American Fail: Why l'm Shell-Shocked and Fearful for My Country ⋆
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American Fail: Why l’m Shell-Shocked and Fearful for My Country

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All great nations rot and weaken and eventually crumble—typically from within. America’s slide seems like mud slipping into a sinkhole. I’m no historian, but has any nation soared as high and crashed as hard as our 244-year-old American republic?

For the first time in my life, I fear for my country. What happened?

Things really went south in 2016. We elected a polarizing president whose worst fault and best strength was that he was an outsider. Initially, the media and opposing party laughed at him. I laughed at him. Then in the space of a few hours on election night, the laughter ceased and the shock set in as tears flowed on one side.

The clown became Hitler

We’ve seen gridlock and nasty politics, but does anything compare to the vitriol of four years of Russian Collusion, Ukraine impeachment, and finally, COVID weaponization? Are there any limits to the lengths one side has gone to rid the country of the clown king? It’s an American Fail.

And now half of us are still troubled by a troubling election. Somehow, some way, a guy who barely became his party’s nominee secured 12 million more votes than his party’s last superstar. Really? As far I can tell, Joe Biden’s best quality throughout his many years in politics is his gift of gab. If his gift is no longer golden, what’s left to offer voters other than his not being Trump?

This guy raked in a record 81,000,000 votes?

Of course, one could argue that Biden’s votes were simply votes against the other guy. It’s not that he’s a dynamic leader; it’s that he’s not Trump. I tell myself that repeatedly when trying to process Biden’s purported election victory, but it just doesn’t square for me. Neither does his party’s For the People Act of 2021, which will all but ensure suspect elections every four years.

Of course, the triumvirate of one party, their media, and big tech censor nannies assures us that all is well in election land. The 2020 version has been certified 100% clean and pure. Nothing to see here, plebeians—move along. Meanwhile I and half the electorate—some 74 million schlubs— are left scratching our heads suspiciously while becoming more and more cynical about the news we see and hear and, sadly, the country we love. American Fail.

It feels like the six years I served in our military was for nothing. It seems ages ago that right was right and wrong was wrong—for both political parties and a culture that knew the difference. Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill , Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich—what happened to bipartisanship? It was DOA by 2018, maybe before.

Perhaps the death of compromise and the ramping up of rancor began when our media chose to chuck their ethics and tar and feather a president. American Fail.

By hook or crook

My trust in media is dead. They killed it. Their self-inflicted coup de grâce fell swiftly with a fatal triad of Trump-hysteria, the pandemic, and an iffy election. I know of what I speak. I’m a journalism graduate—got a master’s degree in it.

Everything I learned in J-school no longer applies in the real world of journalism. News IS fake. Consider the latest fake news creation and too-late correction by The Washington Post. Turns out that Trump’s pressuring Georgia’s chief elections investigator to “find the steal” never happened. Think that brouhaha might’ve affected the Senate runoff races? For many reasons, I’m glad I became an advertising copywriter rather than a partisan journalist. There’s more truth and honor in selling someone what they want rather than what YOU think they need.

The ubiquitous “What you need to know” spills their beans. The Washington Post tagline, Democracy Dies in Darkness, makes them look silly and sick with irony.

They think we’re fools. Telling us what they think we need to know is baby-steps propaganda. Telling us what we need to know about the election has become a media mantra. “No evidence of widespread voter fraud” is wordplay and full-on gaslighting. It’s also a straw man argument no one’s making.

They use “widespread” like we copywriters use “virtually” when pushing a product claim AND covering our clients’ butts. The Geronimo’s gerbil-driven drivetrain is virtually maintenance-free.

Here’s the catch: No evidence of widespread voter fraud doesn’t mean there’s no evidence of voter fraud. Widespread? No. Strategic swing-state fraud? Likely.

Voter fraud has happened in every single American election. Don’t buy it? Take a gander at this state-by-state list of convictions from The Heritage Foundation. Before you do, here’s a one-word and massive difference between the 2020 election and all the others—pandemic. The moment blue-state governors and their party began talking COVID and the election is the moment I began to fear for its integrity and our American Fail.

I still hope

Ask yourself this question as you follow the For the People Act of 2021 in the Senate: Isn’t America worth any and all our efforts to help ensure we’ll care about future elections and preserving our greatest freedom—our vote? The party in power thinks so, but for seemingly selfish and corrupt reasons, which is why they’re pushing this piece of legislation. I think so. It’s why I still hope.

2024 will be here before we know it and chances are there will be no virus, no pandemic, and no opportunity to prevent us from going to the polls. If both parties are serious about election integrity, let’s urge our leaders to take steps to ensure it.

We desperately need voter ID requirements, rules and procedures debated and passed in state legislatures, more stringency regarding mail-in and absentee ballots, and as much in-person voting as is possible. I’m all for states’ rights, but the winner of a presidential election becomes president of our United States. It’s a federal—not a state—office.

We owe it to ourselves and to future Americans to reestablish trust in our elections. If we cannot push our leaders to value principle and patriotism over power, we may as well give up our republic. Ben Franklin wondered if we could keep it. It was a fair question then and is even more so now.

We’re at a crossroads. Fail or fight—it’s our country and our choice.

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Patrick is a journalist and writer with degrees in English and journalism. He served six years in the Navy where his life was changed forever by the Lord Jesus Christ. He lives in the Sierra Nevada of Northern California with his wife, dog and two cats. He enjoys hiking and cycling, taking pictures and blogging at https://luscri.com/



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Education

Make Universities Accountable for Predatory Student Loan Abuse

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The Biden administration is still talking about delivering on the President’s promise to relieve student loan debt for many Americans. There is continuing discussion on how much debt should be forgiven, how to pay for it, and whether it is fair to all those who have diligently and painfully worked to already pay off their own student loans. After all, if you’re going to eliminate student debt to buy votes, why just limit it to student debt?

Unfortunately for Biden, according to numerous sources including National Review, the executive branch has no generalized power to forgive any amount of student debt. Even Nancy Pelosi confirmed simply that “the president can’t do it. That’s not even a discussion.” The Department of Education came to the same verdict, determining that the executive branch “does not have the statutory authority to cancel, compromise, discharge, or forgive, on a blanket or mass basis, principal balances of student loans, and/or to materially modify the repayment amounts or terms thereof.”

Of course, even if he had the authority, forgiving student debt doesn’t make the debt go away. Reality has a way of breaking into such “freeloading” dreams. It’s pay me now, or somebody else pay me later. But why should some future taxpayer pay off anyone else’s student debt?

Whatever happened to wise warnings of “student beware.” When you get an education and agree to pay the tuition, you ought to realize that you must at some point pay for that education. You signed on the bottom line. Face your real-world responsibilities. Hopefully, you picked a degree major that will ensure a career capable of paying off your loans. Students clearly have some responsibility, but what about the universities that took advantage of the money coming from those loans?

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: Tucker: This is a coordinated attack on the family

After all, there is ample evidence that student tuitions exploded far faster than inflation when government funds became readily available for student loans. Complaints of excessive tuition increases by students trapped in their programs tended to be met with a less than caring response—pound sand!

Since 2008, the tuition cost or a four-year college degree has increased nearly 25%. In that same period, student debt has doubled, increasing by 107%. 2015 study found that a dollar of subsidized student loans results in a published tuition increase of 58 cents at a typical university, An NBER paper suggests that changes to federal student loans are more than sufficient to explain tuition increases at private nonprofit colleges. And a 2014 study found that for-profit colleges eligible for federal student aid charged tuition 78% higher than that of similar but aid-ineligible institutions.

In short, there is no doubt that tuition was rising faster than the inflation level. Evidence has been clear for decades. In 1987, Secretary of Education William J. Bennett argued that “increases in financial aid in recent years have enabled colleges and universities to raise their tuition, confident that Federal loan subsidies would help cushion the increase.”

Bennett pointed out in 1987 that federal student aid had risen 57 percent since 1980, while inflation had been 26 percent. A 2020 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office brought the numbers up to date: “Between 1995 and 2017, the balance of outstanding federal student loan debt increased more than sevenfold, from $187 billion to $1.4 trillion (in 2017 dollars).” What is the lesson? The more federal aid to students is available colleges raise tuition more. Salaries rise and bureaucracies expand. There are more courses, more dorms, dining halls, lavish recreational centers, and more money for endowments.

Far too many students find that once they begin their education, their schools raise the tuition at such a high rate that their debt explodes. The university builds their endowment, and the “trapped” student is compelled to finish what they started at a cost they did not expect to have to pay. In such a situation, should not the university be responsible for any increased cost above the increase in cost of living during the same time? It’s time for universities to take responsibility for their share of student debt.

The universities that benefited from these loans should have a part in footing the bill. That means universities that raked in millions to inflate endowments should be holding the bag for those who can’t afford to pay their loans. With universities holding hundreds of billions of dollars in tax-free endowments, any government program to relieve student debt should be completely dependent on taxing those university endowments.

It’s time to counter the Democrats’ vote-buying scheme by making lasting changes to the student loan process. That means putting universities on the hook for their predatory behavior. That will go much further than a temporary payoff that does nothing to solve what is causing the problem.

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Life

Joe Biden, Man of the People

In my sister’s world, Joe Biden has served with distinction during his 48 years in Washington

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As Joe Biden’s administration continues to crumble and his grasp on realty seems ever more distant, it’s a revelation to know that some people think he’s doing a fine job as leader of the U.S. and, by extension, the free world.

Consider my sister. She has a Ph.D. in psychology and is a counselor with offices in New York and New Haven. She can discuss at length literature, sociology, human relations, movies, and so on. As is typical with those on the Left, her political blind spots are beyond glaring.

Sagacious and Sparkling

In my sister’s world, Joe Biden has served with distinction during his 48 years in Washington. He never took money for pay-to-play schemes from China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Romania, or Ukraine and certainly did not take bribes over at the last two decades. According to my sister, the thoroughly corrupt Biden family has never profited by even one dime – not Hunter, not James – as a result of Joe’s position as vice president and, before that as a senator.

Keep in mind, many of the alleged 81,000,000 or so ‘voters’ for Biden are like my sister. Inextricably ensconced in the liberal media bubble, they are steadfast in ‘what they know.’ They could easily visit alternative news sites for greater perspective, but they never do, thus creating a self-imposed information iron curtain.

In my sister’s world, Joe Biden never cheated in college, and didn’t plagiarize. He didn’t support the 1994 crime bill which essentially made black males walking targets. In her world, Joe Biden never uttered a racial comment that was less than desirable, and certainly never said things such as:

“I tell you if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” (May, 2020); “Poor kids are just as bright and talented as white kids,” (August, 2019); “We’ve got to recognize that the kid wearing a hoodie may very well be the next poet laureate and not a gangbanger,” (June, 2019); “They’re gonna put y’all back in chains.” (August, 2012); Obama is “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean,” (February, 2007); and so many other such statements.

Not in Partnership With Obama

In my sister’s world Joe Biden had no part in Obama’s countless scandals or Obama’s self-professed ignorance of them. The Obama/Biden administration claimed to have no knowledge of the ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal; Black Panther voter intimidation; Veterans Administration scandals; NSA spying on German, French, and Japanese heads of state; and NSA spying on reporters and U.S. citizens.

In my sister’s world, Joe Biden was innocent and unaware of the IRS ploy to destroy tens of thousands of emails sought by the House Oversight Committee; the 21.5 million social security numbers hacked from OPM; and the EPA and other agencies paying poor performers not to work, for years, as their cases winded through respective federal bureaucracies.

In my sister’s world, however, anything that Donald Trump did, even somewhat on par with that of Joe Biden, is a crime, punishable by life in prison, if not death.  Meanwhile, she is completely oblivious to Trump’s accomplishment, like, say, the lowest unemployment in 35 years, the lowest minority unemployment in history, the lowest minority youth unemployment in history, the lowest female unemployment in 75 years, an across-the-broad increase in wages, tax cuts for middle class, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and other trade deals.

Also the Abraham Accords, other Middle East peace agreements, increased military strength, no wars, the U.S Space Force, a restored VA, reduced danger of conflict with North Korea, China tariffs, 400 miles of new and restored border wall, a secure border, decreased illegal immigration, no domestic terror attacks, prison reform, the ‘Right To Try’, lowering the cost of insulin, low gas prices, energy independence, growing the U.S. economy, and bringing back manufacturing, to cite a tiny fraction of his accomplishments.

The Hair Sniffer-in-Chief

Biden’s major missteps in the Middle East and de facto approval of FBI and DOJ corruption sails right over her head. She has no clue about how Biden enabled China to wreak havoc on U.S. power and influence worldwide. In my sister’s world, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are as pure as the driven snow. They are ideologically correct, or close enough, and that’s all that really counts.

In my sister’s world, Joe Biden does not invade the space of girls or women, does not go around sniffing their hair, and does not touch them inappropriately, and he did not take showers with his 5-year old daughter. He is merely a sweet, old ‘Uncle Joe’ kind of guy.

Tara Reade doesn’t exist in my sister’s world and Joe Biden never tried to rape her. Reade is a liar and a glory seeker. While Biden himself said, “believe the woman,” my sister, every time, succumbs to the New York Times, Washington Post, and Atlantic Monthly view of realty. After all, they retain only trusted reporters who dig for the facts, and objectively present them. The Times amazingly found “no pattern of abuse” related to Biden and the women he has abused.

Likewise, to my sister, Rachel Maddow and all the rest of the MSNBC staff, and Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Jake Tapper, and the entire CNN staff are dedicated professionals who seek the truth no matter where the chips fall.

Lucid and Focused

In my sister’s world, Joe Biden is lucid and coherent. His exceedingly few, highly scripted press conferences are the model of competence and credibility. To my sister, Biden makes sense every time he speaks. He is no presidential puppet controlled by handlers. He is his own man.

Indeed, Biden knew that he was the man America wanted. Biden didn’t campaign heavily because he didn’t want to spread Covid-19 to his hundreds of followers. Also, because he had the election locked up, why bother to challenge President Trump, who consistently drew crowds of 30,000 or more?

In my sister’s world, Biden would never cause inflation or supply chain shortages. His weakness did not encourage Putin to invade Ukraine. Biden would never prompt a major crisis on our southern border. He wouldn’t think of tearing down the wall and allowing all manner of immigrants to flood into our land, sinking us financially, medically, economically, morally, and spiritually.

And, well, Joe’s just a good guy, a true American, and you need to realize that.

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