03/01/2021: “‘Democrat Party’ label on the rise across US”

by Julie Carr Smyth of the Associated Press

Before I go forward with commenting on this article I’d like to share the following. I think of myself as a reasonably intelligent individual. I’ve received both a undergraduate degree and a masters degree. In my undergraduate studies I did well enough in my first English course that they allowed me to take Honors English for the second course. I did well enough in that course that I was exempted from the requirement to take a third English course in order to graduate with a BA degree.

Despite a good background in English and writing, I’ve still struggled with what the actual name of the second political party in the United States is. One party is made up of individuals called Republicans. The party they belong to is called the Republican Party. The second major party is made up by individuals called Democrats. So despite my education and supposed skills in English, I struggle with the appropriate name of the party the Democrats belong to. Is it the Democrat Party? Or is it the Democratic Party? My problem arises from the following question:

“If Republicans belong to the Republican Party why don’t Democrats belong to the Democrat Party?”

That’s something I’ve struggled with for years. So when I’ve incorrectly called it the Democrat Party it hasn’t been out of disrespect, but of my confusion.

So imagine my surprise when I saw a story under the heading “Analysis” on the misstatement of the Democrats’ Party’s name. With all that is worthy of discussion at this time like a growing National Debt, huge Federal Deficits and consequences of transitioning to renewable energy sources, the misstatement of the Democrats’ party name hardly seems like something worthy of any discussion.

The reporter mentions that two days before the U.S. Capitol an elected Republican used the term “Democrat Party” as did an activist and Trump supporter who also called it the “Democrat Party”. The “journalist” goes on to claim:

“…it identified them as members of the same tribe, conservatives seeking to define the opposition through demeaning language.”

What comes next in the article is so ridiculous it causes me to laugh in disbelief:

“Amid bipartisan calls to dial back extreme partisanship following the insurrection, the intentional misuse of “Democrat” as an adjective…”

Julie goes on to claim:

“Academics and partisans disagree on the significance of the word play. Is it a harmless political tactic… or a maliciously subtle vilification of one of America’s two major political parties…”

Huh??? Possibly it is an unintentional mistake?

Julie goes on to reference two “academics” on the subject:

“Thomas Patterson a political communication professor at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy said using “Democrat” as an adjective delivers a ‘little twist‘…”

“Purposely mispronouncing the formal name of the Democratic Party and equating it with political ideas that are not democratic goes beyond mere incivility, said Vanessa Beasely, an associate professor of communications at Vanderbilt University.”

As I said, over the years I’ve struggled with “What is the name of the second major party? Is it Democrat or Democratic?” It’s never been a case of disrespect to that party, or the purposeful misuse of an “adjective”, it’s just been a case of a faulty memory. That, coupled with the fact that I continue to attempt to use logic.

“If Republicans belong to the Republican Party wouldn’t Democrats belong to the Democrat Party? If Republican can be both a noun and adjective, why isn’t Democrat both a noun and adjective?”

I can’t help but wonder how hard the Associated Press had to work to come up with the idea that an “analysis” piece on this subject was worthy of an article? And how hard did they have to look to find individuals who were willing to go on the record claiming that if an individual calls the “second major party” the “Democrat Party” it “goes beyond mere incivility”!

One final question might be: “Who at Gannett and the Chillicothe Gazette thought this piece was worthy of publishing?”

Opinion: “Let the Budget Debate Begin”

CBO’s Baseline Projections

It’s February so it’s time for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to release their “Baseline Budget Projections”. They released them earlier this month and it can be found on their website. As is the usual case I downloaded some of the schedules:

Table 1-1:Baseline Budget Projections, by Category
Table 1-2:Baseline Projections of Federal Debt
Table 1-3:Mandatory Outlays Projected
Table 1-4:Baseline Projections of Discretionary Spending

Each of these schedules include “Actual” for 2020 and “Projected” for 2021 to 2031, all based on current law. So it is very important for us to understand what to expect without any changes.

Category202020212031
Gross Federal Debt$26,901 b$28,467 b$39,975 b
Public Federal Debt$21,019 b$22,461 b$35,304 b
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)$21,000 b$21,951 b$32,933 b
Gross Debt to GDP128.1%129.7%121.4%
Public Debt to GDP100.1%102.3%107.2%
Annual Deficit -$3,142 b-$2,258 b-$1,883 b

All the discussion about COVID-19 relief, infrastructure investments and reparations is not included in these numbers. We’ll learn more about the cost of those initiatives and any others proposed by President Biden when the WH OMB releases their 2022 Budget projections.

From 1791 to 1969 the basic principle that our nation’s finances was based on was debt was something a strong nation worked to avoid. We actually eliminated the nation’s debt after the War of 1812 and eliminated two thirds of our debt after the Civil War. Beginning with 1970 using debt even during times of prosperity and relative peace became an accepted policy. That has resulted in only four surpluses in the past fifty-two years and eleven projected deficits on top of those.

Is that anyway to run a country? Only if you are attempting to bankrupt it!

(Think Cloward – Piven strategy.)

Opinion: “The ‘Texas’ Warning!”

by Alan R. Davis

You have most likely heard about the energy crisis that Texas has experienced this week. A massive cold front swept through the state lowering temperatures to near zero. Much of the state experienced snow and ice to make matters worse. The extremely low temperatures created a demand for electricity that matched the normal summer high loads. But could the grid match the demand with increased supply? That’s what is required to keep the electric grid working.

The first report we got was the large wind turbines stopped working because they had frozen. But how did ice form on moving wind turbine blades? Frozen wind turbines took a significant amount of electricity out of the system at a time when an increase was needed. That required those who control the grid to take some of the demand offline. Taking demand offline means stopping some customers from getting electricity?

What hasn’t been reported is that fact that along with the cold temperatures Texas was also plagued by marginal winds. Tuesday night I checked the wind speed for Lubbock, Texas and it was 3 mph. So even unfrozen turbines wouldn’t have been turning. Wednesday I found that the largest wind farm in the world is in Roscoe, Texas and the wind speed at the time was 3 mph. When I checked it yesterday it was 2 mph. Right now (12:09 ET 02/19/21) it is 6 mph. All of those temperatures above are below the “cut-in speed” identified in the wind turbine chart I found on the internet.

So as the demand for electricity increased to summer levels, one of the major components of the Texas electricity grid wasn’t capable of generating electricity.

That isn’t an unusual thing for green energy. Solar and Wind are considered “intermittent” energy sources. By that they mean solar and wind aren’t always available. The obvious question is whether they will be available when increased electricity is required. During Texas’ recent crisis, wind wasn’t available.

Solar requires sunshine. So when the sun isn’t shining it can’t be counted on. That’s over half of the time. Wind Turbines require strong and consistent wind. So when the wind isn’t strong they can’t be counted on. So as the temperature AND wind plummeted Tuesday evening in Texas, neither solar nor wind could be counted on for the increased electricity that was needed to maintain the power grid.

The question all of us should be asking is “Should our region convert to “intermittent” electricity sources?”

But that’s what the UN and Progressives are telling us we must do?

Hopefully the recent electricity crisis in Texas is a “wake-up” call to all of us that green energy means unreliable electricity and unreliable electricity isn’t compatible with modern civilization. Hopefully it’s enough to stop us from going down a destructive path to 100% renewable energy sources.

Opinion: “Tax Expenditures”

It’s the time of the year when Washington begins to address the Federal Budget. The first step in the process is for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to create “Baseline Budget Projections”. Those numbers represent the CBO’s best estimate of what the next ten years’ financial statements would look like if no changes are made. It is always a good place to start.

When I went to the CBO’s website and chose 2021 Baseline Projections I was taken to a website that showed both narrative and charts. One of the first charts I saw showed Outlays, Receipts and something labeled “Tax Expenditures”. At first I was confused. What are “tax expenditures”? How are they different from normal expenditures or what are normally labeled as outlays?

But it didn’t take long for me to realize what they were showing was the estimated value of tax deductions and credits. These were broken down based on whether they applied to Individual Income Taxes, Corporate Taxes or or others.

So Washington considers taxes that could have been collected if the tax code didn’t outline a particular deduction or credit that allowed some income not to be taxed as an “Expenditure”? I couldn’t help but look up the definition of “expenditure”.

Cambridge Dictionary: “the total amount of money a government or person spends.”

Merriam – Webster: 1. “the act or process of expending” Example: “an expenditure of energy” 2. “something expended” Example: “Income should exceed expenditures”

The use of the term “Tax Expenditure” by Washington is so telling. Those in Washington seem to believe if you have income that hasn’t been taxed, that is a cost (or expenditure) to Washington. They seem to say “Look! If that tax break (deduction or credit) didn’t exist we would have so much more money to spend.”

Finally, I couldn’t help but chuckle when I saw the example that Merriam – Webster uses for their second definition of “expenditure”. “Income should exceed expenditures.” Wouldn’t it be nice if our members of Congress and those in Washington understood that and put it into practice. Instead they are lamenting the fact that the tax code includes deductions and credits that are taking money away from them.

Beware when they claim deductions and credits are “expenditures”. When Congress must look for ways to reduce “expenditures”, “tax expenditures” will probably be the first place they look!

02/10/2021: “Global warming triggers earlier release of pollen”

by Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press

The article shows a picture of Dr. Stanley Fineman with the Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Center in Atlanta. It quotes him saying “Pollen really follows the temperature.” This is not only is logical, but it follows science.

22,000 years ago massive sheets of ice extended from the Arctic and Greenland to as far south as south central Ohio. We’re told that those sheets of ice (glaciers) were as much as a mile thick and held enough fresh water that sea levels dropped approximately 400 feet. Those glaciers melted over the last 20,000 years allowing vegetation to grow with where the glaciers had been. More growing plants (and trees) means more pollen. So we’ve seen increasing levels of pollen long before the Industrial Revolution and humans increased use of fossil fuels. Bill Anderegg is a biologist and climate scientist and is quoted as saying: “…clearly warming temperatures and more carbon dioxide (are) putting more pollen in the air.” Again, there is nothing unusual about that statement, it well understood science.

What is blamed for the warming and increased pollen?

“…Human caused climate change.”

The article talks about warmer Februaries and earlier spring blooms. That’s something I had noticed in recent years to, but then something happened:

Backyard snow: Chillicothe, Ohio; Source: Iphone on February 10, 2021.

After three years of not using our snow blower, I’ve used it three times this year. And only once or twice before, in the nearly thirty years we’ve lived in our house, have we seen snow on the back porch as deep as it is this morning. We’ve had two snows in the past week that each dropped 4″ to 6″. The vast majority of the snow is still on the ground because of the cold high temperatures we’ve experienced.

Yesterday I searched for the average high and low temperatures for the month of February in Chillicothe, Ohio. What I found was the average high is 42F and low is 21F. A quick look at the Weather AP on my IPhone shows the following weather 10 Day forecast for Chillicothe:

Highest Temperature: 30F (Friday) The ten day average high is 24.5.

Lowest Temperature: 10F (Sunday) The ten day average low is 15.5F.

There are also five days of potential snow during the next ten days. So if the weather forecast holds true, we’re likely to have even more snow on the back porch bench before we seen any substantial warming. And it will be a long time before we see the tops of the daffodils that had started to pop up out of the ground or any significant pollen.

And how much electricity would the solar farms that are being proposed for Ross County produce over the next ten years. I suspect not all that much. We are projected to have ten days in a row of heavy cloud days. That pretty much follows a trend we’ve seen since November.

Yet the “scientists” are sure that human’s use of fossil fuels (release of CO2) is causing warming temperatures, increased pollen and worsening allergies?

It will be interesting to see how they explain this year’s weather. It doesn’t follow their prescribed “theory”.

02/03/2021: “Democrats make case for convicting Trump”

by Eric Tucker and Mary Clare Jaionick of the Associated Press

The article starts off with the following:

“Donald Trump endangered the lives of all members of Congress when he aimed a mob of supporters ‘like a loaded cannon” at the U.S. Capitol, House Democrats said Tuesday…”

The congressional Democrats have long been known for hyper statements, but this might be one of the biggest overstatement of all time.

First off, I’d like to say that I was disgusted and saddened at what I saw unfold that day. I’ve attended peaceful rallies at the Capitol Building before. I was one of those who peacefully marched to the Capitol Building during the first Tea Party event in DC. I was proud at the behavior of the crowd and their respect for property and grounds over ten years ago. I also attended the “tea party” healthcare rally which also went off without any incidents. So I was saddened to see another powerful rally of dedicated and peaceful citizens get hijacked by a small segment of the overall crowd. Once I saw that occur I knew that many would use it to ignore the message the rally was meant to send.

“…like a loaded cannon…”: There was a time when cannons were one of the most powerful weapons of war. They inflicted tremendous damage on the enemy. Depending on the type of shot they were loaded with they were either designed to kill the maximum possible number of opponents (grape shot) or inflict the maximum damage on forts and ships (solid shot). Neither was the case during this riot. In fact, the videos of the riot don’t show the rioters to have guns in their possession or to have used any guns at all. The only firearm that I’ve seen reportedly used was the weapon of a capitol police officer.

“…endangered the lives of all members of Congress…”: Rep. Talib is one of those members of Congress who suffered trauma due to the riot. She has explained how she suffered it as she watched the riot on television. Rep. Cortez has described how she was traumatized by the Capitol Building riot while she was protected by capitol police in her Cannon office building far from the Capitol Building, itself. Were all the members of Congress’s lives endangered? If so, how many suffered “battle” wounds or ended up needing emergency care, life flight evacuation or time in the critical care unit of Walter Reed Hospital. Not one that I’ve heard of.

It’s a tragedy that five individuals did die. But as the real facts have come out, only one of the five died from actual weapons discharge and that was one of the rioters. At first we heard claims that Officer Sicknick was hit in the head by a by a fire extinguisher. Later reports stated that there was no signs showing that he had suffered blunt force trauma. A blow to the head would have certainly left some sign it had occurred. So as of a February 6th article by Danielle Wallace of Fox News the medical examiner has still not determined the cause of the officers death. The other three individuals are reported to have suffered medical emergencies and died as a result of them.

The article goes on to say:

“The dueling filings offer the first public glimpse of the arguments that both sides intend to present at the impeachment trial, Trump’s second.”

Yes this is Trump’s second impeachment trial. He is the first President to suffer that fate. But I’m guessing, he may also be the first president to have members of Congress and the media talk about impeachment on their first day in office. Now they want to have a trial after he has left the office and we have a new president?

It is just one more example of the extraordinary and outrageous things Democrats and the Washington “Swamp” have used against this duly elected president. And the “journalists” at the Associated Press are right there rooting the Democrats on!

02/07/2021: “Test vote shows not all GOP on board to convict”

by Eric Tucker and Mary Clare Jaionick of the Associated Press

The above is the subtitle to the “journalists” article on the upcoming impeachment hearing and vote in the U.S. Senate. So imagine my surprise when I went on to read:

“Only five Republican senators voted against a motion that was aimed at dismissing the trial.”

I guess that means 45 Republican senators voted for the motion to dismiss?

So why would the “journalists”, or who ever came up with the subheading, choose “not all GOP on board to convict”. Wouldn’t it have been much more accurate to say “few GOP on board to convict” or “most GOP not on board to convict”?

Does it really matter what the headings and subheadings say? Probably not if you read the entire story. But that’s not always the case. Many times people just reading the headings to get the gist of the storyline before deciding whether or not to read the full story. Other times what people remember most about an article is the heading.

So maybe the “journalists” who wrote this article wanted readers to leave with the impression that most, but not all Republicans support impeachment?

But that’s not what the story says. In response to the question “Will Trump be convicted?” when they state “It’s unlikely.” and go on to state “Only five Republican Senators voted against a motion that was aimed at dismissing the trial. It was nowhere near the 17 Republicans needed for a conviction.”

But even then they could have worded that section as “Forty five Republican Senators voted for a motion that was aimed at dismissing the trial.”

The two wordings mean the exact same thing, but leave much different impressions. to have nearly 50% of the senators vote against the trial shows less support for the impeachment trial than saying that just over 50% of senators supported the trial going forward.

Wording often signals which side of the issue “journalists” lean towards. In this article it also is clear from the “five key questions” the “journalists” layout for us. And of course the use of the “insurrectionists” to describe the unruly and riotous mob is also a clue.

  • “Will Trump be convicted?”
  • “How do Trump’s attorneys mount a defense without angering the senate?”
  • “How do the House Impeachment managers get through to skeptical Republicans?”
  • Will we hear from Trump?”

And the last is the biggest giveaway of all:

  • “What happens if Trump is acquitted?”

Why should anything else happen if Trump is acquitted? Shouldn’t that be the end of it all?

Not if you are a Democrat. Because this impeachment isn’t about a supposed “insurrection” at all. That’s why House Democrats rushed through the impeachment vote without the normal components of the process proceeding the vote like:

  • Investigation to determine what actually happened that day.
  • Hearing with witnesses during an actual trial.

What this impeachment is actually about is removing a powerful opponent from a potential run in the 2024 presidential election campaign.

01/24/2021: “Trump passes on ‘ex-presidents club'”

by Will Weissert and Deb Riechmann of the Associated Press

Sometimes when I read an article in the Gazette all I can do is shake my head and smile. This is certainly one of them!

The article, as others have done in the past weeks, has pointed out that President Trump chose not to attend Biden’s inauguration. This article seems to suggest it was an inappropriate thing to do. But President Trump said he didn’t want to be a distraction by attending and President-Elect had agreed with that decision. So Trump decided to leave Washington and fly back to his home in Florida. Hadn’t he just been accused of inciting an insurrection? Hadn’t he just been impeached? Yet the writers present his decision in a bad light, rather than common sense considering all that has just go on.

The article goes on to tell us that Trump’s behavior started before he even took office. ‘“After his election victory in November 2016, Obama hosted Trump at the White House promising to ‘do everything we can to help you succeed. Trump responded, “I look forward to being with you many more times in the future” but that never happened.'” “Instead Trump accused Obama of spying on his campaign…”

Have Will and Deb spent any time reviewing the growing evidence coming from declassified documents that show that the Obama Administration did spy on the Trump campaign. That they used false evidence in FISA requests to get permission to do so. That after his election they undermined Trump’s incoming National Security team. And Obama’s supporters and left overs from his Administration continued the Russia Collusion investigation long after they knew there was no evidence supporting it. So if that’s “doing everything to help you succeed” I would hate to see what President Obama and the Democrats would do if they were doing everything to help you fail! I can’t imagine it would have been anything different.

But Trump is breaking tradition and not joining in a group of former Presidents? Let’s see what those former presidents did. Carter criticized Trump on numerous occasions. Clinton wasn’t as outspoken against Trump, but his wife proposed the Russia Collusion story to take the focus of attention away from her illegal use of a private server and 30,000 missing emails. She repeatedly claimed the election was stolen from her and Trump was an illegitimate President. President Obama worked to stop Trump from taking office and then later to have him removed. That might leave someone hesitant to join in their circle. And as the article says, Trump concluded ‘”I don’t think I’ll be accepted.”‘

The article goes on to state that “current and former presidents sometimes loathed each other, and criticizing their successors isn’t unheard of. It goes on to give three examples. The most recent were President Obama and Carter. They had to reach back a hundred years to Teddy Roosevelt for their example of a Republican former President acting in this manner.

The article finishes with the following: ‘“I think Trump has taken it too far,” Brower said. “I don’t think that these former presidents will welcome him at any point.”‘

Considering all that has taken place over the last five years I don’t blame President Trump for questioning whether he wants to be part of a group that undermined his term in office and his attempt at re-election. At this point in time doing anything else would just looks phony! Our Country doesn’t need more phony. We’ve had plenty of that in recent years.

01/24/21: “Ohio ranks last for administering second doses of COVID-19 vaccines”

by Jackie Borchardt of the Cincinnati Enquirer and USA TODAY NETWORK

The article starts off by stating “Ohio is dead last among states in administering a second does of the coronavirus to residents…” That sounds pretty bad for the Governor’s Administration. Next it goes on to state the following in reference to the the first week the Pfizer vaccine was available: “That left only 9,750 doses for hospitals to administer to front-line health care workers. Meanwhile, other states such as Illinois and Texas, put all their initial Pfizer does towards health care workers.” Again it sounds bad for Ohio. So what is going on?

You have to go well past the halfway point of the article to get good news. And what was the good news? “Ohio is second in the country for number of nursing home residents and staff who have received second doses…” So how did the current administration choose to prioritize nursing home residents and staff over other Ohio Residents?

You get a sense on why Ohio chose nursing homes over others near the end of the article. The article states “Ohio has about 72,000 nursing home residents…” It also goes on to say “About 52% of all Ohio COVID-19 deaths have been nursing home residents…”. So half of Ohio’s COVID-19 Deaths have occurred in 0.6% of Ohio’s population! It goes on to state that “Gov. Mike DeWine has cited mortality statistics to support moving nursing home residents and seniors to the front of the line to get scarce vaccines.” Imagine that, using actual mortality statistics to prioritize who gets vaccinated first? Doesn’t that sound logical to you? It does to me.

So if Ohio is leading the Nation, or at least in second place, in protecting the most vulnerable of its population, wouldn’t you think that would be the headline and main focus of the story. But it wasn’t. And why is there a story about the use of the first 100,000 doses in the first place when the article goes on to say that Ohio has now (at the time the article was written) received “more than 1.2 million doses…”.

Finding something negative to report about the current Governor and his Administration seems to be a priority for this journalist. But is that what a journalist is supposed to do?

01/23/2021: “Trump showed he didn’t care about Ohioans”

by Jason Williams of the Cincinnati Enquirer

Today’s Chillicothe Gazette devoted most of its Opinion page to attempting to convince us of the importance of “red and blue” working together to solve our nation’s problems. That was the theme of the Guest Editorial by the Columbus Dispatch. “Commit to serving the civic good” was the headline and topic of a peace by multiple employees of USA Today. But it seems that was too much getting along for the Chillicothe Gazette. They had to include at least one “anti-Trump” piece to go with the others. This time it was the above referenced piece by Jason Williams, a political columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The Chillicothe Gazette is the “paper of record” for Ross County, Ohio. So did they think Jason’s column would be well accepted? Was he preaching to the choir when he stated “And stop kidding yourselves and accept that Donald Trump is an unrepentant jackass.”

But what if we don’t accept that fact. What if we actually believed and still believe that President Trump cared about every citizen of Ohio and every other state in the union? It appears that Jason Williams thinks we are all fools if we believe that and don’t accept the “facts” he puts forward as true.

Jason finishes up his piece by pointing out that he was “Gallia County born and raised“.

I couldn’t help but wonder how did the residents of Gallia County vote this past November:

Biden/Harris = 2,990 (21.6%) and Trump/Pence = 10,645 (77.1%)

So the editor of the Chillicothe Gazette thought it was appropriate to include a column by a Gannett employee originally from Gallia County who thinks that nearly 80% of the voters from his native county disagreed with his statement on whether President Trump cared for Ohioans? And how did that column convince the the two thirds of voters in Ross County who voted in the presidential election for President Trump that there is even the slightest possibility that “red and blue” can find enough common ground to work together.

Jason states “They’ve made you, the regular Trump supporter, look bad.” just who is “they”? Is it journalists like Jason that take every opportunity possible to ridicule President Trump and his supporters, even when that includes most of the voters from their native county? Is it the Democrat Party’s Congressional leadership team that thinks that they must impeach (remove from office) a President who is no longer in office? Or is it editors who think it is going get “red and blue” to work together even after if they include a column like Jason’s in their paper.

In my opinion, those are the people left looking bad!