In The Headlights

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Always sunny!  HI 82 | LOW 82  •  50 cents - price may vary


Riley composes the Silly Sentinel editorials from the perspective of a dog who finds human behavior more than a little nonsensical. Being completely dependent on the support of others, he should advocate more of an accommodating view, but he doesn’t. His focus is on the silly things members of his benefactor species do and the farcical explanations they conjure to justify their actions. He will never run short of material.


The Accidental Conciliators

Dateline: Stupidville, March 28, 2017. As everyone in the Country who pays an Internet bill knows, President Trump is trashed daily in every way by the Politically Crazed.

Not that a little disagreement, in and of itself, is wrong. But, it’s one thing for, say, Democrats to oppose Trump’s agenda and rejoice in his political failures. Take their crowing last week over TryanCare 1.0’s faceplant. Good for the Dems. Ridicule should be heaped from all quarters on that misfire.

But, it’s another to impugn evil motives, scream louder and louder about non-existent conspiracies and trash his family. Hysteria has taken the place of rational discourse just because Hillary is not currently occupying the White House.

The frenzy has taken the form of an escalating profusion of smoke and smears. Take Chris Matthews as a case in point. The perpetually grumpy MSNBC commentator dug himself into a new low this week when he conjured up the ghosts of Saddam Hussein’s sons.

Matthews likened Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, to Uday and Qusay, the maniacally murderous offspring of Iran’s despotic ruler. Where will Matthews venture next? One thing is for sure, it will be where no rational mind has gone before.

But, luckily, not every Hillary supporter has succumbed to the contagion.

The hopeful among us believe that the Politically Crazed will eventually bring the house down on themselves. Voter reaction will force reconciliation between Republicans and Democrats in Congress so that the business of government can resume.

Because, right now, it’s just a huge mud wrestling spectacle.




Madcow Disease Makes A Comeback

Dateline: Bovineville, March 15, 2017. Last night, direct from MSNBC headquarters, its primary breeding ground, Madcow Disease made a comeback.

Unleashed by the political commentator, Rachel Madcow, after whom the Disease is named, it spread at the speed of television infecting feeble-minded viewers everywhere. Fortunately, there aren’t many of them.

The Disease causes degenerative thought processes, feverish rantings and fatalities of the central credibility system.

Madcow’s harangue was a stunningly embarrassing – for her – release of two pages of President Trump’s 2005 tax return. Rather than unmasking him as a tax dodger or Russian saboteur, the return showed Trump as a regular taxpayer. He paid over 25% in taxes, a high percentage than, say, the Obamas last year, Bernie Sanders or Comcast, MSNBC’s parent company.

We know all that by now. But, as humiliating as it is, it’s not the biggest goof about the Madcow episode. Infected by the Disease and slipping into near unconsciousness, several commentators babbled incoherently that Trump surreptitiously provided his tax return to MSNBC. Somehow a set up excuses the Madcow flare-up.

The excuse is just another symptom of the Disease. The President never would have come up with the tax return angle to bait the ‘resistance’ since it puts him in a very good light. He can’t think those who oppose him are that dull-witted, at least until now. Plus, regardless of the source, Madcow should’ve figured out for herself that the return only helps the President.

Which underscores the horrifying nature of Madcow disease. It eats the brain right out of your head.




The Greatest Show On Earth

Dateline: Illusionville, February 20, 2017: The anti-Trump media circus that’s been touring the Country since November 8 set up its tents in the White House last week.

The result was a high wire thrill act from what, after Barnum & Bailey’s announced closure, has become the Greatest Show On Earth. President Trump soared over the heads of the media clowns below performing favorite renditions from The Flying Wallendas’ playbook.

Even before he finished, news outlets were accusing the President of media bashing, as if that’s somehow wrong. One news guy, speaking for his fellow jokers, set up a series of falling dominos that led from criticizing the press to the collapse of the Presidency.

As expected, Trump is constantly being accused of trampling on the constitutional free press rights. What’s left behind in all the clamor is impartiality, the chief responsibility of a free press. Without impartiality, the press becomes one of the greatest threats to freedom on earth. So far, detached neutrality hasn’t made an appearance in the reporting of most mass media outlets.

One thing the media always forgets is that, in their circus, the President is the Ring Master. Clown routines are slapstick sideshows that hold attention only briefly. The audience is riveted on the guy in charge.

So, the newshounds should try impartiality and let Trump succeed or fail on the merits of his programs, policies and leadership. Then we’ll have a press worth protecting.




Hurray For College

Dateline: Thankfulville, January 10, 2017 – A lot of people sidestep college on their way to tremendous careers. I know I did. But, there’s one college we can all be thankful for – the Electoral College.

You’d think all that stuff would be behind us by now. But, if you watched Trump’s Attorney General nominee get grilled on the Hill today, you know that isn’t true, at least not yet. Just try to picture the mess we’d be in if the EC hadn’t finalized the election results.

Speaking of election results, a few facts are always helpful. While it is true that Trump did not win a majority of the popular vote, neither did Hillary or any other candidate. She did grab 48% of the total vote cast, compared to Trump’s 46%, but that amounts to a plurality for her, not a majority.

Here’s another couple of interesting tidbits. Hillary received 2,865,075 more votes than Trump. But, she also beat Trump in the California tally by 4,269,978 votes. In other words, without California, Trump received 1,404,903 more votes than Hillary.

If you want your next President elected in a race where only the popular vote counts, you should move to California for a while. But, don’t plan on starting a business. For each of the past 12 years, the State has been ranked by CEOs as the worst for business in the country.

Even though it has only 12 percent of the nation’s population, California has 34 percent of the nation’s welfare recipients. A little business climate warm-up might just fix that.




The Weak That Was

Dateline: Punyville, May 24, 2015 Another weak week has, thankfully, just ended. The lamest happenings center on the ISIS tar baby with plenty of blameworthy politicians trying to throw others under the bus.

The latest round of pin-the-tail-on-any-other-donkey started a couple of weeks ago. In an interview with Fox News, Jeb Bush backstabbed his older brother for sending troops into Iraq in the first place.

Jeb didn’t mention ISIS directly but his statements reinforced Obama’s earlier criticism blaming W for the rise of ISIS. Geez, if only we hadn’t upset the locals and created so much anti-American hatred, ISIS would not have existed.

That’s a very handy claim, of course, but it can’t be substantiated.

This week, after being smacked by the backlash, Jeb decided to defend his brother. So he blamed Obama for not taking care of business. Regardless of how ISIS got started, it really was at one time a JV team that should have been crushed by the Pros. Alas, Obama himself is a minor leaguer so that play was missed.

As the politicians bickered, ISIS took two cities this week, Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province in Iraq, and Palmyra, an ancient Syrian City. Ramadi is the largest military victory for ISIS in almost a year.

Critics claim that Obama’s recent strategy in mishandling ISIS is to pretend that the terrorist group has already been defeated. Earlier this month, his spokesman criticized the press for broadcasting news clips that showcase the group’s military might.

Instead, the President insisted that ISIS has been reduced to driving a lone Toyota after dark with the headlights out. And then Ramadi and Palmyra happened.

No wonder Obama and Biden are talking about global climate change at commencement addresses over the weekend. They’re in so much hot water in foreign policy, it’s a natural for them.




The Weak That Was

Dateline: Punyville, May 17, 2015 Another weak week has just ended and what a weak it was. The lamest incident is the major blow off Arab leaders gave President Obama over what was to be an historic conference at Camp David.


Back on April 17, the White House announced a U.S. – GCC Summit in Washington on May 13 and 14. The GCC, or Gulf Cooperation Council, consists of six Persian Gulf monarchies including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.


Billed as an historic meeting, the get-together was supposed to be all hugs and kisses about how to strengthen security cooperation among the seven countries. Obama wanted to use the occasion to assure the kings that the U.S. still really has their backs against Iran’s burgeoning bullyism in their ‘hood.


The leaders of four of the six monarchs must have missed the momentous message because they decided not to attend, sending underlings instead. Widely viewed as a snub to the White House, the absences underscored the U.S.’s vanishing influence in that part of the world. This circumstance is not something that a day and one-half listening to Obama’s lectures will change.


Saudi Arabia, in particular, has been highly critical of the Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. Not only does it not deter Iran’s nuclear advancements, lifting economic sanctions will pour billions of dollars into the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.


On top of that is our Country’s general abandonment of the Middle East, which is in the midst of an Iran-Syria-ISIS bloodbath. Today, the city of Ramadi, capital of Iraq’s largest province, fell to ISIS after government forces fled. Not a great start to a new week.


The Iran wedge that is being driven between long-standing allies is another sad example of the U.S. dictating outcomes in distant lands. Obama refuses to listen to our allies in the region about how to handle Iran substituting, instead, his own judgment of what is best for them.


Despite Obama’s speeches about the intrusive failures of past U.S. foreign policy, Western colonialism is still ruining the world.




The Weak That Was

Dateline: Punyville, May 10, 2015 Another weak week has just ended and what a weak it was. The lamest of the lame is the excuse given for a fantastically false statement made by our Director of National Intelligence. But, there were other weaknesses on display, too.


Back in 2013 James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, testified before a congressional hearing that the U.S. does not gather information on American citizens. The testimony came only a couple of months before Edward Snowden spilled the beans on the NSA’s massive data collection program. Oops.


Last week, Clapper’s attorney explained his client’s big, fat slip of the lip. The Director simply forgot about the gargantuan program that records metadata on cell phone calls including the number called and the date and time of the call. The program has been widely criticized as an intrusion on fundamental liberties. But, the proponents have been just as vociferous.


Regardless of the merits of the debate, the collection effort is huge. That Clapper simply forgot about it is unbelievable. He’d do a better job justifying his testimony by claiming that the program was aimed, not at Americans, but at their cell phones.


The other especially lame happening is North Korea’s test launch of a newly developed ballistic missile into the sea off the South Korean coast. Firing test missiles toward South Korea is not a new exercise for the government of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un.


But, this one was the response given to recent diplomatic overtures from the Obama administration. Nothing says ‘no’ to peace like a missile launch.


Worse, the North has nuclear weapons, conducting its first test of them in 2006. Obama offered a diplomatic resolution in 2012 but was rebuffed the following year with the Country’s third nuclear test.


Experts predict that North Korea could have as many as 100 nuclear weapons by 2020. Since Kim Jung-Un is widely regarded as an unrestrained murderous tyrant, having all those weapons in his arsenal is a very scary proposition.


So far, our only reaction has been ineffective sanctions and those shriveled olive branches.




The Weak That Was

Dateline: Punyville, April 26, 2015 Another week has just ended and what a weak it was. The lamest of the lame are the excuses Clinton supporters are making for what should, by rights, end up being her huge cash crash.


History should report the revelations in the soon-to-be-released-but-already-heavily-reviewed The Clinton Cash book as Hillary’s last stand. Like Custer before her, she should be scalped in the fighting that is now still a skirmish.


In the book, author Peter Schweizer hammers the Clintons with a detailed account of their high-priced influence peddling and the resulting damage to American security.


Joining the investigation and connecting more of the dollars-for-favors dots are The New York Times, The Washington Post and Fox News, among others.


So far, the Clinton response has been typical. Their spokespeople are out savaging the messenger, criticizing the media and ducking tough questions.


But, claims of a vast right wing conspiracy and biased media outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post ring very hallow.


It matters not at all what the author’s motivations may have been. The question is whether his detailed accounts are accurate. And of course the media should investigate. Drilling down on who our presidential candidates really are is one of their highest callings.


Meanwhile, the Clinton Foundation last week admitted making “accounting mistakes” that masked donations from foreign governments in Foundation reporting documents.


No wonder Secretary of State Clinton kept all of her email on a server in her own basement and recently deleted 33,000 ‘personal’ messages. She’s right. It certainly was in her personal interest to eradicate all evidence of her involvement in unlawful activity.




The Weak That Was

Dateline: Punyville, April 19, 2015 It’s been a weak week on many fronts. Three of the lamest deserve special mention.


First, and probably least significant among the weak, is Hillary’s performance on the campaign trail. Her entourage wound its way into Iowa where she spoke in favor of “undocumented workers”.


To emphasize the contribution of immigrants, Hillary proudly proclaimed that “all my grandparents” immigrated to this Country. That would be true if she had a single grandparent. But, alas, she had four of them, which makes the pronouncement a big, fat, lame fib.


The official excuse was that Hillary’s grandparents talked so much about the “immigrant experience” that she was confused about their actual status. If she’s this easily flummoxed, even a map and compass won’t her get to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


And then there was Clinton’s attempt to show kinship with “ordinary” people. She cozied up to as many as possible on her Iowa stops, especially in small town gathering places like ice cream stores and coffee shops.


But, it turns out that too many of those ordinary people were plants. Handpicked in advance and coached on how to act, they did their fawning best to make the candidate look just like one of us. Can a pretender to the Presidency get there by just pretending?


Second, DEA Administrator, Michele Leonhart, was scorched during her appearance before the House Oversight Committee. The head of the DEA claimed she could do nothing about dozens of DEA agents who broke the law and compromised criminal investigations.


For a period of several years, DEA agents were treated to “sex parties” and prostitutes in Cartagena, Columbia by the drug cartels they were investigating. Leonhart said that civil service rules limited her role to writing memos about how unacceptable the conduct was.


Evidently, the memos fell on blind eyes, because the “deciding officials” only suspended the agents for a few days rather than terminating them.


Which underscores the problem at the DEA. The head of the Agency is so ineffective that her direct reports ignore the obvious import of her memos and choose to embarrass her instead. She’s an incompetent who needs to be terminated herself.


Third, and worst, is the response of the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the imminent fall of Ramadi to ISIS. General George Dempsey said that the loss of City “is not symbolic in any way.”


Really? Ramadi is the capital of the expansive Anbar province, site of the bloodiest fighting of the Iraq war. More American died in Anbar than in any other province.


Dempsey’s dismissal of the City’s importance makes him Obama’s Whore of War. He’ll role-play any fantasy to satisfy his do-nothing Presidential patron. Meanwhile, the mother of the first Navy Seal killed in Ramadi is waiting for an apology from Dempsey for trivializing her son’s death. She may wait for a very long time.




The Weak That Was

Dateline: Punyville, April 12, 2015 On Saturday, Barack Obama met with Raul Castro in what was billed as a ‘historic’ meeting. Not really. Obama has a history of foreign policy mistakes. This was just another one.


The meeting yesterday followed an interview on Thursday with EFE, the Spanish international news agency. In the interview, Obama claimed that his policy shift toward Cuba was “already showing results.”


The President has an absurd habit of falsely attributing great outcomes to his actions. His assertion of results flowing from his Cuba reversal is one of them. By way of explanation, he offered only “increased contacts” between the people of our two countries and “enthusiasm” on the part of Cubans. In other words, nothing of substance.


What is substantial is the fact that Cuba, one of the most persistent human rights violators in modern history, remains unchanged from Obama’s efforts. Why not? He makes no concession demands, not even the tiniest of movements in the direction of tolerance.


Instead, Obama is merely turning on the financial spigot for the island country. No wonder the Cubans are enthusiastic. Hooray for them.


Raul Castro did absolve Obama of responsibility for U.S. imperialism and other acts of aggression. Hooray for him.


Not all was lost, however. Obama revealed something important, but so far largely overlooked, in a statement on Saturday before the Castro meeting. He finally defined his overarching foreign policy guideline.


He put it this way, “I’m not interested in having battles frankly that started before I was born.”


His declaration does explain the U.S. withdrawal from everywhere since the battles of today are the battles of decades, centuries and even millennia ago. Muslim vs Muslim. Muslim vs. Jew. Muslim vs. Christian. Christian vs. Christian. Democracies vs. autocrats. Everyone else vs. terrorism. And on and on.


Withdrawal has left a leadership vacuum and created a mess of the planet. Not exactly hooray for us.