supreme Court, by Ben Kaisar

Notes from a gathering of conservatives and candidates, by Hugh Hewitt

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 06/29/15 at 08:16 AM
'16 PresidentUninsured • (0) CommentsPermalink

Now that gay marriage is legal, let’s focus on living together

For a long time, I've been in the "let's live together" camp. "Tolerate" is a word used to put down minorities. I don't use that word. Neighbor, colleague, competitor, boss, employee, spouse, friend and acquaintance are better words. As a conservative, I hope both sides will cool it and just settle down to being hard working, friendly and exceptional Americans.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 06/28/15 at 08:46 PM
EthicsTrust • (0) CommentsPermalink

How can Republicans win over Millennials?

Does the book, The Selfie Vote, by Kristen Soltis Anderson have some good ideas? 

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 06/28/15 at 05:07 PM
'16 PresidentBooks • (0) CommentsPermalink

Supreme Court’s Obamacare, same sex marriage decisions harden sides in divided America

The Supreme Court's highy political and dishonest Obamacare decison Thursday and its equally very political but correct legalization of same sex, or gay marriages, Friday have won it the support of hard left extremists and the hatred and distrust of the hard right religious Americans.

This became clear Friday and Saturday at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, which was sponsored by the very conservative Colorado Christian College's Centennial Institute. 

Unfortunately, the Western Conservative Summit, which I attended, opened Friday a few hours after the SCTOUS same sex marriage (SSM) decision was announced.

So emotions were high as shown by the conservative audience's responses to Tony Perkins and other critics' efforts to exploit their anger. All six of the presidential candiates who spoke to the 3,000 to 4,000 very religious attendees warned that the five justices who voted in the majority on SSM do not represent all Americans because they were appointed to their jobs, not elected. All talked about the assault on religious freedom without really defining it. And all urged religious conservatives to fight the decision and fight for religious freedom, including the freedom of religious leaders to not perform same sex marriages and the freedom of religious institutions to not host them.

Politicians and religious activists also expressed their anger at the assertion of Federal Government power over SSM by the court. Gov. Rick Perry and others insisted that SSM is a state issue, not a Federal one. But having lost that argument in the fight over Roe v. Wade, the abortion decision that has divided America since the early 1970s, it is no surprise that the court ruled against states' rights in the SSM case, too.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who last week announced his candidacy for president, urged Republicans to accept the court's decision and focus on fighting for religious freedom. Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) made pretty much the same argument. He disagrees with the decision but wants Americans to live together peacefully and in harmony.

Meanwhile, gays and lesbians are gearing up to fight for civil rights laws that ban discrimination against them. Many conservatives are against discriminating against anyone. Those who agree with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which doesn't cover sexual preferences, won't object having it amended to cover them.

What made matters worse was that Chief Justice Roberts showed shameless hypocrisy, legislating from the bench again on Obamacare and deploring the legislating from the bench that Justice Kennedy displayed in the SSM 5-4 majority's opinion.

With fools like Bobby Jindal, who was not at the meeting, calling for getting rid of the court and Mike Huckabee saying his god rules, not the rule of law as defined by the court, the SCOTUS lost many of the 43% of Americans who don't approve SSM and the 57% or so who don't like Obamacare. Jindal's comment "Qualyed" him. He's toast before he gets in the toaster. Huckabee's comment shows he's consistent and not a serious presidential candidate. The country has had enough of such dividers.

In other words, we're back to the post Roe v Wade era. The court majorities are ok with that, obviously. Millions of Americans are not.

The 2016 presidential election will be about national security, the rule of law, integrity and controlling the Supreme Court of the United States.

In 2012, anti-Romney, anti-Mormon religious voters refused to vote for Romney and handed virtual control of the court to Obama and Clinton Democrats. Will they make that mistake again in 2016?

Will they vote to make statements, say against another Bush, or will they vote to win?

LINKS:

Obergefell Et Al. v Hodges, Supreme Court of the U.S. decision.

King v. Burwell decision on ACA (Obamacare), Supreme Court of the U.S. decision

After same-sex marriage ruling, a way to reconcile, Christian Science Monitor editorial

Conservative conference defiant in the face of Supreme Court rulings, by Ariel Cohen

Rand Paul: Government should get out of the marriage business.

Close to 3,000 tweets posted during the Western Conservative Summit carry the hashtag #WCS15

Gay marriage ruling divides conservatives at Denver gathering, by Matthew Nussbaum and Lynn Bartels

GOP Obamacare reforms off target again, by Donald E. L. Johnson

Schools fear gay marriage ruling could end tax exemption, by Laurie Goodstein and Adam Liptak

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 06/28/15 at 12:21 PM
'16 PresidentHealth insurance • (0) CommentsPermalink

Republicans need vision, agenda

What's new? Byron York documents that Republicans don't have a vision or platform that they can use to beat Hillary Clinton who is benefitting from President Obama's winning streak.

Obama has won on his the trade legislation in Congress and on ObamaCare (ACA) in the Supreme Court. He's losing on trust, illegal immigration, the U.S. economy, jobs and guns. And he's losing on Iran, ISIS, Iraq, Syria and Greece.

Small Government Republicans and GOP-leaning independents want a government that promotes business expansion, spending and hiring by cutting red tape, fad regulations, crony capitalism and the fraud and abuse that all Big Governments make so lucrative for Socialist politicians and their friends.

Republicans should be alerting and reminding voters that Hilliary Clinton and liars for Clinton are making and will make money by selling Socialism. The Clintons have made $25 million in less than 12 months Selling Socialism.

Worse. socialism and Big Government give crooks huge financial incentives to steal from governments. Why is anyone surprised about the fraud at the IRS, VA, ObamaCare, Medicare, Medicaid, Interior and the EPA? They are big, corrupt and in business to enrich their employees, contractors and the lobbyists and special interests who exploit and corrupt them.

Unfortunately, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and other GOP presidential candidates and Republicans keep promising that they'll repeal ObamaCare, which will be impossible as long as Democrats control 40 or more Senate seats. In other words, ObamaCare never will be repealed. Republicans talk tax cuts and tax reform, which are needed, but that won't win many votes. They talk social issues that turn off Small Government conservatives and scare the devil out of Small Government voters who might swing Republican. And they're proposals for improving border security and dealing with illegal immigrants sound poorly thought out and insincere.

I hope to hear the GOP candidates' visions and strategies discussed with more than usual wisdom by York and others at the Western Conservative Summit at the Colorado Convention Center over the next three days.

LINKS: 

My twitter handle: RealDonJohnson

The Summit's twitter feed: #WCS15

The Summit's blog: ccu.edu/centennial/blog

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 06/26/15 at 07:08 AM
Congress 114th'16 PresidentCampaign MgmtEthics • (0) CommentsPermalink

Sen. Ted Cruz calls for a quick war on ISIS

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a candidate for the GOP's 2016 presidential nomination, says the United States and Kurds should end the war against ISIS quickly with massive air attacks and well-armed Kurds.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 06/24/15 at 07:57 PM
'16 President • (0) CommentsPermalink

Bobby Jindal sends message to Jeb Bush: Wishy Washy won’t win.

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) used his announcement that he is a candidate for president to send a tough message to Jeb Bush, the slighly leading candidate for the GOP's nomination for president: Wishy Washy won't win.

Jindal declared and showed that he  will run against Washington, DC, politicians and the so called establishment, and he won't pull his punches. He said that he would end the ISIS war against the U.S. and the West quickly by applying as much force as needed to get the job done. He declared he would end ObamaCare and replace it with health insurance reforms that would help the uninsured and reduce expenditures. And he said he would wear his Catholic beliefs on his sleeve.

While Jindal is unlikely to win the GOP nomination in 2016, he might earn the vice presidential nomination or set himself up for a TV show or a more successful run in 2020, when he'll be 48.

LINK:

Bobby Jindal hits Jeb Bush hard, as he announces White House run, by Eli Stokols 

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 06/24/15 at 07:36 PM
'16 President • (0) CommentsPermalink

GOP Obamacare reforms off target again

Republicans never have been interested in nor good at health insurance policy making. They still aren't. That's probably because they're a bunch of lawyers and doctors who've never run businesses nor held meaningful jobs, which is why they're in Congress.

The GOP  proposals outlined by John C.Goodman don't make a whole lot of sense to me. But I've only been writing about health insurance and health care policy since 1976. I've got a lot to learn.

1. Why aren't Republicans talking about ensuring that consumers can purchase real insurance that would cover catastrophically expensive cases and let them buy primary care and wellness care out of their pockets?

2. Why are Republicans using tax credits, which are pretty dirty words in the minds of any Americans who understand how they corrupt the politicians who distribute them and the crony capitalists who take them?

3. Why should anyone but the hard core poor receive government subsidies or tax deductions for buying affordable catastrophic health insurance sold in smartly regulated markets?

4. What would it cost to pay for the health insurance for the 6 million to, say, 12 million hard core American citizens who never will be healthy enough to earn the kind of salaries needed to cover the cost of affordable catastrophic care?

5. Why not remove mandates to buy insurance but pass laws that require uninsured people who can afford catastrophic insurance to sell their homes, stocks, farms or whatever it takes to pay their catastrophically expensive medical bills or to agree to pay the bills over five years? Outlaw medical bankruptcies, most of which probably are voluntary and are used to game the system and avoid paying for health care.

6. Why are Republicans fond of HSAs? Have you ever shopped for an HSA? Have you ever shopped for Medicare Part D? Have you ever asked yourself, if this is complicated for me, how can anyone without an MBA and 30 years in the health care and health benefits fields ever navigate these programs? And no, eHealth is not the solution. To me, eHealth is just another insurance broker.

7. Why aren't people who understand consumer behavior and decision making processes ever involved in advising or making health insurance policy?

I appreciate Goodman's work and think he has some good insights. But the way Republicans are approaching fixing the Obama Democrats' health care deforms just seem bizarre.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 06/23/15 at 06:28 PM
Health insuranceHealth Insurance ReformHSAsTaxes • (0) CommentsPermalink

Hillary Clinton Cash goes hard left for votes, speaking fees

Hillary Clinton, the subject of the outstanding book, Clinton Cash, is going hard left for Democrat primary votes and for the speaking fees she'll get if she loses her 2016 presidential run.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 05/18/15 at 10:11 AM
'16 President • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jeb Bush panders to Catholics, evangelical Christians, on same sex marriage; he’s wrong

Jeb Bush says he can't see how same sex marriage is a constitutional right. He's wrong in the eyes of 54% of Americans, but the Republian base, which includes most of the 35% of Amerians who are evangelical Christians, agrees with him. I don't.

I believe it is unconstitutional for governments to legalize and advocate discrimination against people based on their religious beliefs, race, ethnicity, age, handicaps, political beliefs and associations and sexual orientation.

Big Intrusive Government Republicans need to get on board with the law abiding Small Government Americans who believe that all governments should get out of the business of defining marriages, subsidizing kids, subsidizing religions with tax-exemptions and special exceptions from our laws and deciding when and how we shall die and what constitutes a religion, or not.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 05/18/15 at 09:09 AM
'16 President • (0) CommentsPermalink

Is this how Jeb Bush will win in 2016?

Is this how Jeb Bush might win in 2016?

Mike Huckabee neutralizes Ted Cruz in the Republican primaries. Or is it vice versa? Scott Walker, Rick Santorum and Huck divide religious votes even more. Rookies Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Cruz are Obamaized.

Jeb's the only guy left standing with Carly Fiorina as his vp. In the general election millennials realize their cynicism about politicians all being dishonest just like Hillary is wrong and dump her. Women decide that they don't want the first woman president to be the new cold, calculating, secretive and crooked role model for their kids and grand kids. Anti-Bush conservatives  decide they don't want Hillary to appoint the next four members of the Supreme Court because they would put the extremist lefties in power for generations. Jeb wins.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 05/05/15 at 08:20 PM
'16 President • (0) CommentsPermalink

Hillary Clinton is neither trustworthy nor competent

Hillary is neither trustworthy nor competent. Her long record of lying and cheating for political power and the wealth that comes with political power at her level is well documented. If you can't trust the president, America is in big trouble as Liar-in-Chief Obama continues to show in domestic and international politics.

Her incompetence seems to be the untold story for most voters. For starters, she's a loser as a political strategist even when she is working for herself. And then she's a lousy campaigner and politician. Finally, contrary to what liars for Clinton say, I don't think she's a very good person. When you have no integrity, you're nothing. 

Look at how she screwed up health care reform in the 1990s. What did she accomplish as first lady other than showing what a tone deaf enabler of her Slick Willy husband she was. 

Her senate career, which she won on her husband's name recognition, gave her time to learn some realities in life, but she learned the wrong things and accomplished nothing significant. 

As secretary of state, she was at the liar-in-chief's bid and call and, like John Kerry, lied and misled Americans just to keep her job. Like a trade association chairman, she spent her time traveling. Obama put her on planes non stop to get her out of town and out of his hair. She was one of our least accomplished secretaries of state. 

And she's one of our most dishonest former secretaries of state. See Clinton's emails, Clinton's server, Clinton's Putin reset and Clinton's Benghazi disaster, just to mention a few.

Question: How many voters understand and believe that if Americans and world leaders don't trust the president of the United States, we are very vulnerable both at home and abroad?

LINKS:

For Hillary Clinton, a trust deficit to surmount, by Chris Cillizza

AP-Gfk poll: Doubts about Clinton's honesty after emails, by Lisa Lerer and Emily Swanson

Of Christie and Clinton; The Republican gets investigated by Justice and the FBI, but the Democrat does not. Wall Street Journal editorial

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 05/03/15 at 06:21 PM
'16 PresidentEthicsTrust • (0) CommentsPermalink

Can Ted Cruz take the evangelical Christian vote from Mike Huckabee?

Mike Huckabee could destroy Ted Cruz's 2016 campaign for the GOP presidential nomination. Both guys are depending on evangelicals to help them win the nomination. Both are smart and articulate. Both are slick advocates of putting Big state and federal government bureaucrats in charge of our private lives when it comes to abortion, gay marriage and how and when we should die and who shall decide whehter we're brain dead, or not. Neither trusts Amerians to make good decisions for themselves, and neither honors our history of separation of church and state. Huckabee's opposition to gay marriage shows that he doesn't believe in our constitution and laws, which say governments and businesses shall not discriminate or legalize discrimination based on race, gender, ancestory or sexual preferences.

But Huckabee, a former preacher, has more credibility with evangelical and fundamentalist Christians than Cruz, the son of a preacher. Huckabee is a more charming and warmer personality than Cruz, and he's probably a bit wiser and quicker than Cruz politically. In any case, they will divide the evangelical and fundamentalist Christian votes between themselves. Scott Walker, Jeb Bush and John Kasich are also trying to win those voters. 

The bottom line may be that the evangelical and fundamentalist Christians may not have as much say about the GOP's 2016 presidential nominee as they are expecting.

LINKS: Huckabbee warns of 'criminalization of Christianity, by Mark Hensch. Read the comments, which include a lot of mocking of Huckabee.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 04/24/15 at 10:19 AM
'16 President • (0) CommentsPermalink

Colorado should hold 2016 presidential primary

Colorado's General Assembly members are talking about holding a 2016 presidential primary while keeping it's undemocratic caucuses and state conventions for local elections, reports John Frank at the Denver Post. A Colorado primary would let voters pick their candidates instead of the extremists who control the Republican and Democrat parties in Colorado. And the candidates would spend more time and money in the state, giving us a chance to see them in person.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 04/23/15 at 08:53 PM
'16 PresidentColoradoElections '16 • (0) CommentsPermalink
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