Ask Dr. Politics! You are fair, and we are unbalanced!
Dear Dr. Politics: There is no sugarcoating it. The website has been working too slowly. I think it’s fair to say nobody is more upset than I am. Can you help the surge of the best and the brightest to fix the Obamacare site? Asking for a friend.
Answer: First, is your Wi-Fi router on? A lot of people forget this. They also can’t remember where their Wi-Fi router is. Yours may be in the Situation Room or in the bowling alley or underneath Joe Biden.
Second, restart your computer. But back up all the data for the entire government first. This should take no more than two or three years.
Third, are you using a laptop? If you are — and we suspect it’s a Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100 — make sure the modem is working. That is the thing that goes: SQUEE-AWK ... SQUEE-AWK ... PING-PING-PING ... GRSHHHHHHH.
If you don’t hear that sound when you dial in, replace the four AA-cell batteries in the laptop. This could fix your problem, or it could trigger a nuclear launch. So be careful. Maybe you should let one of the kids do it.
Fourth, clear your cache. Those scamps from the press corps may be sneaking in to use your computer and leaving cookies behind. Consider blocking all sites that contain the words “Kardashian,” “Miley Cyrus” and “Cruz.”
Fifth, have you considered selling Obamacare door-to-door? It works great for Avon. Or you could do home parties like Mary Kay. Wouldn’t getting a pink Cadillac be totally cool?
Sixth, call Snowden.
Seventh, buy a Mac.
Dear Dr. Politics: I keep hearing that Ted Cruz, a Republican senator from Texas, may run for president in 2016. I also hear he was born in Canada and is a Canadian citizen. Doesn’t the Constitution demand that a president be a “natural born Citizen” of the United States? So how could Cruz run?
Answer: Ted Cruz’s birth certificate, which was released to The Dallas Morning News at its request in August, shows three important things:
First, Rafael Edward Cruz (now called Ted) was born Dec. 22, 1970, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Second, his father, Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, was born in Matanzas, Cuba.
Third, and this is very important, his mother, Eleanor Elizabeth Wilson, was born in Wilmington, Del.
At birth, Cruz became a citizen of Canada because he was born there, but he also became a “natural born” citizen of the United States, in the view of many legal experts, because his mother was a U.S. citizen. According to the newspaper, Cruz’s father came to the United States from Cuba in 1957 and remained a Cuban citizen until he became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2005. (He was working in Canada as a “geophysical consultant” at the time of Ted’s birth.)
The family returned to the United States when Ted was 4. Catherine Frazier, Cruz’s Senate press secretary, told the Dallas paper that Cruz’s mother registered his birth with the U.S. Consulate and that Cruz got a U.S. passport without a problem in 1986 to make a high-school trip to England. “To our knowledge, he never had Canadian citizenship,” Frazier said.
The Dallas Morning News found a number of experts on Canadian and immigration law, however, who said Cruz definitely had dual citizenship with Canada. After the story appeared, Cruz issued a statement saying that he would renounce his Canadian citizenship if he “technically” ever had it. “Nothing against Canada,” he said, “but I’m an American by birth and as a U.S. senator, I believe I should be only an American.”
Cruz also said: “Given the raft of stories today about my birth certificate, it must be a slow news day.”
Yeah, well, Barack Obama had a birth certificate proving he was born in the United States, but the “birther” wackos still tried to claim he was born in Kenya, making him ineligible to be president. Except it wouldn’t have made him ineligible.
Using the legal argument that now helps Cruz, Obama would have been a “natural born” citizen of the United States even if he had been born in Kenya, because his mother was a U.S. citizen. (In any case, Obama was born in Honolulu.)
So, in the opinion of Dr. Politics, Cruz is a “natural born” U.S. citizen and could legally become president of the United States.
Unless Donald Trump can’t find his mother’s birth certificate.
Dear Dr. Politics: I hear that Congress keeps “kicking the can down the road.” Why would anyone kick a can? And why would he do it down the road, where he could get run over?
Answer: “Kick the can” was a popular game in the early years of last century and still is played by members of Congress. The way Congress plays it, one member is stuffed into a large aluminum trash can, and the others kick it repeatedly as it rolls around the roads on Capitol Hill. At the end of a half-hour or so, the member emerges from the can so discombobulated that he will vote for or against anything. This is called “party discipline” or “the end of democracy as we know it.”
Ask Dr. Politics! You are fair, and we are unbalanced!
Compromise is not that simple
It’s tempting for a casual onlooker to wonder why the Democratic House and Republican Senate can’t make what on the surface looks like the obvious compromise on pension reform.
The Senate passed a measure based on recommendations of a task force to move new employees into a hybrid, cash-balance plan but maintain existing defined benefits for current employees and retirees.
Frankfort plays ping-pong with public pension transparency
Legislation that would make the Kentucky Retirement Systems transparent for those paying its bills has danced into the spotlight during the 2014 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
Passage of transparency bills filed by Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Latonia, and Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington, would make the “names, status, projected or actual benefit payments” subject to our commonwealth’s superlative Open Records Act.
The case of the ghostly neighbor
Wilbur lived in a world of fears. Everything frightened him. The full extent of his courage was to admit that he had none.
Noises in the middle of the night, his own shadow creeping up on him and, most of all, black cats scared the wits out of him.
So, picture his chagrin, one day, when he came home from vacation only to discover that a mausoleum had been erected on property adjacent to his home.
Provisional concealed-carry law passes Senate unanimously
Things are staying busy in Frankfort. Many bills are making their way onto the Senate floor from various committees. This past week several important pieces of legislation were debated and passed.
I am particularly proud of the success we had in advocating for Kentuckians’ Second Amendment rights.
I introduced Senate Bill 106 to allow anyone who has been granted an emergency protective or domestic violence order to receive a provisional CCDW permit from the Kentucky State Police in one business day. In some of these cases, victims need this type of protection as quickly as possible.
50 years makes a world of difference
I wasn’t in Frankfort on March 5, 1964, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and Jackie Robinson led 10,000 on a march to the state Capitol in support of a public accommodations law.
But a few months later, I stood in front of the “Music Hall,” site of the Glasgow Junior High School located on a street named Liberty, and watched black kids “walk up the hill” of College Street on the first day of integrated schools in Glasgow.
Coal has kept Kentuckians warm this winter
This winter, temperatures across the country dipped to historic lows. Here in our home state of Kentucky, the near-arctic climate caused increased power demand which resulted in an incredible strain on the electric grid and rising energy costs.
Protecting citizens’ data is a no-brainer
Target Corp. is learning the hard way: The price is steep for retailers who don’t protect customers’ sensitive financial information.
Target’s profits fell a whopping 50 percent during its fourth quarter of 2013 as the result of a massive security breach involving as many as 110 million of its customers’ credit- and debit-card accounts, which began the day before Thanksgiving and extended throughout much of the holiday shopping season.
Making plans for spring planting
My brother Keith (Keeter) probably planted peas on one of those warm days last week, and I would not be at all surprised to find out that brother Steve did likewise to try to be the first two fellows in Letcher County to actually be digging the soil in their 2014 gardens.
Keeter’s father-in-law, the late Dock Mitchell, used to get my brother to drive him a 50-mile round trip to get pea seeds and potting soil for early February planting. Dock raised mammoth melting sugar snow peas and sugar snaps around every fence on the place.
Cynicism, optimism both on display in Frankfort
Those who spend little time in Kentucky’s Capitol and who read columns by cynics who cover it should be forgiven their disillusionment about how the people’s business is conducted.
Even Scrooge would enjoy library mystery
Saturday afternoons and evenings are usually down time for Loretta and me.
We simply don’t get out much after we’ve used up the movie gift certificates the kids gave us for Christmas. That means we mostly go to the movies to avoid guilt trips because our kids do work hard for their money.
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