Thoughts on Obama’s 2nd term

About a week ago, President Obama was sworn into office for another term and judging from his rather liberal sounding speech, he seems to be set on solving the real problems of this country, climate change and gay rights. The economy? The huge debt? A budget? I heard very little, if any mention at all, of those real problems that should have been brought up. Instead, he delivered a great speech for people like Al Roker, who nearly wet his pants when he saw his hero walk by.

President Obama will no doubt face some difficult challenges in his second term in office. The economy is still struggling, many people are still out of work or woefully underemployed, gun control and immigration needs to be addressed and of course we have that runaway debt that eventually will ruin this country. So what are his priorities in his second term in office? Judging from his rather lackluster first term, we could be in for another bumpy, four more years.

You may remember that during his first term, he decided to focus most of his attention on health care instead of fixing our poor economy.  People were struggling to make ends meet and here he was trying to ram some partisan health care law done our throats.  I personally think the 2nd term will be just an extension of his first term. He will no doubt try to force a very liberal agenda through congress and there will constant battles between him and the Republicans and some many people of his own party. If you love political fights,  you will love his second go around. It promises to be interesting.

So who is going to stop him from passing his agenda?  Does anybody have any confidence that the Republicans are going to succeed in blocking Obama from getting his way. I highly doubt it! Obama has a huge PR advantage over the Republicans because he has the media in his back pocket! They love the guy and will blame the Pubs for failing to pass any of his agenda.  The Republican party has very weak leadership at the present time  and I cannot see how they can be very successful in defeating some of Obama’s radical ideas.

In my opinion, there are two main things that President Obama must focus on in his second term. Lowering the unemployment rate by helping the private sector and doing something about the runaway debt. This will mean that he and the Democrats will have to finally make a budget. I would have a lot more respect for him and his party if they came up with a bipartisan federal budget.  This should be his number one priority in his second term. State governments run on budgets, companies run on budgets so why does the Federal government not have one right now? It makes absolutely no sense!! Of course, hell will probably freeze over before that happens!!

Obama talked about the importance of togetherness is his inauguration speech. I hope he takes his words and applies them to his second term. All of these problems that our country faces will only be solved by politicians on both sides of the aisle working together including the president.  If you don’t get your way, then try to compromise. It seems like it is “my way or the highway” with this guy. The way he divides people is very troublesome, not only in Washington, but around the country. This cannot continue in his second term. The country seems to be very divided on many issues. Good leaders bring people together and work out solutions. They do not point fingers and blame other people.

I am hoping for the best in the next four years but I see many problems coming done the road. It will be very interesting to see how Obamacare will work out when it starts next year.  There will no doubt be a lot of new taxes that will hit everyone. How are people going to respond to that? If the economy continues to go at this pace and the unemployment and underemployment rate stays the same, Obama will face even greater heat from the American people.

People talk about how the Republican party is in trouble and are on the verge of being extinct. That is total hogwash!! I think the Democrats should be the ones being worried. If Obama’s agenda fails,  they are the ones with egg on their faces!! I think this would be a great opening for Republicans and Conservatives to capitalize on. In 2016, people may be asking how are we going to clean up after 8 years of Obama policies.  I hope I am wrong for the sake of the country and future generations but given what has happened in the last 4 years, why would the next four be any different? Buckle up Americans, we are in for a rough ride. And hold onto your wallets!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

No apology needed from Phil Mickelson

A news story came out this week that somewhat caught my eye because it involved two things that I pay attention to, golf and taxes. You may of heard the story about golfer Phil Mickelson talking about leaving the state of California because the taxes there are too high. It was a headline news topic early last week. Well low and behold, the following day, Mr Mickelson decided to apologize for his statements. Maybe he hurt the feelings of some high tax liberals in California and got some heat from it. Anyways, this trend of overtaxing high wage earnings is bound to continue and I can see more rich people speak out against paying more than their fair share.

For those of you who do not know Mickelson’s tax rate, it is nearly 63 percent if you combine the federal, state and other taxes. So good old Phil only keeps 37 cents for every dollar he makes. Is that fair? In my opinion, that is highway robbery and insane!! I don’t care if you make a trillion dollars a year, it is still ridiculous. Mickelson has every right to want to leave a state with those kind of tax rates.

California is not the only state where this type of robbery takes place. New York is another example of a state trying to gouge people through the wallet. My state of Minnesota with our liberal Democratic governor Mark Dayton is trying the same trick with high wage earners. He is not stopping with high wage earners either. He wants to tax everything in this state even the number of times you flush the toilet!! Well not really but you get my point.

I often hear the same talk from many Democratic governors. In order to balance their budgets, they want the rich guys to pay and pay more. It may sound like a logical way to pick up more revenue by going after the well to to do but does it really work? If I were some wealthy person like Mickelson, I would bolt the state before the governor even had a chance to sign the tax increase. I see more and more wealthy people doing that. Even Tiger Woods admitted that he left California because of the taxes. Sure, some people probably love the state and will stay despite the ridiculous taxes, but there comes a break even point and that point seems to have come. Many people are leaving the state and I cannot blame them at all.

If I was a governor of a state, I would want as many rich people living in it as possible. They are the true job creators and investors as well as the people who spend the most. Why a governor would want to punish the rich with higher taxes and force them to leave makes no sense at all. Imagine if someone had a choice of starting a company in any state. I would avoid California at all costs. The same holds true of other states who want to hike up the tax rates to deal with their poor financial situations. When all those wealthy people leave and move to another state, then your high tax rates will really look foolish.

People who criticize Phil for his comments are complete morons! I am glad Tiger Woods stood up for Phil and told it like it is. People like to complain about the rich not paying their fair share. Giving away 63 cents for every dollar you earn is totally wrong. I wish more wealthy people would speak out against this nonsense. Pretty soon there will be absolutely no incentive to earn any money at all. Why should I work hard and make money when I have to give more than half away in taxes. It is the type of foolishness that some governors and especially our president believes in. That type of garbage policy should not happen in the United States. It is socialism not capitalism. Eventually, everyone including the poor gets hurt by high taxes. Phil has absolutely no need to apologize. The real apology should be made by those who voted for the higher taxes and the politicians who always want the tax rates to go up. They are the real villains.

 

 

Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend and lessons to be learned

There are always stories that come out which makes you scratch your head. It is like, huh? What happened here? This makes no sense!! Such as the story with Manti Te’o, the former Heisman trophy finalist from Notre Dame. Of course, sports stories do tend to be on the bizarre side these days, especially the off the field stuff.

I actually felt for the kid back a few months ago when it revealed that he lost not only his grandmother, but his girlfriend, allegedly on the same day. It was all of the press and touched the hearts of many people around the country. I became an instant fan of Manti and was hoping that he would win the Heisman. Now, I do not know what to think!! It was revealed that Manti’s girlfriend was not real after all. This is one of the greatest hoaxes of all time!! I am sure there is much more to come about this and how much Manti knew. An acquaintance of Te’o was supposedly behind this hoax and it will be really interesting to find out the full story once all the facts come out. Heck, this is better than anything Hollywood could come up with! I personally believe Te’o must have know something and the main reason behind the hoax will be revealed later. How could some guy actually fall for a hoax like this? Even the dumbest person in the world should have been suspicious.

This stuff of fake girlfriends and boyfriends is all over the internet. Somebody tried to hook me in about 5 years ago and failed. I immediately became suspicious when the person lied about her location. I chatted awhile with this individual and she or maybe he? did not have a clue about certain well know things about their city. I was totally blown away when she talked about how great I looked and how she was starting to fall in love with me. After chatting for 20 minutes?, Come on!!! Of course, she also needed some money to help get her grandmother out of the hospital. Can you spell fraud!!!

Sadly, a lot of guys get hooked up in these type of things. For all we know, Te’o might of been one of them. Love and loneliness can completely shut a guy’s brain down. I know of a few very intelligent guys who got suckered into these online scams. They are very easy  to do. All you need to do is copy of picture of someone and you are off running. It is a rather cruel hoax to put on someone. I find it hard to believe that Manti did not make an effort to meet this alleged gal. If I met someone online, I would want to meet her within 3 months if possible. Going a year without meeting raises even more suspicions about what went on.

Manti Te’o will be a high round draft choice but how high he goes could depend on the outcome of this story. Sure he was completely ignorant and stupid if he fell for this hoax but if he was involved in this hoax, then he is equally stupid because that will cost him millions. I doubt too many teams will want to draft a dishonest, headcase who lies about a relationship. I would really have second thoughts about drafting a guy with character issues. Of course, some team will probably end up drafting him but you would think this would really affect his draft position.

In the meantime, stay tuned. The National Inquirer must be foaming at the mouth over this story!!

 

 

A former fan of Lance Armstrong

I have a confession to make right now in front of the world. I used to be a huge Lance Armstrong fan. I have always admired athletes who have overcome adversity and gone on to great things. Armstrong was certainly one of those athletes. In 1996, he faced an advanced stage of cancer and was only given a 40 percent chance of survival. 3 years later, he not only was cancer free, but was competing in races and starting an unprecedented run of Tour De France championships. You really have to admire someone for showing that much grit and determination in overcoming a life threatening illness.

In the later stages of his career, allegations came out that he was using performance enhancing drugs and I pretty much brushed that aside as just being jealous talk of his rivals who wanted him to fail. I mean, Lance Armstrong taking drugs? He is the God of cycling. There is no way he could be doping up. But more allegations came to surface, including members of his own cycling team who described some of his practices with certain banned substances. The snowball was starting to build on Armstrong and he finally had to admit that he did indeed use performance enhancing drugs. Finally the truth came out and so did the number of years of lying to cover up his image and successes. 

I still admire Armstrong for bouncing back from his medical issues to compete and race at the highest level in cycling. But I cannot admire him for the way he went about in winning all those races and his conduct towards his critics. There is a reason why certain drugs are banned in racing. It gives the cyclist an unfair advantage and is probably not safe to take either. Cycling is a very grueling sport and using performance enhancing drugs to aid in recovery gives an athlete a totally unfair advantage. I am not sure why the racing commission did not have stronger rules and more drug testing procedures to catch these athletes from taking banned drugs. But the bottom line is that Armstrong cheated and lied on his way to the top. He ruined the reputation of many of his critics in the process and costed some people millions of dollars. That is a bunch of crap and what makes me a former and I emphasize, former fan of his. A great championship does not have to get an advantage by cheating. He just has to use his God given talent and work harder than everyone else. I lose total respect for those who take shortcuts to the top and step on other people.

This kind of stuff not only goes on in sports, but is very common in business. There are many people who cheat, lie, steal, do whatever it takes to make it to the top of their professions. Many succeed but eventually they will get caught. It is only a matter of time before the truth comes out. That is the lesson to be learned from this Armstrong story. I hope this serves as a good example for anyone who is thinking about cheating and lying to advance their career. It will come to a screeching halt someday. How can anyone feel good about themselves knowing that they got where they are by cheating and lying? Do you even have a conscience? Whatever happened to doing it the ethical way by earning it through hard work and taking advantage of your opportunities? It is sad but there are more and more Lance Armstrong types showing up these days in society.

20 years from now, people will remember Lance Armstrong as a cheater and not a great champion. That  will be his legacy in my opinion. And one that he greatly earned!

Thoughts on the NFL playoffs

If you are a fan of the NFL like myself, you had to be thrilled with what happened during the past weekend. I got a chance to spend some good quality time on my favorite recliner and was thrilled to watch some very exciting nail biters. A few of the games were among the best games of the year. They will be talking about the Denver, Baltimore game for years to come as well as the great finish between Seattle and Atlanta. There are only 4 teams left and I would like to share some of my personal observations from the playoffs so far.

1. Be sure to hug a Bronco fan.  Being a Minnesota Viking’s  fan, I can understand how every Denver Bronco fan must feel right now. I have been through the same disappointed with the Vikings. Your team is the top ranked team in the AFC, expectations to go to the Super Bowl are very high. Your team has a 7 point lead with 35 seconds left in the game and the other team has the ball on their own 30 yard line. Seems like your team is in the drivers seat right? Then the unimaginable happens. How can your team give up a 70 yard touchdown pass in that situation? There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for that to happen. Sure Peyton Manning threw the pick later on but the real goats of the game were the Denver Bronco’s secondary. They will probably have nightmares all during the offseason for that bad breakdown in coverage. Did anyone really think Denver would bounce back and win that game in OT? I certainly did not!!

2.  Lost opportunities for Seattle. The runner ups for fan hugs is for those Seahawk fans. That was a crushing defeat as well. A sequence of plays, that really stood out in my mind, were the ones just before halftime. Seattle was driving for what appeared to be a touchdown or the very worst, a field goal. A score would of been very huge at that point in the game and would have given the Seahawks some momentum heading into halftime. Instead, they fooled around with the clock running down and could not even get off a field goal attempt. Those missed points came back to haunt the Seahawks. In a playoff game, every point counts, and of all the missed opportunities Seattle had, that one seemed to stand out the most.

3. The Packers D fails to show up again. I think Green Bay is the one team who really underachieved this weekend. I honestly thought they were the best team remaining in the NFC, but once again, I was wrong. Their defense is horrible, pure and simple. How can you allow an opposing quarterback to run for 180 yards? That is totally unacceptable and the blame has to be spread around by both the coaches and the players. I have seen the Packers play numerous times this year and they might be the worst tackling team in the NFL. Sure they have a great offense but come playoff time when you are no longer playing against the weak sisters of the poor, you need to play a little D and the Packers, for the second year in a row in the playoffs, have failed miserably in that area. It is time for some changes because your team is not built to win in the playoffs anymore.

4. The era of the new quarterbacks. Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick were playoff newbies this weekend and both were totally outstanding. They join a list of exciting new quarterbacks in the league. These new guys are all outstanding runners as well as passers and offer a lot of nightmares for opposing defenses(see Green Bay). It will be interesting how teams come with ways to stop a quarterback who can not only pass well but also run. I am personally not a fan of having my quarterback run all over the field but it sure is a tough offense to handle and might force teams to evaluate quarterbacks in a different way. Good 40 yard times might be a must for any future NFL quarterback.

This weekend’s conference championship games should be good ones. I agree with people who feel San Francisco would rather play Atlanta. Seattle should have won that game and would probably beat Atlanta 3 out of 4 times in a playoff series. Just my opinion!! In the other game, I cannot honestly predict what will happen. New England look very impressive yesterday and their offense seems to be more balanced this year. But Baltimore has the defense that can shut down the Patriots or at least hold them down. I wonder how the injury to Rob Gronkowski will affect the game. He sure is a valuable part of the Pats offense but they seem to have so many weapons to chose from. Sometimes I wonder if fate is on the Ravens side this year. When a team wins a dramatic game, it sometimes gives the team that added momentum in the playoffs. Maybe Baltimore is that “come out of nowhere team” this year.

I look for San Francisco and New England to advance to the Super Bowl. In the meantime, I am getting my favorite recliner warmed up for another day of NFL playoff football. I can hardly wait!

Political correctness gone too far

It is safe to say that political correctness is one of the most controversial topics in our society today. What one person thinks if offensive is totally acceptable to someone else. In this day and age, you are totally at the mercy of the pc police for every little comment that you make about minorities, people of different sexual orientation or religion. One slip of the tongue has landed many folks in hot water and has costed many their jobs. I often wonder if some of those perfect pc police people go too far such as the case last Monday night during the college national championship football game.

As you may have remembered, the announcer of the game, Brent Musburger, decided to liven things up during the course of a rather dull game. A camera shot came up of Katherine Webb, the former Miss Alabama and hot girlfriend of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron. Musburger wasted no time in talking about how beautiful she is and suggested that any young football player should be a quarterback so they can get hot women like Webb. Oh how dare Mr. Musburger say something like that!! What a shame it is that he complimented a woman on how beautiful she looks in front of millions on national television! What kind of respectable man would say something like about a woman? A 73 year old man is not suppose to compliment a young woman on her looks, that is creepy isn’t it?

Well, apparently ESPN thought this little episode went too far and made Musburger apologize for his statements. In all my life, I have never seen anything so ridiculous!! Is it now wrong to give out compliments to people on television? Musburger’s statements were not in any way offensive or lewd. If he was talking about her body parts, then it would have warranted an apology, but calling a woman attractive is not even close. I am completely shocked that ESPN made Musburger apologize. It was extremely foolish for the network to do so.

If the network is going to start making announcers apologize for certain remarks, why not make them apologize for using harsh language such as saying “this is a damn good game” or “that was a hell of a catch”. That is much more offensive especially when you have young children watching. I cannot believe that our society has come to this new low!! I didn’t know that calling a woman beautiful could be so wrong but the pc police apparently think so.

I wonder who complained about those statements by Musburger. I am willing to bet it was probably was a bunch of jealous feminists who wish they looked like Webb. Football games are watched by mostly men. A lovely looking lady shown during the course of a game only adds to the flavor of the game for us guys. If you are offended by it, then just turn the channel and watch something else.

Musburger did not deserve to get treated like that and be forced to apologize. A man should not be forced to apologize for complimenting a woman. I am very happy that Webb agreed and said Musburger did not offend her. ESPN deserves to be called out for being way too politically correct. There are far more serious comments to be concerned about. We are done with society if a guy cannot flatter a woman with gracious comments. Shame on ESPN and the uptight pc police. I bet 99 percent of women in this country would love be complimented on national television like Webb was.

 

The best postseason in pro sports

If you follow professional sports like myself, you probably have an opinion about what sport has the best postseason. Some people I know actually like those long, dragged out best of 7 series that takes place in the NBA and NHL. Others love the story lines that postseason baseball often brings out. All those sports have great playoffs and drama but I feel the best postseason is courtesy of the National Football League.

The main reason I say this is that every game is an elimination game. You know how exciting those game 7’s can be. Well, every game in the football playoffs is loser go home, winner stays. I love that one game format where everything is on the line. A bad break or bounce and you are out of the playoffs. You do not have another game to fall back on. It is now or never and I love that as a fan. Combine that with the popularity of football and you have a great recipe for huge television viewership.

Another reason I love the NFL playoffs is the unpredictability of the playoffs. How would of thought that the New York Giants would come out of nowhere and win the Super Bowl last year or the Green Bay Packers the year before as a 6th seed. This year is no exception. I see a number of teams with a great chance of hosting the trophy on February 3rd. There is absolutely no clear cut favorite in the field. To me, that makes for a very exciting postseason. The NFL has done a great job is building parity and it really shows in the playoffs. I find it very dull in other sports when you can pretty much predict who will play in the championship series. The NFL is totally different. If you can predict at least one team that is going to the Super Bowl, than my friend, you might want to get on a plane and go to Vegas because betting is in your future.

My final reason is the Super Bowl and conference championship games. Is there a better Sunday on the calender than when the conference championships take place? In my opinion, it might even be better than Super Bowl Sunday. Nothing beats the excitement of seeing a berth in the Super Bowl on the line. And of course, is there a better and more hyped up game than the Super Bowl? I personally think that day should be declared a national holiday. You do not even have to like football to enjoy that day.

I know there are many fans in 12 cities, including mine, who are particularly excited about the playoffs since their teams are a part of the postseason. I wish a lot of luck to those fans. My Vikings have had numerous postseason appearances only to fall short many times. I love the excitement that a good playoff run can bring to a city.

The month of January can be a very depressing month but not if you love the NFL. The playoffs are like having Christmas extended another month. It is hard to beat the excitement that NFL playoff football brings.