Monday, January 16, 2017

Ivan the Great, Bagwell, and Raines to Reign in Hall Balloting

“Baseball is a game you’d play for nothing. I am so happy the Lord gave me a little ability, because it allowed me to meet a lot of good people and see so many exciting places.” – 1973 Hall of Fame inductee Monte Irvin (02/25/19 – 01/11/16)

“Baseball is an endless drama with an ever-changing cast.” – 1991 Ford C. Frick Award Winner (broadcaster’s wing of the Hall of Fame) Joe Garagiola (02/12/26 – 03/23/16)

Ivan the Great, Bagwell, and Raines to Reign in Hall Balloting
Sanford D. Horn
January 16, 2017

We managed to survive the 2016 presidential campaign and election leading to the inevitable January links between baseball and politics – this week a new president will be inaugurated just two days after the Baseball Hall of Fame announces its new inductees on Wednesday. Hopefully, the bitter temperatures, a reminder that pitchers and catchers don’t report for duty for another month, will also serve notice that the Russians did not hack into the Hall of Fame voting process.

“Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.” (http://baseballhall.org/hall-famers/rules-election/bbwaa) This is the standard by which the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) is to do their jobs.

The crux is character and integrity – neither of which was exhibited by Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, or Sammy Sosa, each accused of using steroids during their playing careers. These players’ bad behavior should not be rewarded. They only way they should be allowed into Cooperstown is with a paid ticket for admission. For as many years as these miscreants have been on the ballot, I remain steadfastly opposed to their entry, and will continue to be so in the future until their eligibility is exhausted and beyond. And this year, the name of Manny Ramirez can be added to the naughty list.

Candidates are required to earn five percent of the vote in order to remain on the ballot for the next year. Should a few more voters shun Sosa, his seven percent from 2016 could drop enough to bounce him from future consideration. More BBWAA members would be needed to withhold votes from Clemens – 45.2 percent, and Bonds – 44.3 percent, to remove them from the ballot, if not from our collective memories. While the vote percentages increased for Clemens and Bonds, demonstrating a lack of character by those supporting their entry into Cooperstown, enough did the right thing by eliminating Mark McGwire from future consideration.

Were I privileged with casting votes to determine the Class of 2017 into the Baseball Hall of Fame, four retired players would appear on my ballot – one freshman candidate, and three holdovers from 2016.

Moving from the malevolent to the magnificent, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez spent 21 years as a major league backstop catching pitchers for the Texas Rangers, Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Houston Astros, and Washington Nationals doing it right and avoiding scandal. Rodriguez should be a first ballot entrant into Cooperstown having caught 2,427 games – most ever for a backstop while batting .296 with 2,844 hits, 311 home runs, and 1,332 runs batted in. While a member of the 2003 Marlins World Series winning team, Rodriguez played mostly for average teams while often helping to tutor young pitchers.

Trevor Hoffman pitched his 18 years in the major leagues with the then Florida Marlins, San Diego Padres, and Milwaukee Brewers racking up 601 saves while hurling mostly for mediocre teams where save opportunities were not as prevalent as for sure-fire Hall of Famer to be in 2019 Mariano Rivera. Known as a Padre the majority of his career, Hoffman represented the team as a six-time All Star, and one additional selection as a Brewer. The first pitcher to reach both the 500 and 600 save threshold, Hoffman was four times in the top 10 voting for the Cy Young award and five times received votes for MVP. In 1998 Hoffman converted 41 consecutive save opportunities – a record at the time.

Checking in with 270 career wins is four-time ballot occupant Mike Mussina, who spent 10 years with the Baltimore Orioles and eight with the New York Yankees. A big fan of “Moose,” an economics graduate from Stanford University as an Oriole, it hurt my eyes to see him donning the pinstripes. Mussina was selected to five All Star teams and won seven Gold Gloves. While he was overshadowed by Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and John Smoltz in 2015, Mussina garnered more victories than Hall of Famers Carl Hubbell, Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal – with whom Mussina was compared, and Whitey Ford. Mussina ended his career at age 39, the oldest to record his lone 20-win season, going 20-9 with a 3.37 ERA. While a jump from his 2016 43 percent to the necessary 75 seems more than unlikely (up 18 from 2015), Mussina remains on my ballot.

Curt Schilling, bloody sock and all, is on my ballot. The six-time all-star pitched 20 seasons in the big leagues – three with the Orioles, one with the Astros, eight-plus with the Philadelphia Phillies, three-plus with the Arizona Diamondbacks, then calling it a career with the Boston Red Sox. Schilling tossed 83 complete games, appeared in three World Series, and had three 20-plus win seasons within a four year span at ages 36, 38, and 39. Schilling should have his ticket stamped this summer – was my mistaken prediction the last four years, and perhaps he may not be able to leap to 75 percent from his 52.3 percent from 2016 (up 13 from 2015), Schilling still belongs among those earning a plaque in Cooperstown.

Although they would not make my ballot, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines seem to be assured of election this year. Bagwell fell 15 votes short in 2016 and Raines is in his 10th and final year of eligibility having earned 67.3 percent of the vote last year.

While it is important to not sully the Baseball Hall of Fame with the likes of Bonds, Clemens, Ramirez, and Sosa, the focus must be on the greats who will be enshrined this July and how they will continue to be the true ambassadors to the community as so many before them have been. Ambassadors and class acts such as Monte Irvin and Joe Garagiola, who sadly left us in 2016 – Irvin at age 96, on January 11 and Garagiola at age 90, on March 23 – six months after his best friend Yogi Berra. May their memories always be for a Blessing.


Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. He has been a Patron-level member of the Baseball Hall of Fame since 2007.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Players Should Suit Up for Bowls

Players Should Suit Up for Bowls
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
December 22, 2016

While there is no “I” in team, there most certainly is, in “selfish.”

Three running backs, Leonard Fournette from Louisiana State University, Shock Linwood from Baylor, and Christian McCaffrey of Stanford have each opted to forgo their teams’ postseason bowl games. Instead, they will prepare for the NFL draft and hope to raise their personal stock.

Were I an NFL team general manager, I would look upon these players, regardless of their individual talent, as demonstrating poor personal character in abandoning the team that helped make them an NFL prospect in the first place. One player does not a team make. A quarterback is only as good as his guards and a running back is only as good as his blockers.

Coaches should insist upon their teams operating at full strength – and that includes potential Sunday players. Those players should be obligated to play unless injured or suspended because the rest of the team deserves the same opportunity to win a bowl game as they did their regular season games. (Coaches who jump ship early when accepting a better job offer to coach elsewhere are no better than the players for whom they should be setting the example. Coaches should demonstrate the loyalty they expect their players to emulate.)

In fact, the athletic scholarship is akin to a contract, which should be enforced. Schools recruited those players to bring victories to the universities in exchange for tuition, room, board, and an actual education. Such an education should include lessons learned off the field and out of the classroom. Character is one such lesson, as is putting team above self.

For the same reason – putting team above self – the system of “one-and-done” should not exist. A student-athlete commits to a university and accepts a scholarship for the duration of their NCAA eligibility. Leaving school early is a breach of that contract and the student-athlete should be required to repay the value of the unused portion of the scholarship back to the university.

College football and basketball serve as de facto minor leagues, and as such, players who may not typically be found on a college campus will accept recruitment offers for lack of any other venues to put their talents on display. A minor league system should exist to nurture and grow the talents of players who, academically, should not be taking the spot on a campus of a more qualified student. Clearly this is a subject for a future column.

Perhaps another reason for players to skip their final college game is that bowl games are no longer special, but a money making scheme. (OK, they have always been about the money – I’m not that obtuse.) This is an indictment of the enormous number of bowl games being played – 40. Ten years ago, in 2006, there were 32 bowl games. In both 1996 and 1986 there were 18 bowl games, 12 in 1976 and a mere nine in 1966.

There are 128 schools in the BCS – Bowl Championship Series, of which, 80 or 62.5 percent, have “qualified” for a post-season invitation. Of this year’s 80 bowl invitees, 19 have records of 6-6 or worse – 14 at .500 and five sub-.500 records. Simple solution – ditch 10 bowl games and those 19 schools. This is as bad as the NHL and NBA playoffs that drag on through June. When the NCAA ran an 11 game season, and six wins qualified a school for a bowl, at least they would be over .500. Now, with a 12 game season, and conference tournaments, a school with six qualifying wins could “earn” a bowl at 6-7. An above .500 record, regardless of how many games played, should be the line of demarcation for bowl qualification. If there aren’t enough schools, start cancelling bowls from newest to oldest in terms of existence. Far too many of these games are played before thousands of empty seats masquerading as fans.

Receiving a bowl invitation meant something – a reward for a regular season well played. Today, a bowl invitation to a 6-6 team, or worse, is akin to a participation trophy, and that is wholly unacceptable. Want to earn a bowl game? Play better. (For the same reason any more than 64 schools participating in March Madness is too many.)

Jason Gay, in his December 23, 2016 Wall Street Journal column “Beware the Zombie Bowls!” wrote that “A playoff has rendered bowls near-irrelevant so it’s tough to chastise a player for opting out.”

I disagree with Gay on this one because for years, fans, students, players, and sponsors knew the mid-December bowls were not going to determine the national championship. These games are played with and for pride by the participants and will remain lasting memories long after the applause fades and the clocks strike zero. All the players should suit up for these bowls as they are team events that will speak well of their character – character that their fans will notice and emulate.


Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Teach the Constitution TO Carmel High Admin

Teach the Constitution TO Carmel High Admin
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
December 18, 2016

When thinking of the administrators at Carmel High School in the heart of ultra-red Hamilton County, Indiana one of my favorite scenes from Mel Brooks’ classic comedy Blazing Saddles immediately springs to mind.

The late Gene Wilder is attempting to console the late Cleavon Little following a vicious racial slur aimed at Little. Wilder to Little: “These are people of the land; the common clay of the new West – you know – morons!”

That is the appropriate adjective for the administrators of Carmel High School following their very short-sighted decision to remove an anti-abortion, pro-adoption sign posted, with permission, by Carmel Teens for Life. This act of censorship came at the heels of one, a singular, student’s complaint that the sign was offensive.

Picture this hand drawn sign reading “3,000 Lives Are Ended Each Day…,” in rainbow colors at the top, with about 300 multi-colored hearts filling the poster, and the word abortion at the bottom with the letters “b” and “r” crossed out, replaced by “d” and “p,” to turn abortion into adoption. A great message.

How is this offensive? To whom is this offensive? Is it offensive to people who support the murder of the unborn? Is it offensive to those opposing adoption? What reason could there be to find this sign offensive? Apparently a reason for the complaint is unnecessary, just the mere objection, and the censors are quick to act – the First Amendment be damned.

Does the Constitution cease to exist at the front door of Carmel High School? Or at any school for that matter?

Enter the Liberty Council, a non-profit, legal organization in Florida willing to take action against the school district following the singling out of the conservative student group. After all this is the same school that has permitted posters supporting the homosexual community as well as political groups. Fair and balanced – certainly not. Schools should not be picking and choosing which opinions to favor and support, yet the conservatives seem to be more under fire than the liberals.

“Schools can limit speech or other forms of expression if it is disruptive and would disrupt the school’s education mission,” said David Schuman, a professor at the University of Oregon’s school of law. How is a sign promoting life and adoption adorned with hearts disruptive to the school’s mission? One would think a sign promoting the murder of the unborn to be more disruptive and disconcerting to people. Schuman also said the reason for removing the poster would play a role, but Carmel High administrators have not been forthcoming with one.

Schuman suggested that disallowing “posters that generate complaints from students who have been emotionally upset and unable to study, or prohibiting speech considered lewd,” could be acceptable reasons.

Those would be enormously broad based and vague reasons as to prevent any sign of any subject from being hung at Carmel High and set a dangerous precedent for schools nationwide. Consider a poster hung advertising baseball tryouts and based upon the above criteria, should one student complain that the poster is making that singular student emotionally upset and unable to study, that sign would have to be removed. Perhaps the student had a bad experience at a baseball game when younger or was rejected from the team in a previous year. For that matter a student lacking the talent to sing could lodge a similar complaint about a poster advertising auditions for the school’s annual musical and that poster, again, based upon the above criteria would need to be removed.

It’s a slippery slope to the point where no communication would be allowable because of the possibility that a singular student could be emotionally impacted negatively. This is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind when writing the Constitution. We the people do not have the right not to be offended. As Iowa State Representative Bobby Kaufmann (R) said recently about some group of whiners, “suck it up, buttercup!”

Speech that one finds distasteful or offensive should not be silenced. Instead, it should be challenged with even more speech. Open the lines of communications – argue, debate, challenge – albeit respectfully, and perhaps everyone can learn something. The Carmel Teens for Life’s anti-abortion, pro-adoption poster should absolutely be returned to the walls of Carmel High School thus supporting the life of the Constitution and the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hamilton Lecture and other Liberal Hypocrisy

Hamilton Lecture and other Liberal Hypocrisy
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 20, 2016

Hamilton actor Brandon Victor Dixon broke from character to demonstrate a complete lack of character immediately following the Broadway performance Friday in an attempt to embarrass Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

In a preaching lecture from the stage read from notes, Dixon, who portrays the third Vice President of the United States, Aaron Burr, delivered a diatribe with low expectations of the incoming administration. “We, sir, are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights.” While Pence was mostly booed by the audience, Dixon’s invective was largely applauded.

The treatment of Pence was malevolent and unconscionable, but to no surprise, the Vice President-elect took the entire episode in stride politely listening to Dixon. Having spoken with Pence on several occasions, he is nothing short of a mensch. President-elect Donald Trump was not as generous, tweeting that Pence was “harassed,” and “the cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!”

Dixon responded to Trump that “conversation is not harassment sir. And I appreciate @Mike_Pence for stopping to listen.” Pence didn’t stop to listen, he was basically a captive audience at the Richard Rodgers Theatre where people went to see and hear a Broadway performance of singing and dancing, not lecturing.

As for Dixon’s calling his lecturing a conversation and not harassment, he needs to consult his dictionary to learn that a conversation involves two or more parties freely engaging in ideas, not the monologue to which Pence was subjected sans rebuttal.

Naturally, the American Civil Liberties Union weighed in supporting Dixon. “The First Amendment is a cornerstone of America even if it makes our leaders uncomfortable.” Apparently that concept endorsed by the ACLU does not apply to liberals on the receiving end as they have been running for cover in safe spaces and cry rooms on college campuses all across the nation even calling Trump campaign signs offensive and signs of “micro-aggression.”

On campus after campus prior to Trump’s victory, liberals were in celebratory moods openly supporting their candidate, Hillary Clinton, where G-d forbid anyone should utter an opposing word. On my daughter’s campus at Denison University, during debate-watch events, she told me how uncomfortable it was to sit quietly while all the Clinton supporters either cheered their candidate of booed Trump. She felt so threatened she left the event to watch alone, and she is no wallflower. Yet, following what liberals considered inconceivable, a Trump victory, their behavior transformed from ebullient to apoplectic, as they took to berating those supporting the winning candidate.

Campus liberals, calling for no judgments, do exactly that – judge. Once again, on my daughter’s campus the day after Election Day, a student wearing a Make America Great Again hat was cornered by a group of liberals demanding an explanation as to why he voted for Trump and why he supports racism and bigotry giving him virtually no chance to speak. They were passing judgment and putting him on the defensive when he had every right to vote for the candidate of his choice sans reprisals. Hypocrisy.

Campus liberals called Trump campaign signs offensive and threatening, yet following the writing of Hillary Clinton’s political obituary, these same campus leftists paraded around with signs and banners degrading President-elect Trump, comparing him to Hitler and that he’s “not my president.” More hypocrisy.

Liberal hypocrisy running rampant is nothing new – in fact, it has become the norm and rather dependable, and not just on college campuses. Take Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers NFL team who continues to refuse to stand for the National Anthem as some moral stance, as it were, against the government. He didn’t even bother to vote on Election Day. Sheer hypocrisy.

Liberals, quite frankly, anarchists is closer to reality, protesting in places like Portland, OR denigrated what should have been a peaceful march into a chaotic riot resulting in numerous arrests. Turns out the majority of those arrested never even bothered to vote, yet they found time to protest an election result with which they did not participate. Even more hypocrisy.

Thanks to soon to be retired Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), filibusters are limited when pertaining to nominees. This “nuclear option” was established in 2013. Now that the Democrats are in the minority, they not only want to reverse their own ruling, but are making demands regarding Trump’s cabinet appointments. Soon to be Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), even before the first nominee has sat before the Senate, has threatened to fight Trump on appointments his party finds objectionable. Schumer and the rest of his Democrats need to be reminded of Barack Obama’s post-2008 election words. “Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.” Still, more hypocrisy.
At the end of the day, Senator Schumer, Donald Trump won the election, and to the victor go the spoils. But, as I noted in a previous column, “Congratulations, President-elect Trump – We’re Watching,” with great power comes great responsibility. (http://sanfordspeaksout.blogspot.com/2016/11/congratulations-president-elect-trump.html)
Believe it or not, the way to end the hypocrisy is for the liberals to emulate their party leaders – Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Both Obama and Clinton, especially Clinton the day after Election Day, called for unity around the nation and giving Trump the opportunity to lead – to lead the whole country. Clinton gave a fine concession/transition speech and her fawning sycophantic acolytes should heed its message.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer living in Westfield, IN.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Congratulations, President-Elect Trump - We're Watching

Congratulations, President-Elect Trump – We’re Watching
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 17, 2016

Brimming with a cadre of riches, the Republican Party has won the White House, controls both houses of Congress and more than two-thirds of governors’ mansions. But with great power undeniably comes great responsibility.

The time is now to shift from politicking to governing – to don, as it were, the big-boy pants and make the campaign promises reality – and sooner rather than later. President-Elect Donald Trump has but two years to accomplish what just about any other president would have four years to accomplish.

Trump doesn’t need to complete all projects in two years, but he must start them while he has the majorities he will undoubtedly enjoy before the midterm election of 2018, which will spring up rather than creep up on him and the GOP. Should Trump’s ambitious agenda fall flat, 2018 will be a harsh reality of payback, retribution, and lost opportunities.

And make no mistake, the media, as they have already proven, will hound Trump’s every move. The media will do their level worst to distract Trump, demean his every decision, and fault his every selection and appointment. Trump must rise above the muck and mire of the media’s overt bias and disdain to focus on what is most important – draining the swamp and making America great again, via the plan he has put before the American people.

The press has already criticized Trump for not having cabinet picks ready for Senate confirmation a mere eight days after writing the political obituary of Hillary Clinton. Yet, the past three presidents, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Barack Obama did not have cabinet announcements until mid-December at the earliest, some as late as after the first of the year. (Obama named one pick in the third week following his 2008 election.) Trump needs to construct the best team of players to fill his cabinet at his own pace, not the media’s. Once again, it behooves me to remind the media it is their job to report the news, not make the news, something they have failed to remember for decades.

Aside from the cabinet concerns, the media went fully apoplectic when they “lost” Trump who managed to slip away for dinner with his family. Then they doubled down on the criticism when they learned how expensive the Trumps’ meal cost. As long as Trump’s Secret Service detail is with him, it should be inconsequential to the media where Trump dines or the cost of the meal. It’s still his money and how he legally filters it into the local economy is his business.

Trump needs to ignore the press and focus on repealing the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. Government needs to be less involved in Americans’ health care. Choices should be numerous and cross state lines – the greater the competition, the greater the service and care. What should be retained from the current ACA are covering pre-existing conditions and allowing children to remain on their parent’s plans until age 26. The rest of the ACA must be flushed.

Trump needs to ignore the press and focus on stimulating the economy via lowering of tax rates – both corporate and personal. More companies will remain in the United States and many who fled the US in search of lower rates overseas will return. At present, the United States has the third highest corporate tax rates in the world. With the lowering of corporate taxes and the repeal of the ACA smaller businesses will hire more people to fulltime positions as confidence in the economy will help return it to its former robust self. A reduction in personal tax rates will put more money in the pockets of the citizenry, who in turn will spend and invest more. We the people can better spend our own money than can government with its failed boondoggles.

Confidence seems to have begun to return just by the recent rise in the stock market since the election of Trump. Typically the election of a president from the party not in the White House creates a sense of uncertainty and a precipitous drop in market averages, but thus far, since November 8, the market has reached a new high.

Trump needs to ignore the press and focus on cancelling the myriad executive orders penned by Obama. Checks and balances exist for a reason – be the administration that follows the Constitution. Also, no czars or earmarks.

Trump needs to ignore the press and focus on building the wall and strengthening the southern border. Border security leads to greater confidence in a safer America. The United States is a nation of laws and that includes borders. It is not racist or bigoted to expect all people within the borders of the United States to obey the laws of the land. People who are here illegally have broken the law and should have no rights while in the country other than the right to return to their country of origin – after being fingerprinted and photographed for a data base to track illegals.

This includes a severe crackdown on sanctuary cities – those locales around the United States whose mayors have brazenly flipped the bird at the federal government by announcing they will not follow federal law. They are already, and will continue harboring illegals in their cities. The federal government must cut off all federal funding to those cities at once. The ranks of sanctuary cities includes, but is not limited to, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Jersey City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Newark, New Haven, New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland (OR), Providence, Santa Fe, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution either needs amending itself, or reinterpreting. A person born on American soil should not be rewarded with citizenship if they are born to a mother in this country illegally. Those already in this country illegally should not be entitled to any rights – no food stamps, no welfare, no jobs, no schooling, no medical care. This may sound harsh, but the bottom line is that all of those resources are for American citizens and legal residents. While millions of veterans are suffering from poor or no medical care, substandard housing, unemployment, mental and physical trauma, millions of illegals are stealing from Americans by way of government largesse.

Trump needs to ignore the press and take care of American veterans. Veterans need to be placed at the front of the line for medical care. See the previous paragraph on the restructuring of resources.

Trump needs to ignore the press and begin fixing the inner cities by making school choice more available as well as increasing the ease at which charter schools can be created. (In reality this would best be handled at the various state levels.) He opposes Common Core; that along with teaching to the test, are starting points to lift inner cities out of the sewer and sludge of ignorance and remaining beholden to a government for generations.

Trump needs to ignore the press and focus on becoming more energy independent. Keystone XL Pipeline and others need to be constructed as well as fracking, drilling for shale, drilling offshore, as well as in ANWR. Done properly and safely, the United States can diminish its dependence on foreign nations – many of which have a strong animus toward the US, which is patently unsafe.

Trump needs to ignore the press and focus on appointing originalist jurists to the United States Supreme Court as well as to the lower courts. Trump should start by naming Texas Senator Ted Cruz to the High Court to replace the late, brilliant Antonin Scalia who passed away in February. Cruz should have no problem winning confirmation from the US Senate because, quite frankly, they can’t stand him and they can make him the problem of his future eight colleagues. (Should Cruz fail to earn confirmation he would no doubt make his fellow senator’s lives a living hell remaining in that body.)

While I am calling for the appointment of Cruz to the Supreme Court, I have other picks Trump should consider. Bear in mind, some of these picks are already moot based upon the work the transition team has already conducted. Call it my fantasy cabinet – this is what political dorks do after baseball season is over.

Department of…

State – John Bolton
Treasury – Steve Mnuchin
Defense – KT McFarland
Justice – Rudy Giuliani
Interior – Bobby Jindal
Agriculture – Mike Huckabee
Commerce – Ben Stein – yes, THAT Ben Stein
Labor – Carly Fiorina
Health & Human Services – Dr. Ben Carson (prior to declining any Trump offer)
Housing & Urban Development – Rick Perry
Transportation – Mary T. Barra
Energy – Sen. Joe Manchin or Sarah Palin
Education – Eva Moskowitz or Mitch Daniels
Veterans Affairs – Col. Allen West
Homeland Security – Sherriff David Clarke or Jim Gilmore

Okay, boys and girls, time to roll up the sleeves and get to work! We are watching!


Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Supporting Trump for Our Daughters

Supporting Trump for Our Daughters
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 26, 2016

Donald Trump is a cad. He is accused of indefensible behavior toward women. He has used racially insensitive invective. He is bombastic and he is pompous. In other words, Donald Trump is a flawed human being, whose life has been in a fishbowl long before declaring himself a candidate for president of the United States by virtue of being a public figure.

Is Trump alone? Not making excuses for Trump, but popular presidents Warren G. Harding, John F. Kennedy, and Bill Clinton committed sexual antics while in the White House. Racially insensitive if not outright bigoted remarks came from presidents Andrew Jackson, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, and Richard Nixon. President Lyndon Johnson was bombastic, while both Presidents John Adams and Woodrow Wilson were pompous.

Of the 17 Republicans who sought the GOP nomination, Trump ranked 13th on my list above only former New York Governor George Pataki, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. I initially supported former Texas Governor Rick Perry, then Texas Senator Ted Cruz. (I hoped former Ambassador John Bolton would throw his hat into the ring, and I told him as much when I talked with him in January 2015.)

So why am I supporting Trump for president?

Because Trump is running for president of the United States and not Miss Congeniality, as I have reminded myriad people. Because Trump is a no-nonsense businessman who hires, fires, knows how to meet a payroll, and yes, he has declared bankruptcy, but he has taken calculated risks with his own capital and grown his business. (His most recent project, Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC has been completed under budget and ahead of schedule.) Because as a potential president with business acumen Trump will negotiate better trade deals for the United States than his opponent – trade deals that will improve the American economy and help put Americans back to work.

Because Trump supports the Second Amendment of the Constitution which will keep our mothers, daughters, sisters, and all women safer than dialing 9-1-1 and hoping help arrives before becoming the victim of rape, murder, or any other crime.

Because I want my two daughters, and all your daughters to enjoy the rights afforded by the First and Second Amendments to the United States Constitution. Because Trump has provided a list of potential jurists to the Supreme Court and none of their names are Barack Obama or Bill Clinton; because a Trump defeat will tip the balance of the Supreme Court to the far left for generations to come with the possibility of four appointments from the next president. As it is, the Founders would hardly recognize the country today.

Because Donald Trump is NOT Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton repeatedly said on the campaign trail that if she is accused of playing the woman card, “then deal me in!” Here are some of the “woman cards” in Clinton’s deck.

Hillary Clinton has said “we have too many guns,” and “the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment.” This is not a presidential candidate looking out for the women of the United States. Or the men, for that matter.

While Donald Trump is accused of inappropriate behavior toward women – which I will never defend, but ask, where were these women 10, 20, even 30 years ago when they claim they were victimized, Hillary Clinton is no stranger to such peccadillos. Her selective moral outrage is a big fa├žade. For years she looked the other way while her husband Bill Clinton, as Governor of Arkansas and President of the United States had countless affairs, and worse yet, involved herself in cover ups to protect her husband knowing as long as his career remained on path, her trajectory toward the White House would not be derailed. Hillary Clinton is the opportunist’s opportunist – another student at the knee of Saul Alinsky, akin to her former boss, Barack Obama.

Hillary Clinton not only helped cover up her husband’s affairs, and played a role in "Troopergate" (http://www.wnd.com/2001/07/9914/), but has threatened to destroy the women who accused her husband of inappropriate behavior toward them, including, but not limited to rape. Talk to Juanita Broaddrick, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, and Kathleen Willey to name just a few. This is not a woman-friendly candidate for president of the United States.

But Hillary Clinton’s betrayal of women started long before reaching the governor’s mansion in Little Rock. More than a half year prior to marrying Bill Clinton in 1975, Hillary Rodham defended an accused rapist of a 12-year-old girl. While all defendants are entitled to a legal defense, Rodham won the rapist a reduced sentence by discrediting the victim, all the while knowing the victim was telling the truth and that her client was guilty.

Hillary Clinton is the hypocrite’s hypocrite calling Trump “sexually predatory,” when she was complicit in her husband’s dalliances and crimes. Worse yet, she has been an enabler for years. And just as tragic, are those women supporting Clinton, knowing the family history dating back 40-plus years, giving her a pass while critical of Trump.

This is the same Hillary Clinton who consistently paid and pays her male staffers more than her female staffers, evidenced most notably when Clinton served as a United States Senator representing New York. Does this sound like a candidate looking out for the economic betterment of women? Trump has highly ranked, well paid women at the upper echelon of his company as well as a very accomplished woman, Kellyanne Conway, serving as campaign manager.

This is the same Hillary Clinton who filled the coffers of the Clinton Foundation with millions and millions of dollars from a cadre of countries more than just unfriendly toward the United States. Countries such as, but not limited to Algeria, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, have funneled money into the Clinton Foundation for quid pro quo deals garnering them access to Clinton, the State Department, and to what classified information, remains to be seen. These are countries where marital rape is not a crime. These are countries who deny women independence – they are prohibited from driving vehicles, prohibited from walking in public without the accompaniment of a male family member as chaperone, even stoned to death for extramarital affairs, or killed if the victim of rape. These are countries where honor killings still occur – Medieval, to be sure, the same word the Clinton campaign used to describe Catholics. These are countries prohibiting religious freedom for Christians and Jews – if they are even allowed residence there. Is this a champion of women running for president?

And where religious freedom is concerned, that great oasis in the desert, literally the desert, is Israel, affording the world’s major faiths Judaism, Christianity, and Islam freedoms not found in any of the countries from which Clinton accepts money. Fighting for its survival on a daily basis, Israel will have the support of Donald Trump, who has a personal relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Clinton, on the other hand, never a friend to Israel for her years in public service, and prior, having written about her support of a Palestinian state. This from the candidate who is either unable or unwilling to identify the enemy ISIS, as what they are – radical Islamic terrorists, while Trump has announced his goal to destroy ISIS and move the US embassy to its rightful home in Jerusalem.

This is the same Hillary Clinton who said “I spent my life fighting for kids and families,” yet continues to rake in millions of dollars from the aforementioned countries who permit children as young as nine years old to be married off to adult men legally able to consummate their marriages. The same Hillary Clinton purporting to protect children yet continues to support government funding of the abortion-mill Planned Parenthood and partial birth abortion that murders the child just prior to exiting the womb into the world as a living, breathing human being. Is this a woman fighting for children and families?

Hillary Clinton accuses Trump of racially incendiary comments that he has made publically. Clinton has made racially charged remarks against Hispanics, Catholics, Evangelicals, and whites in private, while glad-handing all of the same in public. She even has as a major surrogate Vice President Joe Biden who has been recorded denigrating Indian-Americans. Both Biden and Bill Clinton have made disparaging remarks about Barack Obama. And in general, Clinton, calling for civility, defied her own request by saying half of Trump’s supporters are in a “basket of deplorables.” Hillary Clinton is a hypocrite for her public words contradicting her private words.

Clinton’s lack of transparency is on full display with regard to her Wall Street speeches. Paid hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech – which I don’t begrudge – if someone is willing to pay her price, collect that money while you can, but it is her opaqueness to which I object. Clinton is unwilling to share the content of her speeches, no doubt because it will upset the Bernie Sanders’ wing of the Democrat Party. And let’s not forget Clinton’s private remarks mocking Sanders and his supporters – calling Sanders a doofus – and now calling on them for support.

Unfortunately, for far too many voters, salaciousness trumps security, and they are not giving the serious thought that should convince them to vote against Hillary Clinton on November 8th. There are myriad issues that should keep Clinton from returning to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on January 20.

Hillary Clinton outright lied, as she has done countless times in her career, about the cause of the attack at Benghazi. Telling the families of the victims, the cause was an internet video, when in reality it was a terrorist attack that she could have prevented, had she responded to the dire pleas for help. Slaughtered on September 11, 2012 were US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, US Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods. This is a quintessential example of Clinton’s unfitness for the presidency.

Additionally, Clinton risked national security with her irresponsible handling and management of both her private e-mail server as well as her State Department e-mails. FBI Director James Comey, while wrong to not recommend indictment of Clinton, said 110 of her carelessly handled e-mails contained classified information. Clinton lied repeatedly about security breaches, the use of multiple servers, and the disposition of more than a dozen electronic devices, many of which fell victim to a hammer’s blow.

Further, Clinton risks national security having called, privately, for open borders, which would destroy the American economy with countless foreign invaders seeking jobs at lower than minimum wage rates. Trump still calls for a wall to be built on the southern border, which still makes sense. If the borders of the United States are not secure, the rest of the country’s safety is in serious jeopardy, making all other issues moot. And yet, Clinton continues supporting sanctuary cities while Trump has called for federal defunding of those locales.

Clinton’s support of sanctuary cities is demonstrative of her willingness to play fast and loose with the law, as if her myriad scandals has not already proven that. Take it to the next level and consider the damage Clinton will do to the Supreme Court and the American way of life. First, the late, brilliant jurist Antonin Scalia will be replaced. Then there is the distinct possibility that three additional justices will retire – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, age 83, Anthony Kennedy, 80, and Stephen Breyer, 78. A Democrat controlled Senate coupled with a Clinton administration will attempt to render both the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution powerless. I shudder to think of the nightmare produced by a Justice Barack Obama or Justice Bill Clinton. 

Clinton continues to double down on her support of the Syrian refugee program, allowing thousands upon thousands of Syrian nationals, who cannot possibly be appropriately vetted, entry into the US to disappear amongst the unsuspecting citizenry. Trump has wisely called for a moratorium of not just Syrian refugees, but much of the immigration derived from countries considered unfriendly to the United States. While many liberals call this heartless, they should remember that the United States is the last best beacon of hope for freedom. Should American security be compromised there will be no safe haven or refuge for Americans to seek out. Once America’s borders can be secured, an improved vetting system employed, and an immigration system that is pro-American, then, and only then, should the US consider lifting a moratorium.

Another area where Clinton doubles down is the so-called Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. Obama just announced that premiums are about to rise by about 25 percent next year. Imagine what the real; true figure will be if Obama is willing to admit to 25 percent. Trump has called for the dismantling of Obamacare in favor of a system that provides real options for Americans for insurance that will cross state lines – in other words, competition, the bellwether of American business and economics.

Trump will also grow the economy through public-private infrastructure improvements – again, competition, a business concept, not a government concept, will win the day. Trump also supports the Keystone Pipeline, which can help reduce American reliance upon foreign oil, which Clinton opposes. Such reliance is neither beneficial to the economy nor the security of the country. Not only does Clinton oppose the Keystone Pipeline, but domestic coal as well, as she has often said, “we’re gonna put a lot of coal miners out of business.”

Hillary Clinton said something that should give all her potential voters cause for pause. “If you’re gonna run for president you need to be judged on what you have done, and I think the evidence is clear.”

Considering past scandals heretofore unmentioned, Whitewater, cattle futures, and Travel-gate, as well as a history as a “congenital liar,” according to William Safire, late of the New York Times, yes, Mrs. Clinton, the evidence is clear. The culture of corruption will be the dark cloud enveloping a Clinton administration from before day one. Join me in voting against Hillary Clinton and for Donald Trump on Tuesday, November 8. May G-d continue to Bless these United States.


Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Pence Trumps Kaine in VP Debate

Pence Trumps Kaine in VP Debate
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 5, 2016

Indiana Republican Governor Mike Pence did both himself and fellow Hoosiers proud during last night’s vice presidential debate in trumping Democrat opponent Virginia Senator Tim Kaine.

Had it been a boxing match it would have been stopped in the fifth round as Kaine was flailing wildly, swinging and missing with insults, barbs, canned one-liners, and often deviating off topic. Pence remained calm, even-tempered, mostly on point, with stinging rebukes and well-placed jabs in a battle that clearly had him pitted against two opponents – Kaine, as well as the overtly biased moderator Elaine Quijano, a digital news anchor with CBSN, who maintained little control over the debate.

Governor Pence did such an exemplary job, two schools of thought emerged from the results of the debate: why isn’t Pence at the top of the GOP ticket, and this is what Trump needs to do during the next two debates if he has any hope of winning the presidency. Pence demonstrated why a vice presidential debate is important – his poise and cool-headed knowledgeable responses ought to assuage voters that Trump wisely chose a running mate capable of rising to the top should the need require. Trump needs to emulate Pence and take the high road while dodging the slings and arrows destined to be heading his way during both debates as well as on the campaign trail.

Kaine, conversely, demonstrated yet another reason why Hillary Clinton must not be elected president with his petulant behavior interrupting Pence more than 70 times, not to mention the myriad interruptions of Quijano. Kaine referred to the Trump campaign as the campaign of insults. Hello? Pot? Kettle? Who’s black? This coming from the Clinton nominee for vice president? The same Clinton who called half of Trump’s supporters residents of “a basket of deplorables.” And for good measure, Clinton called Trump supporters “irredeemable.” That’s the tip of the insult iceberg when considering the constant insulting of the American people by Clinton as a “congenital liar,” to borrow from the late New York Times columnist William Safire, who called Clinton that as far back as 1996. Safire certainly knew.

Returning to the irascible Kaine, he was as hypocritical as he was obnoxious. While purportedly pro-life in his private life, Kaine supports the party line as pro-choice on abortion, and supportive of Clinton who has yet to reject the barbaric partial-birth abortion procedure. Pence remains a man of faith and principle as fervently pro-life in his private life and as a candidate.

In addition to protecting the unborn, Pence, along with Trump, reject the open borders, amnesty, catch and release, and sanctuary cities policies pertaining to illegal aliens as is vigorously supported by Clinton and Kaine. The GOP ticket, as Pence effectively stated, is looking out for American citizens and legal residents of the United States regarding both immigration as well as terrorism. At the very least Pence and Trump are able to identify the enemy by name – radical Islam – words the Clinton-Kaine ticket are apparently unable to utter – following the same path Barack Obama has fecklessly taken lo these past seven and one half years.

As a former Virginian and current Hoosier, I voted against Kaine in 2005, and for Pence in 2012, both winning governorships. Having had several conversations with Pence, he is not only a man of faith and humility, but a believer in the greatness of America now and its ability to continue achieving greatness in the future. This he demonstrated in his debate victory over Kaine. Indiana Governor Mike Pence will prove to be a solid anchor supporting Trump as well as guiding him as needed which should give voters greater confidence to vote for the GOP ticket in five weeks.


Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.