It seemed odd when Steve Bannon left the White House because he was President Donald John Trump’s idea man during the campaign.

But now Bannon has revealed why he left the White House and went back to Breitbart. He says he’s putting together a coalition to go after every sitting Republican senator with the exception of Sen. Ted Cruz, and it appears he means it.

Trump won with the support of people who wanted him to go to Washington and drain the swamp, meaning get rid of the entrenched bureaucracy that is there, including the elected officials whose loyalty is to Washington, not to their own constituents.

The Senate controlled by Republicans has proven to be Trump’s biggest enemy. But if Alabama is any indication of what Trump supporters want, then the Republican senators should be worried about Bannon because usually when the big national committees get involved in a race they get what they want.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spearheaded sending $32 million to Sen. Luther Strange to get him elected to continue to serve in the Senate because McConnell knew that Strange was on his team and Roy Moore was not. Moore overwhelmingly won the Republican primary.

The Republicans in the Senate should sit up and take notice because Trump knows, and Bannon knows, that there is more than one way to get a bill through the Senate. One way is to get the senators to do what they said they would do for seven years and vote to repeal Obamacare, another is to go to the polls and defeat the senators in the Republican primaries and replace them with senators who support the Trump program.

Trump ran against the Republican establishment from day one and won all the way through to the general election. The Republican establishment didn’t openly support Hillary Clinton but they were all pulling for her, some more behind the scenes than others.

The Republican establishment was more horrified than the Democrats when Trump won because it outed them as the do-nothings that they are. They wanted another four to eight years when they could sit around and complain about the Democrat in the White House not letting them do anything when, in fact, doing nothing is exactly what they want.

The last thing they want is to bring about change to the government because they have grown powerful and prosperous under the government the way it is now. McConnell is the poster child of the do-nothing Republicans and he is the majority leader. There could hardly be any better proof that the majority of the Republicans in the Senate hate the idea of bringing about any change to the current government. They are fat and happy the way things are now.

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This note to the mainstream media: People, even Republicans who you hate, often say things that are not entirely true because they think it’s funny. Please Google “humor” and then try to imagine someone saying something that would cause other people to laugh.

When Trump said that he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would have to compare intelligence test scores and Trump knew who would win, he didn’t actually mean that the two would sit down at desks side by side and take IQ tests until one said uncle. He was making what many people who are not leftists in the mainstream media call a joke.

I’m certain that at times a member of the mainstream media has been in a group of people where someone says something they don’t understand at all and everybody else laughs. For most people humor and laughter is considered part of the human condition. The mainstream media take everything said by a conservative at face value, as if nobody ever made comments because they thought they were humorous.

It makes me feel sorry for those in the mainstream media. I can’t imagine life without laughter.

Maybe saying that he and Tillerson would take intelligence tests to see who is smarter is not laugh out loud funny, but it also was, to most people, clearly not a serious statement.

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein has announced that she will be running for reelection next year when she will be 85 years old. If Californians are dumb enough to elect her she will be 91 when her six-year term ends.

I know a lot of really sharp 80-somethings and a few 90-somethings that are doing well, but everybody ages. Someone approaching 90 can dye their hair and have a face lift every couple of years to make themself appear younger, but their heart and brain are not affected.

It’s crazy that voters go to the polls and elect people to represent them who have become befuddled with age. But voters do it. The voters of South Carolina elected Sen. Strom Thurmond when he was 96. For some unknown reason Thurmond did not run for reelection when he was over 100 and died about six months after leaving the Senate at 102.

Sen. Robert Byrd died in office at 92.

Californians might want to take a look at how effective these senators were in their last terms in office. Needless to say they weren’t setting the world on fire with their youthful drive and ideas.

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Vice President Mike Pence, by leaving the Indianapolis-San Francisco game on Sunday, did something Americans haven’t seen for eight years from the White House – he showed leadership.

Trump and Pence are not trying to figure out what the American people want and then running to get there first. Trump and Pence are doing what they think is right, confident that the American people will follow.

It would have been great if a couple of thousand fans had followed Pence out of the stadium, but that doesn’t matter. What Pence said with his exit was powerful. His exit said, you don’t have to argue about this whole national anthem protest thing, you can simply do what I did, and when someone at an event shows disrespect for the flag, you can leave.

The NFL is already starting to cave. The NFL can get along just fine with a few less players, but it can’t get along without the support of its fans.

What Pence demonstrated is that Americans who believe the national anthem and flag should be respected only need to publicly demonstrate it, maybe once, perhaps twice, but probably not any more than that. People don’t have to boycott a season, just a game, just one Sunday, really.

It’s not difficult and it would be incredibly successful. The players who feel strongly about protesting during the national anthem before a game can continue to do so; they just can’t play in the NFL if they want to do so before NFL games.

There is a large rulebook full of rules that NFL players have to follow that covers everything from what is an acceptable celebration of a touchdown to what kind of shoes they can wear.

If Roger Goodell had simply enforced the rules on the books when this all started, he wouldn’t be in the mess he is in now. If a rule isn’t going to be enforced then remove it from the book, but Goodell shouldn’t selectively enforce the rules, as he chose to do.

Now that Pence has made such a powerful statement of his own, it appears Goodell is going to man-up and announce that the rules on how teams are to behave during the national anthem will be strictly enforced.

Americans have voted with their feet, and the television audience as well as the attendance at games is down.

It’s going to turn out that the NFL believes in letting the players demonstrate their political beliefs as long as it doesn’t cost the NFL money, but once it hits the pocketbook then the NFL is going to demand that players behave.

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Television news all to often is inaccurate because the reporter has no idea what they are talking about. Locally they may have been sent from a traffic accident on the interstate to a county commissioners meeting and they know little about the issue they have been sent to cover, except for a few sentences from their producer. It’s the nature of the television news game and I get that.

But what I don’t get is why the mainstream media don’t consult, ask or at least Google something about firearms before they report on a news story concerning guns.

The networks don’t send commentators to cover football games who don’t know a touchdown from a homerun. But they constantly allow commentators who don’t know the difference between an automatic and semi-automatic weapon on the air to talk about gun violence. They don’t know the difference between an automatic pistol and a revolver or the fact that what is called an automatic pistol is semi-automatic.

Do the networks have a ban on hiring veterans, because any military veteran knows more about weapons than the people they put on the air.

A case in point is that CBS reported the shooter in Las Vegas used “automatic rounds” in his guns. A quick Google search by anyone associated with the story would have revealed that there is no such thing as an automatic round. The bullets are the same. It is the gun that makes a difference.

From the CBS report one is led to believe that if you buy “automatic rounds” for your semi-automatic rifle, it magically transforms it into an automatic rifle. It is absurd.

But that’s par for the course for the mainstream media reporting on guns. The mainstream media often confuse semi-automatic weapons, which fire once every time the trigger is pulled, with automatic weapons that when the trigger is pulled fire until the magazine is empty or the trigger is released.

An AR-15 is semi-automatic. Since the 1930s, automatic weapons in the US have been heavily regulated. It is not illegal to possess an automatic weapon but exceedingly difficult and expensive. Getting the paperwork to allow a person to buy an automatic weapon takes between eight months and a year. The background check is extensive.

The major networks are bent out of shape about the number of weapons that Stephen Paddock had bought. Why? He didn’t need 50 guns or use 50 guns in the attack. It appears he may have used four or five, which is not an unreasonable number of guns for someone to buy or possess.

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After the mass shooting in Las Vegas, liberals like Hillary Clinton and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi immediately called for more gun control laws. But what I don’t understand is the idea that someone like Paddock – who set out to kill and wound as many complete strangers as possible – would be stopped by a small thing like breaking a gun law.

The weapons he had he obtained legally; but what if the gun laws in the US became really strict and even someone with a clean record, no history of violence, and a record as a successful business owner couldn’t legally go in a gun shop and buy a gun? If Paddock couldn’t legally buy a gun, then it’s hard to imagine who could, but even if that were the case Paddock wouldn’t have had any trouble buying all the guns he needed. He would probably have had to pay more for them, but he could have bought them.

Heroin and cocaine have been illegal in this country for nearly a century, but there isn’t a city in this country where you can’t buy all you want. Why does anyone think that guns would be any different? People who want to kill other people with guns would have no trouble buying them, but law-abiding citizens would not. Why would that be an improvement?

It’s like Hillary Clinton and Pelosi believe that making something illegal will make it go away. The world doesn’t work like that.

When Congress decided to raise the legal drinking age to 21, it meant that the vast majority of college students could not buy, drink or possess alcohol. Does anyone think that this caused college students to stop drinking alcohol? It didn’t. It simply meant that after the law passed, instead of drinking alcohol out in the open, it is done surreptitiously, but college students still drink alcohol. It’s hard to see how this is an improvement, and a good argument can be made that what it really did was teach college students to have more disrespect for the laws.

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Trump is a newcomer to DC, but it’s about time he learned that his biggest enemies in Washington are McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan.

They didn’t want Trump to get elected. They don’t want him to be successful and they sure don’t want him to drain the swamp from which they derive their power.

Trump has to realize that he has very few friends in Washington. In fact, if he wants a friend he should buy a dog.

After people have been in Washington for a short time, they mainly work toward getting reelected. McConnell and Ryan will do everything in their power, and their power is considerable, to keep Trump from even bailing a few gallons of water out of swamp. If he makes a move toward actually draining the swamp, then they might even consider impeaching their own president. Technically they need charges, but in reality all they need are votes.

It would seem impossible, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer could deliver 48 votes to remove Trump from office tomorrow, which means they would need 12 Republicans. Pelosi could certainly deliver the vast majority of Democrats in the House. If Ryan could provide some Republican votes, it becomes a real possibility and is something Trump needs to consider.

It seems crazy to think that the Republicans would even consider impeaching a president from their own party, but if their way of life is in danger, it is a whole new ballgame. Does anyone think that Sen. John McCain wouldn’t vote to impeach Trump tomorrow?

*****

It’s really beginning to look like the Republicans don’t want to run Washington. The Republican leaders don’t appear to like the idea of having to make decisions and convince their fellow lawmakers to pass legislation. It appears what the Republican leadership wants is to be able to sleep late, hang out with their buddies in the congressional gym for a few hours and then go to the floor to vote no and go out to the Capitol Hill bars drinking.

It’s a pretty sweet life, and they lived it for a long time because they didn’t have the majorities of both Houses and a Republican president in the White House – like they do now. They had plenty of excuses for not getting anything done. Now they don’t have any except their own incompetence.

The Republicans still have time to redeem themselves, but that window is closing fast. If they suddenly wake up one morning thinking, “Hey, it would be really cool to do some of the things we promised when we ran for office,” they may find it’s too late because they only meet a couple of days a month, even in the months when they do meet.

It appears that Bannon may be providing the only hope for the Republican Party, which is to defeat these do-nothings in the primary, because in the general election – even with gerrymandered districts – they are going to have a difficult time running on their records of non-achievement.

Bannon’s plan to run primary opponents against the sitting Republican senators may sound outlandish, but in reality it could be the only hope the Republican Party has to maintain its majority.

*****

Thank goodness what Pelosi and Schumer said after having dinner with Trump wasn’t true. It was widely reported that they had made a deal to give those who had their immigration status put on hold by former President Barack Obama a path to citizenship, something that even Obama wasn’t willing to do.

As with so many of Obama’s programs, the DACA program was a stopgap measure. It didn’t really solve the problem for some of the people who had come into this country illegally as children, but simply kicked the can a little further down the road.

DACA was a temporary program that actually made the underlying problem worse because it said to the Dreamers, we won’t send you home right now, but your future remains in doubt.

Pelosi and Schumer evidently told people that they had reached a deal with Trump. In the end it sounded more like they had a polite dinner conversation where Trump said that if they were willing to give him what he wanted as far as border control, he would consider giving them what they wanted as far as DACA was concerned. There are a lot of ifs in that deal, and it appears that what Trump wants is too much for the Democrats to even consider because, as Trump has said over and over again, what he wants is a wall.

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Did anybody notice that Hillary Clinton finally jumped on the bandwagon and condemned Harvey Weinstein – who she had said she considered a good friend – because of the allegations of sexual harassment against him?

When her husband was accused of the same thing, Hillary Clinton made a point of standing behind him.

One of the factors that reportedly made the unwanted sexual advances by Weinstein so serious is that he was a powerful man in the industry and the women he abused were powerless if they wanted to advance their careers.

It makes you wonder how much power a White House intern has compared to the president of the United States.

Bill Clinton has also been publicly accused of rape and of exposing himself to a female state employee when he was governor of Arkansas.

The mainstream media will ignore her duplicity because she is Hillary Clinton, and in the eyes of the mainstream media, the legitimate president of the US because she won the most popular votes.

Won’t it be great if Bill Clinton also condemns Weinstein? At the very least someone should ask his opinion of men who use their power to abuse women.

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I’ve spent more time in my car than usual lately, and that means I spent more time listening to NPR. It has become nothing but a bash-Trump network. Even stories that have nothing to do with Trump and politics, they somehow manage to get in a few jabs at Trump. Nobody made a comment when one “journalist” referred to Trump as “that fool.”

If the Republicans can’t work up the resolve to defund NPR in the next budget, they should all be run out of office. Do you think the Democrats would for a minute consider funding a so-called news network that did nothing but bash Democrats? If the shoe were on the other foot, the Democrats would defund NPR in a heartbeat. But the establishment Republicans want to the politically correct and it would definitely be politically incorrect to defund NPR.

Parisian Promenade at Bicentennial Garden